Category Archives: Selling

Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

Source: Kyle Hiscock/RISMedia

There are many questions homeowners ask themselves during the selling process. “How much will my home sell for?”  “How much should I list my home for?”  “Who should I select as a real estate agent to sell my home?”  “What if the real estate agent overprices my home?”  Last but not least, “Is this a good time to be selling a home?” is also a very common question that real estate agents are asked.

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. There is no doubt that the “spring market” is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Here are several reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:

Less Competition
One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.

Serious Buyers Are Out There
Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.

The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn’t have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.

Staging For The Holiday Season
Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be “sold” on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

Mortgage Rates Are Low
If you’ve read about real estate in the past year, it’s likely you’ve read that the mortgage rates are very low.  You also probably read that there is an expectation that the rates will increase very soon. Since mortgage rates are so low right now, buyers are able to afford more expensive homes.  If mortgage rates increase over the fall and winter months while you’re waiting for the spring market, it could cost you thousands of dollars as it could eliminate many buyers from the real estate marketplace!  Less demand for your home will mean less money. Bottom line: take advantage of selling your home while the rates are this low.

Quicker Transactions
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

Source: RISMedia/Kyle Hiscock

There are many questions homeowners ask themselves during the selling process. “How much will my home sell for?”  “How much should I list my home for?”  “Who should I select as a real estate agent to sell my home?”  “What if the real estate agent overprices my home?”  Last but not least, “Is this a good time to be selling a home?” is also a very common question that real estate agents are asked.

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. There is no doubt that the “spring market” is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Here are several reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:

Less Competition
One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.

Serious Buyers Are Out There
Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.

The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn’t have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.

Staging For The Holiday Season
Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be “sold” on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

Mortgage Rates Are Low
If you’ve read about real estate in the past year, it’s likely you’ve read that the mortgage rates are very low.  You also probably read that there is an expectation that the rates will increase very soon. Since mortgage rates are so low right now, buyers are able to afford more expensive homes.  If mortgage rates increase over the fall and winter months while you’re waiting for the spring market, it could cost you thousands of dollars as it could eliminate many buyers from the real estate marketplace!  Less demand for your home will mean less money. Bottom line: take advantage of selling your home while the rates are this low.

Quicker Transactions
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

REALTORS®: Home Staging Cuts Time on Market

Source: RISMedia

 

Home staging offers a distinct advantage for sellers: a speedy sale.

Sixty-two percent of sellers’ agents believe staging a home cuts down the time it spends on-market, with the majority believing it “greatly” reduces the window, according to the new 2017 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents believe staging a home helps buyers envision themselves living in it, and 40 percent believe it prompts buyers who first saw the home online to visit it in person.

2017 Home Staging Report (PRNewsfoto/National Association of Realtors)

2017 Home Staging Report (PRNewsfoto/National Association of Realtors)

Staging can also have a positive effect on home value. Thirty-one percent of buyers’ agents and 29 percent of sellers’ agents believe it adds anywhere from 1 to 5 percent, while 13 percent of buyers’ agents believe 6 to 10 percent and 21 percent of sellers’ agents believe 8 to 10 percent. The cost of staging is often fronted by the seller or sellers’ agent.

Buyers’ agents caution, however, that staging is only beneficial if the home is staged to appeal to general, not specific, preferences. Most buyers’ and sellers’ agents believe the living room is a key space to stage, as well as the kitchen, the master bedroom and the yard. They also believe decluttering, depersonalizing and a deep clean—beyond staging—are essential for a show-ready home.

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents stage all of their listings before placing them on the market, while 14 percent only stage listings that require it. A near-even 37 percent do not stage their listings at all.

“REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

Stop Believing These 6 Home Appraisal Myths

Source: Pemco Ltd.

The home appraisal is the one real estate-related process that can provoke a variety of emotions, ranging from positive to negative. While many are aware of what an appraisal is and its purpose, that awareness doesn’t always translate to a clear understanding of what is factored into the appraisal process. At the end of the day, an appraisal is an opinion derived from housing and neighborhood data.

PEMCO Valuations has managed over 132,000 appraisals nationwide since 2004 and based on feedback from some of our appraisers, we’ve decided it was time to shed some light on home appraisal myths.

