I had a mentor once tell me that he describes the real estate market as ‘unbelievable’. When I asked why, he said well, if it’s really good, it’s unbelievable and if it’s really bad, it’s still unbelievable. Hmmmmm….. good point and so true! Today’s market is really unbelievable! We have historic low inventory and rates have continued to stay under 5% for a decade. We have clients wanting to sell their homes but they cannot find another suitable home. It’s like the chicken and egg circle!! You don’t want to sell until you can buy and you can’t buy until you sell. So, what gives? What will be the solution to this low inventory and when will it let up? We don’t know. What we do know is that there is a lack of new construction which is said to be a piece of the problem. When talking to builders, they describe challenges such as no affordable land, high infrastructure costs, difficulty in finding labor, and increase in building supplies makes the home price higher than market can bear. Is this a community problem. We think so but how to we fix it? Realtors lobby regularly to help find ways to protect and promote home ownership. It’s really a grass roots effort starting locally and moving on to state issues as well as the federal level. It’s the big picture and it’s a proven fact that when the real market does well, the economy does well. Because of the low inventory, price values have edged up but are starting to level out as we approach summer.
It’s that time again…. time to get the outside cleaned up from winter, time to spruce up the landscaping, and time to clean gutters and make sure all debris is cleared so that Spring rains can drain properly and avoid water damage. When we are showing houses for sale or on a listing appointment, one of the most common maintenance issues is the lack of preventive care. When there is water in a crawlspace, more often than not, it’s simply due to poor drainage around the exterior of the home but looks to be a bigger problem. And, when you see rotted wood around the roof overhang, it’s usually caused from clogged gutters and downspouts so the rain water cannot flow and ends up running over onto the wood structure.
Houses continue to sell throughout the winter and early spring even when exterior work may be needed. When inspection items occur, it is most common to escrow funds for the work to be completed when weather permits. Realtors and Lenders know this is common so buyers and sellers just have to work through the process and realize that sometimes Mother Nature causes a delay in maintenance. But, as long as funds and labor are available, there should be no issues with proceeding to closing on time.
If you are planning to sell, having a checklist and doing as much maintenance as possible prior to showings, the easier the process will go and chances are, you’ll get higher price during negotiations.
Do you hear it’s a “Seller’s Market” but still see houses sitting on the market for sale for long periods of time? In most cases, that means one of two things…. The house is either drastically overpriced or the condition needs improved. Today’s buyers are not patient or willing to invest money and time to get a house to move-in condition. They want to simply buy and move in and they are not willing to pay more than market value.
We are currently experiencing a Seller’s Market. Right now, every one of our company listings are under contract with a sale pending. While a few of our current listings sat on the market for a while, the sellers continually made improvements using showing feedback in order to reach a purchase without raising the list price. If Sellers are not willing to make improvements and price competitively, they will miss the peak selling market and their house will become stale and overlooked by buyers or will receive lower offer prices because of the length of marketing time.
Our company website has tips for sellers to prepare their house for the market. Simple and inexpensive tasks include fresh, neutral paint on exterior door and trim as well as inside in main areas, cleaning up landscaping, updating cabinetry hardware and light fixtures, cleaning/dusting the utility room and creating an inviting and cheerful entry. These tasks are good for annual maintenance even if you are not planning to sell but ready for a fresh outlook on your home! For more tips and consulting, call or email Team Choice!
For a while now, we’ve been experiencing low inventory on the market, making it difficult for buyers who have few options. Now that the weather is improving and Spring Break is just a couple of weeks away, we are hopeful the 2018 market activity will see a good increase in new listings. People have asked why we are having a shortage in listings and we think it’s a combination of several things. Not only have we had less new construction over the past several years but homeowners are staying in their houses longer. People don’t want to sell until they’ve already identified a new place to purchase and the loan process has tightened causing people to be intimated and simply avoid it.
