Delaware property owners, whether they are single homeowners or large institutions holding multiple rental properties, are members of the same club—at least by one definition. They are all real estate investors, even though not all of them are the kind of Delaware property owners who keep an eagle eye trained on the value of their real estate investment portfolio (most of us think of it more as just “home”). Unless they plan to sell sometime soon, today’s asset value, book value, or whatever financial term you are looking at, is pretty much an abstract notion. It only becomes significant in the real world if you set your sights on selling. 

Even so, Delaware property owners may be interested to learn that the past few years’ steady rise in property values nationwide has created the kind of investment opportunity that even Wall Street hasn’t been able to ignore.

Recently there was a conference in ritzy Scottsdale, Arizona, that illustrated the point. It was called the 2013 REO-to-Rental Forum. In their final MarketPulse newsletter of the year, trend-watcher Corelogic observed, “The fact that there are now conferences for single-family residential institutional investors speaks volumes about the increasing maturity of this new investment asset class.”  

If you are a Delaware property holder, that’s welcome news. It indicates a number of positive things about the current state of the overall market, and the value of your own property. As CoreLogic points out, although investing in residential real estate is nothing new, what is new is the aggregation of large portfolios of properties under professional management —as well as “the availability of institutional investor capital to fund their acquisition.”

English translation: the smart money thinks single-family residences are a good investment.

Toward the end of the CoreLogic report was the latest year-over-year comparison: 12 ½% growths in home prices— even including distressed sales. It doesn’t take a Wall St. wizard to appreciate that kind of growth!

If the coming months will see you looking to sell (or buy) a Delaware property, give me a call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

Staging your Delaware home for showings will always be a time-eater. The word itself is indicative: “staging” means transforming your busy household into a theatrical set. In addition to thoroughly cleaning every nook and cranny, it usually means spending on paint and a variety of minor supplies to tweak the production. The actual visits come, by potential home buyers interrupting your schedule (sometimes with very little notice).

If you have kids, keeping the staging in pristine condition must clear an extra hurdle. When the kids spill food on the floor (or leave toys underfoot for potential home buyers to trip over), selling your home can turn into a hand-wringing ordeal. It needn’t be. Here are a few sanity-preserving pointers:

Designate one room for the kids

While it may be impossible to totally prevent kids from being messy, we can keep the youthful chaos quarantined to one room. Designate the place in the house that will be the “kid’s area” so that the cleanup in advance of a showing becomes more manageable.

Keep the show towels separate from the real towels

A successful Delaware staging routine pays special attention to focal points in the kitchen and bathrooms. Both should come as close as possible to a model home’s—which makes it crucial to keep a separate set of unused towels and floor mats to switch in whenever the home is going to be viewed. (There should be no secrets within a family, except maybe for this one: make sure the kids don’t know where you hide the show towels!)

Clear the “stage”

There are many items we keep handy that aren’t essential for day-to-day living. Whether it is unnecessary pieces of furniture or extra boxes full of toys for the children, these things combine to contribute to a sense of cluttered spaces. Stashing as much clutter as possible in a temporary storage unit will make your staging cleanup jobs much easier. It will also contribute to the clean uncluttered appearance home buyers find appealing.

Thinking of selling your home in Delaware this winter?  I have a marketing plan for this season’s market ready to go – Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

When it comes to making the most of Delaware real estate, knowledge is power. The schools didn’t teach us anything about selling a home or how to decide which home to buy, yet those are subjects that have lasting impacts on our lives. When such key decisions are in our immediate future, we come face-to-face with the importance of making the right choices, asking the right questions—and engineering the best deal.  

Whether or not you’re about to head a foray into Delaware real estate, here are a number of excellent recent books that will help arm you with actionable knowledge:

100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask

This book is a general go-to reference for buyers (and I think for sellers as well: being able to put yourself in the shoes of potential buyers is essential for intelligent marketing). Answers to the “100 Questions” are provided by top brokers from around the country, so every detail won’t necessarily answer our Delaware real estate specifics; but on the whole, this book is concise and informative. The questions are arranged in an easy-to-read format, separated into chapters like “Putting Together the Deal” and “How Do I Know What I Can Afford to Spend.” Readers rate it very highly.

Smart Essentials for Selling Your Home

Solid, practical information that can be invaluable for homeowners about to enter the Delaware real estate market. In the same way that 100 Questions book is also useful to sellers, this one would make excellent reading for itinerant home buyers who’d like to know what’s important to sellers…thus being one step ahead when it comes to striking a win/win deal. Smart Essentials is mercifully short: just under 100 pages.

Buying a Home: Don’t Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You

Newly updated and with the highest reader reviews, this one is most appropriate for potential buyers with little or no previous real estate experience. As author Musgrave puts it, the object here is “to convey to the reader only the necessary information—and not one word more.” The extremely easy-to-read, informal approach is a welcome departure for first-timers: no wonder readers are almost unanimous in agreeing that if first-time home buyers read just one book, this is a worthy choice.

Investing in Real Estate

A newly written follow-up to the 2008 best seller, this is an accessible starter book that addresses most of the key issues that successful real estate investors learn to evaluate. The index is especially useful for locating individual topics quickly (something eBook readers don’t need to worry about: they just highlight a search term).

Thinking of buying or selling real estate in Delaware?  Knowledge truly is power—and I’m here to share what I know and to bring it all to bear on your behalf! 

Savvy shoppers; don’t sit on the sidelines, call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

Sometimes what you don’t say in your Delaware real estate listing can be as important as what you do. Your marketing will necessarily include all sorts of numerical info your agent enters for Delaware MLS – but the main text itself is every bit as crucial. That paragraph has to be more than a summary of structure and land because it’s actually your most important ad. Your agent must accurately describe the home while simultaneously reaching out to appeal to the corps of potential buyers.

Certainly, the most glaring shortcomings will always sour a real estate listing (bad photos, misspellings, etc.). But there are more subtle points that can slip by.

Phrasing should avoid negative-sounding words. “Dark” can perfectly describe a comfortable décor approach, but on paper, the word is a downer. “Old” is another one of those, while its first cousins “quaint” and “historic” are positive substitutes. “Needs work” will dynamite the perceived value of any home (who want to pay to have to do “work”?) — While “perfect canvas for your design touches” leaves a more positive impression.

The right language gives buyers a chance to form their own opinions once they’ve seen the property. Negatives stand a good chance of preventing that from happening in the first place.

Your Delaware real estate listing is your first chance to sell, so don’t neglect to mention less-obvious features: any unseen attributes that numbers alone don’t convey. The number of bedrooms, square footage, etc., can’t help a listing’s reader know that there is a finished basement. An extra-big garage or astonishingly beautiful window views need to be pointed out (but only if the adjectives are on-target).

In any case, be sure your home is prepared to show and sell before your Delaware real estate listing appears. Buyers can see how long a home has been on the market, and the more days and weeks that tick by, the less appealing a property can seem. But the fact is a well-marketed property is most likely to become a quickly sold property.

As your home closes in on its marketing debut, contact me to schedule a no-obligation consultation. I’m here to make sure that listing pops! Savvy shoppers; don’t sit on the sidelines, call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.