People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every Fall. We ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year round weather or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait. If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to do it now versus the dead of winter.
Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last twelve months which includes the latest spring buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!
As we get later into the year, many people have other things (weather, holidays, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.
Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).
The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.
One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
Until next time,
Don't list your home for sale with just anybody! Here is a list of simple questions you should ask any Real Estate professional before you sign the papers to list your home for sale.
1. How many homes did you sell last year?
Why this is important - You do not want to hire a Realtor to sell your home, worth hundreds of thousands of your hard earned dollars, who is not experienced. Imagine getting major surgery from a doctor who performs the operation a couple of times per year, pretty scary right? A Realtor selling your home is preforming major financial surgery on you. Pick wisely.
2. What is the percentage of your listings that are selling?
Why this is important - If a Realtor takes 20 listings to market each year yet only sells 3 homes, that effectively means you have a 15% chance of selling your home with that particular Realtor. Not great odds if you are serious about selling.
3. What is your average list to sales price ratio vs the average for your real estate board?
Why this is important - A professional Realtor should not only help you get your home sold yet should also be able to get you top dollar for your home. If every home they sell goes for 5% less than its original list price, you may not get the money you need in the sale.
4. What is your average marketing time vs the MLS average?
Why this is important - Time on market is crutial. Less time selling your home means less annoying showings, strangers in your home, time away from home, cleaning and actually more money in your pocket.
5. Do you have a list of past clients I can call?
Why this is important - Get the real scoop before you sign the papers to list. A long list of happy clients is the first indication of a great Realtor.
6. Do you follow up on all showings and will you give me feedback? If so, how?
Why this is important - One of the biggest issues consumers have with their Realtor is lack of communication. There is nothing worse than having a showing and wondering how it went. Proper feedback can help you determine any potential roadblocks that are keeping your home from getting sold.
7. Do you have a copy of the Realtor Code of Ethics?
Why this is important - If they don't, they should.
8. How much do you spend on education and training each year?
Why this is important - Does your Realtor meet the minimum requirements of education just to keep their real estate liscense? Or do they go above and beyond to more effectively serve the needs of their customers?
9. Are you full time?
Why this is important - Real estate is a complex profession full of legal, ethical and industry challenges that must be kept on top of at all times. The game changes fast in real estate and you owe it to yourself and the sale of your home to have a full time professional handling the sale of your most valuable asset.
Hire the Realtor who is best qualified to handle the sale of your most valuable asset, your home.
Click here to see how I stack up
Until next time,
Some people can live in their homes for years without ever experiencing a power outage. In fact, even in areas prone to serious storms or snowfalls, power loss doesn't happen that often. No wonder so many homeowners are caught unprepared when it does.
To make sure you're not caught unprepared, follow these tips:
Replace batteries in unused flashlights every six months.
Keep candles and matches in a handy place. Monitor them closely when lit and always blow them out before going to sleep.
For computers and phones, consider purchasing a power backup. (Some models provide up to 8 hours of power for two or three devices.)
Know the address of your local fire station and nearest community centre. These are the most common places to find help during a power outage.
When the power does go out, make sure the stove is turned off. You don't want an unattended burner or gas leak when the power finally comes back on.
Until next time,
Buyers are more likely to make an offer on your home if they see a lot of things they love about it. So what do buyers love to see?
One of the main things they like to see is a lot of space. Of course, you can't change the size of your rooms, but there is a lot you can do to make small spaces in your home seem more spacious.
Buyers also love to see a clean and uncluttered home. Think of how inviting a hotel room looks at first glance, with everything neat and organized. Of course, your home isn't a hotel, but the more neat and attractive you can make each room, the better.
One thing buyers don't love to see is potential maintenance issues. So as much as possible, get things fixed or updated.
In fact, the more "finished" and "move in ready" your home looks, the more likely a buyer is to make an offer.
Don't forget the surrounding neighbourhood either. A buyer may not take the time to explore the area, so be sure to make a list of the most appealing features. You might want to take a picture of the brand new playground just down the street or print off a local map showing nearby shopping, theatre and other points of interest.
It's not about creating a false impression. Rather, it's about making your home look its best and drawing attention to its most enticing features.
Want more home selling tips? Call today.
Until next time,