Top Reason to List Your House For Sale Now!

Top Reason to List Your House For Sale Now! | Keeping Current Matters

If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!

Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes For Sale

The National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun recently commented on the inventory shortage:

“While feedback from REALTORS® continues to suggest healthy levels of buyer interest, available listings that are move-in ready and in affordable price ranges remain hard to come by for many would-be buyers.”

The latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that there is currently a 5.1-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market and well below November 2014 numbers.

The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced in 2015:

Housing Supply Year-Over-Year | Keeping Current Matters

Anything less than a six-month supply is considered a “Seller’s Market”.

Bottom Line

Meet with a local real estate professional who can show you the supply conditions in your neighborhood and assist you in gaining access to the buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy now!

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Tips for a Great Open House

Open houses can be a great way to market a house, generate buzz, and encourage offers.

But for unprepared agents and sellers, an open house can be a nightmare. Messy closets, overwhelming odors and curb UN-appeal can send potential buyers running.

What’s the best way to utilize an open house? To show your home in the best possible light. Put a gleaming face on your house from every vantage point with these simple open house tips.

1. No scent is the best scent.

In a recent study, more than 30 percent of people reported scented products as “irritating.” Avoid irritating 30 percent of your potential buyers by skipping the use of candles and air fresheners.

Instead, eliminate odors with a deep cleaning. Shampoo carpets, let in fresh air, and deodorize appliances to elevate a home to its odorous best.

2. No clutter.

Keep buyers focused on the home, not the stuff. Declutter and depersonalize a home before showings or open houses.

3. Clean out closets.

Closet size is a touchy issue for many buyers, so there’s a good chance that at least one closet will be scrutinized during an open house. Amplify the appearance of storage space by trimming closet contents.

4. No pets (or evidence of pets).

Pets may be sweet and loveable, but they can also create damage and odors. Many potential buyers will run in the opposite direction because pets have lived there.

Remedy any signs of pet damage, and  remove pets from the home during open houses.

5. No owners.

No open house benefits from an emotionally-attached seller hanging around. Avoid giving your potential buyers any uneasiness by being out of the house.

6. Attractive entryways.

A home’s entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. Give the right first impression. Remove dead plants and debris. Scrub cobwebs and dirt from the front door. Add a decorative wreath or a nice chair. Get your buyers to smile at the outset, and that positivity will carry through the rest of the tour.

7. Close the toilet lids.

Just do it.

8. Light & bright.

Rooms appear larger in brighter light. Experiment with lighting before your open house. Try opening shades and curtains, and turning on different sources of light to accentuate a home’s best features.


9. Photo boards.

It’s tough for buyers to know what a property looks like at different times of the year. That’s what good photos are for. Use photo boards or a laptop slideshow to show off a property in different seasons.

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The #1 Reason to Buy Right Now – THE MONEY!!

The #1 Reason to Buy Right Now – THE MONEY!! | Keeping Current Matters

People often ask whether they should buy a home now or wait. Recently released data suggests that waiting may not make sense as prices seem to again be on the rise. Let’s take a look at some of the data and commentary on the subject:

Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics:

“The current tightness of supply conditions would normally be consistent with much faster price growth. The continued steady growth in home sales that we expect this year will only add to this upward pressure on prices.”

Case Shiller Home Price Index

“The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.1% annual gain in March 2015 … with a 0.8% increase for the month.”

Anand Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic

“All signs are pointing toward continued price appreciation throughout 2015…Tight inventories, job growth and the impact of demographics and household formation are pushing price levels in many states toward record levels.”

Danielle Hale, Director of Housing Statistics at NAR

“Even without further acceleration, the pace of price growth remains too high. Strong buyer demand and low inventories coupled with relatively low new construction are helping to push prices up, keeping the housing market tipped in favor of sellers.”

FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis

“The first quarter saw strong and widespread home price growth throughout most of the country. Home prices are now, on average, roughly 20 percent above where they were three years ago. This run-up has been historically exceptional and is particularly notable in light of the limited household income growth and modest rate of overall inflation observed during that same time period.”

Bottom Line

If you are planning on buying a home in the near future, waiting probably doesn’t make sense from a purely pricing standpoint.

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Attaining the American Dream: The 5 Financial Reasons to Buy

Attaining The American Dream: The 5 Financial Reasons to Buy | Keeping Current Matters

We have reported many times that the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. The personal reasons to own differ for each buyer, with many basic similarities.

Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership in his paper –The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent.

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. If you are considering a purchase this year, contact us and we can help evaluate your ability to do so.

