Gray needs to go! Other design trends that are on their way out:Link to Article
Category Archive: ‘Tips, Advice & Links’
This company was mentioned as a favorite of Compass agents, and this video gives a brief sampling of their products. It’s incredible what they can do!
Virtual staging improves the buyer’s first impression of an online listing, but there will be some natural letdown when they get to the home and find it’s not exactly what they thought.
But you have to get them there to have a shot at selling:
Kayla returned from Manhattan for the long Thanksgiving weekend, and we were talking about the sluggishness in New York City market, which has been going on for 2+ years. By now agents have learned that there’s no use fighting it – you have to learn to adapt.
It was in the year of her birth, 1991, when I experienced my first market slowdown. All I knew was that there wasn’t a buyer for miles, and with a newborn child, I need to hurry up and figure this out!
This is my third time around the block, so I offered her a few ideas.
First let’s acknowledge how it works in a seller’s market. Buyers find a house that is a good fit, and they buy it. Agents might offer up a strategy to get a discount, but for the most part, buyers pay the sellers’ price. It’s binary – it is yes or no, is this the right house? If it is, then pay the price.
Now it’s different, and if you can get a buyer to look at homes, their answer will be the same everywhere – ‘no’. Because they are looking for any reason not to buy – and every house has one – once they find it then it’s game over. But rather than just saying no to every house and never buying anything, let’s take it a step further.
At what price would you be a buyer?
Price will fix anything, and the price itself is usually the problem – it’s too high.
If the buyer would be interested at a lower price, then all you have to do is present a powerful case to the seller and listing agent to see if there is enough motivation to at least listen, and hopefully make a deal.
If you just make a lower offer without justification, I can already tell you what the answer will be: “No, and get off my lawn”.
To get something, you have to give a little. Here are ideas:
- Make an clean offer with quick close date. These work best on vacant properties where sellers might be eating an extra payment.
- Make an offer using older comps, and point out that the Case-Shiller pricing (or other) has retreated back where it was X months ago.
- Make an offer based on the cost of the needed improvements, and include contractor quotes when possible.
In all cases, include a photo of the family and pets, and an introduction that explains the offer. Usually the listing agent will just forward the explanation right to the sellers, so it’s a way to have influence over the outcome. Without an introduction and explanation, the listing agent has to justify the low price himself, and he won’t try too hard and risk looking bad.
We need price discovery!
The only way to find out what the seller might take is to put an offer on the table. It may seem risky to be among the first to take the plunge, but by April/May we should see more people finding a way to make a deal. Those will probably be with the sellers who have been trying to sell for 90+ days, and are tired of the process. Let’s give it a shot!
An older post that still gets hits:
Punky asked what’s in that “awesome I got everything going for me” house.
These thoughts are culled mostly from conversations with our buyers, personal observations, multiple bidding wars, with an emphasis on investment value and some anticipation of future trends:
1. Location – Because buyers are looking long-term, the flight to quality has never been so active. Buying the best location you can afford will never go out of style. Being in a great school district is smart, even if you don’t have kids.
2. Light and Bright – South-facing homes with ample windows that allow full sun are much preferred. You may have to provide shade in the summertime, but you’ll save on heating bills in winter and overall have a sunnier disposition than those who live in a cave. There will be more push towards solar panels at home, and they prefer a south-facing roof.
Sellers should do more to their properties today to get them sold.
Even those who were nicely updated with the golden Tuscan look or cherrywood floors and cabinets just a few years ago look dated today. Modern photography doesn’t hide it, and in some cases can make it look worse.
Do you remodel the whole joint?
Nobody wants to go too far, but there are modest improvements you can make to help the cause:
- New flooring and paint.
- New pulls and handles on cabinets.
- New towels and towel racks.
- New lighting – especially the LEDs.
- New sod and landscaping.
Here are a couple of extreme examples but for anyone selling a house that is more than ten years old, your trees are probably overgrown and more of a distraction. The clean, crisp neutral look goes for the exteriors too:
It’s happening everywhere – hackers are stealing funds thought to be wired to escrow companies. It’s a real threat – be careful! Hat tip GW:
James and Candace Butcher were ready to finalize the purchase of their dream retirement home, and at closing time wired $272,000 from their bank following instructions they received by email.
Within hours, the money had vanished.
Unbeknownst to the Colorado couple, the email account for the real estate settlement company had been hacked, and fraudsters had altered the wiring instruction to make off with the hefty sum representing a big chunk of the Butchers’ life savings, according to a lawsuit filed in state court.
A report by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center said the number of victims of email fraud involving real estate transactions rose 1,110 percent between 2015 to 2017 and losses rose nearly 2,200 percent.
Nearly 10,000 people reported being victims of this kind of fraud in 2017 with losses over $56 million, the FBI report said.
The Butchers, forced to move into their son’s basement instead of their dream home, eventually reached a confidential settlement in a lawsuit against their real estate agent, bank and settlement company, according to their lawyer Ian Hicks.
The problem is growing as hackers take advantage of lax security in the chain of businesses involved in real estate and a potential for a large payoff.
“In these cases, the fraudster knows all of the particulars of the transaction, things that are completely confidential, things they should not know,” said Hicks, who is involved in more than a dozen similar cases across the United States.
Numerous cases have been filed in courts around the country seeking restitution from various parties. One couple in the US capital Washington claimed to have lost $1.5 million in a similar fraud scheme.
