Sunday, October 2, 2011
Asheville homes for sale $550,000 – $750,000 – what are you competing with if you are selling your home?
Email us today if you would like us to sell your home
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
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If you’ve tried for way too long to sell your home and the Days On Market just keeps creeping upward with little or no results – then it’s time now for a major change. Clearly if the home is not selling then that means something has to change. There are some things that sellers today can do that will definitely increase the chances of getting their home sold.
Do What It Takes – Or Deal With the Consequences
You have a choice to be a sitting duck and wait while the market comes to you, OR you can step up to the plate and grab that market and pull buyers in your direction.
• Have an independent appraisal done on your home so that you are able to correctly assess the value of your home.
• Make sure you price your home accurately. You want to set the price according to the area, its appraised value and according to amenities and upgrades you may have installed. Keep in mind that some things are relative to the competition.
• Keep it on that hot list – you have lots of competition. If you can’t afford much of a price drop, have your agent make small, weekly incremental drop.
• Join with your agent as a partner – grab a link to your listing on their webpage, especially if it has a video embedded and post it on any sites that you are part of – Facebook etc.
• Don’t be afraid to ask your sphere for help – go out to family and friends and your email list – send out the link to the listing on your agent’s website and say something like – I am trying to sell my home and would appreciate you sharing it with anyone you think may be interested.
How To Avoid Your Home From Not Selling Effectively
So many people have no idea why their home is not selling and in their minds they have done all that it takes so they just cannot understand why things are not moving. But if you examine it closely, you will see that if you price your home lower or consistently drop your price, your neighbors will also do the same. Each step will be emulated in the actions of your competitors as well. What is the consequence of that? Together you all will have driven the prices down. You will get the listing fatigue that overcomes many of us when a home has been listed for a while and shown so many times.
Remember to be patient but also take active measures to get the results you want. If you price you home according to an appraisal, you will protect yourself from inaccurately pricing the property and therefore wasting even more time while it doesn’t sell. Not only that, when it does sell – you will have the backing of your appraisal to help stick to your expected price range during negotiations. If you are in the Asheville NC area see our appraisal page here, and if you are not in the area, you can still check out our video blog on the appraisal approach here
More Things You Can Do To Make That Sale a Reality
One way to push things along is to do small incremental price drops on a regular basis, but just enough to make your home pop back up on the radar. What this will accomplish is repeated visibility to the buyers and Realtor network plus it will show that you are serious about your desire to sell but you value your property’s worth.
Engage in your Realtor’s buyer prospects. He or she has likely set up a network of contacts, people that actively request information on new homes and opportunities. There is a good chance your agent already has a wide network of interested prospects through their website, marketing campaigns and past or present clients.Prospecting can also be done organically by reaching out to appropriate people, something your agent will be able to do. For example, at Patton Property Group we have 9500 people set up on automatic property drips – when your home is listed or has a price drop in the area, it automatically goes out to everyone that is set up for that criteria range.
Venture out into new territory. If you hadn’t before, utilize technology to make yourself stand out from your competitors. If possible, embed a video of your home into online listings. Videos are so much more useful than postage stamp pictures on the internet. Have your agent set up a homes video blog for you so that you and your friends and family can comment. See an example of this at www.AshevilleHomesTV.com - switch out Asheville for your town and off you go! Set up a Facebook page to provide further insight into your property for those who want to go beyond the standard listing information provided. See an example of a targeted Facebook page here. Do new and interesting things that will pull potential buyers in and keep them interested. See other tips here
Selling property is no new phenomena. But when you factor in the state of our current market and the myriad ways that your competitors are actively selling their homes, you will have to get creative to put yourself on the map. Move away from engaging only in age-old selling techniques. Venture into new territory and break out of the box so you and your home stand out. Or, if you are overwhelmed just thinking about it, make a checklist of what you think will work and find a Realtor who is progressive! Check out our progressive RATE #1 agents here and the areas they cover. You will indeed enjoy success far quicker and better than those who sit around and don’t do anything new. Do something different, and expect a different outcome!
Friday, July 15, 2011
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When a change occurs in the real estate policies and procedures of any locale, it usually has some impact on any or all of the players involved. In this year’s case, when North Carolina imposed some changes its laws regarding new home contracts, it resulted in some interesting implications on both buyers and sellers. The advantage seems to lean more in the direction of buyers in this case.
Then: Financing And Inspection Contingencies
Now: Due Diligence Period
By making this significant change from the way things used to be, buyers now have a specific period of time within which they must accomplish a number of things. All inspections conducted on the home must be done during this time. Further, buyers need to make any and all decisions of whether they are interested in the home while the contract is in due diligence. Potential buyers of a new home are required to secure their financing, manage the review of all property documentation and consider their property insurance as well.
