Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 68

Selling Your Home? Make Sure the Price is Right!

by Amy McLeod Group


If you’ve ever watched “The Price is Right,” you know that the only way to win is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item you want without going over! That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price.

In today’s shifting real estate market, where more inventory is coming to market and home values are projected to appreciate at lower rates, homeowners will not be able to price their homes as aggressively as they were able to just last year.

They will have to employ the same strategy: be the closest without going over!

As we have explained before, pricing your home at or slightly below market value actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search!

Over the last six months, more inventory has come to market while the months’ supply of inventory available has dropped. This means that the demand for homes to buy is still very strong throughout the country!

Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to drop the price. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the homes when in reality nothing was wrong, the price was just too high!

Bottom Line
If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, let McLeod Group Network properly price your home from the start! 971.208.5093 or 
admin@mgnrealtors.com

 

By: KCM Crew

Excited About Buying A Home This Year? Here’s What to Watch

by Amy McLeod Group


As we kick off the new year, many families have made resolutions to enter the housing market in 2019. Whether you are thinking of finally ditching your landlord and buying your first home or selling your starter house to move into your forever home, there are two pieces of the real estate puzzle you need to watch carefully: interest rates & inventory.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for much of 2018, but they made a welcome reversal at the end of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.94% in November before falling to 4.62% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. Despite the recent drop, interest rates are projected to reach 5% in 2019.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000).

Inventory

A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 3.9-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 81 straight months.

The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last six months.

The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, since June, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

This is a trend to watch as we move further into the new year. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and closer to a normal market.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory and what they could mean for you. 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com

By: KCM Crew

Why You Should Not For Sale By Owner

by Amy McLeod Group


In today’s market, as home prices rise and a lack of inventory continues, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for most sellers.

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers

According to NAR’s 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95% of buyers searched online for a home last year. That is in comparison to only 13% of buyers looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home, do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the homes they actually purchased?

  • 50% on the Internet
  • 28% from a real estate agent
  • 7% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by putting out a lawn sign or putting an ad in the paper are long gone. Having a strong Internet strategy is crucial.

3. 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 interests 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

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 7% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they can save on the real estate commission by selling on their own, but they don’t realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe that they can save on the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent. One of the main reasons for the price difference at the time of sale is that,

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property. The study showed that the difference in price between comparable homes of size and location is currently at an average of 6% this year.

Why would you choose to list on your own and manage the entire transaction when you can hire an agent and not have to pay anything more?

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, get together with The McLeod Group Network to discuss your needs.  971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com

By: KCM Crew

Your Listing Is Turning Buyers Off! Here's Why

by Amy McLeod Group


The best way to get potential buyers through the door and interested in your home is with a stellar online listing. Photos of the house and a description of the property are standard fare, but not all listings do what they're supposed to do. In fact, some might actually do more harm than good.

In many ways, trying to sell your home is like applying for a job, and your online listing is the resume or cover letter. If it’s not polished, you’ll never even get to the next phase.

So, what are the parts of a listing that can turn buyers off? Below are some of the worst offenses.

1. Lackluster (or non-existent) description

It can be hard to sum up your home in a couple of paragraphs. However, if you want to attract buyers, you’ll need to paint an inviting picture of the property.

“If it is a lakefront home, highlight the best parts of living on the lake; if it is an urban town, mention that you are within walking distance of top-rated restaurants,” says Cynthia Emerling, listing specialist at Finger Lakes Premier Properties in Canandaigua, NY.

Work with your real estate agent to pinpoint what buyers are looking for in your area, so you can mention it as early as possible in the listing description.

For example, Emerling’s company specializes in lakefront vacation homes, so “the views, the dock, and the topography of the land are all features that we highlight prominently.”

Also keep in mind that the online listing might initially show just a couple of lines of text, so make sure the most eye-catching information appears first.

2. Too much (or the wrong type of) information

Colorful listing photos or descriptions are sure to entice, but you have to be objective. Your favorite aspects of the home might not have the same effect on buyers.

“I had one seller that wanted to include photos of bunnies that lived in the backyard,” says Kris Lippi, real estate broker and owner of Get Listed Realty in Hartford, CT.

However, Lippi didn’t think that would necessarily be a selling point—and buyers might actually be concerned that the rabbits were destroying the lawn.

3. Amateur photographs


Photography equipment should never be showing in your listing photos!

Really Bad MLS Photos/Facebook

Your smartphone takes some really good photos, but that doesn’t mean they’re good enough to be used in your online listing.

“Everyone thinks they can take quality pictures with their smartphones and save a few dollars, but you only get one chance to impress potential buyers online,” says Robert Taylor, owner of The Real Estate Solutions Guy, a house-flipping company in Sacramento, CA.

That's why it's important to feature high-quality photographs shot by someone who has experience taking photos for online listings.

“A professional photographer will have the correct camera lenses, lighting, and angles to allow the entire room to be seen in a single photo," Taylor says.

