Archives for December 2018

The Tell Tale Signs it is Time to Sell Your Residential Property

The Tell Tale Signs it is Time to Sell Your Residential Property

We all, at some point or another, get our feet firmly on the property ladder, and while some do it while they are young, others wait until they reach middle age before making the commitment to buy rather than rent. Once you own your home, there will likely come a time when relocation is the best path to take and with that in mind, here are some tell-tale signs that it is time to put your home on the market.

✓ Insufficient Living Space – A growing family, for example, would require more living space as the children grow and if one of your kids doesn’t have a room they can study in, perhaps it is time to upgrade. This would typically arise for a newly married couple around 10-12 years in the future, and this time is enough to ensure that their financial status supports the upgrade.If you are looking to upgrade, be sure to find a suitable contractor who will offer a fair rate.

✓ Can’t Afford The Mortgage Repayments – If you made the mistake of buying a property out of your budget limit, the best thing might be to put it on the market. If the house is in a prime location and is in good order, you might be lucky and make a profit on the deal, although your objective should be to downsize to a comfortable level.

✓ The Long Daily Commute – If you are spending more than one hour travelling to or from your place of work, this could be the time to look at relocating to an area closer to your work venue. The cost of daily commuting can indeed be high, and it isn’t just the cost in terms of money, there’s also the time that could have been spent with the family. If you would like some more information, check out this article that examines the question, “How far is too far to commute?”

✓ Looking To Start Your Own Business – If you have a great business idea, yet do not have access to startup capital, selling your home will release your equity. You could either rent for a few years while you develop your business, or buy a smaller property, either way, you have the necessary funds for your startup if you sell your home. Of course, a lot would depend on the location and condition of your home, but there is nothing to lose by putting it on the market.

✓ A Career Promotion – If you suddenly are offered a promotion that would mean relocating, it might be the break you have been looking for. Many families end up relocating solely for this reason and in most cases, it turns out to be a wise move. Of course, it is a big step and it would affect your partner and any children you have. You should discuss thing openly with the family and then weigh up the pros and cons before arriving at a decision.

Whatever the reason for selling, it is essential that you engage the services of an experienced conveyancing lawyer, who will facilitate the legalities and can help you to calculate your total costs.


Source: The Tell Tale Signs it is Time to Sell Your Residential Property

The Power of Staging Your Home to Sell

The Power of Staging Your Home to Sell

Often times the smallest changes can enhance a home’s “showability” when it is offered to the public for inspection. Sellers don’t seem to realize when “too much of their home” is showing. Staging your home for its finest presentation requires a room by room critique to offer the best first impressions.

Accentuate the Positive

When studying a room, the first point your eye catches should be a positive one. For example, a home with a massive fireplace commands the first attention spot. However, poor placement of furniture, too many “comfy” afghans and plenty of books and magazines will distort the simplicity of the rooms greatest asset. Add last night’s empty pizza box and full ashtrays and any prospective buyer will less appreciate the fine points the home would have offered.

Here is a list of ten points to keep in mind when staging your home for buyer inspections:

1. Start packing the belongings you absolutely do not need to “live.” Extra books, magazines, kids artwork, afghans that don’t match the decor should be boxed and labeled for your next home. Extra knick-knacks from Christmas, cluttered bulletin boards and several months bank statements can easily be stored away. Kitchens are the biggest culprits as they are such a busy meeting place in the home. Discount coupons, excessive decorative magnets, photos, etc. really catch the eye of the overwhelmed buyer. The top of the refrigerator is the largest collector of sometimes used gadgets. Unless you use your “wok” daily, it is better to clear the top and the front of your refrigerator to make the kitchen a little simpler. Convenient appliances also do better when tucked away so counters look cleaner and sharper. Please check switchplates for fingerprints and smudges, as those are the first places to get noticed. Doorbells are another place that fingerprints are evident. Be sure you are making the right first impression.

