Sunday, February 26, 2012

The benefits of buying a home in the winter

Typically, home sales are strongest in the spring and summer months; however, there are several advantages to shopping for homes in the fall and winter. Sellers are often more motivated in the winter and may be willing to negotiate terms such as price, repairs, and even a closing date. The rule of thumb is that anyone braving the elements (or taking the time during the busy holiday season) to view a home is a serious buyer, and the same can be said for those who leave their homes on the market during this time and continue to have viewings.
Fewer buyers in the marketplace during these months mean less competition and a better chance of getting a home at a lower price. Also, potential buyers in the winter months have the luxury of spending more time researching homes without as much concern of losing a house to another party. When viewing a home in the cooler months buyers get a realistic idea of a home’s energy efficiency. Pay attention to the thermostat temperature and take note of any drafts in the home. Trees without leaves give potential buyers an accurate picture of the privacy (or lack thereof) from neighbors or the street.
Because the majority of moves take place in the warmer months, moving companies may be readily available when it comes to your desired move date and even flexible on their rates.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Will a local short sale have an impact on the sale-ability of my house???

Will a local short sale have an impact on the sale-ability of my house??? I was asked this question recently by a prospective client. There is no absolute answer to this question. The bottom line is the sale price of any house is determined when the buyer and seller reach an agreement. Once that transaction is made that price now becomes an active comparable for ~60 - 90days after contract date. Some agents argue that a short sale has a third party (the bank) in the equation. The bank has different motivation than the homeowner, thus these sales should not be considered as comps. There is also argument that banks price their short sales by securing BPO's Broker Price Opinions and that these opinions are made with active comps with possible short sales included to determine market price and adjustments made to account for money owed and property condition. When pricing a property I must look not only at active and closed short sale contract price but the number of short sells in the area. If there are only a limited number and I have many active two party comps with higher contract prices we might exclude these sales. Property condition, number of short sales and foreclosures (REO's), and 2 party active comps all have to be considered when determining marketability. Other factors to consider is the sellers motivation and time frame that the house needs to be sold by. We must also remember that if we secure a higher selling price from a buyer that is using bank financing we could have problems making it through the appraisal process.