Selling Your Home

More Than 75% Of Experts Predict Sellers Market Will Continue

sellers market

Thanks to a historic inventory crisis, rising home prices, and stiff competition for property, the vast majority of markets across the US currently favor sellers. And according to most experts, it looks like that trend is going to continue.

According to a recent survey from Zillow, 76% of experts surveyed said they didn’t expect to see national market conditions shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market until 2020. 

This is obviously good news for sellers—but it doesn’t mean you should wait until 2020 to put your home on the market. According to recent Zillow data, the rate of home appreciation is slowing in markets around the country, and as a result many sellers are having to slash their home prices in order to sell (according to Zillow’s data, 14% of all homes on the market had a price cut in June 2018).

The Takeaway

If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now is the time to make a move. While most experts predict conditions will remain favorable for sellers through 2020, according to current data, conditions aren’t likely to be as favorable over the next few years as they are today.

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Watch This Adorable Corgi Try To Sell You A Home

Katharine Holland and Travis Bernard of The San Francisco Good Life Team got tired of working so hard to close. They decided to summon their creative powers (and an extra special agent) to create some advertising that would catch almost anyone’s attention. They needed an agent that was charismatic, downright cute, worked for food, and… fluffy?

Meet the agent of choice, Chompers. Sure, his vocabulary is a little limited. But with that bow tie and puppy dog eyes, you know you’ll want what he’s selling. Even if it is a million dollar condo.

Via The San Francisco Good Life Team

Here are a few highlights, in case you didn’t get enough of your daily Corgi fix.

Via The San Francisco Good Life Team | Gif by House Beautiful

This bathroom is totally puppy approved.

Via The San Francisco Good Life Team | Gif by House Beautiful

And who doesn’t appreciate a nice walk-in shower?

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8 Reasons Most FSBOs End Up Hiring An Agent

FSBO

Whether you’ve lived in your home for a few months or a few decades, you probably think you know it best. But that doesn’t mean you’re the most qualified person for the job when the time comes to sell it. 

Many folks are tempted to take the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route believing they’ll save a bundle by not paying an agent’s commission. They may imagine it’s a simple as sticking a sign in the ground and watching a qualified buyer magically appear. While that may happen occasionally, the vast majority of that time it doesn’t work like that. At all.

Below are some questions most FSBOs think they can answer with a resounding “YES!”… which is rarely the case. More often than not, they end up listing with an agent instead.

1.Do you know how to price it accurately?

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Coming up with the right asking price requires doing your due diligence. Researching what comparable homes in the area recently sold for is key. You may also want to hire an appraiser to be sure you’re not over-pricing or under-pricing your property, as both will end up costing you. Also, beware: Those who’ve gone the FSBO route note that very often buyers are hoping for a deep discount knowing sellers aren’t paying anyone a commission. So even if you’ve listed it for a fair price, be prepared to negotiate.

2. Are you a marketing maven?

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4 Ways To Rock As A Real Estate Client

Why do you care if your Realtor considers you a good client or not? Because the better client you are, the better results you will have. No, you and your Realtor do not have to be in love with each other, but effort on your part will bring you better results and a more positive transaction. Here are some best practices.

1. Be easy to educate

Most Realtors are teachers at heart, and the more you can learn, the better prepared you will be. Yes, your friends, family and various websites have lots of good information to give, but nobody has a better “boots-on-the-ground” perspective on your local neighborhood and various current trends than your Realtor. Ask all the questions you like and try to absorb as much info as possible. Yes, there is a lot to learn, but you will find that you become educated very quickly.

2. Be easy to communicate with 

If your Realtor must text you five times before you respond, you will eventually miss some important info or even the house of your dreams. Ask your Realtor for communication expectations and let them know if you prefer calls, emails or texts. If there is a time that you do not wish to be contacted at all (say, when you put your kids to bed), make sure your Realtor knows that in advance. They will probably have a “no-contact” time, too. Of course, if your Realtor is constantly difficult to reach, you may want to consider switching to somebody else.

3. Be as available as possible

Of course, you are not expected to take off work to see a home, but see what accommodations can be made in your schedule. This is critical in viewing homes in a hot market. If you are selling a home, please be mindful that after-work and evening showings are highly likely. The more people that see your home, the better and...

