Sellers market tips

This is a sellers market! That being said, here is a great article for the home seller or those wanting to put their home on the market.  By-Diedre Woollard for Real Estate News.

Deciding to move isn’t a step anyone takes lightly. Your house is more than just an investment, it is your home. As you begin the process of distancing yourself from the place where you made so many lasting memories you will begin to think about what your home will be worth to someone else.

When you are ready to meet with a Realtor you may already have an idea of what your home is worth. You may have seen what other homes in your neighborhood have sold for or kept an eye on local listings. Your agent will prepare for you a comparative market analysis (CMA) that is an in-depth version of any research you may have done on your own.

The CMA is used to help evaluate how your home will fare against the competition. It takes a look at both homes that are currently listed and those recently sold. The purpose is to find the highest price that will still make the home competitive on the open market.

A Portrait Of Your Home And Its Surroundings

The CMA includes a fact-based portrait of the home including information such as number of bedrooms and baths, approximate square footage, size of major rooms, age of the home, property taxes, and desirable amenities such as fireplaces and pools.

Depending on the market the CMA will go back in time as long ago as a year or a month or week ago.  The range can also vary. Some will just cover a few streets around your home, CMAs can cover areas as narrow as one or two streets surrounding your home, or as broad as an entire subdivision.

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder (Or Potential Buyer)

Selling a home isn’t just about the facts. There are many pieces to the puzzle and it’s often the indefinables that impact a potential buyer’s perception of the home. A home purchase remains fundamentally personal. Speaking at the Luxury Roundtable: State of Luxury 2013 conference, Camilla Papale, the chief marketing officer of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, defined real estate, especially at the high end, as being primarily emotional.  She said that 90 percent of Douglas Elliman’s transactions are influenced by the buyer’s emotions versus rationalization. Perception can alter reality and so this is an important consideration when looking at a CMA. People make decisions based on curb appeal, light, design choices and many other factors.

At the end of each home’s information on the CMA report there will be a brief statement provided by the listing agent that will address some of these subjective  factors such as recent remodels, historic features, or things that might be of interest to the buyers. The agent will be marketing the home and is already thinking about how it will be presented as a product to tempt the public.

The Changing Face of the CMA

The CMA today is different than it was before the internet era partly because the potential seller does so much of their homework ahead of time.  Jeff Rightmyer, a sales agent with Building Bridges Partners Keller Williams explains how technology has changed the CMA: “If anything, it has increased the amount of avenues now available to display more accurate and precise information ranging from short sales, standards, all the way up to luxury. It also has allowed little room for error as clients can accurately research the information for themselves.”

There are still resources that agents have access to that most sellers do not. Also agents have the experience of listing, marketing, and selling many homes on their side. A local expert will know what buyers in the area look for and be able to easily assess how your home measures up. Together you and your agent can find a price that brings you what you need and will be attractive enough to attract your home’s new owner.

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How many people ask this question when they buy or sell a home?

Here is a great article that I thought had great information for anyone buying or selling a home.

Real Estate News-Diedre Wollard

When you are getting ready to sell your home, dealing with inspections and appraisals is part of the process. Your home is now a product that is being sold and needs to be evaluated. Many people think that appraisals and inspections are essentially the same thing but there are some key differences. If you’ve ever watched “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, you’re already familiar with the concept of an appraisal on personal property. The idea is similar in the realm of real estate valuations. Each property is unique, and the appraiser relies on his or her general expertise and specific research to arrive at an opinion of value.

An appraisal provides valuable information for the buyer and the seller, but the appraiser’s primary mission is to protect the lender. Lenders don’t want to own overpriced property and that’s why the appraisal takes place before the lender grants final approval of the buyer’s loan.

The Appraisal Process

Appraisers use a variety of factors in their decision making. They weigh the location of the home, its proximity to desirable schools and other public facilities, the size of the lot, the size and condition of the home itself and recent sales prices of comparable properties, among other factors. Appraisers aren’t interested in whether or not the house is clean but they do notice signs of neglect such as cracked walls, chipped paint, broken windows, torn carpets, damaging flooring and inoperable appliances.

Federal law requires states to establish minimum standards and licensing practices for real estate appraisers. In California, for example, trainees must take several courses, pass an examination and complete 2,000 hours of supervised experience.

If the buyer is applying for a mortgage that will be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the appraiser must survey the physical condition of the home and disclose potential problems to the buyer. No such obligation exists for non-FHA mortgages.

If a home receives an appraisal lower than the purchase price there are some ways the purchase can still go through. The seller can reduce the purchase price, the buyer could make a bigger down-payment, or if it’s a question of needed repairs, a separate escrow account can be set up to fund those repairs.

How Is An Appraisal Different From An Inspection?

An appraisal isn’t a substitute for a professional home inspection in fact they have some key differences. The appraiser formulates an opinion of the property’s value for the lender, while the inspector educates the buyer about the condition of the home and its major components. The appraiser is primarily focused on the value of the home whereas the inspector keys in on the home’s condition with an eye toward both existing and potential future problems.