Remove Road Blocks To Sell Your Home

Sell your homeEvery seller has a common goal in mind: sell your  home quickly and for the most money. Yet when it comes time to sell the home not every seller will be prepared.

Many forget or don’t know how to remove road blocks that can stall the sales process or kill it completely. If you’re getting ready to list your home for sale, pay close attention. What you do before you list it can help or hurt the process.

Remove or limit the areas where your home is lacking. Study your neighborhood and the homes that are for sale. If your home is consistently coming up short in comparison, maybe it’s not landscaped enough or it hasn’t had any upgrades in 20 years, and it’s overdue for some renovations or, at the very least, repairs to clean it up.

Get your home “show-ready” so that it isn’t lacking or appearing deficient compared to other homes in your neighborhood. Placing a home on the market that isn’t ready (needs repairs) can cause the home to receive very little foot traffic and it can end up being on the market for a long time.

If, for instance, you have vinyl flooring that’s peeling, consider replacing it with a flooring that matches the style of your home and is comparable to the neighborhood so that it is consistent with the quality of floors in other homes in the area.

Remove YOU from the home. Yes, it’s tricky to remove your personality from the home, especially when you’re still living it. But it’s very necessary. This doesn’t just mean taking down personal photos and putting away private items like medicines. This means that if you’ve turned a room into a particular “you” room – your style, your personality, and your unique use of the room – consider re-doing the room to make it more neutral, versatile, and appealing to buyers.

For instance, if one of the bedrooms in a two-bedroom house was converted into a meditation room, it’s wise, when listing the home for sale, to show it with both rooms as bedrooms rather than one bedroom and one room that is uniquely decorated for a specific use other than sleeping. Buyers can sometimes imagine how else they’d use a room but if it looks like too much work to make changes, they’ll keep hunting for a house that is better suited to their needs.

If you’ve converted the garage into a den, office, or kids play area to fit your particular lifestyle, consider making it a garage again. Find a way to show your home with the garage as clean, useful, and as an extended-living space but also with the option to park cars in it. Not everyone wants to park on the street just to have a few extra hundred square feet of living space. An appraiser can actually knock thousands of dollars off your appraisal if the garage can’t be used to park cards in because it’s considered a loss of covered parking.

Remove strong odors from your home. Of course, I’m talking about foul smelling odors but sometimes too much of a good thing can also be a turn off. Gather up pet toys, pet beds, pet food, and make sure the house is pristine. If you’re using fragrances in your home from sprays, candles, potpourri or even real flowers, make sure that the odor isn’t overwhelming. Subtle is good… overbearing can make people think you’re trying to cover up something bad in the home.

Ultimately, the goal is to make the home have mass appeal with as few road blocks as possible to sell it. Think like a buyer and see your home the way you’ll be looking at your own next home purchase. Then maybe you’ll understand the importance of making some changes before you list your home for sale.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

Home Prices Highest Year-Over-Year Increase Since 2005

Home prices increasingTwo major indicators of home price trends showed a slowing momentum for home prices in December. The S&P Case Shiller 10 and 20 city indices reported that of 20 cities tracked, home prices were lower in December than for November.

Case-Shiller’s seasonally adjusted month-to month reading showed that home prices rose by 0.8 percent as compared to 0.90 percent in November.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that “Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of home price recovery may be over.” He also noted that seasonally adjusted data was showing a loss of momentum for home prices.

December home prices posted a year-over-year gain of 13.40 percent, down from November’s year-over-year reading of 13.70 percent. December’s reading reflected the highest year-over-year increase in home prices since 2005.

Analysts note that a slower pace of increasing home prices may allow more buyers to enter the market, and may also encourage more buyers to list their properties for sale.

This would increase inventories of available homes and relieve pent-up demand for homes. Although home price growth is cooling off, average home prices remain 20 percent below their pre-recession peak in 2006.

Home Prices Face Challenges In 2014

Another factor in slower growth of home prices is regional differences in the rate of economic recovery. Cities including Dallas, Texas and Denver, Colorado recently set records for escalating home prices.

Five states including Florida and Michigan accounted for almost half of foreclosures completed during 2013. Slow job growth and poor winter weather were also blamed for slower gains in home prices.

New mortgage rules and relatively strict mortgage lending standards may continue to dampen housing markets, but there is some good news as some lenders are easing credit standards.

Home Prices Higher For 10th Consecutive Quarter

The Federal Housing Finance Administration reported similar trends in December home price data for properties either financed or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.80 percent in December as compared to November’s reading.

Home prices were 7.70 percent higher for the fourth quarter of 2013 than for the same period in 2012. Adjusted for inflation, this reading indicates an approximate year-over-year increase of 7 percent.

