Renting is suddenly cool: these days, renting is about lifestyle and flexibility, says Jane Hodges, author of the newly published Rent vs Own (Chronicle). And because renters just want to have fun, they often are willing to pay a premium for a nicely restored vintage house.
Category: Money Matters Monday
Talk isn’t cheap, not when it comes to picking the right words to describe the house you are selling. Paul Anglin, an economics professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, analyzed the language of 20,000 listings to see which terms correlated with higher prices and faster sales—and which terms worked against sellers.
You’re proud of your work. But the ultimate validation comes from househunters and real estate agents. In today’s unforgiving market, they won’t put up with amateur work. And they sure don’t want to buy hidden problems, even if those problems were caused by a well-meaning but uninformed do-it-yourselfer.
Marketing a house that you’ve worked on yourself can be tricky. If you claim that renovations are “professional quality,” buyers immediately will be skeptical: the work is professional, or it’s not. And you don’t want to imply that your work is illegal or not in compliance with local building codes.
Realty agents have clung to their traditional 6% fee structure through boom and bust, insisting that 6% of the home seller’s price is fair, since agents share the risk. They don’t get paid unless the house sells—that is, unless they work with Koenig & Strey, a full-service Chicago agency that recently announced it will now be having its fee and commission, too.
If you’re tackling a home improvement project this spring, you’re not the only one reinvesting sweat equity in your house. This is the DIY comeback year, according to an American Express survey released at the end of March. This year, 72% of American homeowners will be tackling home improvement projects—about even with last year. But as the spring get-it-done season ramps up, only 15% will be hiring contractors, a significant 25% drop from 2011.