Planning to sell your home? Don’t wait. Place it on the market TODAY!

You probably had to read the headline twice.  Today?  You mean, today.  Yes, we mean TODAY.  Why the urgency?  The 2017 housing market shows that now is the time to sell.  January unveiled great numbers which paths the way for a strong housing market for this year.

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Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:
“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home. Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate…”

And CNBC says consumer confidence in the economy is fueling the market:
“U.S. home resales surged to a 10-year high in January as buyers shrugged off higher prices and mortgage rates, a sign of growing confidence in the economy.”

A depleting inventory leaves a challenging market.  In order for a balanced market of homes for sale and interested buyers, the inventory would require a full six-month supply of homes.  The current situation is that there is less than a four-month inventory which means a 7.1% decrease from last year.

Admit it.  These statistics are make you look a little more closely about selling.  The increasing demand and low home supply provides the perfect climate for selling your home for the best price.  I’m more than happy to help you in this process to see if the market is hot in your neighborhood.

The Great Housing Dilemma: Practical steps to selling your old home and buying a new one.

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The steps to “moving up” or “sizing down” can be a daunting and confusing one.  Do you sell first?  Buy first?  When is a good time to talk to a financial institution about your plans?  When does a real estate agent come into the picture?  You may not know where to start.  However, I want to reassure you that a good plan can be your best asset.

Oh, the Great Housing Dilemma.  The thought of it can brings so much anxiety.  Remember that the overall goal is to maximize the selling price of your home and find a new one for a reasonable price.  However, If you sell your current home first, where will you live until you find a new one?  If you buy first, you are stuck with paying two mortgages– that is, if a lender has the ability to offer you a second mortgage.

Options during this transition may involve:

Borrow down payment money for the second house from family or friends. Point out that you need help for only a short period, and offer a competitive interest rate. Give the person making the loan a promissory note, secured by a second mortgage (deed of trust) on your new house. Try to arrange it so that no monthly payments are due until your first house sells. Be warned, however, that depending on your financial situation, institutional mortgage lenders may refuse to approve a loan where the down payment doesn’t come from your own resources.

Get a bridge loan from a financial institution. If you have no other choice, it may be possible to borrow money from a bank or other lender to bridge the period between when you close on your new house and when you get your money from the sale of your old one. This idea is that you take out a short-term loan on your existing house, using it toward the down payment and closing costs on your new house, and repaying it when your first house sells.

Bridge loans can, however, be far more expensive than regular mortgage or home equity loans (higher upfront payments as well as interest rates), and they’re not easy to qualify for — you have to have plenty of equity in your current home and enough income to pay both mortgage payments indefinitely. The requirements all but negate the benefits of the loan!

First things first, evaluate the housing market with a trusted licensed real estate agent like myself.  I can give you current market value for your home to sell as well as advise on what is on the market for your next home.  With the marketing that I can do early on, I may be able to secure a buyer while you are preparing your home for sale.  I currently have an active listing that I “pre-marketed” for 3 months and accumulated interested buyers.  Now the home is actively for sale, we have multiple offers!  Multiple potential buyers who are interested in the listing will sell the home very quickly.

I am happy to do “Seller Net Sheets” that allow you to see estimated values of what you will net.  Talking to a lender will also determine what the lender feels your budget should be.  This allows you to know what is a reasonable next purchase should you need or desire to finance that purchase.  My goal is to get all of the information and planning done upfront so the transaction is seamless when we decide to proceed.

If you still have questions, I’m here to help!  Call me at 480-466-8193.  Erin Newman

Selling Your Home in 2016? Check These Tips Off Your List!

If 2016 is your year to move, the winter is the perfect time to prepare your home ready for the competitive market.  People can often times find this part of the process to be a daunting task but with a little work, your home can be sold in no time to the perfect buyer!

