Monday Market Report


April is historically the best month of the year to sell your home.  As you proceed through the process of selling your Orlando house; you’ve made the decision to sell, interviewed agents and asked the right questions, and determined which agent is right for the job.  Now we have reached the 4th and final part of the Selling Your Home Series and we must settle on a price.

Most of the time you will select a price at the time you hire the agent.  We bring all the facts and figures to our appointments so we can get things going as soon as possible.  Ultimately the listing price is up to you as the seller…it is your house after all.  But you are hiring an agent (hopefully us!) to guide you and get your home sold.

A HUGE part of whether or not your home will sell is determined by the price you choose.   As a Downtown Orlando real estate professional, I deal with pricing homes and negotiating offers on a daily basis.  I know what price will cause a home to sell and it may not always be the number you want to hear.  Don’t hire someone just because they tell you the price you want to hear.   As I stated before, hire the right agent for the job and listen to their advice and have them explain their analysis.

PriceitrightIf you overprice your home, it will sit on the market until you reduce the price.  Many sellers think buyers will just make an offer if they like it.  But the fact is, if they feel it is overpriced, they will look for something else.


 

Here’s an example:

Let’s say the agent suggest a price of $250,000 because the market range is between $230-$250k but your home has some features and we feel it could sell for the top of the market.  (Read more about how I price homes at the post titled The Art of Pricing a Home)

But you elect to price the house at $275,000.

That means you’re potentially 16% above the other houses for sale or that have recently sold in the area.  You have to ask yourself – if you were buying a home would you pay 16% more for the same type of house? 

*And a normal housing market appreciation is about 3-5% per year.  If you’re 16% overpriced, and you don’t want to reduce the price, you’ll likely be trying to sell for years.


 

Consider this; a marketing plan consists of 4 points, Product, Place, Promotion, and Price.   In real estate, Product and Place often times cannot be changed.  If you hire a good agent like me, promotion will be done properly!  BUT it’s up to you and the agent to determine the right price to get the home sold.

Spring is a great time of year to make a move.  Call us today to learn more about how we sell homes 407-494-2820!

At this point in the Selling Process (Our Selling Series) you have made the decision to sell your home, you have interviewed agents and are determining who you will list your home with.

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Choosing an agent is one of the most important parts of the process.  This decision will determine which path you take to sell your home.  There are a few things to consider when selecting an agent:

4 Don’ts

  1. Don’t select an agent just because you are friends with them!
  2. Don’t select an agent just because they are your neighbor!
  3. Don’t select an agent because they promise to reduce their commission (If they are a full service agent you have to ask the questions…Are they going to do less work for me? And/or Do they not value their time and expertise?)
  4. Don’t select an agent because they tell you that your home is worth more than another agent!

4 Do’s

  1. Do hire an agent that has a marketing plan to sell your house.
  2. Do hire an agent that has a track record of selling homes similar to yours.
  3. Do hire an agent that has a history of getting top dollar. (Ask agents what percentage of the asking price they get for their sellers on average and how does that stack up to the “average” agent in the area)
  4. Do hire an agent that supports the market value they are suggesting for you with comparable home sales that are truly comparable AND that have actually sold.

You should select the agent that you feel is the best for the job and that can have a variety of meanings.  You want someone you will feel comfortable working with.  At the moment, the average time on the market in Orlando is 76 days.  Depending on your location it could take longer.  This is someone you should be in constant communication with; so you should feel comfortable with them as a person.  And you should also feel they have the market knowledge and a true marketing plan to sell your home effectively.

Don’t hire an agent just because they told you what you wanted to hear.  Not all agents are alike, pricing a Downtown Orlando home or determining market value is an art not a science.

Bottom Line – Find someone that knows the market well and has a strategy to sell your home, then you can work on pricing it right with their guidance!