Real estate is just one segment of what the FBI calls “business email compromise” fraud which has resulted in some $12 billion in losses over the past five years. But for home buyers, the fraud can be particularly catastrophic.
“In these cases, the loss can be devastating and life-altering,” Hicks said.
Real estate transactions have become a lucrative target for hackers “because they handle a lot of money and because they have employees who are not the most technically savvy,” said Sherrod DeGrippo, director of threat research for the security firm Proofpoint.
Additionally, hackers often do their homework and “sometimes they know more about the business than the employees do,” she said.
Sellers need to do more updating and improving to get their home sold these days, but you don’t want to go crazy. Here are a few quick ideas from Bob Vila:
10 Kitchen Updates You Can Do in a Day
You don’t have to live with your ugly cabinets one minute longer!
There are plenty of ways to give them a quick refresh without having to purchase replacements. Make a large-scale change by painting your units a bright color, or go for a mix-and-match effect by applying a few coats only to the top cabinets. Consider removing a door or two to create trendy open shelving, or use chalkboard paint on the doors or expanses of wall for a dose of cottage charm.Link to Full Article
At least you get to choose the realtor, instead of getting stuck with whoever shows up. I was able to install the mobile app from the Play Store but couldn’t get it to work (I’m rocking the Pixel 2 now). Hat tip Eddie89!
You’ve hailed rides using a mobile app before, but have you hailed real estate agents on one? If not, a new tool called ArriveHome seeks to change that.
A new app called ArriveHome is looking to streamline the real estate market. Designed for buyers who don’t yet have an agent or those who want to browse a home ASAP, ArriveHome makes finding a Realtor and scheduling a showing instant and easy.
Upon seeing a home they like, buyers log onto the app, browse the many “live” agents listed in the area and choose one they want to work with based on their profile and details. Next, they can click to text or call the agent and schedule a showing on the spot.
According to Jeff Narlinger, co-founder of ArriveHome, the app will help speed up the often slow showing process.
“[We are] melding the ‘on-demand/Amazon effect‘ into real estate, giving the consumer faster, easier access to properties,” Narlinger said. “No more sign calls or long e-mail threads that do not get returned quickly enough.”
The app isn’t just for the buyer, though, Narlinger said.
“Basically, what Uber did for the Taxi Industry, in providing efficiencies and advantages that both providers and consumers never knew they needed, that’s the impact we believe ArriveHome will have on the residential real estate industry in its benefits to the home search process for both agents and consumers alike,” he said.
ArriveHome is currently available in Colorado, California and Arizona on both iOS and Android devices. The company plans to expand to Nevada and Texas next.Link to Article
We might be seeing some whipsaw effect with today’s buyers being overly cautious. Either that, or we’ve ran out of the buyers who jump in too fast or too high, and just the deliberate ones are left:
Millennials aren’t exactly jumping for joy after purchasing their homes.
About four in 10 millennials are already homeowners, according to a new survey of over 600 millennials (age 21-34) by Bank of the West.
Yet it turns out that 68 percent of them are feeling buyer’s remorse — almost double the amount of Baby Boomers who say they have regrets.
“Millennials are so eager to become homeowners that some may be inadvertently cutting off their nose to spite their face,” says Ryan Bailey, head of Bank of the West’s retail banking.
Here are the biggest areas of remorse.
Overspending on the down payment
Roughly four in 10 millennials felt they made poor financial choices when it came to purchasing their home. Part of the problem seems to revolve around the down payment. The survey found one in three millennials dipped into their retirement accounts to pay for their homes — a trend Bailey calls “alarming.”
“Borrowing from your retirement may make sense in special circumstances, but it’s definitely not a recommendation,” Bailey tells CNBC Make It.
To keep from getting squeezed, think about what you can afford as a monthly payment, and don’t forget to include taxes and insurance in your calculations, Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, tells CNBC Make It.
Use filters on home search sites and price alerts to make sure you’re not shopping for a home above your budget. “Don’t fall in love with something that’s already out of your price range,” Hale says.
Underestimating ongoing costs
When you buy a home, the expenses don’t stop once you move in.
Millennials understand basic costs, such heating and electric bills, but Bailey recommends also considering how much time and money it could take to mow the lawn, clean the house or deal with leaky faucet.
“When you’re a homeowner, you can’t call your landlord to fix things, so you want to make sure you have a little extra cash in the bank,” Hale says.
It’s a big transition going from renter to homeowner, so make sure to take some time to learn about the maintenance costs associated with potential homes.
Settling for something that’s not quite right
Finding the right fit is as important as having the right budget when it comes to home ownership. The survey found that about half of millennials had regrets about the home itself.
One in five said they were frustrated by damages they found after moving in, while others said they discovered the house didn’t end up working well for their family.
To avoid unexpected expenses, experts recommend getting a home inspection before finalizing the sale. “Especially if you’re a first-time buyer or new to home ownership, you may not even know what to look for, so you definitely want to have the expert on your side,” Hale says.
It can also help to nail down what you really need in a home. Make a list of your must-haves before you start looking and know what you’re willing to compromise on, Hale says. It’s currently a very competitive market, so chances are, you’re going to have to make compromises.
In fact, about two-thirds of home buyers reported compromising on some sort of home characteristic, according to a survey from the National Association of Realtors.
“The more targeted your search is,” Hale says, “the more chance you won’t waste your time or get distracted by homes that ultimately aren’t a good fit for you.” Follow this advice, and you can avoid purchasing a home that you regret.