2. Family rooms are for relaxing, and need to be staged for crisp impressions and not your lazy evenings! Fold up grandma’s afghans, get rid of tired pillows, and pack up slippers, and cribbage sets for neat and clean appearances. Leftover smolderings in the fireplace can add a stale scent to the room. Give extra attention to removing ashes to avoid the less appreciated smokey smells from last nights fire.

3. Bedrooms are other places we enjoy our conveniences the most. Having our robes and slippers waiting for us does not offer top exposure to a viewing family. Get closets slimmed down for a generous look. Freshen with a soft potpourri to diminish the stale odors that come with humidity and small confined places. Although we like our shades and blinds pulled for sleeping hours generally all buyers are drawn to a light, airy and bright room, so open up all window treatments to maximize brightness. With windows being exposed, be sure they are really clean and sparkling. A house really shows its best when it looks like it has been cared for. Remove jewelry and other small personal items from dresser tops. Clean and simple sells the best.

4. The most inexpensive way to brighten a home besides a fresh coat of paint is to increase the wattage in light bulbs. That small guest room may be seldom used, but needs to look bigger and brighter to an interested buyer. Be sure the lamp can handle a stronger bulb and invest in a 3-way if possible. When you know that a showing is scheduled be sure to turn on every light bulb in the house for the best showing potential. Look around model homes, you will notice all the lights are always on, even on sunny days! This is not the time to conserve electricity – it’s part of your marketing plan. If you have a room that shows particularly dark, put in an interesting lamp and leave it on most of the time. It will help the buyer leave with a brighter impression of the rest of the home.
5. Everybody has a “junk” room or closet. It’s acceptable not to be perfect throughout, but minimize the clutter to one room, desk, or area and you are ensured of a better showing. If it is impossible to move around you could be adversely affecting that buyer’s perception of the size of the home, so give careful consideration to overstuffed rooms.

6. Everyone’s basement and garages are relatively the same, full of seasonal equipment, holiday decorations and tools. Garage sales are the best remedy for liquidating extras that you have accumulated over the years. Better to sell than to pay to have incidentals moved you really don’t need anymore. The biggest offender in basement commentary is the strong mold odors from high humidity. A dehumidifier can assist greatly in relieving that damp “basement” feeling and can alleviate concerns of water problem that don’t exist. It’s worth the effort to alleviate this common problem.

7. The worst offenders for dust and dirt are the cold air returns and heating vents. If they won’t clean up with soap and water and painting doesn’t improve them either, purchasing new ones is not that expensive and a great alternative. A house with cobwebs and loaded vents really gives the wrong impression about the cleaning standards of the present owner.

8. Pet dishes of water and food should be relocated to a spot where they will not get kicked accidentally. Water provides the perfect setting for falls or slips that can cause an accident. Cat boxes and pet beds should be clean and fresh and out of sight if possible. Those that don’t appreciate pets as much as you, will be turned off to pet “evidence.”

9. Junior’s bedroom posters of rock groups to minimize the true picture of the room. Limit the “artwork” to 1 or 2 posters and promise him that he can resurrect the rest at his next destination.

10. Bathroom grouts must look like new. Bleaching can take care of some of the problems, but it’s worth the money to have a professional tile person patch and regrout problem areas. This is not a good time to try extensive grouting yourself. Often times amateur attempts convey the problem more than it is. Shower tracks from doors should glisten, along with the mirrors. Remove prescription bottles, pills, old toothbrushes, and worn towels. This room should get the most attention and look its best at all times. Dated colors in sinks can be replaced for generally a low investment and can render a much-updated feeling when a yesteryear color is no longer an objection. Remove old moldy shower curtains and limit shampoos to a few.

 


Source: The Power of Staging Your Home to Sell

Selling a House? Here Is What the Market Looks Like In the USA

Selling a House? Here Is What the Market Looks Like In the USA

The US economy is doing fine. It is the hottest we have seen since the 1990s. Salaries are high and unemployment is low. Generally, that brings good news for the housing market. Sellers benefit from the fact that there are more buyers in the market. In retrospect, 2018 was largely a seller’s market but things seem to slow down since August.

