Are You Really Ready to Sell Your Home?

Listing just to see what happens may seem like a good idea, but putting a home on the market too soon can backfire in a big way.

Selling a home does not happen overnight. Typical sellers reach out to a real estate agent or start researching their home’s value online many months — sometimes even years — before they are ready to put the “For Sale” sign in their yard.

Often, a home sale is the result of some life event: a marriage, divorce, death in the family, retirement or another child. It’s typically hard to “time” these events; therefore, it’s not easy to time a real estate transaction. Here are some points a potential home seller should consider before deciding to list their home.

If you’re not certain, you’re not ready

If you don’t have a new home to move into or a plan once you sell your home, it’s not a good time to list your home for sale. Sellers without a real and concrete plan are not serious sellers, but only opportunistic.

A seller without a plan will likely be “testing” the market, and that translates into overpricing the home. If the seller overprices the home, it’s not going to do her any good. The market is smart, and rarely will a knowledgeable and active buyer overpay for a home.

Ask yourself, “If I get an offer and sign a contract for a 45-day close, do I know what I will do?” If the answer is no, you should simply not list, or you will do yourself more harm than good in the long run.

Once you list, the clock starts ticking

Today, with access to so much information online, buyers will know the good, bad and ugly when it comes to listing history and data.

If you list your home at too high a price or in poor condition, you risk sitting on the market, without offers and likely without any showings or potential buyers.

That lack of interest will follow you. Once you’re ready to sell your home at the right price or in the right condition, every buyer will know your history. They’ll see the series of price reductions, the old photos, or the previous listing when you were not ready to sell.

All of the old listing activity sends a message to buyers that there is something wrong with the home or with you. Buyers will hold back on such a stigmatized home, and instead focus on a newer listing that is priced right and shows well.

You can plan for the market, not time the market

If you know that your third child is on the way, or that your new job is too far from your current home, you’ll have the luxury of not being under the gun. This allows you to take advantage of market conditions, as opposed to timing the market.

Knowing that you will list the home in the spring or the fall or in February will enable a smart seller to prep the home, make the necessary improvements and get the property market-ready.

Working with a good local real estate agent, you should watch the inventory come and go, see the competition and get the word out at the right time. If a comparable home gets three offers in less than a week, then you know two other buyers are out there. Being ready to go, you can then capitalize on the market conditions.

Real estate transactions happen all year long

Some of the most successful sales happen in the dead of winter when inventory is low, but buyers are still out. Have a sales plan months in advance. Never list your home before you (or the home) are ready.

Many homeowners are emotionally attached to their homes, but listing it at a high price or not making the necessary improvements sabotages their ability to sell it. If you find yourself struggling with the process, don’t list your home yet. Take a step back and wait. The right time will come, and waiting will ensure that you get the most from your investment.

 

 

Written By: Brendon DeSimone
Source: Zillow

Here’s a Part of the Housing Market That’s Really Booming

Mike Blake/Reuters

The turmoil in the stock market hasn’t hurt homeowners’ plans to spend on their properties this year, according to a new Angie’s List survey.

The survey found that among homeowners who’ve already set their spending budgets for 2016, nearly 79 percent plan to spend as much or more on home improvement projects compared to last year.

That’s good news for service providers, who are also optimistic about 2016. More than 90 percent of them said they expect homeowners to spend as much or more on projects as they did last year.

The survey found that millennials plan to spend as much as or more than older homeowners on home improvements.

The Angie’s List findings confirms a report issued by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University last month, which projected that home remodeling would pick up this summer. The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activities projected that annual spending on home improvement projects in 2016 could surpass its 2006 peak, on nominal terms.

The report shows expected home improvement spending of $148 billion in the second quarter of this year, followed by $155 billion in the third quarter.

Home-improvement projects are making more sense as an investment than they have in recent years. While most renovations don’t pay off dollar-for-dollar when you sell a home, the return on investment for remodeling projects in 2015 increased to 64.4 percent in 2016, up from 62 percent in 2015 and the second-highest return in the past eight years, according to Remodeling magazine. 

Written by Beth Braverman of Fiscal Times

(Source: Fiscal Times)

 

9 Mistakes Not to Make When Selling Your Home

© OJO Images/Getty Images
© OJO Images/Getty Images

Thinking of selling your home? Chances are, you’ve heard real estate professionals, neighbors, and friends alike wax eloquent about the importance of things like “first impressions,” “curb appeal,” and “home staging.” Indeed, these industry terms peppered in your conversations hold real weight: Real estate industry research indicates that redesiging your home for maximum appeal can reduce the time a house spends on the market by 30 to 50 percent—and even increase the average selling price by 6 to 20 percent. But not all changes will be a instant-hit and sometimes you might forget a detail in the midst of all the planning that could make or break our sale. Skip the stress, and avoid the following 9 common mistakes to move your home off the market quickly.

