Saturday, January 31, 2015

6 Pricing Mistakes Every Seller Can Avoid

6 Pricing Mistakes Every Seller Can Avoid
6 Pricing Mistakes Every Seller Can Avoid

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you want to get the most money for your investment, right? One of the key factors that will sell your home is price, and having a sound pricing strategy is a must if you want to find the right buyer.

Here are six common pricing mistakes all sellers should avoid.

1. Overpricing from the start – You might think your home is the best on the block and should command a price relative to the value you see. Wrong. You have to appeal to the value homebuyers see. Overpricing your home at the onset could leave out strong potential buyers, especially if recent sales and other factors in your neighborhood don’t justify your listing price. You also run the risk of needing multiple price reductions, which keep your home on the market that much longer.

2. Leaving out potential buyers in online searches – Entering a price range is the first search parameter most homebuyers use to narrow down their options. If a buyer’s price range is, say, $250,000 to $300,000, they won’t see your home if it’s listed at $305,000. It might make sense to list it right at $300,000 so that you capture potential buyers in the ranges above and below. Ultimately, this is up to you and your agent, but the range your home's price falls into is certainly worth thinking about – especially if you're teetering between price ranges anyway.

3. Not considering recently sold properties – To arrive at a listing price that will generate buyer interest, you can’t base your price solely on the prices of other homes in your area that are listed for sale. You also need to consider recent sales in your neighborhood and the final sale prices. An experienced agent can provide you with information on recent sales to help you see the bigger picture.

4. Getting too creative with your asking price – Make it easy for buyers and pick round numbers. Listing a home for $512,477, for example, will give potential buyers pause about your intentions and divert attention from your property to you, as the seller. Maybe it's best to save the creative juices for the property description.

5. Not being open to negotiation – The quickest way to kill a sale is to dig in your heels on asking price before the for-sale sign even goes in the yard. Negotiation is a two-way street, and if you refuse to budge on pricing or other conditions, you might be in for very bumpy (and long) ride. Ask yourself: Is it more important to get full asking price, or can you make a few concessions to find common ground that will ensure a closed sale?

6. Ignoring your agent’s insights – The best route to the right price starts with picking a great agent and then listening to his or her advice. Your agent will look at your situation from all angles – your home's features, the local market, recent sales and more – to help you make an informed decision about pricing.

Ready to list your home? A local RE/MAX agent can help you price it right and get it sold.​​

Friday, January 30, 2015

How are first-time homebuyers becoming more diverse?

How are first-time homebuyers becoming more diverse?



 





How are first-time homebuyers becoming more diverse?





  • Using data from NAR’s 2006-2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, we
    can examine how the demographics of first-time homebuyers have changed
    over the last 9 years. What do these numbers show us about the diversity
    of buyers, and what insight can they provide for the future?
  • The demographic characteristics of first-time buyers overall has
    remained consistent over the last 9 years with slight increases and
    decreases.
Household Composition of First-Time Buyers:


  • Since 2006 the distribution of first-time buyers’ household
    composition has remained predominantly married couples, making up an
    average of 52% of first-time buyers.
  • On average 22% of first-time buyers were single females and 12% were single males or unmarried couples.
Household ChartHousehold Graph





Median Age of First-Time Buyers:


  • The median age of first-time buyers has remained within a 3 year age gap between 30-32 years old.
  • The average median age of first-time buyers since 2006 was 31 years old.
Med Age Chart


Med Age graph








Racial and Ethnic Distribution of First-Time Buyers:


  • The racial and ethnic distribution of first-time buyers has remained
    predominately White/Caucasian, making up an average of 77% of
    first-time buyers since 2006.
  • The averages of other races and ethnicities are:
    • Black/African American: 8%
    • Hispanic/Latino: 8%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 7%
    • Other: 3%
Race ChartRace Graph





Country of Birth of First-Time Buyers:


  • Since 2006 the number of first-time buyers who were born in the U.S.
    has increased and then decreased settling back to 86% in 2014, the same
    as in 2006.
  • On average 87% of first-time buyers were born in the U.S. and 13% were born outside of the U.S.
COB Chart


COB Graph





Primary Language Spoken by First-Time Buyers:


  • Over the last 9 years, English has remained the primary language of first-time buyers.
  • On average 7% of first-time buyers spoke other languages, while 93% spoke primarily English.
PL ChartPL Graph





The Future of First-Time Buyers:


  • While the demographics of first-time buyers over the last 9 years
    have not necessarily seen great changes, there is still the outlook for
    the future.
  • William Frey, of the Brookings Institution, recently published the
    book “Diversity Explosion” which looks at the demographic future of
    America.
  • Frey expounds that America is becoming a country with no racial
    majority, with a dramatic growth of young minority populations expected.
  • Frey predicts that sometime after 2040 there will be no racial
    majority; this would ultimately change the demographics of the
    first-time homebuyers moving towards greater diversity. 
Population Projection





For more information on this research, check out the:


2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and William Frey’s book Diversity Explosion

Where are home prices headed?



5 Demands to Make on Your Listing Agent

5 Demands to Make on Your Listing Agent



5 Demands to Make on Your Listing Agent | Keeping Current MattersAre you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge just like a great doctor or great accountant.
You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one.
Here are the top 5 demands to make of your Real Estate Agent when selling your house:

1. Tell the truth about the price

Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.
The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. Surveys show that there was a challenge with the appraisal on almost 20% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.

2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing

You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan.
This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can, to make it work. 

3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible

It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.
Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.

4. Help with the relocation

If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.

5. Get the house SOLD!

There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving.
You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist they have the courage to inform you.

Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In today’s market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How Much Does My Agent Need to Know About My Finances?

How Much Does My Agent Need to Know About My Finances?

How Much Does My Agent Need to Know About My Finances?
How Much Does My Agent Need to Know About My Finances?
Money is a delicate issue. How much we earn and how much we owe is information many of us prefer to keep close to the vest.

If you’re concerned about detailing your finances to your real estate agent, rest assured that there’s plenty of privacy in the client/agent relationship.

In their wheelhouse, Real estate agents don't need, or expect, you to disclose everything about your money. That said, they must understand your overall situation to help guide you to a home that’s within your budget.

An agent’s job is to negotiate a home purchase or sale on your behalf, keep the transaction on track and help you navigate real estate paperwork. His or her strength lies in understanding home values, and property and neighborhood features. Home financing is an altogether separate story from a home search or sale; therefore, agents usually don't delve into your finances to crunch the numbers.

Leave it to the lender

Agents are happy to let your mortgage lender handle the financial questioning. A loan officer at a bank or mortgage company calculates your maximum purchasing power and your monthly payments based on your loan application, financial documentation and debt-to-income ratio.

Be prepared to supply your lender with your last two years of tax returns, recent pay stubs, bank statements and investment accounts. Agents then present a lender-generated preapproval letter to listing agents, indicating the amount you’re able to borrow.

Contact your local RE/MAX agent if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. These real estate professionals can guide you – with discretion – toward your next home.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

With Interest Rates and Home Prices on the rise, do you know the true Cost of Waiting?

With Interest Rates and Home Prices on the rise, do you know the true Cost of Waiting?

With Interest Rates and Home Prices on the rise, do you know the true Cost of Waiting? | Keeping Current Matters
Today we are excited to have Morgan Tranquist as our guest blogger. Morgan is the Marketing & Graphics Director for The KCM Crew and provides insight into what the Millennial Generation needs to hear from their agents. – The KCM Crew

At Keeping Current Matters, we have often broken down the opportunity that exists now for Millennials who are willing and able to purchase a home NOW... Here are a couple other ways to look at the cost of waiting.

Let’s say you’re 30 and your dream house costs $250,000 today, at 4.12% your monthly Mortgage Payment with Interest would be $1,210.90.

But you’re busy, you like your apartment, moving is such a hassle...You decide to wait till the end of next year to buy and all of a sudden, you’re 31, that same house is $270,000, at 5.3%. Your new payment per month is $1,499.32.

The difference in payment is $288.42 PER MONTH!