Myth # 1: Home Appraisal = Home Inspection

This is probably the biggest myth and it’s understandable: home inspections and home appraisals are both used to determine a property’s condition as safeguards for the buyer and buyer’s lender. Appraisers and inspectors both inspect the property, but the similarities end here. The home inspector’s job is to poke and prod to uncover any and everything that’s problematic or potentially problematic. The appraiser’s job is to find the objective market value based on the condition of the home.

Myth # 2: The bigger the list of amenities, the higher the valuation

An investment of $100,000 in upgrades doesn’t equal to a $100,000 bump in appraisal value, especially when the amenities don’t exist in surrounding homes because appraiser simply doesn’t have nearby sales data to decide on the value of the amenities. This also applies to décor and staging, these are subjective and doesn’t get factored into the valuation. Their value judgement will come from quantifiable aspects: square footage, room count and other measurable data.

Myth # 3: More square footage means the higher the valuation

The value of the home is determined as if something like the surrounding homes were built on the appraised home lot. This means there’s no guarantee that a super-sized house on an average-sized lot in a modest neighborhood will appraiser for much more than neighboring homes.

Myth # 4: Amenities are the same

For instance, take two houses with similar square footage. Both have the same additions: a mother-in-law suite or home gym. One home has a two-car garage, the other has a garage that was converted into the mother-in-law suite or home gym. Removing one amenity (the garage) and replacing it with another amenity (the mother-in-law suite or home gym), isn’t an apple to apple comparison. Buyers look for homes with a garage for a reason, to use it as a garage, which the appraiser might assign a higher value to.

Myth # 5: Appraiser will match what the buyer will pay

Appraisals are not the result of exact science, it’s an opinion of the value of the home. This has nothing to do with what the buyer will pay or what the seller should accept. Buyers can not hire appraisers and therefore speak to them about valuation opinions on a house they are purchasing. This would undermine appraiser independence. The Dodd-Frank Act addresses appraiser independence, requiring arm length transactions between appraisers, lenders and buyers.

Myth # 6: The appraiser works for the buyer

Often, the appraiser works for an Appraisal Management Company (AMC) and the lender orders appraisals from these companies. Regardless if the seller and buyer have agreed on price, the appraisal would have to reflect the fair market value and cannot be influenced by any party.

The Ideal Time to List a Home for Sale

Source: RISMedia

Numerous factors impact the sale of a home—including timing.

The ideal time to list a home for sale this year is between May 1-15, according to a recent analysis by Zillow. Homes listed within the two-week window sell for 1 percent more than the average home for sale, and also nine days sooner.

The window varies, however. In Baltimore, Md., homes listed at the market’s ideal time—April 1-15—sell 21.5 days sooner, the fastest of the top 25 metro areas; homes in San Francisco, Calif., listed at its ideal time, May 16-31, sell only 5.5 days sooner.

Home sellers in Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Calif., and Seattle, Wash., gain the highest average premiums by percentage when listing at their market’s ideal time, at 2 percent in Portland and Sacramento and 2.5 percent in Seattle. Sellers in the New York-Northern New Jersey metro area, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Phoenix, Ariz., gain the lowest, at 0.7 percent in New York and Northern New Jersey and Miami-Fort Lauderdale and 0.8 percent in Phoenix. The premium, naturally, is relative to the market. A 1.3 percent premium in San Francisco equates to $10,200, while the same premium equates to $2,500 in Chicago, Ill., and $1,800 in St. Louis, Mo.

The analysis also identified ideal days of the week for listing a home based on Zillow data. Homes new to Zillow on Saturdays are viewed 20 percent more in their first week on-market than those new to Zillow earlier in the week.

“With 3 percent fewer homes on the market than last year, 2017 is shaping up to be another competitive buying season,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Many homebuyers who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later. By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home—and will be more willing to pay a premium to close the deal.”

Ideal times and premiums for the top 20 metros:

Zillow_Chart_Best_Time

For more information, visit zillow                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Cost vs. Value: Which Home Improvements Offer the Highest ROI in 2017?

Source: RISMedia

With the many different projects reported annually in Remodeling Magazine’s Cost  vs. Value Report, not much has changed from last year…and that’s not a bad thing. The 29 projects found on this year’s report paid back an average of 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value. Looking at the 24 most tracked projects (projects consistently tracked for the last six years), their payback for 2017 was also 64.3 cents—only three-quarters of a penny higher than 2016 projections.

Why the little change? Simply put: the differences in underlying numbers was minimal year-to-year. The average cost for those 24 projects rose a meager 3 percent, while the value that real estate professionals put on said projects only rose 4.2 percent. Minor gains, yes, but we’ll take what we can get.

