Market News

Know Why You are Selling

If you know exactly why you are selling then it is easier for you to follow the right plan of action for getting what you want.

If you are a seller who needs to close a sale as quickly as possible, then you should know that getting the highest price possible is not one of your priorities. It does not mean that you won’t or cannot get the highest price, but it means that the price is not the deciding factor. A buyer who can give you a quick closing time will appeal much more to you than a buyer who can offer you more money but the negotiation and closing time drag on.

It’s always good to know how low you will go in terms of selling price. This will help to eliminate some of the offers that you find simply offensive or ridiculous. Even though you should consider all offers seriously and take into consideration the terms of each offer, sometimes, if you know the bottom line and are strict about it, you can save yourself time.

Once you know what your limits and reasons are, discuss them with your agent so that they can help you set your goals realistically. If you decide to list your home on your own, make sure you do research on the current market, and you get the proper advice you need in terms of legal issues, etc. The key is to be realistic and to know what your goals are so they can be met.

Selling Your Home in a Seller's Market

By Julie StarrPosted Thursday, Apr 29, 2021 

We are in the midst of an intense seller's market here in Northampton (and, apparently, throughout the country) - with limited inventory for sale, and numerous buyers vying for those few properties. While this situation can certainly be both stressful and disappointing to buyers, it can also be challenging to sellers for various reasons. To follow is a reposted article from the New York Times, which gives sound advice about navigating the seller's market from a seller's perspective. Another invaluable first step is to connect with a local realtor who knows the market well, to assist you with the process of selling your home. Selling Your Home in a Seller’s Market

Sorting through multiple bids can be harder than it seems. Choosing the highest offer isn’t always the smart way to go.

Credit...The Heads of State

By Daniel Bortz

April 23, 2021

By the time they got the last offer, Quinn and Daryn Shapurji had received 54 bids on their four-bedroom, single-family house in Fishers, Ind., in just three days. Ms. Shapurji said they felt totally overwhelmed — and a bit melancholy.

“We felt bad that we had to say no to so many people, because we got a lot of beautiful letters from buyers saying how much they loved our house and why they wanted to live in the area,” said Ms. Shapurji, 32, a closing coordinator for a home builder. “Some buyers had already struck out on five or six homes.”

Chris Dossman, the couple’s real estate agent, suggested they take a cash offer that was $25,000 above their home’s list price of $220,000. “It wasn’t the highest offer they received, but the cash buyer waived the appraisal, so we knew that we weren’t going to have an issue with the home closing from a financing perspective,” said Ms. Dossman, an agent with Century 21 Scheetz based in Indianapolis.

“Fifty-four offers is by far the highest number of offers that I’ve ever received for a listing,” added Ms. Dossman, who has been an agent for 15 years.

The Shapurjis, who closed their deal in mid-March, are far from alone when it comes to getting flooded with offers in today’s supercharged real estate market. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of offers written by Redfin agents in March faced bidding wars, marking the 11th straight month where more than half of Redfin offers encountered competition, according to the online brokerage. Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, and Boise, Idaho, were the most competitive markets of the 24 metropolitan areas that the company analyzed.

Despite a recent uptick in mortgage rates, an acute shortage of homes for sale nationwide has created a home-buying frenzy. “Higher mortgage rates haven’t slowed down competition yet,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. “In fact, the interest rate increase from 2.67 percent at the end of 2020 to 3.09 percent now is just enough to fuel more bidding wars as folks rush to buy while rates are still low,” she said, referring to the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage in mid-March. “It will take a bigger rate increase to really move the needle on bidding wars and cool things down.”

“We’re seeing an inventory crisis,” said Katie Wethman, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty. Indeed, total home supply at the end of March sat at only 1.07 million units, down 28.2 percent from a year ago, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. The association’s data also found that homes typically sold in a record-low time of just 18 days in March, down from a 29-day average in March 2020.

“The market is completely lopsided right now in favor of sellers,” said Seth Lejeune, a real estate agent at RE/MAX Homepoint in Royersford, Pa. “Some homes are selling within hours and with multiple offers.”

Still, sellers face a challenge: “Getting inundated with offers can be overwhelming, and it can make it harder for sellers to choose the best offer,” said Alicia Stoughton, a real estate agent and designer at Keller Williams Advisors in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why? Because “the highest offer isn’t always the best offer,” Ms. Stoughton said.

