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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Lioce Team is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

5 Tips to Protect Yourself During Your Move

I have five tips to share with you today that will help you protect yourself during your move.

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If you want to make sure you and your property are protected during a move, here are five essential tips you should follow.

First, do your research. Don’t just look in the phone book for the cheapest person. Look into Yelp, Facebook, and other similar online sites for reviews on movers. When you see one you like, ask for a referral from someone who used them. You don’t want to hire a person who’s never done this before—there are plenty of real estate horror stories that started that way.

Second, verify your mover is licensed, insured, and meets any and all federal requirements to travel for your move—especially if you’re traveling via interstate. If you are traveling via interstate, stick to one of the national mover companies like Atlas or Mayflower or at least a local company that’s affiliated with these national movers.

Third, watch out for the lowball bid. I’ve seen many instances of movers giving a person an extremely low bid, only to up their prices once the move starts. If something seems too good to be true, it typically is.

    Don’t just look in the phone book for the cheapest person.

Fourth, have a contingency plan. I always tell people to move out the day before their closing happens. That way if something unplanned happens, like the truck not showing up on time or not showing up at all, you have a day to deal with it. Get out the day before, put your belongings in storage overnight, and relieve some stress knowing that everything is taken care of and ahead of schedule.

Lastly, protect yourself. If your mover offers insurance packages that help protect your information, pay a little extra for it. This will give you peace of mind that your stuff is protected. Whether it’s a short-distance move or a long-distance move, it’s smart to pay to have your stuff protected and you’ll be glad you did it.

If you have any questions about how to protect yourself during your move or any other real estate topics you can think of, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

4 Things That Can Make or Break Your Milford Home Sale

If you want to sell your house here in the Milford area, these four things can be the determining factor in how successful your sale is.

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When you list your home, there are four things that can make or break your sale.

1. Pricing it right from the beginning: In a hot market like ours here in the Milford area, many sellers think they can test the market by pricing too high. As things start to cool down in the summer and fall months, though, inventory will rise and you'll want to avoid that mindset and price your home right at market value. The closer the price is to the real value, the more activity you'll get, and you can even get your house into a bidding war—which is ultimately what you want.

2. Amp up your marketing: The days of agents or homeowners taking their own marketing photos are long gone. Hire a professional photographer to shoot the home whether it costs $100,000 or $1 million. This is a must because of their ability to get the most out of the lighting, the angles, and the skyline. Many people make real estate decisions based on the photos they see online. Focus on social media as well; Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter should all give your property exposure. It will generate more activity on the home.

    The days of Realtors taking photos of homes are long gone.

3. Staging: I don't necessarily mean hiring a stager to advise you, but to instead use what you have and take a decluttering approach. Make sure you remove all the extra stuff and make sure you utilize what's available in each room. You want to stage the property by opening up floor space to showcase square footage. It will not only improve the home's photography, it will help buyers gets a better feel for the space.

4. Be prepared to receive multiple offers: Our market has very tight inventory so we're seeing many more multiple offer situations than in the past, so it's important to have a gameplan for it. If it's not handled carefully and professionally, you could squander an amazing opportunity and even lose the offers. This will help you maximize the value of your home.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions or you're thinking of buying or selling a home here in the Milford market, give me a call or send me an email soon. I'd be happy to help.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

4 Key Factors in Determining in the Strength of an Investment Property

How do you determine whether an investment property is a good fit for your goals? Focus on these four areas before closing the deal.

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There are four key areas you need to be aware of when looking to buy a good investment property: 1. Projected income: You want to make some money or at least cover your expenses. A good rule to follow is the 1% rule: If the property costs $400,000, you should hope to make about $4,000 a month in income. This will tell you whether it's in line with your investment goals.

2. The tenant situation: Is there a lease in place with existing tenants? How long have they been there? What's their rental history? You also want to understand the management aspect and any issues a management company has faced, like tenants who have been late paying rent. This will help you understand what you're buying and avoid buying into a bad rental situation.

    The perfect property with no issues or future deferred maintenance doesn't exist.

3. Condition of the property: You won't find a property that's perfect with everything ready to roll that lets you sit back for 30 years and enjoy the rental income because it doesn't exist. Issues will always come up, so it's important to understand what needs to be done in the short term and what you should be prepared to shell out some cash for. For example, needing a new roof obviously isn't ideal, but it won't disrupt the building. On the other hand, if the plumbing needs to be replaced, it will be both a huge expense and disruptive since you'll have to tear into the units and common areas of a rental property. You might even need to have a vacant building if any tenants are displaced by issues like this.

4. Understand the utilities: Be aware of all the utilities there, what is and isn't separately metered, and how you'll deal with it in terms of each individual unit. For example, if the gas is on a single meter, you'll probably include it in rent. If you have separate meters, you can charge everybody individually. Most importantly, make sure that if you're trying to pass along costs, you're not violating any laws or state/town regulations. If you have any questions about owning investment properties or you're considering buying one, don't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I'm always glad to help!