16: Trading Up, Trading Out in .NET

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16: Trading Up, Trading Out
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Waiting out the market
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When the market s not in your favour, as a seller, you can take several steps to make the most of your time (and investment) Here are a few suggestions Doug offers: Boost the so-called curb appeal of the property through inexpensive steps such as painting, minor landscaping, and the like to improve its appeal to prospective buyers The small improvements may allow you to increase rents over the normal annual increase limit This ensures that you maximize the cash flow from the property before you sell You re responsible for making sure you re getting the most revenue from the property you can, while you ve got the opportunity! Look for ways to decrease expenses on the property For example, maybe you can arrange for the tenant to cut the lawn or do other maintenance work for a reduction in rent, which would cost you less money than if you paid an outside contractor to do the ongoing work Reduce your debt-servicing costs if possible For example, your mortgage may be coming up for renewal Negotiate the lowest possible mortgage rate with a mortgage broker, taking out a long-term mortgage at the more favourable rate and extending your amortization period to 30 or 35 years to reduce your monthly payments (we discuss managing mortgages in 7) Monitor trends and surveys to get a sense of when the market appears to be going up again, and be ready to sell (We discuss sources of reliable information in 17, and elsewhere throughout this book)
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Managing the Sale
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Securing a great deal for a property is just as complicated for the seller as the buyer Although the vendor holds the right to reject any purchase offer, the only offers coming forward are what the market is willing to pay Given these conditions, managing a sale is just as important to the vendor as negotiating skills are to a potential purchaser The vendor can position the property and spark demand for it if buyers respond to the narrative woven around the property and the basic fundamentals of the property are strong In this section, we explore the sale process from the perspective of the vendor (that s you) and tell you how to achieve the best deal possible from your real estate even when you re cutting losses because the property or the surrounding neighbourhood is experiencing a downturn
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Part IV: Building Value: Managing Your Investment and Seeing a Return
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Handle with care
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Property investments may be bricks and mortar, but they re also pretty fragile in the wrong hands A wrecking ball isn t the only thing that will knock down an investment s value Take the example of Fred and Alice, who were preparing to sell their home after 30 years of proud ownership They wanted to buy a condo for retirement and have some extra cash from the sale They thought they would save on commission fees to an agent by selling the home themselves Unfortunately, the sale did not go smoothly The market was slow, the asking price Fred and Alice set reflected their own needs rather than market conditions for their area, and negative comments about the property from visitors during the open houses they hosted were discouraging And, of course, bids on the house were low compared to the price Fred and Alice had set The experience was frustrating for Fred and Alice, who felt insulted and increasingly bitter toward their prospective purchasers Fred and Alice eventually decided to list the house with a real estate agent However, the market had slowed considerably and the average price for a home comparable to what Fred and Alice were trying to sell had dropped 15 percent Fred and Alice eventually sold their house but the final price was 25 percent lower than their original asking price Although professional sales assistance made a difference in the sale, it would have made a greater difference had it happened earlier The one bright spot in the gloom was that the general downturn in real estate prices had also affected the condo they eventually bought, so it ended up going for a low price, too
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