If you own a stock, you can probably go online and quickly look up its current value.
What about your home? That, too, is an important investment and probably your most valuable one. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could “look up” its current value in just a few minutes?
Well, despite all the real estate data available on the internet these days, there is no site that will calculate your home’s true market value – at least not accurately. So, if you were to put your home up for sale tomorrow, how would you determine what it would likely sell for?Your home’s probable selling price is influenced by the following factors:The type and style of your home.The condition of your home. (Is it “move in” ready?)How well your home shows? (Is it staged?)The desirability of the neighborhood.Recent selling prices of similar homes in the area.The current demand for a home like yours. All these factors, especially recent solds in the area, need to be considered in order to come up with the price range within which your property will likely sell.
Why is this information important? If you plan on listing soon, the benefits of knowing the probable selling price is obvious. But even if your plans to move are far down the road, it’s still a good idea to know what your home is worth – today. That information enables you to plan ahead and make better decisions. It’s something worth thinking about.
In a sellers’ market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO) instead of working with a trusted real estate professional. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up virtually any house that comes to market. This makes it even more tempting to FSBO. As a result, some sellers think selling their house will be a breeze and see today’s market as an opportunity to FSBO. Let’s unpack why that’s a big mistake and may actually cost you more in the long run.
According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 41% of homeowners who tried to sell their house as a FSBO did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. In reality, even in a sellers’ market, selling on your own likely means you’ll net a lower profit than when you sell with the help of an agent.
The NAR report explains:
“FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $217,900 in 2020 (up from $200,000 in 2019), and still far lower than the median selling price of all homes at $242,300. Agent-assisted homes sold for a median of $295,000…Sellers who began as a FSBO, then ended up working with an agent, received 98 percent of the asking price, but had to reduce their price the most before arriving at a final listing price.”
When the seller knew the buyer, that amount was even lower, coming in at $176,700 (See graph below):That’s a lot of money to risk losing when you FSBO – far more than what you’d save on commission or other fees. Despite the advantages sellers have in today’s market, it’s still crucial to have the support of an expert to guide you through the process. Real estate professionals are trained negotiators with a ton of housing market insights that average homeowners may never have. An agent’s expertise can alleviate much of the stress of selling your house and help you close the best possible deal when you do.
If you’re ready to sell your house this year and you’re considering doing so on your own, be sure to think through that decision carefully. Odds are, you stand to gain the most by working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent. Let’s connect to discuss how a trusted advisor can help you, especially in today’s market.
Right now, the housing market is full of outstanding opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Whether you’re thinking of buying your first home, moving up to a bigger one, or selling so you can downsize this spring, there are perks today that are powering big moves for people across the country. Here are the top two to keep on the radar this season.
The Biggest Perk for Buyers: Low Mortgage Rates
Today’s most compelling buyer incentive is low mortgage interest rates. The 30-year fixed-rate is now averaging just over 3%. While that’s slightly higher than the record-lows from 2020 and earlier this year, it’s still way lower than historic norms, making purchasing a home an ongoing perk for hopeful buyers (See graph below):This is a huge advantage for buyers and helps to make owning a home attainable for more households – and there’s good reason to strive for homeownership. The latest Homeowner Equity Report from CoreLogic shows how homeowners saw major gains in their net worth last year, all thanks to owning a home. Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, explains:
“Positive factors like record-low interest rates and a booming housing market encouraged many families to enter homeownership. This growing bank of personal wealth that homeownership affords was noticed by many but in particular for first-time buyers who want a piece of the cake. As a result, we may see more of those currently renting start to enter the market in the near future.”
Low mortgage rates are a plus for buyers right now, but experts forecast we’ll see them continue to rise as the year goes on. If you’re ready to purchase a home, it’s wise to get started on the process soon so you can secure today’s comparatively low rate.
The Biggest Perk for Sellers: Low Inventory
Today, there are simply not enough houses on the market for the number of buyers looking to purchase them, and it’s creating a serious sellers’ market. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:
“Total active inventory continues to decline, dropping 50 percent. With buyers active in the market and sellers still slow to put homes up for sale, homes are selling quickly and the total number actively available for sale at any point in time continues to decline.” (See map below):
The lack of houses for sale continues to challenge the market, and with low mortgage rates fueling buyer demand, homes are hard for buyers to find today. According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average house is now receiving 4.1 offers and is on the market for only 20 days.
Buyers are clearly eager to purchase, and because of the shortage of inventory available, they’re often entering bidding wars. This is one of the factors keeping home prices strong and giving sellers leverage in the negotiation process.
Homeowners who are in a position to sell shouldn’t wait to make their move. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for today’s inventory shortage, so listing this spring will get your house on the market when conditions are most favorable. With low inventory and high buyer demand, homeowners can potentially earn a greater profit on their houses and sell them quickly in the fast-paced spring market.
Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, there are major perks available in today’s housing market. Let’s connect today to discuss how these favorable conditions play to your advantage in our local area.
