• David Dorman

April newsletter

Welcome to April! We survived the first calendar quarter! Looking back, it was a bit of a slow start, but it appears that is behind us and there is a definite uptick in activity! Also, a special welcome to some new households! We recently added a whole new section of homes in Winter Garden! We look forward to sharing our newsletter with you each month! If you are reading this for the first time, we hope you enjoy it. Keep in mind you can always ask to be removed from the mailing list by emailing David@DavidDorman.comor calling.

March is traditionally the kick off to Spring break season, and while sales do not sky rocket, many home buyers use this planned time to start searching for homes. My family did something somewhat similar when we moved here in 1985. My parents found a place and secured it, and we moved down the day after school let out. It’s not uncommon at all, so while many sellers will wait until school is actually out, to list their homes, some of those sellers find they waited a little too long. Our goal in moving here was to get the family acclimated over the summer and me ready to start my senior year...yes, that’s a true story. I actually moved in my senior year of high school! Getting a house on the market can go several different ways. You might have the home that is move in ready and easy enough to get listed right away, but in some cases, the house may need a bit of work to get things moving along. For example, we have a new listing that I have had a signed agreement on for a week, however the sellers who no longer lives there, needs to have the home deep cleaned, painted and the yard fixed up. This delay of a few weeks, depending on the time of year, can make or break a listings time on market and how it gets viewed. Timing is everything. Luckily, we are Zillow Premiere agents and have the ability to pre-market these homes prior to them hitting the market! If you have questions on the timing of the sale of your home, by all means give us a call!

I took a Facebook poll to see which topics were on the minds of our fans. The one that came up several times was about home renovations and the value of them when selling. I can speak first- hand about this. Back 2012, I did a home renovation of the kitchen, or at least that’s how it started. It ended up affecting 2 bathrooms, the family, dining and living room since we had to remove tile. Anyway, it was a big project and one I did for personal pleasure. While it does add some value to my home, it’s far from a 100% return on investment (ROI). Let’s direct this article towards updates and selling your home.

When it comes to the value of a home, I tend to look at homes as an appraiser would. I have a sheet from a local appraiser that breaks down certain features and their value. Oddly enough, the features you have been told that add value, are not as big an influence as you might think. Flooring, kitchen rehabs, new paint etc., rarely carry the weight they once did. Take my Kitchen for example. After it was renovated, I had the house appraised. There was an identical home across the street, not renovated, that was used as a comparable. Sadly, my value only went 10K higher than that one, since mine was on a water lot. So, what does add value? A few things for sure, such as a new roof, added square footage, pools and similar physical improvements do so. Now to be clear, I do feel that if my house were to go on the market next to the same model, my home would get a much better offer. An appraiser might not see if that way, but there are times when a consumer is willing to pay more for what they want. When it comes to selling your home, there are a few do’s and don’ts to updating or upgrading. If you are handy, many simple tasks can help your home show better and get higher offers. This is based on a buyer’s perceived cost to renovate after the sale. For example, consider carpeting. Many buyers will over estimate the cost to replace carpeting and deduct that cost from the list price. The same is true with painting and some updates to kitchens and baths. I never say “no” to a seller painting. It’s not overly expensive and it’s highly effective. Carpeting in some cases is a good thing too. Bath and kitchen renovations can be tricky and costly. Sometimes a minor tweak such as a new mirror or added backslash, can help update the spot. I would caution not to go overboard, as your changes might not be what a buyer wants or if you only go partway, you could end up just making things worse. In any case, don't expect a full ROI. If you are going to make changes, get a realistic quote first and then ask your Relator whether or not it’s a good idea. Sometimes, just having the quote is a good negotiating tool. Take the flooring example. When the buyer comes in and inflates the cost of flooring, you can hand them the quote and negotiate a better deal. What we highly recommend is that before you spend a dime, get the opinion of a professional. I can't tell you how many times I’ve seen money go out the window on bad choices. A good agent will give you proper guidance and also have vendors to help you get the work done right. If you are thinking of selling in the near future, give us a call. Let’s take a look at what is going on and make some educated and realistic decisions. Your agent sees the good and bad all the time and it’s never bad idea to get their opinion. How can we help?

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Owning a home is a great thing and after a while, once you get settled in, you really start to make things your own. Personally, my improvement strategy has been to pick one thing a year I want to do