How often do people sell a home?

Did you know that homeowners are now living in their homes 50 percent longer than they did in 2007? The National Association of Realtors says the average U.S. homeowner sells a home once every nine years. Previously, it was more frequently: once every six years.

This is one of the reasons most sellers today use a real agent: 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69% since 2001.

By | 2018-04-10T09:15:34+00:00 April 20th, 2018|

What are buyers looking for in a neighborhood?

In real estate, location is paramount. And for many buyers, proximity to work and public transportation are key factors in the selection of a neighborhood. According to a recent study of consumer housing trends, nearly half of all buyers want to be close to public transportation (45 percent), and nearly 7 in 10 want to be close to work.

By | 2018-04-10T09:09:20+00:00 April 10th, 2018|

What do buyers want most in a home?

All buyers want to find a home they can afford. But beyond that, guess what most buyers most want?

Neighborhood safety ranks highest – 71 percent for all buyers – followed by a home with air conditioning (62 percent of buyers), the right number of bedrooms (62 percent), and bathrooms (53 percent).

The Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017 by the Zillow Group, also found kitchens were tied with energy efficiency as the most desired home feature (48 percent). “Preferred finishes,” such as flooring, countertops, and appliances, came in a close second at 47 percent.

Parking is important to buyers too. Many buyers require that homes have ample parking (40 percent). For 39 percent of buyers, finding a home in their preferred neighborhood, is also important.

By | 2018-03-07T09:36:09+00:00 March 23rd, 2018|

This home inspector trick can help you look at homes in a whole new way

What if you could just look at a home and get an idea if it was a good home or one that might be, well, complicated? Dylan Chalk, author of “The Confident House Hunter,” an award-winning book with a novel way for buyers to look at homes, says you can.

Chalk, a certified home inspector, found a commonalty among the 5,000+ homes he inspected. It begins with the roofline.

“You would be hard-pressed to find a single feature or attribute of a house that can tell you more about the house in less time than the roofline,” he says. Sturdy and elegant rooflines = sturdy and elegant houses; quirky rooflines = quirky houses; sagging rooflines = a house likely to have some kind of structural problem. Always look at the roofline!

By | 2018-03-07T09:18:48+00:00 March 15th, 2018|

Buyers are interested in “green homes”

A new study says that more than half of all homebuyers are interested in “green homes” with energy-saving features. According to the 2017 Sustainability Report from the National Association of Realtors, homes that feature energy-efficient lighting and heating systems, solar panels, geothermal heating, water-saving landscaping or energy-saving appliances are increasing in popularity.

The Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, recently added “green” information to property listing data so that consumers can better search online for homes with energy saving features.

Two of the hottest “green” trends: solar panels and “tiny homes.” 80% of Realtors surveyed reported that they sold a home with solar panels and nearly half believe that solar features added to the value of the home. And nearly one-in-four Realtors reported that tiny homes are in their markets!

By | 2018-03-07T09:10:42+00:00 March 7th, 2018|

The greatest home selling tip!

If you asked a professional home stager if you could do just one thing to help your home sell, they would likely respond with one word: neutralize. The one thing you want is for potential buyers to see your home as if it were theirs. But unfortunately, family preferences often get in the way: a bathroom is hot pink, a bedroom is black and red, and another has striped wallpaper.

So put away the velvet Elvis paintings, posters, pet and personal items. Yes, they are you and yours, but try to make it their place. The more you create a blank canvas, the easier it will be for your buyers to paint themselves in your home!

By | 2018-02-06T09:48:26+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|

How can you improve your credit score?

Here’s a general rule of thumb for credit scores: the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. It really does pay to work hard to improve your credit score.  Just follow these four rules:

  1. Always pay all of your bills on time
  2. Check your credit reports (all 3) for errors and correct them
  3. Don’t close old credit accounts – leave them open; the longer you have established credit, the better
  4. Stay away from your credit limits

If you are solid with the first three, focus on the last one. The lower your total debt is as a percentage of your total available credit limit, the higher your potential score. So if you qualify, ask your creditor to raise your limit! That can help quickly raise your credit score.

By | 2018-02-06T09:46:20+00:00 February 16th, 2018|

Why it’s easier to get a mortgage today

After the housing crisis, it became very hard to get a mortgage. The pendulum swung so far that even former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was turned down for a home loan! The good news is that the pendulum is finally starting to swing the other way. Why? Competition.

Fannie Mae reports that lenders are easing credit standards to gain more customers. Plus, Fannie Mae is helping too. The financial giant, which helps set the underwriting standards for mortgages that are sold to investors, raised its total debt-to income ratio threshold. This means that more borrowers will qualify for home loans. This could be very good news for Millennials that have student loans. Student debt has been keeping many out of the housing market, but this move might help some Millennials jump in.

By | 2018-02-06T09:43:43+00:00 February 6th, 2018|

Why is it risky to do a ‘For Sale by Owner’?

It may be tempting to try and sell your home on your own, but only if you actually save money. Unfortunately, the research says otherwise. Homes sold by owners sell for an average of 16% less than homes sold by sellers who work with a real estate agent. But there’s an even bigger risk. Without the representation of a licensed real estate agent, the owner assumes all the liability. If the owner reports the home has “double pane” windows, but they are actually single pane, the buyer can sue. The remedy: the seller could end up replacing all the windows after the sale on their own dime!That’s one more reason to hire a professional to sell your home.

By | 2018-01-09T08:27:56+00:00 January 31st, 2018|