Posted: 01 Jul 2015 04:00 AM PDT
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 04:00 AM PDT
“…as of the end of the first quarter of 2015, the housing market in the U.S. and all cities in the index are trending either closer to renting being the superior option or strictly favoring renting over purchasing a home.”
“The index conducts a “horse race” comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” (emphasis added)
“…any extra savings from renting might be spent on non-wealth enhancing goods resulting in any benefits from renting versus owning disappearing in a cloud of consumption spending rather than savings.”
“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.” “Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”
“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.”
“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth…As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.”
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 04:00 AM PDT
"Solid sales gains were seen throughout the country in May as more homeowners listed their home for sale and therefore provided greater choices for buyers." “However, overall supply still remains tight, homes are selling fast and price growth in many markets continues to teeter at or near double-digit appreciation. Without solid gains in new home construction, prices will likely stay elevated — even with higher mortgage rates above 4 percent."
Posted: 29 Jun 2015 04:00 AM PDT
Rose & Womble Realty Company is pleased to announce that it has ranked as a top 500 Power Broker in the United States in sales volume, according to RISMedia’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report. In 2014, Rose & Womble reported a total sales volume of over $1 billion dollars, representing 4,016 closed residential transactions.
“We had an outstanding 2014,” said Rose & Womble Resale President Ron Foresta. “The dedication of our entire team, from the agents to our corporate staff, is what sets our company apart in the marketplace. We’re only as good as the people who work for us, and we have the best agents in Hampton Roads.”
This year’s Power Broker Report is based on responses to RISMedia’s 2015 Power Broker Survey, distributed in early January. More than 1,000 real estate firms from across the country completed the Power Broker Survey, reporting a collective 3,203.736 closed residential transactions in 2014, accounting for a total of $972,888,910,471 in sales volume.
Rose & Womble Realty Company is the largest, independently owned real estate firm in Virginia, and continues to dominate the Hampton Roads real estate market which runs from North Carolina to Williamsburg.
RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston congratulated Rose & Womble for their prestigious ranking in this year’s Power Broker Report. “The firms represented are the nation’s most elite brokerage firms serving literally millions of consumers with their real estate needs,” Featherston said. “2014 was a growth year for many real estate firms across the country, as low inventory created a ripe environment for home sellers and move-up buyers, and continued low interest rates and rising rents enticed more new buyers to take action.”
RISMedia’s Annual Power Broker Report ranks firms by closed transactions and sales volume for the prior year. The Top 500 rankings appear in the April issue of Real Estate magazine and online at rismedia.com. The complete ranking of all firms that meet the criteria will be available in the 2015 Power Broker Report publication, available both digitally and print this summer.
Why No Two CMAs Are Ever The Same
When you interview real estate agents to choose which one to list your home, each of them may each give you a snapshot of the local market known as the competitive or comparative market analysis or CMA. The first thing you notice is that the CMAs are all different and that the suggested listing prices can vary by thousands of dollars. Is it that the real estate professionals don't know what they're doing? Not necessarily, but a few may be dumb like foxes. Some agents will cast a deliberately wide net in a CMA to get you to list at a lower price so the home will sell quickly. They could also use large parameters if they're unfamiliar with the neighborhood you want to help them get your listing. What you want are homes within a few streets of yours, not the whole zip code.
CMAs are generated from multiple listing service software. They are only as accurate as the search criteria. If an agent puts in an entire zip code, the results are going to be quite different from a two-block radius. So take a good look at the area parameters.
Market conditions are what CMAs report. They're composed of property listings, sales and pending home sales for the purpose of helping buyers and sellers understand the marketplace better.
Buyers use CMAs to help them make the lowest offers possible and still get the homes they want. Sellers use CMAs to help them choose a listing price so their homes will sell quickly and for the highest dollar possible. They use comparisons that are supposed to be based on the most similar homes available, using size, age, features, amenities, condition and location.
Even so, the selected properties can vary greatly depending on the search parameters used by the real estate professional. These can include the type of home (detached vs. attached), the name of the street, number of bedrooms, baths and living areas, square footage, and numerous other fields of information. The CMAs also tell you which homes have recently sold - six months, three months, one month, and which homes are currently on the market in the area and within the price range you're interested in.
As many fields of information as there are, some criteria simply can't be listed in a CMA. If the MLS has a field for "ocean views," you'll know. But if not, you'll have to learn more in the remarks section that is filled in by the listing agent or simply sort through the listing videos and photos.
CMAs results may vary even between identical homes. One property may simply offer better drive-up appeal or is in better condition than the other, and that will be reflected in the sales price.
