Tuesday, November 7, 2017

OFFERING OVER ASKING PRICE ON A HOME: WHEN TO PULL OUT THE CASH AND WHEN TO
By: Julie Ryan Evans

One tried and true method for standing out among hordes of eager home buyers is to offer more money than the asking price. It's a tactic that makes sense: When a well-priced house in a great neighborhood goes on the market, you'll need to do something to get the seller's attention. Extra cash could be just the thing to make yours the winning offer.
But before offering more money than the sellers are asking for, buyers should consider several factors, says Michele Lerner, a real estate expert and author of "Homebuying: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time."
“First, you must be completely comfortable with the larger monthly mortgage payments,” Lerner says. “Before you make a higher offer, you need to find out exactly what the financial impact would be."
Additionally, she says, you need to be honest with yourself about how much you want the house.
“Sometimes buyers get caught up in the competition and don’t realize that they’re spending more than they want for a house.”
Disadvantages of offering over asking price
While offering above the listing price can help you outbid the competition, there are also some potentially negative outcomes.
“You could write this crazy high offer, and it turns out you had no competition and could have purchased the home at the original asking price,” says Chantay Bridges, a REALTOR® with Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing in Los Angeles. “And you could be paying more than what it’s really worth.”
How much over asking price should you offer?
If you decide to offer over the asking price, determining just how much over can be challenging.
“There really is no magic formula,” says Rick Snow, a broker with Exit West Realty in El Paso, TX. “It would depend on the market.”
Your real estate agent can help you come up with a competitive offer.
“They are the ones in a position to truly understand the market," says John Powell, chief development officer of Help-U-Sell Real Estate. And the concept of "sweetening the deal" really does take on a different meaning in different regions.
"In Arizona it might be 5% over; in California it may be 10% over asking,” he says.
Sometimes you need to take a big step back and try to see the bigger picture—and it isn't always just about price. One seller, for example, might want a strong buyer who can close escrow quickly above all else. Your real estate agent can help you navigate this, and help you determine the buttons to push in getting your deal accepted.
6 Surprising Benefits Of Buying Or Selling Your Home In The Fall
Seeing fewer for-sale signs now that summer is over? That can be great news for buyers who are looking to score a new home and buyers who want to get rid of their place and buy a new one. If you think you missed the boat on making your move this year, we're here to tell you why buying and selling in the fall can work for you.
Less competition
Yes, there may be fewer homes on the market, but there are also fewer buyers out there competing for the same home you want. That gives buyers an important edge. "Families on a mission to move into a new home before school starts are out of the picture," said Forbes. "Competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time many people consider to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale - and in some cases, there's just as much inventory as there was during the spring and summer."
The benefit to sellers is that those buyers who are out there tend to be more serious, which means your REALTOR® can key in on the real buyers without having to sift through the riffraff.
Tax breaks
If you're a buyer who closes escrow before December 31, and you may get a nice write off on your taxes. "Property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year's worth of income, even if you closed on your home in December," David Hryck, a New York, NY tax adviser, lawyer, and personal finance expert told Realtor.com. "Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year."
There are also potential tax breaks for home sellers. "You can include all sorts of selling expenses in the cost basis of your house," said The Balance. "Increasing your adjusted cost basis decreases your capital gain because this is what's subtracted from the sales price to determine how much of a gain - or loss in some cases - you've realized. If you have less of a gain, you're more likely to fall within the exclusion limit, and if you're gain isn't excluded, you'll pay taxes on less." And that's just the beginning. Closing costs and home improvements may also be write offs for sellers.
Home for the holidays
Buy or sell early in the fall and you could be nicely situated in your new home in time for the holidays and before winter weather hits. Moving during a calmer time of year also means you may have better access to movers and other necessary resources than during the busier spring and summer seasons.
The right price
Did you list in the spring or summer with an exorbitant number that you thought you'd have no trouble getting because it was a hot market? That's pretty common these days. Whether you've had a revelation about the price you should be asking or have made updates to your home to justify a higher price, you're probably in better shape to get your (realistic) asking price in the fall. If you're a seller and you establish a smart pricing strategy, you could find your home standing out in the crowd and selling while others sit on the market under a blanket of snow.
Buyers also may have a better time getting a home that's within their budget because when there is less competition for homes, there is less chance of bidding wars and over-asking-price sales.
Fall may be safer for buyers and sellers
Here's something you may not have thought of. "Did you know that burglars have peak seasons? They do, Sarah Brown, a home safety expert for SafeWise.com, told Forbes. "July and August are prime months for burglaries to take place. Waiting until the fall [to buy] gives you an advantage when learning about a home and the neighborhood. You'll be settled in your home and can take precautions—like setting up that new alarm system—before the next burglary season rolls around.
For sellers, less competition for your home can be a good thing if it means your home is safer from theft.
Great deals on stuff to fix up your home
Coordinate the timing right, and those items you need to fix up your home for sale in the fall or update and upgrade after a purchase might be priced to your advantage. Check Consumer Reports for a full list of the best times of year to buy everything, and keep in mind holiday and Black Friday sales. You could score some great deals at this time of year.
Written by Jaymi Naciri