4 Staging Secrets To Get Your House SOLD

When you’re selling your home, one of the keys to successfully finding a buyer – and getting the best price for your home – is effectively staging. Staging refers to setting up your home in a way that maximizes its saleability to potential buyers and can involve everything from minor repairs to a complete overhaul on your home decor.

Staging is an incredibly important part of the selling process, and effective staging is a key to fetching top dollar for your home. If possible, you should consider hiring a professional stager. But, in case you want to DIY and stage your home on your own, here are 4 staging secrets to make sure you get the most out of the staging process:

1. A little paint goes a long way.

Paint your house!

One of the quickest, easiest, and most cost effective ways to update your space and make it more appealing to potential buyers is with a coat of paint. Painting a room can completely change the feel and make the space feel more open and inviting.

If you haven’t painted your home in a while, you’ll definitely want to repaint before you start showing your home to potential buyers. You’ll also want to repaint if you have a number of colors on the walls of your home; the purpose of staging is to showcase your home in a way that allows potential buyers to picture themselves purchasing the home and living there. If they don’t agree with your color choices, it can create a roadblock to them being able to see themselves in the home.

When you paint, choose neutral colors, like an off-white or beige. These colors are universally appealing and will also make your rooms appear more open and spacious.

2. You only get to make a first impression once.

Paint...

4 Behind-The-Scenes Ways Your Real Estate Agent Supports Your Home Sale

behind the scenes

When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, there are obvious things you notice them doing to help your house sell. Things like: hosting open houses, bringing potential buyers on home tours, and marketing your property in multiple ways to make sure it gets enough exposure.

But when it comes to adding value to your home sale, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A huge percentage of your agent’s job takes place behind-the-scenes, and they’re working around the clock to get your house sold — even when you’re not looking.

Here are 4 behind-the-scenes way your real estate agent is working to get your house sold:

1. Performing market research

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

When it comes to pricing your home, your agent doesn’t just pull a random number out of a hat. Your agent’s recommendation is a result of extensive market research to ensure your home is priced in a way that’s attractive to both buyers and you, the seller.

Agents pull data on comparable properties in your area (from both the MLS and any public databases) for the past 12 to 18 months. They research how each home was priced and how the price correlated to the average time the property sat on the market before coming up with a CMA (comparable market analysis) to determine the market value of your property and suggest a listing price.

All the insights gathered from your agent’s...

The Ten Commandments Of Selling A Home (Infographic)

So your home's on the market — are you jazzed about getting it sold? Good. But there are a few things you need to know. More specifically, ten things. They’re called “The Ten Commandments of Selling a Home.”

Read them. Absorb them. Emblazon them to memory, because one tiny mis-step can make your dream of moving on to your next home come crashing down like a sandcastle at high tide.

(See below for text transcription)

The Ten Commandments of Selling a Home

  1. Thou shalt vacate the house for all showings.
  2. Thou shalt assume every day is a showing day. Keep it clean and clutter free, with pets properly secured.
  3. Thou shalt not turn off utilities before closing.
  4. Thou shalt fill out property condition disclosure completely and disclose all known defects.
  5. Thou shalt not stop paying the mortgage.
  6. Thou shalt not rely upon Zillow to determine your sales price (that’s what your agent is for).
  7. Thou shalt make all beds before all showings (which includes NOT being in bed during showings).
  8. Thou shalt send anyone inquiring about the property to your agent.
  9. Thou shalt not call your agent at 11 PM.
  10. Thou shall not cook broccoli.
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15 Before & After Photos That Prove the Power of Home Staging

before/after

There's no denying it: Homes that are staged well definitely stand out. Not only does the right amount of decluttering, organizing and accessorizing make your home more attractive, it can actually increase its value.

According to the National Association of Realtors' 2015 Profile of Home Staging Report, 32 percent of buyers' agents believe their clients are willing to offer one percent to five percent more for staged homes. What's more, 81 percent of agents said home staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home.

If that's not enough to convince you, take a look at these before-and-after photos to really illustrate how powerful home staging can be.

1. Cool kitchen

Attractive barstools and place settings make you want to sit right down for lunch! The hardware upgrade on the cabinets makes a big difference too.