Higher interest rates and rising home prices are driving sellers away at the moment. Stats from August till October point toward a cool down. Home sales are around 13 percent down compared to last year.

Does that mean the market will soon flip in buyers’ favor? What does that mean for someone interested in selling a house?

Things aren’t as simple as they seem. Real estate experts believe that the market will stay on the seller’s side for yet another year. Despite the lack of buyers, sellers will still be able to take advantage of the booming economy and lack of inventory.

If you are interested in selling a house fall may not be a bad time for you. To know if the market is still on your side, you need to understand how and why the market swings between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market.

When Is the Market in Seller’s Favor?

Seller’s market shows a good time to sell a house while a buyer’s market means buyers are more likely to find a good bargain.

Many factors affect the market such as the number of buyers and volume of inventory. A higher number of buyers means a better chance of selling your home at a good price. A higher volume of inventory means buyers have more choices and an upper hand.

Economic factor also plays an important part. As the economy improves, so does the affordability. More and more people will own a home because they are more confident about their affordability power.

However, excessively high property prices and mortgage rates can often overshadow these economic factors.

So, who does the market favor at the moment? Here are some key facts and findings that will help you get a clearer picture of the current housing market in the US.

Higher Prices, Lower Inventory

Higher prices push buyers away from the market, forcing sellers to reduce prices. However, a flourishing economy boosts buyers’ confidence despite the price hike. People are still looking for a home to buy.

There may be fewer buyers at the moment, but lack of inventory balances the equation for the sellers.

Almost all the major housing markets in the US suffer from an inventory shortage. This means even though there are fewer buyers, they have fewer options to choose from. Together, both trends play out well for the sellers. The property might spend more days on the listings, but there is still a better chance to sell it at your desired rates.

Recently, the market has seen an improvement in terms of inventory. The rate of inventory decline is down 2.2 percent from the last year. It is the first annual increase in the housing stock in three years. While it may not be enough to balance the supply and demand equation as of now, it puts sellers in “better now than later” situation.

The Fear of Future

The housing market is always riddled with uncertainty. Even these uncertainties favor either the buyers or the sellers.

As for sellers, housing prices are unaffected by the gradual rise in inventory. If new homes continue to be constructed at the same rate, it will eventually become more difficult for you to sell your property. The buyers will have more choices and options, and sellers will have to decrease the prices to sell.

On the flip side, buyers are also in a similar dilemma. Mortgage rates don’t seem to slow down and the feds have shown no intention of bringing them down in the near future. As a matter of fact, mortgage rates are expected to rise by 5 percent in 2019. Shall the interest rates rise, most buyers can no longer afford a home despite the increasing inventory and negotiable housing prices.

Due to these uncertainties, many buyers will buy a home right now rather than waiting for the situation to worsen.

The Buyers Are Serious

Currently, millennials make for the majority of the world’s population and most of them have now entered the home buying age. Contrary to what it is said about the millennials and home ownership, recent stats show a different side of the story. With the economy in favor, millennials are now interested in buying their own homes. There may not be a lot of them looking for properties, but those who do are all serious buyers willing to pay the right price for the right property.

Moreover, fall isn’t usually a peak season. There aren’t as many sellers as there are in spring and summer. Buyers looking for a home in fall are the ones who are serious about the purchase. With a lack of competing properties, you have a better chance of selling at a desirable price.

Conclusion

Is it a good time to sell a house? It definitely is. The economy is still strong on its feet and all the factors point towards a solid seller’s market for at least another year. The uncertainties regarding mortgage rates and home prices may have pushed buyers away, but they also put many in a “now or never” situation. As a seller, this may be your best opportunity to make a move.


Source: Selling a House? Here Is What the Market Looks Like In the USA

4 "Big Regrets" to Avoid When Buying a Home

Fear of making The Wrong Decision can be the great immobilizer when it comes to buying real estate.

• Fear that this is “the wrong time” to buy has kept many would-be homeowners on the sidelines and unnecessarily out of equity-building markets.
• Fear of buying the “wrong real estate” can take many forms: fear of buying the wrong location to gain status or long-term value appreciation, the wrong size for family dynamics, the wrong price for financial security, or the wrong functionality for future family needs.

