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PROFARM Neighborhood Advocates
Remodeling ROI (September 2017)

Whether you’re thinking about modernizing a room in your home or rehabbing an entire house, you’ll want to make sure the money you invest in the project has a positive effect on your home’s value. Before you start tearing up tile, ripping out old plaster or buying that “handyman’s special” you’ve had your eye on, consider consulting a professional real estate appraiser about the economics of your proposed project.

You may receive good advice on questions such as:

  • Is the improvement feasible and marketable?
  • Are neighborhood trends pointing to an upward cycle?
  • How to go about it

When it comes to improving your home, don’t count on a dollar-for-dollar return on every improvement. For example, real estate appraisers have found that remodeling a kitchen or bathroom or adding a room may bring the greatest return on a homeowner’s investment. Some custom installations can actually detract from value, which appraisers call “overimprovements.”

“The latest research shows that home improvements with a relatively low cost are most likely to generate a positive cost-to-value ratio,” says Appraisal Institute President Jim Amorin. “Spending big dollars on major renovations doesn’t necessarily equate to a dollar-for-dollar return. In short: cost doesn’t necessarily equal value.”

Amorin encouraged homeowners contemplating renovation projects to compare the planned improvement to what’s standard in the community. “Projects that move a home well beyond community norms are typically not worth the cost when the owner sells the property,” he says.

Make sure essential repairs are completed before you start improving — a posh sauna won’t make up for a leaky roof. In fact, simple and relatively inexpensive repairs such as plastering and painting could earn a better return on your investment than some major improvement projects. Many buyers can’t overlook tacky paint colors, old or dirty carpet and ugly kitchen cabinets. Start with freshening up what you already have before adding new features to your home.

When deciding what to improve first, take a look around and find out what other homebuyers want. That way, you’ll select those improvements for which the market is willing to pay. Beware of overimproving.

If you do it yourself, do it right. Keep your improvements consistent with the quality of your home and the character of the neighborhood. If you decide that you can’t do the job yourself, be sure to contact a reputable contractor. Pay a fair price for improvements, not an inflated price.

Also be sure to consider energy-efficient improvements. While they may not save you a great deal of money now, as energy costs increase, so will your savings. Many buyers are looking for “green” and “smart” features in homes these days. Even something as simple as installing a smart thermostat can be an attractive bonus to buyers.

Most importantly, obtain any necessary permits to make sure your improvements are legal. Illegal improvements might not add value. In fact, work done without the necessary permits can create problems for you and the new buyer when it comes time to finalize a sales transaction.

I would be happy to discuss ideas and a strategy with you that would be appealing to buyers. Let me know how I can assist you! Thank you.

AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com, 727-804-6566

 

Sources:

The Appraisal Institute, “Remodeling & Rehabbing: Some Valuable Hints for Homeowners,” © 2014 (http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/assets/1/7/remodeling_rehabbing_web.pdf)

Florida Realtors News, “Top return on investment? Smaller remodeling projects,” April 20, 2017 (http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=351064)

REALTOR Magazine, “Ugly Home Features Buyers Can’t Overlook, “ August 3, 2017

(http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/08/03/ugly-home-features-buyers-cant-overlook)

© 2017 Pinellas Realtor® Organization

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July There's no place like home

 

                                                              Capture                                                           PROFARM Neighborhood Advocates
                                                           No Place Like Home (July 20, 2017)

Wherever you are in your real estate journey – dreaming, planning, remodeling, looking – a REALTOR® can help you along the way.

There’s no place like home… until a better house hits the market! You thought you were settled, until a “For Sale” sign showed up in front of that house you’ve been eyeing for years. Even when you are settled, there are always shifting priorities and scenarios that may prompt you to consider moving.

The kids are gone and you want to downsize, or maybe a parent is moving in with you. Perhaps you’ve just gotten married or are having a baby and need more room. Housing and family needs combined account for 72.7% of the reasons people move, according to the 2015-2016 U.S. Census Bureau.

Or you’ve got outdated appliances and have new kitchen envy. Many of the homes in Pinellas County are older housing stock, and need not only cosmetic, but in many cases safety or efficiency upgrades.

The next generation of home buyers are looking for updated interiors, well-equipped kitchens and outdoor living rooms.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, for-sale-by-owner homes stay on the market longer and sell for $39,000 less than those sold with the help of a real estate professional.

Finding the right agent matters! An experienced agent, who knows the market and has a network of potential buyers, can help sell a home 32% faster than an inexperienced agent (study by Dr. Bennie D. Waller, Longwood University).

Whatever your life stage or wherever you are in your real estate journey, you have a partner in me to help guide and support you.

I’m ready when you are! Contact me to set up a personalized plan for your real estate goals. Thank you, Annalisa Weller

© 2017 Pinellas Realtor® Organization

Study shows blues and grays are the way to go for interiors and doors, ‘greige’ for exteriors

Homes with bathrooms painted in a powder blue or periwinkle shade sold for an average of $5,400 more — the highest sales premium of all colors analyzed.

When it comes to a home’s exterior, neutral tones, such as ‘greige,’ sold for $3,496 more than comparable homes in a different color.

by MARIAN MCPHERSON 

Furthermore, homes with front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for an extra $1,514.

On the other hand, buyers seem to be put off by style-specific features such as terracotta walls, which resulted in a $2,031 dip in sales prices. But even more than that, prospective owners seem to hate white walls: Homes that had no color whatsoever sold for an average of $4,035 less. Ouch!

“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space.

“Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets, a growing trend in both rooms,” she added.

If a seller is adamant about keeping color in the home, have them consider a pop of color on an accent wall using Pantone’s Color of The Year, Greenery, or have them incorporate jewel-toned decor pieces throughout the home.

BYMARIAN MCPHERSON     Email Marian McPherson.

7. Kitchen3

1766 Maryland Ave NE, St Petersburg, Florida

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, the number one thing that they want is, of course, the best possible price!! Right? Next, is that they want the least amount of problems to receive this price. Most sellers don’t realize all of the steps required to reach their goal. Marketing is more than sticking a sign in the yard, placing an add on Craig’s list or posting some photos on Facebook. Does the seller know how to stage the house to show it’s best appeal to the most buyers? Is the seller willing to answer phone calls 24/7, literally? Yes, at 2 in the morning when a buyer is searching the Internet! Does the seller know if the buyer is a serious buyer with their mortgage in place or are they pre-approved? In order to know all of these things & much more, a seller really needs to hire a real estate professional.

Technology has changed the buyer’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the percentage of buyers who used the internet in their home search increased to 94%. However, the report also shows that 96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% bought their homes directly from a seller that they didn’t know. Most of the buyers who bought homes directly from sellers (For Sale By Owner) still used a Realtor to represent them. Buyers start their search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%). There is so much information out there, either through the Internet or family & friends that more buyers are now reaching out to real estate professionals to help them through the very complicated process. The percentage of buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.


Sooooo, if you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process. The vast majority of buyers have realized that they actually need a Realtor in order to purchase their new home correctly. The laws regarding real estate change constantly & a professional Realtor will know the latest requirements & forms, as well as have a much larger audience with which to present your home in the best light.

 

With inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!
Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7-months.
This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this fall.
Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Last month’s new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream home within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs.
The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007’s pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.
According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.

for more info:   http://www.realtor.org/reports/realtors-confidence-index

SAN FRANCISCO – Nov. 1, 2016 – Technological advances have made real estate agents especially important to millennials, according to a study by Coldwell Banker, “Wealth, real estate and the high-net-worth investor.”

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents

The study found that over 70 percent of respondents believe agents are more important than ever, with nearly two-thirds saying they would never buy or sell a home without an agent’s help. More than half of those polled said agents are more important to the home-selection process than friends, family or digital resources.

The main reason millennials value Realtors? They recognized their own lack of experience in the sometimes complicated homebuying process.

However, technology remains important to young adults. A Realtor’s role has diminished in some areas thanks to online tools, such as mortgage calculators; easy access to taxes and other government-related information; and general background info on cities and neighborhoods.

Moreover, technology has changed the process by making it easier to respond quickly to contacts, which is a must for millennials. This demographic also takes into consideration an agent’s reputation on social networks

As a result, a Realtor’s role may not have diminished, but the study suggests that successful agents must adapt to the changing demands and expectations of today’s younger buyers.

Source: Tech.Co (10/27/16) Costa, Diogo

© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents

539 Baywood Dr S

Selling a home is a very complicated process-more complicated and costly than homeowners realize resulting lower sales prices, hidden fees and taking more time to sell. Sometimes homeowners can not fully understand reports that they have found on the Internet or the information that homeowners receive from well meaning friends & family may not be completely accurate, which can result in under pricing or over pricing their home. Sometimes homeowners are not aware of the latest changes in the law, which forms are now required or the time constraints required. Here are a few good reasons, For Sale By Owners should consider using a Realtor to represent them in the sale of their home.

1. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homes generally sell for less

In 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, FSBOs lost about 16% of the sales price with a median selling price of $210,000 (Realtor-assisted homes sold for $249,000). If the seller sold to someone that they knew, the median dropped to $151,900. 

  • Eighty-seven percent of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker.
  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.
  • Only eight percent (down from nine percent) of recent home sales were FSBO sales. This is the lowest share recorded since this report started in 1981.

Homeowners don’t realize how much time & effort it takes throughout the complicated process, may not understand market reports and don’t have the resources & connections to market the property properly-on the Internet & to other Realtors who may bring the buyer.

2. For Sale By Owners spend more time on the market

Unless the homeowner knows someone who wants to buy their home, FSBOs take longer to sell than homes listed with a Realtor. On average, 18% of For Sale By Owner homes were unable to sell within their expected time and took a year to sale.

3. Paperwork can be overwhelming

According to 2015 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers finding & understanding all of the paperwork was one of the most difficult tasks for the sellers, especially without the guidance of a Realtor. Depending on the state, there are a many legal forms that are required, including but not limited to a sales contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and lead paint records. Also how the escrow must be held in their state.

4. Marketing is limited when owners sell their own home

For sale by owners have limited resources to market their homes. The 2015 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers showed 42 percent use only a yard sign, 32 percent rely on friends and family, and about 15 percent use social media. Even paying to just be on the MLS listing isn’t enough because it doesn’t go on real estate companies’ websites & their various Internet connections. It also is not sent out to other Realtors, offices or discussed at Realtor Networking events or at “pitch” sessions. These are just a few of the many resources that professionals have at their fingertips. 

5. Hidden costs can add up

Most For Sale By Owners’ first thought is about saving money. But they usually don’t realize they will be paying for a lot of extras: signs, flyers, photography, MLS listing, attorney (required in multiple states for FSBOs), home warranty (optional but hard to sell FSBO without one), home inspection, a wood destroying pest inspection, credit report for buyers (if applicable), contracts and the list goes on. The marketing costs are generally included in the Realtor’s commission.

6. Inspections can be problematic

Homeowners may not know which inspection companies are fully licensed & which inspections are required. Some states require a general home inspection, wind mitigation, 4 point and/or a wood destroying pest report. Homeowners who don’t know the rules may have unnecessary and costly repairs as well. A Realtor can advise & negotiate on the necessary repairs.

7. Liability is all on the seller

Everyone makes mistakes. A seller (or buyer) who doesn’t have the representation of a licensed agent pays for those mistakes. So if homeowner lists something as a feature and the buyer notices that this is incorrect, chances are the seller is going to pay for that mistake. A Listing Agent would have corrected the mistake before the home was listed. A Buyer’s Agent would have pointed out the mistake to the buyer, which could result in a lower price on the home.

8. Horrible as it sounds, scams can happen

Common scams include fraudulent papers (appraisals, loan documentation), fraudulent escrow deposit information, foreign buyer deposits (scammer sends too much in a bad check and then requests a refund), purchases through a third-party (a fake attorney, etc.) and asking for personal information to be used for identity theft.

9. Time costs the seller money

How much time does the homeowner plan to take to fully market the home? How much time does the homeowner plan to take off from work? Is the homeowner willing & able to answer calls from buyers at all times of the day & night? What will it cost & how much time will it take for an attorney to review the contract, if they choose one. How will the homeowner show the home, screen the buyers for safety, screen for qualified buyers, set up an escrow account, and maintain a marketing campaign? A For Sale By Owner home will take a homeowner a whole lot longer to sell. Homeowners don’t have the expertise or the access to the resources agents have.

 These are just some of the issues that For Sale By Owner must address but there may be more.Realtors can save sellers time, money, liability and hassle while guiding them through this ever-changing complicated process.

 

Pinellas Realtor Organization
Neighborhood Advocates Initiative
Q2 Stats (Campaign #8 / 8-2016)

 

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Florida Realtors® recently released the 2016 second quarter (April through June) real estate market statistics for the state. I wanted to share with you an overview of how our area is performing.

The single family homes real estate markets in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties are still looking very strong after the second quarter of 2016. Higher median sales prices, more closed sales, and faster time to contract are all good news for sellers.

