How to Sell Your Home Fast While the Real Estate Market is Still Hot

This guide outlines the top 10 ways to sell your home fast. Before we delve into the specifics, I would like to preface this guide by saying two things; there has never been a better time to sell a home, and pricing your home right is the key to generating a lot of interest in your property and ultimately selling your home fast.

Why the Worst Time to Buy a Home is the Best Time to Sell Your Home:

Let’s face it, the current real estate market is very strong. Needless to say, all real estate markets are regional by nature, but broadly speaking, there has never been a better time to sell your home.

Here in Seattle, the market has been on some serious fire fueled by the rise of the tech industry giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and other movers and shakers in the greater Seattle area.

However, there is no telling how long the euphoria of rising real estate prices can sustain itself. One thing is clear, the trend of rising home prices will not last forever. Neither here in Seattle, nor nationally.

Here is the bottom line; Seattle and many other major cities experiencing booming real estate prices are home sellers’ dream markets and home buyers’ worst nightmares. If your home is located in a hot real estate market, it may be wise to sell it while the selling is still hot. 😉

Regardless of where in the US your property is located, if you are thinking about selling it, you may want to move quickly before the market conditions change. As Warren Buffett famously said, be fearful when others are greedy.

Is Your Home Ready for a Quick Sale?

Unless you want to take a major hit on the sale price of your property or sell it at a substantial discount to the “we buy ugly houses” guys who pay cash and close fast, you will want to do your homework.

The key to a quick sale is to look at the sale process through the eyes of the buyer and their home appraiser. Understand what they want to see, deliver it on the plate, and close the deal, fast!

Note: Obviously, it’s not that difficult to sell a house with “some issues” in a very hot sellers’ market, and some lazy home sellers do just that, but in doing so they are often leaving money on the table. It may be wiser to address any major issues with your home prior to listing it for sale, so you can maximize the sale price and attract the most buyers in the shortest amount of time.

Pro Tip: The key to a quick sale is to remove as many major obstacles leading up to the sale as possible.

Removing the Obstacles and Getting Your Home Ready for a Quick Sale with Flying Colors:

1. Got Junk in Your Home, Basement or Backyard?

Get rid of all the junk fast

Hopefully you are not drowning in junk, but if you are a hoarder, then it’s time to clean up and rid your home of all the junk. It’s the most critical step to take if you want to sell your home quickly.

Nobody will want to buy a house with junk cars in the backyard, a seriously-cluttered basement, or closets filled with stuff that should be in a museum! 😉

Pro Tip: Get rid of all your clutter fast by renting a dumpster.

If you are too busy or feeling overwhelmed to do it yourself, consider calling a junk removal company to help you get rid of all the stuff that you don’t need. Fast!

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New Furnace Cost – Gas Furnace Replacement vs. Repair – Furnace Buying Guide 2017-2018

Furnaces remain the most common way for homeowners in North America to heat their homes. This furnace buying guide has all the research needed to understand your furnace purchase and make a buying decision you’ll be happy with in the next 15-20 years. The focus is on gas furnaces, since most furnaces are fueled by natural gas (NG) or, with a simple gas valve change, liquid propane (LP). However, we also briefly discuss oil furnaces.

New Furnace Cost

When efficiency, size and performance are factored into the equation, expect these cost ranges for:

  • Basic furnaces: $750 to $1,475
  • Better furnaces: $1,000 to $2,150
  • Best furnaces: $1,850 to $2,800

Furnace installation costs are based on the complexity of the furnace, sheet metal work required to connect it to the ductwork and how difficult it is to access the installation location such as a crawlspace or attic. Expect estimates for installation in these ranges:

  • Basic furnace installation: $1,400 to $1,900
  • Better furnace installation: $1,750 to $2,200
  • Best furnace installation: $2,000 to $2,400

Reasons to Get a New Furnace

New Gas furnace and Duct Work

via Holliday Heating

If you are in an exploratory mode and wondering if a new furnace is the right move, here are the top seven reasons to buy a new furnace:

  • Repair costs on an existing furnace are 50% or more of the cost of a new furnace (33% for a furnace 12-15 years old; 25% of a furnace that is 15+)
  • You’re staying put – the longer you plan to live in your current home, the more it makes sense to put the money into new equipment (and conversely, if moving soon, repairing the furnace might make more sense)
  • It’s a preemptive move – your furnace is running, but you don’t know for how long due to age and/or past repair issues (worth considering where winters are harsh!)
  • Your gas bills are rising because the furnace is losing efficiency due to age (though you might want to have it cleaned and maintained to see if it significantly improves efficiency before deciding whether to replace it)
  • You want to improve efficiency
  • You want to upgrade climate control
  • You’ve built a home or addition that needs heating

Furnace repair vs. replace:

Some of you may have heard from an HVAC contractor that it is time for a new furnace, and perhaps you think the contractor is trying to sell you something you might not need. Well, skepticism is healthy in the repair vs. replace discussion when it is informed skepticism. Here’s a secret: HVAC contractors often make more money with a both/and approach. Repair it now; replace it later.

Charlie Greer is a seasoned HVAC contractor who owns a website called HVAC Profit Boosters with the motto, “Helping plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractors become millionaires every day.” That tells you whose side he’s on. Speaking to HVAC contractors, Greer says:

Repair vs. Replace scenarios are tricky, because, once you bring up the topic of replacing the customer’s equipment, you stand the risk of the customer deciding to get bids, meaning that you could wind up getting neither the repair nor the replacement sale. In the long run, you make more money when they (homeowners) opt for the repair anyway. You get one repair now, possibly a few more down the road, then a higher price (due to inflation) when they ultimately replace it in the future.

Greer’s advice might be great for HVAC contractors, but not for homeowners. The bottom line is that if an HVAC contractor recommends replacing your furnace rather than repairing it, the person might be giving you sound advice, especially if the rationale involves some of the reasons from the above list.

Pro Tip: Make sure your HVAC contractor pulls a permit to install the new furnace, and that the job is properly inspected following the installation.

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Roof Insulation Basics: Upgrading Roof Insulation – DIY Tips

There are two reasons homeowners want to make their homes greener; some people want to go green to protect the environment.  Others will go green because it results in more green dollar bills in their wallet.

Fortunately, the two don’t have to be exclusive; you can protect the environment and save money at the same time.  A big way to do so is to make sure that you have adequate insulation and ventilation for your roof and the attic space.

Heat rises, and that means the majority of the heat loss from your home goes out the top of the house.  This is especially true if you don’t have adequate insulation.  To make sure your home is as comfortable as possible, to ensure minimal heat loss, to save money on your heating bills, and to help protect the environment, an upgrade in your insulation is in order.

A Wide Variety of Insulation Options

Making the decision to improve your roofing insulation is the easy part.  The hard part, however, is determining what type of insulation to use, and where to put it.

Attic Insulation

The easiest (unless you’re having a new roof put on the house), and most effective, way to boost the insulation in your home is to insulate the attic.  Many homes have at least some access to this space, and because of the size attics can hold quite a bit of insulation.  But where you put the insulation, and what type, can vary even inside the space.

Between the Joists – If you have an unfinished attic space, the most common area to insulate is between the ceiling joists, but leaving the area between rafters uninsulated.  This provides for maximum air flow through the attic while keeping the living space insulated.

Most commonly the spaces between the joists are filled with blow-in fiberglass insulation.  However, the do-it-yourselfer may want to lay down fiberglass batting as it’s easier to work with and there is no special equipment needed.  How much should you have?  It’s recommended that the R value be at least R-38; or 10-14 inches of insulation.

Between the Rafters – Many homes have increased their living space by finishing the attic.  But without insulating the ceiling, the space would be largely uninhabitable most of the year.  If this is the case, then you want to insulate between the rafters.

Before you slap up insulation, however, you have to remember that the house needs room to “breathe.”  If your insulation is pressed tightly against the bottom of the roof decking, there’s nowhere for the air to go, and you can end up with major problems.  To counter these problems, baffles are installed to keep a small space between the insulation and the roof deck.  As the air in the baffles heats up, it can flow to the peak and out the roof vent.

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