Here are the factors sellers should consider, in addition to purchase price, when evaluating multiple offers.

Payment Method

“Cash is king,” according to Nancy Newquist-Nolan, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker in Santa Barbara, Calif. “I often recommend sellers take a cash offer, even if it’s not the highest offer.”

Choosing a cash buyer has several benefits for sellers. A cash offer means the buyer won’t have to face any trouble getting approved for a mortgage; it enables the buyer to waive a potentially deal-breaking home appraisal; and cash transactions allow for shorter closings periods, Ms. Newquist-Nolan. (Cash sales can take as little as 14 days, while mortgage closings usually take 30 to 60 days.) That may explain why a cash offer quadruples a home buyer’s chances of winning a bidding war, a new Redfin report found.

“In some cases buyers are taking money out of their retirement plans or borrowing from family to make a cash offer,” said Gary Metchnek, a real estate agent at Edina Realty in Minneapolis-St. Paul, who recently sold a home that received 13 offers.

Still, mortgage buyers aren’t completely out of the running, said Ms. Wethman. “If you’re confident in the buyer’s lender and their ability to get approved for a mortgage, there’s not a lot of risk taking an offer from a buyer who’s getting a loan,” she said. Her advice to sellers? “Do your due diligence on the lender who is providing the funds,” she recommends.

This is a step where sellers can lean on their listing agent, Ms. Newquist-Nolan said. “I call up the lender and ask how qualified the buyer is for their loan,” she said. Moreover, “some lenders are notorious for dragging their feet and missing key deadlines.”

(Many brokers prefer deals with buyers who work with a local lender like a regional credit union, instead of a big bank or a national website. This is because loan officers at local lenders are typically more accessible on nights and weekends, which can be important in this fast-moving market when a buyer might need a preapproval letter that lists a property’s address on short notice.)

Offers from conventional loan borrowers are also more attractive than loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Mr. Lejeune said. “F.H.A. and V.A. loans are pretty much dead on arrival right now, because their appraisals have more restrictions and they might require the seller to make home repairs before their home can be sold,” he said.

Pam and Richard O’Bryant can attest to that. The couple, who sold their three-bedroom, single-family house in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in March after receiving nine offers, struggled to buy a home in Northern Virginia, using a V.A. loan.

They lost bids on four homes, despite bidding about 10 percent above the asking price on each of them, before finally purchasing a three-bedroom rowhouse in Alexandria, Va., an estate sale that will need about $125,000 to $150,000 in renovations.

“I’m not sure if I’m more relieved or excited to have finally gotten a house in today’s market,” Ms. O’Bryant said. “We really wanted to capitalize on today’s interest rates and are looking forward to creating a fabulous home.”

Ms. Stoughton said sellers who haven’t yet purchased their next home should strongly consider buyers who will offer a rent-back agreement. “Most buyers in our market right now are throwing in a free rent-back,” she said. “Usually sellers pay the buyer to rent back their home.”

Contingencies

“Right now, sellers are in the position where they can direct buyers to have as few contingencies as possible,” Ms. Newquist-Nolan, the California broker, said. That’s a smart move, she said, because fewer contingencies means fewer opportunities when a transaction might fall through.

Take home inspections for example. From September 2020 through February 2021, 13.2 percent of winning Redfin offers had waived the inspection contingency, up from 7.3 percent a year ago, the brokerage reports. (Such a contingency would allow buyers to pull out of a deal if an inspection uncovered unexpected repair issues.) “Most buyers are waiving home inspections right now in our area,” Ms. Wethman said. “Pre-offer inspections have become the norm.”

Most sellers are now open to allowing buyers to bring in a home inspector before they make an offer on a home. A pre-offer inspection that finds few problems could give a buyer the confidence to waive an inspection contingency, which subsequently might make the buyer’s offer a more appealing choice for the seller.

Buyers are also finding ways to waive home appraisal contingencies, in an effort to make their bid more attractive to a seller. (Appraisal contingencies allow buyers to terminate a contract if an appraisal comes in lower than their offer price.)

“Some buyers who are putting down 20 percent are agreeing to reduce their down payment to pay the difference if there’s an appraisal gap,” Ms. Wethman said. For example, in a deal where a buyer is offering $300,000 for a home, and has a 20 percent down payment, if the house is appraised at $270,000, the buyer could drop their down payment to 10 percent, and use that 10 percent in cash to make up the appraisal shortfall.

