Category: Cress Creek

When you’re selling any item, you usually want to sell it for the greatest profit possible. That happens when there’s a strong demand and a limited supply for that item. In the real estate market, that time is right now. If you’re thinking of selling your house this year, here are two reasons why now’s the time to list.

1. Demand Is Very Strong This Winter
A recent article in Inman News explains:

“Spring, the hottest time of year for homebuyers and sellers, has started early, according to economists. . . . ‘Home shopping season appears to already be in full swing!’”

And they aren’t the only ones saying buyers are already out in full force. That claim is backed up with data released last week by ShowingTime. The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the average number of monthly buyer showings on active residential properties, which is a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future trends for buyer demand. The latest index reveals this December was the most active December in five years.

As the data indicates, buyers are very active this winter. Last December saw even more showings than December of 2020, which was already a stronger-than-usual winter. And remember – you want to sell something when there’s a strong demand for that item. That time is now.

2. Housing Supply Is Extremely Low
Each month, realtor.com releases data on the number of active residential real estate listings (listings currently for sale). Their most recent report reveals the latest monthly number is the lowest we’ve seen in any January since 2017.

And don’t forget, the best time to sell an item is when there’s a limited supply of it available. This graph clearly shows how extremely low housing supply is today.

Even Though Supply Is at a Historic Low, Home Sales Are at a 15-Year High
According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing-home sales totaled 6.12 million in 2021 – the highest annual level since 2006. This means the market is hot and homeowners are in a great place to sell now while sales are so strong.

NAR also reports available listings by calculating the current months’ supply of inventory. They explain:

“Months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace.”

The current 1.8-months’ supply is the lowest ever reported.

The ratio of buyers to sellers favors homeowners right now to a greater degree than at any other time in history. Buyer demand is high, and supply is low. That gives sellers like you an incredible opportunity.

Bottom Line
If you agree the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low, contact to discuss listing your house today.

Intend to put your Naperville home up for sale soon? You probably want to sell it quickly and at a reasonable price. Alongside the incentives that drive homeowners to sell, we can’t ignore the marketing and financial benefits of home staging. First, staging your home allows you to showcase your home in the best possible light. The goal is to impress the buyers and show them what your home has to offer. Not to mention staged homes perform considerably better in terms of pricing and raising interest. So much so that around 50% of buyers’ real estate agents in the US note that staging has a massive impact on buyer’s perception of the home. Hence, we will put forward a few home staging tips for sellers in Naperville to help you out!

Home staging isn’t decorating

A common misconception that sellers make is to assume that home staging is essentially the same as redecorating. There are a few reasons why this line of thinking is detrimental. First of all, good staging can be done with a lot less than what you would need to redecorate the home. The point is to highlight the advantages of the house and obscure the flaws. It is not necessary to invest too much money into home staging. After all, you are probably more eager to update the home you are moving into rather than your old home.

Fix the home first, then embellish

It is better to focus your budget and energy on fixing structural flaws and other maintenance projects. Rather than invest money into pure aesthetic updates, it makes more sense to improve or eliminate anything that the buyer might have to fix on their own. They will undoubtedly deduce the cost of the repairs from the asking price. So, it makes sense to think ahead and spruce up the property before the showings.

You don’t need to stage the entire home

According to some estimates, the room staged most frequently is the living room, followed by the kitchen, and then the bedroom. And this makes perfect sense. These rooms comprise the area where the buyer is likely to spend most of the time. If your staging budget is limited, you should invest in fixing these rooms.

One of the important home staging tips for sellers in Naperville is to start in the living room and kitchen.

As for the rest of the property, you can organize a thorough cleaning spree to make up for the fact they are not staged. Likewise, if you don’t have enough money to purchase new appliances, make sure they are squeaky clean and, thus, presentable, if not new.

Home staging should be depersonalized

As much as it might seem counterintuitive, observing home staging as akin to decorating might lead to another mistake – making decorative choices guided by your preferences. On the contrary – you should aim to appeal to the broadest possible number of people. And that is achieved most easily if you stick to universally attractive, tasteful decorative choices. So, as much as you like quirky artwork or something like hunting memorabilia, your buyers might find it tacky or even insulting.

Remember – the point of home staging is to give the buyer an idea about what living in the home is like. So, the buyer needs to visualize themselves and what their life may look like in that home. As many as 82% of buyers report that staging promotes this kind of visualization.

