Archive for the 'Sellers' Category

Spring Time

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

What are most people thinking this 2014? Well, let me tell you. In recent polls, most Home Seller are stating that 2014 will be the year they sell and finally move to that smaller home or retirement community or dream location someplace warm. Also, 2014 predicts to bring Home Buyers that will have to “fight” over the “low-to-no” inventory. What this means: Two Words ~ SELLERS MARKET!!

Call Us Today and we’ll connect you with an agent that can provide you with a Home Evaluation so you can see where you stand.

Selling your home out of season? A great deck makes a difference

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

In a perfect world, no one would ever have to face the challenge of trying to sell a house when there’s snow on the ground and the trees are bare. In reality, people have to sell and buy homes throughout the year.

While winter may not be the optimum season to showcase your landscaping, there is one improvement you can make that will help you boost your home’s outdoor appeal no matter what the season: a deck.

When potential buyers visit your home in winter, they might not be able to envision how green and lovely your backyard will look come spring. But they will be able to see with their own eyes the square footage that a deck adds to the home’s living space.

Decks, patios, sunrooms and porches have always been popular with home buyers, but real estate agents say that too often those spaces are neglected or not used to their best advantage. Yet outdoor improvements like a deck can significantly enhance your home’s value and appeal. In fact, at the time of resale, a deck will recoup, on average, about 73 percent of the original cost of building it, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report.

“Anything that adds living space adds value, and the least expensive way to gain space is to build a deck or turn the one you have into an outdoor room by staging it so that it flows seamlessly with the rest of the house,” says Mary Beth Harrison of The Harrison Group, a Dallas-based real estate agency. “A great deck can set your home apart from others with the same interior floor plan or square footage, and deck additions typically add value when it comes time to sell.”

The cooler temperatures of fall and early winter make the season a great time to add a deck to your home. Or, if you already have a deck, you can enhance its appeal by adding simple touches and accessories.

A bonus space – for example, a tiny deck or rarely used balcony off a master bedroom – can be transformed into a romantic getaway by staging it with cozy, cushioned seating and a raised firepit. You can safeguard your deck and add designer style with Latitudes deck stones, 16-inch interlocking square tiles made of natural slate or granite. Deck stones can provide an effective fire barrier that’s an asset under firepits or grills, or when used to create an outdoor kitchen.

Lighting is another way to boost appeal. LED deck lighting kits, like those offered by Deckorators, are both practical and visually appealing. Adding lighting to a deck can be an important safety feature, and also helps create a warm, welcoming mood for evening entertaining.

Another improvement that speaks to both safety and visual appeal are deck railings. Decorative railings with ornate balusters, post cap and postcovers can give virtually any wood or composite lumber deck a distinctive look for a modest investment.

“More than ever before, people look at their decks as outdoor entertainment areas,” says Chris Fox of Universal Forest Products, producers of Latitudes Composite decking and Railing and Deckorators, a leader in decking railing systems and deck accessories. “For some, it’s a kitchen; for others, a living room. Decks can be party spaces or quiet retreats. With so many different types of deck materials, lighting, rail systems and decorative accents, it’s possible to turn a plain deck into a great outdoor space.”

“Potential home buyers always react positively to nice decks that look like a great place to hang out,” says Harrison. “From a buyer’s perspective, if all else is equal, it’s true that the home with the best deck wins.”

Courtesy of ARA

Thirty-year mortgage rate drops to another record low

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

 Article written by Christen Davis

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30 year loan fell to 3.53% this week.  Two weeks ago it was at an average of 3.62%.  If you’re looking to refinance, a 15-year mortgage rate is down by an average of 2.83%.  These rates are the lowest since the 1950‘s and buyers and home owners should be taking advantage right now. 

Contact our Mortgage Partner Matt Vance with Guaranteed Rate for more information on how you can pre-qualify or start saving a significant amount of money by refinancing.

Positive Indications Of A Recovering New England Housing Market

Thursday, May 10th, 2012
By RE/MAX of New England Last updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Longer days and warmer weather aren’t the only reasons to celebrate right now. Recent news continues to reinforce that the housing market in New England is improving, and just as important, there are several positive signs on the national front which should encourage buyers, sellers, and agents alike.

According to our latest RE/MAX of New England Monthly Housing Report for March, home sales were up dramatically. Each state posted double digit gains in year-over-year home sales. Rhode Island led the way with a 25.6% increase, followed by Vermont at a 25% year-over-year increase. Connecticut (up 15.4%), Massachusetts (up 14.3%), New Hampshire (up 12.3%) and Maine (up 12.1%) also posted exciting gains as well.

While home sales have been strong since the fall, it is even more encouraging to see that home prices are beginning to stabilize. In fact, in March, Maine and Massachusetts both experienced a slight uptick in median sales price, up 1.1% and 0.5% respectively. It is a trend being played out on the national level as well. According to The National Association of Realtors®, median sales price increased 2.5% in the U.S. in March 2012 compared to March 2011.

Stable prices are the next piece to fall into place in the housing recovery. As strong sales continue throughout the rest of this spring and this year, excess inventory will continue to be depleted. Prices will stop declining, begin holding steady, and eventually, they will ever so slowly begin to rise again.

The key to this entire formula is for buyers and sellers to remain active, and they certainly have good reason to. Interest rates remain at or near historic lows, and unemployment continues to decline in most communities. Buyers and sellers should also be confident that the economic recovery is not going to take a step back. Just last week, Abby Joseph Cohen, the Chief Equity Strategist for Goldman Sachs, said the investment powerhouse fully believes we will not slip back into another recession in the near future.

The Federal Reserve, which has long recognized that a robust economy is supported by a vibrant housing market, is also rolling out a new program in June which aims to speed up the short sale process. The ultimate goal is to help families shed mortgage debt and avoid foreclosure, while at the same time accelerating the pace at which this block of inventory moves.

Anyone who has ever dealt with a short sale before is well aware of the snail’s pace the process can move at. Buyers and sellers can go months without a response from the bank, only to find out their offer has been rejected.

According to the Boston Herald, the new policy will require banks respond to short sale requests within 30 days if it is owned or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. After 30 days, the bank must provide weekly updates explaining what is behind the delay. Final decisions are required within 60 days and banks that fail to comply will face fines and other penalties.

This new policy is sure to help make the short sale process more transparent, and will hopefully encourage buyers not to rule out this type of transaction because of the uncertainty usually associated with it.

As the government continues to adjust its housing policies to continue to make it easier for qualified borrowers to purchase a home – whether it is a short sale, foreclosure, or regular transaction —
this year’s spring housing market is shaping up to be one of the most active in recent memory thanks to an improving economy and the return of consumer confidence. Best of all, many of the indicators of a long-term, meaningful housing recovery are present, which should give buyers and sellers alike renewed confidence in the real estate market.

RE/MAX Agent Survey Reveals Rising Prices, Strong Demand

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The housing industry is staging a recovery with increasing sales and stabilizing prices, according to a national survey of RE/MAX agents. Four out of five agents believe U.S. home prices won’t decline further. In fact, nearly 70% predict prices will go up, led by a strong demand for homes in the low to middle price ranges.

“To active real estate agents, this market is definitely heating up,” said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. “They are witnessing a recovery across the country fueled by home buyers and sellers taking advantage of a significant market opportunity.”

Agent opinions are documented in the quarterly RE/MAX Market Insights, an online survey of 1,022 residential experts. The survey builds brand visibility for RE/MAX agents, and is typically picked up by more than 300 news outlets. Collectively, RE/MAX agents sell more real estate than any other real estate network in the U.S.

Download the RE/MAX Market Insights survey infographic.

Key findings include:

  • Price rebound: 68% say prices will be higher by the end of 2012.
  • Today’s prices: 29% below the peak reached during the housing bubble.
  • Demand for lower-priced properties: 80% of agents say it’s good or very good.
  • Demand for homes in the middle-price ranges: 71% rate it as fair to good.
  • Demand for high-priced homes: 58% call it poor to fair.

A snapshot of today’s homebuyers served by RE/MAX agents:

  • Roughly one third are first-time buyers. Another third are homeowners looking to sell so they can move up or downsize. The remainder are mostly investors, who believe the market has hit bottom.
  • One in five buyers pays cash, receiving an average discount of 15%.

The most significant challenges facing first-time homebuyers are having an acceptable credit score, posting a down payment, and facing a shortage of homes for sale. Repeat buyers have the added burden of selling their current home. They, too, are facing a scarcity of homes to purchase in the lower and middle price ranges.

Nearly half of the agents say lower priced homes in their markets are selling for slightly less than the asking price, while 17% say buyers are paying full price and 11% say buyers are paying slightly more than the asking price.

For homes in the middle-price ranges, 49% report sale prices are slightly less than the asking price, while 8% say full-price is being paid. For the high-priced homes, 43% report that sale prices are moderately less than asking prices, with another 25% saying it is slightly less.

With bank-owned homes making up a significant portion of the current inventory, agents report that 62% of their non-investor buyers have a favorable attitude toward foreclosures, while only 27% have a favorable attitude toward short sales.

“With distressed properties still making up a sizeable portion of homes on the market, this inventory is being cleared effectively by buyers, who don’t mind investing a little to fix up a property in return for an attractive bargain,” Kelly added.

Among buyers’ highest priorities were quality of schools, and condition and size of the home. The lowest priorities included public transportation, walkability and energy efficiency.

Most RE/MAX agents advise their buyers to hire a professional home inspector and to attend the inspection. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage, not merely pre-qualified, also is recommended.