FHFA reported higher readings for 38 states in its fourth quarter 2013 Home Price Index, as compared with 48 states in in the third quarter of 2013.  In order of home price appreciation, the top five states with highest growth in home prices were Nevada, California, Arizona, Oregon and Florida.

These calculations were seasonally adjusted and based on home purchases only.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

Managing Your Stress When Selling Your Home

Selling a homeSelling your home can be one of the more stressful times in your life. When we are going a  stressful time, our bodies naturally react to the situation. This “fight or flight” reaction to stress makes us more alert and ready to avoid danger, so it is helpful in the moment.

However, if you are in a constant state of stress on an ongoing basis, this can be very damaging to your health and can increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease, depression and other problems.

Chronic stress can also result in insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain and much more – as well as emotional issues such as panic attacks, anxiety and worry.

This is why learning to manage your stress is crucial to your health. Many people try to manage their stress by overindulging in unhealthy substances, such as tobacco, drugs and alcohol.

However, by managing stress in this way you are actually making the problem worse because you are contributing to the stress on your body.

So what are some of the healthy ways that you can manage stress?

Express Your Feelings

A lot of stress comes from being angry or upset about a situation, but keeping your thoughts and feelings inside. You can relieve that stress by sharing your feelings and expressing how you feel.

Take Time To Relax

No matter how busy and chaotic things might be, take time for yourself to recharge and relax. Even if it’s only 20-30 minutes per day, having a bath, reading a book or going for a walk – it will really help to keep you calm.

Get Some Exercise

The act of exercising is a great stress reliever because it encourages your brain to produce feel-good chemicals such as endorphins. Also, your body will be better able to fight stress when it is in good shape.

Make Sure You Get Sleep

When there are a lot of demands on you, it can be tempting to want to skip sleep so that you can get more things done. However, when you are sleep deprived you will actually be much less effective and you won’t be able to handle stressful situations as well. Make sure that you go to bed at a reasonable time and get the sleep you need.

Speak To A Friend

Having a close friend who you can discuss your issues with can be a huge help when you are feeling stressed. Even if they can’t solve anything, it is simply helpful to have someone who listens, cares about how you are feeling and offers some encouraging words.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

 

How To Get The Full Asking Price When Selling Your Home

Selling a homeSelling your home is a complex process and there are a lot of factors that you will need to consider. Your goal will be to sell your home in a timely manner, while getting the highest price you can.

However, many properties sell at a discount because the buyer is able to negotiate a lower price on the property.

Although it is impossible to guarantee that you will receive your full asking price when you sell your home, there are things that you can do to increase the likelihood of this happening. You will need to have a strategy that attracts highly motivated buyers and improves competition.

How To Get The Full Asking Price When You Are Selling Your Home:

  1. First of all, make sure that you have a reasonable asking price to start with. Research your local real estate market and find out what other buyers paid for homes comparable to yours.
  2. Hire a home inspector to perform a full inspection of your home, so that you can fix any problems. If you can show the buyer the repair receipts and inspection report, you will be in a better position to ask for full price.
  3. First impressions are very important and can improve a buyer’s perception of your home’s value. Make sure that your property has plenty of curb appeal and feels welcoming.
  4. De-clutter and clean your home – this makes it appear more spacious and luxurious and will make a buyer willing to pay more.
  5. Ask your real estate agent to create a flyer that compares your home’s price to other similar listings in the area – showing that your home is a great deal. This will convince buyers that your asking price is already discounted.
  6. Schedule your property tours as close together as possible. This can mean that you get multiple offers at around the same time, which will encourage the buyer who is eager to seal the deal to pay full price.
  7. If you have any rooms with bright colours that might not appeal to the average buyer, give them a quick makeover with neutral tones. These are safe colours that will increase the odds that your home will sell.
  8. If you have the budget to renovate one of the rooms in your home, it should be the kitchen or the bathroom. Studies have shown that renovations and upgrades in those two rooms have the most impact on the potential selling price of the home.

With these tips, you should be more likely to achieve the full asking price when you are selling your home. For more tips, give Debra Obrock a call today: 480 688-2000

What Is Days on Market?

Days on MarketDays on Market refers to the number of days a house been up for sale? The number of days on market can be good news or bad news depending on if you are the Buyer or Seller.

Why Days On Market is Important?

As a Buyer, you might be happy to know  that a house has sat on the market for a long time . The seller is probably more eager to sell than a month before, and is most likely willing to work a deal. An eager seller makes a happy buyer in most cases.

