East Valley Real Estate News & Market Trends

 

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

 

 

Feb. 1, 2019

Top 8 Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2019

If you’re a current homeowner, or in the market to buy, you’re probably curious about the latest trends in home design. Sellers who make strategic updates before listing a property can generate increased interest from buyers and, in some cases, a premium selling price. And buyers should consider which features of a home will need updating immediately (or in the near future) so they can factor renovation costs into their overall budget.

Even if you have no immediate plans to buy or sell, we advise our clients to be thoughtful about the colors, materials, and finishes they select when planning a remodel. Making over-personalized or unpopular design choices could hurt a home’s value when it does come time to sell. And selecting out-of-style or overly-trendy elements could cause your renovation to feel dated quickly.

To help, we’ve rounded up eight of the hottest home design trends for 2019. Keep in mind, not all trends will work well in every house.

If you plan to buy, sell, or renovate a property, consult a professional who can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.

1. WARMER PAINT COLORS

White and grey aren’t going anywhere, but expect to see warmer tones and more earthy neutrals popping up in 2019. Cold whites are being replaced by warmer, softer whites. And warmer tones of grey have become a popular alternative to the cooler grays we were seeing earlier in the decade. Dove grey—with a lilac undertone—is a particular favorite with designers this year. Sherwin Williams chose Cavern Clay, a warm terracotta, as its 2019 color of the year, while Behr selected Blueprint, a mid-tone blue. Benjamin Moore’s selection is Metropolitan, a sophisticated grey. If you’re preparing to sell your home, consider a light, neutral paint color. Neutral colors provide a blank canvas upon which a buyer can envision placing their belongings, and lighter colors make a room appear larger and brighter.

2. MIXED METALS

Don’t feel limited to using one metallic finish throughout your home—or even throughout a single room. Designers are mixing metals in 2019, and their favorites include copper, brass, pewter, gunmetal, and matte black.

Experts suggest picking one metal hue to dominate your color palette and a contrasting tone to complement it.

If your room has a warm color palette, choose a warm-hued primary metal, such as brass or copper. For cool palettes, choose a cool-toned metal, like pewter or stainless steel. You can also experiment with mixing finishes, such as polished and hammered copper.

From faucets to cabinet pulls to accent pieces, swapping out your old or dated fixtures is an easy—and relatively inexpensive—way to modernize your decor. Mixing metals adds depth and gives your room a more curated look.

3. OUTDOOR ELEMENTS

Bringing outdoor elements into the home can help warm up a sterile space. And natural materials can soften a modern design esthetic. Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to incorporate these materials throughout their home.

Especially popular right now: stone, copper, concrete, and wood. From concrete showers to agate stone tiles, designers are finding unexpected ways to bring the outside in.

One notable exception: granite countertops. Engineered quartz—a combination of ground quartz and resin—overtook natural granite stone as the most popular countertop material in 2018. This durable, low-maintenance, highly-customizable product has won over homeowners and designers alike.

Photo by Radiant Homes - Browse kitchen ideas

 

4. ALTERNATIVE APPLIANCES

Stainless steel has been the industry standard for years, but the market is trending toward variety and fresh alternatives.

Homeowners have more options available than ever to personalize their kitchens with vibrant colors, black stainless, or modern white appliances.

Another favorite? Integrated appliances that blend seamlessly into cabinetry. Built-in column refrigerators, which allow you to customize the design and size of your freezer and refrigerator, are becoming a “must-have” in high-end homes.

Advancements in technology have also brought a new wave of appliances to the market. Induction cooktops are replacing commercial gas ranges as a gourmet favorite. And french door ovens and steam ovens are also gaining in popularity—especially ones with smart features you can control from an app on your smartphone.

5. COLORFUL KITCHENS

White will always be a classic choice, but color is finally coming back to kitchens. More homeowners are choosing cabinets in alternative neutrals like black, cream, and grey, along with colorful options like green and blue.

Also popular? Wood cabinets in stains like warm chestnut and fruitwood. Two-tone kitchen cabinets remain a homeowner favorite, as well. To incorporate this trend, try pairing darker lower cabinets with lighter upper cabinets or a colorful kitchen island with neutral-colored perimeter cabinets.

6. OPEN SHELVING

Swapping upper kitchen cabinets for open shelves continues to be a popular choice in 2019. It’s a cost-effective update that can make a kitchen feel larger and brighter. However, it’s not a practical option for everyone.

