Are you a property owner or investor looking to make it big in the real estate market? If you are, you need to hear this.
Virginia has one of the most competitive real estate markets in the United States.
What does this mean for you? As a property owner or investor, you’ll have to compete with more than 36,000 licensed real estate professionals. Because they’re experts at their craft, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to acquire and sell property in the state.
Is this a sign that you should throw in the towel on your quest to strike it rich in the market? It may be — but only if you lack the knowledge to succeed in Virginia’s competitive market. If you’re reading this right now, you’ve stumbled onto the right article.
In this article, you’ll learn some of the easiest hacks to make it big in the competitive real estate market. As a bonus, you can apply these strategies even if you’re not a licensed real estate agent.
Are you interested? Keep reading. Here are the game-changing ways to succeed in Virginia’s cutthroat real estate market.
Keep Your Eyes on the Numbers
Data is power in the real estate market. It can mean the difference between a profitable investment and one that’s doomed to fail. As you break into the real estate market, you need to keep your eyes on certain pieces of data to make better investment and sale decisions. With the right data, you’ll even see which parts of your area can be your next gold mine.
Numerous data points go into real estate trends, and tracking them can be overwhelming. Luckily, you don’t need to have a pulse on all of them. You do, however, need to stay abreast with the following figures.
Median Property Values
Think of median property values as ballpark figures for how much properties are worth in your area. Many homes or rentals will be worth different amounts apart from the average values. However, the median value is an excellent barometer for whether or not you should price your property higher or lower.
Local Price-to-Rent Ratios
The price-to-rent ratio compares average property prices against rental income for a given year. You calculate the ratio by taking average house prices and dividing them by the area’s average rental income.
For prospective residents, the ratio indicates whether it’s more affordable to buy a home or rent in a given area. For you, the price-to-rent ratio shows whether to invest in rentals or residential properties.
How do you know if the price-to-rent ratio in your area skews towards buying homes or rental properties? Every area is different, but here are some safe numbers to go by:
1 to 15: Buy a property
16 to 20: Invest in rentals but don’t rule out buying homes
21 and above: Don’t hesitate to invest in a rental property
Choose a Reliable Data Source
Reading the previous tip, you might be wondering: “Where do I find real estate data or figures?”
You’ve got two options.
1. A Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
First, you can sign up for a multiple-listing service. A multiple listing service or MLS is a database for property owners and realtors to list and sell properties. MLSs also have sections that show real-time house prices, affordability indexes, and other data that can aid your buying and selling.
Some examples of MLSs are:
2. The National Association of Realtors
Besides an MLS, you can also find state-specific real estate data on the National Association of Realtors (NAR) site. The NAR site is a massive resource for licensed realtors and anyone who wants the numbers on the housing market.
You can search for figures and trends using the NAR’s state and metropolitan statistical area data. Here’s a link if you’re curious.
Market Your Property Using an MLS
An MLS can be extremely valuable as a source of data. However, MLSs also exist as platforms on which to list homes.
To list your properties and attract prospective buyers or tenants, you’ll need to present each home in a positive light. Here are a few steps to market your property effectively.
Take Detailed Pictures
MLSs allow you to post pictures of your properties. When you’re adding pictures to your listings, ensure that they’re high quality and show your property well. Blurry photos can instantly turn off your prospects.
To ensure the best results, take photos of your property during the day. Also, choose a high-resolution camera if you feel that your phone’s camera won’t be up to the task. It may be worth it to invest in a high-end camera to be able to take consistently good photos.
Price Your Property Appropriately
If you’re a property owner, an MLS will enable you to declare your property’s asking price or how much rent you’ll charge. Of course, be careful with how you set prices and set your property values appropriately.
By “appropriately,” we mean not too far from the median property prices or rent prices in your area. Price your property too low, and you’ll miss out on profits. Make your property’s value or the rent too high, and you may discourage too many prospective buyers or tenants.
Sweeten the Deal With Added Services
One of the ways you can nudge prospective buyers and tenants into selecting your property is with offers. In particular, you can announce added offers to your listing. For buyers, you can offer to facilitate the closing process. If you’re marketing to tenants, announce that your rental property comes with hassle-free rent collection and maintenance.
Inspect Your Property for Damage and Fix It ASAP
Marketing can only get you so far. If your property displays any signs of damage, you must fix it immediately.
When you inspect your property, look out for the following.
Water, Ice, Storm, or Termite Damage
Water, ice, storm, and termite damage don’t show up immediately. However, when they do, it’s often too late. If you have a property in Portsmouth, inspect it for damage immediately. The earlier you catch any type of damage, the better.
Faulty wiring isn’t just an inconvenience. It’s a fire hazard — one that inspectors will notice right away.
Inspecting faulty wiring takes more than checking your switches and fixtures. You may need to look at the wiring behind your walls to check for exposed copper wires.
Doing this will require expert help. You may need an electrician’s services.
Plumbing issues may add to existing water damage, especially in areas with the most number of pipes like the bathroom or basement. To check for pipe-related problems, look for leaks and stains on the walls.
Screen Your Tenants or Buyers
Screening tenants or buyers is key to succeeding in Portsmouth, VA’s competitive real estate market. By qualifying your tenants or buyers, you’ll be ensuring a smooth transaction. Most importantly, you can sell or rent out your property at the right price with the most qualified tenant or buyer.
Qualifying your tenants and buyers involves doing background checks. Depending on how thorough you’d like to be, you may need information about credit scores and existing mortgages.
Consider Hiring a Property Management Company
Granted, all of the above steps are doable. However, you may not have the luxury of time to perform everything we’ve mentioned here. If you’re in a time-strapped situation, you can leave the hard work to a property manager.
A Portsmouth property management company can achieve multiple things for you.
A property manager can market your property to prospective tenants and buyers. This means you won’t have to list your property on an MLS or sift through real estate market data to see where demand is at.
Also, property management takes over your maintenance. You can look forward to your property being in pristine condition year-round.
Lastly, property managers can qualify tenants and buyers in Portsmouth, VA. With the right buyers and tenants, you can sell or rent out your property for the best price.
Without a doubt, Portsmouth property management is your ticket to making it big in the market without the hassle. But where can you find such a company?
If you’re looking for property management that does the hard work for you, look no further. We at Doud Realty Services, Inc. have been in the Portsmouth property management game for more than a decade.
Reach out now and experience nothing but gains in Portsmouth, VA’s competitive real estate market.