Recent and long-time trends continued, reports Remodeling. Curb appeal projects like changes to doors, windows and siding garnered a higher ROI than work done inside the home. Replacement projects, like doors or windows, scored higher among real estate pros than did remodels.

On a national scale, the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “midrange” cost category are:

  1. Attic Insulation (Fiberglass) (107.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,343
    Average Resale Value: $1,446
  2. Entry Door Replacement (steel) (90.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,413
    Average Resale Value: $1,282
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer (89.4% ROI)
    Average Cost: $7,851
    Average Resale Value: $7,019
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel (80.2% ROI)
    Average Cost: $20,830
    Average Resale Value: $16,699
  5.  Garage Door Replacement (76.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,749
    Average Resale Value: $1,345

The top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “upscale” cost category are:

  1. Garage Door Replacement (85.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,304
    Average Resale Value: $2,810
  2. Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) (77.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,276
    Average Resale Value: $2,550
  3. Window Replacement (vinyl) (73.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $15,282
    Average Resale Value: $11,286
  4. Window Replacement (wood) (73.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $18,759
    Average Resale Value: $13,691
  5.  Grand Entrance (fiberglass) (70.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $8,358
    Average Resale Value: $5,855

Regionally, the Pacific division (California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii) saw an average payback of 78.2 percent for all projects, with 10 projects posting cost-recouped levels of at least 90 percent. The East North Central states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, however, saw an average of just 54.9 percent, with no single project offering a payback of as much as 80 cents on the dollar.

At the other end of the spectrum are projects with the lowest returns on investment—improvements generally not in demand by the market. Again on a national scale, the five projects with the lowest ROI in the “midrange” cost category are:

  1. Bathroom Remodel (64.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $18,546
    Average Resale Value: $12,024
  2. Master Suite Addition (64.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $119,533
    Average Resale Value: $77,506
  3.  Backyard Patio (54.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $51,985
    Average Resale Value: $28,546
  4.  Backup Power Generator (54.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $12,860
    Average Resale Value: $6,940
  5.  Bathroom Addition (53.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $43,232
    Average Resale Value: $23,283

The five projects with the lowest ROI in the “upscale” cost category are:

  1. Major Kitchen Remodel (61.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $122,991
    Average Resale Value: $76,149
  2. Master Suite Addition (59.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $250,687
    Average Resale Value: $150,140
  3. Bathroom Remodel (59.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $59,979
    Average Resale Value: $35,456
  4. Bathroom Addition (57.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $81,515
    Average Resale Value: $46,507
  5. Deck Addition (composite) (56.4% ROI)
    Average Cost: $39,339
    Average Resale Value: $22,171

The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report compares, across 99 markets, the average cost of 29 popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later. Average resale value is calculated based on estimates provided by real estate professionals. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, here.

10 Anti-Burglary Tips for Your Sellers

Source: NAR

After Christmas, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, “I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!”

That’s just one example of some unwise habits homeowners have. If those owners are sellers opening their doors to the public for showings, habits such as these put them in even greater danger. The above example is a good warning to give to your clients now, since we’re in the holiday season. But use it as a jumping-off point to have a deeper conversation about safety — and to show that your safety knowledge is an asset to sellers.

Consider using this checklist (you can request it as a customer handout on my website) during listing appointments to better prepare prospective sellers and show your value as a real estate professional. We spend a lot of time telling sellers how we’ll market their home, and while that is obviously important, we rarely address their true concern: how to keep their home safe while it’s open to the public. Touch on these 10 anti-burglary tips so your clients will know that you have their best interest at heart.

National Snapshot of Burglaries

A burglary is committed every 20 seconds, with nearly 1.6 million such crimes nationwide annually, according to the FBI’s 2015 Crime in the United States report. That’s down 7.8 percent from 2014. Total property crime, which includes arson, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft, reached nearly 8 million instances in 2015, down 2.6 percent from 2014.

