What You Don’t Need To Hear From Your Listing Broker

0209-KCMYou’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

  1. Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
  2.  
  3. Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
  4. 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.

Posted on February 10, 2016 at 8:52 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Real Estate, Seattle Home For Sale, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle Real Estate, Seattle WA Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

217,726 Reasons to Buy a Seattle Area Home Now!

217,726 Reasons to Buy a Home Now! | Keeping Current MattersThe 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:

Bottom Line

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!

Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate
206-769-9577

stevehill@windermere.com


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Posted on June 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle Home For Sale, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner Your Seattle WA Area Home

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.

Bottom Line

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
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate

206-769-9577
stevehill@windermere.com
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Posted on June 2, 2015 at 4:06 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Real Estate, Seattle Home For Sale, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

All these Seattle WA homes are open Sunday!

Check out all Seattle WA homes open today right HERE!

Tired of losing out in multiple offers? Put us to work for you by using our powerful neighborhood knowledge and negotiating skills and get the Seattle WA home you deserve.

Call, text or email us today!

 

Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner

SEATTLE-NORTHWEST

Windermere Real Estate

206-769-9577

stevehill@windermere.com



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Posted on April 5, 2015 at 9:05 am
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Buying a Seattle WA Home, Seattle Home For Sale, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle Real Estate, Seattle WA Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood continues to be hot!

Check out Ballard's recent real estate stats right here!

 

Posted on March 31, 2015 at 3:05 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Real Estate, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

Why You Should Sell Your Seattle Area Home Now!

Why You Should Sell Now!

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.

That is what is truly important.

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
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate

206-769-9577
stevehill@windermere.com


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Posted on March 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Real Estate, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

Seattle WA Home Buyers – Don’t Let Your “Luck” Run Out

Don’t Let Your “Luck” Run Out | Keeping Current Matters

The 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is currently still below 4%. Many buyers may be on the fence as to whether to act now and purchase a new home, or wait until next year, believing they still have time to lock in a low rate.

If you look at what the experts are predicting over the course of the next 12 months, it may make the decision for you.

Predictions for 2016 2Q:

Even an increase of half a percentage point can put a dent in your family’s net worth.

Let’s look at it this way…

The monthly payment (principal & interest only) on a $250,000 home today, with the current 3.86% interest rate would be $1,173.

If we take that same home a year later, the Home Price Expectation Survey projects that prices will rise about 4.4% making that home cost $11,000 more at $261,000.

If we take Freddie Mac’s rate projection of 4.7%, the monthly mortgage payment climbs to $1,354.

Some buyers might not think that an extra $181 a month is that bad. But over the course of 30-year mortgage you have spent an additional $65,160 by waiting a year.

If you are considering a home purchase in Seattle, check out all of the homes availble in Seattle WA favorite neighborhoods right HERE.

Put our experience and negotiating skills to work for you. Discount brokerages don't offer the same level of personalized service as us. We are with you every step of the way! Check out our reviews at BrennerHillReviews.com.

Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate

206-769-9577
stevehill@windermere.com


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Posted on March 17, 2015 at 11:47 am
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Home Buying, Real Estate, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Homes for Sale

Don’t Wait! Move Up To The House You Always Wanted

Don’t Wait! Move Up To The House You Always Wanted | BrennerHill.comNow that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. In most areas, prices are still below those of a few years ago. Also, interest rates are still near 4%. However, sellers should realize that waiting to make the move while mortgage rates are increasing probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can buy will decrease. Here is a chart detailing this point:

Buyers Purchasing Power | BrennerHill.com

When you are ready to move up to the house you always wanted, give us a call, text or email. Let us get to work for you!

Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate

206-769-9577

stevehill@windermere.com

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Posted on January 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Home Buying, Real Estate, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle Real Estate, Seattle WA Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Seattle Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home | Keeping Current MattersIf you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home. There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space

What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of RealtorsFannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.  When you are ready to take the plunge into homeownership, give us a call, text or email. Put our experience and negotiaition skills to work for you!

Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate

206-769-9577
stevehill@windermere.com


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Posted on January 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Home Buying, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate, Seattle Homes for Sale, Seattle Real Estate, Seattle WA Homes for Sale, Seattle WA Real Estate

Homeownership: This Time the Wall Street Journal Got it Wrong

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).

Bottom Line

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
SEATTLE-NORTHWEST
Windermere Real Estate

 

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm
Steve Hill and Sandra Brenner | Category: Seattle Homes for Sale | Tagged , , , ,

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