Wondering What Your Home Is Worth? -- Let us show you.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Is Size Important?

It's not just condition that matters!


I just read article in the California Association Of Real Estate Magazine that spoke to Millennials regretting their real estate choices.
If nothing else I think this speaks poorly to the education and guidance provided by their agents.
Sure an agent is supposed to maintain an objective view but a more experienced agent can give the pros and cons when considering what to buy.
In my 43 years as a licensee I can only remember one time a client regretted her decision to purchase the house she eventually bought. And this was after a thorough discussion on remodeling costs and her financial ability to get these jobs done. My wife, Cheryl, as you probably know by now is a CPA and spends a significant amount of time educating our clients on fiscal matters and future needs.
Of course the final decision is always the clients.
The article states that about 44 percent of Americans regret their current home choice or the process they went through to get it.
If that's not bad enough, 71 percent of millennials were the most likely generation to regret their home-buying decisions compared to 28% or baby boomers.
More than 1/3 said that they wished that they had picked a different sized-home with 29% wishing that they had picked a larger home.
Just because a real estate agent has experience selling homes doesn't mean that they have the expertise or experience to advise and consult with their clients.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Could Rising Home Mortgage Interest Rates 

Cause Another Housing Crash?

It’s been 10 years since the last housing crash of 2007, where property values declined for the next 6 years. If you bought a house between the years 2005 – 2008 I’m sure you remember how quickly your equity disappeared and how you felt. So, if you are even thinking about selling your house in the next few years here is some information you might want to consider.
Most people, including news sources, especially the Daily News, which I used to read back then, real estate agents, and economists didn’t want to believe, or didn’t want you to believe, that we were in a housing bubble then and half the country doesn’t believe we’re in one now. Hou
Currently housing prices are near or even exceeding the pre-2007 housing crash. Every month prices seem to be hitting record highs while mortgage rates still remain at historic lows. But what happens when rates start climbing? How does this affect affordability and equity? Check out the chart below that I put together a couple of months ago.
The following illustration demonstrates what a mortgage interest rate increase of just 1% can mean for the housing market. Single family housing statistics for June 2017 in San Fernando Valley showed a median listing price of $800,000. The illustration uses the same income, 20% down payment and debt ratios with variable mortgage interest rates.

As you can see higher interest rates directly affects lower buying power/affordability. Although prices have been climbing overall sales have been decreasing. A couple of factors are in play here; one is a lack of inventory and the other is affordability. 
In April of 2016 interest rates hovered around 3.64%. In April 2017 interest rates averaged 4.25% after a Fed rate increase in March 2017.  Rates have been a bit volatile during the last couple of months even after the Feds slightly increased rates in June. They have signaled that there will be more increases this year, perhaps as early as September.
Although the Great Recession is officially over, according to Pew Research in 2015, Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.
So, what does all this mean for you? Well if you are a prospective home buyer and can afford a down payment and qualify for a loan now may be the time to act while rates remain relatively low. If you are a prospective home seller and are considering moving in the next couple of years this may be the time for you to sell.
While I’m sure we all wish we had a crystal ball no one can accurately predict what will happen in the future. There is an old adage in real estate that says; timing is everything.  But not many of us can predict the top of the market or the bottom of the market. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Making Buyers Comfortable



The Proper Home Seller Etiquette
Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, January 26, 2016 

What unwritten etiquette rules should home sellers follow to show their home to potential buyers? Realtor.com® recently highlighted a few of these must-follow etiquette tips.

