Saturday, 23 September 2017

Don't Misjudge a Property by Its Street Face

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 20 September 2011 00:00

For real estate buyers, the process of purchasing a home, or cottage, can be overwhelming. Many purchasers, particularly first-time or first-time-in-a-long-time buyers, are relieved that at least part of the process is easy—viewing properties. That's where they make a big mistake.

It seems easy.

  • Look at a house from the street, and you either like it or you don't.

  • Walk through a house or condominium in 30 minutes or less, and you either love it or hate it.

Pretty presumptuous. Without specific construction knowledge and an eye for interior design—and in less time than typically spent picking out new clothes—buyers decide where to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars which they usually have to borrow. After one brief viewing, do you know that particular house, townhome, condominium unit, or recreational property well enough to know "This is it"?

The odd thing is that buyers know they can be tricked.

  • There are enough makeover television shows, websites, and publications making millions doing just that. The "before" picture is a dump. The "after" picture is stunning. Usually, it's just paint, nicer furniture, and talented interior design that makes the difference that buyers pay for.

  • Smells are a big turn off, yet buyers know that if smell-cancelling products had been sprayed around, the place would smell sweet, but they still pass on a chance for a sweet price.

  • Bad decorating or sloppy housekeeping generates "I couldn't live here" reactions. Yet, buyers are not moving in with the seller, furnishings and decor intact. Viewing a property means imagining your own furniture and decor in place of what's there now. Won't be long before a program or app will allow buyers to do exactly that with each potential buy. Until then, forget whether you'd want to live with the sellers, and concentrate on placing your personal stamp on the property to test its home-worthiness.

Logically, TV's demonstrated cosmetically-induced increase in real estate value should have buyers searching for money-saving "before" real estate. Instead, an industry has been carved off the real estate profession—staging—to superficially transform the saddest "before" real estate into a stunning "after." Buyers now willingly pay more (that's really borrow more) to view and buy an "after."

Real estate professionals are always ready to help buyers see genuine value in a "fixer upper," which often just need new paint and an up-dated look. Their training and experience has taught real estate professionals to first appraise properties by location and quality of construction. Then they add on or subtract the elusive amount that represents market appeal, or the lack of it, to arrive at market value.

While interest rates remain low, buyers continue to search for their "dream home." As interest rates rise and economies tighten, the drive for a "real buy" may overtake the bedazzled-style of buying. The uncertainty of investment markets will also place the emphasis on buying substance which will steadily appreciate in value over time.

If you decide to search out a great "real buy," there are a few of PJ's Smarten UP tips to keep in mind:

  1. Virtual tours can reveal traffic flow problems and unappealing features, but they should not be a deciding "no view" factor if the location is ideal and the price affordable.

  2. Curb appeal may get you in, but a property's bad street face should not keep you out when the location is great. If fewer people see the inside, competition will be lower. The property may be on the market longer, so the property owners more flexible. If curb appeal is lacking, when you're the owner you'll make money by adding value to the exterior.

  3. Major structural issues like sagging beams and "in the way" bearing walls will cost money, so arrange professional estimates to back up an offer that reflects the costs ahead.

  4. Plumbing and electrical work are a another expense. Knob and tube wiring may not be insurable, so be sure home inspectors know their job and are thorough. Too many times, electrical service has been doctored to look as if knob and tube has been removed, but it was merely patched with new wiring in visible places.

  5. Particularly in southern Ontario, termites are increasingly a problem. Not discussed openly, there are specific areas of Toronto and other communities where termites flourish and they aren't going away. The key is protecting your property by treating the soil regularly. Is a great location worth that to you?

  6. Do not look at furnishings or colour choices, especially great ones. Problems can be hiding under cosmetics. Anything newly-done should be examined closely. Watch makeover shows to see "what" will hide "what."

Viewing potential real estate is just as complex as every part of buying. Whether or not you love the real estate's street face, give it a good going over if the location and price are right for you. It's not what you see but what you know about real estate that make it and you valuable.

For more of PJ's Smarten UP Buying Tips: 10 Tips for Those Who Have Decided to Buy

Rate this item
(0 votes)
PJ Wade

Futurist and Achievement Strategist PJ WADE is “The Catalyst”—intent on Challenging The Best to Become Even Better. A dynamic speaker and author of 8 books and more than 1800 published articles, PJ concentrates on the knowledge, insight, communication prowess, and special decision-making skills essential for professionals and their clients who are determined to thrive in the 21st-Century vortex of change.

PJ Wade's latest business book, What's Your Point? Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick! (CatapultPublishing.com) further proves PJ's forward-thinking expertise and her on-point ability to explain technical, even non-verbal, communication details in practical, understandable terms. Print publication: Fall 2017

PJ: “What's Your Point? — the pivotal 21st-Century business question—must be answered before you open your mouth, hit a key, or tap anything. Too often 'Your Point' is not clear to you, and communication remains an expensive illusion.”

As The Catalyst, PJ concentrates on enhancing communication ROI for experienced advisors, executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, and other savvy professionals, who may not have received as much formal training in communication as they have in their own field.

PJ’s on-point professional development programs and featured presentations start where other business content leaves off. What's Your Point?  programs, presentations, and content present the rich combination of practical suggestions, game-changing concepts, and on-point perspectives essential to those rising to the challenge of modern effective business communication—online & off.

Onward & Upward — The directions that really matter! Reach PJ at pjwade@TheCatalyst.com and visit her Blog: http://whatsyourpoint.mobi.

www.thecatalyst.com

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.

Search