Residential Property Management – Finding the Best Tenants

For any residential property management project, having good tenants can make the difference between a profitable financial investment and taking a major loss. Having an experienced property manager assisting with the interviewing and review process of potential tenants is critical to the success- and peace of mind- of leasing a residential property. A professional property management company will have the tools and resources to properly screen a tenant pool to ensure the most responsible and reliable tenants are selected.

Residential Property Management

Property Owner’s have a lot at stake when it comes to their residential real estate investment, both financially and time commitment. If the wrong tenants are selected, the Owner is potentially left with unpaid bills or excessive, unnecessary house calls or even worse, damage that will require extensive repairs. A qualified property management firm will have minimum standards for tenant qualifications to help mitigate any potential risk for these adverse tenant issues. These standards typically have been established through historical evaluations of successful tenant relationships. These tenant qualifications standards can involve anything from credit scores, to employment history to reference feedback from previous rental contracts.

The time savings a residential property management firm can provide to a property Owner is extensive. An effective residential property manager will know exactly where to post advertisements seeking qualified renters. The residential property management firm almost certainly has pre-existing processes for screening tenants, seeking reference information and reviewing the property with the potential new tenants as well as having a prepared leasing contract that can be modified to accommodate any specific terms set by the property owner. These are all facets of leasing a property that an Owner would have to develop prior to being able to lease their property.

The cost advantages and time savings accrued from working with an experienced residential property management firm will assist an owner with their real estate investment. There are many benefits to contracting with a residential property management firm, including optimizing the outcome of the investment with high quality tenants which will improve the overall experience for a property Owner as well as increasing profits and minimizing the required time investment.

Making The Offer On The House

You’ve found the home you want to buy.  Now you need to make an offer on the house.  Here is are some tips on making an offer on a house that you want.  

Making The Offer On The House

How The Home’s Price is Determined

The home was listed for a certain market price, determined by the seller’s agent based on factors contained in a CMA, or comparative market analysis. The analysis presents a price range, rather than a specific amount, and is based on some or all of these factors:

  • The current inventory of similar-sized homes in the area;
  • The floorplan and size of similar houses;
  • The age and overall condition of the house;
  • The active listings in the area;
  • The pending listings (those under contract but not yet closed);
  • The sold listings in the last six months;
  • The canceled/expired listings (didn’t sell and were removed from the market);
  • Similar upgrades and amenities; and
  • Location of similar listings.

Each of these factors play a role in the agent determining the price range in which to list the house so that it sells as quickly as possible while being fair to both seller and buyer. Once this range is established, the selling agent then sets a price that may be considered “fair market value” for the house. However, this isn’t static – based on the amount of time the house is for sale and the amount of interest, the price may be changed up or down while it’s on the market.

Negotiating the Best Price for All

The beneficial part of being the buyer is that you make the initial offer on the house, and you can start a negotiation with the seller. Once you determine an offer to make (your agent can help formulate this with you), a legal document is sent to the seller and the seller’s agent determining the details of the offer. This will include, but is not limited to:

  • Offer price
  • Terms – all-cash or subject to obtaining a mortgage
  • Target date for closing
  • A time limit on the offer
  • What the seller agrees to pay, what the buyer agrees to pay
  • Contingencies (proper financing, a clean home inspection)

There are many other legal things to be included, many of which are required by laws in your state.

Once the seller has this offer, it is up to the seller to accept all of the terms of the offer, or the seller may make a counter-offer, which will look similar to the original offer but will have adjustments, like price or who pay for what (termite inspection, title insurance, etc.). Then the ball is in the buyer’s court to accept the counter-offer as is, or submit another counter-offer with suggested changes. Once an agreed-upon “best price” is achieved on the house, there is an acceptance of all of the terms of the most recent offer, and a purchase contract is then prepared. This will be the contract that both buyer and seller will sign at closing, reflecting all necessary terms of the accepted offer, plus details of the home inspection and other items (termite inspection, etc.).

Keep an eye on the contingencies – if, for example, the sale is contingent on a home inspection, and the inspection turns up problems, the buyer may walk away from the contract and reject any counter-offers. Another contingency might be the buyer securing proper financing. If a mortgage falls through for the buyer, the seller cannot hold the buyer to the contract, and might walk away without any counter-offers. Those contingencies are important to protect both buyer and seller.

Your agent will walk you through this process and will actually serve as your representative in the negotiations, usually with the seller’s agent via phone calls, e-mails or in-person meetings. This process could take just a few days or a few weeks, so patience on your part is paramount. And don’t give in – it is better to walk away if the seller is not negotiating in good faith or isn’t willing to negotiate at all. Most importantly, do not get so emotionally involved in a house that you negotiate outside of your budget.

Making Offers In A Buyer’s Real Estate Market

In a buyer’s real estate market, it is often not advised to offer a price on par with the listing price (unless you want it REALLY bad).  The point of any negotiation is to start low and build your way up so that both sides can meet in between. However, keep in mind that if you are making a lowball offer on a short sale or foreclosed house, you better be prepared to wait awhile to hear a counter-offer.  Anything that puts the bank at risk of losing money will take a long time to go through. But it may very well be worth it.

4 Easy DIY Fixes to Improve Your Home

Home maintenance must be performed on a regular basis. However, hiring professionals for every little thing can add up, so here are some simple DIY projects you can take on to save some money while improving the comfort (and value) of your home as well.

4 Easy DIY Fixes to Improve Your Home

Painting The Walls

Walls and windows must be repainted every decade or so (depending on the color and your requirements) to keep them looking fresh. A fresh coat of paint can also significantly enhance the durability of wood and protect it from damage from dust and rainfall. However, before launching into a painting project you must remove all the furniture or cover it with plastic tarp to prevent any paint from getting on it. You must also use a drop cloth to cover the carpet so that it is not damaged during the painting process. Rosin paper is also easily available for wooden flooring and can be taped on the floor with relative ease. You will also need to use painter’s tape so you can get straight lines around windows and doors while paing. Last but not the least you should remove all electrical switches because if they get damaged by the paint you will have to buy new ones. Removing electric switches requires minimal effort and time and you will be able to paint faster and more neatly.

Draught-proof Doors and Windows

You can save on energy bills by draught-proofing your windows and doors. The draught stripping adhesive is easily available in DIY stores. This will help you preserve the original wooden windows and also enhance the interior of your house. In order to add further protection to your windows you can add secondary glazing. This will not only make your home comfortable but also reduce the level of noise coming in from outdoors.

Upgrading your Kitchen

You can upgrade your kitchen by making small improvements in it. You can initially start by adding a fresh coat of paint and replacing the counters. You can also clean the rangehood and the oven from the inside and outside. This will not only improve the efficiency of the oven but also give it a shinier and newer look. Kitchen tiles also tend to get dirty over a period of time and you can either replace them or use industrial strength cleaner to restore them to their original state.

Update The Wooden Elements

You can significantly improve the aesthetics of your woodwork by painting them.For woodwork, it is recommended to use gloss paint. Gloss paint protect the woodwork and help maintain it’s sheen for a longer period of time. However, before applying gloss paint you need to clean down the wood with sandpaper. Test your technique on the bottoms of the furniture before you begin. There are a variety of paints and brushes available that are designed for specific painting jobs like painting on wood with gloss paints, so make sure to invest in them.