Category: Trends

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.

The housing market keeps sailing along. The only headwind that could take it off course is the lack of inventory for sale. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that there were 410,000 fewer single-family homes for sale this March than in March of 2020. The key to continued success in the residential housing market is for more listings to come on the market. However, many homeowners are concerned that selling their homes could be challenging for several reasons.

Recently, Homes.com released the findings of a survey that identified these concerns, as well as what it will take for homeowners to feel comfortable selling their houses. Here are the four major homeowner concerns and a quick explanation of what’s actually happening in the housing market today.

1. Homeowners don’t know if they’ll be able to secure their next home before selling.
In negotiations, leverage is the power that one side may have to influence the other side while moving closer to their negotiating position. A party’s leverage is based on the ability to award benefits or eliminate costs on the other side.

In today’s market, buyers have compelling reasons to purchase a home now:

To own a home of their own
To buy before prices continue to appreciate
To secure a mortgage at a historically low rate, while they last
These buyer needs give the seller tremendous leverage. Most already realize this leverage enables the homeowner to sell at a good price. However, this leverage may also be used to negotiate time to find their next home. The homeowner could sell their home to the buyer at today’s price, which will enable the purchaser to take advantage of current mortgage rates. In return, the buyer might lease the house back to the seller for a pre-determined length of time while the seller finds a new home or has one built.

This gives the buyer what they want while also giving the seller what they need. It’s a true win-win negotiation.

2. Homeowners don’t know if their current home will sell for the asking price or top market price.
This is the perfect time to maximize profits while selling a house. NAR just released a study showing that bidding wars are at an all-time high. The study reveals that when comparing the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year, the number of offers on homes for sale doubled from an average of 2.4 to 4.8 offers.

Whenever there’s a bidding war, the price of the item for sale escalates. Bloomberg recently reported:

“For the first time ever, the average U.S. home is selling for above its list price.”

If a seller is looking for a top-dollar sale, there’s no better time to sell than right now.

3. Homeowners don’t know if they will get an offer without their home requiring work or updates.
Again, leverage is the greatest strength a seller has in this market. Due to the lack of homes for sale, many buyers are more willing to take on home improvement projects themselves in order to get the home they’re after.

A recent post on whether or not to renovate before selling notes:

“It may be wise to let future homeowners remodel the bathroom or the kitchen to make design decisions that are best for their specific taste and lifestyle. As a seller, your dollars and time might be better spent working on small cosmetic updates, like refreshing some paint and power washing the exterior. Instead of over-investing in your home with upgrades that the buyers may change anyway, work with a real estate professional to determine the key projects that will maximize your listing, without overdoing it.”

If a seller is worried about doing work or updates on their home, they must realize that today’s historically low inventory likely renders these projects less critical to the sale of the house.

4. Homeowners don’t know if they can have a quick closing process.
When speed is important, there are two points sellers should look at:

The time it takes to find a buyer for the home
The time it takes to close the transaction
In the latest Existing Home Sales Report, NAR explains:

“Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in March, down from 20 days in February and from 29 days in March 2020. Eighty-three percent of the homes sold in March 2021 were on the market for less than a month.”

Eighteen days is fast, and it’s a new record. Here are the days the average house is on the market in each state:
4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now | Keeping Current Matters
Regarding the time it will take to close the transaction, all-cash sales accounted for 23% of all home purchase transactions in March. All-cash sales can usually be closed in thirty days.

If a mortgage is necessary, the most recent Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae shows:

“Time to close all loans decreased in March. The average time to close a purchase fell to 51 days, down from 53 the month prior.”

If you’re looking for a quick closing process, there’s never been a market in which the two-step process (finding a buyer and closing the deal) has taken less time.

Bottom Line
Selling your house can be daunting, especially in a fast-paced market. However, the fact that we’re in such a strong sellers’ market clearly eliminates many common concerns. Contact a real estate professional today to learn more about the opportunities for homeowners who are ready to sell.

With mortgage interest rates hitting record lows so many times recently, some are wondering if we’ll see low rates continue throughout 2021, or if they’ll start to rise. Recently, Freddie Mac released their quarterly forecast, noting:

“The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low over a dozen times in 2020 and the low interest rate environment is projected to continue through this year. We expect interest rates to average below 3% through the end of 2021. While this is a modest rise from 2020 averages, the recent vote by the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates anchored near zero should keep rates low.”

Freddie Mac is projecting low rates going forward with a modest rise that’s expected to continue through 2022. Freddie Mac isn’t the only authority forecasting low rates with a slight rise. Fannie Mae, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) also anticipate low rates with a small increase as 2021 continues on.

It’s important to note that, while a small change in interest rates can have a substantial impact on monthly mortgage payments, these rates are still incredibly low compared to where they were just a couple of years ago.

