Posts Tagged ‘buyers’

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Homes Sales Up in Almost Every Price Range

June 15, 2015

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The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure. Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-10.1%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market. Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 9%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 21.2%!
Here is the breakdown:

Sales-Up-STMWhat does that mean to you if you are selling?
Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

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217,726 Reasons to Buy a Home Now!

June 10, 2015

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The inaugural Opportunity Cost Report was released recently by realtor.com. The report explained that “with interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep”.

The report estimates that, based on today’s dollars, the average purchaser would accumulate $217,726 in increased wealth over a 30-year period.

(You can get the projected wealth increase for almost 100 metros here.)

What could this mean to someone sitting on the fence waiting to buy?

Experts believe that both home prices and mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months. Obviously, if this does happen, the monthly cost of a home a year from now will be dramatically higher than it is today. The Opportunity Cost Reportbreaks down exactly how much a purchaser could lose over increments of one year and three years. Here are the results based on an average purchaser in the U.S. delaying their purchase:

The Cost of Waiting to Buy | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are ready, willing and able to buy a home, waiting doesn’t make sense.

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Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

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Things have gotten a wee bit strange in real estate recently. There are simply too few homes for sale. I have buyers…lots of buyers actually but there is an absolutely nothing to show them. If you want a home in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in a good area of Orlando then you had better be prepared to look a long time and jump on something the minute it becomes available. I’m seeing multiple offers on homes listed and anxious agents who want contracts signed before it is too late. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the Orlando real estate marketplace.

What does this mean? The economy is affecting homes listed for sale as potential sellers fear they won’t obtain fair market value for their home. The majority of homes for sale in Orlando remain short sales or foreclosures. We need to see the inventory of distress sales dwindle and more normal market conditions return.

What is normal? Who knows? But this certainly isn’t it.

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What are Home Buyers looking for? This is a great read….

January 16, 2013

Buyers: Don’t just list a home – prepare it first

ORLANDO, Fla. – Jan. 16, 2013 – To sell a home or get top dollar, sellers must look at their property through the eyes of a potential buyer. Consider the following five tips:

1. Get rid of clutter and Aunt Mary’s photo.

“Selling your house is about taking your personality out of it and having people going through it envisioning their own life and personality,” says Candice Olson, host of “Candice Tells All” on Canadian television station “W Network.”

It’s hard for buyers to imagine themselves in a home decorated wall-to-wall with photographs of people they do not know, and knick-knacks that hold no special meaning. In preparing a home for sale, all the things that personalize a home to the family within should be stored for the next home – including all the pictures and magnets on the refrigerator.

Olson says even art on the wall should be analyzed because people have different tastes. She recommends retaining any mirrors, however. “Art is very personal, but mirrors aren’t,” she says. “Mirrors are great for adding depth and dimension and visual space and light … it’s non-committal art.”

2. Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms.

Most buyers who fall in love with a kitchen fall in love with the house. However, that doesn’t mean sellers should invest in an expensive upgrade. The best kitchen is one that aligns with buyers’ tastes, and that’s not always one with upscale cabinets and granite countertops. At the least, the expensive of those upgrades may not come back to the owner in a higher selling price. Sellers should also focus on lighting.

Hilary Farr of the Toronto-based “Love It or List It” television show suggests spending upgrade money on refacing kitchen cabinets and counter upgrades, such as replacing the backsplash.

Olson has simple advice for any would-be seller considering a kitchen upgrade: “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

3. Make your home look like a hotel suite – inviting but neutral.

Floors make a big impression because they’re big, the “first thing that strike you when you walk in the front door,” Farr says.

Bathrooms should look like a just-cleaned hotel room: New soaps, clean towels and perhaps some cut flowers. Beds should be made with neutral blankets or comforters.

Jonathan and Drew Scott, the “Property Brothers” on television, suggest that sellers consider a home stager. Stagers arrange furniture and furnishings or bring in their own to make the house look as appealing as possible to potential buyers.

“Staging is such a crucial part of it,” says Drew. “It’s just as important as any sort of renovation, because if a buyer can’t walk into a space and picture themselves living there, they’re not going to give you top dollar, for one, and they might just turn and walk away.”

4. Price the home based on market value, not your personal opinion

Do you need to recoup the money you spent at the market’s height in 2006? Buyers don’t care. Did you raise three kids in the home? Your fond memories aren’t worth anything to potential buyers.

Sellers have to switch from emotional attachments and see the sale of their home as a business decision. Realtors give unbiased opinions, and some home sellers even have an appraisal done before they list their home.

