How much can you sell your home for? Probably about as much as the neighbors got, as long as the neighbors sold their house in recent memory and their home was just like your home.
Knowing how much homes similar to yours, called comparable sales (or in real estate lingo, comps), sold for gives you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. The trick is finding sales that closely match yours.
Your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision—and it closed escrow last week. If you can’t find that, here are other factors that count:Location: The closer to your house the better, but don’t just use any comparable sale within a mile radius. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house, and in your school district.Home type: Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement (having one and whether it’s finished), finishes, and yard size. Also, if your home is located within a neighborhood that offers New Homes you'll want to eliminate them as comps, or at least understand the difference that Buyers are willing to pay for new over existing homes. Your "used" home will not sell for a similar new home, so don't price it that way.Amenities and upgrades: Is the kitchen new? Does the comparable sale house have full A/C? Is there crown molding, a deck, or a pool? Does your community have the same amenities (pool, workout room, walking trails, etc.) and homeowners association fees?Date of sale: You may want to use a comparable sale from several years ago when the market was high, but that won’t fly. Most buyers use government-guaranteed mortgages, and those lending programs say comparable sales can be no older than 90 days.Sales sweeteners: Did the comparable-sale sellers give the buyers downpayment assistance, closing costs, or a free television? You have to reduce the value of any comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners.
Even if you live in a subdivision, your home will always be different from your neighbors'. Evaluating those differences—like the fact that your home has one more bedroom than the comparables or a basement office—is one of the ways real estate agents add value. An active agent has been inside a lot of homes in your neighborhood and knows all sorts of details about comparable sales. She has read the comments the selling agent put into the MLS, seen the ugly wallpaper, and heard what other REALTORS®, lenders, closing agents, and appraisers said about the comparable sale.
If you’re still having trouble picking out a listing price for your home, look at the current competition. Ask your real estate agent to be honest about your home and the other homes on the market (and then listen to him or her without taking the criticism personally). Next, put your comparable sales into two piles: more expensive and less expensive. What makes your home more valuable than the cheaper comparable sales and less valuable than the pricier comparable sales?It is very rare to find any homeowner that doesn't believe their home is the best, most special home in the neighborhood. Often our perception of value is driven by many other things than the things that matter to a Buyer. Emotional experiences you've had, or even that your home has bermuda grass when all other have centipede won't increase your home's value to a buyer.Lastly, be wary of any AVM evaluation. An Automated Valuation Model (AVM), like a Zestimate from Zillow, cannot accurately depict your value as it can't factor in condition or view for starters. Don't be fooled by these just because they're easily accessible. If you have questions or need assistance in have a evaluation done reach out to us anytime or simply go to www.mbhomevalue.com Have a great day!
We dug into our historical records to look at how long home buyers have searched for the homes they purchased over the years and the number of homes they viewed during that process. Our main finding was that despite major changes in the housing market, ups and downs in the economy, and the advent of the digital age, home buyers searched for roughly the same amount of time and looked at the same number of houses in more than three decades. The differences were only a few weeks, not years, and a couple of homes, not hours spent on the search. Let’s look at the minor fluctuations that have occurred.The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report was first launched in 1981. In the 1980’s—1990’s, it was conducted only every two years. By 2004, the survey was conducted every year accompanied by its annual release, marking the report as one of the most popular and insightful research studies on the home buying and selling market from the perspective of consumers.Decade Trends -For most of the 1990’s, home buyers searched for a median of two months; they looked at 12 homes in the early ‘90’s and 10 homes by the end of the decade.For a majority of the 2000’s, home buyers still searched only two months; by 2009—2010 they were looking for nearly three months. During that decade, home buyers looked at a median of 10 homes for most years, with a slight dip to nine homes during 2004—2006.During the 2010’s, home buyers look for homes for 12 weeks until 2014 and 2015 when it bumped back down to only 10 weeks. At the beginning of the decade, buyers looked at a median of 12 homes. In the last four years, they looked at only 10 homes.2004—2006 home buyers searched for eight weeks and looked at nine homes, the shortest period of time according to the report.2009—2011 buyers searched for 12 weeks and looked at 12 homes, the longest search time according to the report. As you can clearly see......The digital age hasn't really changed the process that a homebuyer uses to find the right property and the length of time it takes to find it. Things certainly have changed over the years, some for the good and some not-so-much, but it is a comfort to know that buyers still want to see several properties and they still move forward in the same amount of time to find the right one.For any additional information on buying trends or market information please contact us any time.
We dug into our historical records to look at how long home buyers have searched for the homes they purchased over the years and the number of homes they viewed during that process. Our main finding was that despite major changes in the housing market, ups and downs in the economy, and the advent of the digital age, home buyers searched for roughly the same amount of time and looked at the same number of houses in more than three decades. The differences were only a few weeks, not years, and a couple of homes, not hours spent on the search. Let’s look at the minor fluctuations that have occurred.
The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report was first launched in 1981. In the 1980’s—1990’s, it was conducted only every two years. By 2004, the survey was conducted every year accompanied by its annual release, marking the report as one of the most popular and insightful research studies on the home buying and selling market from the perspective of consumers.
Decade Trends -For most of the 1990’s, home buyers searched for a median of two months; they looked at 12 homes in the early ‘90’s and 10 homes by the end of the decade.For a majority of the 2000’s, home buyers still searched only two months; by 2009—2010 they were looking for nearly three months. During that decade, home buyers looked at a median of 10 homes for most years, with a slight dip to nine homes during 2004—2006.During the 2010’s, home buyers look for homes for 12 weeks until 2014 and 2015 when it bumped back down to only 10 weeks. At the beginning of the decade, buyers looked at a median of 12 homes. In the last four years, they looked at only 10 homes.2004—2006 home buyers searched for eight weeks and looked at nine homes, the shortest period of time according to the report.2009—2011 buyers searched for 12 weeks and looked at 12 homes, the longest search time according to the report.
Decade Trends -
Also don’t underestimate curb appeal. First impressions set a prospective buyer’s expectations before they even walk through the front door. Case in point: A 10 year old driveway was marred with paint and oil stains, and long scratches from pallets of field stone being delivered when we built new patios and retaining walls. Though the driveway was only 25’ long it was the first thing buyers saw when pulling up. the Seller spent $450 having it recoated to look brand new, and it was arguably the most impactful improvement made to get it sold.3. Spend $1500-$2000 To Upgrade Your Bathroom(s): Many Buyers would sum this up by saying of buying a new house: “No one wants to inherit a used bathroom.” So true. At minimum buy new toilets, retile the floors and shower walls if they are out of date and grungy, and upgrade to an aquarium shower head ($100) or better yet a “full body” shower panel ($400). Make sure all of your hardware matches between the lighting, the faceplates, and the plumbing fixtures (i.e., all rubbed bronze or satin nickel). Throw in new, fresh towels, a steam-loving orchid, and some boutique skin care products and your bathroom will look like a private spa in less than a long weekend.4. Get Over Your Pride And Price It Right: Nothing kills a real estate deal faster or rots a house on the market longer than a realtor who lets their seller’s ego factor into the listing price. Regardless of what other sellers sold for nearby, or whether your fireplace mantle was imported from Paris, a house is only worth what a particular buyer at a specific moment in time is willing to pay for it. It’s still a buyer’s market in most of the country, and the bidding wars are long gone. So whatever the number is that’s going to get buyers in the door quickly with real motivations to own your house get over it. Or don’t sell. It’s not worth the emotional pain and personal lifestyle disruption if you’re not willing to take the financial mentality to get it sold5. Move Out Temporarily: I’m totally serious. Keeping your house Ritz-Carlton clean and show ready at all times while still living your life are often incompatible especially if you have children or pets—or both! It’s completely possible if not odds-on likely that your perfect buyer will want to show up in the middle of a Tuesday and look at your house just as you’re getting ready for a conference call and your dogs have just come inside from the rain. If you have a second home and your work schedule permits it, consider moving into it temporarily so you can keep your house looking perfect and your realtor can show it at a moment’s notice without you having to alter your schedule at the last minute. AirBNB, VRBO, and other vacation sites rental sites offer weekly and monthly rentals for far less than you’d think. Or pack your bags and just take a long vacation. Your mom or dad might also might just love to have you move back into their house for a month or two. I've tried it and it works!Understandably, some of these are stretches for most homesellers, but if you take one or two, in addition to the most important #4, then you'll be on your way to the closing table in no time!Check in with us for great Real estate guidance any time at www.benguyton.com
All offers are negotiable, as your agent will tell you. When you receive an offer, you can accept it, reject it, or respond by asking that terms be modified, which is called making a counteroffer.