Before you commit, test it out by removing your cabinet doors for a few weeks. See how it feels to have your glasses and dishware on display. Not ready to give up all your upper cabinet storage space? Replace just one or two upper cabinets with open shelves for a lower-commitment but still-updated look.

7. STATEMENT TILE

The ubiquitous white subway tile is finally fading in popularity. In 2019, homeowners are gravitating toward more colorful choices, creative textures and finishes, and alternative shapes. Especially hot right now: hexagons, arabesques, diamonds, and Moroccan fish scales.

Natural stone remains a favorite, including marble, quartzite and river rock. But advancements in porcelain tile that mimics stone, and even concrete, has made it an attractive, affordable, and low-maintenance alternative.

 

8. SHOWCASE CEILINGS

Once an afterthought, ceilings are taking center stage. While 2018 was all about statement walls, statement ceilings are shaping up to be the darling of 2019.

Designers are using bold paint colors, wallpaper, intricate moldings, fabric, and other materials to transform a ceiling into something truly special.

Want to incorporate this trend without going too bold? Choose a classic design, like coffered or wooden beams. Or stick with wood paneling or tin tiles for a more timeless look.

Even something as simple as painting a ceiling the same color as the walls can make your space feel more modern.

DESIGNED TO SELL

Are you contemplating a remodel? Want to find out how upgrades could impact the value of your home? Give us a call for a free consultation! Buyer preferences can vary greatly by neighborhood and price range.

We can share the insights we’ve gathered from working with buyers in this market … and offer tips on how to maximize the return on your remodeling investment. And if you’re in the market to sell, we can run a Comparative Market Analysis on your home to find out how it compares to others in the area.

Sources: 1. Decor Mag – https://www.decoraid.com/blog/home-design-trends-2019
2. Gates Interior Design – https://gatesinteriordesign.com/hottest-new-kitchen-and-bath-trends-for-2019/
3. House Beautiful – https://www.housebeautiful.com/home-remodeling/interior-designers/a24844028/home-trends-for-2019/
4. Houzz – https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/114552119/list/32-home-design-trends-that-will-rule-in-2019
5. Invaluable – https://www.invaluable.com/blog/mixing-metals/
6. Real Simple – https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-tips-techniques/design-trends-2019-according-to-designers
7. Sebring – https://sebringdesignbuild.com/top-trends-in-kitchen-design/
Jan. 2, 2019

What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2019?

As we begin another year, everyone wants to know: “Where is the housing market headed in 2019?”

It’s not only buyers, sellers, and homeowners who are impacted. The real estate market plays an integral role in the overall U.S. economy.  Fortunately, key indicators point toward a stable housing market in 2019 with signs of modest growth. However, shifting conditions could impact you if you plan to buy, sell, or refinance this year.

HOME VALUES WILL INCREASE
The value of real estate will continue to rise. Freddie Mac predicts housing prices will increase by 4.3 percent in 2019.1  While the rapid price appreciation we witnessed earlier in the decade has slowed, the combination of a strong economy, low unemployment, and a lack of inventory in many market segments continues to push prices higher.

"Ninety percent of markets are experiencing price gains while very few are experiencing consistent price declines," according to National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.2

Yun predicts that the national median existing-home price will increase to around $266,800 in 2019 and $274,000 in 2020. "Home price appreciation will slow down—the days of easy price gains are coming to an end—but prices will continue to rise."

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a home, act fast. Prices will continue to go up, so you’ll pay more the longer you wait. If you’re a current homeowner, real estate has proven once again to be a solid investment over the long term. In fact, the equity level of American homeowners reached an all-time high in 2018, topping $6 trillion.3

SALES LEVELS WILL STABILIZE
In 2018, we saw a decline in sales, primarily driven by rising mortgage rates and a lack of affordable inventory. However, Yun isn’t alarmed. "2017 was the best year for home sales in ten years, and 2018 is only down 1.5 percent year to date. Statistically, it is a mild twinge in the data and a very mild adjustment compared to the long-term growth we've been experiencing over the past few years."2

Yun and other economists expect home sales to remain relatively flat over the next couple of years. Freddie Mac forecasts homes sales will increase 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.1

“The medium and long-term prospects for housing are good because demographics are going to continue to support demand,” explains Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist for LendingTree. “With a slower price appreciation, incomes have an opportunity to catch up. With slower sales, inventory has an opportunity to normalize. A slowdown in 2019 creates a healthier housing market going forward.”4

What does it mean for you? If you’ve been scared off by reports of a market slowdown, it’s important to keep things in perspective. A cooldown can prevent a hot market from becoming overheated. A gradual and sustainable pace of growth is preferable for long-term economic stability.