What does this mean for buyers?
Low mortgage rates are creating an outstanding opportunity for current homebuyers to get more for their money while staying within their budget. As the economy gets stronger and we recover from the challenges of 2020, it’s natural for rates to potentially rise in response to a healthier economy. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, reminds us:

“Rising interest rates reduce house-buying power and affordability, but are often a sign of a strong economy, which increases home buyer demand. By any historic standard, today’s mortgage rates remain historically low and will continue to boost house-buying power and keep purchase demand robust.”

With low rates fueling activity among hopeful buyers, there are a lot of people who are highly motivated and looking for homes to purchase right now. In this environment, it can be challenging to find a home to buy, so a local real estate agent will be key to your success if you’re thinking of buying too. Working with a trusted real estate professional to navigate the process while rates are in your favor might be the best move you can make.

Bottom Line
If you’re ready to buy a home, it may be wise to make your move before mortgage rates begin to rise. Contact a local real estate professional to discuss how today’s low rates can create more opportunities for you this year.

The housing market recovery coming into the new year has been nothing short of remarkable. Many experts agree the turnaround from the nation’s economic pause is playing out extremely well for real estate, and the current market conditions are truly making this winter an ideal time to make a move. Here’s a dive into some of the biggest wins for homebuyers this season.

1. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low
In 2020, mortgage rates hit all-time lows 16 times. Continued low rates have set buyers up for significant long-term gains. In fact, realtor.com notes:

“Given this means homes could cost potentially tens of thousands less over the lifetime of the loan.”

Essentially, it’s less expensive to borrow money for a home loan today than it has been in years past. Although mortgage rates are expected to remain relatively low in 2021, even the slightest increase can make a big difference in your payments over the lifetime of a home loan. So, this is a huge opportunity to capitalize on right now before mortgage rates start to rise.

2. Equity Is Growing
According to John Burns Consulting, 58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity, and 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear.

In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity homeowners gained since last year is $17,000. That’s a tremendous amount of forced savings for homeowners, and an opportunity to use this increasing equity to make a move into a home that fits your changing needs this season.

3. Home Prices Are Appreciating
According to leading experts, home prices are forecasted to continue appreciating. Today, many experts are projecting more moderate home price growth than last year, but still moving in an upward direction through 2021.

Knowing home values are increasing while mortgage rates are so low should help you feel confident that buying a home before prices rise even higher is a strong long-term investment.

4. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale
With today’s low inventory of homes on the market, which is contributing to this home price appreciation, sellers are in the driver’s seat. The competition is high among buyers, so homes are selling quickly.

Making a move while so many buyers are looking for homes to purchase may mean your house rises to the top of the buyer pool. Selling your house before more listings come to the market in the traditionally busy spring market might be your best chance to shine.

Bottom Line
If you’re considering making a move, this may be your moment, especially with today’s low mortgage rates and limited inventory. Reach out to us today to get set up for homebuying success in the new year.

The year 2020 will be remembered as one of the most challenging times of our lives. A worldwide pandemic, a recession causing historic unemployment, and a level of social unrest perhaps never seen before have all changed the way we live. Only the real estate market seems to be unaffected, as a new forecast projects there may be more homes purchased this year than last year.

As we come to the end of this tumultuous year, we’re preparing for perhaps the most contentious presidential election of the century. Today, it’s important to look at the impact past presidential election years have had on the real estate market.

Is there a drop-off in home sales during a presidential election year?
BTIG, a research and analysis company, looked at new home sales from 1963 through 2019 in their report titled One House, Two House, Red House, Blue House. They noted that in non-presidential years, there is a -9.8% decrease in November compared to October. This is the normal seasonality of the market, with a slowdown in activity that’s usually seen in fall and winter.

However, it also revealed that in presidential election years, the typical drop increases to -15%. The report explains why:

“This may indicate that potential homebuyers may become more cautious in the face of national election uncertainty.”

Are those sales lost forever?
No. BTIG determined:

“This caution is temporary, and ultimately results in deferred sales, as the economy, jobs, interest rates and consumer confidence all have far more meaningful roles in the home purchase decision than a Presidential election result in the months that follow.”

In a separate study done by Meyers Research & Zonda, Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, agrees that those purchases are just delayed until after the election:

“History suggests that the slowdown is largely concentrated in the month of November. In fact, the year after a presidential election is the best of the four-year cycle. This suggests that demand for new housing is not lost because of election uncertainty, rather it gets pushed out to the following year.”

Will it matter who is elected?
To some degree, but not in the overall number of home sales. As mentioned above, consumer confidence plays a significant role in a family’s desire to buy a home. How may consumer confidence impact the housing market post-election? The BTIG report covered that as well:

“A change in administration might benefit trailing blue county housing dynamics. The re-election of President Trump could continue to propel red county outperformance.”

