The Home Seller’s To-Do List

When you’re selling your home, there are a million things to think about. Here is a checklist of the basic tasks to complete once you’ve decided to list:

Clean. A thorough cleaning not only helps you present your home and its best light, it also help you assess its condition. Thoroughly wash the windows, walls, surfaces and floors; deep clean all of the carpets and polish and shine all reflective surfaces and fixtures.

Clear the clutter. Throw away items that are broken or beyond repair and donate items that are still usable, but no longer useful to you. Not only will clearing the clutter make the moving process easier, it’ll also make it easier for potential buyers to see the great features of your home. Make repairs and updates. Most buyers are seeking a move in ready home. Look for and repair any damage, including Leeks and dress. Replace outdated light fixtures, appliances and windows.

Paint. Painting is one of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of a home. On the interior, it gives your buyers a blank canvas to make the home their own once they buy it. On the exterior, a fresh coat of paint makes the home look like new.

Think about staging. Staging help your home look its best for listing photos, open houses and showing. Something as simple as the placement of the furniture can accent it’s best features. If you would like help or live in a competitive market, considering hiring a professional. Here at Mathews & Co. Realty Group, we think that staging is so important in helping you get top dollar for your home that we offer it as one of our complimentary services to all of our sellers.

Don’t forget your landscape. Mow the lawn, weed your flowerbeds and prune any unruly hedges and shrubs. Additionally, make sure that your sprinkler system is in good working order and make any repairs to your porch, fences, gutters and other parts of your home’s exterior.

Continue to clean and maintain the interior and exterior of your home while it’s on the market. Buyers may overlook your home if its condition doesn’t match the photos.

If you want more tips to help you prepare your home for its debut on the market, give me a call!

Keisha “Kee” Mathews
(916) 370-1803

07 15 The Home Sellers To Do List

FHA’s Position on Down Payment Assistance Programs

FHA logo

Please see the notice from Ed Golding, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing and Head of the FHA, regarding HUD’s position on down payment assistance programs, like those run by State Housing Finance Agencies.

“In light of a recent audit by HUD’s Office of Inspector General, I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm FHA’s support of certain down payment assistance programs, like those run by State Housing Finance Agencies. These programs help creditworthy families buy their first homes in communities across the country – responsibly expanding access to credit.

The intent of our rules regarding down payment assistance is clear and allows HFAs the discretion necessary to fund these programs appropriately. HUD is taking active steps to completely resolve the issues raised in the audit and to provide proper clarity and guidance to the market.

Here is a link to the audit: https://www.hudoig.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2015-LA-1005.pdf”

The Impact of Rising Prices on Home Appraisals

The Impact of Rising Prices on Home Appraisals | Keeping Current Matters

The fact that residential home prices are increasing substantially in most regions of the country is music to the ears of homeowners. However, if you are in the process of selling your home, make sure you realize the major challenge a hot real estate market creates.

Each house must be sold twice; once to a buyer and a second time to an appraiser who represents the bank that will grant the purchaser a mortgage to buy the home (unless it is an “all cash” purchase). In a real market with escalating prices, the second sale may be the more difficult. And a recent survey by Quicken Loans reveals that the gap between what a homeowner believes is the value of their home compared to an appraiser is widening.

Appraisal vs. Homeowner Value | Keeping Current Matters

This could lead to an increase in the percentage of real estate transactions being challenged by a ‘short’ appraisal (where the appraiser value is less than the contracted price of the home).

Bottom Line

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you must be prepared for this possibility as it may result in a renegotiation of the price of the home.

One More Time…You DO NOT Need 20% Down

One More Time You Don't Need 20% Down | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less and the number has increased through the first quarter of the year as shown by the graph below:

Percent of Low Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower:

Average FICO Scores | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective purchaser who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to buy but not sure if you are also ‘able’, sit down with someone who can help you understand your true options.

5 Demands You Should Make on Your Listing Agent

5 Demands You Should Make on Your Listing Agent | Keeping Current Matters

Are you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge; just like a great doctor or great accountant. You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one. Here are the top 5 demands to make of your Real Estate Agent when selling your house:

1. Tell the truth about the price

Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank. The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. A survey showed that there was a challenge with the appraisal on 24% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.

2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing

You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan. This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can, to make it work.

3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible

It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.

Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.

4. Help with the relocation

If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.

5. Get the house SOLD!

There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving. You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist they have the courage to inform you.

Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In today’s market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT!

Do I Need Perfect Credit to Buy a Home?

Do I Need Perfect Credit To Buy A Home? | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The average FICO score of Approved Conventional Loans was 757 in May
  • The average FICO score of Approved FHA Loans was 688 in May
  • Since April 2013, the ability of Americans to obtain a mortgage has increased substantially!

Contact one of my lender partners below to see if you qualify, today!

Phillip J. Hinojoza, Branch Manager
Land Home Financial Services
9381 E. Stockton Boulevard, Suite #208
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Office: 916.239.7186
Mobile: 916.549.9536
Fax: 916.273.5663
phillip.Hinojoza@lhfs.com

Eddie Johnson Jr.
Paramount Equity Mortgage, LLC.
8781 Sierra College Blvd
Roseville, CA 95661
916-218-7009 Office
916-549-3412 Cell
916-988-8132 Fax
ejohnson@paramountequity.com
http://www.paramountequity.com

David J. Boliard, Branch Manager
Coastal Pacific Mortgage
A Division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage
5530 Birdcage Street Suite 110
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
916-844-1292 Office
916-844-1299 Fax
916-601-3567 Mobile
dboliard@pcmloan.com

First-Time Homebuyers Led the Way in May

First-Time Homebuyers Lead the Way in May | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report revealed that first time homebuyers made up 32% of all sales in the month of May; marking the highest share since September 2012 and up from 27% the same time last year. NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, cited “strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low down payment programs,” as contributing factors to the increase in first-time buyers. Existing-home sales rose 5.1% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.35 million. Total housing inventory for sale remains under the 6.0 months needed for a historically normal market at a 5.1 month supply. Homes sold quickly in May, as 45% of homes sold in less than a month. May also marked the 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median existing home price rose 7.9% above May 2014 to $228,700. Below is a chart showing the breakdown of price increases by region:

Existing Home Prices by Region | Keeping Current Matters
Yun went on to say,

“Solid sales gains were seen throughout the country in May as more homeowners listed their home for sale and therefore provided greater choices for buyers.” “However, overall supply still remains tight, homes are selling fast and price growth in many markets continues to teeter at or near double-digit appreciation. Without solid gains in new home construction, prices will likely stay elevated — even with higher mortgage rates above 4 percent.”

Bottom Line

“More first-time buyers are expected to enter the market in coming months, but the overall share climbing higher will depend on how fast rates and prices rise.” If you are a homeowner considering a move this year, meet with a local real estate agent who can show you the opportunities available right now! Don’t miss out on the influx of new buyers entering the market every day.