As a Seller, you might not be so happy about it, and for the same reason. You are now an eager seller, yet you still want to get the best price for your home, but the buyer will have  the upper hand.

Already, you may be beginning to understand how the DOM metric can affect the sale of your home.

The problem with the Days On Market metric is that it causes buyers and agents to build false assumptions. If a home has been on the market for an above-average length of time, we start to wonder, “what’s the matter with that listing?” Even though we know there are other reasons for a home to go static and not sell, many people automatically think there’s something wrong.

Reasons For An Extended Days on Market

  • Home May Be Overpriced – Nothing is wrong with the property itself; it’s just priced too high.
  • Seller Testing The Market – Although it’s a big mistake and agents will tell you so, some sellers test the market by throwing a high price on a home they don’t care if they sell – just to see if somebody is foolish enough to take it.
  • Seller is Sticking To Their Guns – Often, sellers get fixed on a price and won’t budge, come hell or high water. They figure they can wait around until the market can meet their price, not the other way around.
  • Still Renovating – Sometimes, a home will go on the market in the middle of renovations. The sellers aren’t ready to let the home be seen, so it just sits there.
  • Available for Showings – A growing problem is the lack of access to a home for sale. Sadly, agents and FSBOs alike seem to be unavailable when a buyer wants to view the home. Obviously, no viewing means no sale.

Don’t let your Days on Market get high because of simple mistakes. If you’re serious about selling your home, remember the five reasons above and make sure you aren’t doing them.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

The Right Price Will Sell Your Home….Not the Location

Price Sells the HouseYou’ve heard the old saying – “Location, location, location.”

The real truth is “Location, condition, and price.” And price trumps every other factor.

Location affects the value of a home, but it’s price that sells a home.

Oceanfront, mountainside, or penthouse, the most desirable location in the world won’t sell at the wrong price.

Every property has a potential buyer, but like rock, paper, scissors, it’s sometimes hard to know which factor is going to win the showdown.

A good location will sell at a fair price. A bad location will sell at a fair price, too. It just won’t be as a high as it would be for a good location.

A home in good condition will sell for a fair price. A home in poor condition will also sell at a fair price. Again, it won’t be as high as a comparable home in better condition.

But neither location or condition will sell any house. Only one thing does that – price.

So if you’re a seller waiting for that “special buyer” who will appreciate your faded pink and black bathroom tile, your vintage orange shag carpet and is willing to help you put your kids through college because of your real estate prowess, you’re going to have a long wait.

So if your home is represented by an agent, and it’s been on the market for a long time, chances are it’s your own fault.

Maybe you didn’t listen to your agent when he said you’re pricing your home above the market. Maybe you got mad at the first few folks who looked at your home and didn’t make offers.

When the showings stopped completely, maybe you accused your agent of not doing a good enough job.

You put the blame on everyone except where it belongs – on you. It’s not about you, what you want, or how much you need for your retirement.

It’s about the price.

Staging Your Home Will Not Hide All Flaws

staging your homeStaging your Home before listing it will  show your home at its best  when  you sell your home, you want it look as good as possible.  This means de-cluttering your home, re-arranging furniture, and de-personalizing each room.

A staged home is more appealing to buyers and helps to highlight your home’s positive features. However, staging is not meant to cover major flaws in your home. Some things just have to be repaired.

Staging Your Home will not Hide Roof Problems

It doesn’t matter how pretty your home is, your buyer is going to expect you to fix roof problems or adjust your price to cover them. Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home.

Staging Your Home will not Hide Cracked Tile

Of course, you can use throw rugs to cover cracks in your tile, but chances are your buyers are going to look under them. Then they may think you are trying to hide a serious problem like a shifting foundation. Save yourself the headache and have your floors fixed.

Staging Your Home will not Hide Broken Windows

You have to expect your buyers to walk around your home checking out the views from the windows. They’re going to notice any cracks. If you have the budget, consider upgrading your windows and making your home more marketable. At the very least, you should have the glass replaced.

Staging Your Home will not Hide Torn Screens

If you have torn screens, your buyers may think you don’t take care of your property. Yet, screens are fairly easy to fix on your own. With the right supplies from your local hardware store, you can have new, sleek screens in less than a day.

As your agent, Debra Obrock will make sure your home is ready to sell fast and t top dollar. Call Debra today: 480 688-2000

Strategies For Softer Housing Markets

House-Prices-DownAcross the U.S., housing is currently at a five-month supply. That’s considered a healthy seller’s market. But when supplies build to seven months or more, the advantage moves to the buyer.

If you’re a seller in a market that was hot but now not, you may be wondering what went wrong. Should you pull your home out of the race? Not if you want to sell.