In addition, they need to use this period of time to obtain appraisals of the home, consider zoning issues if any, get a feel for the neighborhood and school systems and familiarize themselves with the locale. A very important aspect of buying a home and one that must be done during the due diligence period according to the new change, is conducting an inspection of the home.
Due Diligence Fees Are a Tool For Buyers
The fee for due diligence can easily be $0 but more and more often buyers are realizing that there is a good amount of negotiating power if they offer more. With the increase of multi-bids savvy buyers know that to gain an edge over others vying for the same property, one way is to put in a bit in the due diligence fee pool.
Due Diligence Implications For Sellers
So, now we know that it is easier for buyers to decide to back out of a contract. Sellers are advised to 1) get an appraisal BEFORE listing their home. List just below appraisal. For more on this, see our blog on appraisals here. 2) Get your home inspected before listing and put right as much as possible. Here’s the way it used to work. Buyer puts in contract, everyone is excited. Yaaaahy – we’ve sold our home! Buyer gets inspections. Buyer asks for some things to be fixed, seller agrees and everyone goes forward. Meanwhile, buyer is applying for loan. Bank gets back to buyer and home does not appraise. Buyer tells buyer agent, tells listing agent, tells seller. Seller agrees to drop price to appraised value, everyone is happy. That was way back when.
NOW, here’s what happens. Buyers are nervous about purchasing a home in the current environment. They have zillions of homes to look at. Okay, ten times as many as a couple of years ago. If things need fixing, this can be a first hurdle where the buyer backs out. Add to that a bank that comes back and says ‘it’s not worth what you thought’ and they may well decide to walk. Get your house in order – literally – before listing. This might cost you $700-$1,000 – however many agents will rebate some of this at closing, and most importantly would you really let your house sale not go through for $700? By getting things tickety-boo beforehand, you will have the greatest chance for a smooth-sailing contract. See an example ofhomes priced below appraisal here
Buyers Are Well Advised to work with a BUYERS agent
It’s always a good idea for buyers to have their own buyer’s agent. If you work directly with a listing agent, that agent is working with; and has developed a relationship with, the seller. Most transactions are completed in this manner in our area, so all agents are used to the process, and of course to sharing the commission that goes along with sharing the work. Meet the Patton Property Group team here. Remember that you are negotiating tens, hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars. Put a full-time experienced buyer’s agent on YOUR side. It doesn’t cost you anything and could save you a lot. For more on working with real estate agents, see our article
Repairs No Longer Need to Be “Necessary” To Be Required
Before the new changes were put into place, buyers were restricted to repair requests for only those scenarios when an aspect of the home was deemed a “necessary repair”. If the roof is leaking, the repair used to be deemed ‘necessary’. Now a buyer can request a new roof even if it is not leaking. This could be things that were imminent in the near future and of significant consequence. At this time, however, buyers are now allowed the freedom to request any repairs that they feel they want done in order to continue with the sale. Of course, it is up to sellers to accept or refuse to perform those repairs and in case those repairs are refused, buyers have a few options:
Option 1: Buy the property “as is” and make a notation on the contract that it is an “as is” sale.
Option 2: Continue negotiations and attempt to come to some agreement with the seller for repair items.
Option 3: Back out of the contract prior to the end of the due diligence period.
No Change On Earnest Money
Regardless of due diligence fees, earnest money is still handled in the way it used to be. If the buyer decides to back out for whatever reason and does so within the time frame and due diligence deadline, then any and all earnest money is to be returned to the buyer.
The main reason these new aspects to home contracts were implemented is to reduce the number of dates and requirements that went along with them, within the contract process time. However, the actions have resulted in an advantage for buyers. With the new aspects of home contracts for transactions in North Carolina – the entire process of buying and selling will see a new approach altogether. And for the moment it seems it is for the better. Read more on due diligence here
Thursday, June 30, 2011
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Each state has its own home purchase contract standard that can change from time to time and with this year’s major change in the North Carolina contract comes a lot of leeway for buyers. The most significant change being that financing and inspection contingencies have been removed from the contract, to be replaced with a due diligence term. This major change impacts the home buying and selling process in four ways, outlined as follows:
Loans Must Be Approved Within Due Diligence Period
While the change made to North Carolina’s contract has implications that largely affect buyers, this particular point benefits sellers. Unlike before, this time around when buyers express interest in a home – unless they are approved for a loan prior to the due diligence term being up, the seller in most cases would likely not accept an offer on the property. Also, if the potential buyers decide to back out of the purchase, there is a good chance they will lose the earnest moneythey put down to secure that offer.
