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Pinellas Realtor Organization

 PROFARM Neighborhood Advocates
Sticky Notes – Hire a REALTOR® (May 2017)

 

When you’re ready to buy or sell a home, write yourself just one note: Call a Realtor® Today!

You may be ready to sell your home, or you may have already picked out a few homes online you think are perfect for you. But do you know how many steps and tasks are involved in the buying and selling process?

If you are thinking about buying or selling on your own, you’ll need to be prepared to undertake the following:

  • Figure out your budget and how much you can afford
  • Check your credit report
  • Save for a down payment
  • List current home on the market
  • Market current home on for sale
  • Clean and repair home for showings
  • Consider offers
  • Negotiate the contract
  • Find an attorney to review the contract
  • Hire an attorney or title company to complete the closing
  • Research types of mortgages
  • Find a mortgage lender
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage
  • Decide where you want to live
  • Decide what you want in a home
  • Check local school system report cards
  • Check local property taxes
  • Go to open houses
  • Research local amenities
  • Figure out how much you can offer
  • Submit an offer
  • Complete mortgage application
  • Order inspections
  • Obtain certificate of occupancy
  • Negotiate any repairs
  • Have the property surveyed
  • Review H.O.A. documents
  • Order title search
  • Obtain title insurance
  • Secure homeowners insurance
  • Secure flood insurance
  • Calculate closing costs and how much you need to bring to the table
  • Conduct final walk through

Here’s a list of 184 Tasks REALTORS® do for you (via the Ohio Association of REALTORS®): http://ohiorealtors.org/consumers/184-tasks-agents-do-for-you/

Feel overwhelming? It is! That’s why it’s important to hire a REALTOR® who can help you through every step of the process. The home buying journey is usually wrapped up in many emotions, so don’t put added pressure on yourself by trying to do it all!

Watch the “Sticky Notes” video here (via Florida Realtors®)

http://www.floridarealtors.org/MediaLibrary/media.cfm?id=261159

When you’re ready to sell your current home, or to find the home of your dreams, ask agents you meet if they’re a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® is different from a regular agent in two ways:

First, REALTORS® are members of the 100+ year old National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), with more than 1.1 million members around the world.

Second, only a REALTOR® subscribes to the strict NAR Code of Ethics. Also more than 100 years old, REALTOR® members have pledged to abide by this code of conduct and take biannual Code of Ethics training.

Home transitions can be overwhelming. But know if you call a REALTOR®, he or she will be your guide and trusted advisor through your journey to the perfect home.

Please don’t hesitate to email at AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com or call at 727-804-6566, if I can be of service. Thank you so much!
© 2017 Pinellas Realtor® Organization

These are some of the best “Smart Home” devices that may help to sell your home or increase the selling price of your home. Some may even help to lower the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Worth checking out. Let me know what you think or which ones you’ve utilized.

 

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  Here is 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 third 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 3 2016 Statistics Release for the Single Family Home Market Segment:

  • Closed Sales: Slightly down for Pinellas County; up for Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. This statistic is a good indicator of the overall health of the market, and successful closed sales mean a win-win for both buyers and sellers.

o    Pinellas County: 3,709 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 3,759 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 1.3% decrease
o    Hillsborough County: 5,257 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 4,928 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 6.7% increase
o    Pasco County: 2,719 Closed Sales Q3 2016 vs. 2,648 Closed Sales Q3 2015, a 2.7% increase

  • Median Sale Price: Up for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 2015. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half the homes sold for less.

o    Pinellas County: $219,900 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $186,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, an 18.2% increase
o    Hillsborough County: $224,045 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $202,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, a 10.9% increase
o    Pasco County: $185,000 Median Sale Price Q3 2016 vs. $157,500 Median Sale Price Q3 2015, a 17.5% increase

  • Inventory (Active Listings): Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 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, planning and preparation are key to being able to make an offer on a home when you do find what you’re looking for.

o    Pinellas County: 3,857 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 3,952 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 2.4%
o    Hillsborough County: 5,113 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 5,251 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 2.6%
o    Pasco County: 2,518 Active Listings Q3 2016 vs. 2,905 Active Listings Q3 2015, down 13.3%

  • Median Days to Contract: Down for Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County for Quarter 3 2016 from Quarter 3 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 reach their goals in a hot market.

o    Pinellas County: 27 Days Q3 2016 vs. 32 Days Q3 2015, a 15.6% decrease
o    Hillsborough County: 29 Days Q3 2016 vs. 39 Days Q3 2015, a 25.6% decrease
o    Pasco County: 29 Days Q3 2016 vs. 43 Days Q3 2015, a 32.6% 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.

