Where Does the Real Estate Market Stand?
By Phyllis Brookshire
It is always about supply and demand.
In May I wrote about the factors that most affect supply and demand: the availability of jobs in the market, consumer confidence, and the affordability of housing (the cost of homeownership).
Last week, The National Association of REALTORS released the July housing report showing that existing home sales were sharply lower, but median home prices continue to rise.
Why? First demand. First time homebuyers left the market in July with the end of the tax credit. The market took buyers from the summer and early fall months and moved them into May and June. And other buyers continue to be waiting for a bottom. But that could be a risky play with median home prices rising.
Second demand. Inventories are increasing with short sale and foreclosure properties languishing on the market with buyers leery of dealing with the long and tedious process of getting distressed properties closed.
There was a lot of talk about the NAR report in the press. I really enjoyed Steve Harney’s post about what the report WAS NOT.
Bottom line, a large inventory of homes will keep prices down and low mortgage rates will keep the cost of homeownership down. It continues to be a great time to buy a home.
Competitive vs. Compelling Pricing
Make sure your home is the “shiniest apple”
You’ve taken my advice about what to do when trying to sell your home: spruce up the landscaping, repaint the bathroom, remove extra furniture and make it available for showings. And you’ve agreed to price it competitively with others in the area.
That may not be quite enough.
In today’s real estate market, competitive pricing is the expectation. Compelling pricing is the exception.
A competitive price is reasonable, viable and good. But it’s also in line with the price of many other properties with similar features, which makes it part of that sea of sameness. A compelling price has a powerful and irresistible effect; it commands attention, admiration and respect. Compelling is convincing; it grips you and doesn’t let go. It’s persuasive and undeniable. It’s the shiniest apple in the bowl, just begging for someone to grab it.
Is your listing price compelling or merely competitive? Are buyers grabbing your apple?
Find out what your home is worth!
How Mortgage Interest Rates Affect Your Payment
One positive outcome of a slow economy has been historically low interest rates. But as the economy begins to improve, industry experts predict that interest rates will creep up, perhaps even reaching 6 percent by the end of 2010.
While prices are likely to remain low, consider what even a small increase in interest rate can do to your monthly payment. On a $200,000 loan, an increase from 5 percent to 6 percent would result in $125 more per month, or $1,500 annually. He (or she) who hesitates pays more!
Think Outside for Spring
Whether to refresh your home for spring or to get it ready to put on the market, there’s no better way to make eye-catching changes than sprucing up the exterior.
* Thinking about replacing that exterior door or siding, or adding a deck? On a national level, these projects recouped more than 80 percent of costs at resale, according to the 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report published by Hanley Wood.
* Paint, always an inexpensive pick-me-up, could be the answer for a tired home exterior. Pick a fairly neutral pale yellow, sage green or light taupe for a warm and friendly welcome.
* Pressure-wash siding, exterior walkways, driveway and fences to knock off mold and mildew for a quick improvement and instant perk-up.
* Consider landscape projects to boost curb appeal and lift your spirits. Add mulch for a finished, professional look.
* Replace those old, drafty windows, for a 76 percent return of cost at resale and current rebates and tax incentives for certain types of energy-efficient windows.
Call us today for more home improvement ideas. We'd be happy to connect you with Allen Tate Home Services to get your projects started – and get your home ready for spring!
It seems everyday now I am asked to do a market analysis for a homeowner in hopes of selling and moving on with their lives. In so many circumstances, folks have no idea what has been going on around them in their own neighborhood – that prices have declined by 20% and that in order to sell they’d have to take a huge loss in the tens of thousands of dollars. I guess I’m writing to suggest that you stay on top of your market value. A good Realtor can run this data and analyze it for you at no charge. Just like an appraisal, this info is only really valid for a short period of time (i.e. you wouldn’t want to use an appraisal from 6 months or a year ago – it needs to be recent). It’s not all doom & gloom, but if you bought in 2006-2008, there’s a good chance you’ll be in a similar situation if you need to sell.
I've spoken to numerous home owners that spent months if not years trying to sell their home after bouncing around from Realtor to Realtor, and often a large part of what they were concerned with was saving 1 or 2% on the real estate commission.
Now, the commission is surely the largest expense of selling, but I always ask these sellers this:
'By listing with a Realtor that agrees to cut their rate 1%, what are you saving when they don't sell you house after 6 months? You are saving exactly 1% of zero - nada! Plus, you have wasted your most valuable marketing time while you days on market (DOM) have risen - often stigmatizing your property.'
Not to mention that a properly exposed & marketed home will help sell a home for more - far exceeding any marginal reduction of commission. So, before you focus on potential 'savings' - think about the cost of not working with someone that will earn their commission and get you a faster result and higher sales price.
There are segments of buyers that didn't capitalize on the tax credits and are still in the market to buy a house. There are different reasons for this such as:
The point is, as much as everyone would've liked to taken advantage of the tax credits last year and early this year, it just wasn't the right time for everyone. So breathe easy sellers - people are still buying real estate in the Triad!
Where To Start? The Basics. Buyer Agency Explained (again).
My first blog! Where to start? I thought I'd start with the basics. The things I seem to repeat a lot. I mean a lot. It's not that they're complex or hard to understand concepts. It's just that I work in a field (like anybody else) that has it's own language and/or is overly boring until you are in the market to buy or sell a home. So, I guess my first few blogs will be about the basics - working with a Realtor (me) as a buyer, as a seller, or as both. We will cover:
I'm Zane Gerringer, and I work full time as a Realtor with Allen Tate Realtors in Greensboro, NC. I believe owning a home and investing in real estate are essential in building a secure financial future for your family. I love representing both buyers & sellers, and I want you to make smart real estate decisions in the Triad!