Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Are appraisers the enemy? It sure seems like it to some buyers and sellers who need a sufficient appraisal value to qualify for a mortgage or support a selling price. In the last few years appraisers have taken a much more conservative approach to judging the market and assessing market direction and this often impacts what gets on the document delivered to the bank.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get an appraisal:
Appraisals are different than home inspections.
Buyers often treat these the same way but they have different purposes. Because an inspection educates buyers about the condition of the home, it's a useful tool to help appraisers understand what is working in a house. Make sure you review it carefully before your appraisal.
Will a tidy home increase an home's value?
Short answer, No. A clean home can increase buyers offers and final sale price, but there is no evidence it has any impact on appraisers. They are looking for specific items, working appliances, foundation issues, square footage and are use to looking past the clutter in most homes.
Should you only buy a home if it is appraised for the sale price?.
An appraisal does provide buyers with useful information but remember, the primary client is the lender. They need to be conservative to make sure the lender is not caught lending more than a house is worth.
If you plan to live in a house for a few years take the time to figure out what that is worth to you. Sunny windows, a good layout , the shady side of the street, all these things are often overlooked in appraisals. If a home fits your needs and offers unique personal value, you should be willing to pay for that up front, even if the bank doesn't value these aspects - you have to live with them, not your banker.
You can't impact appraisers' valuations.
Mostly true, with a couple exceptions. It is all about the comparable home sales in the neighborhood. It is important for you to help them understand how your home differs in terms of location, and features that are not always obvious. Help them understand what you know about specific comps.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Thursday, December 15, 2011
1. Study the local market:
Who is your home right for? Your first step is to ask what is your neighborhood's best selling point? Is it a good area for a young couple or a retirement option for empty nesters or is it best for families with school age kids?
2. Get to the point:
Don't bore buyers! Headlines should be five words long. Now that you can picture your possible buyers, write a headline that helps your house stand out:
- 3 Bedrooms near the Park
- Family home in great neighborhood
- Starter home with great kitchen
It may be old school but simple one page brochures still work. Use the template we offer on Owners then get ready to paper the town with your home for sale sheets. Try some non-traditional places including nearby apartment complexes. Renters in your neighborhood are a great pool of potential buyers who know the area and very low interest rates may be ready to buy.
4. Don't forget about the Realtors.
Even if you don't want to hire an agent to help you sell your home, remember, Realtors represent a lot of buyers. Create a brochure just for them that looks like the ones you find handed out at Tuesday showings, that is the day Realtors connect with each other to show new listings.
5. Photos are very important.
Your lead photo is critical. Take great image of your home - try shooting it from ground level to help it stand out. You might even hire a professional photographer, or have a friend who is good with the camera help you see your home from a different perspective. All listings are built around images and investing time getting good shots will attract more buyers.
Planning pays off. Use this time to get prepared and you'll hit the ground running when the selling season comes around.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Can foreign investment help revive the US housing market? That is the plan by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). In a bill before congress foreign residents making a housing investment of $500,000 cash or more would be offered a residential visa for the US.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Sellers know they need to reach as many buyers as possible. But what is the right way to do that? The most popular options are listing on Realtor.com - the massive national real estate website, or listing on their local MLS - But which to choose? The MLS and Realtor.com are similar but different; here is a short course on what they do, and who they are right for.
Realtor.com is best for sellers who absolutely only want to sell to buyers who are independent - those buyers who are not represented by an agent.
An MLS listing is best for sellers who are looking for any buyer, both independent as well as the 80% that are represented by an agent.
Here is why:
Realtor.com is a huge national website that primarily reaches individuals all across the country searching for homes. As the largest real estate website it reaches a very broad group of buyers. Most brokers do not search Realtor.com, instead they rely on their local MLS network to find homes for their clients. When you list on Realtor.com you are required to specify how much commission you are willing to pay a buyer’s agent. The standard is 3% but most FSBO minded sellers offer the minimum of 1% which guarantees that only individuals without agents will contact you. If you strike a deal with one of these buyers you will end up paying zero commission to agents.
No Commissions! I want that you say, but there is a catch: 4 out of 5 (or 80%) of all buyers are working with agents, so it well could be that the buyer who wants your home the most has an agent, do you really want to ignore them? Often it is much better to have more offers, or any offers and save 50% of the commission then have no offers at all.
This is where the MLS comes in. Agents look for homes for their clients exclusively on their local MLS. If your home does not show up on it you will not be seen by the majority of buyers. The bonus is when you list on the MLS you are automatically listed on Realtor.com also, so you still get access to all the independent buyers too.
The goal for most sellers is to get the best net offer, if that's one with a commission or one without it shouldn't matter, only how much money ultimately ends up in your pocket. If you're willing to offer up to 3% commission to attract buyers with brokers and expand your possible number of offers, then the MLS is the right choice.