We would love to interview for the job to sell your Orlando home.  Contact us today at 407-494-2820 

Image Credit:  Crazy parking Arrows by Roland Tanglao via Creative Commons

CapturerealestateanalysisPart 2 of the Selling Your Home Series is about choosing an agent.  So, you read last week’s post Part 1 and decided that now is the right time for you to sell your Orlando home.  Great news!  Now what?

Well your first step is to hire the right agent for the job.   If you are selling a home in Downtown Orlando, College Park, or Winter Park scroll to the bottom and fill out our form.  You found the right agent!

If you’re unsure of who might be the right agent for the job, look for signs in your neighborhood.  Is there any one agent that seems to dominate the area?  If you look at recent sales online in your area, is there one agent that has a large number of them?  That could lead you to someone who is highly knowledgeable about the area.  Knowledge and sales history doesn’t necessarily make that agent the best agent for you personally.  Get to know them and their business a little better by asking the questions below.  If you’re still torn visit next week for deciding between two agents that tell you different prices for your home!

10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor about Selling a House

1.  Are you a full-time professional real estate agent? How long have you worked full time in real estate? What professional designations do you have?

    • As with any profession, the number of years a person has been in the business does not necessarily reflect the level of service you can expect, but it is a good starting point for your discussion. The same issue can apply to professional designations. 

2.  Do you have a personal assistant, team or staff to handle different parts of the purchase? How will we communicate with you/them?

    • It is not uncommon for agents who are successful to have assistants or other team members.  You may want to know who on the team will take part in your transaction, and what role each person will play. If you have a question about fees on your closing statement, who would handle that? Who will show up to your closing?

3.  Who responds to emails and how quickly?

    • Again this establishes how you will communicate with your agent and how quickly you should expect a response from them.  A good agent should be able to respond to you by the end of the business day. 

4.  How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?

    • It is important to understand how exactly you will be notified of activities/marketing/showings/etc.  We have a communication commitment that outlines exactly how we will communicate with our sellers.

5.  What is your average market time versus other agents’ average market time?

    • The time it takes to sell homes can indicate how well an agent is marketing – however keep in mind – some sellers choose a list price higher than the agent recommended and that can add length to the sales process.

6.  Will you give me names of past clients?

7.  What is your average list to sales price ratio? 

    • This number tells you how close to asking price the agent obtained for their sellers.  Our list to sales price ratio was a little over 100% in 2012 and 2013.  The average in Orlando is about 96%.

8.  How will you get paid? What other costs might we incur?

    • In Florida the seller pays the entire sales commissions. Sometimes, brokerage offices will have other small fees, such as administrative or special service fees, that are charged to clients, regardless of whether they are buying or selling. Ask for an estimate of costs from any agent you contemplate employing.

9.  How would you develop pricing strategies for our home? 

    • Although location and condition affect the selling process, price is the primary factor in determining if a home sells quickly, or at all.  Ask your agent how they created the market analysis, and whether your agent included For Sale by Owner homes, foreclosed homes and bank-owned sales in that list.

10.  What will you do to sell my home? Who determines where and when my home is marketed/ promoted? Who pays for your advertising? 

    • Your agent should have a marketing plan.  If they do not – then they do not have a clear picture of how/who to market your home.  We have a Custom Marketing plan for each listing in which we target the most likely buyer for your property and gear the external marketing around this profile.

Get Started selling today with our team! Call 407-494-2820 or complete the form below.

Spring and Summer are always very busy months for the real estate industry in Orlando and across the country.  It is the perfect time of year for people to make a move when they have time off for vacation or school.  As we head into the busy season, I want to give you some tips for selling a home in Orlando.  Even if you are not planning to sell this year, these tips always ring true.

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Part 1 of the Selling Your Home Series is learning when the time is right to sell.  There is no magic time to sell your home.  Some would argue that Spring and Summer are the best because there are lots of buyers in the market; while others would argue Fall or Winter are excellent times to sell because there is less competition from other sellers.  The most important thing to think about is Why do you Need or Want to Sell?

The market has improved quite a bit in 2013 (almost 19% in the Orlando area from Feb. 2013 to Feb. 2014) and certainly is on the way back up from the low point in 2009.  However, just because the market is turning doesn’t mean it is the right time for You.   There are many opportunities for sellers in this market, but be sure you really need to sell before you spin your wheels.  If you just want to test the market that is going to be a large waste of your time and energy.  Selling your home (when done properly and actually getting is sold) is not an easy task.  As your biggest investment, it should not be taken lightly when the time comes to sell.  Be serious and prepare for the sale or don’t list the home at all.

Good Reasons to Sell:

Relocating for Work

  • If you are relocating for work and do not have any ties to the area, then it probably is a good idea to just sell and move on to the next place.  You could possibly rent but that might not make sense if you have no intentions of being in the area again in the future.

Need a Larger Home or Prefer to Downsize

  • If you are considering selling to buy something larger – well that is a good plan at the moment!  The market has improved and is headed up, so if you’re buying a larger home that will be more expensive then it makes sense to sell and buy up now.  The larger homes will get pricier as the year goes on along with interest rates.  Get your current home sold now and buy a new place while the market and rates are still affordable.

Bad Reasons for Selling

You have heard the market has improved and want to get out while you can.

  • To this I say, consider what the alternatives are.  Rental prices are very high right now as well.  If you are considering selling in order to rent – that probably doesn’t make sense.  It is still cheaper to buy in a lot of cases, so as long as your mortgage payment is less than the rental price you would pay for a similar home – it might not make sense to sell.  Check out this buy versus rent calculator to see if it makes sense to buy after you sell.

Relocating and You are Under Water.

  • The rules for short sales have drastically changed.  There has to be a legitimate distress in your life to qualify for a short sale.  If you are under water and need to move for work, consider leasing your property until you have the proper equity.  If you can rent the property and cover your expenses or make some money then that is the obvious choice for now.  Revisit selling in another year or so.  If the market continues to increase, you could gain another 4-5% in equity which could put you into a selling position.

All in all it is a very personal decision and being that it is most likely your largest investment, consider all the facts and alternatives before you list.  Learn what the market value is (not through an online estimate!), discuss with your financial planner, and talk about tax implications with your CPA.  The first step is learning the true price you can expect to earn for your home, contact us today to find out and get started on your search for a new home!

ImagePart of the American Dream is about home ownership.  It is about earning a level of success and prosperity that affords you the opportunity to own your own piece of land and plant roots.  Or in the case of Downtown Orlando homes, own the perfect little bungalow with white picket fence!  The market downturn in the mid 2000s really hurt the American Dream.  Many people had to short sale their homes or lost them to foreclosure due to economic circumstances that no one predicted.  As we enter 2014 we are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

So now that we’re a few weeks into the New Year, let’s reflect back on 2013 and look forward to the future of home ownership in Orlando.  The year 2013 was the year of the comeback.   The Orlando real estate market has actually been gradually going up for 3 years.  It’s been on the way up since the market low in January of 2011 when the median price hit a rock bottom $94,900; but in 2013 the good word finally made the national news!    The news sparked consumer confidence and the market improved even more.

In fact, the market is up almost 24% since last year!  That’s a huge improvement.  But here’s where people get a little greedy.  Everyone wants to get the most money possible for their home; but the longer you wait the more likely you are to miss the window of opportunity to sell your Orlando home quickly and possibly get multiple offers.  The market is always shifting.  Most of the time the shifts aren’t as sweeping as the “great recession” but it always cycles up and down.  As we move further into the New Year with rising interest rates and more homeowners with equity to sell, the market will shift again.  My thoughts are that it will probably level off a little and be a pretty healthy market in 2014; but a 20% increase in value year to year cannot be sustained…as we learned just a few years ago.

As far as I can tell home ownership is still at the heart of all Americans hopes and dreams.  And although prices are rising, if the home affordability index stays above 100% or more, the buyers will still be buying for a little while longer!  (*It currently is at 176%!)

So if you need or want to sell your house this year, think about the timing and what is right for your needs and goals.  Interested in selling your Orlando home or buying while the interest rates are affordable?  Contact me today by completing the form below.   Don’t forget to download my app and enter to win $50,000!    

ImageIn the last couple of years, the real estate industry shifted from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market.   It caught many buyers by surprise as they entered the market to buy a home in Orlando and found multiple offer situations at every turn, and in many cases homes selling for above asking price.  On the other hand, it has been music to sellers’ ears that the median sales price has increased 26% since last year!  Is a more balanced market on the way in the New Year?

Markets always shift and there are always ups and downs.  The reason for the latest shift is due to lack of inventory.  The number of homes for sale in Orlando declined while the number of buyers held strong (the law of supply and demand at work).  There are many home-buyers still desperately trying to buy before the interest rates and/or the home values price them out of the market.

As we look forward into the New Year, many wonder will this market continue at this pace.  While I cannot look into a crystal ball and determine the future, there are some trends that suggest things might be shifting a little.  The October numbers have been released and my best guess is that things will just level off a little bit in 2014.  And here’s why:

-          The total inventory has increased for 7 consecutive months.  Since the prices have gone up, more homeowners have equity            and are planning to sell in the New Year.

-          The number of closed sales has declined for 3 consecutive months (this could just be seasonal but see below)

-          The number of homes “under contract” or future closed sales has declined for 8 consecutive months.

If the inventory continues to increase, that provides more competition and things will likely shift to a more balanced market.  I know for buyers this is what they are hoping for in the New Year!  For sellers, things should still remain positive in 2014.  As long as interest rates remain attractive, the buyers will be there buying.   I do imagine there will still be multiple offers in some price ranges where there are still TONS of buyers searching; but overall if the inventory increases things may appear a bit more balanced.

Are you planning to sell a home in Orlando in the New Year?  If so, check out this post about selling now.  What do you think the real estate industry will look like in 2014?

Image credit:  Balance Beam by Ian B M via Creative Commons

The real estate market has shifted into a seller’s market this year.  It appears the word is finally getting around to Central Florida homeowners that now is the time to sell as the number of new listings has increased for six consecutive months.  Many are deciding now is the time for them to go.

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So is now the right time to green light your move?
If you need to move into a larger home and “move up”, it’s probably time for you to sell your Orlando home.  

Here’s why:

The number of home sales that occurred this year between the sales price of $100,000-$250,000 is about 53% of the market.  Yet the number of listings in this price range only makes up about 39% of the market.

The number of home sales between the sales price of $250,000-$400,000 is only 15% of the market and yet 23% of the active market falls in this price range.

What does that mean?

This means if you’re selling an Orlando home that’s worth between $100,000-$250,000 there are many buyers searching.  You have a better chance for multiple offers and selling quickly because there is heavy demand and less competition.   On the other side if you’re buying a larger more expensive house there is not as much competition with other buyers purchasing and there are quite a few options for sale.  On top of that you’re able to buy a larger home with a very affordable interest rate and you probably have equity in your current home (the median sales price has increased about 25% since this time last year)!

The rates are expected to remain low through 2013 due to the Fed purchasing $85 billion in bonds and treasuries each month to stimulate the economy.  They’re expected to begin tapering those purchases which would cause interest rates to rise; but at the meeting last week they said they would continue to purchase at the same rate for now.

So get in while the rates are still low and it just makes sense to move up into a larger home!  Still on the fence?  Check out the post Top 5 Reasons to sell this Fall.

To get started today give me a call 407-494-2820 or complete the contact form and I’ll be in touch!

Image credit: Ianmunroe on Flickr via Creative Commons
Statistics provided by Orlando Regional Realtor Association

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1.  Sell while the competition is still low.  We are currently in a seller’s market in Orlando.  A seller’s market is when we have low supply (number of homes) and high demand (number of buyers).   Currently there are only three months of inventory available.

2.  With high demand and low competition there is opportunity for multiple offers – meaning you have options and can negotiate the best offer for you and your family.  Low supply and high demand equals higher prices in a lot of cases.

3.  Get in before the market shifts again.  With prices increasing, many other homeowners just like you have been waiting out the market and will list their homes soon.  Since the market is improving many sellers will not want to be bothered during the holidays and plan to list in January.  If you choose to wait like so many others, that’s just more competition when selling your home.

4.  Florida weather in the fall is absolutely the best!  Cool temperatures and fall scents and decor make it a great time to show your home.   Show potential buyers how you entertain and host holiday gatherings by staging the house and setting up little vignettes with fall decor!

5.  Start the New Year fresh!  The average days on the market is about 67.  There is still time to list and sell your Downtown Orlando home before January 1st allowing you to start 2014 with one less headache!

Bonus reason:   The median price of homes sold in the Orlando area has increased almost 29% since last year!

So what are you waiting for?  More competition?

To list your home today call us at 407-494-2820 or complete this form for a FREE guide to selling this Fall!

Stats via Orlando Regional Realtor Association – August 2012 versus August 2013
Image credit:  Fall at two twenty one by Chefranden via Creative Commons 

newpriceIn the Orlando area, the home sales are up 24% from July 2012 to July 2013.  With news of increasing sales prices in Orlando and across the country, home sellers are listing properties to take advantage of a hot market.  The problem is that although the market has certainly shifted to a seller’s market in Orlando, only about 35% of the listing inventory actually sells.  What about the other 65%?  They’re probably overpriced.

This is a pretty common conversation I have with home sellers in any market; but particularly if the market is improving.  Sellers want to get the most money possible so they will ignore clear indicators that buyers in the area are not willing to pay that price for a similar home.  Pricing is an art not a science and there are many factors that play into the appropriate listing price.  A great listing price is one that procures an offer or multiple offers and sometimes takes some adjusting along the way!  Here are the top 5 signs your home may be overpriced:

  1. The National Association of Realtors® statistics show that if a home has been shown 10 times and has received no offers, it is overpriced.
  2. They also tell us that if we go two weeks without any showings we’re overpriced.
  3. If the feedback from other agents or buyers is that the house is overpriced, that’s a clear sign it’s time for a price reduction!
  4. If you continuously receive feedback about the home’s condition, floor-plan, or lack of updates those all translate to “house is overpriced”.  There are many reasons why a home price may make sense on paper but if the actual buyers that are in the market don’t feel the same way – then you have to adjust the price.  Price cures all things.
  5. Last but not least, your home is overpriced if the only offer you receive is particularly low.  The lack of inventory may lead some buyers to make an offer on an overpriced listing in hopes they can get the seller down to reality.  If you receive an offer that’s 10-20% (or more) lower than your asking price that is a sign that your home is overpriced.

Buyers will pay a premium for a nice home in good condition and in a good location; but they won’t grossly overpay.  Price your home in the range of values for similar homes and if buyers are telling you they still don’t think that’s the right price make adjustments and do it quickly.  It is always a snapshot in time and that means that the market value can change regularly.  Keep up with the market around you and adjust when new comparable homes sell that affect your home’s value.

Find out your Orlando home value.  We’ll get back to you within 24 hours with a brief market analysis.

Image credit:  New Lower price by Rutlo via Creative Commons
Statistics via Orlando Regional Realtor Association

The value of an attractive exterior is hard to determine.  The trees and flowers themselves don’t necessarily have value even though they can be costly to install.  Some studies have shown that attractive landscaping can add up to 28% to a home’s value.

Summer is the hottest time of year to sell a home in Orlando…and I don’t just mean the heat.  Sales typically are highest during the summer months because many buyers have time off from work to shop and move.  If you thinking of selling your Orlando home this summer, learn how to spruce up your curb appeal and add value with this great article.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

 

To Learn if now is the right time for you to sell contact us today.

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