How Much is My Home Worth?

It is common question that real estate professional get; what is my home worth? Unfortunately, it is a question that does not have an exact answer. There are ways to determine about what your home is worth. You may find online estimates that say one thing but is that a true test of what the market will bear? So, how can you really determine what your property is worth?

1. Consider Solds-Look at other comparable homes in your area that have recently sold. This will give you a good idea what buyers are willing to pay.

2. Consider Under Agreements/Pendings-Although it is difficult to tell what a home has sold for before it closes you may be able to tell the demand in a price range. Look at the asking price of the home and how long it was on the market. If you see a trend of homes going under agreement quickly you may assume they are going closer to the asking price.

3. Consider Active Listings-Real estate is about competition just like any other commodity. It is important that your home be competitively positioned against other comparable listings. The asking price is a part of the marketing plan of the home.

4. Online Values-Be wary of online estimates. The very definition “online” takes the human factor out of determining the value.  A computer program cannot take into account the nuances of location, home style and home condition.

5. Sell It-The only way to know a home’s true market value is to sell it. At the end of the day a home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.

 

Walkable Neighborhoods Are Desirable Neighborhoods

Walkability in a home’s location may increase the sale-ability of the home. Walkable urban areas are showing signs of becoming the strongest housing market.
The real estate website feature “Walk Score” lets buyers know how close each home listed is to shops, restaurants, and community parks.

Market reports show that home values in walkable neighborhoods are greater than in the car dependent suburbs. On average, a home in a highly walkable neighborhood can bring in almost 60 percent more in residential rent annually than homes in neighborhoods where cars are a necessity.

People’s interest in walkable neighborhoods is becoming more popular with the trend moving towards healthier lifestyles that include walking, bike riding and ride sharing. Many new developments now include high-density residential areas located where retail and office space is all within walking distance.

 

 

Seller or Buyer Market?

If you listen to the media you will never know which way is up when it comes to the state of the real estate market. It’s not just the market that determines how a house will sell but also location, price, and condition of the home.

Like they say real estate is local. Just like you wouldn’t expect the weather to be the same in one place vs. another – the same is true about the real estate market. There are a few things you can look at to determine the type of market in your area.

1. Contact a real estate professional.

2. If you are a seller ask for a comparable market analysis on your home.

3. If you are a buyer determine the average number of days on the market in your desired area and price range.

4. Ask your agent what the absorption rate is the market your are looking to buy or sell. Absorption rate is the rate at which homes are selling.

Whether you are buying a home or selling it’s important to understand the market conditions.

Preparing Your Home for Selling

When selling your home, you want it to appeal to a wide variety of people, not showcase your personality or preferences. While you might love deep red walls in your dining room, it might be too bold for a potential buyer. Your goal is to sell your home and having the right buyer appeal is key. There are a few things to think of when staging your home.

Paint color is a must unless you already use neutral colors in your home. When looking for paint colors think of beige, olives, yellows, tans and greys. Outdated wallpaper patterns are a big no-no. Not only will an outdated look not be appealing to a buyer but the thought of having to take it down after buying the home can be a negative to a buyer. Taking down the wallpaper, fixing any imperfections in the walls with spackle and sanding, and applying a new coat of paint will go a long way. Choosing a paint with a low sheen will help hide any imperfections that may still remain.

De-cluttering your home will give it a clean, organized look that will appeal to a buyer. Minimal items should remain in your home and going through your space to take out anything you don’t need and sending it to storage is ideal. Think about your furniture as well, since often too much furniture can cause spaces to look small. In addition, by pulling furniture away from the walls and placing them in conversational groups, you add space to a room.

Having the right decorative items can help to create an inviting space. Rather than having items lined up, trying grouping different items together, like on the coffee table. Hang pictures and art work in groups as well, avoiding a traditional straight line on the wall. Make sure that you have things such as decorative towels and soaps in the bathroom to help set the scene. And adding the right lighting can help set a welcoming mood. Make sure you have a variety of lighting in each space, from table lamps, to accent lighting, and whole room lighting.

Basically, when staging your home, you want to make it a place that someone would want to live. Little touches here and there can really make a difference. With a little investment you might just find you are getting the offers you were hoping for.

How to Negotiate the Sale of Your Home

One of the trickiest parts of buying or selling a home is the negotiation process. Too often when our home is involved our emotions get in the way and the deal can go south quickly. Negotiating is an art. A real estate professional is trained in negotiating but you will need to prepare too. Here are some hints to help you navigate the home sale negotiation process:

Do your homework know your home’s worth, understand the value of your home in the marketplace.

Be realistic about what your home is worth. Much of the work you did to the home was a labor of love and may not have a monetary value.

Be patient, negotiations can take time.

Do not let emotions (greed, pride, anger, or prejudice) get in the way of negotiating the best deal.

Think of your home as “the house”,” instead of “my home.” You have made the decision to move so try to think of the sale as a business transaction.

Take all reasonable offers seriously.

Don’t let a good deal walk away over a few hundred dollars.

Try to look at the deal from the opposite side of the table. This will help you try to see where the potential buyer is coming from.

Most of all, have a positive attitude. Don’t get caught up in the game of negotiating instead remember the goal is to sell your house for a fair price and move on to your next adventure.

What you Need to Know about Investing

Buying property can definitely be a very lucrative investment. However, before you decide on buying and selling real estate, you have to have a good understanding of the markets. In other words, if you are looking to buy so that you can sell down the road to make a profit on your real estate, then you are better off achieving this when the housing market is slow, as there is less demand for buying houses, thus forcing sellers to lower their prices. This in turn will allow you to get a home at the lowest price possible, and then being able to sell it at a higher price once the markets begin to move again.

Of course, investing in real estate is not only about the current conditions of the housing market. In addition, you also have to look at other factors such as the location the real estate will be in, the condition of the real estate, and the reason why the owner is looking to sell. In the end, buying and selling real estate carries the same risks as any other type of investment, and the only way to avoid these risks is through proper research. More importantly, you will be spending a good amount of money on real estate compared to other types of investments, and so you want to make sure that your money is well spent. By keeping these valuable points in mind, you will be able to find the right property to invest in.

Stats about Home Buyers

If you are a seller, you need to know how buyers think. A study by the National Association of Realtors asked buyers who they are, why they need to buy, and what would make them buy. Here is just a few highlights from that study which provides detailed insight into the home buyer’s experience with this important transaction.

Here are highlights from that report.

  • Sixty-six percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001.
  • For forty-two percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. While fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information on the complete home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search process rose slightly to ninety-two percent.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This share steadily increased from sixty-nine percent in 2001.
  • Eighty-eight percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.