Inventory has shrunk year-over-year for the second quarter. Median Days to Contract is down in the Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco markets, reflecting the short amount of time a home is on the market between being listed and being sold. All of this means fewer homes to choose from and a likelihood of more competition between buyers.

As your local Realtor® and Neighborhood Advocate, I am your resource for data that affects our communities and your property value. Homeownership affordability and accessibility is a cornerstone of the Realtor® advocacy efforts at every level – local, state and national.

Here are some highlights from the Florida Realtors® Quarter 2 2016 Statistics Release for the Single Family Home Market Segment:

  • Closed Sales: Up for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 2 2016 from Quarter 2 2015. This statistic is a good indicator of the overall health of the market, and lots of closed sales mean both sellers and buyers are achieving success.
    • Pinellas County: 4,023 Closed Sales Q2 2016 vs. 3,893 Closed Sales Q2 2015, a3.3% increase
    • Hillsborough County: 5,426 Closed Sales Q2 2016 vs. 5,094 Closed Sales Q2 2015, a 6.5% increase
    • Pasco County: 2,859 Closed Sales Q2 2016 vs. 2,763 Closed Sales Q2 2015, a3.5% increase
  • Median Sale Price: Up for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 2 2016 from Quarter 2 2015. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half the homes sold for less.
    • Pinellas County: $209,950 Median Sale Price Q2 2016 vs. $184,433 Median Sale Price Q2 2015, a 13.8% increase
    • Hillsborough County: $220,990 Median Sale Price Q2 2016 vs. $200,000 Median Sale Price Q2 2015, a 10.5% increase
    • Pasco County: $177,725 Median Sale Price Q2 2016 vs. $156,475 Median Sale Price Q2 2015, a 13.6% increase
  • Inventory (Active Listings): Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 2 2016 from Quarter 2 2015. When inventory is low, there are fewer houses on the market and buyers are often competing for homes or have a tougher time finding a home that suits their exact needs. Flexibility and preparationare key to being able to make an offer on a home when you do find what you’re looking for.
    • Pinellas County: 3,916 Active Listings Q2 2016 vs. 4,261 Active Listings Q2 2015, down 8.1%
    • Hillsborough County: 5,266 Active Listings Q2 2016 vs. 5,611 Active Listings Q2 2015, down 6.1%
    • Pasco County: 2,642 Active Listings Q2 2016 vs. 3,141 Active Listings Q2 2015, down 15.9%
  • Median Days to Contract: Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 2 2016 from Quarter 2 2015. The midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time. The faster a home goes to contract, the less time it is on the market for sale. Another good indicator for sellers and a tool for buyers to understand how to thrive in a hot market.
    • Pinellas County: 28 Days Q2 2016 vs. 35 Days Q2 2015, a 20.0% decrease
    • Hillsborough County: 28 Days Q2 2016 vs. 39 Days Q2 2015, a 28.2% decrease
    • Pasco County: 33 Days Q2 2016 vs. 42 Days Q2 2015, a 21.4% decrease

If you would like to discuss the market statistics further, or would like me to keep you informed, I would welcome the opportunity to provide monthly stats for you. Please don’t hesitate to email me at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com or call me at 727-804-6566 if I can be of service. Thank you for your time.

© 2016 Pinellas Realtor Organization

There are three dominant trends in real estate that sellers should be aware of going into the new year. CNNMoney recently asked industry insiders to share what will be important when it comes to selling a home in 2016. Do you agree?

  1. A seller’s market dominates. Home prices have been climbing so much that they’re even matching their 2006 highs. Seller’s markets are more dominant in certain cities such as San Francisco, where bidding wars are widely reported and offers go well above asking price. “The more lucrative a region’s economic future appears to be, the easier you can expect it to be to sell a home,” according to the article.
  2. Mortgages will get pricier. Low mortgage rates have been the standard in the last few years, but that will soon change. The Federal Reserve is gradually beginning to raise rates, which will move mortgage rates higher and dampen affordability. Sellers should be aware that it may become more difficult for prospective buyers to secure financing.
  3. Tax benefits still abound. The largest tax break for ordinary taxpayers who qualify remains the exclusion on capital gains for the sale of personal residences. Single taxpayers are able to exclude a maximum of $250,000 in gains from the sale of a home. Joint filers get double that: $500,000.

Source: “Selling a Home in 2016? Here’s What You Need to Know,” CNNMoney/Motley Fool

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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