Should We Stay or Should We Sell?

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You may have heard a time or two recently that the housing market is looking pretty good.  If you have a home to sell, you may breathe a sigh of relief to hear that the average sales price for the month of February was 9% higher THIS year than last.  According to Heartland MLS, 68.1% of houses in Johnson County were sold within 90 days in the month of February.  On top of solid sales numbers, interest rates are holding steady somewhere around 4.5%.  You have heard me talk about “moving up” before, with interest rates staying put (for now) and the home prices on the rise, you have potential to find equity in your new home in addition to the extra space that you have been wanting.  So the $300,000 question is…Is NOW the RIGHT time for ME?

1. Do You Have Equity?

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the simple economic theory of ‘supply and demand’. If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.  The current inventory in our market is tight.  According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every summer. Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for the increased competition of the summer might make a lot of sense.  Sellers in some areas are receiving multiple offers and frustrated Buyer’s Agents are clamoring to get the scoop on hot new listings which leaves you in an excellent place to negotiate.

So will this market work for you? Equity is the answer.  At one point in time, most found themselves a little upside down on what they owe vs. what the market says it was worth.  If you have been in your home for a few years and have been able to recoup that loss then it may be something to consider.  If you are ready to downsize, and you have equity, this is your time to shine.  Which brings me to the next question…

2. Does Your House Still “Fit”?

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices are still below those of a few years ago and interest rates are still below 5%. There is no way to predict the future. However, you look at what happened over the last year. Let’s look at buyers that considered moving up last year but decided to wait.

Assume they had a home worth $300,000 and were looking at a home for $400,000 (putting 10% down and taking a mortgage of $360,000). By waiting, their house appreciated by 13.8% over the last year (national average based on the Case Shiller Pricing Index). Their home would now be worth $341,400. But, the $400,000 home would now be worth $455,200 (requiring a mortgage of $409,680).

Here is a table showing what additional monthly cost would be incurred by waiting:

 

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So back to the question of, does it fit? If you feel the walls closing in or if you are ready to downsize, sooner rather than later is the way to go, wouldn’t you say?

3. Is When to Move a Factor?

Summer is one of the most common times to move for one BIG reason.  Sure most people would rather move in sunshine than in -10 and snow, but the most common reason given is that the Summer months are the least disruptive for schedules.  The kids are out of school, most people will schedule a vacation (or 2) over the summer months, so why not? For those with children, if a move involves a change in schools it is easiest to begin when everyone else is also returning.  If you have a pretty flexible schedule and schools are not a priority, the lower inventory of the Fall or Winter seasons may net you more proceeds if you are still working toward building equity.

When you are ready to list with me, I would be happy to provide you with a Custom Home Analysis to answer any questions you have as to whether the timing is just right.  I will give you a little hint…in my professional opinion.  If you even have a thought about selling right now, you should really entertain the idea.  I’m here to help you through every step of the way!

Happy Spring Market!

Sara

 Find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/saravanallenrealtor or Follow me on Twitter @SaraVAHomes

Sara Van Allen is a Licensed Realtor in the state of Kansas with Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc.  Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated.

 

 

Graphics and Statistics from Heartland Multiple Listing Service and Keeping Current Matters

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How Will You Price My Home?

How Will You Price My Home?

Let’s begin with this simple and true statement:

I am not the one who decides how much your home is worth. The market does.

It is my duty to you to interpret the market which will tell us exactly where to price your property to sell and how to approach the marketing of it. Here are the factors that will affect the value in today’s market:

Price
Pricing your home properly from the start is the deciding factor on how long it will take to sell it. Overpriced properties are the #1 reason a house doesn’t sell. My rule of thumb for correct pricing is 10 days with no showing or 10 showings and no offer, we need to look at our pricing strategy. You don’t want to clean your house for showings over and over again for 6 months, and still not have an offer, do you?

Location, Location, Location
Location is the single most important factor in determining the value of your property.

Condition
The condition of the property affects the price and the speed of the sale. As prospective buyers often make purchases based on emotion, first impressions are important. I’ll be able to help in optimizing the physical appearance of your home to maximize the buyer’s perception of value.

Competition
Prospective buyers are going to compare your property – both the condition and the price – to other listings in and around your neighborhood. Those buyers will determine value based on properties that are listed or have recently sold in the area.

Timing
Property values are affected by the current real estate market. Because we can’t manipulate the market, we’ll collaborate on a pricing and marketing strategy that will take advantage of the first 30 days your property is listed. It’s the window of opportunity when buyers and their agents discover your property and are most likely to visit and make offers.