Regrets- manifestations of fear that can immobilize us when faced with big decisions- haunt us long after we make or defer the decision that created them. Be afraid to act and that failure to act may lead to regrets. Regrets about consequences of the delay, the resulting inertia, or the missed opportunity – regrets about what you wanted to do and what you should have done.

In real estate, buyers are faced with a series of big decisions involving often-unknown territory like downpayments, mortgages, real estate law, contracts, and life choices. Fear of making “The Wrong Decision” regarding any one or all of these issues is a common reaction. Real estate professionals work hard to keep fear in check for their buyers. Professionals aim to minimize or eliminate regrets – if buyers allow their real estate professional to help.

Head-off fear and regret by asking your real estate professional a lot of questions and listening to the answers. Using this informed approach when faced with “Big Decisions,” helps buyers avoid Four “Big Regrets”:

Regret #1: Decision Inertia or Waiting Too Long = Fear Fanned by Assumptions, Not Facts

Would-be buyers often watch a rising real estate market from the sidelines because they assume everything is priced out of their reach or because they hope prices will fall. Too often they are proven wrong. One young couple stayed out of the rising real estate market for years, convinced that city prices were too high for them. They watched and waited as prices crept higher. When they finally sought out a real estate professional to learn the facts, they did find a property at a price they could afford and in a location they love. However, delaying their purchase did end up costing them more and reducing their choices.

Act to get the facts as soon as possible and avoid regrets.

Regret #2: Choosing The Wrong Location = Fear Fanned by Lack of Confidence that Makes Buyers Followers, Not Self-Leaders.

Eager buyers who emphasize a list of must-haves based on what friends bought or on trends and fads, not a thoughtful analysis of their specific needs and how exactly a home would enhance their lives, can end up disappointed with what they buy. For instance, without analysis and with assumptions, buying in an outlying less-expensive area can seem like a smart financial move. However, the impact of commuting for work and recreation must be measured beyond the simple expense of driving or transit. Include priceless elements like time away from family, lost time with friends, disconnection from the community, and increased risk of accident, which can make living far from your ideal location a life of ongoing regret.

Research to get local facts on location preferences and avoid future regrets.

Regret #3: Buying a “Money Pit” = Fear of Missing Out, Instead of Learning as Much as Possible

Impatient buyers who jump into a purchase, pressured by multiple offers, egged on by deceptively clever staging, or who skip a home inspection can run into unwelcome expensive surprises. A house can “look” great but be full of problems: bad wiring, old plumbing, insufficient insulation, water leaks, structural issues, and other costly headaches. For example, these problems often materialize when “gut it” renovations are conducted to create the much-touted open-concept main floor. Open-concept homes, where kitchen, living room, dining room, and perhaps family room are combined as one wall-less space, can end up being considerably more expensive than budgeted for.

Investigate property condition to get the facts and avoid renovation regrets.

Regret #4: Playing Not to Lose = Fear of Perceived Risk, Instead of Playing to Win by Using Professional Expertise

Fear of making wrong decisions can make buyers overly cautious and risk-adverse. In real estate, this hesitant approach can lead buyers to settle for less. If fear of risk is out of proportion to the actual risk involved, buyers may be shortchanged, that is, they’ll make an OK real estate purchase instead of a great one. Real estate professionals understand this important distinction for buyers. Long-term financial gains coupled with future lifestyle benefits are not always easy for buyers to visualize, especially when the property is not in the best condition or staged in a style that is not their own. Professionals see beyond the current presentation of the property to anticipate what it may become for specific buyers:

• When buyers are resistant to experienced input or fixated on preconceived ideas or fads, the outcome may not be as good or fulfilling as buyers hoped.
• When the real estate professional explains present and future value to a buyer who acts on this knowledge, results can be amazing.

Act in your own best interest – play to win the best possible outcome.

Emphasize foresight when buying real estate and you’ll avoid regrets in hindsight.


Source: 4 "Big Regrets" to Avoid When Buying a Home