Don’t stay for showings. Home owners who lurk during an open house or showing can unnerve buyers. “Buyers don’t feel as comfortable when the owner is at the home watching their every move, Get out of their way so that they can start to picture themselves living there instead of being spied on.” If there are unique features of the home you may want to point them out and then leave.

Keep your car out of the way. “Make it easy for visitors to park and view the home,” Kensington notes. “No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start.” 

Take the pets with you when you go. Not everyone likes pets. What’s more, some home buyers will have allergies and your pet could make them sick. “Imagine, as a buyer, having the background music set to ‘barking dog’ while you are trying to take in the home’s nuances that you, as the seller, have worked so hard to hone,” A potential home buyer may be frightened of animals which could prove to be very distracting and leaving a poor impression.

Have some refreshments available. “Putting out a few small bottled waters in a small bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go sort of refreshments like mints or cookies,” 

Don’t be stubborn. Sellers who are unwilling to negotiate will likely see their home linger on the market. “Focusing on your bottom line is always important, but greed can lead to disaster,” Remember; you can’t go broke making a profit.

Consider This



Dos and don'ts of home selling
By: By Dian Hymer

An energetic real estate agent can have your home on the market in a day. However, to provide the kind of marketing exposure you need to sell in today's market takes a little longer, unless your home is photo-ready when you list.
Ideally, you should start planning for your home sale months before you want your home to be on the market. First, find an agent to represent you. Then, create a game plan together for the premarketing phase of the process.
Use your agent as a resource. Walk through your home with your agent to get feedback on work, decluttering, and rearranging that needs to be done before the house is photographed for advertising and shown to prospective buyers. If your agent doesn't have a good eye for design, ask for a recommendation of a staging decorator.
HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Preferably, your home should not be submitted to the multiple listing service (MLS) or home-sale Internet sites without photos. Studies have shown that many buyers don't consider a listing that doesn't have photos.
Some sellers have presale inspections done to find out if repairs should be made before the property goes on the market. This wasn't as important several years ago when buyers were enthusiastic about the prospect of making money in the residential real estate market. Now buyers are much more cautious, and property condition is a critical variable. One seller did a beautiful job fixing up her house for sale. She ordered a termite report and had some of the work done. But she didn't hire a home inspector to inspect the house. The interior was top-notch. In fact, more money was spent on this than was necessary. The listing agent was hired after the work had been done so the seller didn't benefit from the agent's advice about how much to spend and on what. The house sold with multiple offers. However, the buyer's home inspection report revealed that the house needed a new foundation. Fortunately, there was a backup buyer. But, the price was negotiated down significantly. In hindsight, it would have been better to have fixed the foundation and done a less expensive redo of the interior.
[Another] couple sold a similar home. They worked with their agent for months before the house was marketed. They did presale inspections and got estimates for painting, staging, and furnace replacement, making necessary structural modifications and fixing miscellaneous defects referenced in the termite report. Then, they prioritized, with input from their agent, and had the most critical repairs and enhancements done before the listing hit the MLS. There was no renegotiation necessary with the buyers after they completed their inspections.
Make sure buyers receive copies of proposals and paid invoices for work you did to your home so they know which items in your presale inspection reports have been repaired. Another couple, who plan to move in a few years, decided to get their home ready to sell now. They put in a new master bathroom, refinished floors and plan to replace a dry-rotted deck. They will enjoy the improvements for the remaining years they stay in the house. Most sellers wait until the last minute to get their house ready for sale. It can be very stressful trying to get all the work done in a short time frame.
Doing work gradually over time is a saner approach. Sadly, most homes never look as good as they do when they're sold.
THE CLOSING: Now is a good time to have work done. A lot of contractors are looking for work. You might receive more competitive bids and be able to have the work done when you want.
Dian Hymer is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist