7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season

7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season | MyKCM

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to list their houses. Similarly, others who already have their homes on the market remove their listings until the spring. Let’s unpack the top reasons why listing your house now or keeping it on the market this winter may be the best choice you can make.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there now. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays, and they need their new employees to start as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to days and times that are most convenient for you. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Over the past few months we’ve seen the supply of homes for sale decreasing year-over-year, as shown in the graph below:7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season | MyKCM
  6. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching, and your home may be the answer.
  7. Late fall and early winter make up the “sweet spot” for sellers. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights in 2020, which will lessen the demand for your house next year.

Bottom Line

It may make the most sense to list your home this holiday season. Let’s get together to determine if selling now is your best move.

Visit  https://www.nexthomevictors.com/cma/property-valuation/ to get an idea of what your home is worth in today’s market!

Dani

Forget the Price of the Home. Cost is What Matters.

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters. | MyKCM

Home buying activity (demand) is up, and the number of available listings (supply) is down. When demand outpaces supply, prices appreciate. That’s why firms are beginning to increase their projections for home price appreciation going forward. As an example, CoreLogic increased their 12-month projection for home values from 4.5% to 5.6% over the last few months.

The reacceleration of home values will cause some to again voice concerns about affordability. Just last week, however, First American came out with a data analysis that explains how price is not the only market factor that impacts affordability. They studied prices, mortgage rates, and wages from January through August of this year. Here are their findings:

Home Prices

“In January 2019, a family with the median household income in the U.S. could afford to buy a $373,900 house. By August, that home had appreciated to $395,000, an increase of $21,100.”

Mortgage Interest Rates

“The 0.85 percentage point drop in mortgage rates from January 2019 through August 2019 increased affordability by 9.7%. That translates to a $40,200 improvement in house-buying power in just eight months.”

Wage Growth

“As rates have fallen in 2019, the economy has continued to perform well also, resulting in a tight labor market and wage growth. Wage growth pushes household incomes upward, which were 1.5% higher in August compared with January. The growth in household income increased consumer house-buying power by 1.5%, pushing house-buying power up an additional $5,600.”

When all three market factors are combined, purchasing power increased by $24,500, thus making home buying more affordable, not less affordable. Here is a table that simply shows the data:Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters. |  MyKCM

Bottom Line

In the article, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained it best:

“Focusing on nominal house price changes alone as an indication of changing affordability, or even the relationship between nominal house price growth and income growth, overlooks what matters more to potential buyers – surging house-buying power driven by the dynamic duo of mortgage rates and income growth. And, we all know from experience, you buy what you can afford to pay per month.”

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Thinking about buying a home? Download my free Buyers Guide, “Things to consider when buying a home”.

Dani

The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter

The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter | MyKCM

Many sellers believe spring is the best time to put their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. What they don’t realize is if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that’s when they’ll have the most competition.

So, what’s the #1 reason to list your house in the winter? Less competition.

Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter | MyKCMAs you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your house for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – January). 

Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!The #1 Reason to List Your House in the Winter | MyKCM

In 2018, listings increased from December to May. Don’t wait for these listings and the competition that comes with them to come to the market before you decide to list your house.

Added Bonus: Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

At this time of year, purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

 Bottom Line

If you’ve been debating whether or not to sell your house and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to determine the best time to list your house.

Visit  https://www.nexthomevictors.com/cma/property-valuation/ to get an idea of what your home is worth in today’s market!

Dani

The Counter Offer-Negotiation Strategies for Home Sellers

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Getting an offer on your home is very exciting. Then you open the offer and realize it is not what you were expecting, and you are wondering what to do next. Answering an offer which is not acceptable is a matter of strategy.  When you receive an offer, take charge and direct the process. Here’s a list of questions to ask when you receive an offer.

  1. Deposit: How much and who has it? (Is it a serious offer, as evidenced by a sufficient deposit?)
  2. Price: What exactly are the buyers offering?
  3. Down payment: Cash or gift money from a parent?
  4. Terms: Cash purchase or will the buyer need a new mortgage?
  5. Occupancy: How soon do I have to get out?
  6. Contingencies: Is there anything that could weaken the deal?

As you go through these questions, be sure you understand the answers that are given to you.

Usually, offers aren’t great or terrible. They’re somewhere in between. List the pros and cons of the offer so you can see what the trade-offs are.  Once you have decided what you will accept, here are a few approaches to handle the offer.

Counter: The most common way to respond to a low offer is to send the buyers a counter offer. You can counter at the list price and terms or come down and offer something in between list price and the offer.

Highest and Best: This strategy allows the buyer to revise their offer, should they choose. This is most often used in a multiple offer situation but works just as well with a single buyer who needs to know their offer isn’t acceptable.

Include Terms in Negotiation: The price is not the only part of an offer which can be negotiated; the terms can also be changed. Sometimes a seller can get a higher price by offering longer escrow or including appliances.