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Upcoming Spring Season Set To Be Most Competitive Housing Market Since Recession, Says Expert

According to the National Association of Realtors® Existing Home Sales Report, existing home sales declined for two straight months in December and January. So, whereas winter might have been on the slower side for home sales, that's about to change come spring.

Spring is always a hot time for real estate, but according to experts, this spring is going to be one for the record books. "It's probably the most competitive spring housing season we've seen since right before the housing crisis," said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree, in a recent Realtor.com article.

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about selling your home, now is the time to do it. A market like the one experts are predicting for this spring will create competition for property, thus driving up prices for your home.

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Less Than 5% of Homes In The US Have Negative Equity, Making It An Ideal Time To Sell For Most Homeowners

After the housing crisis of 2008, many homeowners found themselves "upside down" on their properties, with their mortgage balances significantly higher than the value of their home. According to Zillow, negative equity in the US peaked 31.4% in Q1 of 2012, meaning nearly one-third of all mortgage holders in the US owed more on their homes than it was valued.

But luckily, the housing market has rebounded from the housing crisis, and homeowners have almost completely regained equity in their homes. According to CoreLogic's most recent Home Equity Insights report, in Q4 of 2017 only 4.9% of all mortgaged properties had negative equity, with the number of homes with negative equity dropping 21% year-over-year (from 3.2 million homes to 2.5 million homes).

The Takeaway

If you've been thinking about selling but were waiting for your home to recover its value, now is the time to make a move. The dramatic decrease in negative equity, combined with the current inventory shortage, make it an ideal time to sell and to get the most value for your home.

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12 House Fails That Could Ruin A Sale

House Fails

When you're looking for a home, you probably have a couple of lists in your head: the must-haves, the nice-to-haves, and the absolute deal-breakers. Unfortunately, most of the places on this list fall into that third category, unless, of course, you're handy or have a big budget for repairs. Check out these strange but hilarious home fails that would definitely have you looking elsewhere.

1. A tree grows in... the driveway

Majority of Americans Believe Now is the Right Time to buy a Home, Making it the Perfect time to sell

According to the National Associations of Realtors Homeownership and Market Experience (HOME) Survey, most Americans believe that now is the perfect time to become a homeowner. According to the survey, 72% of people believe now is a good time to buy.

This could be because of the changing economic situation. 52% of Americans surveyed believe the US economy is improving, and according to a recent Neighborworks survey, 81% of Americans believe owning a home will make them more financially stable.

It could also be because homeownership is still such a deeply ingrained part of the American culture. According to that same Neighborworks survey, a whopping 93% of people believe owning a home is a part of the American dream, with 18% claiming it’s the most important part.

And with so many new buyers flooding the market, it creates the perfect opportunity for sellers. With more people believing now is the time to buy, the market is struggling to keep up with demand. Low inventory, particularly in the starter home sector, creates more competition between buyers and can be a lucrative opportunity for sellers to get the most for their homes.

The Takeaway

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4 Mistakes to Avoid the First Time You Buy or Sell A Home

Need Help

If it's your first time buying or selling real estate, you don't know what you don't know. There are tons of potential pitfalls and challenges along the way that it's hard to anticipate when you don't know what to expect. But luckily for you, most of the missteps taken by first time buyers and sellers are pretty universal, which means you can learn from their mistakes and avoid falling into the same traps. Here are four common real estate mistakes to avoid the first time you buy or sell a home:

1. Thinking you know the right price

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The price of a home - whether you're buying or selling - is one of the most important components of a real estate transaction. But there's a lot more that goes into pricing than what meets the eye. Pricing a home is a kind of science. There are so many factors that come into play - time of year, current market conditions, how quickly homes are selling the neighborhood, the current value of the home. The real estate agent takes all of those factors into consideration when coming up with the right price for a home. Without a real estate background, it's impossible for you to understand all of those conditions and how they affect the price of a home. If you're selling, you're likely to think your home should sell for a higher price because of the value it holds for you. If you're buying, you're likely to think a property should sell for less because that means a better deal on your end. But ignoring your real estate agent's pricing advice because you think you know what the price of a property should be is a mistake....