Best Practices For Selling In A Seller’s Market
It is a seller’s market so if you’re ready to sell your home, 2019 is the year to move forward with your plans. It’s been several years since the real estate market made any big changes and many think one is overdue. Nowadays, more buyers exist than homes for sale, so sellers have the upper hand.
Selling a home this year can produce an easier buying process and better profits – all the things that make home seller’s happy. It is easy to sell a home in a seller’s market, but don’t assume that the property will sell itself. To ensure maximum profit and a smooth closing day, there are a few steps that you should take when selling a home.
The Price is Right
Buyers assume the price they see for a home is the price they pay. They don’t think of sellers as being the best negotiators. As home prices are changing across the country, getting the price from the start is very important. Because there is truth to the relationship between time and money. Overpricing a home can often cause it to sit on the market much longer as buyers move onto newer and fresher inventory.
A buyer wants to endure as few headaches as possible during the process, just like you want things to go smoothly. In the end, you’ll likely need to cut the price to sell it anyway, so why not minimize the headache from the start? So, don’t think of the ‘come down in price later’ strategy works and price the home competitively from the start.
You Got The Look
No matter how new the home, buyer’s will look right past the property if it is not staged. Buyer’s want a home that is appealing; that feels like home to them. Strategic staging will help potential buyers better envision the property as a home, as their home, so it will sell much faster. Giving potential buyers that boost of imagination they need will certainly pay off when the day is done.
First Impressions Matter
Don’t forget the outside of the property when staging it to sell. It’s the first thing that a potential buyer sees when they arrive at the home. If they’re met with an unkempt lawn, dead, brown grass, peeling paint, or junk sitting outside, they’ll think twice about even going inside the home. Make sure that first impression counts. It doesn’t take a lot of money or hard work to create a space that dramatically enhances the appeal of the home, so don’t be shy about completing these steps.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
You need a real estate agent there to help with every step of the selling process. Don’t assume that an agent is helpful only when you plan to buy a home. They’re essential to a smooth selling process, too. Agents know the housing market, how to price a home, how to intrigue an audience and potential buyers, and how to make the seller happy. Do your homework when it’s time to choose an agent. There’s plenty of information waiting to learn if you aren’t afraid to do your research.
Why Use A Realtor When Buying
Buying or selling a home is probably one of the most valuable transactions in both the life of the seller and of the buyer despite their status in the community. This is because, a buyer is purchasing a piece of beach front property that he/she will be sharing precious family moments in, while the seller is selling a piece of property where he/she has been sharing and enjoying priceless moments that can never be brought back with loved ones.
While it might be tempting to avoid the fees of hiring an agent and handle the process personally, doing so can prove to be incredibly overwhelming for both parties as there are many tasks to be handled as part of the home buying or selling process. On the other hand, having a professional agent by your side to help you buy a condo or sell one can make all the difference by making the process more streamlined.
In case you are wondering what benefits you accrue when you bring a real estate agent on board as a buyer, we’ve done all the legwork for you and listed some of the perks that you will miss out on, in case you decide to go solo.
A Buyer’s Agent Is Typically Free
Yes, you read that part right. If you are a buyer, by all means should you employ the services of a Realtor. There’s no reason not to. You get their wealth of knowledge and expertise… usually for free. In most cases, a ‘buyer’s agent’ is paid by the seller of the home you buy.
It’s pre-negotiated into the listing agreement by the agent who listed the home for sale. Not using a Realtor, as a buyer, doesn’t save you money, as the Realtor on the listing side will retain both portions of the commission. Bottom line, if you’re a buyer, use a Realtor you like and trust.
They Help You Understand The Process
On one hand, if it is your first time purchasing a home, having been in the home buying and selling arena for a long time, agents have a rich understanding of the A to Z of the property purchase process. You on the other hand, if it is your first time purchasing a home, you might find it quite overwhelming and additionally, even end up making the wrong deal.
The scenario is entirely different if you bring a professional Realtor onboard. An experienced agent can fully explain what to expect from the very beginning, until the transaction is complete, to ensure that you are well informed and in control of your decision. They will also ensure that you fill all the relevant paperwork to avoid creating loopholes that might get you in trouble in future. Once you’ve secured your home, it’s important to protect it for years to come.
A Realtor Will Help Identify Faults And Features
Thanks to the fact that they work inside the halls of real estate, Realtors gain access to various listings and as such will offer you multiple options. When you make up your mind on a particular home, they will not just agree with you and motivate you to purchase it. Instead, they will first help you identify any faults that you’ve set your mind on has.
It is impossible for you to notice these faults as you have never bought or sold a home before. However the case is different for a Realtor, but for them, it is way much more comfortable as they have been part of myriads of home buying and selling processes and as such, they will effortlessly notice hazards and bring them to your attention, thereby protecting your interests and saving you a lot of regrets and costs in future. They will also point out extra features that you might not have noticed ensuring that you enjoy a smooth buying experience.