MORTGAGE RATES WILL RISE
The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three times this year, resulting in a rise in mortgage rates.5 While no one can predict future mortgage rates with certainty, Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale estimates that the rate for a 30-year mortgage will reach 5.5 percent by the end of 2019, up from around 4.62 percent at the end of 2018.6

While mortgage rates above 5 percent may seem high to today’s buyers, it’s not out of line with historical standards. According to Hale, “The average mortgage rate in the 1990s was 8.1 percent, and rates didn’t fall below 5 percent until 2009. So for buyers who can make the math work, buying a home is likely still an investment worth making.”7

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a house or refinance an existing mortgage, you may want to act quickly before mortgage rates rise. To qualify for the lowest rate available, take steps to improve your credit score, pay down existing debt, and save up for a larger down payment.

AFFORDABILITY ISSUES WILL PERSIST
Although the desire to own a home remains strong, the combination of higher home prices and rising mortgage rates will make it increasingly difficult for many first-time buyers to afford one.

“Buyers who are able to stay in the market will find less competition as more buyers are priced out but feel an increased sense of urgency to close before it gets even more expensive,” according to Hale. “Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, which is an improvement for buyers, the majority of new inventory is focused in the mid-to-higher-end price tier, not entry-level.”6

What does it mean for you? Unfortunately, market factors make it difficult for many first-time buyers to afford a home. However, as move-up buyers take advantage of new high-end inventory, we could see an increase in starter homes hitting the market.

MILLENNIALS WILL MAKE UP LARGEST SEGMENT OF BUYERS
“The housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continued rising mortgage rates and surging millennial demand,” according to Odeta Kushi, senior economist for First American. "Rising rates, by making housing less affordable, will likely deter certain potential homebuyers from the market. On the other hand, the largest cohort of millennials will be turning 29 next year, entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand.”4

Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, predicts the trend will continue. “Millennials are also likely to make up the largest share of home buyers for the next decade as their housing needs adjust over time.”6

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market for a starter home, prepare to compete for the best listings. And if you plan to sell a home in 2019, be sure to work with an agent who knows how to reach millennial buyers by utilizing the latest online marketing techniques.

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU
While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as a local market expert, I can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2019, contact me now to schedule a free consultation. I’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.

START PREPARING TODAY
If you plan to BUY this year:

1.    Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you plan to finance part of your home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a jump-start on the paperwork and provide an advantage over other buyers in a competitive market. The added bonus: you will find out how much you can afford to borrow and budget accordingly.
2.    Create your wish list. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How far are you willing to commute to work? What’s most important to you in a home? We can set up a customized search that meets your criteria to help you find the perfect home for you.
3.    Come to our office. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget, all at no cost to you. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

If you plan to SELL this year:

1.    Call us for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it will also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help us determine which repairs and upgrades may be required to get top dollar for your property, and it will help us price your home correctly once you’re ready to list.
2.    Prep your home for the market. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs and upgrades. We can help you determine which ones are worth the time and expense to deliver maximum results.
3.    Start decluttering. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up personal items and things you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or storage locker. This will make your home appear larger, make it easier to stage ... and get you one step closer to moving when the time comes!



Sources:
1.    Freddie Mac Economic & Housing Research Forecast –
http://www.freddiemac.com/research/pdf/201811-Forecast-04.pdf
2.    National Association of Realtors 2019 Forecast – 
https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/2019-forecast-existing-home-sales-to-stabilize-and-price-growth-to-continue
3.    Bankrate 2018 Year in Review –
https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/year-in-review-for-housing-market/’
4.    Forbes 2019 Real Estate Forecast –
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2018/12/06/2019-real-estate-forecast-what-home-buyers-sellers-and-investors-can-expect/#a98b80a70d9a
5.    Mortgage Bankers Association Forecast –
https://www.mba.org/2018-press-releases/october/mba-forecast-purchase-originations-to-increase-to-12-trillion-in-2019
6.    Realtors.com 2019 National Housing Forecast –
https://www.realtor.com/research/2019-national-housing-forecast/
7.    FOX Business –
https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/where-mortgage-rates-are-headed-in-2019


Nov. 18, 2018

Purposely Give Thanks

So often these days we find ourselves caught up in the commercialization of the holiday season.  All too often Thanksgiving is more a day of turkey and football than it is a day of giving Thanks.  In fact, how often do we refer to it as "Turkey Day" thereby leaving out any reference to being thankful for our blessings?