Decide in advance what terms are most important to you. For instance, if price is most important, you may need to be flexible on your closing date. Or if you want certainty that the transaction won’t fall apart because the buyer can’t get a mortgage, require a prequalified or cash buyer.
If you think your home will receive multiple offers, work with your agent to establish a time frame during which buyers must submit offers. That gives your agent time to market your home to as many potential buyers as possible, and you time to review all the offers you receive.
Selling your home can be emotional. But it’s simply a business transaction, and you should treat it that way. If your agent tells you a buyer complained that your kitchen is horribly outdated, justifying a lowball offer, don’t be offended. Consider it a sign the buyer is interested and understand that those comments are a negotiating tactic. Negotiate in kind.
Carefully evaluate all the terms of each offer. Price is important, but so are other terms. Is the buyer asking for property or fixtures -- such as appliances, furniture, or window treatments -- to be included in the sale that you plan to take with you?Is the amount of earnest money the buyer proposes to deposit toward the downpayment sufficient? The lower the earnest money, the less painful it will be for the buyer to forfeit those funds by walking away from the purchase if problems arise.Have the buyers attach a prequalification or pre-approval letter, which means they’ve already been approved for financing? Or does the offer include a financing or other contingency? If so, the buyers can walk away from the deal if they can't get a mortgage, and they'll take their earnest money back, too. Are you comfortable with that uncertainty?Is the buyer asking you to make concessions, like covering some closing costs? Are you willing, and can you afford to do that? Does the buyer’s proposed closing date mesh with your timeline?With each factor, ask yourself: Is this a deal breaker, or can I compromise to achieve my ultimate goal of closing the sale?
If you’ve received an unacceptable offer through your agent, ask questions to determine what’s most important to the buyer and see if you can meet that need. You may learn the buyer has to move quickly. That may allow you to stand firm on price but offer to close quickly. The key to successfully negotiating the sale is to remain flexible.With the correct guidance from your real estate professional and managing your emotions during the process you will find the best buyer for your property and do so with as little stress as possible. Remember though, once the contract is signed you are legally obligated to it, just as is the Buyer. Be sure you are familiar with all terms before proceeding. Contact us anytime you fell we can be of service.
7 Tax Tips about Vacation Home Rentals
This summer, you may be sticking close to home or traveling out and about. Either way, if you have a vacation home, it pays to think about taxes now, long before tax time next year. I’ll bet you are used to the admonition that everything is income to the IRS. Everything has to be reported on your taxes, right?
It is true that if you rent a home to others, you usually must report the rental income on your tax return. However, you may not have to report the rent you collect if the rental period is short and if you also use the property as your home. In most cases, you can deduct your rental expenses. When you also use the rental as your home, your deduction may be limited. Here are some basic tax tips that you should know if you rent out a vacation home.
1. Vacation Home. A vacation home can be a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat or similar property.
2. Schedule E. You usually report rental income and rental expenses on Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss. Your rental income may also be subject to Net Investment Income Tax.
3. Used as a Home. If the property is “used as a home,” your rental expense deduction is limited. This means your deduction for rental expenses can’t be more than the rent you received. For more about these rules, see Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes).
4. Divide Expenses. If you personally use your property and also rent it to others, special rules apply. You must divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use. To figure how to divide your costs, you must compare the number of days for each type of use with the total days of use.
5. Personal Use. Personal use may include use by your family. It may also include use by any other property owners or their family. Use by anyone who pays less than a fair rental price is also personal use.
6. Schedule A. Report deductible expenses for personal use on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. These may include costs such as mortgage interest, property taxes and casualty losses.
7. Rented Less than 15 Days. If the property is “used as a home” and you rent it out fewer than 15 days per year, you do not have to report the rental income. In this case you deduct your qualified expenses on schedule A.
If you still need to file your 2014 tax return, you can use IRS Free File to make filing easier. Free File is available until Oct. 15. If you make $60,000 or less, you can use brand-name tax software. If you earn more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. Free File is available only through the IRS.gov website.
Listing a property is a delicate dance. From the initial marketing to the final price negotiations, everything needs to be tailored to the type of home being sold. However, because of their main differences, this process can look very different when selling a condo versus selling a house. Reason #1: The Homeowners Association or HOA As all condo owners will know very well, almost all condos come with some type of HOA, or homeowners association. The HOA generally handles common areas like swimming pools, the exterior of the building, and landscaping. Sometimes, the HOA is also responsible for holding social events throughout the year. However, all of this comes at a few costs. The first is money; a HOA cannot operate or pay necessary expenses without charging residents a monthly fee. The second is freedom; most HOAs have rules that need to be followed and an individual owner has very little ability to change them. When selling a condo, potential buyers will balance the costs of each HOA with the benefits. Reason #2: Real Estate Investors When selling a condo, it's reasonable to expect a larger number of investors considering the property than when selling a home. After all, renting out condos is a big business and can go a long way to offsetting costs to own. As a result, selling a condo could mean a faster closing, a cash offer, or even competing bids if the condo is in a prime location or specific floor of a great resort.. Reason #3: The Type of Buyer Different types of buyers look at a condo versus a home. For starters, condos are generally smaller, don't have yards, have all landscaping handled professionally, and frequently come with amenities like a swimming pool or fitness center. While a good majority of potential buyers with children would love a swimming pool with zero maintenance, they aren't willing to make the trade for a smaller space. This means that when selling a condo, potential buyers will generally be single adults, newly married couples, or retired professionals looking to downgrade to an easier property or second home buyers. Reason #4: Location, Location, Location Every real estate agent knows that one factor, above all others, is most important when selling a property: location. Being close to the ocean or golf course versus far away, near downtown excitement versus in a quiet neighborhood, or near shopping centers versus on the edge of nowhere all come into play for a property's value and desirability. Generally speaking, condos tend to be closer to urban areas, shopping, and entertainment and expensive oceanfront land. This also means that their price per square foot is frequently higher. As a result, owners looking to sell their condo should carefully consult with their real estate agent about the best way to market their property and a fair listing price.When you are considering selling your condo or buying one, why not work with the agency that has helped more Buyers & Sellers than anyone since 1983 - The Hoffman Group. Call me today and I'll share the stats with you!When is the best time to offer your property to the market - Right now. Investor buyers and second home buyers are searching for the property now, coming here to see them and working to own it in time for the upcoming vacation season. Why wait any longer?
Selling Your Home in 2016? Boost Your Resale Value with These Three Inexpensive Renovations
To get top dollar for your home, renovations may be necessary. However, some renovations can prove costly and they don’t always add value to your home. Here are three inexpensive renovations that are sure to improve the resale value of your home. First Impressions Matter
Your home needs to have curb appeal. If the potential buyer doesn't see that, it will be difficult to get the price you want. Spend money and time landscaping your yard. Pressure wash your driveway. Paint your front door. Make your porch look welcoming. If you do all of this yourself or with the help of family and friends, the costs will be reasonable. After a prospective buyer is impressed by your nicely kept lawn, you will want to continue impressing him/her with your interior design. Buyers know what they want when it comes to the number of bedrooms and baths. You have something they want or they wouldn't be looking at your home. Now, you need to keep their attention. Freshening Up the Interior
Each room needs to be freshly painted in a neutral color. Old wallpaper and borders should be stripped and walls repainted. Make each room look larger by clearing any clutter. If possible, remove any unnecessary furniture and store it somewhere else. Have any carpets professionally cleaned, and be sure to polish any hardwood flooring. In the bedrooms, de-clutter your closets. Your kitchen and bathrooms should be sparkling. Clean and organize counters and cabinets. Again, most of these suggestions cost little but add great value to your home. Upgrades
When you think of upgrades, you many automatically assume major costs with little return. However, many upgrades may be within your budget. Consider making some of these affordable upgrades to your home. Living Areas/Family Rooms – If you’re going for a more elegant touch, add some crown molding. For a more rustic feel, add box beams. Improving the ceilings of main rooms will add value to your home. Hardware and Fixtures – Painting and changing the hardware on your cabinet doors can change the look of a room dramatically. Add new fixtures such as lighting and doorknobs for a more updated look. Flooring - replacing dirty or worn carpet makes for a much better first impression and gives you a very good return. Many Sellers are concerned that if they spend the money to replace carpet a new Buyer may not like it and end up changing it for something different. While there is risk in the costs, it is always better to puyt your best appearance forward and not worry about what happens after selling. Now, if your flooring looks above a "7" on a 1-10 scale, then just get it cleaned and do your best to keep it that way while selling.For other ideas on adding value to your home be sure to subscribe or check back often.