It’s time to de-clutter

Many real estate professionals will agree that when you are getting ready to sell your home that decluttering is key.  Your home should be spacious and beautiful as possible but it’s hard to see the beauty when a pile of old books and papers reside in the corner and staring at everyone walking through the door.  Take an inventory of your home as you walk from room to room and eliminate the “eyesores”.  Spend a weekend creating a pile for trash pick-up, donations, or to be placed in storage.  This includes organizing your closets and pantries because- believe it or not- prospective buyers open these doors, leaving no stone underturned.  Best of all, it will less packing for you when the day arrives to move out!

Curb appeal

According to bankrate.com, curb appeal is important to 71% of potential home buyers.  71%, people!  When selling your home, your goal is to get them through the front door (and, of course, to make an offer) but this means you might have to invest time and money.  By no means do you have to spend a small fortune to make your lawn look like it’s a photograph from a magazine.  However, it may require tasks such as pressure washing the house, driveway, walkway, and mailbox.  Make sure old plants and flowers plants are removed and weeded.  If life is too busy to maintain your lawn especially during the warmer months, hire a service to cut and edge your lawn to keep it spruce.  Feel free to add finishing touches such as a bird feeder or a rocker for the front porch.

Squeaky clean

A dirty home is one of the most popular factors of turning off buyers.  This is probably one of the most challenging parts of placing a home on the market.  At any given moment, you can receive a call of your next showing.  The constant housecleaning can make anybody exhausted but start off with a thorough deep cleaning.  If cleaning isn’t your forte, then hire a cleaning service to make your home sparkle. This includes steam vacuuming, polishing hardwood floors, cleaning your windows and baseboards, and dusting from floor to ceiling.   Light housekeeping throughout the week such as taking care of dirty laundry and dishes, cleaning the counters after every use, and a quick sweep through the bathrooms are essential.

With this being said, the cleanliness of a home should also bring attention to odors such as cigarette smells, pet dander, and unpleasantries that may make people stop dead in their tracks at your door and deter them from entering.  A thorough cleaning and air-out (and investing in clean-smelling candles!) will help in this area.

Freshen up

If you’ve lived in your house for years, then it may be time to look at home decor through new lenses.  The best starting point is leafing through home magazines to see the latest trends.  Research popular paint color.  Throw a new rug under the dining room table.  Replace the yellowing lamp shade with one of a vibrant color.  Put away (temporarily) lots of photos of family and friends- you want people to feel like this could be their home!  Switch out outdated hardware and light fixtures.  These small changes can transform a room.

Home sellers can become a little overwhelmed and concerned at expenses when it comes to updating kitchens and bathrooms.  Look into more affordable alternatives for updates such as concrete or soapstone countertops opposed to granite.  We all know that hardwood floors look fabulous in any home and you can still get the hardwood look without the steep prices.  Luckily, flooring has come a long way in recent years with more natural approaches. Bamboo and cork flooring are great alternatives.

Functional yet comfortable

Staging a room can often times require looking at it from a different perspective.  The goal is for the room to be inviting yet provide functionality and space.  If you are unsure of where to start, enlist the help of a friend or professional to give you advice.

Whether it be furniture or decor, the pieces in a room don’t have to match but it should create an environment that plays well together.  Bring personality by showcasing a dramatic fireplace or playing up exposed wooden beams or a speciality window.   Lighting can either be your friend or enemy!  Remember that providing the right amount of lighting through natural light and fixtures can bring out your home’s best features or spotlight the dust collected on the mantel.

Use a high-quality digital camera to take photos of each room for marketing purposes.  Be mindful of angles and remember that homebuyers want to see your kitchens and bathrooms!

Fix It

If you need the professional help of a contractor or handyman to make necessary repairs, consider hiring them during the colder months.  January and February tend to be slower months and may offer reduced rates.

Check your home value

Want to know the value of your home?  Consult a licensed real estate agent in your area.  They will be able to give you advice and lead you through the process.  If you live in the Valley of the Sun or surrounding area, contact Erin Newman at 480-466-8193 for a consultation.