Reject the Offer: There is no reason to respond to an offer which isn’t even close to acceptable. A sell can reject the offer altogether.

Ready to buy and/or sell a home? Call, text or email me! If you are active on social media, please look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram using the icons on the bottom right of this page.
Dani

Maximizing Your Home Value

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Are you ready to list your home for sale? One of the first questions you might have is, “how can I maximize my home value?” Every seller wants to get the best possible price for their home, and fortunately, there are ways to make sure your potential buyers see the real value of your property and allow you to receive top dollar when you sell.

Clean, de-clutter, and de-personalize: The first thing every home seller needs to do is take a critical look at the home and clear out the distractions. Cleaning the house and yard is a must.  Next, remove anything that can draw a buyer’s eye away from the beauty of the home, including family photos, sports memorabilia, religious artifacts, and knick-knacks.  You want the buyer to be able to see their items in your home.

Redecorate:  Professional home stagers will often advise clients to remove and replace furnishings. Even if you love oversized furniture, it can make the room look small. Consider renting more neutral pieces during the listing.

Update carefully: It is not vital for home sellers to have the latest countertops or custom bathtub to get a good value for their home. Often the home updates and improvements sellers undergo cost more than they would lose in sales price without them. If your home is very dated, consider a seller credit instead to allow the buyer to choose their upgrades.

Homes retain value based on a few factors: the location, the condition, and the features. Before you list your house, speak with your REALTOR®, friends and family for an objective opinion about the state of your home, then make any necessary repairs and changes to ensure you get the best value for your home when you sell.

Ready to buy and/or sell a home? Call, text or email me! If you are active on social media, please look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram using the icons on the bottom right of this page.
Dani

Selling Your Home “For Sale by Owner”?

FSBO

Selling your home on your own as a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) can be tempting. With real estate commissions amounting to as much as 7% of the sales price, many owners consider selling their homes on their own to save money.  However, selling as  FSBO is more complicated than it might seem. Here are a few of the pitfalls.

  • Not pricing the home correctly: Doing market research on your own is tough. Too often a FSBO house is priced based on what the owner sees online or pricing the house based on what the seller needs to net to buy a new home. Overpricing is one of the most frequent reasons FSBO sellers fail. The housing market in your area will determine the value of your home, and even Zillow recommends homeowners get a Comparative Market Analysis from a REALTOR® or an appraisal.
  • Not marketing the property: Many FSBO will put a sign in the front yard, and post the home on Zillow and Trulia, then they wait for the buyers to find them. A good marketing plan will include notifying family, friends, and neighbors that your home is for sale, using social media platforms for marketing, and paying to have your home listed on the local Multiple Listing platforms.
  • Not offering a commission to agents: Most FSBO are trying to save money, but they are also eliminating a pool of qualified buyers by not providing a buyers agent commission. If a buyer that is working with an agent decides to buy FSBO without the buyer’s agent, they usually expect the homeowner to drop the sales price by the presumed commission saved.
  • Saying too much to the buyers: Homeowners are rightly proud of their homes, but telling buyers everything they know about the house, good or bad, can turn off a potential buyer. Buyers want to see themselves living in the home, not how you live in the home.
  • Not disclosing problems or defects: Just because the homeowner is selling the home, it does not mean they are not subject to the laws governing seller disclosures. The State of Michigan requires a seller to tell the prospective buyer certain things about the property’s physical condition. This is done by completing a written disclosure statement and giving it to the buyer.
  • Not negotiating terms: Not only the price but the terms of the sale are also negotiable. Be prepared for a buyer to ask for a percentage of closing cost to be paid, or for the seller to pay for repairs noted on a home inspection, or possibly for the seller to provide a home warranty.
  • Not having a plan for when an offer is submitted: Once an offer is presented, do you have an attorney to review the contract? Have you opened an escrow account to hold the earnest money? Do you have a title company to close the transaction and provide title insurance for the new owners?

Selling home without an agent can be successful if the homeowner is prepared to do the research, develop a marketing plan, and choose a network of real estate professionals to help with the process.  If all of this seems too time-consuming and confusing, then it is time to consider a local real estate agent.

Ready to buy and/or sell a home? Call, text or email me! If you are active on social media, please look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram using the icons on the bottom right of this page.
Dani

Home Buyer: The Internet Can’t Replace Your Real Estate Agent

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We live in the information age and the Internet offers advice on every topic; real estate is no exception. With more and more home buyers starting their home search online, they are bombarded with advice and information-it can be easy to think that you can learn everything you need to know just by reading articles online.

The truth is that your real estate agent does much more than answer your questions and open doors with a special key. A professional real estate agent will be there every step of the way. They have the experience necessary to navigate the complicated home buying process and solve common hiccups that present themselves in every real estate transaction.

Your real estate agent is a local professional. They know the local housing inventory, what is happening in the community that may affect home prices, and they have access to the local Multiple List Service that provides the latest homes for sale (real time), and sold homes.  They have a network of professionals who will work as a team to help you through the process. These include such professionals as lenders, title companies, transaction coordinators, home inspectors, contractors and handymen, home warranty companies and moving companies.