Sellers should know that there is one major thing that can't be quantified - buyer and seller motivation. You don't know why a seller agreed to take less for their home or why a buyer overpaid for another home. Family problems, corporate relocations and other reasons all play a role.
What you can learn from the CMA is how long the home took to sell. If it was quick, the seller was highly motivated. If it didn't, it was probably overpriced, in poor condition, or in a bad location.
Your real estate professional will suggest a pricing strategy for you based on the CMA, but the asking price will be up to you.
Many common repairs are easy to solve, inexpensive, and can be tackled in a weekend.
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If you’re planning to list your home at the start of summer, it’s time to tackle all the necessary repairs. These repairs can save you money in the long run — money spent on improvements now will be far less than the cost of that first price reduction if your house sits on the market.
Even if your home doesn’t linger on the market, you run the risk of a buyer asking for concessions and credits for items you didn’t fix, and the quotes from experts doing the work will almost certainly be higher than your own out-of-pocket cost.
If you still need convincing, here are 10 reasons to make repairs before you put your house on the market.
1. You’ll have to fix problems anyway — or make concessions
Your buyers are going to do an inspection, and the inspector will be able to identify all the issues and suggest needed repairs. There’s no avoiding it. You will have to fix any problems, credit money back to the buyer, or drop your price to compensate.
2. It will save you money
Many common repairs are easy to solve, inexpensive, and can be tackled in a weekend. They’re likely to be the things that were already on your list of weekend projects for the past year, and if they bother you, they’ll also bother a buyer. Leaky faucets, ripped window screens, ceiling stains, cracks in the plaster — they may seem like minor issues, but when you’ve got a whole house full of problems like these, they add up to one big seller headache.
3. Your home — not its flaws — will be the focus
Eliminating distracting drawbacks will allow buyers to have a positive experience as they tour your home. That means open-house visitors will be able to focus on your home’s positive, not negative, features.
4. A well-maintained home gets better offers
Getting your home completely prepped and ready will increase its perceived value because you’re showing buyers that your property is well maintained.
5. You can hold firm on your price
You won’t have to do a price reduction to reflect the estimated (and often overinflated) cost of repairs!
6. Rush jobs cost more, every time
Last-minute repairs done on a tight timeline are almost always more costly since you don’t have time to shop around for estimates. Plus, your time crunch begs for tradespeople to charge higher rush fees for squeezing the work into their schedule.
7. Actual costs and estimates don’t always match
Your actual cost to fix an item will almost always be less than a buyer’s estimate after their inspection — but since you won’t necessarily have time to fix everything before closing, you risk losing the sale if you don’t agree to the estimate.
8. You won’t risk losing the deal
You’ll avoid credits back to the buyer for problems identified during the inspection and haggling that drags on and on over minor issues, possibly costing you the deal. (You’d be surprised how ugly things can get when you’re down to the wire negotiating the added cost of repairing the cracks in the chimney.)
9. You’ll get more potential buyers in the door
Your real estate agent will love showing off an impeccable home, and buyer’s agents will be dying to get their clients in the front door. That brings in more potential buyers — which equates to more chances of finding the right one willing to pay your sale price.
10. You’ll sell your home faster
And for a higher price. Ka-ching.
Posted: 22 Jun 2015 04:00 AM PDT
“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.”
Getting your home ready for showings is difficult enough, but if you have small children in the home it can add additional complications. You probably have read that the real estate market is heating up, but you may have reservations about putting your house on the market if your children are messy because of the amount of work it takes to keep a listing showing ready. Here are ways you can deal with small children and keeping your home show ready.
Like any other listing, you will need to focus on good staging. This means depersonalizing your home as much as possible – even with children. You need to start thinking about your home as a house – not as the place you live. A home holds memories, personal mementos, and feels like a family live inside of it. A house on the market will be neutral, and ready to showcase to potential buyers that they could love living there. Think about the following options:
Work with your listing agent to come up with a staging plan that will make your home appealing to as many buyers as possible.
It’s important to keep your house looking ready for showings as much as possible. While this may seem impossible with messy children, there are things you can do daily to make sure you’re ready for any showings that day:
If your REALTOR® calls you for a showing, but your child is napping, you can wait until the potential buyers come before leaving the house. Many people think they need to leave the house for hours at a time, but you can try to arrange a tighter showing window. See if the buyer’s agent could call before they are on the way. If you can’t arrange that, and if weather permits, you could take the kids on a walk around the block or even out in the backyard once the potential buyers arrive.
Posted: 16 Jun 2015 04:00 AM PDT
Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.