You love the wood floors, chef’s kitchen, and spa-like bathroom. But remember that there’s more to a property than features and looks. Here are additional items to consider before you make an offer. Will It Be Loud? That idyllic street you saw on a Sunday open house might turn into a commuters’ cut-through during the week. Or a nearby grade crossing might prompt frequent train horns in the middle of the night. Visit the home at different times on different days to get a sense for what the noise level is like, and consider asking current neighbors about sources of significant noise and traffic. How Old Is That Really Expensive Thing To Replace? The seller’s disclosure notice may alert you to known issues with major appliances and systems, but those sources won’t tell you that the HVAC or roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. Knowing the age of certain items can help estimate when they need to be replaced. A home inspector can likely give you information about whether certain systems are deficient, but don’t count on an inspection to reveal how much life is left in a component. In some cases, the installation date may be available or visible. Can I Do It My Way? Homeowners associations can benefit property owners but they come with rules and regulations that must be followed. Be sure to review all documents from an HOA before you commit to a purchase. Likewise, city codes and ordinances restrict what you can do with your property. You don’t want to find out after you close that you can’t park your boat trailer in the driveway or paint your house your favorite shade of red. Will the View Change? That view of the hills or lake or city skyline can be a huge selling point. But will that feature remain? If you’re buying in a master planned community, check with the builder to see if there are plans to develop something that may obstruct the view. Otherwise, you can look into the area’s zoning to understand whether that scenic view might be jeopardized. Keep in mind that development plans and zoning are subject to change in the future.
When preparing for a sale, homeowners often focus on curb appeal and interior staging to entice buyers. Staging outdoor areas—decks, patios, and other gathering spots—can also add to your property’s appeal. An inviting outdoor space encourages buyers to see it as an extension of the indoor space, adding virtual square feet to the home. Wash Everything Start with a clean space. Use a hose, power washer, or damp cloth to get rid of pollen, cobwebs, wasp nests, and similar unwelcome things. If you have a deck, pergola, or other wooden feature, give it a fresh coat of stain. Are your chairs rusty or rotted? Replace or remove them. Make sure cushions are free of mold and mildew. Soften Your Space Hard materials, such as wood or concrete, can be cold or unwelcoming. Add an outdoor area rug— preferably one that adds texture and color—and accent pillows to seating. Is there a side to your space that overlooks a street, air conditioning unit, or similar unwanted view? Hang an outdoor curtain or sunshade. Light Up the Night People don’t only use their outdoor space during the day—especially in Texas. Install outdoor string lights, decorative lanterns, or solar powered lighting to illuminate your space. Place small, battery powered lamps on tables to brighten corners or add ambience. Liven Up With Plants Whether it’s flowers or succulents in pots, vines climbing a post, or well-groomed bushes, plants add appealing textures and colors to your space. Even a vase of bright artificial flowers is better than nothing. These tips can help you improve or transform your outdoor space into a place where buyers want to spend time. For more advice on preparing your home for sale, talk to a REALTOR®.
REALTORS® work in your area every day, helping you and others achieve real estate goals. Whether the transaction involves residential property, land, commercial property, or rental property, REALTORS® are trusted professionals you can count on. But REALTOR® associations, brokerages, and individual agents also work in your community to make positive change. Volunteering More Than Money REALTORS® know that making a difference sometimes takes more than writing a check. That’s why they not only donate money but also their time to countless initiatives, such as: Habitat for Humanity builds Blood drives for area hospitals Food drives for food pantries Disaster relief during hurricanes and floods Meal delivery for first responders during the pandemic Backpacks and supplies for low-income students Clothing drives for homeless and women’s shelters Toy drives during the winter holidays. These are only a few examples of how REALTORS® are improving the city you live in. 100 Years of Positive Change During its centennial festivities, Texas REALTORS® celebrated hundreds of members across Texas who give back to their communities in myriad ways. See all the winners of the Acts of Kindness Award at texasrealestate.com/100. Your REALTOR® helps you achieve your real estate dreams and makes your community a better place.