Jim Stevenson, a real estate agent at Realty One Group in Doylestown, PA, agrees that pictures taken by camera phone are no match for high-quality professional photos.

“I can't tell you how many times I've seen the infamous ‘real estate agent in a mirror' shot," Stevenson says. “When the photo quality is lacking, it sends a message that your home is low quality, too.”

4. Not staging your home


By not staging a home, you're missing out on the opportunity to show potential buyers how the space can be used.

realtor.com

While many buyers like to think of a new house as a blank canvas for their own furniture and design tastes, leaving the rooms completely devoid of furniture and art in the listing photos can hurt you in the long run. Buyers like to see the potential of the home, so staging is highly recommended.

“When a house is staged, you can get the sense of use and purpose for each space,” says Matt Morgus, a San Francisco-based real estate agent.

That's especially important for houses with open floor plans.

“Open floor plans are extremely popular to home buyers in today’s market, but sometimes it’s hard to differentiate a space with no furniture,” Morgus says.

5. Too many days on the market

Buyers look closely at the listing price and days on the market (DOM) because this information can help them determine whether the house is priced too low or too high—and how much they should offer if they're interested.

Because every real estate market is different, there isn't a hard and fast number of days it takes for a listing to be considered stale. However, most real estate agents agree that it takes about 30 days on the market for a listing to lose its luster.

So how can you revive a stale listing? Additional marketing efforts like new photos or an added incentive (free tacos with purchase, anyone?) may help. But the most effective way to generate more buzz about your property is with a price adjustment.

"If you have been on the market for a while and activity has stalled, you should consider reducing the price,” Lippi advises. “Even if you reduce it by a small amount, it will show up in buyers’ emails again and appear online as a price correction, and this gets eyes on your listing.”

The best tactic, ultimately, is to price the house correctly the first time, so it doesn't end up languishing on the market for a couple of weeks.

“An overpriced home will force a seller to drop the price of their home numerous times to reach the ‘sweet spot’ where buyers become interested in the listing,” says Breyer.

Let The McLeod Group Network help you sell your home! 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com.

By: Realtor.com, Terri Williams

7 Reasons to List Your House For Sale This Holiday Season

by Amy McLeod Group

Every year at this time there are many homeowners who decide to wait until after the holidays to list their homes for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their new employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Inventory of homes for sale traditionally slows in the late fall, early winter. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:
  6. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  7. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights which will lessen the demand for your house in 2019.

Bottom Line 
Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

 

Let The McLeod Group Network sell your home this holiday season! Contact us today at 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com.

 

By: KCM Crew

Will Home Prices Continue To Increase?

by Amy McLeod Group

There are many unsubstantiated theories about what is happening with home prices. From those who are worried that prices are falling (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion.

However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It is that simple. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything greater than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart below).


According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes for sale has been below six months for the last five years (see chart below).

Bottom Line

If buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should.

Let The McLeod Group Network assist you with all your Real Estate needs! 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com.

By: KCM Crew

We're Stuck in Our Starter Home—Will It Be Our Forever Home, Too?

by Amy McLeod Group

Right after we got married, my husband and I bought a starter house. At the time, we didn’t have much in savings (or in income), so it wasn’t our dream house. But it was our house, and that was enough. Coming from the tiny apartment where we started out, this three-bedroom, one-bath Cape Cod on a quiet street seemed like a dream. Our plan was to stay five years, tops, then sell it and move on to something bigger and better.

That was 12 years ago … and we’re still here.

At first, our long stay in our starter home happened purely by accident. We had two kids in quick succession, and I'd made a career move into an unsteady field. We were just too busy (and to be honest, too scared) to make the leap.

A few years ago, however, we decided we were ready to enter the real estate market once again. Financially, we were comfortable, and we were rapidly outgrowing the house that had once fit us perfectly. Time to move on!

But that's when it hit us that the real estate market had changed. A lot.

In Lancaster, OH, where we lived, we quickly came to realize that a seller's market reigned, filled with ambitious sellers and vicious buyers who often pounced before a "For Sale" sign was even planted in the ground. We fell in love with three homes that went into contract before we could even make an offer. When we did manage to make an offer on two other homes, we were outbid each time.

That kind of letdown was heartbreaking. After we had pictured our family in that kitchen or our cars in the driveway, it wasn't easy to trudge home in defeat to a place where we no longer wanted to live, again and again.

In short, we were stuck in our starter home ... and, lacking any other recourse, I decided to change my way of thinking.

As bad as I wanted a new house, I also knew we weren’t willing to overpay. So instead, I decided to take another look at our humble home and, rather than focus on its flaws, wonder we could turn it into the forever home we'd been searching for everywhere but here.

From starter home ... to forever home?

There are so many projects we dreamed up for this house when we bought it, and then brushed aside because we didn’t plan on staying. I can’t count how many times we said, “If we were going to stay here, I’d love to…” followed by some totally doable project we’d certainly get to with the next house.