Comparing Apples to Apples

The best approach that sellers can take when weighing offers, Mr. Lejeune said, is to compare them side-by-side.

His strategy: “I present offers to my clients in an Excel spreadsheet that specifics the offer price, loan amount, type of loan, contingencies, and other important metrics,” he said. “It’s basically a cheat sheet for sellers.”

Ms. Dossman is also a fan of presenting offers in a spreadsheet. As she puts it, “You want to have all the information in front of you when you’re making a decision.”

Many buyers attach personal letters with their offers to try to sway the sellers in their favor. But some real estate agents don’t even show sellers these letters when they present offers to avoid the possibility of unlawful bias against a buyer. But Ms. Dossman said she will share letters after vetting them to make sure there isn’t any information that could raise the potential for fair housing violations.

Do You Need to Revamp Your Home Selling Plan?

If you want to achieve the best-possible results during the house selling journey, you need to be flexible. Because if your initial home selling strategy fails to deliver the desired results, you need to be ready to make adjustments.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you revamp your home selling strategy.

  1. Analyze the Local Housing Market

The local housing market may play a role in your house selling success or failure. If real estate market conditions have changed since you originally listed your home, you need to adapt accordingly. Otherwise, you risk falling behind rival home sellers in a fierce real estate market.

Oftentimes, it helps to monitor home sales in your city or town. This will allow you to see if houses similar to your own are selling quickly. It also enables you to understand how your house stacks up against the competition and may help you find ways to differentiate your home from comparable residences.

  1. Review Your Home Listing

If you find that buyers rarely set up home showings or visit open house events at your residence, now may be the perfect time to assess your home listing. That way, you can explore innovative ways to use your home listing to engage and inform buyers about your residence.

Generally, it helps to make a home listing as clear and concise as possible. If buyers can read your home listing and retrieve accurate information about your house, they can determine if your residence matches their expectations.

You may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing as well. These images can help you show off the true size and beauty of your residence to buyers. Plus, they may help you distinguish your home listing from all others.

  1. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

For those who are struggling to stir up interest in a house, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to make a home an attractive choice to buyers. He or she will learn about you and your home and analyze your past house selling efforts. Then, a real estate agent will offer recommendations to help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers.

In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence to buyers. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.

As you try to sell your home, you may want to consider revising your house selling plan. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can revamp your home selling strategy and move one step closer to enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.

The Closing Process - What to Expect

The last step of any home sale is the closing. This is the time when the buyer and seller sign all the documents surrounding the sale, including the documents for the buyer’s mortgage. This is when money changes hands and, in most cases, the buyer gets the keys to the home. If you’ve never attended a closing before, or it’s been a while, here’s what you can expect. Before the Closing

Before the closing takes place, the buyer and seller will meet at the property for a final walkthrough. This gives the buyer the chance to inspect the home to make sure nothing changed in its condition between the inspection and the closing date. Buyers will look for damage to the property or items that aren’t working properly. Who Attends the Closing

The closing is the next step. Both the buyer and seller with their respective real estate agents will be there. If anyone used a real estate attorney, that attorney will attend. A closing agent will conduct the meeting, and the lender may send a representative. Finally, someone from the title company will be in attendance. Presenting & Signing the Documents

The main task that takes place at closing is the signing of documents. The buyers will go through about 50 to 100 pages of documents, many of which require a signature. Many of the documents are related to the buyer’s mortgage. The buyer will need to show proof of insurance, pay the closing costs, which are typically 2 to 5 percent of the home’s value, and fund the escrow, unless the seller offered to cover closing costs. Some of the documents relating to the mortgage that the buyer will need to sign include:

Final loan application

Mortgage agreement

Mortgage note

Loan estimate and closing disclosure

In addition to the mortgage documents, both the seller and buyer will need to sign several things, including:

The property’s deed

Bill of sale

Transfer tax declarations

At this point, any necessary payments are made, and the closing agent will write checks for the real estate agents' commissions. As long as there are no delays for funding, the keys change hands and the buyer becomes the home’s new owner. Potential Problems at Closing

Most closings happen without any issues, but there are some problems that can arise on that day. It’s on the closing day that the final approval of the mortgage takes place. If the lender finds something surprising, like a change in employment or credit history, they could deny the loan. Also, title problems can pop up at closing that went undetected during negotiations. Finally, problems found during the final walkthrough could lead to delays at closing.

