Great tips for Home sellers!

Here are some great tips that I found from an article about selling your home quickly! Please let me know if you need a list of trusted contractors for those home repairs, I will gladly provide with it.

 5 tips to help your home sell quickly-By Karen Aho of MSN Real Estate

To many buyers, a house that’s been on the market a long time must have hidden problems. And that could lead to unnecessary and endless price reductions. Luckily, even in a distressed market, there are ways to prevent roots from sprouting under the ‘for sale’ sign.

 

Leave it to the pros

Welcome to the wacky world of home sales, where a little stubborn behavior can be costly. But there’s a tried-and-true solution that can be summed up with two basic points:

  • Find a seller’s agent whom you like and trust. 
  • “Make sure you interview three great agents that focus on your area,” says Alan Mark, president of the Mark Co., a real-estate marketing and consulting company in San Francisco. “Then realize that you’re hiring a professional who knows how to do this.”
  • Listen to that agent. More on that below, but the key is to separate the emotional qualities of your home from the basic functional qualities of the house.

“To start with, your house is unique — and so is everybody else’s,” Mark says. “Everybody thinks their house is unique. Get over it.”

It’s never easy to relinquish control, particularly when it’s your home and your money. But if the goal is to sell, and to sell fast, then you’re better off trusting the expert, even if his advice appears trivial — like the paint on a couple of walls — or counterintuitive, such as undercutting the price.

To get a sense of what we mean, see the five tips below, all from experienced agents who say these are areas where home sellers often need some persuading.

 

1. Price it right; price it low

Some may find Katya Dennis a bit offbeat — or at least bold — in her pricing strategy, which at first blush appears to be undervaluing the property. But Dennis, an agent in Northern California with David Lyng Real Estate, swears by her method.

“I always tell my sellers, you can never price a house too low, because the market will take care of it,” she explains.

Dennis recently listed a home for $535,000, even though it had been appraised at $560,000. The house sold within weeks — for $575,000. The reasoning is simple, she says. The low price drew quick and competing bids.

Had she listed the home for $560,000, she’s certain the sale would have dragged and brought in even less than the valuation.

“If you start high and start lowering it, you will never get to the number that you will get to by starting low and going up,” Dennis says. “Because when you start lowering the price, people will start wondering what’s wrong with the house. … And if it’s been sitting awhile, people will try and lowball.”

 

2. Try a fresh sales approach

Even on the phone, it’s clear that Leis can be tough. But her success stories may provide peace of mind to sellers who find themselves initially put off by agents’ edgy tactics.

 

3. Don’t try too hard to fight the market

Sometimes a seller has to accept that there’s only so much an unfriendly marketplace can offer.

 

4. Remember, renovations aren’t a magic bullet

Be flexible with price. “Price is still what’s moving.” And if you want the house to move, find an agent willing to be brutally honest.

 

5. Don’t, repeat don’t, skip the online sales push

One last tip from agents: A home that relies on its good personality alone won’t cut it in today’s market.

“The days when a buyer shows up at my office and says ‘Where are we going today?’ those days are long over,” Romano says. “They show up with a list of homes they’ve seen online. Some of them, you look at and say, ‘Why would you want to look at that?’ and you see it looks really good online.”

A year earlier, he took a home that had been on and off the market for two years and sold it in 11 days after telling the sellers to follow his rules, which included staging the home and lowering the price.

“The market had continued to decline,” Romano says. “Even if a buyer were interested at that (higher) price point, the buyer won’t get a mortgage because it won’t appraise out for that. It doesn’t do anyone any good to list at above the appraised value.”

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.

Northern Virginia Real Estate Spring Market

Just some information that I thought would be useful to anyone in the market to buy or sell this time of year from Realtor.com

Realtor.com’s February 2013 national housing data indicates that listing inventories increased 1.15 percent month-over-month; median age of inventory was at 98 days, a 9.26 percent decrease month-over-month; and median list prices were slightly higher month-over-month at $189,900. These numbers show that home buyers are getting an early start on the spring season despite the fact that inventories recently hit record lows.

The median age of inventory was down by 9.26 percent month over month and total listings are up 1.15 percent month over month, suggesting that many reluctant home sellers are starting to take an early advantage of the recent improvements in housing prices. Annual inventory decreases of -15.97 percent are consistent with a gradual, yet persistent downward trend that has been occurring over the last two years. From January 2013 to February 2013, the median age of inventory decreased in 145 of the 146 markets tracked by realtor.com. The national median list price also reversed its downward trend, rising by 1.55 percent over the month of February and 1.01 percent on an annual basis. In addition, the number of markets experiencing a decline in home prices is shrinking, implying more good news for the housing market and U.S. economy at large.

There continue to be pronounced regional differences in the strength of the housing market. Several areas in California are experiencing the highest increases in list prices coupled with the largest inventory declines. Phoenix, Seattle and Denver are also among the top performers across the U.S. However, many smaller industrialized markets in the Midwest and the Northeast registered year-over-year price declines, as did Philadelphia, Chicago and New York City. While the number of markets experiencing year-over-year list price declines had been increasing, this pattern appears to be turning around as home list prices increased in 78 markets last month on a year-over-year basis and declined in 39.

 National Data

  • In February, the total number of      single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops for sale in the U.S.      (1,494,218) increased by 1.15 percent month-over-month. On an annual      basis, however, inventory was down by 15.97 percent.
  • The national median list price for      single-family homes, condos, townhomes and co-ops ($189,900) increased by      1.01 percent year-over-year and 1.55 percent month-over-month in February.
  • The median age of inventory of for      sale listings fell to 98 days in February, down 9.26 percent from January      and 11.71 percent below the median age one year ago (February 2012).

 Here is some information that is on the Local side from UrbanTurf.com

 Local data

Despite rising home prices, it is still cheaper to buy than to rent in DC (along with the 100 largest metros in the country), according to a report published today by Trulia.

In the DC area, buying is 41 percent cheaper than renting, while in the country as a whole, buying is 44 percent cheaper than renting. Last year, according to Trulia, buying was 46 percent cheaper than renting. But this advantage could close up next year, Trulia predicts: with prices rising faster than rents and mortgage rates moving up, the gap should narrow sharply by next year.

“Mortgage rates are likely to rise in the next year as the economy improves, even though they fell in the past year,” said Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko. “The consensus among macroeconomic forecasters is for 10-year Treasury bonds –which 30-year fixed-rate mortgages track pretty closely – to rise 6 or 7 tenths of a point over the next year. This translates roughly into a 7-9% higher monthly payment for a given mortgage.”

To determine their numbers, Trulia’s team compared the average rent and for-sale prices of an identical set of properties in each city. They considered the monthly costs associated with buying and renting and factored in one-time costs like downpayments and security deposits.

Trulia assumed that owners will have a 3.5 percent mortgage rate on a 30-year mortgage and will stay in their homes for seven years. However, they also created an interactive map to see how the numbers work with different assumptions. For example, if someone in the DC-area has 4.5 percent interest rate on their mortgage and plans on staying in their home for five years, buying is 26 percent cheaper than renting. With plans to move after three years, the advantage drops to five percent.

 

                       

 

 

Now is the Time to Sell Your House

In the real estate industry timing is everything (aside from location, location, location of course). The evenflow of market trends relies on the basic principle of supply and demand. If supply is low and there aren’t a lot of houses for sale then those few that are selling can demand a higher price for their home.

A normal or balanced inventory is 6 months of houses on the market. If there is more than six months it favors the buyers, who have more options. Less than six months favors the sellers, who will see more interest from buyers.

Right now there are around 635 houses for sale in Arlington County. In the last six months there have been 1,182 home sales. Therefore, Arlington County has only 3.2 months of inventory.

This means that it is a seller’s market, and if you have been thinking about selling your house or moving now is the time and the market is just right for you to get a bigger offer on your home.

Virginia Housing Trends
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Is Washington Becoming a Seller’s Market?

Guy Wolcott, co-founder of Sawbuck.com, the online brokerage based in D.C., shared some local inventory numbers with me recently. Looking at the inventory of homes listed for sale on the local multiple listing service, Metropolitan Regional Information Services, the cupboard is pretty bare in spots.

At the current sales pace, Manassas Park City has just 1.3 months’ worth of listings. Manassas City, just 1.4 months. Falls Church City, 2.1 months; and Fairfax County just 2.7 months. Arlington County has 3.9 months.

The rule of thumb says 6 months’ inventory marks a balanced market–favoring neither sellers nor buyers. According to the MLS data, the Washington metro area as a whole has only 4.5 months supply available–making it a bit of a seller’s market. The District, proper, has 5.1 months’ supply.

Montgomery County has only 3.8 months’ supply, but with that exception, Maryland still has enough inventory that favors buyers. Prince George’s County has 8.1 months’ supply, and the Maryland suburban counties, combined, have 8.4 months’ supply.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-address/

The Mike Webb Team: www.northernvirginiahouses.com

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate