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Category Archives: Home Sales

Demand for Housing Increases in August 2019

According to the August 2019 RE/MAX National Housing Report, buyer demand continues to exceed available housing supply, extending the favorable seller’s market that has been in place for years. While sellers have had the upper hand in negotiations in recent years with constricted inventory remaining nationally, more buyers entering the housing market could increase momentum.

“The modest inventory growth that started last fall has been swallowed up by demand as buyers have returned to the market, likely spurred on by attractive interest rates,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Home sales dipping at the same time inventory falls suggests there may have been some reluctance on the part of sellers to list their homes,” added Contos.

The last of 2019’s peak months for home sales also prompted encouraging signs for buyers with a steep decline in Median Sales Price from July 2019 to August 2019. Despite concerns over low inventory, the seasonal decline in inventory from July 2019 to August 2019 is on par with the national average since RE/MAX began releasing the RE/MAX National Housing Report over 10 years ago.

Here are some highlights of the latest data found in the RE/MAX National Housing Report:

  1. Home sales took a dip.

The overall average number of home sales is down 4.2% compared to July 2019, and down 1.6% compared to August 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage decrease were Miami, FL at -13.5%, Dover, NH at -13.1%, and Washington, D.C. at -10.3%.

  1. Home prices became increasingly more affordable.

In August 2019, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $263,000, down 3.6% from July 2019 and marking the steepest drop-off in report history from July to August.

  1. The number of homes for sale declined.

The number of homes for sale in August 2019 was down 3.9% from July 2019 and down 5.5% from August 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in August 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory was 2.8, a decrease compared to 2.9 in July 2019 and 3.5 in August 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, find an experienced, top-producing agent on remaxallpro.com.

Millennial Homebuyers Want a Yard of Their (Pet’s) Dreams – Here’s How Sellers Can Appeal to Furry Friends

What could beat out an updated kitchen as the most important feature millennials are looking for when buying a home? Recent research from the National Association of Landscape Professionals shows that a nice-sized lawn is the No. 1 priority among those born between 1981 and 1996.

Seventy-three percent of millennials currently own a pet and, according to a 2018 realtor.com survey, 75 percent of pet-owning millennial homebuyers surveyed said they would pass on a home, no matter how good it is, if it didn’t meet the needs of their pet.

If you plan to boost your home’s curb appeal and backyard before selling, keep in mind potential millennial buyers – and their furry friends – with these tips for a pet-friendly yard:

  1. Muse on Your Mulch

Mulching can be used to create healthy lawns and add aesthetic value – but it can also be harmful to animals if certain chemicals are present in the material. Cocoa bean mulch, for example, can poison dogs since it’s made from cocoa shells. Instead, look for pine, cedar and hemlock mulches, which can be good alternatives and may ease the mind of a potential buyer with pets.

  1. Plant Purposefully

Planting a few flowers can go a long way in ramping up your home’s curb appeal. Adding a few different colors into the mix can help create an interesting and inviting atmosphere. While you’re at the garden center, consider taking a look at this list of toxic and non-toxic plants for animals and steer clear of potential troublemakers for future buyers. If your garden is already in tip-top shape, list and label as many plants as possible. This relatively simple step can have a powerful effect on buyers, whether they’re gardeners or not!

  1. Know Your Boundaries

There are a lot of variables to consider when questioning if a fence increases home value. Material, the neighborhood and whether it fits in with the style of your house are all important things to consider – but so is the condition you keep it in! A sturdy backyard fence may inspire buyers with escape-artist furry friends to make an offer.

  1. Be Chemical-Conscious

Many baits for snails, rats and other pests can be fatal for pups. If you must use them to get your backyard sell-ready, think of putting them where a pet couldn’t reach them. Did you know planting lavender, mint, rosemary and other companion plants can be a safe way to keep snails and slugs at bay?

  1. Make ‘Pawsome’ Choices

If adding some paths in your yard is within budget, consider materials that don’t get too hot on a sunny day. Materials should be easy to walk on for both owners and their pets. Concrete, brick, flagstone and smooth rocks are all good choices.