Markets are constantly in motion even when they appear to be resting. The retreat in sales volume or sales prices may be short or it can last for a long time.

Most factors that impact housing are out of your control. You can’t influence mortgage interest rates or create jobs that bring down the unemployment rate. But there are things you can do to help your home sell in a softer market.

Don’t panic

Ask your real estate agent to give you a market analysis that will help you understand three-month to six-month trends. You’ll be better prepared if you know that it may take longer to find a buyer.

Compete on condition

The closer to move-in ready you can make your home, the better. Put your home in clean, white-glove condition and stage it attractively to show off its best features.

Plan for demanding buyers

Buyers may ask you to pay closing costs, or to provide a home warranty, or make other concessions. Your real estate agent should be able to tell you which incentives may work with your listing. So be prepared to leave the washer/dryer, stainless fridge or your favorite chandelier.

Price reasonably

If you want a quick sale, price below current comparables. If you can afford to wait longer to sell, price at current comparables. Whatever you do, don’t price above the market.

Expect low-ball offers

No matter what price you put on your home, you are bound to get ridiculously low offers. That’s the culture we live in. Encourage your agent to answer politely and to provide a copy of the comparables so the buyer can see you’ve priced to be competitive in the current market.

One thing you can count upon is that a softer market will get firmer. All it takes is home buyers willing to invest. By giving them a great home at a great price, you’ll make it easy for buyers to say yes.

If you are buying or selling a home in the greater Phoenix area, please get in touch with me.
I’m happy to tell you about my listing services or help you shop for a new home! 480 688-2000

 

What Items are Excluded in the Sale of a Home?

Chandelier-300Before you list your home you should first decide what items you want to exclude in your home for sale. Items may include a chandelier that is a family heirloom or draperies custom-made to match your bedding. Sometimes it can be special plantings such as rose bushes and irises excluded from a home for sale. You may also hear excluded items referred to as “reserved” items.

In the Arizona real estate contract, certain items are spelled out that remain with the home, including but not limited to, window treatments, light fixtures, built-in sound systems, built-in furniture, attached outside cooking units, exterior landscaping and much more. When you list your Tulsa home for sale, make sure that you understand what all transfers with the home and exclude any items that you intend to take with you.

The exclusion area of the real estate contract is also used to identify items that shall not remain with the property.  Don’t assume Sellers will remove all their junk – if you want the contents of the storage shed cleared out, spell it out in the contract.

If you are going to sell your home regardless, it’s best to go ahead and pack that heirloom chandelier and replace with something attractive before you list your  home for sale. However, if you are only going to sell if you get a specific offer, it’s fine to exclude it in your MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listing.

Also in the Arizona real estate contract is a section to write in items you would like to remain with the property at no additional cost to the Buyer. Typical inclusions are refrigerator, washer and dryer. Be careful about what you ask for in this part of the contract, as Lenders do not want to see a list of personal items. If you want to ask for the Seller’s pool table or a specific piece of furniture, write that in a Supplemental Agreement.

If you are buying or selling a home in the greater Phoenix area, please get in touch with me. I’m happy to tell you about my listing services or help you shop for a new home! 480 688-2000

Is it time to lower the list price on your home?

Home for Sale  Are you trying to sell your home and finding that it is not selling very well? This might be due to a number of reasons that you can’t control, such as its location or the fact that the home layout is somewhat unusual.

If you are struggling to sell your home, there is one factor that you can alter that might change things – the price.

Many homeowners are reluctant to lower the price of their home, because it feels somewhat like a defeat. However, while you want to make as much money from your house sale as possible – it is better to sell your home at a slightly cheaper price than to let it sit on the market for a long time.

Have You Had Many Lookers, But No Buyers?

If you have had many people come to look at your home, but no one place an offer, this might be a sign that your price is too high. These lookers might be interested in your home, but are waiting for the price to fall before they would consider buying it.

How Long Has Your Home Been On The Market?

Has your house been on the market for more days than the average for your particular neighborhood? If it has, this might be due to the price. Letting your home sit on the market for a long time is not such a good idea, because buyers will start to wonder what is wrong with it. This can turn people off and delay your sale even further.

Do You Have A Deadline?

Perhaps you have a job offer in another city or you have already purchased another home, so you need to sell your house ASAP. In this case, dropping your price a little bit can be a great way to generate buyer interest and get the home sold. Remember – it doesn’t matter how much you need the money, a home is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it.

These are a few situations where you might want to consider reducing the price of your property. To find out more about selling your home, contact Debra Obrock, (480) 688-2000.