Category Archives: How to prepare to sell

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner | Keeping Current Matters

In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising, some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five of those reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • 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 appraiser if there is a question of value

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 89% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 20% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 44% on the internet
  • 33% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $210,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $249,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $39,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Accelerate

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Accelerate | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Quarterly Metro Home Price report earlier this month. The report revealed that home prices are not only continuing to rise but that the increases are accelerating. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, discussed the impact of low inventory on buyers in the report:

“Without a significant ramp-up in new home construction and more homeowners listing their homes for sale, buyers are likely to see little relief in the form of slowing price growth in the months ahead.”

Here are the percentage increases of home prices for the last two quarters:

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Accelerate | Keeping Current Matters

What this means to sellers

Rising prices are a homeowner’s best friend. As reported by CoreLogic in a recent blog post:

“With demand strong and inventory thin, the share of homes selling for the list price or more has also returned to pre-bust levels. With inventory tight, homes are more likely to sell above the asking price.”

What this means to buyers

In a market where prices are rising, buyers should take into account the cost of waiting. Obviously, they will pay more for the same house later this year. However, asConstruction Dive reported, the amounts of cash necessary to buy a home will also increase.

“These factors have created a situation where the market keeps moving the goalposts in terms of the down payment necessary for first-time homebuyers to get into a home.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling and moving down, waiting might make sense. If you are a first time buyer or a seller thinking of moving up, waiting probably doesn’t make sense.

14,986 Homes Sold Yesterday… Did Yours?

14,986 Homes Sold Yesterday... Did Yours? | Keeping Current Matters

There are some homeowners that have been waiting for months to get a price they hoped for when they originally listed their house for sale. The only thing they might want to consider is… If it hasn’t sold yet, maybe it’s not priced properly.

After all 14,986 houses sold yesterday, 14,986 will sell today and14,986 will sell tomorrow.

14,986!

That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales are at an annual rate of 5.59 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, over 14,986 homes sell every day.

The report from NAR also revealed that there is currently only a 4.0-month supply of inventory available for sale, (6-months inventory is considered ‘historically normal’).

This means that there are not enough homes available for sale to satisfy the buyers who are out in the market now in record numbers.

Bottom Line

We realize that you want to get the fair market value for your home. However, if it hasn’t sold in today’s active real estate market, perhaps you should reconsider your current asking price.

Existing Home Sales Bounce Back [INFOGRAPHIC]

Existing Home Sales Bounce Back [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Sales in December were 14.7% higher than those in November, marking the largest month-over-month increase ever recorded.
  • Inventory levels are still below historic norms at 3.9-months supply.
  • Median home price is up 7.6% from last year, marking the 46th consecutive month with year-over-year price gains.

Thinking of Selling? Why Now May Be The Time

Thinking of Selling? Why Now May Be The Time | Keeping Current Matters

It is common knowledge that a large number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their home on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring, as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed which months most people listed their home in for 2015. Here is a graphic showing the results:

2015 Popular Selling Months | Keeping Current Matters

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,860,000.

That number spiked to 2,280,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring. They are out looking for a home right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition for a buyer.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.

Top Reason to List Your House For Sale Now!

Top Reason to List Your House For Sale Now! | Keeping Current Matters

If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!

Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes For Sale

The National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun recently commented on the inventory shortage:

“While feedback from REALTORS® continues to suggest healthy levels of buyer interest, available listings that are move-in ready and in affordable price ranges remain hard to come by for many would-be buyers.”

The latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that there is currently a 5.1-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market and well below November 2014 numbers.

The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced in 2015:

Housing Supply Year-Over-Year | Keeping Current Matters

Anything less than a six-month supply is considered a “Seller’s Market”.

Bottom Line

Meet with a local real estate professional who can show you the supply conditions in your neighborhood and assist you in gaining access to the buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy now!

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Get Ready to Negotiate!

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Get Ready to Negotiate! | Keeping Current Matters

Now that the market has showed signs of recovery, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their home on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation. In most cases, the seller is not. The seller must realize their ability to negotiate will determine whether they can get the best deal for themselves and their 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 COs permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges on the house your buyer is selling
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired a real estate agent to sell their home 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.

You Will Need to Sell Your Home Twice

You Will Need to Sell Your Home Twice | Keeping Current Matters

A recent post on “The Home Story”, a site published by Fannie Mae, explained the difference between the price a seller may get for their home and the value an appraiser might assign the property.

The Sales Price

Of course, most sellers want to maximize the value they get for the house. However, the price they set might not be reflective of the other comparable homes in the neighborhood. As the article stated:

“People tend to view their homes emotionally, and that can become quickly apparent when they decide to sell.”

That doesn’t mean that the home won’t necessarily sell for that price.

A seller can set an asking price and actually have a buyer agree to that price. However, that value may not be necessarily in agreement with what most buyers are willing to pay. For example, one person can view a property, determine it is exactly what they are looking for and well worth the asking price, whereas another person could look at the same property and feel the asking price is too high.

Steven Corbin, Director of Valuation in Fannie Mae’s CPM Real Estate division gives an example:

“Someone may have driven by the property countless times, and they really want to live in that house. So in reality they may overbid for that property. This would be a situation where the actions of a specific buyer do not represent the actions of a typical buyer.”

The Appraised Value (or Market Value)

Fannie Mae explains what they look for when appraising the house:

“When a contract is established on a property, an appraised value is determined by a professional real estate appraiser. The appraiser works on the lender’s behalf to determine that value by taking many factors into consideration, including the neighborhood, the value of properties of similar size and construction, and even such things as the type of fixtures on the premises and layout of the floor plan.”

Corbin adds:

“From a lending perspective, a bank would want to know the probable price a typical buyer would offer for the property. That’s what an appraiser would set as the market value.”

The Challenge when Sales Price and Appraisal Value are Different

If the appraiser comes in with a value that is below the agreed upon sales price, the lending institution might not authorize the mortgage for the full amount a buyer would need to complete the transaction.

Quicken Loans actually releases a Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) that quantifies the difference between what sellers and appraisers believe regarding value. The HPPIrepresents the difference between appraisers’ and homeowners’ opinions of home values.

Currently, there is approximately a 2% difference between what homeowners believe their home to be worth and what appraisers value that same home. On a $300,000 sale that would be a $6,000 difference. That could be a challenge that might prevent the home sale proceeding to the closing table.

Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters recently commented on this issue:

“The more homeowners are in line with appraisers, the easier it will be to refinance their mortgage and easier for those looking to buy a home. If the two are aligned, it eliminates one of the top stumbling blocks in the mortgage process.”

Bottom Line

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. That is why we suggest that you use an experienced real estate professional to help set your listing price.

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