Here are some tips to help us remember that Thanksgiving is more than a table of delicious food and football games on TV; It is a day to appreciate and give Thanks for everything we have.

How to be Purposely Grateful every day:

  • Appreciate the little things.  Some days are more difficult than others to find things to be thankful for but when we actually look for the good around us and appreciate what we have, our day seems to go just a little bit better.
  • Look on the bright side. Look for ways to be grateful when faced with challenges.  Optimists see challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement.
  • Count your blessings. What are you grateful for right now? What is something you take for granted that you are grateful for?
  • Volunteer.  When providing service to others we are left with feelings of well being and happiness.  Look for opportunities to give.
  • Show appreciation. Say Thank You more often.  Please and Thank You seem to have taken a back seat in recent years.  Let someone know how much you appreciate them by writing them a note expressing how much they mean to you.
  • Keep a gratitude jar.  Write down on a slip of paper things that you are thankful for and put them in a jar. Regularly, pick a piece out of the jar and read what you have written.  You are guaranteed to feel more grateful.

I believe that many people are unhappy because they have not learned to be grateful. Some carry the burden of bitterness and resentfulness for many years. Some pass their days as though suffering a deep sadness they cannot name. Others are unhappy because life didn’t turn out the way they thought it would.

“If only I had money,” some might say to themselves, “then I could be happy.”

“If only I were better-looking.”

“If only I were smarter.”

“If only I had a new car, a college degree, a job, a wife, hair that wasn’t so frizzy.”

If we only look around us, there are a thousand reasons for us not to be happy, and it is simplicity itself to blame our unhappiness on the things we lack in life. It doesn’t take any talent at all to find them. The problem is, the more we focus on the things we don’t have, the more unhappy and more resentful we become.

Did you wake up today?  Blessing!

Do you have a roof over your head and food in the pantry?  Blessing!

Clothes to wear? Hot water to shower in? Someone who loves you?  Blessing, Blessing and Blessing.

This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.

We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.

So, this week, as you visit with friends and family, eat WAY too much, and cheer on your favorite football team, lets remember also the things that we are grateful for, that make us who we are, and enable us to enjoy holidays like Thanksgiving.

 

(Portions adapted from Brian Buffini, Joseph B. Wirthlin and Thomas S. Monson)

Oct. 4, 2018

10 Reasons to move to Queen Creek

Are you thinking about making a move to Queen Creek, Arizona? 

Keep reading because Im going to share 10 reasons why I think you should make the move.

The first reason is all of the GROWTH that has taken place here.  Back in 1990, the population of Queen Creek was just over 2600 people.  Today, the population is more than 50,000 residents with more land being developed all the time.

Reason number two would be the vibrant economy here in Queen Creek.  Queen Creek has the third highest median income in the state at just over $89,000 per year.  With the Mesa Tech Corridor, Gilbert, and Chandler all close by, there are plenty of large corporate jobs to go around.

Number three would have to be the rich heritage and history in Queen Creek.  Queen Creek was incorporated in 1989 but the history of this town dates back to the early 1900's.

Originally, Queen Creek was called "Rittenhouse" because of a railroad spur located at Rittenhouse and Ellsworth Roads.  The local residents would gather at the spur and flag down the train from Tucson to catch a ride into Phoenix.

The name today is Queen Creek and that name originated in the mountains 60 miles east of here.  There is a creek that runs through the Queen Creek Canyon, near Superior, AZ.  That creek continues on down to what is now Queen Creek today and the town takes it's name from that creek.

To learn more about the Town of Queen Creek, check out my video➡HERE

The fourth reason to move to Queen Creek is because in spite of its more than 50,000 residents, Queen Creek has been able to retain its small town feel.  From places like Founders Park to the Community Pancake Breakfasts, to the Friday night Food Truck Festivals, to the local Street Fairs and Farmers Markets, Queen Creek still acts like a town of 2600 residents.

Reason number five for moving to Queen Creek would be the town's Parks and Rec Department.  From Arts and Crafts, to Dance Lessons, to Cheer and summer sports to all levels of Equestrian courses, you are sure to find something that meets your interests.

With Founders Park, Desert Moutain Park, and the brand new Mansel Carter Oasis Park (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xXoyOpIDiA) there are plenty of places to take the kids to get all of their pent up energy spent for the day!

If shopping, dining and entertainment are what you want, then reason number six is for you.  With the Queen Creek Marketplace, the QC District, Hertiage Square and many others, there are ample shopping and dining venues to choose from. And, if what you are looking for isn't here yet, sit tight  because it will be.  New businesses are moving to Queen Creek all the time!

The seventh reason to live in Queen Creek takes us to the San Tan Mountain Regional Park.  This is a 10,000 acre county park full of hiking and biking trails, along with a Visitors Center with wildlife exhibits and area information.

How about horses?  Do you live the Equestrian lifestyle?  If so, the eighth reason fits your bill.  Check out the Horshoe Park Equestrian Center.  This 38 acre venue is designed for rodeos and other outdoor activities.

In addition to the main arena, there are practice arenas and plenty of stalls and other faciulities for your horses.

Reason number nine is the Real Estate Market and comparative cost of living in Queen Creek.  Let's take Denver for example...

Remember, the median income in Queen Creek is $89,000 per year.  If you are living on $89,000/yr in Denver, you would only need to make $72,000 to maintain your same lifestyle in Queen Creek.

The median home price in Denver is $422,000 while in Queen Creek it is $272,000 meaning housing costs in Denver are nearly 40% higher than in Queen Creek!

Eighty five homes sold in Queen Creek in September 2018 ranging in price from $180,000 to $1.1 million. This means that whatever your price range may be, there is a place for you here!

And reason number ten, which may well be the number one reason to live in Queen Creek, are the green chili burritos from the Pork Shop!

So, there you have it; the top ten reason to make a move to Queen Creek Arizona.  If you would like to know more about Queen Creek, visit me at https://www.eastvalleyproperties.net/Queen%20Creek/


 

July 30, 2018

4 myths about selling your home

THE 4 MOST COMMON MYTHS ABOUT SELLING A HOME

What more could you want than to get your home sold for top dollar in short order without any hassles?  That's what every home seller wants but often they dont take the time to get the right information to help make that happen.   

If you take a moment and read on, I will debunk the 4 most common myths about selling a home. Being armed with good information before you put the property on the market,helps you on your way to a successful sale.

 

MYTH 1: If a home gets an offer quickly it was probably priced too low.

REALITY: The day your home goes on the market, there are already qualified, motivated buyers in the market whose criteria matches your home.  Often these are buyers who have already made offers on other homes and got beat out by a competing offer, so when your home hits the market there are often multiple buyers interested in your home.  And when it’s priced and marketed correctly, these buyers will act quickly because they don’t want to risk losing the house to another buyer.

 
MYTH 2: If we are willing to wait long enough we’ll get more for our home.

REALITY: There is a correlation between time on the market and the property getting top value, but not the correlation many sellers think.  Generally, the longer it takes, the less the seller makes.

Why?  Because of the WWWTH Syndrome (“What Wrong With That House”).  If a property has been on the market for an extended period of time, buyers begin to wonder why no one has bought that house.  The result is often lower offers or no offer at all.

 
MYTH 3: Better marketing of my home will get me a higher price.

REALITY: The reality is that marketing does not make your home worth any more.  The importance of effective marketing is to put your home in front of the highest number of qualified buyers to get full market value for it.  Have you ever heard of a home selling for more than the market value because it had great fliers and a cool website?

 
MYTH 4: I will just wait until the right buyer comes along who is willing to pay the price I want for my home.

REALITY: It is statistically proven that the longer a house sits on the market the lower the offers it will generate, whether it has price reductions or not.  When new buyers come into the market, they want the fresh inventory, not the stale listings that all the previous buyers have rejected.  Your home becomes a “been there, done that” property on the MLS, making agents and buyers much more likely to submit low offers, or even worse, pass over it completely.

Pricing your home right (properly) from the beginning will bring you the most qualified buyers and get you the most amount of money, in the best amount of time, with the least amount of hassles.

 

July 23, 2018

When is the best time to sell my house?

The mysteries of the universe reach far and wide but the one universal question that keeps many of us up late at night is, "When is the best time to sell my house?"

Studies have been done, statistics analyzed, market trends plotted and mapped, and yet the answer seems to elude us.  I am here today to reveal the true answer to one of the greatest questions ever asked!

When is the best time to sell my house?  NOW is the best time to sell your house. Whether you are reading this on the day it was written, or some random date in the future, the answer remains the same.

You see, once you have made the decision to sell your house, NOW, whenever that is, becomes the best time to do it.

Making that decision is one of the biggest steps in the whole process.  Why?  Selling your house is often a very emotional decision.  You have raised your children in this house and you can still see the pencil marks from the growth charts in the laundry room door jamb. Or, the family room has served as the  backdrop for many great family get togethers, or, like one of my current clients, maybe you grew up in the house yourself and it has been the family home for over 50 years.

The good news is you have many wonderful memories to cherish. However, once the decision to sell is made, you need to detach yourself emotionally from the house and view it as a business transaction.

Often, a seller who is still emotionally invested in the house will actually sabotage themselves without even realizing it.  They will price the house higher than what it is actually worth and then it will grow stale on the market and that brings on a whole other set of problems.

Once the decision to sell has been made, follow the advice of your Realtor and begin to emotionally detach from the house.  Your Realtor will be able to offer suggestions that will help you transition to viewing your home as a "product for sale" rather than the warm, memory filled home that it was for so long.  And that mindset is crucial to getting top dollar for your house.

Again, when is the best time to sell my house?  NOW!  Here is another reason why.

The day your home goes on the market, there are already qualified, motivated buyers in the market whose criteria matches your home.  Often these are buyers who have already made offers on other homes and got beat out by a competing offer, so when your home hits the market there are often multiple buyers interested in your home.
And, when it’s priced and marketed correctly, these buyers will act quickly because they don’t want to risk losing the house to another buyer.

Are there seasonal trends to the home selling process?  Of course there are but these trends need not be the determining factor as to when the best time for you to sell your home is.

Do things slow down during the Holidays?  Yes they do. But, those who ARE out shopping for homes are SERIOUS buyers who are ready to purchase and those are the ones you do not want to miss out out on.

Do things typically pick up in the spring time?  Yes they do.  There are more buyers out looking but there are also more houses on the market competing for those buyers.

Need more reasons?  Try this one.

Many sellers feel like if they just wait it out, the perfect buyer will come along and pay them what they want for their house.

There is a correlation between time on the market and the property getting top value, but not the correlation many sellers think.  Generally, the longer it takes, the less the seller makes.

Why?  Because of the WWWTH Syndrome (“What Wrong With That House”).  If a property has been on the market for an extended period of time, buyers begin to wonder why no one has bought that house.  The result is often lower offers or no offer at all.

Infact, statistics prove that the first offer on the house generally is the best offer.  Work with that first offer now to negotiate the most money you can for your house.  Waiting for something better to come along seldom has a better ending.  NOW is the best time to sell your house.

It is statistically proven that the longer a house sits on the market the lower the offers it will generate, whether it has price reductions or not.  When new buyers come into the market, they want the fresh inventory, not the stale listings that all the previous buyers have rejected.  Your home becomes a “been there, done that” property on the MLS, making agents and buyers much more likely to submit low offers, or even worse, pass over it completely.

Just like at the bakery, do you want the day old bread or the warm fresh bread right out of the oven?

When is the best time to sell my house?  As soon as you have made the decision to do so.  Arguements can be made for different seasons of the calendar but the reality is the best time to sell your house is now, when it it right for YOU, whenever that may be.

If now is the best time for you, I invite you to get together with me and explore your options and see what it would take to get your house sold and get you on to the next chapter in this very excting adventure called life.

(This content was originally published on my blog at https://activerain.com/blogsview/4851102/when-is-the-best-time-to-sell-my-house-)

July 22, 2018

I want to sell my home myself

 

Recently, an acquaintance approached me and asked if I was "still a 6% guy" or if I would consider reducing my fees to gain a listing. He explained that his girlfriend was about to list her home with an agent friend of hers and he had told her that "a true friend wouldn't charge 6%" so he reached out to me.  We have had this conversation several times over the years so I left it at "I guess we will have to agree to disagree" on the definition of a "true friend".

 

But, that got me thinking and I was reminded of a time a while ago when this same person said he didnt want to pay a commission when selling his house so  he was going to get licensed and sell it himself.  He thought this would be a great savings.  Ultimately, he never went to school nor did he ever sell his house.

I imagine this guy is not alone in his thoughts about paying a commission to a Realtor and many people have the thought, "I want to sell my house myself".

