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  • by on December 26, 2016 in For Sellers,

    In todays market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

    Here are the top five reasons:

    1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers

    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 internet34% from a Real Estate Agent9% from a yard sign1% 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.

    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 possibleThe buyers agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyerThe buyers 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 houseThe appraiser if there is a question of value4. 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.

    The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.5. 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 agents commission. The seller and buyer cant 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 doesnt 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.

    Bottom Line

    Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

  • Sellers: Give Buyers What They Want


    You have more control over how long your home stays on the market than you think.

    Every seller hopes their home will sell quickly, and for a good price. So it can be frustrating when your home doesnt sell, while the house down the street gets snapped up.

    The homes are in the same location, with similar square footage, and the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, so they should sell for the same price and in the same amount of time. Right?

    If youre in this situation, you may be quick to blame your agent, the lack of advertising, the photographs, or the listing description. But the real problem could lie in how youve presented your home on the market.

    To understand the seller experience, lets look at two different approaches to listing a home.

    The story of the home that didnt sell

    Maybe you think you can sell your home without updating it first. Many sellers start out with this perspective, and find their homes sitting on the market with no activity.

    Lets imagine this sellers home. Theyve lived there 30 years, raised their family, and now want to move on. They dont exactly know where they want to go after they sell, but theyllfigure that out later.

    Herein lies the problem. Without an exit strategy or solid post-sale plan, they cant possibly be in a position to sell in todays market. As a result, they reject the pricing or home preparation suggestions of a great local agent, and instead go with the agent who tells them what they want to hear.

    They list the home as-is, to very little buyer activity. The local agents tour the home, and it leaves them with a negative first impression. They arent excited about the house, and that comes across to their buyer clients.

    All the while, the number of days on the market ticks up. Every potential buyer notices this, and thinks theres something wrong with the house. The seller cycles through two or three agents, and a year later they sell the house for much less than they should have. All the while theyve paid taxes, mortgage interest, and maintenance costs.

    The story of the home that sold

    Now lets think about the home that got snapped up at the sellers desired price. These sellers reached out to their agent well before they planned to move, and indicated that they wanted to downsize and move closer to the city.

    They didnt have an exact plan just yet, but wanted to be in touch with agents to understand the market, its dynamics, and what would be required of them to sell successfully.

    Working with their agent,they put a six-month plan in place to organize an estate sale, move their oversized furniture to storage, and make necessary repairs to the home.

    They also invested money in light staging and small cosmetic changes, including painting Suzies dark purple room to a more neutral color, and taking down their old window coverings. They traveled down memory lane as they packed up old photos, diplomas, and decorations from the African safari they took as a family 10years ago.

    They understood that the home, as they lived in it, isnt what todays buyers want. Meanwhile, theyve explored their next stage of life options and decided to rent in the city for a year.

    Once they made that decision, they were ready to list. The local agents tour and love the house. The listing gets lots of buyer activity, and the sellers have a deal within 30 days, and can move on to the next phase of their life.

    Why do sellers resist?

    Selling a family home after many years can be incredibly stressful. A homeowner who hasnt emotionally detached from their home, and their experiences there, cant possibly be objective. They think theyre ready to move on and just want to be done with it.

    But sellers need to realize that while its their home first, its also an investment. If a well-intentioned agent says your home isnt salable in its current condition at your desired price, you may feel insulted but its important to consider the perspective of todays buyers.

    The buyers are the customers, after all. Imagine walking into a shoe store to find that they dont sell the latestmodelof Nike sneakers. If so, you would walk out and locate the store that did, right?

    Give the buyers what they want

    Most buyers want a turn-key home. They dont want to spend a penny on repairs or upgrades, and they dont have time to do the work. They have busy schedules and demanding jobs. The thought of closing on a home and then hiring an architect, painter or a designer is more than they can handle. They want a clean, move-in ready home that they can show off to their friends on day one.

    Show them a home with gray or white walls, newly finished hardwood floors and lots of white in the kitchen and bathrooms, and they will jump on it.

    Sellers who invest time and money in preparing their home before listing it will sell quicker and for more money. And thats what every seller wants.

  • 3 Reasons to Hire a Sellers Agent

    If youre selling your home, you should expect a list of expenses. The commission you pay the sellers agent is usually one of the biggest, around 6% of your homes selling price. This pays for the valuable work your seller's agent, also known as a listing agent, does for you: preparing the home, marketing it, showing it topotential buyers and helping you through the selling process.

    Some owners try to save money by not working with an agent and listing their homes for sale by owner. But FSBOs, as theyre known in the trade, requiretime, effort and real estate know-how.FSBOsalso incur their own expenses, ones that people who hire listing agents dont have to pay.

    For most homeowners, it pays to hire a listing agent. Heres why:

    Read More
  • Written by on for RealtyTimes.com Wednesday, 20 July 2016 3:04 pm

    You have signed a contract to purchase a house. Your potential lender has qualified you for the mortgage loan, on the condition that the house will appraise high enough to support the loan. Now you have learned that the appraisal has come in too low, and the lender is not prepared to commit the loan.

    You have a number of options.

    Let's take this example. Your contract price is $500,000, and you are seeking a loan which will be 80 percent of the purchase price -- or $400,000. Such a loan will help you avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums. However, the lender has appraised the house for only $480,000, and will only lend you $384,000.

    Here are some of your options.

    1. Cancel the deal. Read your sales contract carefully. Do you have a financing contingency, and do you still have time to terminate the contract if you cannot get the financing spelled out in the contract. If you have any questions about this, check it out with your attorney. Did you include a contingency for obtaining an acceptable appraisal? Read your contract carefully.

    2. Put up more cash. You originally intended to put down $100,000 of your own money and get a $400,000 loan. Since the lender is only willing to lend you $384,000, you can -- if you have the cash and want to use it -- put up the additional $16,000 (or $116,000), and still buy the house. However, if the appraisal is truly accurate, give serious thought as to whether you may have overbid on the price. And don't forget to plug into your equation closing costs -- such as title insurance, recording taxes, title search, etc.

    3. Change the terms of the loan. Obtain a first trust in the amount of $400,000, and a second trust in the amount of $16,000. This will help you avoid PMI. Talk with your lender about this; not all lenders like to use this approach.

    4. Challenge the appraisal. You have the absolute right to obtain a copy of the appraisal. Read it carefully, and discuss it with your attorney and your real estate agent. You should then talk with the appraiser and/or the lender. If you believe there were errors in the appraisal, demand that the appraiser return to the property, and reevaluate the situation.

    Keep in mind, however, that appraising property is not a science; at best, it is an attempt to determine what a piece of property is worth, based on a number of different methods of evaluation. While appraisers use such benchmarks as square footage, replacement value and other similar concepts, the bottom line in my opinion is that appraising a house is a very subjective exercise. Since no two houses are really similar, there has to be a lot of subjectivity involved in any assessment.

    The best test of market value: what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept for the house.

  • by from Keeping Current Matterson May 16, 2016 TheNational Association of Realtorsmost recent Existing Home Sales Reportrevealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure.

    Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-4.6%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market.

    Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 4.6%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 15.2%!

    Here is the breakdown:

    What does that mean to you if you are selling?

    Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today's market.