© 2016 Pinellas Realtor Organization

 

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

This is an impressive post that brings out excellent points for both sellers and buyers. These are the kinds of things that we Realtors explain weekly, if not daily. Thank you Cara!
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Don’t go into the buying and selling process blind

As a layperson, you don’t know what you don’t know when it comes to handling the single largest transaction you’ll likely make in your life.

As with most important things in life, you wouldn’t try to handle a legal situation without an attorney, build your own house or take on the IRS solo to challenge a tax matter. Well, buying or selling a home is no different.

Here are 10 reasons you should never buy or sell a home without a agent.

1. Knowledge is not power

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing when it comes to real estate. At the click of a mouse or a tap on your phone, you can get an instant valuation of your property.

Is that value realistic? On which properties is it based? What did those properties have that yours does or does not? What were the dates and details of those sales?

That valuation could be significantly more or less than what your property is actually worth. Just like using the internet to self-diagnose a medical issue is not the best idea, the same applies to real estate.

2. What do you know about the market?

To the above point, as a seller, do you know what other options buyers are likely to consider when they are looking at your home? Do you know who the typical buyer audience is, where they are coming from and how to find them?

Do you know what agents likely work with this group? What is the average number of days on market for homes in your area, and what percentage of the asking price are they getting? Are there any particular terms of sale that are a trend in your area, such as sellers paying closing costs for buyers or other concessions?

As a buyer, what types of properties are most realistic for your price range and the kind of financing you will be doing?

A good agent educates you about “real estate reality” as far as what you can get for your money in your desired areas and criteria that are important to you.

Lastly, whether a buyer or seller, do you know why properties in one particular location sell faster than another? Are there challenges, perceived or real that could affect values?

A stellar agent can prevent you from making an expensive mistake when it comes to buying (such as a home near a soon-to-be-constructed highway or busy railroad tracks — no wonder it was priced so cheap). And alternatively, that same agent can help sellers position their property in the best way when taking into account external factors around it that can affect value.

3. Agents are expert problem-solvers

So what happens when the inspection reveals termites, a roof leak, a house that needs to be replumbed — or worse yet when an inspector paints a picture of a fairly minor repair issue in a far worse light than it is? What happens when an appraisal comes in at less than contract sales price?

These are run-of-the-mill issues that agents face every day. They don’t make our palms sweat and cause us to faint, but instead we stand tall in the face of the myriad challenges this business presents.

My first broker told me, “If you aren’t solving problems, you aren’t selling real estate.” How true this is.

If you are selling your home on your own and encounter these situations, can you prevent the buyer from running for the hills? Do you have a plethora of experts you can call upon, often at a moment’s notice, who can help?

As a buyer, do you really want to be addressing repair items with a seller directly? Sellers are so often in “repair denial,” particularly when they are trying to sell their home on their own — there are never any issues as far as they are concerned.

As a buyer, do you really want to be addressing repair items with a seller directly?

 

4. Overcoming objections is what agents excel at

You are selling your home on your own. Do you have a record of who has come through and when? If they had an agent, who it was and what the buyer thought of it? If they didn’t buy your home, what did they buy instead and why?

A real estate agent with two buyers

That’s what agents working with sellers manage. Are there any themes emerging? If there are concerns that are presenting as a challenge for buyers, do you know how to address them?

Are there ways to combat these objections by providing additional information or consulting with needed designers, contractors, landscapers, the homeowners’ association and so on?

Superstar agents can effectively address objections such as “didn’t like layout” or “needs too much work” and know how to position a property effectively, so buyers go from “just looking” to locking an offer up.

5. Effective negotiation skills are key

As a seller, you received a low offer on the property. Do you make a counteroffer, outright reject it or not respond?

As a buyer, you want to make an offer that asks the seller for everything and the kitchen sink (well, because it’s attached, it conveys as part of the house anyway).

How do you formulate a strategy? Do you know your opponent and have you gathered much intelligence about them? How much should you offer or counteroffer?

Does your response risk alienating the other side? What about more than one offer? How do you facilitate, manage and negotiate effectively to keep all interested buyers in play?

The negotiation landscape can get complex, which is why a third party is always beneficial in acting as a buffer zone to separate emotion from facts and work to reach an objective outcome.

6. Preventive medicine equals more money in your pockets

The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies when it comes to real estate because surprise is never a good thing when it comes to buying or selling.

Surprise is never a good thing when it comes to buying or selling.

A good agent walks you through the necessary steps before you start your property search or put your property on the market.