Start your first home buying experience off the right way by finding a real estate agent who works for you at remaxallpro.com.

 

A Plan for First-Time Homebuyers: Go from Prepared to Purchase

 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer who has succeeded in saving enough for a down payment (remember, you don’t necessarily need 20%) on your very first home – congratulations! You’ve tackled one of the hardest parts of the home buying journey with success, but you haven’t crossed the finish line to homeownership just yet. Now it’s time for the follow-up work that can take you from prepared to purchase.

Credit Check

Do you know your credit score? If not, it’s time to request a copy of your credit report from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian to find out your score and what it means to your future financial picture. Start working to resolve any errors or outstanding debts before it’s time to make an offer on a house. It’s important to determine your DTI, or debt-to-income ratio, by reviewing assets and debts. The higher your DTI percentage, the riskier the investment is for lenders – which can lead to higher interest rates.

Prepare the Paperwork

Begin gathering all necessary documents now to make the process run smoothly. Depending on your situation, this may include income documentation, proof of assets, personal documents, pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, IDs, previous addresses and Social Security numbers. Study the documents as you collect them to familiarize yourself with your financial situation, motivate your home search and keep your debt-to-income ratio low.

Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved

After you find the right agent, the next step is to make an appointment with a loan originator (find one near you). A loan originator can help you with pre-qualification or pre-approval. Keep in mind that many homeowners borrow less than the maximum to account for other expenses and opt into lower monthly payments. Revisit your financials with these new numbers in mind and, if necessary, make any final edits to your budget and payment plan.

Start your first home buying experience off the right way by finding a real estate agent who works for you at remaxallpro.com.

Expert Advice: Staging Your Home for Selling Season

If you own a home, it is likely one of your largest investments. When the time comes to move up or downsize, you want to do everything in your power to protect your equity and get your asking price – or more. One way to ensure your home is listed, and purchased, at the right price point is to work with a real estate agent to boost your home’s buyer appeal. Check out these home-staging tips from experts across the country.

  1. Depersonalize and Neutralize

A home filled with someone else’s personal belongings and clutter can make potential buyers feel as though they are invading private space.

“Neutralizing the atmosphere encourages buyers to envision themselves living there,” says Leslie Cain with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in Carson City, Nevada. “Think of staging your home as an investment – it typically costs less than a first price reduction [if the home doesn’t sell].”

  1. Focus on Feature Rooms

Your real estate agent can help you see your home from the buyer’s eyes. Focus on the dining and living areas as well as the master bedroom.

“A common mistake is relocating clutter to closets – buyers will look there, too,” said Kathy Henne with RE/MAX Finest in Piqua, Ohio. “It’s best to move all unnecessary belongings out of the house and keep the space as sparsely furnished as possible. Once you have a cleared space, make sure to give it a deep cleaning.”

  1. Go Virtual

You want your home to be clean and decluttered, of course, but not having enough furniture can also be a problem, says Cynthia Fazzini with the Fazzini Group at RE/MAX Realtec Group in Palm Harbor, Florida.

“Since most potential homebuyers begin their home searches online, we often recommend digital staging to our clients with vacant homes,” said Fazzini. “Adding in furniture, artwork and rugs gives the home warmth and helps the buyer envision how the space can look with their belongings and decorations. We recently took on a new construction home that was vacant and had been on the market for six months with multiple price reductions. After digital staging, the house was under contract in seven days.”

Find an experienced real estate agent who can guide you through the home-selling process at remaxallpro.com.

Good News for Buyers and Sellers This Spring Selling Season

Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, there’s good news to report as the spring selling season approaches. Slowing sales and growing inventories benefit buyers while record prices benefit sellers, according to data in this February’s RE/MAX National Housing Report.“Trends of five months or more often indicate significant shifts, and the year-over-year trends in declining sales and rising inventory have both reached that length now,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The big picture supports an ongoing return to more balanced conditions, which is beneficial to buyers and sellers.”