For instance, we wanted to paint, but surely the new owners would have other colors in mind. We wanted a new couch, but figured we should probably wait until we move so we could pick out one that fit in the new house.

Finally, we realized that we are staying here—at least for now. Why should we wait? This old house has been good to us over the years. It’s where we brought home our babies and watched them grow. I learned to cook in this kitchen. I got my career off the ground at my little desk in the corner of the dining room.

I realized this wasn't our starter home—it was just home.

So this summer, I took the plunge. I took our sad, grungy, enclosed patio, and transformed it into a glorious summer retreat. New paint, new furniture, and good bit of elbow grease gave me a place I actually enjoyed sitting to watch my kids play.


My first step toward transforming our starter home to home. 

Something about that first project—even though it was a small one—made me realize that we had been approaching this all wrong. The heartbreak of not getting a house we loved didn’t sting quite so much. The prospect of staying here wasn't so bad.

I kept up the momentum. I replaced our big, hulking black fridge (I promise, they were somewhat in style in the early aughts) with one made of shiny stainless steel. I hung some new shelves in my kitchen and bought new rugs. Not a big change, but the room felt fresh to me.

I wasn't sure where to go next, but this old house led the way. An overflowing toilet led to the discovery of a rusted-out pipe under the floor. Rather than try to make the fix with minimal damage, we ripped out the old bathroom and created a whole new one that we love. I still wish we had more than one bathroom, but the one we have is pretty now, so it'll be just fine.

Next came the couch. I was all too happy to pass that 12-year-old beast off to a happy newlywed couple and buy an overstuffed sectional I’d been eyeing for years. Suddenly, my living room seems like the perfect place to get cozy and relax.

I hung new pictures. I potted succulents. My dad helped me landscape the overgrown front yard. Last weekend, I picked up paint samples.


I
t took more than a decade, but the front yard finally has nice landscaping.

At first glance, it may seem like we’ve given up on our dream, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We still pore over real estate listings, and we still go to open houses. We still talk about buying a new house—"someday." And of course, all these changes will be a major advantage when it’s finally time to list this house.

This probably isn’t our forever home. Nonetheless, taking the time to change the things I didn't like about it have made it a great place to be right now. Now, when my husband and I check out the newest listings, we don't complain when nothing seems to fit. We just sit back on our brand- new couch, look around the house we love, and know we're happy right where we are.

Let’s get together and find your starter home or move you up to your dream home! Contact The McLeod Group Network at 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com.

By: Realtor.com, Whitney Coy

If You Are Thinking of Selling? You Must Act NOW!

by Amy McLeod Group

If you thought about selling your house this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned about the concept of supply and demand, so we understand that the best time to sell something is when the supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented:

Contract signings inched backward once again last month, as declines in the South and West weighed down on overall activity.”

Yun goes on to say:

The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction, including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver's seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas. Contact McLeod Group Network at 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com to find out how much your home is worth! 

By: KCM Crew

5 Reasons You Should Sell This Fall!

by Amy McLeod Group

Here are five reasons why listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! In fact, more often than not, multiple buyers end up competing with each other to buy the same homes.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now 

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon!

Historically, a homeowner stayed in his or her home for an average of six years, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all that they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 44 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The abundance of inventory available in these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market for anybody looking to purchase these homes. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.1% over the next year. 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.

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 feel you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take 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.

Contact the professionals on the McLeod Group Network to find out how much your home is worth! 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com.

By: KCM Crew

The #1 Reason to Put Your House on The Market TODAY!

by Amy McLeod Group

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released the results of their latest Existing Home Sales Report which revealed that home sales declined 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in June from 5.41 million in May, and are 2.2% below a year ago. Some may look at these numbers and think that now is a bad time to sell their house, but in fact, the opposite is true.

The national slowdown in sales is directly tied to a lack of inventory available for the buyers who are out in the market looking for their dream homes! In fact, the inventory of homes for sale had fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months before posting a modest 0.5% gain last month and has had an upward impact on home prices.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say,

“It’s important to note that despite the modest year-over-year rise in inventory, the current level is far from what’s needed to satisfy demand levels. Furthermore, it remains to be seen if this modest increase will stick, given the fact that the robust economy is bringing more interested buyers into the market, and new home construction is failing to keep up.”

The few houses that are on the market are selling fast! According to NAR’s Realtors Confidence Index, properties were typically on the market for 26 days.

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who is debating listing your house for sale this year, the time is now!

Let’s get together to discuss the specifics of our market! 971.208.5093 or mcleodgroupoffice@gmail.com.

By: KCM Crew

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 68

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of The McLeod Group Network Real Estate
The McLeod Group Network
Keller Williams Capital City
1900 Hines St SE #220
Salem OR 97302
971-208-5093
Fax: 971-599-5229

**Disclaimer: Amy McLeod, and her team, do not initiate, process, or service mortgages.  And provide this information only as a service.  You should confirm information here with your Licensed Mortgage Lender.