Selling in the 4th Quarter
Traditional wisdom says that the best time to sell your home is in the spring when market activity is high. In the past 2 years in Nassau County, NY the 4th quarter represented 20% of the under contracts for that year. Considering that an even distribution would mean each quarter garnering 25% of the sales - 20 % is no small number. What might be the reason for putting your house on the market now as the 4th quarter approaches? The best reason is that you want to get on with your life and don't want to wait 6 -9 months to move on (especially if you are moving to a warmer climate). Another good reason is that most experts predict a further softening in the market and prices. While that might not come to past, it does represent a risk you would be taking. Finally there's the fact of less competitors on the market while those buyers who are staying in the market in the 4th quarter tend to be also motivated by the fact that they are ready to move on with their lives. So if you are considering listing your home now, that might be the best decision and the worst that can happen is that you don't sell it now and then try again in the spring.
Be Proactive with CO's
Besides issues with financing the mortgage, the number most important issue you will encounter from the time the contract is signed until you get to the closing table is having all the co's for the work done in the house since you moved there. More than half of all closings in our area are complicated, held up or cancelled because of certificate of occupancy issues. You put up or extended that beautiful deck in the backyard, you expanded the half bath to a full bath, you added a big shed to your backyard. All these are issues that need to be resolved with your town before you can close. In the more lenient days, banks and attorneys, would let most of the minor issues slide to close the deal quickly. This is not the case now and putting your head in the sand ignoring these issues until you find a buyer is a big mistake. If you plan to move, part of your plan has to include legalizing all the improvements you made to the house since you bought it. Sometimes you bought the house with money in escrow to close some open permits and neglected to follow through after the closing. Do yourself a big favor. Don't take the chance of ruining a great deal on your home because you let the buyer second guess his decision when he is concerned about getting the house to closing in an orderly way. A soon as you decide to move get your co issues under control. You can go to the town yourself and check that your file is in order or you can hire an expeditor whose job it is to handle these matters every day. Either way you will be happy at the closing table if you were proactive with this issue.
It's a Business Transaction
We know it's your home and whether you have lived there 2 years or 52 years there are many memories attached to those walls. When you are ready to move to new memories, you must treat the move as a business transaction. That's why you hire a realtor, who sells houses every day of the week. No matter how much your realtor likes your house, he/she won't let that get in the way of getting the transaction done. Because in the end that's what you are looking for - to move on with your life. So that means you price your house at the market or even a little bit below the market to attract the maximum number of buyers. It means that when you get a low offer, you don't dismiss it but try to work with it. It means you do what you need to do to get the proper permits and paperwork to close the transaction. It might seem a bit insensitive but if you really do want to move on with your life that's what you need to do.
Tips for Sellers from About.com
- Disassociate Yourself With Your Home
- Make minor repairs
- Make the House Sparkle
- Check Curb Appeal
For the full article go to http://homebuying.about.com/od/sellingahouse/ht/homeprep.htm
Should You Move or Should You Improve
You have a ranch with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath and you just found out you are pregnant with your third child. Should you move to a bigger house or should you improve your current home and put a dormer on top. There are many issues involved in your decision. Are you in a great location with great schools for the kids? How convenient is your present location to job and other commuting issues (eg nearness to family). What condition is your house in? - does it need remodeling or is it already updated. Do you need or can you qualify for a mortgage or home improvement loan? What will your house sell for and what will it cost you to get your bigger dream home? Do you think a real estate agent might be able to help you negotiate these complicated waters? Well, you say, I don't want to bother a real estate agent if I am not going to sell. A very commendable sentiment but we are in a service business and many of us are full service and we'd love to speak with you and let you pick our brain to make sure you have considered all the issues before you make a decision. A good real estate agent is more of a consultant than a salesperson. Get the benefit of our experience and if you don't sell, don't worry we are patient - you will sell someday.
If You Really Have To Sell
Some homeowners put their home on the market to test the market. They have no real plans of relocating and are hoping to beat the odds and sell their home above the current market values. In this current environment there are few winners of this lottery. If you have to sell or want to sell to get on with your life, then pricing and staging your home is very important. A local news radio station reported from the Westchester real estate association a phrase that captures the spirit of this market for home sellers. You are in a price war and a beauty contest. With more than 6 months inventory on the market now in Nassau county, it is the story of the sold and the withdrawn with few in the sold column and many in the withdrawn or unsold category. Look at your competition in the market in terms of price and condition and you need to beat them all. Invite a realtor into your home and let them tell you what the market will bear for your home and what improvements you can make to win the beauty contest with your competitors. Follow their advice and put your home in the sold column.
Tips from the National Association of Realtors
6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home
You’ve worked hard to get your home ready for sale and to price it properly. With any luck, offers will come quickly. You’ll need to review each carefully to determine its strengths and drawbacks and pick one to accept. Here’s a plan for evaluating offers.
1. Understand the process
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.
2. Set baselines
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.
3. Create an offer review process
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.
4. Don’t take offers personally
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.
5. Review every term
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 attached 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?
6. Be creative
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.
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has survived several closings. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
Read more: http://buyandsell.houselogic.com/articles/6-tips-choosing-best-offer-your-home/#ixzz0vAtvk6sf
This will be the first of a new weekly tip column for people who are considering selling their home
Your comments are welcome - you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The most important tip for all sellers of real estate
Price your home near the market to sell well. Price your home just under the market for even better results. The new reality in real estate is that the buyers are armed via the Internet with some impressive tools to be able to evaluate your home even before they walk into it. If a buyer sees your listing come on to the market and feels that it is priced too high, that label will stick to your property even after you adjust the price. Price erosion occurs on every listing as the listing spends time on the market. If you are serious about selling your home you must be agressive in the pricing. It is only good marketing!
- If you don't need it, why not donate it or throw it away?
- Remove all books from bookcases.
- Pack up those knickknacks.
- Clean off everything on kitchen counters.
- Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use.
- Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.