By now, our San Rafael’s long-time house flipping veterans have seen it all: raging real estate bubble, over-the-cliff market freefall, energetic bounce-back, and now, the current, more rational market’s steady appreciation.
House flipping experts prosper when they succeed in improving an undervalued Marin property quickly and inexpensively, and then “flip” it expeditiously. The key is to add value that is appreciated by the buying public. The Marin County’s long-term house flipping successes are the opposite of those who opt for skin-deep, purely cosmetic changes. Except in the most extreme sellers’ market conditions, buyers are too perceptive to reward cover-up tactics. San Rafael house flippers with staying power are usually the veterans who can spot quality beneath neglect. They also tend to have a pretty good sense of style, as well.
After a property has been thriftily rehabilitated, house flipping profit margins depend upon selling as quickly as possible. For anyone who might be thinking of selling their own Marin County home anytime soon, the lessons learned from the flippers should be of interest. After all, isn’t selling quickly and economically exactly what your goal will be?
The following tips are cited by a number of house flipping advisors as quick and inexpensive ways to enhance first impressions (rather than the more thoroughgoing rehabilitation issues that are also usually required). These are easy, inexpensive ideas to improve that first-blush impression that flippers agree have helped their agents get speedy results:
- Mailbox – replace a rusty mailbox…or even just replace the decal numbers
- Driveway — instead of repaving, wet down the driveway before showings (it usually has much of the same effect)
- Front door — refresh it as needed: sand and paint, or just mount new house numbers
- Walkway lights — solar-powered LED lights are now extremely inexpensive and quickly installed (no wiring necessary!)
- Aroma — it’s not quite aromatherapy, but it can be mood enhancing for harried house hunters: cookies baking or (later on in the year) cider simmering…also available where odors are a negative, adding a gentle floral like gardenia can be as simple as adding plug-in aroma dispensers
After the value has been added, the last axiom of house flipping success is to position the property as a competitive winner—list it toward the low end of comparables’ asking prices. The same applies for Marin County homeowners who are bent on selling in the shortest time possible. Tentative “highball” pricing can occasionally result in a satisfactory result—but if speed is important, following this house flipping rule is a surer strategy.
You don’t need to be a flipper to benefit from their advice. Another piece of that is to choose your real estate agent wisely—yet another good reason to give me a call!