We caught up with property-flipping expert Scott McGillivray, star of HGTV and DIY Network’s “Income Property.” With over 15 years of experience investing in income properties, McGillivray is primed to give us the lowdown on buying and selling. “I would call the Atlanta area ‘active’ because real estate is booming and people are constantly ready to buy or sell here. The diverse, transitional parts of Atlanta make it easy to please everybody,” he notes, including empty-nesters looking to downsize, DIYers looking to flip houses or newbies seeking that perfect first home.
Scott’s Tips: Think Like a Pro Flipper
• Peruse the web on Mondays for real-estate sales listings that have been posted that day. Make an appointment to see the house by Wednesday or Thursday so you have time to make an offer before the weekend rush of Lookie Loos.
• When a home’s online listing doesn’t include photos, don’t overlook it because you think the owner has something to hide. “I’ve found some amazing deals because I went to see houses other people skipped.”
• Don’t be afraid to make a low offer. “There’s absolutely no shame in starting with a low offer. Someone once told me that if I wasn’t embarrassed by my offer, then I had offered too much. That has stuck with me over the years and I’ve gotten some great deals because of it.”
• “Neutralize” your home so potential buyers can imagine themselves there. McGillivray advises, “Replace old, funky-colored towels in the bathroom with white towels. This will make the bathroom seem more comfortable and spa-like.” Choose neutral tones for the walls, remove framed family photos from the mantle and take magnets off the fridge. This isn’t time to be sentimental—you want your home to look clean and move-in ready.
• Get the word out. To provide buyers and brokers with comprehensive information about your property, it’s a good idea to get a listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other real-estate websites (Zillow, Trulia, etc.). McGillivray says, “To gain the most exposure possible for your listing, you can get an assist from a service like Owners.com. You pay a flat fee when you sign up—then pay only for the brokerage services
• Take photos of your house in all seasons to show the landscape at its best, so if a potential buyer sees your house in winter when the landscape looks drab, you can whip out a photo to show how beautiful it looks in spring
Scott McGillivray, host and executive producer of HGTV’s “Income Property” is a real-estate investor, contractor and entrepreneur. His passion is educating homeowners about making smart renovation and investment decisions that deliver financial rewards. Read more about his secrets to real-estate investing, design and home renovations on ScottMcGillivray.com.