Being well prepared for closing can help both buyers and sellers avoid these types of problems. With the right knowledge ahead of time, you can walk into closing confidently, knowing your real estate transaction will be completed in just a few hours.# this is a test post lalala

Part 1 Success When Selling Your Home

Here at bestagenttoday.com we work hard every day to provide you with recommendations of the best real estate agents within localized individual markets. We help you eliminate the painstaking, finger-crossing process of sorting through page after page of agent names trying to find the right realtor to sell your home. Within each market we provide a recommendation of four of the best agents based upon the conclusions of our independent market research. We believe by providing you with our market analyses, you in turn will be able to relax and make a more informed decision when you take that first step in parting with your home or searching for a new one. You can then feel comfortable knowing that your transaction will be in the hands of a professional. “Finding an Agent” is the first step in the home selling process and the first edition of our continuing blog series, Success When Selling Your Home_._ So, how do you effectively go about finding an agent that meets both your goals and expectations? Let’s take a look.

There are more than 2 million licensed real estate agents in the United States. Many people find the process of vetting agents a long and overwhelming undertaking, BUT this is actually the most crucial element in the home selling process. Throughout the course of your home sale you will be working closely with your agent, so it is very important that you have a common understanding of what your agent can do for you, what they need from you, and what your expectations are from them. Hiring an agent that is tailored to your specific needs is the key; it will give you the greatest potential for success.

The best real estate agents are those who are truly professional and hard-working—providing you with the best deal in the shortest amount of time. A real estate agent that knows the market will be able to accurately evaluate all aspects of your home and price it correctly. Virtually all of the best realtors agree on this very important point; don’t over-price or under-price your property. When this occurs, your property loses market interest quickly, and may even result in a price reduction down the road.

An old adage of the real estate industry is that 90% of business is completed by only 10% of agents—it is imperative to find the top producing agent to satisfy your end goal of selling your home. Top producing agents are experienced and with this deliver constancy when pricing, listing, marketing, and closing your home sale, ultimately bringing about a success story.

In an ever-changing time in society the inevitable move is in all of our futures—whether it be relocating for work or a need for warmer weather (especially after this past winter) When it comes to parting with your most valued possession make YOUR home sale a success, turn to bestagentoday.com to find your best agent today!

Part 2 Success When Selling Your Home

First impressions are everything—the typical buyer purchases a home based on emotions versus logic—it is key to tap into the ethos of the buyer within seconds of their arrival. How to do this you say? Starting with a freshly painted door and neutral flowing colors throughout, brighten and enlarge the home. Adding or maintaining to your home’s curb appeal, keeping up with landscaping and lawn manicuring is a great way for the home to have a tactful appearance for prospective clients, and passers-by alike.

When it comes to listing your home for sale there is a great deal of sorting to be done, whether you have lived there for two or twenty years. It may seem like an overwhelming process going through, decluttering each and every room, however, it is the easiest, and most effective way for prospective buyers to envision themselves living in your home. After residing in your home for some time now, you may have fallen blind to some of the negative attributes your home possesses, however, in these instances your realtor will be quick to give your feedback on what absolutely needs to be addressed.

The lengthiest part of the staging your home to sell is the cleaning process, it’s important; no one wants their new home to have lingering odors of the past owner—figuratively or literally! Deep cleaning your home and steaming your carpets is sure to remove any unwanted odors and prepare you to begin the staging process. After the cleansing process of your home is complete, you are ready to embark on a life-simplifying journey: decluttering your home!

DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER, DECLUTTER! Nothing is more important than taking clutter out of your home—clutter effectively translates to buyers: the home lacks adequate storage space. Clearing countertops of non-essentials such as kitchen-mixers, blenders and other household gadgets is a great place to start. Removing non-essentials, features the positives of your kitchen, and enlarging the overall feel of your home. The key rule to remember, in terms of personal items: less is more [space]!

You have already planned on moving, put some positive energy in the atmosphere, and start packing items that aren’t as essential as you once had thought. Be sure to label each room while packing. Having less miscellaneous and personal items around not only gives a room a larger feel, but also gives you a head start on organizing your new home.

Part 3 Success when Selling Your Home

Staging can give your property an added touch with little to no time, effort or money. An understanding of the aspects of a home that are the “selling points” lets you focus on where staging can have the most effect. For example, to maximize the overall size of a smaller room, increase the wattage of the light bulbs used, take out any unneeded or oversized furniture, and clean the inside and outside windows—this will add to the ambiance of the room to appeal to buyers. Let’s look at some others:

One of the places where prospective buyers focus is the master bedroom. By simply painting it in a neutral color scheme not only brightens it but also visually enlarges the space. Accessorizing with a padded headboard, matching nightstands and bedside lamps, gives the room depth which also creates the illusion of a larger space. If your master bedroom encompasses a king-sized mattress and the room isn’t so ‘master’ in size, consider the following staging trick: replace your king with a queen; this adds nine square feet of additional living space to your master bedroom and will allow the room to be shown in its best light. (A tip for staging this: use an air-mattress in the interim to cut-cost, since no one will be able to distinguish that it is not an actual mattress, and it comes at a fraction of the cost!)

In your dining room you should first, and foremost, have a central place of gathering—a table—if you have a dining room table that is set for eight, you may want to consider downsizing, giving the room a larger feel, overall. If you have wallpapering throughout your dining room, now would be a great time for removing and adding a neutral color palette. Updating aged lighting fixtures, those of brass or gold, with bronze or brushed silver, will instantly transform a room. Adding a focal point to the table and surrounding walls by adding a vase of freshly cut flowers, or an art piece will capture the buyer’s attention.

The family room or living room of your home is where the majority of family time is spent—it is typically the room with the nicest views, and showcasing this in a simply way is imperative—you do not want to make the overall atmosphere of the room seem too formal for buyers, as they are attempting to see themselves in your home! Again, if wallpaper is adorning the walls you should contemplate removing and repainting the room to showcase this asset of your home. If you have oversized or printed furniture, think about parting with these (at least for the time being); you can look into a cheap alternative - renting furniture - for the duration of your sale to update a room. This is a relatively inexpensive investment with a great return.

For your bathroom, simply remove any excess toiletries. The addition of a coat a fresh neutral paint, and staining existing cabinetry can add contrast to a small bathroom making the overall look and feel larger—after all, they are buying a home for the space it has to offer! Replacing existing bathmats, shower curtains, and liners add a new sense of character to this commonly used space.

Staging is very unique and tailorable to each and every home and homeowner, and their individual budget. Whether you decide to take on the staging process yourself or leave the work to a staging professional, the process can be as cost-effective or expensive as you care to make it. The staging process has become a very popular way to display a home in its best light in today’s real estate market. On average, staging a home costs around 1% of the overall price of a home (depending on what you decide to update, purchase, or rent) and, on average, staged homes sell in a third of the time. In most instances a staged home pays for itself. It may help your home sell quicker or for a higher price.

Does it really matter which Realtor I use?

Let's look at why. There is a lot more that goes into selling your home than simply sitting at the negotiation table with the buyer. Your Realtor has to market your home well enough to get the buyer to show up to your negotiation table in the first place.  If your Realtor isn't using the most up-to-date marketing techniques then they are already wasting time and hurting your home's value.  Don't necessarily choose a Realtor simply because they are a friend-of-a-friend, or because they're your neighbor's in-law.  Those scenarios could lead to an awkward situation if anything was to go wrong during the process of selling your home. It is wise to use the same standards you would use to choose a lawyer or auto mechanic and hire the best of the best.

A few questions you could think about:

  • "Does your Realtor have the connections to keep your home in front of potential buyers?" Whether that means the Realtor is using their company's resources to advertise, or knowing the right guy to fix a hole in the wall before anybody comes to see the house, your Realtor's connections are assets for you to take advantage of.
  • "Did you hire a full-time Realtor, or someone who can only return your phone calls and set up meetings when they aren't at their other job?" All Realtors weren't created equal and they come in different shapes and sizes, which is why you should carefully choose the best Realtor for your situation.
  • "Has your Realtor taken advantage of ongoing education that was available to them?" Some Realtors only learn the bare minimum while others enjoy learning more about their craft.

One way to determine who the best Realtor is, is checking a realtors stats on Bestagenttoday.com. The website displays information that can be helpful to determine who you want to help you sell your home. You can find out how many transactions the agent has made in the last 12 months, as well as how many of those transactions were condos or single family homes. A Realtors average market time may also be important to know if you are on a schedule.  You can also check on their average sales price.