LEAVING OUT LITTER AND CLUTTER

Banish all signs of yourself. Clear off the counters, empty the closets, and take down family photos—anything that does not help the prospective buyer visualize how he or she might one day use the space. Even stuff you think doesn’t matter might actually make a difference. For instance, in the garbage area outdoors, are the cans overflowing with trash bags? A visitor might perceive that sort of thing as a sign of neglect. Let buyers know that your home and yard are well-cared-for by cleaning up the property on a regular basis, especially when a listing appointment is on the schedule.

GARDENING WITH GNOMES

You may indeed have a whimsical sense of humor and want to express your personal style with an eclectic selection of yard ornamentation, but not all prospective buyers will share your love of garish garden elves or pink flamingos. Remove all of the clutter from your front and back yards, including excessive or old lawn furniture, children’s toys, and gardening implements typically left in-sight to be handy. Leave just a few tasteful pieces to enhance the homey look of the yard—like a stepping stone or two—and leave the rest to the buyers’ imagination.

DIMMING THE LIGHTS

Remember that many potential buyers visit homes and tour neighborhoods in the evenings—don’t make it difficult for them to find their way to your door! Outdated or broken fixtures should be replaced with attractive, modern lighting and all bulbs should be in working order. Many new and attractive solar and LED exterior lighting choices available at a relatively low price; these will add to the overall impression that your house has been well-maintained and updated regularly.

MAKING YOUR YARD…MEMORABLE

Don’t let an unkempt or unique yard scare buyers away. Keep your lawn and garden looking neat and tidy with regular maintenance like watering and mowing the grass; pruning low-hanging tree branches; trimming the hedges; pulling or treating weeds; and so on. Attractive landscaping will make the yard feel inviting and lively. Just steer clear of unusual landscaping, such as front yard vegetable gardens or large statuary, which may not garner a universal appeal. Before selling, ask a neighbor to assess whether any of your choices might be considered weird or even slightly off-putting in the eyes of someone else.

NOT EMPTYING THE NEST

Full shelving units, cabinets, or closets will look cluttered, not convenient and ready to hold a new family’s belongings. Really show off your space’s potential by pulling out what you can do without, like this past season’s clothing and kitchenware you haven’t touched in months. Box those items up, and store them with a friend or storage company until the house sells.

FORGETTING ABOUT INSPECTIONS

The biggest mistake a seller can make is to do nothing. You may feel your home looks fine “as is,” but a prospective buyer is going to be going over the house and property with an extremely critical eye. A good way to identify areas of concern is to schedule a pre-listing home inspection. Draw up an action plan of items to address before actually listing your home. A bit of forethought and planning in the beginning will save you a tremendous amount of time and aggravation during the sale process.

ASKING TOO MUCH

As much as you’d like profit from placing your home on the market at something slightly higher than the estimated home value, a higher price can limit the amount of interest you receive. You’re better off paying attention to the market and pricing appropriately than lowering the price later when nobody bites—a price drop, no matter the reason, could make the next round of potential homebuyers suspicious that something bust be wrong with the property.

POSTING TOO FEW IMAGES

In these digital days, your home will likely make its first impression on the web. Take the pictures you post seriously—extra angles of each space, crisp focus—as they could be key in clinching an in-person viewing with a prospective homebuyer. If you doubt your own photography skills and don’t know anyone handy with a fancy camera, consider making room in the budget to hire a professional.

LISTING TOO EARLY

There’s a precise order that goes into prepping your house for a sale. First, you thoroughly clean and stage—yes, well before any visitor drops by—in order to photograph for your listing. Then, you tie up any loose ends with maintenance and inspections. Finally, when you’re ready to open your doors to prospective buyers and not a second sooner, you publish your official listing. While you may want to share those high-quality interior images immediately, the most interest will occur in the first couple of weeks after your house is listed, and you don’t want to miss out on any interested buyers because you have a bit of work left to finish up.

Written by Donna Boyle Schwartz of Bob Vila

(Source: Bob Vila)

Weekly Market Recap: August 17, 2015

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The week in review

  • Job openings decreased to 5.25M
  • Retail sales increased 0.6%m/m
  • Import prices were down 0.9%m/m
  • PPI increased 0.2%m/m
  • Industrial production jumped 0.6%m/m

The week ahead

  • HMI
  • Housing starts
  • CPI
  • Existing home sales
  • Philly Fed
  • Flash PMI

For the full report, please click on the source link below.

(Source: JP Morgan)