The purpose of staging is to help the buyers visualize themselves in the home.

Hence, it would be best to avoid staging that involves colors, decoration, or furniture that is too distinctive or creative. Unfortunately, the buyer might associate negative feelings with your home only because they didn’t like something irrelevant such as a painting or a carpet. That is why you use neutral colors, minimalist furniture pieces, and interesting but still universally appealing decoration.

A thorough declutter can be very helpful for sellers in Naperville

Decluttering and selling off your old belongings can be a step towards a well-staged home. Having too many things on your property can obscure your home’s good assets and features. Instead, the sheer number of things might even create a chaotic, messy vibe. Not to mention the rooms might appear to be much smaller than they actually are. All of this definitely does not work in your favor when selling.

Fewer items make the home appear more spacious.

Decluttering is also a great way to downsize your belongings to an amount that you can easily move. Managing a long-distance relocation in a state such as Illinois after you finally sell your home should go very smoothly if you have fewer things to pack and move. Of course, an experienced moving crew is more than enough to transfer household items quickly. Still, a thorough declutter is undoubtedly an excellent way to reduce the workload that awaits when you start planning your relocation.

Home staging tips for sellers in Naperville – delivered

Even if your home fits into the lower price range category, home staging has the power to ensure more exposure. It can even give your home a head start if it lacks some of the qualities that buyers look for in a home. Sometimes, sellers are reluctant to invest the money necessary to stage the home despite this fact. The reason is that inexperienced sellers sometimes fail to observe the home’s potential.

As much as organizing home updates and furniture necessary to stage the home might seem like a waste of time and money, the benefits you will reap from it will make that effort worthwhile. That is why it makes sense to apply some of these home staging tips for sellers in Naperville!

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for your new home. You should probably decide in advance how many bedrooms or bathrooms you’re looking for. However, that doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker because you can always remodel a home or add more rooms. What you can’t change about your new home, though, is the neighborhood. The neighborhood in which you buy a house affects not just your capacity to enjoy it but also your potential to watch its value increase over time. Whether your property is in the most desirable neighborhood in the region or one that is expected to improve in the coming years, it’s critical to keep an eye on the features of the area that indicate you’ll have interested buyers when the time comes to sell. So, in this article, we will go over some of the neighborhood amenities you need to look for when buying a home.

How To Find A Good Neighborhood

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding a home that fulfills all of your desires. However, real estate experts say it’s more vital to pay attention to the neighborhood. After all, you can remodel and repair a house, but you can’t change its location. That means you also can’t change your neighbors or the community’s feel. So, it all comes down to one thing when determining which neighborhood to pick: research. You can rely on your real estate agent to point out essential features and learn about homeowners’ association laws, but you can’t rely on them for everything. To get the best information, you’ll need to put in the work yourself.

Shops

First of the many neighborhood amenities to look for when buying a home is the proximity of grocery stores and other markets. Unless you get your groceries delivered regularly, you’ll undoubtedly go to the market at least once a week. Having access to good food is a desirable bonus for most homeowners, and it may impact the value of your property. Moreover, a neighborhood’s accessibility to retail businesses might be an indicator of future growth.

Schools

Even if you don’t have children, purchasing a home in a neighborhood with excellent schools might be a wise investment. This is because schools have a significant impact on a home’s resale value. Moreover, just because you don’t have kids right now doesn’t mean you never will. If you’re a first-time buyer, it might be wise to think a few years into the future and plan ahead. An easy way to research school quality is to go to the local school district’s site and download the report cards for all nearby schools.

Parks & Green Spaces

Parks and green areas are another amenity to search for in a neighborhood. These are wonderful areas for kids to play, exercise, and learn about nature. Since the start of the pandemic, they’ve become even more crucial, allowing individuals to safely leave the house and get some fresh air.

Fitness Centers

Are there any fitness facilities near the house you wish to buy? If you care about your fitness, you should look into local gyms, especially if you don’t want to work out outside. When it comes time to sell, being close to a state-of-the-art gym might be quite appealing to many purchasers. Furthermore, being close to great local gyms might inspire you to start working out more.

Entertainment & Leisure Facilities

Is there a movie theater, a bar, a museum, a sports field, or a swimming pool near your potential future home? Entertainment facilities, particularly for young people, bring a community to life. However, this isn’t only important to the younger crowd. Everyone needs time away from their hectic activities to unwind and enjoy themselves with their family and friends. So, if you’re thinking of buying a retirement home, this is also something you should look into. Living near facilities such as these will keep you active over the years.

Healthcare Facilities

Access to a hospital is crucial when choosing a house to buy. All people, but especially children and seniors, require quick access to medical care. In the event of an emergency, you need to know that you can get medical help swiftly.

Public Transportation

Most people commute from one location to another every day. That’s why access to public transportation is very important to some buyers. Public transportation is a crucial enhancement for every community, from commuting students to employees who wish to get from home to work. Furthermore, as more individuals choose sustainable lives, demand for nearby public transportation has increased in the past few years. This is because, in order to save money and reduce pollution, more individuals are leaving their own cars in favor of trains and buses.

Renovating A House In A Good Neighborhood

Like we said before, while the location is very important, the house itself can be changed over time to better suit your needs. Many people prefer buying a fixer-upper in a good neighborhood and renovating it after their wishes. This can be a better, more profitable solution. However, it can also be a challenge if you live in the house while you’re renovating. All your stuff can get in the way, and you might have to move it around the house to finish all the work. Luckily for you, there is a solution for items in your way. You can always rent out a storage unit to store your excess items during the renovation.

In Conclusion

When you buy a home, you are purchasing more than just the structure of a house. You’re also picking the neighborhood in which you’ll spend the next few years of your life. Your neighborhood has a significant influence on both your quality of life and the value of your house. That’s why it’s crucial to know what neighborhood amenities to look for when buying a home. Even if you don’t plan on using all those amenities, it’s good to have them in mind.

In today’s real estate market, buyers shouldn’t shop for a home with the expectation they’ll be able to negotiate a lower sales price. In a typical housing market, buyers try to determine how much less than the asking price they can offer and still get the home. From there, the buyer and seller typically negotiate and agree on a revised price somewhere in the middle.

Things Are Different Today
Today’s housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are:

Receiving an average of 3.8 offers
Selling in just 17 days
Homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers highlights how competitive the housing market is right now. This is due, in large part, to the low supply of homes for sale. Low supply and high demand mean homes often sell for more than the asking price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more. Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains how these stats can impact buyers:

“The imbalance between robust demand and dismal availability of for-sale homes has led to a continual bidding over asking prices, which reached record levels in recent months. Now, almost 6 in 10 homes listed are selling over the asking price.”

You May Need To Rethink How You Look at a Home’s Asking Price
What does that mean for you? If you’ve found your dream home, you need to be realistic about today’s housing market and how that impacts the offer you’ll make. Offering below or even at a home’s asking price may not cut it. In today’s market, the highest bidder often wins the home, much like at an auction.

Currently, the asking price is often the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. If you really love a home, it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking. That’s important to keep in mind as you work with your agent to craft an offer.

Understand An Appraisal Gap Can Happen
Because of today’s home price appreciation and the auction-like atmosphere in the selling process, appraisal gaps – the gap between the price of your contract and the appraisal for the house – are more frequent.

According to data from CoreLogic:

“Beginning in January 2020, nationally, 7% of purchase transactions had a contract price above the appraisal, but by May 2021, the frequency had increased to 19% of purchase transactions.”

When this happens, your lender won’t loan you more than the home’s appraised value, and the seller may ask you to make up the difference out of pocket. Buyers in today’s market need to be prepared for this possibility. Know your budget, know what you can afford, and work with a trusted advisor who can offer expert advice along the way.

Bottom Line
Bidding wars and today’s auction-like atmosphere mean buyers need to rethink how they look at the asking price of a home. Work with a real estate professional who can advise you on the current market and help determine what the market value is on your dream home.

Springtime repairs around the house can be pretty big chores, eating up your spare time and cutting into your household budget, but they are an important part of keeping your home in great shape. Taking care of little maintenance issues now can help prevent big problems down the road, which can save you quite a bit of money and a lot of stress. However, the key with DIY projects is to ensure that you are prepared to call a professional if you need help with a big job so that it will be done safely and correctly.

 

It’s also crucial to have the right tools and a plan for the task at hand. Taking care of repairs around the home can include anything from plugging up holes in the drywall to replacing shingles or tiles on the roof, and these jobs vary greatly in cost and the amount of time it will take to complete them. Having a good idea of how you’ll get started will allow you to get the job done right the first time without any issues.

 

Here are a few things to consider when it’s time to do some maintenance around the house.

 

Start with the Right Tools

 

As with any task, it’s imperative to start with the right tools. After all, you wouldn’t start drawing a picture without a sharpened pencil and a good eraser, so it just makes sense that you would have specific tools at the ready when you’re tackling a home repair job. In general, most homeowners will want a hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers, a drill, and a sharp utility knife to handle common repair jobs around the house. If you don’t have these, look online for tool buying guides, and read the reviews before making purchases.

 

Find the Right Help

 

No matter what tasks you need to complete, it’s important to make sure they can be done as a DIY job before you get started. Many big projects — such as roofing, plumbing, and electrical work — will require a professional’s touch, if for no other reason than the potential safety issues. Look online for contractors near you to get an idea of your choices and to compare prices, and make sure you read the reviews before making a final decision.

 

Think of the Cost of Winter

 

The thing about spring repairs is that they need to be focused on the things that took the most hit during a hard winter. Cold weather, excess water, and high winds can all do quite a bit of damage to various parts of the home, from the gutters to the pipes, so make a checklist of all the things you want to take a look at. Getting organized will help greatly when it comes to starting any repair project, and it will also help you stay motivated if you have a physical list in front of you.

 

Prioritize

 

If you have a tight budget and there aren’t any repairs that require your immediate attention, you can start with the smaller things first, such as cleaning out the gutters or investing in an insulation cover for the hot water heater. These little tasks won’t cost much, but they will allow you to take care of the small things first and get them out of the way. Just make sure there are no pressing jobs, such as leaky pipes or broken roof shingles.

 

Springtime repairs around the house don’t have to break your budget or your patience. With a little planning and some research online, you can figure out the best ways to tackle projects around the house when the weather warms up a bit and save money throughout the year.

Sun Mountain Elite Jacket

Long known for their well-constructed carry bags and high-tech wheeled carts, Sun Mountain has also made a name for itself as a manufacturer of some of the best golf-specific outerwear on the market. The Elite Rain Jacket provides superior protection from the elements with outstanding stretch to accommodate your swing.

Sun Mountain touts its proprietary 37.5 technology that works with your own body heat to ensure the ideal temperature — you’ll never be too hot or too cool. Typical golf jackets are known to be a little warm, but the Elite Jacket is fully breathable. No detail has been overlooked in making this jacket waterproof: You’ll enjoy a waterproof chest pocket, two waterproof hand warmer pockets and a 2-way YKK Vislon waterproof zipper, all backed by a 2-year guarantee.

So, you’ve decided to sell your house in Naperville. You’ve hired Bill White Homes to help you with the entire process, and Bill White has asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to Bill White Homes so that they can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

In a competitive marketplace, especially in Naperville, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

Are you hosting for the holidays?  Not sure where to start? Running out of time? No worries!  If it’s calm you’re seeking let us help you get there. This quick guide to prepare for holiday guests will help relieve the stress of hosting and help you enjoy this special time with family and friends!

 

Guests should feel an expected welcome into your home as soon as they step foot through the front door. Keep overhead lights low inside the foyer and add a warm glow either through candles or a lamp sitting in an entry table or shelf. Find a fun, holiday welcome mat or floor rug to warm up the space. To also set a cozy feel, you can add usable seasonal accents like wool blankets or blanket scarves hanging from hooks or rolled up in baskets.

 

Make sure your house smells good! Clean the kitchen and bathrooms thoroughly using great smelling cleaning supplies. Vacuum the carpet and dust the furniture because dust actually smells. Take out the trash and if you have pets, clean out their cages and litter boxes. Add more candles throughout the house to create a warm, calm, and clean smelling space. Stick to one or two similar holiday scents or just a clean linen fragrance that will make your house smell fresh.

 

Besides the house smelling good, you should layer objects such as books, baskets, old trunks, crates, or foot stools under open tables or benches to give your living/family room a cozier feel. Add soft throw blankets to the couches or roll up into baskets for your guests to grab while they watch TV.

 

Lastly, when it’s time to head to bed, guests should feel comfortable in their space. Keep decor simple, but add a wreath or a touch of holiday decor to the guest bedroom and bathroom. Provide an empty closet and dresser. The bedding should have fresh, clean sheets and a couple of extra blankets and pillows left out to suit individual comfort levels. Stack big fluffy towels on the bed and in the bathroom. Set a basket full of essential toiletries and rolled up washcloths on the bathroom counter. You can also create warmth by adding candles, throw blankets, and even a cozy rug by the bed.

