Still Waiting on the Fence?

“I am going to wait until the market bottoms out to buy.”

Is there ever a perfect time to buy? Yes, when you need or want to move. I hear it quite often … “I am going to hold off until the market bottoms out.” But what you don’t realize is that when the market “bottoms out” it usually means its already starting to turn around and with that can come stiff competition when making an offer to buy the home of your dreams. Everyone tends to scramble to get the best deal at that point, leaving you contending with multiple offers on the home you want — and before you know it, poof … it’s a seller’s market again! Opportunity is lost.

“I am going to wait to see if the rates go any lower.”

Rates are currently hovering around 5% and under if you have a decent credit score! These rates are historically low! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying … “You snooze you lose.”  Rates are starting to go back up so any future price decreases in homes for sale may just be a wash … think about it … if the interest rates climb, you are spending thousands more over a long term mortgage … who out there likes giving the bank extra money? Not me!

Home prices do not necessarily coincide with interest rates. For example, even if the home drops in price and the interest rate goes up, you lost money in the long-term. Rates are low NOW and Spring is the busiest marketing time of the year … Why? Most people like to do their moving when their children are out of school and before the school year begins plus they have the additional cushion of their income tax refunds. If I my real estate crystal ball is correct, I predict a busy spring this year … so maybe it’s time to think about jumping off the fence?

Thinking about buying? Check out my BUYER’S TOOLKIT!

 “Sellers are desperate.”

I am really not seeing this in certain markets and locations. While some markets have been hit hard, Real Estate is still all about “location, location.”  Real Estate is VERY local; markets vary across the country and from town to town. Here in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs I am finding that most sellers are really NOT desperate at all. Unless there is some unforeseen disaster or the property is a distress sale, sellers are not as desperate as the media would have you believe. So as the old school 80’s song goes … “DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!” (Public Enemy)

In fact, Philadelphia and it’s surrounding suburbs have not been hit as hard as the rest of the country. Overall, we have only seen a slight decrease in home prices as compared to other states and now that Spring is around the corner and interest rates are still low (but on the rise), I am seeing a huge increase in activity, even multiple offers on properties again!

Sellers still need to do their best to make their home marketable and to keep it in tip-top shape to compete with the other properties for sale in their area. Pricing the property well is key and always take into consideration the way the home shows compared to other properties on the market if you cannot afford to fix up the home to show. 

For some tips please check out my SELLER’S TOOLKIT! Thinking of selling? Now may be the time to go for it! 

Ready to Make a Move? Contact Me Today!

Kim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
The #1 RE/MAX Office in the City of Philadelphia
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149

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My Hero!

I seem to write a lot about the programs on HGTV. Maybe because I am the ultimate HGTV addict and I eat, sleep and drink, all things Real Estate.  HGTV is on at my house until they turn off their light and say “Good Night” to me.  Yes, I am an official junkie and may need “intervention” myself.  HGTV recently gave us a wonderful new show and has introduced to me my new hero…  Mr. Mike Aubrey. I love this man.  He’s to the point, no B.S. … a man after my own heart.  Real Estate Intervention is a new series that focuses on overpriced real estate. His goal is to make the seller see that the market has changed and sometimes not in their favor. 

My Hero, Mr. Mike Aubrey

My Hero, Mr. Mike Aubrey

Mike … please come to my area and hold classes on how to properly price a listing. These classes should not only be for home sellers, but their listing agents. The Class on Brass, see I even named the course for you.

Note to home seller:  We as agents understand that you the home seller wants top dollar for your home. Who wouldn’t?  But when a listing is OVERPRICED for current market conditions, the home sits. Any good buyer’s agent is going to explain to their client the home’s real value based on comparable recent sales before making any offer, if the home even gets shown at all.  If you aren’t getting showings, you may have priced your home OUT of the market.

Today’s home buyers are not stupid, do not underestimate them. They have many tools available to them to that will help them understand today’s market, current comparable sales and property values and with the help of their agent can determine their offer, their “fair market value” offer.

I see it over and over, a home seller lists with the agent who told them what they wanted to hear. The agent gave them the highest list price of all the agents they interviewed only to have their home sit on the market much longer than it should have and usually they end up getting much less.

The newest obstacle I am coming across is the agent that does this, knows they overpriced the property and when an offer comes in, that is near asking price or at asking price, the agent says, “Oh, I don’t want to sell that high because I am afraid of appraisal issues.”   …Huh? … What?!!??  Agents … please tell me I am not the only one who has heard this recently? Is it enough to make you want to …. oh nevermind, I won’t go there.

Believe it or not, I have come across this several times in the last month alone.  Not only is this a disservice to their client, the seller, but very unfair to the buyer who looks at you to explain the listing agent’s tactics because they offered asking price (to maybe) get full seller’s assist (up to 6% of purchase price towards closing costs).  Their offer is countered because it is “too high” … again … huh?

Buy Me .... List Price 1,000,000.00

Buy Me .... List Price 1,000,000.00

And so now the appraisal … it comes in too LOW. Now what do you do? Buyer doesn’t want to over pay for the home, would you? And the  seller doesn’t want to reduce the price because the seller thinks their home is worth more. Both sides are understandable. Your options at this point are to renegotiate the price or the buyer must come up with the difference in cash between appraised value and sales price, if the lender agrees to give the buyer a loan for the overpriced property…. or the deal dies and everyone is unhappy. The buyer lost money for inspections and appraisals and the seller lost a qualified buyer and the home goes back on the market … overpriced and sits. And sits.

The moral of the story is whether you are a home-seller or a listing agent .. please do the market and yourself a favor … please list according to the current market conditions. Current market conditions determine the value of a property. Today’s appraisals are predominantly based on sales (closed, settled transactions) within the past 6 months.  Because so many people today are upside down in their homes, because there are so many short sales and foreclosures, all of this takes its toll on property value.

It’s not something a home seller likes to hear, but thank you Mr. Aubrey for bringing it to the public! My hero!

Contact Kim Schreiner:
Kimberly Schreiner, ePRO, Realtor® PA License RS291767
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
Kim’s Official Website
Cell 215-510-2149 Office 215-992-1726
Serving Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties

Reality TV and Real Estate

If it weren’t for having a 5 year old, HGTV would be on my television 24 hours a day. Shows like Designed to Sell, Buy Me, Get It Sold, and Hidden Potential  can be great “tools” to ask clients to watch. On shows geared towards sellers, real estate “experts” walk through the property picking out all of the reasons why they feel the home is not selling while the owners sit back, watch, listen and cringe. Typically for about 2,000.00 designers will come in and stage the home. The transformation is amazing sometimes netting a seller thousands in return. While not everyone will have 2000.00 to spend getting their home ready for sale, decluttering a room and a can of paint can work wonders and can completely change the feel of any room.

Other shows like Hidden Potential (which brings an architect along for the ride with buyers through homes they would typically run from upon entering) and shows them the “hidden potential” of the home within the specified budget of the buyer. The show can really help buyers have an open mind and more importantly, vision.

On the down side of reality TV and real estate, some of the things that personally make me either laugh or scream are … how hilarious is it when the agent sits down with the client to write an offer and it’s one piece of paper and they’re done!?! While I am sure they must stay within a specified time frame for the show, this is not true reality TV.  Here in PA, there is a mountain of paperwork that must be completed just to make an offer! Secondly, the other night I was watching a show geared toward first time home buyers, there was a bidding war on a condo. The agent suggested to her clients they drop the mortgage contingency on their offer to get the condo. My jaw just dropped and I had to wonder who’s best interest she was looking out for … fortunately the “virgin” buyer told the agent absolutely not and although they lost the condo to another bid, they didn’t lose their shirts!