Tighter Control Based On Inspection Results
If a home inspection yields results that seem less-than-desirable to potential buyers, those buyers now have the freedom to terminate the contract without penalty. Prior to the due diligence change, there were stricter guidelines that needed to be followed on both sides of the fence. In terms of buyers, though, unless the inspection demonstrated an imminent need for repair or replacement, some things could be considered superficial or cosmetic and not deemed as absolutely necessary. Those types of repairs could potentially cost the new homeowners a significant amount of money in the old scenario but now there is protection from that. Buyers being able to pull out of a contract based on their own inspection criteria comes with the condition that proper contract procedures are followed.
Streamlined, Simple Timelines
Unlike the previous process, contingencies are now set up in a very simple, streamlined manner. Buyers (and sellers) now need only concern themselves with three dates; the executed contract date, the due diligence date and the settlement date. This not only reduces a lot of runaround but it also keeps things manageable amongst both parties. So now, where there may have been a lot of time wasted in going back and forth trying to fulfill various time requirements and deadlines, the entire process neatly breaks down into three easy to manage sections.
Protection Against Breach of Contract
Given the new guidelines, sellers now no longer have the freedom to breach a contract without reasonable consequences. Prior to the current changes, at best the earnest money was required to be returned to the buyer and there was little to no recourse for buyers other than to sue the sellers to recover other costs incurred during the in-progress contract period. However now, the range of reasonable costs has been expanded to include expenses or costs that may have been incurred during the due diligence term.
Clearly, the language in the new North Carolina home contract purports a greater advantage to buyers as opposed to the previous contact. Still, it is important to realize that these implications affect all sides of a real estate transaction, in that when following through, there is greater chance for a successful contract, happier parties on both sides and an overall smooth sailing process.
Monday, April 18, 2011
It’s the job of the real estate appraiser. His or her job is to evaluate a property and tell you, the buyer, what condition it is in and the value. Of course, as a seller, you can also have your home appraised so you get an objective “third party” view of your property.
Real estate appraisers are licensed by the state. Regulations vary, however, so I recommend you contact either me or a bank for information on qualified and ethical appraisers (more on this later). Often, they are independent contractors associated with appraisal firms headed by a Certified Appraiser or the equivalent.
From a seller’s perspective, it is paramount to have an appraisal before listing your home. Why is this so important? First, you make sure that you are not leaving money on the table by pricing your home as accurately as possible. SECOND your buyers are likely coming from outside your town. Pricing your home at or below appraisal - and being able to openly state that - helps to get your home on their viewing list, while the other dozen get cut before they get in the car. Then when you are under contract and the buyers get an appraisal - your home is more likely to appraise so that they can get their loan. Third, If a bank says your home is worth less, this can leave a taste so bad that buyers pull out. Put an appraisal to work for your home – this small investment gives a big bang for the buck!
What are the Benefits of Using an Appraiser’s Services?
When you are a buyer, appraisers can provide you with two great benefits:
Second, appraisers can do the opposite — uncover hidden opportunities for you! For example, you might be considering a home that doesn’t look all that wonderful on the outside, but is actually in solid shape as far as its structure is concerned. So, through an appraiser’s efforts, you may end up with an outstanding bargain.
What Kind of Report Will I Receive from an Appraiser?
A certified appraiser should provide you with a written report. These reports generally consist of the following nine items:
1. A description of the property and its location based on a visit to the property by the appraiser. The appraiser evaluates the condition, overall livability based on design, layout, and appeal to the market, and other external factors).
2. An evaluation of the “highest and best use” of the land; that is, the use for a piece of land, or property in general, that maximizes its net present value.
3. An evaluation of sales of comparable properties (usually three) as similar to the appraised property as possible.
4. Information regarding current real estate activity and/or market area trends.
5. An evaluation of the overall real estate market in the area.
6. Statements about items the appraiser feels are detrimental to the property’s value, such as poor access to the property.
7. Notations about seriously flawed items, such as a crumbling foundation, leaking roof, etc.
8. An estimate of the average sales time for the property.
9. What type of area the home is in (a development, stand alone acreage, etc.).
How Do I Find a Certified Real Estate Appraiser?
Check with the Better Business Bureau and the North Carolina State Appraisal Board. You can also check with your bank to make sure an appraiser is not blacklisted.
How Much Does An Appraisal Cost?
Generally speaking, an appraisal runs from $300 to $500. However, fees do vary with location.
If you need more information on real estate appraisers or any other real estate topic, be sure to call me. I would love to discuss these matters with you!