Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Waiting Until Spring to Sell Your Home? This Could be a Mistake.

There was a big improvement in the real estate market in 2013 across the nation. And, while all real estate is local, the Minneapolis/St Paul market was no exception. We also saw prices rebound quite a bit in communities on both sides of the Mississippi. But when where sellers able to score the best deals? Let me give you a hint. It wasn't in the spring.

Many people do think that spring is the best time to sell a home. And yes, it is a good time to buy and sell a home. More home buyers are out looking to make a move when the weather warms up. But surprisingly buyers also move in the winter. And because most sellers are waiting for spring, there are less options for them. 

Early in 2013 is when most home sellers were seeing multiple offers in the Twin Cities. There were few good homes on the market in January and tons of home buyers, pre-approved and hoping to take advantage of the low interest rates. This created a seller's market, where the seller had the upper hand in the negotiations. Home sellers scrambled to get their homes listed and by April, inventory was abundant in most price points. Great news for home buyers, but not for home sellers hoping for a quick sale at asking price.

Not Just a 2013 Phenomena

Low housing inventory after the holidays has been a trend I have noticed over the last several years. Homes that were overlooked by buyers in the fall market, suddenly had offers in January/February. And sellers didn't have to "give away" their homes either. It was just simple supply and demand. The lower housing supply combined with a strong buyer demand as soon as the holidays are over, makes it an ideal situation for a home seller listed at the beginning of the year. But the scales almost always are balanced again by late March. So a savvy home seller  might think twice about waiting until spring. If you are ready to sell, now might be the best time to put your home on the market to make the best deal.

Copyright 2013 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quick Tips for Home Sellers--Show and SELL during the Holidays!

We just had the first measurable Minnesota snowfall so that means the winter holidays are just around the corner. But if what if the house hasn’t sold yet? What should a seller do?

At first inclination many sellers opt to cancel their listing and withdraw their home from the multiple listing service believing that the preoccupation with the holiday season puts the brakes on most home purchases. While many home buyers will be distracted, sellers can be ignoring a real opportunity: ANY buyer looking at houses during the holidays is VERY serious about buying a home.
There are not many tire-kickers running around with a REALTOR® when there are presents to buy, cookies to bake and gifts to wrap. November, December and January showings are a seller’s opportunity as most homes that buyers visit at this time of the year are vacant. Quite often, a buyer’s choices are down to model homes, vacated relocation properties and foreclosures. Providing the opportunity for a buyer to visit a home filled with the colorful sights, delightful sounds and wonderful aromas of the season is a great option for those wanting to sell.

Tips for Showing and  Selling During the Holidays
  1. Decorate! But don't go overboard with the lights and decor! This is not the time for a Griswold inspired display of lights as in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but a decorated tree, candles and wreaths can add a special touch.
  2. Bake Christmas Cookies. Share a few with the buyers and agents viewing your home. Why should Santa have all of the extra calories?
  3. Make sure the fireplace is burning bright, warm and welcoming!
  4. Play holiday music. Leave out the nerve-grating "Santa got Run Over by a Reindeer" type carols and go for instrumentals or uniquely Minnesota regional artists like The Blenders.
  5. Shovel and salt the driveway as necessary. No one wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room with a twisted ankle and bruised tailbone.
  6. Turn the heat up for showings…Show visitors how well the furnace works. Warmth is such a treat after visiting vacant homes with the thermostat turned way down!
  7. Leave the front light on! Don’t forget it is dark out during those early evening showings. Make certain buyers and their agents are able to see their way to your front door and open the lockbox.

Copyright 2013 www.terieckholm.com

Friday, November 1, 2013

Selling a Home AS-IS can Cost Thousands

Most home sellers today do their homework. There is a vast array of information on how to prep a home to sell for top dollar on the internet and cable TV. Most savvy sellers have watched an occasional HGTV program or YouTube video showing how to stage a home and flip a house. They know that to get the highest price possible for their home, it will take a bit of elbow grease and organization. Sellers expecting optimal dollars need to understand that buyers want optimal condition.

Sometimes I still run into someone who balks at making repairs to their home. They say, “Let the buyer tackle that project. I want the home sold AS-IS.” 

Sometimes it does make sense to hold off on an expensive repair that would be nice but not necessary. These are more expensive cosmetic repairs like new siding or windows. However anything that would prevent a buyer from getting financing or insurance is a must like a new roof if the shingles are showing extensive wear or septic system if it is not compliant. These issues will not be overlooked by any buyer. 

Cosmetic and minor repairs will definitely reflect in what a home buyer offers on a property. Replacing doors with holes, broken glass in windows and settling cracks in a ceiling make a huge difference in a buyer’s perception of a home. Damage like this is always noticed by the buyers 

4 Reasons to Make Home Repairs Before Listing

  1. Less Buyer Distraction. Buyers will be able to focus on the positive attributes of your home rather than needed repairs.
  2. Homebuyers Inflate Repair Costs. My rule of thumb is: If it will cost a seller $100 to fix an issue, the buyer will ask for a $1000!
  3. Easier Negotiations. When a purchase agreement comes in, it doesn’t come with a “laundry list” of things the buyer will have to repair to justify the low offer.
  4. Faster to SOLD! Homes that are in optimal condition do sell quickly. Homes that need repairs often can sit on the mark for weeks or months longer waiting for a buyer willing to accept the home in its current condition. Longer market time can mean having to reduce the price significantly to keep buyers interested.

Copyright 2013 www.terieckholm.com