Most importantly, your agent is your ally in the home buying process. They negotiate on your behalf, armed with experience and understanding of customary charges, costs, and terms. They will ensure that the price you pay for the home is fair for the conditions and neighborhood. They will negotiate repairs, if needed and make sure you are protected with the proper contingencies.

The Internet offers lots of great information, but the most critical step you can take when buying a new home is hiring a local professional real estate agent. Their knowledge and expertise can’t be found by reading an article or two online.

Ready to buy and/or sell a home? Call, text or email me! If you are active on social media, please look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram using the icons on the bottom right of this page.
Dani

Five Things You May Not Have Considered When Selling Your Home

messy-closet

How are your closets looking? Are they stuffed to the brim with never-used guest towels, old toys and the fine china you never use? Here is a tip: if your closets look like they can’t fit another thing inside, buyers are going to assume your house does not have enough storage space. And storage space is as important to most buyers as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms!

Here are five home selling secrets to consider when selling your home. 

  1. Your Closets Should be Mostly Empty: Every buyer is looking for storage, and you’ve likely outgrown yours. Appeal to potential buyers by de-cluttering your closets, or even putting some of your extra items into an off-site storage unit while your home is on the market. Make sure that what you do leave behind is neat and organized. For advice on how to prepare your home for a move, download the Betty-on-the-Move-Your-Moving-eGuide.
  2. Web Appeal is the New Curb Appeal: By the time a buyer shows up to look at your home, they will have likely toured it via online photos. What does this mean? First, your home needs to look its absolute best when the listing photos are taken. Second, it’s essential to include all the home’s best features in the online listing photos. Whether it be a hot tub, a large backyard or an excellent basement bar area, your buyers should know what to expect when they arrive for a showing or open house.
  3. The First two Weeks are the Most Important for Sellers: If you think you’ll price your property high and bring down your price gradually if needed, think again. Homes receive four times the traffic in the first two weeks after listing so a property lagging on the market can be a red flag to today’s buyers. Think about the eager buyers who will see your home in “Just Listed” ads across the web and in email alerts, and offer them a fair price right away. The feeling of getting early showings or an offer will far outweigh the feel of an offer that comes after you’ve lowered your price a month later.
  4. You Need to be Ready to Show at Any Time: Today’s buyers are excited and competitive. They may be willing to drop everything to see your home the minute it comes across their screen. As a result, you must be vigilant to clean your house after every meal and between laundry days. Don’t leave for work, or even a quick trip to the store, without making sure your home could be toured before you return.
  5. Be Ready to Sweeten the Deal: We are still in a moderate seller’s market, so most sellers are at an advantage. But if your home isn’t quite modern enough, or isn’t as nice as the one down the road, you may have to sweeten the pot by paying closing costs, buying a home warranty for the buyer, or even just getting a pre-sale home inspection so buyers are confident in your home’s ability to sell as-is.

The takeaway? Don’t assume that a seller’s market means you’ll get multiple offers and your choice of well-qualified buyers. Be realistic about how your home will be received, and you could end up selling sooner.

Ready to list your house and start looking for Your NextHome? Send me a message using the box to the right, or call, text or email me! If you are active on social media, please look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram using the icons on the bottom right of this page.

Dani

What are Contingencies in a Real Estate Contract?

Contingency

Contingencies are commonplace in contracts of all kinds. A contingency allows for one party or another to legally back out of a contract in the event of some specific condition occurring. They are protection against the unknown.

In real estate, there can be contingencies inserted for either buyer or seller or both. These take many different forms, and until removed in writing, either party may change their minds based on the result of the contingent event or issue.

Here are some examples of home buyer contingencies:

  • Home inspections – May identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights that a buyer is not prepared to take on
  • Specialty inspections – Mold, geological, roof inspections
  • Code Violations – An investigation into improvements made without permits
  • Lender Appraisal – Ensures the offered price is not too high
  • Sale of Current Home – Allows the buyer to back out if they cannot sell their current home in a specific time frame
  • Final Loan Approval – Loan is ready for signature and close
  • HOA CC&Rs – Review of documents to ensure rules and regulations do not infringe on the enjoyment of the property
  • Insurability – Home owner’s insurance available at a reasonable rate

Home sellers can also have contingencies included, such as one which states the sale is contingent on finding a replacement home. If the conditions of the contingency clause are not met, the contract becomes null and void, and one party can back out without legal consequences.

Contingencies are a fact of contract law, and in real estate, they ensure that buyers and sellers know their roles and obligations. Because time is of the essence, each contingency has a specific deadline. Be sure to pay close attention to these deadlines to avoid negative and costly effects on the real estate transaction.

Ready to start looking for Your NextHome? Send me a message using the box to the right, or call, text or email me! If you are active on social media, please look me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram using the icons on the bottom right of this page.

Dani