In the world of real estate, time is money. This is especially true in the flipping market, where investors work hard to buy, repair, and sell a house as quickly as possible.
For flippers, the dangers of sitting on a property for extended periods of time are too real.
Holding costs, like taxes, utilities, and other fees, quickly add up over time and eat away at an otherwise profitable return. For this reason, it's critical to shave time off the flipping process in any way that you can. Here are four time saving tips:
1. Take an active role in the preparation stage
The more middlemen you can cut out of the flipping process, the faster and smoother it will run. If you have some experience in construction or flipping in the past, you’ll already know what repairs to look for when doing your initial walkthrough of the house. You can then make a list of all the materials that you need and order them in advance, so that you’re ready to hit the ground running.
2. Don’t overdo it with minor improvements
The purpose of rehabbing an old house is to restore it to a like-new status. While it’s never acceptable to cut corners when repairing a house, you should also not allow yourself to get carried away. You’d be surprised how many projects last longer than they should because investors are busy trying to recreate their dream home instead of fixing up the property. Focus on the major improvements, not the stylistic components that you think will “wow” the purchasers.
Generally speaking, you want to let the buyer worry about styling the house. Your job is to ensure that everything is in working order and is attractive to the buyer.
3. Be realistic with your pricing
Before you invest your time and money repairing a property, you’ll have to determine how much money the property is worth.
As you know, the longer you sit on a property, the less money you will make from the investment. Because of this, proper pricing is important and can be arrived at in the following ways:
- Look at local properties that have sold in the past four months.
- Network with local real estate agents and other flippers.
- Follow pricing trends in the local market.
Rehabbing a house can get personal. Many flippers become attached to their projects and try to sell them for more than they are worth, which can cost a lot of money down the road.
4. Create an attractive exterior
If you want to reduce the amount of time your house sits on the market, you need to make it look attractive to buyers, especially the 89% of buyers whose decisions are informed by internet photos of the property.
Fortunately, revamping the exterior isn’t a long or expensive process. It just requires a little work to improve curb appeal:
- Cut the grass, remove weeds, and trim any bushes.
- Remove overgrown branches and dying trees.
- Wash the house exterior, doors, garage door and driveways.
- Add some potted plants near the entranceway.
- Replace a damaged or worn mailbox.
- Repaint if necessary.
- Clean and unblock gutters.
Overall, shaving time off of the flipping process requires a little bit of hands-on experience and some knowledge of the market. Flippers who play an active role in rehabbing their properties shouldn’t have any issues selling them in a timely manner.