What’s great about your home? Is it the spacious foyer and generous main floor closet space? Is it the beautiful washroom? Is it the playground that is only a short walking distance away?
Although some properties may look similar at first glance, every home is unique – with features and characteristics that make it special. If you’re considering putting your home on the market, make a list of all the great things about your property that potential buyers will want to know.
Start by thinking about the most desirable features of your home. Write down what you really love about the house and the surrounding area.
Next, think about what comments friends and other visitors to your home have made. Have you ever heard anyone say something like, “I really love your kitchen!” or, “This is such a quiet street”? Those are indications that potential buyers will like those features and characteristics too.
Once you have your list, let’s talk. Together, we’ll review all the great things about your home and area, and decide how to market them effectively.
The home inspector’s job is to provide a report on the condition of your home in a variety of categories that impact the safety and habitability of your home. He/She will report on weaknesses and trouble spots that could turn into big issues for the new homeowner in the future.
Be a prepared seller prior to the home inspection by looking at all areas of your home from top to bottom with a critical eye.
Roof: Pay attention to soffits, fascia and shingles. Look for wear and tear, hail damage, nail pops, mold and rot
Gutters & Downspouts: Ensure they are attached securely, not pulling away, and properly draining water away from the home.
Attic: Secure insulation and replace areas if needed. Ensure the attic is properly ventilated and look for gaps, rot, mold and decay.
Walls & Ceilings: Look for discolored spots on walls, ceilings and in corners which would indicate water leaks and possibly mold.
Basement: Look for cracks in foundation and condensation in the corners, along the wall. Test your sump-pump and consider a back up battery.
HVAC: Check the serial number on your unit to find out how old it is and have it serviced by a professional prior to inspection. Older systems are less efficient and prone to breakdown so be prepared to fix, replace or provide a home warranty to the Buyer if the inspector indicates it’s toward the end of it’s life expectancy (usually 15-20 years).
Windows & Doors: Open and close each door and window to check that they open and close easily. Frames should be smooth and intact, with no airflow, and all wood trim should be in good condition with no wood rot.
Plumbing: Check that fixtures are secure and no loose toilets. Look under your cabinets and around your water heater for water stains, leaks, mildew and mold.
Structure: Walk your home like you are looking and listening for the first time. Are there creeks in the flooring or on stairs? Are handrails secure?
If you want to sell your current property and purchase your next dream home, you might be wondering whether the closing dates need to be on the same day.
You might even be worried that you’ll lose a property if the closing dates overlap, or you’ll be put out on the street if the dates are far apart!
For the most part, these concerns are unfounded. Thousands of properties change hands every day and usually everything works out just fine. In fact, it’s amazing how often closing dates actually do match!
But, what happens if the closing date of the home you want to buy is days or weeks earlier than the closing date of your own property?
Most lenders anticipate this situation and offer something called “Bridge Financing.” It is a special loan that allows you to purchase the property with the earlier closing date. When your current property closes, the bridge financing ends and your new mortgage – if you need one – begins on the new home.
Alternatively, if the home you want has a later closing date, we will work together to explore options.
Unless it’s a requirement, such as a job relocation, the research tells us that you, like many homeowners, may decide to sell at some point for one or more of the following reasons:
Your home is no longer a good fit. You may have outgrown your current home and need something bigger, maybe with an additional bedroom. Or, the opposite may be true. You may want to downsize into something smaller – and cash in some of the home equity you’ve built up.
You’ve got your eye on a different neighborhood. Have you ever driven through an area and thought, “I’d love to live here”? You may think that it’s out-of-reach for you at this time. Is it? You never know until you work the numbers. You might, in fact, qualify for a home in that neighborhood today!
You want to be closer to something. Many homeowners would love to live closer to work, family, favorite hobbies, the country, etc. Moving to a home that’s near to one of those “somethings” can have a positive impact on your lifestyle.
It’s time for a change. Sometimes a homeowner just wants a change: new surroundings, a fresh start. Who says you need a “practical” reason to sell? If you’re looking to get into a new home just because you feel like it, that’s your choice. In fact, that may be the best reason of all to sell. You may simply want to move.
Do any of these reasons resonate for you? If so, now is the time to start preparing. Even if you don’t anticipate moving for several months, this is the best time to get the process started.
Do you know what causes the most common source of stress when selling your home? Is it scheduling buyer viewings? Is it the length of time it takes for your property to sell? Is it an offer that falls through?
Those things can, indeed, cause some worry! But, the number one source of stress is actually simple to avoid. It’s not understanding the process.
Even if you’re no stranger to moving, you should review the process involved in selling your current home before you list it. If you don’t, you might end up exposing yourself to anxiety that could have been easily avoided.
Say, for example, you’re concerned that your home has been listed for too long. It’s been a week and no good offers have come in. Well, if you knew, in advance, how long a home like yours typically takes to sell, then you probably would know not to worry.
It’s important that you start the process by understanding what to expect. What happens when your home is first listed? How are buyers scheduled to see your property? What happens when an offer comes in?
That’s why we will always review the selling process before you list and make sure all your questions are answered.