Help You Negotiate Better Deals
Once again we will emphasize that an agent boasts vast experience and additionally has been trained on ways to help you negotiate better terms and come up with an agreement that is beneficial to both the seller and the buyer. For instance, by bringing the faults identified during home inspection to the attention of the seller, an agent will ensure that you get a better price, or that such repairs are made.
Additionally, the fact that they are aware of the homes sold recently in that neighborhood and the prices is an added advantage as they will ensure you get your dream home at a price that is appealing. Lastly, a Realtor has inside knowledge of homes that will be up for sale in the near future, and as such, can help you get deals on these houses even before they hit the market. Therefore, if you had your eyes on a particular home and the owners want to put it up for sale, they will help you get it before it’s on-demand, thereby helping you secure a valuable home without breaking the bank.
Provide An Efficient Service Provider List
Once you make up your mind on a specific piece of property, the process does not end there as there are many other things to be done. For instance, you are likely to require either an attorney, or an escrow and title company to help you seal the deal, painters, plumbers, home stagers, landscapers and many other professionals who will help you make your dream home a reality.
Looking for these individuals yourself not only places you at the risk of paying high costs but also ending up with low quality work. Again thanks to their past experiences, an agent will give you a better list of service providers by recommending some of the individuals that he/she has worked with before.
This not only assures you quality work but also gives you a place to bounce back on, in case one of them does a shoddy job as you can always ask the agent who recommended them to handle them ensuring that they deliver results that are at par with your expectations.
If you’re planning to buy a home, it is advisable not to do it alone. The benefits listed above are way too good for you to miss out on when you can get them for free. At the end of the day the agent makes the procedure of home buying less less hectic and eliminates room for regrets as you get to make your dream a reality. All you need to do is explain your expectations, and your Buyer’s Agent Realtor will come up with a list of homes that meets your needs.
Closing costs are part of any home buying experience and venture. These are essentially out of pocket costs that are incurred at the time of closing. The fees are charges that predominately result the title and escrow company who completes the sale. It includes the escrow company fees, as well as certain fees to a title company of the seller’s choice. Title companies are necessary to provide the buyer “title insurance”. The example that best describes it to me was, “Ok, so imagine Homeowner A borrowing a large sum of money 10 years ago from Uncle B. Uncle B was smart and had Homeowner A sign a contract that included the home as partial collateral for the loan. Homeowner later sells the home to Homebuyer C. Does Uncle B, if never repaid, have a claim to the home, now owed by Homebuyer C?” Title Insurance prevents that from happening. They preventing it by providing a buyer with an insurance policy against the title of the home, so that, should any claim against the home be brought, the insurance company can provide coverage from a potential loss. This is commonly known as Title Insurance, and is almost always paid for by the seller of the home.
So, in addition to those fees, this brings us to the last step in securing timely waterfront home ownership across the board. Usually, closing costs include pre-paid homeowners insurance and appraisal costs. However, they can also include charges by the mortgage company for implementing the mortgage itself. Similarly, pre-paid interest – known as “points” – may also be assessed during closing time. Other fees may include title insurance, along with filing fees, attorney fees, recording fees and miscellaneous expenses. Fees typically operate on somewhat of a sliding scale, so the fees would be less if buying a condo vs a single family home.
Avoid Issues with Closing Costs
One of the best ways to avoid closing cost issues is by paying close attention to every detail. You simply cannot afford to get caught off guard at closing. This can result in costly delays, and possibly even turn you away from the deal altogether. With this in mind, is it vital to request an advanced copy of the HUD 1 settlement. This should be done at least three days prior to closing on your new homes. The HUD is designed to protect you during the closing process, and not worry about surprise fees on closing day. Here are some essentials you should keep in mind:
• Review the entire closing agreement – or let your attorney review it in close detail.
• Check all the closing costs and figures to make sure they are 100% correct. Point out any discrepancies or issues with credit or closing costs – and handle them ASAP.
• Stay on top of all buyer-seller- agent communications across the board. Make sure to include your lender and attorney in the loop as well.
• Make sure to keep hard copies of the HUD agreement on hand before, during and even after closing.
• Make sure everyone in the loop is on the same page – stay in close communication with your Realtor -and correct any errors or issues that can potentially cause delays.
Schedule Early Walk Throughs
Another way to avoid problems with closing costs is scheduling an early walk-through. This, of course, has to be done before closing day so you can check the home thoroughly. If you find any issues – you must notify the seller, agent or attorney at once. Remember, closing costs are governed by enforceable contracts – but all parties must be in agreement across the board. This contract also includes any legal or governing bodies – especially HUD-related rules and regulations. If you do not want to delay your closing day, all closing costs must be taken care of beforehand as well. Again, make sure every penny is accounted for on the contract – and always take photos of your bills and receipts.
You also need a detailed checklist of what was supposed to remain the property – and what was to be taken. For example: if the fixtures were supposed to remain but a few are missing, early inspections can rectify the situations before they escalate and lead you to walk out on the deal.
For more information about buyer closing costs, contact our office through homes-in-riverside.com or visit us directly.
What Were The Top Real Estate Markets for 2017?
Now that we embark on 2018, its a good time to look back and review what happened in real estate for 2017. As a whole, real estate flourished in 2017, spurred by low mortgage interest rates, high demand and a relatively low supply of homes on the market. Although 2017 was a good year for just about everyone, what were the hottest real estate markets for 2017?
Back in January of 2017, Trulia released their list of the 10 hottest real estate markets to watch for 2017. Around the same time, Zillow released their hottest real estate markets for 2017. Although Zillow owns Trulia, the lists were quite different. There was one consistency between the two lists — both were full of coastal real estate markets. Realtor.com consistently puts out their list of the top real estate markets too. It is easy to come up with different lists for the top real estate markets – it depends on which real estate statistics you choose to look at and how you weight them. When reviewing real estate market statistics, there are many data points that can be reviewed, including:
- Number of home sales
- Increase in the number of home sale year over year
- Home prices
- Increase in home prices year over year
- Dollar per square foot for single family homes
- Dollar per square foot increase year over year
- Number of new construction
- Increase, year over year, of new construction
- local economic factors
- population trends
- Median home prices
- Year over year increase in median home prices
- Absorption rate of homes
- Months of supply of home
- and much more…
And then, of course, are you looking at every city in the country? Are you just looking at the top 100 real estate markets by size? Top 200? Most entities that are putting together a list of the the top real estate markets then have to choose what weight to give to each data point. It becomes easy to see how everyone can come up with a different list.
What Were The Real Estate Predictions for 2017?
The Top Real Estate Markets for 2017
Coastal Areas seem to dominate the top real estate markets for 2017 with ***** of the top ten being coastal real estate markets, with California making up the top three spots. The ongoing growth of the California real estate market insures that you will have no problem finding a real estate agent there – with 1 in 7 of California residents having a real estate license.
San Francisco CA
The area of San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward has seen tremendous real estate growth. That is saying quite a lot considering the real estate prices in San Francisco have not been depressed by any stretch of the imagination. This is one of those unique areas that already had home prices that were much higher than the rest of the country – but somehow seemed to still see tremendous increases. Home prices in the San Francisco Bay area jumped 7 percent annually in November of 2017. That makes the third straight month at such dramatic increases in home values. The rate of increase was far stronger than the increase in home prices for the first half of 2017. Low supply and high demand are some of the factors attributed to the major gains.
Sacramento, much like San Francisco, already had much higher than average home prices. To see the real estate market grow at such a rate is extremely unusual. With the commercial real estate market on fire in Sacramento, we have seen the residential market follow. The Sacramento Association of Realtors recorded 1.6 months of inventory this November, meaning that’s about how long it would take to sell all of the resale homes on the market in Sacramento County and the city of West Sacramento.
Although still recovering from the massive downturn, in the last few months of 2017 the Lodi California real estate market has experienced significant decreases in homeowners that are in a negative equity position. Quarter over quarter, the percentage of underwater mortgages is decreasing in the Central Valley, a trend that spreads across the country.
Although not as high as its peak, the Lodi real estate market is still strong.
Dr. Frank Nothaft, the chief economist for CoreLogic was quoted as saying “This increase is primarily a reflection of rising home prices in Lodi, which drives up home values, leading to an increase in home equity positions and supporting consumer spending.”
The Columbus OH real estate market grew more more than fifteen percent to over $150 Billion dollars in 2017. With the median home value in Columbus rising over seven percent year over year. The massive growth can be attributed to the affordability of the Columbus area, with the median home price at just over $200,000. The relative affordability of the homes in Columbus, coupled with the tremendous increases in property value has enticed many people to purchase a second home in the area.
The Boston real estate market has seen some bad press because of the massive rise in home prices in the Greater Boston Area. With the average home price in Boston proper being over $900,000 and the average dollar per square foot exceeding $820. With real estate prices that high and continuing to rise, to own any home in the city of Boston, regardless of size or amenities, can be considered a luxury home.
Panama City Beach FL
Panama City Beach Florida is another coastal area that has seen tremendous growth in their real estate market in 2017. With a tremendous influx of insurance money flowing in from hurricanes over the last few years has created a very fresh set of condominium inventory and has many longtime homeowners thinking of selling their home in Panama City Beach. One real estate broker was quoted as saying “with the numerous hurricanes and beachfront property damage in the last 3 years, almost every home and condo has been rebuilt, we are looking at almost an entire new city of properties to sell…and they are selling fast.” The combination of the overall economy driving tourism coupled with the fresh inventory, the Panama City Beach real estate market has flourished.