 

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Pending Sales Surge: Great Sign for the Housing Market

Pending Sales Surge: Great Sign for the Housing Market | Keeping Current Matters

The most recent Pending Homes Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors revealed that homes going into contract in February increased to their highest level since June 2013.

The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The Index is now 12.0 percent above February 2014. The index is at its highest level since June 2013, has increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and is above what is considered “the average level of activity” – for the 10th consecutive month.

Here is a graph showing the Pending Sales numbers:

Pending Home Sales | Keeping Current Matters

Here is a chart showing the Pending Sales increases by region:

Pending Home Sales By Region | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

In an article from Investors’ Business Daily, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, explained what these numbers will mean to the overall market:

“It looks like the buyers want to come out to the market and they are eager to find the right home and make an offer. Therefore, I expect the second quarter of this year to be easily ahead of last year in terms of sales activity. Pending contracts are implying that the closing activity in coming months will be quite solid.”

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3 Mistakes Sellers Often Make

Home owners can get emotional about their home when it’s time to sell. Here are a few mistakes sellers often make in letting emotions override logic during a transaction:

1. Being unrealistic about the home’s value.

Too often, what the seller believes their home is worth is not realistic. Despite tight inventories of homes for-sale in many markets, sellers still need to be careful not to get too greedy with their list price, say real estate professionals.

Home owners tend to get a much lower price when they overprice a home at the onset and then drop the price several times. The longer the home lingers on a market, the more likely it will receive a deeper discount, notes realtor.com®. McEnearney Associates, a real estate company in McLean, Va., found that to be true. Homes for sale in August 2013 sold within the first week on the market for an average of 2.08 percent above list price, while homes that stayed on the market four months sold for an average of 11.53 percent below the original price.

A reasonable price would be based on comparable properties that are selling for and the home’s appraised value. “No offers within a 30-day period means the price is too high,” real estate sales associate Djana Morris told The Washington Post.

Home Selling Tips

Staging to Sell

9 Real Estate Myths That Need Debunking

Tips for Pricing Your Home

2. Not making a better home presentation.

Another big mistake: Home owners who fail to spruce up their home’s interiors and exteriors. “At a minimum, home owners should conduct a thorough cleaning, haul out clutter, make sure the home is well-lit and fix any major aesthetic issues,” Chris Polychron, the president of the National Association of REALTORS®, said in a statement about findings from NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Staging, a survey of more than 2,300 REALTORS® representing buyers and sellers.

Eighty-one percent of REALTORS® who represent buyers surveyed by NAR said that staged homes make it easier for their home buyers to visualize a property as their future home. Forty-six percent of buyer agents also reported that staging makes their buyers more willing to tour a home they viewed online, and 45 percent say that buyers tend to view the value of the home more positively if it is decorated to buyers’ tastes. 28 percent of agents said their buyers are even more willing to overlook other property faults if a home is staged.

3. Not being honest about the home’s history.

It can be tempting for some home owners to hide their home’s history and fail to disclose flaws. But agents need to remind their sellers that covering up serious flaws – such as foundation problems, leaky roofs, mold, or more – could come back to haunt them later. The buyer may uncover the flaws during the home inspection and may want to then back out of the deal or ask the seller to fix the problem then. If the issues aren’t discovered until after the sale, sellers may even find themselves in a legal battle later on. It’s important to remind sellers upfront about any potential issues with the home.

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015

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Don’t Get Caught in the ‘Renter’s Trap’

Don’t Get Caught in the ‘Renter’s Trap’ | Keeping Current Matters

There are many benefits to homeownership, one of top ones, is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their findings of a study in which they studied “income growth, housing costs and changes in the share of renter and owner-occupied households over the past five years in metropolitan statistical areas throughout the US.”

Don’t Become Trapped

The study revealed that over the last five years, a typical rent rose 15%, while the income of renters grew by only 11%. If you are currently renting, this disparity in growth could get you caught up in a cycle where increasing rents continue to make it impossible for you to save for a necessary down payment.

The top 5 markets where renters have seen the highest increase in rents since 2009 are:

  • New York, NY (50.7%)
  • Seattle, WA (32.4%)
  • San Jose, CA (25.6%)
  • Denver, CO (24.1%)
  • St. Louis, MO (22.3%)

Homebuyers, who were able to purchase their home over the same five-year period and lock in their housing costs, were able to grow their net worth as home values have increased and their mortgage balances have gone down.

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWirereported that analysts at Nomura believe:

“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. 

It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)

According to Freddie Mac:

“Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 to 10%. And new 3% down financing options for qualified borrowers could mean a down payment as little as $6,000 for a $200,000 home.”

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Have a professional help you determine if you are eligible to get a mortgage.

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