Inventory Bounces Back
Inventory grew 5.8 percent over February of 2018, marking the fifth consecutive month of growth following a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory. Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in February 2019, the overall average number of home sales is down 4.2 percent compared to last February.

Rising Median Sales Price
Bucking downward trends, the Median Sales Price increased to $240,000, a year-over-year gain of 5.5 percent and a February record in the 10-year history of the report. Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Boise, Idaho; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Wilmington/Dover, Delaware.

Home Sales Down
Home sales in the 54-market report have declined year-over-year for seven consecutive months, though February’s downturn of 4.2 percent was the smallest since the 1.1 percent drop that started the streak in August 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Houston, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

“The next few months will determine whether the shift brings a wave of buyers into the market for the spring selling season,” added Contos. “Members of our network are reporting high local demand along with a need for even more inventory. The optimism for a solid spring exists — and a more balanced market certainly contributes to it.”

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, find an experienced, top-producing agent on remaxallpro.com.

January Housing Report

A sixth consecutive month of declining home sales in January contributed to the largest year-over-year inventory increase in at least 10 years, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.

While year-over-year home sales dropped 11% – extending a streak that began in August – inventory grew year-over-year by an average of 6.4% across the report’s 54 U.S. metro areas. January marked the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year inventory growth – further reversing a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory.

Find the complete report here

8 Affordable Ways To Boost A Home’s Curb Appeal

Your home’s curb appeal could make or break the amount of showings you have. In the same way, curb appeal can attract potential buyers through your door, a less than spectacular home front can also be a detractor. From upgrading landscaping to refreshing paint, consider these eight affordable ways to boost your home’s curb appeal and entice buyers to add your home to their “must see” list:

  1. Update Outdoor Lighting

An easy way to instantly add interest and depth to an outdoor space is to replace dated lighting fixtures with new ones. There are many lighting options on the market in a wide range of colors and styles. Most choices are quite affordable and you will be amazed at what a few dollars can do in upgrading the overall look of your outdoor space.

  1. Keep It Mowed

A freshly mowed lawn is essential to boosting your curb appeal when trying to sell your home. Mowing your lawn on a weekly or 10 day basis will allow it to grow enough between mows so that you don’t damage the grass. Make sure to also allow time for edging and clear away any clippings before your house is shown to potential buyers. Keeping your lawn in top condition is always a good idea to boost curb appeal.

  1. Fix The Small Things

Do a thorough look through your front porch to find any small issues that have gone unnoticed for years. Fix small things like a slit in the window screen, tightening the mailbox, or replacing a burned out lightbulb. Attending to these small things can add up when it comes to receiving an offer for your home.

  1. Add Some Flowers

Pick up a few beautiful sets of flowers from the garden center and plant them in a pot next to the front door. Colorful flowers will add instant beauty to the space and welcome guests into your home. Consider adding a few different colors to help create an interesting and inviting atmosphere.

  1. Trim Up Shrubs

Get out your shears and trim up bushes and plants that have overgrown their spaces. All you need is a little bit of elbow grease to freshen up your landscaping. Trim bushes into eye pleasing shapes with rounded edges and give every plant in your garden enough room to shine while still being a part of the overall landscaping picture.

  1. Touch Up Paint

You most likely have a can of leftover paint in the garage or basement. Use this to touch up areas of your house that could use a fresh coat of paint. Consider items like the mailbox, house numbers, or plant pots that have seen a few years since their last painting. If your front door needs some help consider painting it to add a fresh look to your home.

  1. Power Wash It

You will be amazed by the amount of dirt a good power washing can lift from your home. Renting a power washer for a day is also a good and affordable way to add curb appeal to your home. Another affordable option is to consider borrowing one from a friend to save on expenses. Pay close attention to the outside of your home as well as gutters, patios, walkways, and patio furniture.

  1. Add Some Mulch

Picking up a few bags of mulch at a garden center is a great way to add instant curb appeal to your landscaping. Mulch not only looks great but it also provides essential help to plants by helping to retain water as well as keeping weeds at bay. Simply add a few inches of mulch around trees and garden beds to instantly raise the overall look of your home.

There are many ways that you can instantly increase your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank. Consider ways that you can help your home for little to no cost. Doing any of the above tips things can help boost your home’s resale value.

Tori Fuller is a DIY enthusiast, taking any trash she can get her hands on and turning it into a luxury item to envy. When she doesn’t have her hands in a tin of paint you can find her perfecting her nature photography techniques.

Working with the right real estate agent who has the knowledge of the latest gadgets and amenities available in your area can make all the difference. RE/MAX agents are more recommended because they recommend what’s right for you.

Find an agent today at remaxallpro.com.

November Housing Report

RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RMAX), parent company of RE/MAX, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, and Motto Mortgage (“Motto”), announced the hiring of Jerry Modes as Senior Vice President, Information Technology, and Kerry McGovern as Vice President, Communications.

“Jerry and Kerry are very strategic thinkers who have impressive track records in their respective fields,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “They’ll each play a crucial role in the long-term advancement of the RE/MAX and Motto Mortgage brands as we strive to be the unrivalled leaders in our industries.”

Modes, a pioneer in the IT/data field, will provide high-level strategic leadership to the expanding RE/MAX technology groups. He’ll oversee internal IT operations, membership data infrastructure, and the ongoing development of data-driven RE/MAX products by booj, the award-winning tech company acquired by RE/MAX LLC in early 2018.

Find the complete report here

Should You Sell Your Home Or Rent It Out?

Sometimes, you decide exactly when you’d like to move. Other times, life swoops in and decides for you. Your company might transfer you, a family emergency might require relocation, or you might finally find the love of your life—three states over. Should you sell your house or hang on to it as a rental property? Here are 5 important considerations.

1. Are you gone for good?

Or do you need an exit strategy? If there’s a good chance you’ll return to your current home in a year or two, the money and time you spend selling your home and then buying a new one might make renting it out a smarter option.

2. How’s the rental market?

Look at online rental sites to see what properties in your neighborhood and in similar condition to yours are renting for. Are there a lot of listings? Think about what you might charge and what you might have to do to bring your property up to the market standard. You can then get an idea whether your potential rental income will cover your expenses.

3. Where’s the neighborhood heading?

A lot of factors feed into property values, from national trends to long-term construction plans. An agent can help you understand your property’s potential for appreciation and whether or not it might pay to hang onto it.

4. How much is the hassle of being a landlord worth?

Unless you pay for a property management company (about 10 percent of the rental income), dealing with issues, emergencies and uncooperative renters (sometimes all at once, often in the middle of the night) can be trying. Ask yourself if it’s worth the stress.

5. What are the tax implications?

Each situation is unique, so before you decide to rent out your home consider talking with a tax professional. They can help you figure out how much you can expect to pay in taxes on the rental income.

If you’re ready to sell, a RE/MAX All-Pro agent is ready to help. Find an experienced professional to work with – visit RemaxAllPro.com.

6 Easy, Affordable Smart Home Features that Could Help you Sell your House Faster

Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you’re selling your home, you’ll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home.

“Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient — all of which are bonuses when you’re trying to sell a house,” says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. “Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers.”

According to IHS Markit and CNBC, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide last year. That’s a 64 percent increase from 2015.

Here are six trending smart home features that might catch buyers’ attention and help sell your home faster:

Keyless/remote entry door locks

Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.

Smart lighting

From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.

DIY security systems

Don’t want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances

The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can’t remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.

While appliances aren’t always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.

Smart plugs

One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls

Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today’s home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family’s needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.

“Many of these smart home features are surprisingly easy and affordable to install,” Lewis says. “Sellers who are open to the idea of investing a little money to possibly help get a speedier sale, may want to consider adding the smart features buyers will be looking for in 2017.”

If you’re thinking of selling your home, find more helpful information at www.remaxallpro.com.