The Dallas – Fort Worth real estate market has been on this list for many years. With some Dallas residents waiting for the market to cool off because of the ever-increasing home prices, the D-FW housing market is still seeing homes sell at some of the fastest rates in the country. Dallas has seen a tremendous shortage of housing inventory over the last few years.
The Dallas real estate market has seen consistent growth.
Currently, the Dallas market has about a 3 month supply of homes – which is approximate half of what is considered a “balanced market”. In addition, home values have gone up by more than forty percent in the last four years – which is one of the strongest streaks in real estate.
San Diego CA
California makes the list again with San Diego. Although the San Diego market saw a slight slow down toward the end of 2017, they still pulled $530,000 for the average home there. That is still not even close to the peak of the Sand Diego real estate market, which was in 2005, with an average home price of $643,000. Although substantially more than what is found in other parts of the country, many see the current Sand Diego home prices as a “bargain” which is keeping the supply of homes low with the demand high. Many investors look at the current prices as a steal and scoop up new homes as soon as they hit the market, not even digging too deep to find the perfect property — just anything that is not in a bidding war.
2017 Was a Good Year For Real Estate
Overall, 2017 was a great year for real estate. Many expect 2018 to also be another stellar year. One of the major changes in real estate for 2018 over 2017 will be the repercussions of the newly passed tax bill. With the new tax laws, as they pertain to real estate, we are expecting to see many of the more expensive real estate markets such as Boston and San Diego to slow down. Many real estate economists feel that the best real estate markets for 2018 will be the more middle of the road markets that won’t be has heavily affected by the new tax laws. We shall see.
How to Find the Right REALTOR to Sell Your Home
Many people end up confused when it comes to finding a REALTOR – how do they know that they are picking the right one when there are so many of them around? Looking at properties is the fun part of purchasing a home. There is quite a bit more that goes into a real estate transaction and you want to insure you have someone looking out for your best interest.
One thing to keep in mind is just like in any other industry, many real estate agents have areas of expertise. Some REALTORS may specialize in listing waterfront homes, some specialize in working with first time buyers, lakehomes some may have a depth of knowledge in condos.
In addition to the the types of real estate transaction, you will find some agents will have more experience in the city where others focus on the outlying areas, subdivisions and suburbs. There are very different skill sets when working in a metro area than working neighborhoods. You get even a different specialty when looking for vacant land or in even waterfront homes as opposed to Brownstones in a heavily populated area.
As your agent what their specialty is. If they say “everything” – for smaller areas that may be true – but in larger real estate markets, agents generally end up working the same types of real estate transactions on the same types of properties.
Finding an Agent
It is true that finding a real estate agent can be hard, but if you know what you are looking for you will be able to find a realtor who will help you sell your home fast and for a good price. Here are top tips on how to find a real estate agent:
- Make sure that you choose a professional. While many people identify themselves as REALTORS, not all of them are members of the National Association of Realtors. Ask them to show you their membership card. It helps if they are members of other professional associations.
- You want to find a real estate agent who has the right amount of experience. If you go with a REALTOR who is still learning how to sell homes you may end up having to wait for a long term before you can find the right buyer.
- When you are looking for a REALTOR you should be looking into those that work in your neighborhood. Not only do they know who is in the market for a new home, they also know the buying trends of the market around you and they will help you sell your home for the right price.
- A good REALTOR provides a comprehensive package. They will provide you with advice on how best to stage, they will bring in the right professionals to do repairs, they will help with valuation and they will also help you with all the paperwork that comes with selling your home. You may find that there are some who charge less because they don’t offer these services – it is not a good idea to go with such a realtor because it means that all these little additional tasks become your headache.
- Choose a REALTOR who is within your range, Say, for example, that you want to sell your home for about $500,000 – you will not have an easy time of it if you choose a REALTOR who deals with high end homes that sell for millions.
- If a REALTOR says that they are able to sell your home for a lot more than its valuation be wary – if your home is listed for a lot of money it will stay on the market a lot longer.
- Good REALTORS are also good communicators – they will listen to you so as to understand your expectation and they will also talk to you often to let you know what kind of progress they are making finding prospective buyers. On your part let them know how you would prefer that they communicate with you – should they call, text or email?
- Lastly, make sure that you are not paying your REALTOR more money than you should. Find out what the average rates are so that you can negotiate a good deal for yourself. Make sure that the realtor you choose doesn’t have any hidden costs.
With the purchase of a home being the largest transaction of most peoples lives – choosing a REALTOR is an important decision. Real estate is very litigious and there is a ton of paperwork and with so much money at stake, you want to trust the person driving.
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