Everyone wants to save a buck. I get that. We all want discounts at the store, restaurants and many other places. Being fiscally responsible is a very important characteristic.

However, when it comes to the largest financial transaction of your life, the sale or purchase of a home, it makes sense to use a professional to ensure the job is done right and because it is vital to have an advocate in your corner.

If you are thinking of selling your home yourself, there are some things you ought to know. 

  • Do you know how to prepare your home for sale?

  • Are you knowledgeable in setting the right price for your home?

  •  Do you have the ability to negotiate the sale? You’ll be paying the buyers agent +/- 3% to negotiate AGAINST you.

  • Are you prepared to field all the calls and make time to set and keep all the appointments?

  • Are you prepared to qualify a legitimate buyer?

  • Do you understand all of the steps that take place after an agreement has been reached?

  • Do you know the most effective way to advertise your home?

This is just a handful of the many questions you will need to be able to answer when you are struck with the thought, "I want to sell my house myself".

But wait!  There's more.....

According to the 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which is a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors, you may want to rethink your strategy.

Consider this:

  • Only eight percent (down from nine percent) of recent home sales were FSBO sales. This is the lowest share recorded since this report started in 1981. (This means that 92% of all homes sold were agent assisted homes.  That leaves a mighty small pool of opportunity for the do it your selfer.)
  • The median age for FSBO sellers is 54 years.
  • Seventy-seven percent of FSBO sales were by married couples that have a median income of $104,100.
  • FSBOs typically sold for less than the selling price of agent assisted homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $210,000(up from $208,700 the year prior), yet lower than the median of all homes at $245,000. (Did you catch that? Let me say it again: FSBOs typically sold for less than the selling price of agent assisted homes)
  • FSBO homes sold more quickly on the market than agent assisted homes. (Great news, right?  Hold on...) All FSBO homes typically sold in less than two weeks—often because homes are sold to someone the seller knows. (Statistics show that more than half of all FSBO's sold to someone they already knew.  Factor that into the already small pool of FSBO buyers, and your pool of buyers has evaporated to a small puddle.)
  • Seventy percent of successful FSBO sellers were satisfied with the process of selling their home.
  • Nine in 10 FSBO sellers who both knew and did not know the buyer were satisfied with the home selling process.

The type of buyer that will typically call you, the guy who says "I want to sell my home myself", is the discount buyer. They dont want a professional involved in the transaction, like, for example, an agent that actually knows the value of the property.

Their goal is to buy your house for as cheap as they can. They will always expect you to discount your price because there are no agents involved.

And, dont forget, as a FSBO, you are already severely limiting your buyer pool. If you are not willing to offer a  co broke percentage to a buyer’s agent, you have reduced your meager little pool even more.

Finding a qualified, unrepresented buyer, will be a daunting task. So…..for the sake of argument, let’s say that you are willing to offer a 3% co broke to a buyer’s agent. You are halfway there now. Is saving the other 3% (or whatever amount an agent in your area may charge for his services) worth the extra effort and rsik you take in selling your home on your own?

Given all the marketing resources a Realtor has available to him/her, and the time and energy they would devote to getting your home sold, wouldn’t you agree that the other 3% would be money well spent?

 

After you have considered the above information, and you still want to proceed on your own, I wish you the very best.  If on the other hand, you are curious and would like to simply explore your options, with a true Real Estate Professional, who will have your best interests in mind, and who will be your advocate in the selling process, please call me TODAY. The consultation is FREE, with No Obligation.

And, If I am not the right guy for you, and I cant help you achieve your goal of selling your home, I will tell you upfront, becuase I would rather let you go now, rather than let you down later.

Still thinking "I want to sell my home myself"?

 

 

July 22, 2018

What is involved in a Closing?

Not too long ago, I was sitting at the Closing Table with my buyers and they were signing all the necessary documents at the Title Compnay.  Excitement and anticipation were running high as this was the final step in closing on their new home.

They were moving from a city about three hours away and all of their belongings were packed away in a U-Haul truck which was parked in a nearby hotel parking lot.

Within the next 24-48 hours, my clients would be settling in to their perfect dream home.

SCREEEECH!!!

Hold the phone!  Have you ever seen an inflatable bounce house rapidly deflate?  That is what happened at the closing table.

My clients were small business owners and were self employed.  Qualifying and cash to close was never an issue.  However, those pesky business taxes can be so confusing.  You see, personal tax day is April 15th, as we all know, but business tax day is October 15th and it was looming.

Working with a strong, knowledgeable mortgage broker, we had cleared all of the hurdles with just days to spare.  IRS tax transcripts can be difficult to obtain and the lender had required the past two years transcripts.

Then, without any warning, while signing the documents, we learned the lender now wanted three years worth of transcripts.  This deal had already been delayed and had been revived from life support previously and this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

With no way to obtain the transcripts from three years ago in a matter of hours, the deal fell apart. My clients lived in a hotel for the next 6 weeks until they were able to close on a different home.

That closing went smooth and there were no issues.  Why, because we had everything in place (this time) to ensure a successful clsoing.

So, you may ask, "What is involved in a closing?"

Among various other tasks, the title company will coordinate with the mortgage lender to receive the loan documents for closing.  Once the Escrow Officer receives those documents, he/she review all forms and ensure compliance with the lender requirements for closing. 

With these documents, the Escrow Officer is then able to complete the Closing Documents.These documents, formerly known as the HUD-1, are some of the most important documents to sign because they detail all of the costs associated with the purchase and sale of the property. 

When you get a mortgage, you will need to pay closing costs, which are fees – charged by lenders and third parties -- related to the purchase of the home. So, in addition to owing the lender the down payment on the home and the principal and interest related to the mortgage, you will also owe the lender and third parties closing costs, which you usually pay at the time that you close on your mortgage.

Most of the time, it is the home buyer and the home seller who pay the closing costs.  Some costs are always attached to the buyer, other costs are always attached to the seller and everything else can be negotiable.

What charges go into your total closing costs?

Closing costs vary widely based on where you live and the property you buy. Closing costs often include things such as:

  • A fee for running your credit report.

  • A loan origination fee, which lenders charge for processing the loan paperwork for you.

  • Attorney’s fees.

  • Charges for any inspection required or requested by the lender or you.

  • Discount points, which are fees you pay in exchange for a lower interest rate.

  • Appraisal fee.

  • Survey fee, which covers the cost of verifying property lines.

  • Title insurance, which protects the lender in case the title isn’t clean.

  • Title search fees, which pay for a background check on the title to make sure there aren't things such as unpaid mortgages or tax liens on the property.

  • Escrow deposit, which may pay for a couple months' property taxes and private mortgage insurance.

  • Recording fee, which is paid to a city or county in exchange for recording the new land records.

  • Underwriting fee, which covers the cost of evaluating a mortgage loan application

 How much will you pay in closing costs?

Typically, home buyers will pay between about 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of their home in closing costs. So, if your home cost $150,000, you might pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs. On average, buyers pay roughly $3,700 in closing costs, according to a recent survey.

At closing, all documents are explained to all parties prior to signing.  Settlement lasts approximately one hour.  After closing, the Title Company will disburse all the monies collected at settlement pay off and release the existing mortgages on the property and prepare the loan documents to be returned to the lender.

It is the responsibility of the Title Company to make sure all documents are properly recorded in the courthouse, such as the new deed and mortgage.  They will also ascertain the release of any existing liens on the property.

Once the paperwork has recorded, ownership of the property transfers to the buyers and they will recieve thge keys to their new home.

What can I do to assist with a successful closing?

You will need a strong Realtor and a strong mortgage broker advocating for you.  That said, your responsibility is to follow their instructions and respond to their requests in a timely manner. Time is of the essence and any delay on your part in providing requested documents/information could literally be the difference in getting into your new home or not.

Remember my clients at the beginning of this post?  There may have been some teeth pulling in getting all of their documents together and we saw how well that worked out for them!

Also, DO NOT MAKE ANY SIGNIFICANT purchases during the escrow period.  Especially on credit.  A credit check was conducted when you were approved for your mortgage and it will be done again at closing to ensure nothing has changed.

Resist the temptation to go and buy new furntiure or decorations for the new place until AFTER all the ink has dried and you are in your new home.

Avoid applying for new credit, even if you get 20% off on today's purchase at Kohl's.  It could kill your ability to close the loan.

The escrow process does not need to be difficult.  By staying in close touch with your Realtor and your loan officer, and by responding to their requests in a timely manner, you should have no problems or surprises when you are finally seated at the closing table. 

Can something come out of nowhere and attempt to derail the deal? Of course! But, that's what keeps it interesting!

In most cases however, it all ends with "Congratulations!  Welcome to your new home!"

 

July 31, 2017

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