Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why Isn't My Home Selling

Why Isn't My Home Selling? Price is the No. 1 culprit If your answer is price, you’ll be right a good majority of the time. If your home isn’t selling, buyers think the value of your house is less than the price you want.For all the time and effort that goes into buying and selling, the economics of the process is relatively simple. Anything is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller willing to accept. This is the same whether it’s a pack of baseball cards or a $1 million house.Although the economics may be simple, arriving at that magic price is difficult. Just think of the cost, time and energy that companies put into pricing a product so it succeeds in the marketplace. It’s no different in real estate.If you’ve taken the time to educate yourself on the local market and are diligent in hiring a professional agent, and are willing to listen to her, you can get a lot closer to the magic number. But you are setting yourself up for disaster if you don’t do your homework and go with what you “feel” your house is worth. Worse yet, is interviewing agents and choosing one solely because she says she can get you more than what the other agents think the house will sell for.These are some of the most common mistakes sellers make when setting a price: Price based on need What you want to make from selling your home means absolutely nothing to buyers or the marketplace. So setting a price based on what you want so you can retire, move up, start a business, etc. will almost certainly fail. Price based on ego Your neighbor sold for $200,000 last year so you want $210,000 because you “know” your house is better. Regardless that the market dropped five percent since your neighbor sold. Nearly every owner thinks their house is the best on the block, or at least better than any of the ones that have recently sold or are on the market. Unfortunately for sellers, your opinion doesn’t carry any weight with buyers. Only their opinion matters. Price based on greed Even if it’s been shown that your house will likely sell for around $250,000, you insist on listing it for $275,000 because “you never know, someone could come along who just has to have it. Besides, if we don’t get any bites we can always lower the price later.” The problem is it won’t take long for buyers to realize your price is unrealistic and think you are, too, and won’t want to deal with you unless the house is “a steal.” The listing languishes, so you drop the price, but not enough, it sits even longer and pretty soon you have a listing that’s been on the market so long buyers decide there is something wrong and steer clear. The solution is to get the price right. This is done by using what is called a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). If you’ve hired the right agent, this is the first folder out of their briefcase when you meet to list your home. A CMA breaks down the sales price of homes that are similar to yours in location, size, age and condition.Your agent will also consider the listing prices of homes on the market, but these are used more to identify the competition. Even with a strong agent and CMA, your price may not be on target. That’s because the market is always changing and your agent should be updating your CMA whenever anything comparable to your property sells.Not every reason your home isn’t selling will be the price, although they will be related to it. Here we have that value vs. price issue. If buyers perceive imperfections in your listing, they will want a discount, so if they’re not buying, your price is not discounted enough for buyers to believe the value to them at least equals that of your price.For example, if your lawn is brown and the landscaping worn, buyers will want a discount. The problem is that a seller will not consider this a major issue and attach a much lower discount than a buyer will accept.This is why it is imperative that sellers do everything they can to eliminate any issues buyers may have with their house before listing. Obviously, you can’t do anything about a bad location, such as being near railroad tracks, or that you have just one bathroom. But you and your agent should have factored these drawbacks into the listing price. Here are some of the most common reasons buyers are turned off by a particular house, so make sure these are addressed before lopping thousands of dollars off the asking price: Put on a good showThis is the second biggest reason a home isn’t selling. Buyers often talk of “connecting” to a house. This is not likely to happen if your house is not company-coming-over clean and ready to show like a model. This goes for the outside as well. If you don’t want to put the effort into doing this, then you’d better adjust your price to compensate because buyers will only consider your house because it’s a good deal, not because it “speaks to them.”Can’t buy what they can’t seeIf you make it difficult for people to see your property, then chances of a sale at the price you want drops considerably. Selling can be a nuisance, but it’s a necessary one. If you don’t allow a lockbox or require appointment-only showings, you are the culprit to the house not selling. Out of your handsIt’s not always the seller’s fault that a house isn’t selling. Sometimes the market changes and buyers disappear. Maybe a new home development has opened nearby and they are “stealing” the customers. Or maybe you’ve received bad advice from your agent. Any of these can affect whether your house sells, which means you need to consider the reasons and make the necessary adjustments. Great article by...Copyright © by Move, Inc. By Diana Lundin Posted by Joanne Genesio - PA REALTOR

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting Ready to Sell? ... Freshen Up the Inside

Getting Ready to Sell? ... Freshen Up the Inside

A prospective buyer’s willingness to buy more quickly – and at a higher price – is often driven by emotion. A home that shows exceptionally well helps arouse the prospective buyer’s emotional desires for that home. First impressions count. That’s why you’ll see neat, clean homes getting snatched up while others just sit there on the market. Buyers will buy the perceived value of the property, the image and feeling that they get from experiencing the property. As it’s often been said: buyers buy on emotion. The emotions that you, the Seller, are trying to stimulate are triggered by sensory experiences. Aim for the senses - especially touch, smell, and sight. Uncluttered, clean, fresh-smelling homes sell faster and for higher prices. Try to clear your mind of any preconceived notions, then walk into your house, close the door, look around… and truly feel your house. Then consider these steps:

Organize and de-clutter! Remove clutter from countertops, desks, and garage. Remove excess furniture. Organize closets, drawers, storage areas. Throw away, sell or store excess! Rent a storage unit if necessary. Clutter makes the home appear smaller and masks the home’s good points.Freshen interior paint as needed. Again, fresh paint is the best bang for the buck. Light, neutral colors such as beige, white, or off-white have a broader appeal and can make small rooms seem larger and airier. Remove ‘tired’ or busy wallpaper. Brighten drab garage interiors, storage areas with fresh paint. Paint/stain woodwork as necessary.Make kitchen and bathrooms sparkle. Clean/oil cabinets, clean appliances/fixtures. Add fragrances. New color-coordinated towels are an excellent investment. Fresh looking kitchen and bathrooms will often make or break a sale.Clean floors and carpeting. Add carpet freshener to carpeting which is ‘tired’ or to eliminate smoking or pet odors. Make minor repairs. Tighten loose knobs, fix leaky faucets, lubricate squeaky hinges, replace filters, tighten loose banisters, repair doors and doorknobs, remove stains, and make sure your doorbell works. Make sure all lighting fixtures work. Add new bulbs with the highest wattage allowed to make your rooms seem brighter. Light, airy homes seem bigger and more inviting. It’s well worth the extra cost. Is the fireplace in good working order? Remove ashes from the fireplace and add fresh logs. Buy fresh, colorful indoor flowers or plants. They get a lot of mileage, and they will enhance your new home as well. Exterminate, one bug, dead or alive, will make a bad impression on prospective buyers. Hire a professional to sell your home, it is a process, not a single event. Getting your home ready to sell is part of that process. As you prepare to put your home on the market, make sure to pay close attention to how your home is prepared to show – it can make all the difference in the world and will help you stand out from the crowd.

Article Alley

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why work with a Realtor for an Active Adult Community

Most prospective buyers do not know the answer to this and we need to get the word out to retired folks that are in the market. Finding the perfect retirement community is a process and the more knowledge you have the better your experience will be.

It is my experience, most prospective buyers are not aware of their options to work with a Realtor when purchasing a new home in an active adult community. They assume they have to work directly with a new home consultant who works for the builder. The new home consultant is going to get the highest price and best terms for the builder.

It is in the best interest for the buyer to work with an independent Realtor instead of dealing directly with the builder without an agent. An experienced agent knows the area and is able to keep up with the builder’s and their competitor's latest incentives. They are familiar with the purchase agreements and can help you understand what you are signing. Also, they can represent you if you are an out of town buyer and help you through the process. There is no out of pocket expense for the prospective buyer because the builder pays the commissions.

If you are in the market for new construction it is something that would be wise to consider.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good Faith Estimate Vs HUD-1

Good Faith Estimate Vs HUD-1

There are a couple of documents you will hear about when you are buying a home. One is the Good Faith Estimate and the other is the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. Aren't they the same thing you may ask? No they are not, although they are used for figuring the closing costs on the home you are about to buy. Let me explain the difference between these two documents.

The Good Faith Estimate
Very simply, the good faith estimate (also know as the GFE) is a list of estimated items and their fees to close on the mortgage. You use this to compare apples to apples in deciding which lender you want to go with. Once again it is just an estimate of the closing costs associated with the mortgage. You are to be given this estimate within three days of completing the loan application.
Now to compare apples to apples you will need another document. This document is called the Truth in Lending Disclosure Statement (TIL). This document discloses all the costs associated with making and closing the loan. This document is also to be given to you within three days of the loan application.

With both these documents you can now compare lenders to find the best deal for you.

The HUD-1 Settlement Statement
This is a form listing the FINAL settlement of those closing costs you will need to pay to close on your mortgage and buy that home you are looking forward to.
You should get a copy of this form a day prior to closing to inspect according to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Now you can compare this final document with the estimate document and the TIL document. This gives you the opportunity to question your lender or broker about any differences you may find.
No one is perfect so errors do happen. That is why you want to look at this document closely. If you have any questions, ask the closing agent to explain the item to you. Unfortunately, you don't have a lot of time before the closing to do this. So ask away and be persistent to be sure your final settlement statement is accurate.

What items are on a HUD-1
You will find items like the commissions paid to the real estate agencies, your home closing costs, those items required by the lender, title charges, recording fees, the gross sale price of the home and the total amount due the lender to name just a few.
You will also see a section that lists the items paid outside of closing (POC). These particular fees can include what are sometimes called "junk fees." Take a close look at these charges to be sure they match what you agreed to on the Good Faith Estimate. Many times this is where you might find those "unnecessary" fees. Be sure you understand these.
Although both the Good Faith Estimate and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement are similar, their purposes are very different. Remember, one is an estimate of those fees you will need to pay to close on your loan and the other is a list of the actual final fees you must settle close on your mortgage.

Article Alley