- Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
- Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
- Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset
An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case.
Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:
- Bragging about their success
- Bragging about their company’s success
An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house.
However, you first need to know that they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.
Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher,’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home.
Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.
You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares like Steve and Sandra.
The inaugural Opportunity Cost Report was released recently by realtor.com. The report explained that “with interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today's market have become very steep”.
The report estimates that, based on today's dollars, the average purchaser would accumulate $217,726 in increased wealth over a 30-year period.
(You can get the projected wealth increase for almost 100 metros here.)
What could this mean to someone sitting on the fence waiting to buy?
Experts believe that both home prices and mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months. Obviously, if this does happen, the monthly cost of a home a year from now will be dramatically higher than it is today. The Opportunity Cost Report breaks down exactly how much a purchaser could lose over increments of one year and three years. Here are the results based on an average purchaser in the U.S. delaying their purchase:
If you are ready, willing and able to buy a home, waiting doesn't make sense.
When you are ready to jump off the fence, give us a call, text or email and put our experience and negotiating skills to work for you!
In today's market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are five reasons:
1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
- The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
- The appraiser if there is a question of value
2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers
Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
3. Results Come from the Internet
Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?
- 43% on the internet
- 9% from a yard sign
- 1% from newspaper
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 9% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $208,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $235,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $27,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.
Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with us and see what we have to offer.
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
Windermere Real Estate
Check out Ballard's recent real estate stats right here!
As the temperature rises, buyers are coming out ready to purchase their dream home. Inventory is still below historic numbers and demand is strong. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity for you and your family.
Here are five reasons to list your home now.
1. Demand is Strong
Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last 12 months which includes last spring’s buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!
Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
2. There Is Less Competition Now
Housing supply just dropped to 4.6 months, which is under the 6 months’ supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means, in many areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.
There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.
Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).
The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.
3. The Process Will Be Quicker
One of the biggest challenges of the housing market in recent times has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19.3% from now to 2019. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate under 4% right now. Rates are projected to increase by about three quarters of a percent by the end of 2015.
5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.
When you are ready to sell your Seattle WA area home, put our Ultimate Home Selling System to work for you!
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
Windermere Real Estate
I have been a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for as long as I can remember. In my opinion, it is the single greatest source of financial information and insights available. I don’t always agree with their analysis but I always respect their position.
However, in an article this past weekend, The New Math of Renting vs. Buying, they flat out got it wrong. Below are a few excerpts from the article and the reason why I believe the analysis to be incorrect.
The Cost of Renting is Lower than the Cost of Owning
In the article, they discuss that homeownership is more expensive than renting in many large metropolitan areas.
"The monthly cost of renting was lower than buying in 20 large metropolitan areas at the end of last year, the most recent period for which data are available, according to figures provided exclusively to The Wall Street Journal by Deutsche Bank. That is up from 15 large metropolitan areas a year earlier.”
The challenge is that more recent data from two very reliable sources has shown that not to be the case. Among the 35 largest metro areas analyzed by Zillow in the first quarter, every metro showed it would be cheaper to buy than rent if you plan to live in the home for at least 4.2 years.
According to a study by Trulia:
“Homeownership remains cheaper than renting nationally and in all of the 100 largest metro areas. Rising mortgage rates and home prices have narrowed the gap over the past year, though rates have recently dropped and price gains are slowing. Now, at a 30-year fixed rate of 4.5%, buying is 38% cheaper than renting nationally.” (emphasis added)
Renters Don’t Have All the Expenses of Homeowners
The article goes on to explain that as a renter you have many less expenses than you would have as a homeowner:
"Renters, for example, don't pay property taxes, homeowner's insurance and, in most cases, maintenance costs. These expenses can cost homeowners about 3% of the price of their home annually, experts say.
While those costs can be folded into monthly rent, apartment renters often pay a smaller share as landlords spread the costs among many tenants, says Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, director of the Center for Real Estate Finance Research at New York University. If a window breaks or the toilet plugs up, your landlord—not you—pays for the repairs."
Don’t kid yourself – the landlord does not pay the taxes nor pay for repairs. The tenant does. It is incorporated in the rent. It is true, if it is an apartment building, that the property taxes are shared by all tenants. However, realize that the amount of property taxes for an apartment building with “many tenants” will be far greater than a single family residence.
We think this situation is best explained by Eric Belsky, Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University, in his paper on homeownership – The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America:
“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.” (emphasis is mine)
Investing the Difference in Payments Will Net a Renter More Money
The WSJ article claims that, if a renter invests the difference between their rent payment and a potential mortgage payment had they purchased, they would be better off financially in the long run.
"Renters don't end up with a valuable asset, as buyers do when they pay off a mortgage. But renters might be able to make more money by investing the monthly savings, as well as the cash they would otherwise use for a down payment, he says."
They go on to explain their reasoning as follows:
"The value of the average single-family home increased by 3.6% a year in the three decades through 2013, compounded annually, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. By contrast, the compound annual return on the S&P 500 over that period was 11.1%, according to Chicago-based investment-research firm Morningstar."
As to the idea that the return on investment would be greater by investing in the stock market rather than purchase a home, I think the article in the WSJ forgot that housing is a leveraged investment. Belsky, in his paper, explains:
“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”
That 3.6% average annual appreciation is really an 18% return on cash to a home buyer putting down 20%.
They also assume the renter will save any difference in housing expense. However, that does not happen in reality. In their ongoing research for their paper, Beer and Cookies Impact on Homeowners’ Wealth Accumulation, Eli Beracha and Ken H. Johnson reveal that homeownership creates a ‘forced savings’ plan:
“It appears that homeownership creates extra wealth mainly through its ability to force owners to save rather than through property appreciation. Thus, homeownership appears to be a self-imposed savings plan, which through time leads to greater wealth accumulation as compared to comparable renters. In short, buying a home makes Americans save.”
And Belsky from Harvard agrees:
“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”
To further make this point, we can look at a study by the Federal Reserve which showed that the net worth of a homeowner ($174,500) is 30 times greater than that of renter ($5,100).
Looking at financial advantages of homeownership from every angle still reveals that it is a much better investment than renting.
Call, text or email us when you are ready to enjoy the benefits of home ownership!
-Steve and Sandra
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
Windermere Real Estate