I’m a realtor. Since, most of my work involves investments, those are the kind of clients I take on. As a buyer agent, I help people evaluate purchases from a personal and business perspective. As a listing agent, I help people showcase their properties to get the best price possible. If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in Washington, DC – Let’s Talk. DC provides one of the best places to build wealth with real estate. Is it as good as stocks? Depends on the stocks. If an investor is looking for 10% a year, the S&P might not get that over the long-term from today, where some parts of DC, owning a home could.
If you’re buying…
A home is typically the largest asset purchase most people make in their lifetime. Owning multiple homes or properties as investments is one way to create steady cash flow as well as long-term capital appreciation. There is never a wrong time to buy the right piece of real estate. The key is finding the right property.
Hire an agent.
Real Estate professionals have a fiduciary responsibility to put their clients first. This ensures that your agent advocates for you in all real estate transactions. Top agents: Educate their clients about market conditions; guide clients to properties within budget; coordinate work throughout the process; check (even double-check) paperwork and deadlines; and negotiate the best deal possible.
The financing process should be made as painless as possible, with the agent working with your financing professional to mitigate the stress along the way. This includes: Reviewing financials, discussing options, choosing the appropriate price point, keeping you informed of the process throughout the transaction. You don’t really want to engage an agent until you know your precise budget.
Find a Property
Looking at different homes can be extremely fun, especially in DC. This is also a city where inventory is low and demand can be high. Working with me will help you accurately pinpoint properties that fit your exact criteria: location, size, amenities, rental potential, renovation needed, and anything else that may be necessary.
Make an Offer
Once you’ve found a property you want, the next step is to make an offer. My goal is to help you make an informed decision when it comes to price, and guide you through the process to get the best deal possible. I typically start with the neighborhood and then the price per square foot, finally estimating what (if any) upgrades may be necessary – suggesting comparable home values and improvements for each.
Your agent will help you know what you are getting into before you complete the purchase. Knowing what work has and has not been done to your home is important information to have in the buying process. While updates can increase your home value, damages can take money out of your pocket. Your main concern is the possibility of structural damage, which can come from water, shifting ground or poor construction. Some problems may appear large, but can be fixed with very little effort and not a huge budget.
Once your offer is accepted and due diligence is complete, it’s time to close the deal. If you’re getting bank financing, avoid large purchases before closing, and keep your finances steady. Stay in touch with your agent and financial consultant helps provide guidance during the closing process. Be sure to return all phone calls and complete paperwork promptly. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your team is there to help. (But, you know that right!?)
Your new asset has been purchased, and now it’s time to maintain it. It is in your best interest to protect your property through routine maintenance (and solid insurance obviously) to ensure long-term value creation. Even after you buy, I’ll be able to provide information on the market, help you find contractors, service providers, and even track the value over time.
If you’re selling…
It is often more emotional to sell a property than to buy one, and the reason is often a determining factor in the urgency of the sale, which will in turn, may effect price of the property and the gain or loss expected.
It is very important to calculate the expenses that will be incurred while selling your home, which may include things like commission to be paid to the agent, taxes, advertising costs or specific reports, such as a property inspection.
The most important factor when putting your home on the market to sell is setting the right price, which can can make or break a deal. Poor pricing may result in a smaller number of potential buyers, a longer stint on the market, lower offers, or the need to pull and wait before re-listing.
Not much you can do about the location of your property, but it does play an important role in marketability. How well is your property priced in relation to other offers in your area? What type of neighborhood is the property located in – well-established, up-and-coming, transitional?
The condition of your property is always a factor in how quickly it sells. It’s a fact: acquiring the highest market value and elevating your property above the others in the same price range often comes down to first impressions. As your agent I’ll recommend specific things (many at minimal cost) to the condition of your property.
If possible, I always recommend staging. It can be crucial in selling a home. Some key aspects include: cleaning, painting, repairing, renting (or leaving) furniture, keeping the air or heat at a comfortable temperature, etc.
As your agent I work to highlight the places of interest that are most accessible including: public transportation, shopping centers, schools, parks, entertainment, sports, museums, etc.
If you’ve ever sold a home while moving into another, you know how critical it is to get the timing right. I work with sellers to target a specific timeline from listing to closing, as well checking in to keep them on track during the process.
The bottom line…
Now that you have the basics, understand that I don’t believe a home, bought with bank financing, can provide better appreciation than many other investments available – stocks, bonds, funds – but for safety of principle, there’s not much better places. You have to live somewhere, and while there are other fees associated with owning a home, net net it you usually get out more than what you put in.