The Secret To Selling Your Home
So you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.
There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you could provide to your agent to be able to show your home.
Here are five levels of access that you could provide to a buyer with a brief description:
Lockbox On the Door
This allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
Providing a Key to the Home
Although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
Open Access with a Phone Call
The seller allows showing with just a phone call’s notice.
By Appointment Only (example: 48 Hour Notice)
Many out-of-town/state buyers and relocation buyers visit an area they would like to move to and only have the weekend to view homes. They may not be able to plan that far in advance, or may be unable to wait the 48 hours to be shown the house.
An example of this is making the home available only on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day. This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.
In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all. If you’re worried about allowing full access to your home, working with a responsible, experienced, and trusted real estate agent can help ease your mind. To give your home the best chance of selling at the highest price, contact Coastal Realty Connections today.
5 Demands to Make on Your Real Estate Agent
Are you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through your house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the fee they charge, just like a great doctor or a great accountant.
You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish an average agent from a great one.
Here are the top 5 demands to make of your real estate agent when selling your house:
1. Tell The Truth About The Price
Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.
The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. A survey showed that there was a challenge with the appraisal on 24% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.
2. Understand The Timetable With Which Your Family Is Dealing
You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan.
This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can to make it work.
3. Remove As Many Of The Challenges As Possible
It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.
Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length of listing, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a superhero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.
4. Help With Relocation
If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure that the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.
5. Get The House SOLD!
There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving.
You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something that needs to be done to attain your goal (e.g. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist that they have the courage to inform you.
Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In any market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT! Lucky for you, Coastal Realty Connections has plenty of excellent agents to choose from. Contact us today and we guarantee all of your demands will be met.
2 Ways To Get The Most Money When Selling Your Home
If you’re a homeowner, you want to make sure you maximize your financial reward when selling your home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.
1. Price it a LITTLE LOW
This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).
Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.
Realtor.com, recently gave this advice:
“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”
2. Use a Real Estate Professional
This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.
Research posted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that:
“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $185,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $163,800. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $245,000 – nearly $60,000 more for the typical home sale.”
Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional in order to guarantee that you maximize the price when selling your home. To accomplish both these tips, we recommend working with Coastal Realty Connections. Contact us today to get started!
5 Reasons For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Is a Bad Idea
In today’s market some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), rather than going through an experienced real estate agency, such as Coastal Realty Connection. There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers. In this post, we’ll cover the top five.
1. Exposure To Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 17% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
2. Results Come From The Internet
Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?
- 51% on the internet
- 9% from a yard sign
- 34% from a Real Estate Agent
- 1% from newspapers
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial, and a real estate agent can help you craft an effective one.
3. There Are Too Many People To Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
- The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
- The appraiser if there is a question of value
4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money When Using An Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $185,000, while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $245,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $60,000 more for your home, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.
Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, let’s get together and discuss your needs. Contact Coastal Realty Connections today to learn how working with a great real estate agent can help you sell your home.
Two Things You Don’t Want to Hear from Your Listing Agent
You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:
- Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
- Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
- Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset
An agent must be concerned first and foremost with you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case. Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by bragging about their success or their company’s success – these are red flags!
An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of your house. However, you first need to know that they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.
Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared to explain the current real estate market to you and is patient enough to take the time to show you how it may impact the sale of your home. Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.
You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares. Pick Coastal Realty Connections.
The Benefits of Using an Agent When Selling Your Home
When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.
In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the percentage of buyers who used the internet in their home search increased to 94%.
However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.
Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%).
The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.
If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role that a real estate professional can play in the process. Contact Coastal Realty Connections and start the process with the help of a trusted and talented professional today.
Baby Boomers Are Finding Freedom in Retirement
Within the next five years, Baby Boomers are projected to have the largest household growth of any other generation during that same time period, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University. Let’s take a look at why…
In a recent Merrill Lynch study, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices,” nearly 6,000 adults, ages 21 and older, were surveyed about housing.
Crossing the “Freedom Threshold”
Throughout our lives, there are often responsibilities that dictate where we live. Whether being in the best school district for our children, being close to our jobs, or some other factor is preventing a move, the study found that there is a substantial shift that takes place at age 61.
The study refers to this change as “Crossing the Freedom Threshold” – when where you live is no longer determined by responsibilities, but rather a freedom to live wherever you would like.
As one participant in the study stated: “In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.”
On the Move
According to the study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.
The top reason cited for relocation was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, while a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses.” See the chart below for the top 6 reasons broken down.
Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes
There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with fewer children at home, they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.
Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them.
“Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.”
If your housing needs have changed or are about to change, let’s get together to discuss the options available to you now. Contact Coastal Realty Connections and embrace the next phase of your life!
The Time To Sell Your Home Is Now. Here’s Why
The housing market has started off much stronger this year than it did last year. Lower mortgage interest rates have been a big factor in this change. The average 30-year rate in 2019 as reported by Freddie Mac was 3.94%. We are now closer to 3.5%. The Census Bureau also just reported the highest homeownership rate for people under 35 since 2014. This is evidence that owning their own home is becoming important to Millennials as they reach the age where marriage and children are part of their lives. According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is strong. That’s not the case, however, with seller demand, which remains weak. Here is a breakdown by state:
Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money. Contact Coastal Realty Connections now, before prices rise even higher!