Again, overall sales should not be impacted in a significant way.

Bottom Line
If mortgage rates remain near all-time lows, the economy continues to recover, and unemployment continues to decrease, the real estate market should remain strong up to and past the election.

The following blog post is not by us. Tom Ferry is one of the top Real Estate educators in the country. We felt his words might resonate in your lives too!

No. 1: Are You a Lion or a Lamb?

Think of a lion or a lioness for a second. What do they do when something happens? Do they freak out? No. They remain calm. They survey the situation. They protect their own. They exhibit strength and act like a LEADER!

Now contrast that with a lamb… Lambs follow the herd. They flee at the mere sound of a twig breaking. They panic and run in fear.

In this crisis, are you going to be a lion/lioness or a lamb?

You need to decide.

I strongly believe the actions we take over the next 60-90 days will define our brands.

So stand tall. Be strong. Be the voice of reason. Be a pillar of your community.

When making your decision, keep this in mind from Greg Markov of the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, who just yesterday conducted a special “Negotiations During Times of Crisis” presentation for our coaching members:

“Fear leads to anxiety, and anxiety is a deal killer.”

 

No. 2: Now More Than Ever, Be Adaptable

Rigidness or reluctance to change will get you NOWHERE right now.

Hear me?

Do not try to fight this. You need to adapt, and you need to adapt quickly.

People on my team are working from home with their laptops on TV trays and dining room tables because our county has ordered no gatherings of any kind. My team accepted it and adapted on a moment’s notice without questioning it or fighting it. This is our new reality until we beat this virus.

So when it comes to your business…

…Get creative!

…Use video more than ever!

…Use Zoom or Google Hangouts to connect with your clients and your community at large.

I’ve already heard stories of people who are turning on their cameras and organizing remote yoga sessions.

Why couldn’t you do the same thing, but educating people about specific aspects of buying or selling real estate?

Be that voice of reason your community needs with a message to consumers of “We’re gonna get through this, and when we do, I want you better prepared to make wise real estate investments.”

 

No. 3: Be Smart

This one’s simple, but it needs to be said anyway.

Be smart.

Follow the health guidelines.

Obey your local orders and ordinances.

Wash your hands.

Practice social distancing.

Don’t point fingers.

Keep in mind what’s best for the common good… and we’ll all be better for it.

 

Change is swift and painful, but now is the time to adapt and build a strong community with your tribe.

As the lionesses and lions that you all are, how will you react to this growth test?

 

Keep up the maintenance of your work because if your home doesn’t have proper maintenance it can cause various problems when you want to sell your home. You need to talk to the people who are good at the sale of their homes at a good price. They are lucky to make the best deal because they care about the proper maintenance of their homes. Whenever you want to sell your home, the first thing that can appeal to buyers is the proper preservation. Whenever your house ever goes on the market, the buyers first look to the preservations and care.

Using Leasehold Management London makes successively an easier residential development. It professionally starts to deal with many complex tasks about property management. It includes the financial aspects of expenditure, holding, and collecting funds.

Some very important home maintenance items make a house stand out that is the result of regular maintenance. You need to do a lot to keep up the working and appearance of a home. Performed some tasks for repairing the house improper items so that it helps to avoid costly replacement every day. Keeping little things on point is worth the effort while selling your home to the customers. These home maintenance tips can go a long way in helping the proper look of the home. Customers need every item to be proper and fixed hence it is necessary to have a look at each item to fix problems. It helps your sale goes smoothly and does not end up on failing the home inspection. You need to keep this in mind that a home examiner can tell when a landholder has not worked with regular home maintenance items.

Here are some ways to look after your home maintenance:

Maintain Your Strainers

The most important maintenance tips for the landowner is to make sure about the maintenance of the filters and strainers. Keep checking and changing your heating and cooling filters. Sometimes it occurs that the heating and air conditioning work tough in pushing air out of your house. Hence changing the filters regularly helps to maintain the home items. It helps to operate efficiently and effectively.

This is concluded that sometimes it requires an important amount of energy to run air out of the home. Because it fails to install a filter and it makes the process more tough and challenging. You need to pay particular attention to the filter you are using. This is known as the most important maintenance item. This needs to be checked and up to date

. Some filters are needed to be changed every month.

Maintain the batteries:

Maintaining the batteries is a small and important maintenance item. While changing the batteries, it helps to maintain the safety of your families. Make sure that while smoking, there are sometimes that carbon monoxide detectors are not working better. It depends on the safety of your families.

If you are avoiding the maintenance of smoke, it destroys home and destroyed home by a fire. Having carbon monoxide detectors helps you to face further difficulties. It helps you to be safe and secure.