  1. Maintain your property. Especially in the wintertime, many people stay indoors and neglect issues such as peeling trim or an overgrown yard. But if the home looks unkempt, thieves may think it’s abandoned and, therefore, an easy target. Shoveling your walkways to clear them of snow and debris and removing holiday decorations and fallen tree branches in a timely manner will signal that the home is occupied.
  2. Know your neighbors. Many people don’t really know their neighbors; it’s more than just saying hi and being friendly. Invite them over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly stopping by during this time (especially your agent). Then they’ll know who is and isn’t supposed to be at your home and can better assess when there may be a threat while you’re gone.
  3. Assess your home’s vulnerability. Walk to the curb and face your house. Ask yourself, “How would I get in if I were locked out?” The first thing you think of, whether it’s the window with a broken lock or the door that won’t shut all the way, is exactly how a thief will get in. Think like a burglar, and then address the issues that come to mind.
  4. Respect the power of lighting. Criminals are cowards, and they don’t want to be seen. The house that is well-lit at night provides a deterrent because thieves don’t want the attention and the potential to be caught by witnesses. It’s wise to invest in tools that make nighttime light automation easy. That includes dusk-to-dawn adapters that go into existing light fixtures and motion detectors. But beware of leaving your exterior lights on at all times, which signifies the occupant is gone for an extended period of time.
  5. Use technology to make your home look occupied. In addition to lighting, smart-home technology has made it easier to make it appear like people are home, even when they’re not. Systems that remotely control lighting, music, and appliances such as a thermostat can help you achieve this. Though not considered smart-home tech, simple lamp timing devices available at hardware stores are also good for this purpose.
  6. Yes, it has to be said: Lock your doors. It’s amazing how many people think they live in a safe-enough neighborhood not to have to lock their doors when they leave. Some facts sellers should know: In 30 percent of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34 percent of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22 percent use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
  7. Reinforce your locks. A good door lock is nothing without a solid frame. Invest in a solid door jam and strike plate first, and then invest in good locks. Know the difference between a single-cylinder and a double-cylinder deadbolt. Double-cylinder deadbolts are recommended because they require a key to get in and out. For safety and emergency escape purposes, you must leave the key in when you are home. But double-cylinder locks are against regulations in some places, so check with your local police department’s crime prevention office.
  8. Blare the sirens. Burglars are usually in and out in less than five minutes, and they know police can’t respond to an alarm that quickly. Their bigger concern is witnesses to their crime. For that reason, an external siren is invaluable, whether as part of a monitored security system or a DIY alarm. Even if you don’t have an alarm, it’s not a bad idea to invest in fake security signs and post them near doors.
  9. Consider surveillance cameras. The Los Angeles Police Department started a program encouraging homeowners to install a device called Ring, a doorbell with video surveillance capability that allows homeowners to view what’s outside their door on their smartphone, in a neighborhood that was a target for burglaries. After Ring was installed in hundreds of homes, the burglary rate dropped by 55 percent, according to reports. Most state and local regulations require posting a warning that people are being recorded. (But again, this can be effective even if you don’t actually have the cameras installed!)
  10. Mark your valuables and record details. Use invisible-ink pens or engravers to mark identifying information (driver’s license or state ID numbers) on items. Log serial numbers and take photos of your belongings. Check to see if your police department participates in the Operation Identification program. They will have stickers for you to place on doors or windows warning would-be thieves that your items are marked. These steps may prevent them from pawning or selling stolen items and can help you reclaim recovered belongings.

Sales in the Snow: 5 Home Staging Tips for Wintertime

Source: RISMedia

By Dixie Somers

While winter isn’t traditionally considered the best time to sell your home, there’s no reason you can’t get an offer during the colder months with the right staging. In fact, a study found that homes sold faster and for more money in the winter months, even in cold cities like Chicago. Here are five winter home staging tips that can increase your appeal to potential buyers.

1. Clear the Walkways

Whether you live in an area with heavy snow all winter or you’ve had a big storm on a day with several showings scheduled, all areas of the yard should be accessible for buyers. That means not only making sure there’s a safe, snow-free path to the front door, but also that paths are cleared to any outdoor areas the buyer will want to view. This means sheds, patios, garages and recreation areas. And while entries can get grimy if your family is in and out with their boots on, this area should be kept spotless and clear of debris.

2. Let There Be Light

Although our instinct in winter is to hunker down indoors, put your home in its best light by opening all shades and draperies, as well as turning on all available light sources (including closet lights). The exception? Turn off televisions and computers, which don’t necessarily add to the warm glow you’re trying to achieve.

Related: The Five Golden Rules of Home Staging on a Budget

3. Keep it Toasty

Speaking of a warm glow, your home should project a feeling of warmth to potential buyers when it’s cold outside. If you have a fireplace that’s in good condition, that’s a great place to start. Try setting your thermostat a degree or two higher than usual to give buyers a reason to linger instead of heading back out into the weather. Ask a real estate company whether homebuyers in your area would respond well to layers of soft throws, rugs, pillows and other richly textured fabrics.