Choice Realty & Management has a pre-listing packet available to owners who are thinking of selling. We can also prepare a market analysis for owners to help them decide if and when they want to list their home on the market. We have local data and consider local market conditions and influences rather than use other websites that have inaccurate and incomplete data. If you’re thinking of selling, give us an opportunity to offer our services to you!
It seems like February is always a month for down time. Coming off the holidays, people make resolutions for the new year and ready to start off with new goals and activities. But, then February arrives and things fade away while people tend to focus on the next exciting time, Spring Break! Sellers should be prepping their house if they plan to sell. Buyers should be searching online for inventory in order to get familiar with the market if they plan to buy. February is an ideal month to contact a Realtor who will work for you! It gives the consumer plenty of time to make plans and get tasks completed. With our consultations, we prefer starting early so that we can thoroughly review the needs of our clients and spend time making a good plan and getting organized.
Wow! What a challenge we’ve had to the start of 2018! These frigid temperatures have caused havoc to housing with overworked furnaces having heating issues and water lines freezing. The below zero temps cause spikes to utility bills, too, because electricity and gas are constantly fighting the battle of cold air. Things you can do to help relieve some worry and expense are to close crawlspace vents, seal around doors and windows, leave cabinet doors open so warm air can reach all pipes, and keep your home closed up as much as possible. Even coming and going through the garage door lets in so much cold air! We’ve even experienced water lines outside of the home are frozen, which falls to the service provider. And, depending on what company that might be, they may work to thaw the lines or they may ride it out and wait until temperature raise. It’s frustrating for everyone. Residents without water and service techs battling the weather outside of their control have to do what they can which may not be enough. Doing everything possible in advance can help avoid bigger problems but there is no guarantee it won’t happen. Our Maintenance Dept has been working overtime on heating issues and frozen pipes. IF you need assistance, please email: Repairs@CallChoiceRealty.com and we’ll get you on the list!
Just a quick reminder, the office of Choice Realty & Management is closed on Monday, January 1 and Tuesday, January 2. During our closed hours, our emergency maintenance phone extension is available for tenants in need of emergency repair.
Please remember, as we have extreme cold weather, close crawlspace vents, keep warm airflow around plumbing along outside walls and keep a small stream of water flowing on any faucets that tend to freeze.
We are looking forward to working with our customers and clients in 2018.
Let’s be blunt….. if you are not a responsible pet owner who can properly care for your pet, you shouldn’t have one! With these winter frigid temperatures, it is critical to keep pets indoors. If it’s too cold for a human, it’s too cold for an animal!! Please make sure your pets have shelter, food and water. The last statistic we heard said that 65% of people have a pet. We are pet lovers, too! And, that’s why, proper care of your pet is important to us.
Our staff will be celebrating Christmas and our office will be closed on Monday, December 25th & Tuesday, December 26th. And, we’ll be closed on New Year’s Day and January 2nd for some fun celebrations, planning and setting goals for 2018. ??
Whether you plan to stay in your home for another year or put it on the market soon to sell, the winter is actually a great time to do home maintenance projects and chores that people tend to delay. For instance, do you look at the caulk around the tub/shower when cleaning? Plan a weekend day and make yourself a to-list. Taking an extra hour while cleaning bathrooms to remove the caulk, clean thoroughly, then apply fresh caulk will make a huge difference in appearance. De-cluttering is also a chore that must be done prior to listing for sale but can be refreshing if you plan to stay. Cleaning out closets and drawers, getting rid of old clothes and any items never used, and organizing shelves can free up space and make your home feel larger and cleaner. Painting is also an easy project that can give a whole new look to a space and it is really an inexpensive project that can make the biggest change. Not only does it give a clean, fresh look but colors can update a room and even change the entire feel for function. If you do plan to sell soon, choosing paint colors that are neutral but give warmth are best, such as light tans, warm greys, or even shades of blue. While it can be fun to add vibrant colors, you would need to neutralize if you decide to sell later. None of these projects take a bunch of money or time, making these tasks top of the list to accomplish this winter!