As a buyer, there are certain things you must do before starting your property search, such as getting prequalified — preferably preapproved — so you don’t waste time looking at properties that aren’t a match, and so that you don’t waste a seller’s time coming through a home that you cannot afford.

As a seller, are there items that should be addressed before putting your property on the market? Should you get a pre-listing inspection, and are there any repair items that need to be taken care of?

What about staging or editing your furnishings and decor? What items make the most sense for you to address to position your home for maximum exposure?

Do you need a floor plan created for your home? Is there any pertinent information you need to pull together that is critical for the sale?

In short, a top-notch agent guides you on critical steps you need to take before stepping into the market that will save you time, headaches and hassle when an offer comes through.

7. Marketing expertise is needed to sell your home

Image is everything when it comes to real estate, and a poorly presented property is like showing up at the Oscars without using a stylist.

Do you have access to the right photographers, video producers, stagers and interior designers to make your property shine?

Although you might think marketing your property on your own is easy, there is a difference between playing photographer and hiring someone with an objective, critical eye for what kind of marketing will attract the right buyers.

Are you able to find the money shot? What photos are going to best present the property? Should a drone be used, and for which shots?

Are you able to create a video to effectively tell your property’s story and how to best find that story and articulate it? What kind of marketing collateral can you prepare that’s going to communicate the features, benefits and advantages of your property over another effectively, and how is that collateral going to be distributed?

Do you have access to vendors that might be able to offer incentives or discounts for buyers who could benefit from their services with the new home?

A poorly presented property is like showing up at the Oscars without using a stylist.

8. Social network exposure is unmatched

Can you broadcast your property across numerous websites and various social media networks to pique buyer and agent interest — locally, nationally and possibly internationally?

Are you able to reach hundreds, thousands or even more with the click of a mouse? Are you able to use predictive analytics and targeted digital marketing to put your property in front of the right prospects? A top agent is skilled in making your property go viral in just seconds.

A top agent is skilled in making your property go viral in just seconds.

 

9. Agents have mad connections

Real estate agents are connected to just about everyone and everything. The three degrees of separation rule applies here.

Agents are constantly in the know — it’s their job to be. They leverage their relationships with real estate related service providers, lenders — and, most importantly, other agents — to help bring the sale together.

Agents exchange and share advice and ideas that can help one another, and by networking and information-sharing, they help bridge the gap between for sale and sold.

They also have access to properties that are not officially on the market and often know deals not advertised that builders might be offering in terms of discounts or specials that can help save you money.

Need a handyman or a really good painter? Ask your agent about the contacts he or she has, and get hooked up with great providers.

10. Trusted advice and an available point person are a seller’s best friend

Who else can you go to with a question or concern almost any time of the day or night? Yes, as much as we don’t like to admit it, there is no such thing as office hours for real estate.

A good real estate agent is your trusted adviser every step of the way, and unlike your attorney or accountant, you won’t get charged for every phone call or email.

Who else can you unload your qualms, fears and worries upon regarding the buying and selling process? When your peanut gallery of friends, family and co-workers are giving you confusing advice, who can you trust for objective information to make the best possible decision?

Don’t go into the buying and selling process blind. Let a real estate professional be your guide so that you can celebrate this incredible milestone without worry, knowing that the heavy lifting and problem-solving was done for you.

Cara Ameer is a broker associate and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. 

 

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.

 

According to the 2016 Remodeling magazine Cost vs Value survey, the average return on home improvement projects was 6.7% higher than the previous year. This may vary a bit,  of course, depending on where you live. Where home prices are higher and  job growth is strong, the payback  is much higher.

Curb appeal is number one. Buyers generally make up their minds about a place within the first 30 seconds. They may not even go into the house if it looks drab, in need of repairs or paint and has overgrown landscaping. So it makes sense that the number 1 return on improvement is to spruce up or replace the front door and entry. I have received several emails in this last month regarding which are the “in” colors for painting the front door this year. All, of course, have different ideas but generally bright, clean & inviting. By replacing or upgrading the front door you should see about 91% return. Not bad. Also make sure that your address numbers are visible from the street. Then add a colorful planter too.

The rest of the improvements  & their returns are:

Get new siding, which yields about 75%, replace the roof at 72%, build a deck about 75%, refresh the kitchen gives you 83%, renovate bathrooms will give you about 66% (new bathroom will add even more), family room-68%, remodel the basement for 70% if you live where basements are present-not too many here in Florida.

But surprisingly, the REAL number one upgrade is something that you can’t even see-insulating the attic.

 

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

(727) 804-6566
AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com

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