 

Clean your Boiler:

While heating and cooling systems, it causes dust and sand. The dust and condensation can lead to the poverty of your ducts and units. It is a better idea if you allow an annual inspection service professional to look at the units. The service person will verify how your system is functioning? Is it requiring any maintenance? Or is it functioning as it should be? This helps to inspect and clean the boiler and furnace. When you have a heating system that is repaired by oil, the maintenance requirements take time. Oil doesn’t burn and clean as gas. Hence heating companies recommended an oil heating system to be checked every year. It is better to keep in mind that holding up with home maintenance on your heating system is very important in your daily life. Consider that if a customer sees you have not been maintaining any item of your home, he might take this into account. Protection of your heating system is a maintenance tip that should never be neglected and it is an expensive item to replace.

 

Check Your Water Heater:

A water heater usually performs well for so long. It may heat thousands of masses of water a year. It is like every utilization that can perform well for a long period. It is recommended to check the water heater every year. If you notice any minor problems or leaks, you must consider a plumber or water heater installation company to check what is wrong with the water heater. If you have hard water, seals have a way of failing hence water heater company must check the heater.

Check a failing water heater before it causes some serious problems in the heater. Home inspectors need to pay particular attention to the heater. Most householders don’t pay attention to the leaking fittings until the water heater becomes a serious problem. It should be checked every month.

 

 

Check Your Toilets:

Home inspectors notice every problem. They checked the critical problems and are used to maintain that issue. If you are having some problems with your toilets or faucets, home inspectors checked the problems. This problem needs to be checked every month. Water will find any way to outflow when it is under pressure, therefore you need to fix the problems of the faulty seal if you are hand or if you do not then call a plumber to fix the problem before it becomes critical.

 

Maintain Your Front Door:

The front door is usually the first look of your home. It depends on your front door that how it gives the best or the worst texture of your home. This should be maintained every year. You can also clean our polish your door for a new and a natural look. You can also try to paint it with some good colors. Most of the customers like a well-maintained and new natural look of the front door. Consider upgrading to the home items that can be visually appealing.

 

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.

There are always people with too much stuff looking to make some extra money by getting rid of it, and there are always people looking to save a little money by avoiding buying new products. This is the general principle that keeps the second-hand economy booming. If you’re looking to sell, here are some essential tips for turning your unwanted household items into cash (and doing a little healthy decluttering in the process).

 

Get the Things You Can’t Sell Out of the Way

 

This step will save you some time and some sanity — get rid of the stuff that you simply can’t sell. Whether it’s something that is broken, ugly, or in noticeably poor condition, you’ll do yourself a great service to just throw away the items on which you have no chance of turning a profit (or that even a donation center wouldn’t want).

 

Clearing this “junk” out of your house will make it easier for you to sell what you can. It may be smart to use a dumpster rental service or all-in-one junk removal service. Both are helpful, but dumpster rental allows you to fill up a dumpster over time (better for longer, larger removal projects), whereas a junk removal service will do everything for you.

 

Don’t Just Put It All on eBay or Craigslist

 

Yes, eBay and Craigslist are the two easiest online options for selling you stuff. That’s because they both have millions of users and you can sell basically anything on there. However, sometimes you need to value specificity of the second-hand marketplace, as well as understand which items are the most desired by shoppers. There are dozens upon dozens of other marketplaces that may allow you to fetch better prices for certain items. These include, but are not limited to, Swappa for cellphones and tablets, Poshmark for clothing, and Glyde for video games. The massive, well-known online marketplaces are awesome, of course, but don’t be afraid to experiment with where you list your items.

 

Don’t Assume That Online Is Always Better

 

No, you will not always get more for your stuff online. This is a common myth (especially among the younger crowd). It’s worth your time to try to sell your stuff in actual, physical, brick-and-mortar stores as well. Just make sure you know the right stores to hit for specific items. Second-hand electronics and clothing stores are always good bets for good cash.

 

Be Wary of Pawn Shops

 

The good thing about pawn shops is that they take a wide range of items and you get the money then and there — it’s instant gratification. The pros pretty much end there, however. You can almost always get more money on an online marketplace or a specialty second-hand store than you can at a pawn shop, and many pawn shops are skilled at paying low-dollar for top-dollar items. If you do plan to go this route, make sure to have a plan in place.

 

Embrace the Grind

 

While it’s nice to sell a big-ticket item for a few hundred dollars, the real key to successfully selling your old items and making a nice profit is to prepare for and then embrace the grind — selling many smaller items over time for less money a pop. You may not get excited about that $10 sale here and that $15 sale there, but soon enough you’ll have amassed hundreds.

 

The second-hand economy presents an amazing opportunity to people of all backgrounds with all different sorts of things to sell. Not only will you make good money if you follow these tips, but you’ll also get rid of clutter and make your living space more, well, livable. The former benefit is great, but the latter is priceless.

 

Photo via Unsplash

Sun Mountain Elite Jacket

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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.