In Houston's real estate market there's a lot of houses that come and go.

In 2017 alone, there were over 100,000 homes sold.

For many of these transactions, there's not only a seller, but there's a buyer who sometimes also has a home that they're selling.

Because our city has such a large population, that means there are a lot of real estate related transactions occurring, even hundreds per day.

If you're looking to buy or sell a house, there are things you need to be aware of because there are that many others trying to do the same thing.

Understanding how the process works can save you a lot of time and headache and get you going to where you want to be much more quickly.

Getting an agent on your team can save you dozens of hours

Do you want to spend weeks researching areas and searching for homes that might match your criteria?

I sure wouldn't.

That's why so many people looking to buy a home depend on a real estate agent.

Agents have a stronger grasp on what the market's doing and what each suburb or neighborhood has to offer.

That means if you can give the agent your search criteria, they can more easily narrow down your selections (and they also have access to the MLS which makes the process even better).

At that point you may narrow down millions of homes into maybe a hundred.

From there you start to look at the sample sets and identify what types of homes don't quite fit your style and then help the agent focus down to what really matters.

Additionally, sometimes there are areas that you think may be a good fit but then you find out that those neighborhoods don't offer what you want.

Your job is simply to identify what would be your ideal home and the agent will be the scout that searches for the prospects.

That's their job.

Houston is a huge place. The housing market is their specialty.

Selling a home on your own sucks

In some cases, homeowners look to sell their house on their own because they want to avoid agent fees.

While saving on ~3% is definitely an attractive idea, what if you aren't able to sell the home? 

I mean let's face it, how many people are going to see your "for sale by owner" sign that match your target audience?

Doing a FSBO is going to take hours of your own time talking to potential buyers and showing the home, and it might even significantly extend the amount of time your house is up for sale.

By using an agent, and not just any agent, but one of Houston's top real estate agents, you'll be able to get your house sold much more quickly.

A good real estate agent has exactly the process to set in motion that will get your house prepared, staged, looking good on the MLS, marketed, and showcased to potential buyers so you don't have to do that.

You can go about your business and not worry about taking time off from work to sit and wait on buyers to possible show up and take a tour of your home.

Additionally, you won't have to worry about much of the haggling. 

The agent is pretty familiar with proper negotiations and identifying what are good deals and what are bad deals.

And they'll know how to answer questions that buyers generally have (and maybe even convince them that they CAN have what they want with just a little imagination and touch-ups to the home).

These are all important aspects to marketing, which is exactly what selling your house requires.

You don't have to go it alone!

Yea, you can try to do it on your own, but that might just come with so many headaches on its own.

Try a real estate agent. Give them a shot and see if you can get it sold at a fair market value sooner than later.

You can always try to sell it yourself afterwards if you really want.

But what do you have to lose? Just make sure you have time. If you're facing something like foreclosure or are on a really tight timeline, you don't want to risk listing on an MLS.

That's when you may want to check out a home buyer company that can help you get out of a bind much more quickly.

Check back for more at https://houstonrealestate.joomla.com.

 

Whether you're looking to hold your property long-term or trying to sell it, there's one thing that every homeowners wants to do:

Increase the value of their home.

We've all been told that your home is an investment.

Real estate appreciates in value over time.

Most of the time, this is true. So why do people not do some of the easiest things to ensure their home's value stays up?

There's that thing that breaks literally every summer

Ah, you know the one:

Your A/C or HVAC unit.

Yup, every summer, especially in this hot Houston heat, it never fails.

It's getting to the point where you really need that air, and you hear the fan going but there's no cold air coming out.

Every homeowner has experienced this.

But why does it happen?

It's because there's not been enough maintenance done to keep it in pristine condition.

Think about it --

For a few months out of the year, you neglect the A/C and compressor because you're using the heater.

When things start coming around to spring, you need both your heater and your a/c a little less.

And then when you need it for the summer, it's expected to start working 24/7 after it's been collecting dust and who knows what else got into it.

While it's been sitting there unused, the temperature has been going up and down wildly every other day, affecting the parts and fluids inside of the system that contract and expand.

And then you start 'er up for the summer, and there she blows! A leak, or burned out compressor, or whatever else breaks.

Taking care of your HVAC unit and getting it regularly maintained can raise the value of your home drastically, simply by the buyer knowing that it has been maintained on a regular basis along with documentation to prove it.

Good 'ole curb appeal

Look:

We know that curb appeal is important when selling your home.

But why not keep it up throughout its life rather than right when you need to do it?

This means taking care of the landscaping, cleaning the sides of the house, getting that pressure washing done every so often, and so on.

While you may think that it costs you money every month, consider this...

...When you are ready to sell the house and you then think about all the things you need to repair or make pretty, you're going to see a large bill.

That bill is going to eat into your profits.

And when something has not been maintained properly, it usually means there's an underlying issue as well.

Have you ever seen a few spot on a wall and then later found out there's a mold infestation behind it?

It's like seeing a tip of the iceberg but not realizing that there's a huge chunk under the surface that slowly built up without you ever noticing it.

This stuff really happens, and when curb appeal deteriorates, there's usually more to the story than just a fresh coat of paint.

Appliances make or break homes

You might not really think about it, but this is huge to first time home buyers.

Appliances are a big deal, as they seem to be the cornerstone of whether or not a home is up-to-date.

Having old appliances diminishes the appeal of the home's interior, but when they are relatively new, or at least taken well care of, they give a totally different impression to someone doing a walkthrough of the home.

You don't have to buy the top-of-the-line oven that steam cleans itself at 800 degrees, but you should make sure that if you're going to purchase a new appliance that you take care of it and keep it maintained. 

If you have an older appliance already, just clean it up really well.

Some homeowners actually like finding original appliances in homes that date back to the 60s and 70s (although most homes in the 70s are actually really wack. People were on some interesting stuff back then).

If you have decent appliances in the kitchen, then just take a look at small things like the state of your ceiling fans or your heater / air vent in the bathroom.

Sometimes replacing a couple of smaller things like that can make a world of difference.

Every little bit counts

There are a lot of different things you can do to a home to increase its value. 

It mostly comes down to maintenance first to prevent as much damage or weathering as possible.

Then it's just keeping things up-to-date.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to keep your home maintained, or visit our homepage for more housing tips (https://houstonrealestate.joomla.com).

As an extension from our last post, one of the things we wanted to talk specifically about is how we affect the community, and not just during natural disasters or emergencies. As this blog about real estate effects on the market states, investors have a direct effect on the community and its real estate. As homes are built and age, new development occurs, and the older homes start to fall behind on maintenance or simply aren't keeping up with latest trends. Newer families look to settle down and they are otherwise forced to buy old project homes or look for new houses. As investors, we afford them the opportunity to find a home in a nice spot within the older parts of the city by taking a home and remodeling it to meet latest trends, regulations, and personalized tastes. Without our involvement in the real estate market, these homes would simply become vacant, rot away, and drop property values all around the neighborhood.

When disasters occur and homes are several damaged or totally destroyed, banks don't want to get involved with potential high risk situations like that. And one of the advantages we have here in Houston is that there's a fairly large community of investors who are willing and able to take on that kind of risk through their own lending and ability to carry out a home remodel. We can single-handedly restore entire neighborhoods because of our investor community, and that is a huge altruistic power of its own. Being able to make money, save homeowners, and restore part of the city is a massive benefit to what we do, and its a power that we know we have and execute responsibly. As a community of investors, we want the city to thrive and flourish as much as any others, and we are able to do it on our own without requiring governments or banks.

There's really something to what we do other than just flipping homes for profit. Credit to http://www.dallascarpetcleaningblog.com for providing some of the content in this article.

Since Hurricane Harvey occurred last year, there has been an influx of investors that came in from out of state. Additionally, our own local investors have been pretty active. Hundreds of homes have been purchased that were damaged in the floods and are undergoing restoration. Although some see we investors as just trying to take an opportunity to make profit, the flipside is that without investors these homes may not have been restored any time soon.

The benefit that we have to the community as a whole is that we can save homeowners who are not able to live in the home or repair it, and they can't get a loan to do it either. So when homes are damaged to the point where they just sit and rot away, we are able to purchase them, restore them, and bring them back to the market. It brings an additional element of helping the community as a whole, and this could be an important aspect when approaching homeowners who are apprehensive or clearly agitated about being in the situation that they're in.

While many homes have already been renovated, there are still plenty that remain damaged and need to be taken care of. This is also a good time for those of us involved in new development to start looking into how we can build more housing for those that remain displaced, and the numbers are likely to continue to increase as some folks aren't able to find proper permanent housing and we're still receiving new residents from other cities and states.

Food for thought!

One of the most important factors in real estate is the relationships you build in the industry. As such, we've compiled a list of events that you would want to attend in the city. Many of these are regularly scheduled, so you'll see the same faces as well as new ones, and be able to expand your network of investors.

Why is your network so important?

As you build your knowledge and framework of the real estate industry, you'll find that having a network can provide multiple benefits. Meeting lenders lets you know which of them you can approach quickly to fit the deal that you're looking at. Knowing other flippers may be beneficial to know who to bring a deal to when you find one that you're interested in wholesaling. And if you're an investor, you want to get to know the people you'll be lending money to because there's a trust factor that's heavily weighted when lending money for a deal.

 

The added and indirect benefit is that many people in the real estate industry come from other backgrounds and are consistently working a more active daily business. This can lead to partnerships that may or may not be directly related to the real estate industry. You can build relationships with people in your network that may be relevant to other businesses that you're working in.

Get out there and meet other people in real estate! Check out our real estate events page to find out more about what's happening locally.