That’s basically like taking a $10 bill and tossing it out the window EVERY DAY!
Or you could look at it this way:
  • That’s your morning coffee everyday on the way to work (average $2) with $11 left for lunch!
  • There goes Friday Sushi Night! ($72 x 4)
  • Stressed Out? How about 3 deep tissue massages with tip!
  • Need a new car? You could get a brand new $20,000 car for $288.00 per month.
Let’s look at that number annually! Over the course of your new mortgage at 5.3%, your annual additional cost would be $3,461.04!

Had your eye on a vacation in the Caribbean? How about a 2-week trip through Europe? Or maybe your new house could really use a deck for entertaining.  We could come up with 100’s of ways to spend $3,461, and we’re sure you could too!

Over the course of your 30 year loan, now at age 61, hopefully you are ready to retire soon, you would have spent an additional $103,831, all because when you were 30 you thought moving in 2014 was such a hassle or loved your apartment too much to leave yet.

Or maybe there wasn’t an agent out there who educated you on the true cost of waiting a year. Maybe they thought you wouldn’t be ready, but if they showed you that you could save $103,831, you’d at least listen to what they had to say.

They say hindsight is 20/20, we’d like to think that 30 years from now when you are 60, looking back, you would say to buy now…

 

 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

7 New Year's Pledges for Home Sellers

7 New Year’s Pledges for Home Sellers
7 New Year's Pledges for Home Sellers

If you're thinking about selling your home in 2015, here are some resolutions that could help boost your chances of a quick sale.

Repeat to yourself: "I pledge to…"

1. "Avoid drastic design changes" – Unless you plan to turn your bold color palette into a more neutral one, then it's best not to try and anticipate what buyers want in design and dĂ©cor. The best approach to freshening up your home for sale is to simplify and depersonalize the look and feel so that potential buyers can picture building their own lives there. If you think repainting a bright purple wall, replacing an old toilet or buffing and restaining kitchen cabinets would help the home sell, by all means make these types of updates. Just be sure to keep your personal preferences in check. Your real estate agent can help you prioritize and remain objective. 

2. "Stop neglecting the drippy faucet" – This applies to any repairs you might view as minor but actually could be a symptom of a larger system problem. Addressing things like plumbing leaks, poor ventilation and cracks in walls helps everyone avoid surprises from the inspection report and avoid the delay or even cancellation of a sale. When you have the information, you can either make the fixes or work with your agent to adjust pricing during negotiations with the buyer.

3. "Price my home reasonably" – It's understandable to think your home is the best on the block and worth more than all the others – especially if you've invested in key upgrades and remodels. And, frankly, you might be right. But the only way to truly know is to consider recent sales of comparable homes in your area. Your real estate agent can provide you with the latest information and help you list at a competitive price that's appropriate for your area and the local real estate climate.

4. "Make my home inviting" – This starts with creating curb appeal. The condition of your home's exterior is a big part of getting buyers in the door. Maintaining the yard, sweeping the porch and driveway, replacing the tattered welcome mat, replacing missing house numbers, and removing clutter all are things that can help improve curb appeal.

5. "Thin out the clutter" – The best time for making tough decisions about what stays and what goes is BEFORE you put your home on the market. By the time the for-sale sign goes up, the home should be clutter free. You can either toss things you don't want, sell these items, or move the more personal ones to storage. The types of items to remove include your prized knick-knack collection, clothes overflowing from the closets, and family photos. You want all closets and cupboards to appear as spacious as possible. When they're jam-packed, it gives the impression that storage is limited even if that's not the case.

6. "Clean like I've never cleaned before" – Think about under, behind, around and between. It's easy to focus on cleaning the major surfaces, high-traffic areas, and areas that are visible. But what about the dust on top of the refrigerator? How about the slats in the window blinds? Have you cleaned the cabinets under the kitchen or bathroom sink recently? Did you notice the cobwebs behind the guest-room door? Look high and low for the dirt.

7. "Nail down my next step" – Don't let your new plans and new place get lost in the shuffle of selling your old place. Determine where you'll go next before your home goes up for sale. Are you prepared to move if your home sells quickly? Although it might not be typical, a quick sale is certainly possible. On the other hand, are you prepared if your home doesn't sell quite so quickly? Be sure to talk with your real estate agent about your relocation needs and timeline.

Find a local RE/MAX agent who can tell you all about his or her own resolutions for helping you meet your real estate goals.