Many believe that a large portion of homeowners are not in a house that is best for their current family circumstance; they could be baby boomers living in an empty, four-bedroom colonial, or a millennial couple living in a one-bedroom condo planning to start a family. These homeowners are ready to make a move, and since a lack of housing inventory is still a major challenge in the current housing market, this could be great news.Read More
Are you planning to update your current home to sell fast? Maybe you want to do some updates to a homes you are going to stay in for a few more years. The important thing to keep in mind is, at some point you will need to sell and you want to make sure that all of your blood, sweat and tears weren't a waste of time and money. Here is a quick list of areas that will produce the highest return at resale.
Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most Return On Investment (ROI).
- Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
- Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door. These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th renovations for returns on investment.
With home prices on the rise and buyer demand strong, some sellers are tempted to try and sell their homes on their own without using the services of a real estate professional. This type of sale is referred to as a FSBO [fiz-bow].
Investopedia breaks this acronym down:
'For Sale By Owner - FSBO'
The most common for-sale-by-owner transaction occurs in the real estate market when a homeowner wishes to avoid paying a large commission when selling their property. By not using a real estate agent, the seller assumes all the responsibilities of completing the transaction.
Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.
The idea of writing this Blog post came about because I called a gentleman last week that had changed his voicemail while his home was listed FSBO. I could hear the frustration in the sellers voice:
It isn't hard to tell how frustrated James is with his home listing...
We spoke for a little while and I am going to be meeting with him late next week to see if I can help him. Even if he isn't interested in listing his home for sale with me, I feel it is only right to offer counsel to a man and his family if I can.
Selling your home on your own is no easy task. Heck, selling a home as an agent is never easy... we just make it look that way! Lol.
Before your home even gets listed for sale an agent should be investing a good portion of time in getting to know your home, the home sales and current listings in your neighborhood and compare the data to measure it against the current market.
Listing a home for sale isn't a matter of knowing HOW MUCH a homeowner wants to make. When a agents agrees to sell your home they should be offering a certain level of expertise and professionalism.
Your agents primary concern should be: Is this the best decision for you and your family?!
Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
- The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
- The termite company if there are challenges
- The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
- The appraiser if there is a question of value
- The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
- The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
- The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling
- Your bank in the case of a short sale
The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Meet with a professional in your local market to see the difference they can make in easing the process.
So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Oftentimes, agents make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.
This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.
How to Choose an Inspector
Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. HGTV recommends that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:
- Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
- Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
- References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to ask about their experiences.
- Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that continued training and education are provided.
- Errors & Omission Insurance – Also known as E&O. Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.
Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.
Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more!
They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money into a home of your own. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.
Starting late last year, some predicted that the 2018 tax changes would cripple the housing market. Headlines warned of the potential for double-digit price depreciation and suggested that buyer demand could drop like a rock. There was even sentiment that homeownership could lose its coveted status as a major component of the American Dream.
Now that the first quarter numbers are in, we can begin to decipher the actual impact that tax reform has had on the real estate market.
1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand? The answer is “NO.”
According to the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis” and is a “highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends,” buyer demand has increased each month over the last three months and is HIGHER than it was for the same months last year. Buyer demand is not down. It is up.
2. Have the tax changes affected America’s belief in real estate as a long-term investment? The answer is “NO.”
Two weeks ago, Gallup released its annual survey which asks Americans which asset they believed to be the best long-term investment. The survey revealed:
The survey also showed that the percentage of Americans who believe real estate is the best long-term investment was unchanged from a year ago.
3. Has the homeownership rate been negatively impacted by the tax changes? The answer is “NO.”
Not only did the homeownership rate not crash, it increased when compared to the first quarter of last year according to data released by the Census Bureau.
In her latest “Z Report,” Ivy Zelman explains that tax reform didn’t hurt the homeownership rate, but instead, enhanced it:
4. Has the upper-end market been crushed by new State and Local Taxes (SALT) limitations? The answer is “NO.”
In the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report it was revealed that:
- Sales between $500,000 and $750,000 were up 4.5% year-over-year
- Sales between $750,000 and $1M were up 15.1% year-over-year
- Sales over $1M were up 17.3% year-over-year
5. Will the reforms in the tax code cause home prices to tumble over the next twelve months? The answer is “NO.”
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report, home prices will appreciate in each of the 50 states over the next twelve months. Appreciation is projected to be anywhere from 1.9% to 10.3% with the national average being 4.7%.
The doomsday scenarios that some predicted based on tax reform fears seem to have already blown over based on the early housing industry numbers being reported.