Sales Price Versus Appraised Value
Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank. With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first.
A recent post on “The Home Story”, a site published by Fannie Mae, explained the difference between the price a seller may get for their home and the value an appraiser might assign the property.
The Sales Price
Of course, most sellers want to maximize the value they get for the house. However, the price they set might not be reflective of the other comparable homes in the neighborhood. As the article stated:
“People tend to view their homes emotionally, and that can become quickly apparent when they decide to sell.”
That doesn’t mean that the home won’t necessarily sell for that price.
A seller can set an asking price and actually have a buyer agree to that price. However, that value may not be necessarily in agreement with what most buyers are willing to pay. For example, one person can view a property, determine it is exactly what they are looking for and well worth the asking price, whereas another person could look at the same property and feel the asking price is too high.
Steven Corbin, Director of Valuation in Fannie Mae’s CPM Real Estate division gives an example:
“Someone may have driven by the property countless times, and they really want to live in that house. So in reality they may overbid for that property. This would be a situation where the actions of a specific buyer do not represent the actions of a typical buyer.”
The Appraised Value (or Market Value)
Fannie Mae explains what they look for when appraising the house:
“When a contract is established on a property, an appraised value is determined by a professional real estate appraiser. The appraiser works on the lender’s behalf to determine that value by taking many factors into consideration, including the neighborhood, the value of properties of similar size and construction, and even such things as the type of fixtures on the premises and layout of the floor plan.”
“From a lending perspective, a bank would want to know the probable price a typical buyer would offer for the property. That’s what an appraiser would set as the market value.”
The Challenge when Sales Price and Appraisal Value are Different
If the appraiser comes in with a value that is below the agreed upon sales price, the lending institution might not authorize the mortgage for the full amount a buyer would need to complete the transaction.
Quicken Loans actually releases a Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) that quantifies the difference between what sellers and appraisers believe regarding value. The HPPI represents the difference between appraisers’ and homeowners’ opinions of home values.
Currently, there is approximately a 2% difference between what homeowners believe their home to be worth and what appraisers value that same home. On a $300,000 sale that would be a $6,000 difference. That could be a challenge that might prevent the home sale proceeding to the closing table.
Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters recently commented on this issue:
“The more homeowners are in line with appraisers, the easier it will be to refinance their mortgage and easier for those looking to buy a home. If the two are aligned, it eliminates one of the top stumbling blocks in the mortgage process.”
Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.
With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. That is why we suggest that you use an experienced real estate professional to help set your listing price.
Let us help you determine your asking or buying price by contacting us at Coastal Realty Connections.
Staging Matters When It Comes to Selling Your Home
Buyers often wonder should they take the time to stage their home before listing it for sell. Staging your home has been shown to help your home sell more quickly! Buyers are more motivated to consider purchasing a home that suits their family size, budget, and location requirements, but also one that appeals to their senses. What will buyers see, learn about the seller, smell, hear, and touch when they tour your home for the first time? Will the buyer be able to imagine themselves in the home surrounded by their favorite belongings? Sometimes too many personal items may lend the buyer to create an awareness of your personality versus allowing them the freedom to imagine the space with theirs.
Contrary to what you may have heard, staging your home doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, you can hire a decorator or invest in new furniture or renovations. However, if you’re like many sellers high-end staging may not be in your plan or be affordable.
That’s why we have put together the best staging tips for the do-it-yourselfer. The list has been useful to sellers.
Home Staging: The Ten Best Do-It-Yourself Tips for $100 Or Less:
- Say Good Bye to Clutter! The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. Take a hard look at what you have and ask yourself what you can live
without. What kitchen appliances are you not using that can be stored and which family pictures can you temporarily pack away?
- Potted Plants, small or large, are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to create visual appeal.
- Home Fragrance such as scented candles, sprays, and plug-in type fragrance gadgets in delicate scents can work wonders.
- Steam Cleaning, rather than investing in a professional service, rent the machine for one day, and rejuvenate carpets and drapes.
- Baskets and Decorative Containers can help organize scattered items and eliminate clutter.
- Light Bulbs and Dimmer Switches – Brighten dark areas and rooms or soften harsh light with dimmers and the newer soft light bulbs.
- Paint over unusual colors or update stark white walls with a contemporary neutral tone.
- Fresh Flowers and fruit – Inexpensive arrangements in vases you already own look beautiful and will smell naturally fresh and fruit displayed in a nice bowl look inviting.
- Throw Pillows will instantly update an old sofa or chair or make a plain bed look luxurious.
- Housekeeping service can be costly, but hiring one for a day or a few hours is affordable-and it’s worth it to make a kitchen, windows and bathroom shine.
Once you stage your home you can feel confident when you are away and a Broker shows up to show your home , the buyer we see the potential and imagine their affects in the space.
CONTACT ME TO TALK MORE
I’m sure you have questions and concerns about the real estate process.
I’d love to talk with you about what you read here and help you on the path to selling your house.