 

Bottom line…you set the tone, so if you want calm, be calm!  Relax, enjoy, and happy holidays.

Historically low mortgage interest rates have been a lifeline for many town first time homebuyers in recent years, keeping home ownership within reach for many who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to make the leap. For them, and for all the other than first time area homebuyers, the fact that home values have continued to rise has been an added boon.

But, as just about every mortgage industry expert will tell you, the gig is almost up for those rock bottom rates. Yet the question for many first time homebuyers remains: is it time to buy or not?

It’s a good time to take a hard look a few of the known facts—

According to web giant Zillow, as of Q1 2015, potential home buyers should expect to spend about 15% of their income on a mortgage for an average home in the U.S. When you compare this with the historical averages, it makes today’s rates temptingly low: the typical percentage has been closer to 21%. In terms of dollars spent monthly, that’s a big (and terrific) difference!

At the same time, the historical average has a typical renter shelling out 24% of income. Today, that’s closer to 30%…making first time homeownership that much more inviting.

Taken together, Zillow’s new calculations definitely appear to make finding a home to buy the more affordable option. On the other hand, it’s also true that a number of factors work against first time homebuyers—in Naperville and nationwide. College debt, for one, is far more of an obstacle than it used to be.  And the other side of those all-time high monthly rents in many places are making it that much harder for would-be first time homebuyers to save for a down payment.  But with the widespread phenomenon of growth in rents outpacing growth in home values, the rental affordability problem isn’t likely to improve any time soon. With mortgage rates likely to be on the increase as early as this fall, the long term outlook may not grow rosier as time passes. The implied takeaway: strike now while the iron is hot!

Whether this real estate foray is your first or tenth, if you’ve been considering taking advantage of this summer’s Naperville home buying bargains, contact me today for an introduction to a qualified mortgage broker—and to discuss whether this might not just be the perfect time to start your search!

For years, there was little debate about the need for open houses in town: almost without exception, unless the seller of one of our listings objected, at least one or two open houses were an accepted part of how most real estate agents went about marketing the property.

Today, along with all the other changes that define modern real estate marketing, the potency of open houses is up for serious debate. Virtual online tours are increasingly popular among area real estate sellers and buyers—the ‘use’ statistics that tell agents how often the different parts of their sites are viewed prove that. Since open houses were formerly held in order to display a property to members of the general public—and since virtual tours do the same thing—it’s truly a question that deserves a hard look.

Here are three of the main reasons I see frequently cited for why open houses are still useful—and some both pros and cons for each:

  1. Open Houses Can Bring Higher Prices

Pro: Open houses are most important for high demand properties when there is low inventory for similar homes. It can be possible to stage open houses in combination with delayed offer reviews—in this scenario, the seller hosts several open houses leading up to a final date when he or she will review competing offers.

Con: The same is accomplished with well-produced virtual tours. Interested viewers then contact the agent, who is able to qualify the prospects who will be invited for an actual on-site showing. Competing offers are just as likely to develop.

  1. Open Houses Are More Convenient for Sellers

Pro: People want to sell their Naperville area homes as quickly as possible if for no other reason than they must keep their houses spotless and organized while on the market. Open houses are one way for sellers to have to prepare fewer times for their home to be displayed to buyers.

Con: Virtual tours accomplish the same thing for a far broader cross-section of the public. Professional photographers use their photo session to record the property at its spotless best, which is then on display 24/7/365—not just for one or two days!

  1. Open Houses are More Convenient for Prospective Buyers

Pro: Interested parties can pop in for an on-site tour without the hassle of contacting the agent and scheduling an appointment—basically, of making even a minor level of commitment in advance of knowing much about the property. Open houses thus broaden the property’s exposure.

Con: Serious home shoppers are going online en masse; the effort expended on an open house is better spent preparing for interested, qualified buyers.

Every home we have for sale presents uniquely individual marketing opportunities and challenges. Ruling out open houses (or ruling them in) as a one-size-fits-all solution is not the way I expand the reach and appeal of the properties I represent. To talk about how we can maximize your own area real estate opportunity, just give me a call!    BTW…I just sold a house at my last “Open” on Sunday!