5. Focus on curb appeal first

If buyers love the outside of a house – their first impression – there’s a greater chance they’ll love the inside. Sellers can upgrade kitchens and bathrooms all they want, but if a buyer chooses not to enter the home because the outside doesn’t dazzle them, but upgrades won’t do any good.

Paint shingles, doors, garages and railings. Plant new shrubbery and trim existing greenery. In summer, mow the grass twice per week.

A new-looking exterior doesn’t have to be expensive to make potential buyers look twice.

Source: Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

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What’s happening in Orlando real estate?

July 1, 2012

What an interesting time in real estate. Homes ARE selling and I have had a great year to date. I’m grateful for that. But there is a lot of work to be done. In what direction are we moving as a nation?

The majority of homes sold are still distress sales. Homes that are NOT distressed (in foreclosure or short sale) are selling fast and furious. These homes are generally well cared for and the Seller can make a decision quickly. People are tired of waiting on banks and on being required to accept homes in shabby condition or AS IS without regard to repairs. I truly believe that buyers want to work with homes that they KNOW are well-maintained and show pride of ownership.

So who is buying distressed properties? Mostly investors with a lot of cash. Are we turning into a society of renters? Time will tell. I can tell you that there are a lot of people looking for rental homes. I probably get five to ten calls per day of someone looking for a rental house.

I am happy for the uptick in home sales but I will be happier when we see loans easier to obtain (even qualified buyers are unduly pressured during the loan process), appraisers realizing that the market is getting stronger and buyers not afraid to make decisions. WE NEED TO MOVE TOWARD A COUNTRY OF CONFIDENT CITIZENS.

I love our country as we approach this July 4th holiday and I pray that we will see our nation move in a positive direction with everyone working to the better good of our nation. May it be so.

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What does Van Gogh have to do with real estate?

January 3, 2012

What does Van Gogh have to do with real estate?

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found those dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter (March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890)
http://www.vangoghgallery.com/

Artists take risks. They pursue their vision, often without financial security, facing long odds while stewing in their own self-doubt. When the world tells them “it’s not safe,” they listen to their own voice despite “prevailing wisdom.” They have a vision and they pursue it.

Occasionally, if they’re very lucky, they get to look back on their life and see the path that lead them to create a masterpiece. At the time, the path wasn’t easy, yet in retrospect, it looks very much like the only possible path they could take.

I think in twenty years or even ten years, we’re going to hear the collective sound of people kicking themselves because they did not buy a home this year. As their teenage sons and daughters graduate and enter the future job market and begin searching for their first home, they’ll turn to their parents and say, “Seriously? You’re telling me when I was in middle school, you could get a 30-year fixed for under 5%?”

Too many remain terrified by the last great storm in the housing market. They stand now on the shores of incredible opportunity, but can’t shake the vision of all those values sinking into oblivion.

Think about the future. Who might need a home? Is there an opportunity to “be the bank” when the time comes? The descendants of those savvy collectors who bough a Van Gogh painting for mere dollars in 1885 are surely grateful for their grandparents’ eyes today, aren’t they?

Yes, there is uncertainty, but this is the calmest water you’re ever going to see. Set sail now and buy a home. Those that do will certainly be rewarded. As for the masterpiece? It will be the satisfaction of looking back and realizing they bought at just the right time.

There’s certainly no risk to exploring the opportunity. I’d love the opportunity to sit down with you and plot a possible course to the best investment you could make. Contact me today at: lindahutchinson@msn.com or 407.925.7721 (Cell or Text).

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Safety First – why your agent should use an Electronic Lockbox

June 22, 2011

I recently had the pleasure of taking an out of state buyer to look at properties in Central Florida. I was ALARMED (sorry for the pun) at the number of homes without electronic lockboxes.

The alternative that is used is often a “locker-style” lockbox where the agent enters an alphanumeric code such as A-B-C  to open the box and obtain a homeowner’s house key. The problem with that system is that any prospective and attentive buyer can watch you use the code and gain access to your home in the future. While I don’t think break-ins are increasing – it is still a security risk. These lockboxes are cheaper but not safer for the homeowner.

I highly recommend the electronic lockbox (no cost to the seller – just to the agent) because they LOCK at night and no one can gain access to your house unless they use a Board of REALTOR’s issued lockbox key which records via an electronic keypad the showing agent who is going in and out of your home. All this information is downloaded daily to the listing agent via the internet. These lockboxes are safe and effective.

In my business the customer comes first and the customer’s safety is of the utmost importance to me. Be smart.