Posts Tagged ‘Home Buyers’

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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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2010 Real Estate Predictions – No Crystal Ball

January 6, 2010

Where will housing be this coming year? That’s a great question and I have some predictions. Some of them are painful and some of them just might come true – let’s see what you think.

1. Home prices – Home prices will continue to fall in the coming year.  This is almost a certainty. With a backlog of foreclosures and short sales waiting on the market, we will see a decrease in pricing. However, if you discount the unrealistic pricing in the 2003-2005 years, homes are actually selling at fair market value – it’s just not the value you thought or anticipated. So many people borrowed against their inflated equity which resulted in their homes being worth less than their mortgages. People who didn’t over-borrow will be just fine.

2. Foreclosures – watch for this debacle to continue and grow before it starts to wind down by the end of the year. I know people still living in homes where they have not made mortgage payments for over a year. The banks are taking their “time” working these homes through the system – if they foreclosed on all the outstanding bad loans – it would send shock waves through our economy and Wall Street. You will see high-end foreclosures with homes over $700,000 taking a big hit. Builders are especially affected and many will not be able to stay in business.

3. Banks – Lending institutions now basically control everything. While they had a stronghold on real estate in the past – they dictate price in the future. Many homes today are under-appraised to ensure that the bank is mortgaging a home that is below fair market value. It’s a new tactic. In addition, banks borrowed a LOT of money from the federal government (taxpayers) to stabilize their banks BUT THEY DID NOT GIVE LOANS TO THE PUBLIC AND DID NOT RENEGOTIATE TERMS OF OUTSTANDING DEBT NOR DID THEY AGREE TO MANY SHORT SALES. It is still a startling statistic that only 1 in 10 short sales actually occur. Banks are not cooperating and as a further insult – they gave the money they borrowed (after strengthening their banks through investments) back to the federal government to avoid federal oversight. In so doing, they guaranteed themselves large bonuses at the end of the year. I am constantly shocked that our elected officials haven’t been outraged at this practice. Banks= greed.

4. Who’s Buying? – First time homebuyers and move up buyers represent the strongest potential for purchase in the coming year. The thing to consider is that they will stay in the FHA price ranges which mean if your home is under $360,000, you have a strong chance of selling your home. If your home is under $200,000 – you may have an even better chance. If you are a buyer – BUY A HOME NOW – the prices won’t be this low again after the year ends. 2010 is THE TIME TO BUY if you are a buyer and are credit-worthy.

5. Variables. I have often said – as the housing industry goes – so goes the economy. This is still true. These past two years are proof that the housing market affects every facet of our economy from families eating at restaurants to lumber sales. There will be homes selling and there is increased buyer traffic. 2010 will most certainly see an upswing in purchasing power for buyers and it will be a good year for real estate. So many things hinge on banks giving out home loans and creation of new jobs. If the job market improves then we are REALLY going to see a strengthening of the sales in Florida and in the United States. Job uncertainty creates fear and fear is the worst thing that can happen when it is time to sell a home.

6. What will sell – Home buyers still want a home that requires little to no repair or renovation. The home that reflects tender love and care is going to fly off the market. So many homes today are in disrepair and the foreclosure market is not always a bargain hunters dream when you mix in the cost for renovation. But the homeowner who maintains their home, shows it beautifully and has it staged will see eager buyers. Of course, the lower price points will be the most desirable. Smaller is becoming the new “hot” home.

Everyone would like to know how much longer? What will it take to turn our economy? What do I think about our government? These are all good questions and I would encourage you to be ACTIVE and take a strong interest in your elected officials in Congress. It really does make a difference. While health insurance is a good thing – it’s not THE MOST IMPORTANT thing in the lives of average citizens at this time. AMERICANS NEED JOBS and they need the jobs NOW.  I believe that the average American understands this well – let’s hope our elected officials wake up in time to save our nation. I’m prepared to vote and campaign for anyone who understands this.

2010 is going to be a year of change and I think it will change for the better. I’ll know I’ll keep blogging about it.