4. Embrace the Holidays

While REALTORS® usually advise to pack away personal belongings when staging a home to create a clean canvas for buyers, tasteful holiday decorations can help create the warm, family feel you’re trying to achieve. Think lush wreaths, a tree with inviting white lights, and candles in the windows for subtle yet powerful emotional appeal.

5. Don’t Ignore the Outdoors

Although your landscaping won’t look as gorgeous as it does in the spring, pots of evergreens can help add some color to your walkways and yard. Always make sure that gutters are cleaned and shrubs are trimmed, too.

7 Less Commonly Known Factors That Can Affect Home Value Estimates

Source: PEMCO Realty

Beyond size and schools

We know how the obvious parameters such as school quality, crime rate, lot size, square footage and neighborhood upkeep can affect property values. Did you know that the name of your street might influence your home’s value, good or bad?  Here are some less obvious elements that can affect home values.

See Agents Should Help Guide Sellers on Pricing

  1. Your house number can matter

Dismissing what many consider superstition won’t keep a buyer or two from overlooking your home if the house number doesn’t add up to good numerology. For example, if your address is 1129 Johnson Avenue, adding 1+1+2+9 comes up to 13 and adding 1+3 makes your house a 4. In numerology, this is good for investments and security but not so good for excitement and adventure. Whether a homebuyer is into numerology or not, he or she may balk if your address is 13 Payton Place because of 13 being a universally considered an unlucky number. You may choose to price competitively, especially if the neighboring 11 Payton Place is for sale.

  1. The name of your street can be a big deal

People typically prefer living on streets that have names versus street numbers, and this is a nationwide preference (unless you’re in Atlanta and New York, where there’s no difference, or in Denver, where numbers are actually favored). In a Trulia study, a house located on a “street” is the least expensive by price per square foot, while a home located on a “boulevard” price per square foot was the most expensive.

  1. Trader Joes

If you live within a mile of a Trader Joes, Whole Foods or Starbucks, your property value can rise. According to a RealtyTrac analysis, homeowners near a Trader Joe’s saw an average home value increase of 40%, while those near a Whole Foods saw a little less, 34%.

  1. A death on the property

This can be a deal-breaker for some. If you’re selling a home in states such as California, you must disclose if there was a death on the property within the last 3 years. Home sellers in states such as Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania do not need to disclose if a death occurred. Of course, if a prospective buyer directly asks if a death occurred in your home, whether or not you are required to disclose it, the best thing to do is be truthful.

  1. Crown moldings

It’s not enough to put a lot of time into selecting the perfect serene and neutral paint color scheme that you hope will attract the largest number of buyers, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of crown moldings. Unlike one of the other desirable home amenities such as high ceilings, you can easily add crown moldings.

See Upgrading Your Kitchen Can Help Sell Your Home

See Get More, Spend Less: How to Inexpensively to Get the Best Price for your Home

  1. Weird or bad neighbors

One of the first questions prospective buyers ask sellers is “how are the neighbors?” Neighbors can be a factor in home values gained or lost. Neighbors with odd yard artifacts, statues and weird exterior paint schemes are a few of the things that can make it harder to sell your home.

  1. Big trees

While it’s common for home developers to cut down most or all of the trees on a property to build homes, according to the National Tree Benefit Calculator, large mature trees almost always enhance property values. If you have the space to add trees, take a trip to your local nursery and discuss what might be best for your property.

If you’re considering selling your home, please contact a PEMCO Realty agent today! Whether you’re in Atlanta, Denver or Honolulu, we will guide you through the selling process.

 

 

Sources:

RealtyTrac. Better to own near Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods?

Trulia Real Estate 101. 8 Surprising Factors That Can Affect Your Home’s Value

2016 Home Sales Increasing Twice as Fast in Counties with Low Hazard Risk

Source: RISMedia

The recently released ATTOM Data Solutions 2016 U.S. Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index found that home sales in the first six months of 2016 increased 4.2 percent from the same time period a year ago in the bottom fifth of U.S. counties with the lowest level of natural hazard risk — more than twice the 1.9 percent increase in the top fifth of U.S. counties with the highest level of natural hazard risk.

More than 3,000 U.S. counties were indexed based on risk of six natural hazards: earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricane storm surge, tornadoes and wildfires using data collected by ATTOM’s neighborhood research portal www.homefacts.com. ATTOM also analyzed home sales and price trends in more than 800 counties with at least 100 single family home sales in the first six months of 2016. Those 800 counties — which combined have more than 70 million single family homes and condos — were divided into five equal groups (quintiles) based on the natural hazard risk index and assigned to one of five risk categories: Very High, High, Moderate, Low, and Very Low.

“While price and affordability along with access to jobs are the primary drivers in local markets with strong increases in home sales activity in 2016, it’s evident from this data that natural hazard risk does make a difference to homebuyers and investors who are active in this housing market,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Even among the subset of counties where the median price is below the national median as well as among the subset of counties where home prices are still affordable for average wage earners, there is a consistent trend of stronger increases in home sales volume compared to a year ago in the lowest-risk markets for natural hazards compared to the highest-risk markets.”

Counties with highest natural hazard risk
Among the 804 counties analyzed for home sales and price trends, those with a Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index in the Top 5 highest were Oklahoma County, Okla.; Monroe County, Fla. (Key West); Cleveland County, Okla. (Oklahoma City); Nevada County, Calif. (Truckee); and Lake County, Calif. (Clearlake).

Among 78 larger counties with at least 5,000 home sales in the first six months of 2016, those with the highest risk index were Oklahoma County, Okla.; Riverside County, Calif. (Inland Empire of Southern California); Collier County, Fla. (Naples); Miami-Dade County, Fla.; and Santa Clara County, Calif. (San Jose).

Counties with lowest natural hazard risk
Among the 804 counties analyzed for home sales and price trends, those with a Natural Hazard Housing Risk Index in the Top 5 lowest were Milwaukee County, Wisc.; Kewaunee County, Wisc. (Green Bay); Racine County, Wisc. (Racine); Knox County, Maine; and Kenosha County, Wisc. (Chicago metro area).

Among larger counties with at least 5,000 home sales in the first six months of 2016, those with the lowest risk index were Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland); Lake County, Ill. (Chicago area); Kent County, Mich. (Grand Rapids); Maricopa County, Ariz. (Phoenix); and Montgomery County, Penn. (Philadelphia metro area).

Home values and home prices lower in lowest-risk counties
In the 161 counties in the top quintile for natural hazard risk (Very High Risk), there were a total of 21 million single family homes and condos representing 30 percent of all homes and condos in the 804 counties analyzed. In the 161 counties in the bottom quintile for natural hazard risk (Very Low Risk) there were a total of 10 million single family homes and condos representing 15 percent of all homes in the 804 counties analyzed.

The average estimated market value for homes in the lowest-risk counties was $187,291 — 33 percent below the average estimated market value for homes in the highest-risk counties: $279,570.

The median sales price of single family homes and condos sold between January and June 2016 in the lowest-risk counties was $156,245 on average, 39 percent below the median sales price in the highest-risk counties during the same time period: $255,160.

Price appreciation stronger in highest-risk counties over past five years
Median home prices in the first six months of 2016 have increased an average of 6.5 percent compared to a year ago in the highest-risk counties compared to a 3.2 percent average increase in the lowest-risk markets during the same time period.

Median home prices in the first six months of 2016 are up 42.4 percent compared to the first six months of 2011 (near the bottom of home prices) in the highest-risk counties, while prices are up 23.8 percent during the same time period in the lowest-risk counties

10-year price appreciation, homeowner profits stronger in lowest-risk counties
Median home prices in the first six months of 2016 are up 9.5 percent from the same time period 10 years ago in the lowest-risk counties compared to a 1.9 percent increase compared to 10 years ago in the highest-risk counties.

Furthermore, homeowners in the lowest-risk counties have gained an average of 27.8 percent in home value since purchase while homeowners in the highest-risk counties have gained an average of 20.7 percent since purchase.

Home sales and price trends by type of natural hazard risk
Over the past five years, increases in home sales volume has fallen below the overall national average in counties with the highest risk of earthquakes, hurricane storm surge, wildfires and floods while counties with the lowest risk for those natural hazards have seen home sales volume increase at a faster pace than the national average over the past five years.

Conversely, home sales activity over the past five years has been stronger than the national average in markets with the highest risk of tornadoes and hail while markets with the lowest risk for those natural hazards have seen below-average increases in home sales activity.

View the full report here