Are you ready to price your home to sell or know of someone that is? Visit my website at http://www.saravanallen.kwrealty.com or call me, 913-558-2053. Happy home selling!

Are you keeping your home from selling?

Statistics from NAR, graphic from Keeping Current Matters

Statistics from NAR, graphic from Keeping Current Matters

It is a new year with new homes coming on the market daily.  While the actual amount of homes sold is a touch down, the average prices are coming up and so is the amount of inventory to choose from. So why is your home still sitting on the market?

If you have a Realtor that is utilizing all of the tools in their marketing toolbox, it could be possible that it is you. Are you guilty of any of these 5 cardinal sins of selling your home?

1. Overpriced

This is the MOST common reason homes sit on the market. Many home owners, even some listed with agents, feel that they must stay on the high end of their price strategy because buyers will come in with a lower offer no matter what. The truth is while buyers are always looking for a good deal, a home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay. If you have had 10 showings and no offer, or no showings in more than 2 weeks, you are probably overpriced.

2. Staging

Family photos and knick knack collections are what makes a house feel homey. However, if your house is filled with personal touches, buyers find it very hard to imagine themselves buying your home. This also includes your favorite leather Lay-Z Boy recliner and your bright yellow bathroom. Neutralize it all. It may not feel like home to you after you stage it, but that is the point, it won’t be your house much longer.

3. Unfinished Projects

We all have those projects around the house that we get sidetracked from…a new faceplate here, a burnt out light bulb there, a light fixture still in the box in the garage. When your house is on the market is not the time to procrastinate. Even something as simple as a door that sticks or burnt out lights will make buyers think, “what else is wrong” and they will start looking for things with a fine tooth comb. I just showed a home last week with a beautifully done kitchen, but because what we thought was a light switch was reversed with the garbage disposal, the buyers started looking at grout lines to determine if it was done by a professional. Never mind the fact that the brand new stainless steel appliances were staying.

4. Inflexible

Selling a home is emotional. Whether you have lived there for years or just really love the property, if you have it on the market, there has to be a reason. Remember that reason throughout this process. When your agent asks you to do something to benefit your sale, try to understand why they are asking. If you receive an offer that is less than ideal, counter offer. They call it negotiation for a reason. But being inflexible is a quick way to make buyers walk right out the door.

5. Presentation

92% of home buyers begin their search online. If your home has been on the market for a while, it may be time to refresh the pictures. I always have to smack my forehead when a house for sale in September has pictures with snow on the ground. Keep things fresh! If the price is the same and the pictures are the same and we didn’t show your house the first time, we sure won’t 3 months later.

If you are needing a real estate reboot, now is the time to do it! It’s a new year, look back as to why you wanted to sell in the first place, be inspired by what is to come once you do sell.

Happy Home Selling!
Sara
To see houses for sale in my neck of the woods visit http://www.saravanallen.kwrealty.com or call me at 913-558-2053 for a Custom Market Analysis or Buyers Consultation.

New Year, New Home?

New Year, New Home?

It is about that time of year again when we begin to set the bar for ourselves in the New Year. To lose weight, check some things off the bucket list, save money…whatever it may be. We also usually qualify that with an “I’ll start right after Christmas” disclaimer, I am certainly no different (more cookies for everyone!)

BUT if a new home is on your Christmas list or in your plans for 2014 there is no time like the present to make sure your financial situation is in line with your goals. The National Retail Federation forecasted the average holiday shopper would spend $737.95 on presents, décor, and greeting cards. So how do you save in a season of spending?

To start, I have 10 rules that I include in my buyer book that outlines the big no-no’s when you are preparing to apply for a home loan:
1. Do NOT change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.
2. Do NOT buy a car, truck, or van (or you may be living in it!)
3. Do NOT use credit cards excessively or let accounts fall behind.
4. Do NOT spend money you have set aside for closing.
5. Do NOT omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.
6. Do NOT buy furniture.
7. Do NOT originate inquiries into your credit.
8. Do NOT make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer first!
9. Do NOT change bank accounts.
10. Do NOT cosign a loan for ANYONE.

These rules don’t just apply to home loans, they apply to any savings goals. Especially purchases that will need to be financed. The bottom line is to keep your money in your pocket.

If a home loan pre-approval is your main goal, my last bit of advice is to do your homework. Most buyers will start with a bank or a mortgage broker, however they are not all created equal. Many will have very different approval standards and some will have downright different interest rates that could save you a great deal of money down the road. Call a Licensed Realtor like myself. We work with lenders every day and could advise you on how to get started and even give you a list of lenders we have had the pleasure of working with.

A new home doesn’t have to be a dream. A little bit of planning and a little bit of guidance could have you in your new home sooner than you expect.