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That's So 2018! The Most Outdated Home-Selling Advice You Should Now Ignore

by Amy McLeod Group


There's one thing more scary than buying a house, and that's selling a house.

There is so much pressure to list your house and sell it quickly—and for a great price—that you probably find yourself turning to those who've been there before for advice.

But here's the problem: The housing market changes on a dime, meaning whatever worked for them might not necessarily work for you. In fact, it may backfire, big-time! Here are some of the most outdated words of wisdom you might hear that you may be better off ignoring.

Wait for spring to sell your home

Odds are you've heard that the best time to sell your house is in the spring, because that's when the buyers are out and about. But it also means you'll be competing against a slew of sellers.

"Listing in the spring means you are positioning yourself to compete with several other homes. So as a seller in the spring, you have to price and market your home flawlessly to show buyers that your home is more desirable than the house next door," says real estate agent Cheyanne Banks, of Nest Seekers International in Jersey City, NJ. "Because buyers have more choice in the spring market, they’re more likely to negotiate a lower price."

In fact, Banks now advises her clients to list in the summer and winter, when there's less competition.

Price your home high

Not too long ago, it was a seller's market—meaning competition was so fierce between buyers that you could still almost guarantee a sale if you priced your home over market value. According to Daniel Martinez, real estate agent and founder of HOULIVING, a boutique real estate company located in Houston, that's not the way it works these days.

"We are seeing homes on the market last longer and listings become stale one after another," says Martinez. "In today’s market, we need to be realistic about what is selling for what dollar per square foot and adjust, because the market decides what it’s willing to pay for a home. Not you or me."

And if you think you're going to start it at a higher price just to test the market, you should think again.

"Testing the market with an above-market price means your home will not fly off the shelf, and the longer it’s on the shelf the more potential buyers wonder what’s wrong with it," warns Phyllis Brookshire, president of Allen Tate Realtors in the Carolinas. "This results in more carrying costs for you and dramatic price reductions later."

Leave room to negotiate

Another reason sellers were pricing high was to leave room for buyers who were eager to negotiate, but real estate broker Gill Chowdhury, with Warburg Realty in New York City, says today's buyers won't play that game.

"With supply higher than it was a few years ago, if you're not priced at market, or at least very close, you're not going to get that many people in the door to begin with," she says. "Price your property to sell."

Sell your home as is

As recently as just a few years ago, sellers were often told not to invest too much into remodeling, as buyers would want to customize themselves. Why worry about it when they're going to do it anyway, right? Well, not only has the market changed, but so have the buyers.

"With many millennials entering the housing market, one of their biggest desires is to have a turn-key home, meaning they don't want to have to make changes or repairs, such as modernizing appliances and amenities—essentially the home is move-in ready," explains Nick Giovacchini, head of client services at AlphaFlow. "Not updating an older home could leave sellers at a disadvantage, especially if other homeowners have updated their homes before selling, even if the unimproved home is priced at a discount compared to more updated homes in the area."

Even though home prices are going down, the  buyers that remain are willing to pay a premium for homes that look the part, so put in some elbow grease before you put up that "For Sale" sign.

Amateur photos of your house are fine

If you've ever sold a home before, you probably remember the real estate agent coming in and snapping a few quick photos of your home to place with your listing. Heck, you may have even taken the photos yourself. We're sorry to say that's just not going to fly this time around.

"How your property looks online will have a direct impact on the number of buyers who will be interested in purchasing your home," says Nancy Wallace-Laabs, a real estate broker with KBN Homes, in Frisco, TX. "Hiring a professional photographer and adding drone pictures are an increased cost to a seller, but well worth the investment."

In fact, it may be a good idea to take it even further, says Mark Cianciulli, real estate agent and co-founder of the CREM Group in Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA. "For instance, the benchmark has become getting professional photos taken of the property, creating high-quality videos for your property that allow buyers to see different perspectives inside and outside the home, as well as 3D tours of the home that allow buyers to navigate though the home at will and in any direction they choose," Cianciulli explains.

So much for just snapping a few pics with your smartphone.

Holding an open house is a must

There was a time that hosting an open house (featuring freshly baked cookies, of course!) was a near guarantee that your house would sell before the weekend was over. Unfortunately, open houses aren't the shoe-in that they used to be.

"In my experience, those attending open houses are just putting their toes in the water and seeing what's out there—or they're just your typical nosy neighbor. Serious buyers will be out looking at the houses they want any chance they can get and not waiting until an open house to submit an offer," says real estate agent Heather Carbone, of Heather Carbone Team Big River Properties in Boston.

"Real estate agents like open houses because they create good opportunities for them to find unrepresented buyers, or to create a frenzy around the listing. Ultimately, an open house should be just one small piece of a bigger marketing plan for the property," says Carbone.

The McLeod Group Network is here to assist with all your home-selling needs!  971.208.5093 or [email protected]

By: Realtor.com, Whitney Coy

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

by Amy McLeod Group


The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the theory of ‘
supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

The supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2018:

Putting your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition in the spring, might make a lot of sense.



Bottom Line
Buyers in the market during the winter are truly motivated purchasers and they want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

Let The McLeod Group Network evaluate the demand for your house in our market971.208.5093 or [email protected]

 

By: KCM Crew

Exploring Salem Oregon: Mo’s Crab and Chowder Festival

by Amy McLeod Group


Friday, January 25, 2019 - Sunday, January 27, 2019

This yearly tradition brings the flavors of the Oregon Coast to the winery with live music, Mo’s famous chowder and fresh crab to pair perfectly with our acclaimed Pinot Gris and other Classic Wines! $15

Willamette Valley Vineyards
8800 Enchanted Way SE
Turner, OR 97392

503-588-9463

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: travelsalem.com


New year, new home renovations? Whether you're getting ready to transform your entire kitchen into a farmhouse-chic dream (hello, shiplap and apron sink!) or maybe just to add some new wood floor for the foyer, it pays to know what kind of return on investment your home renovation might deliver. According to Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report, not all home remodeling projects deliver the same bang for the buck. Far from it, in fact.

So which projects give you the biggest return on investment these days? This year (like last), the No. 1 finisher was garage-door replacement. While not as fabulous as a full-kitchen remodel, this project essentially pays for itself, earning you a whopping 97.5% of your money back.

For this report, now in its 32nd year, researchers analyzed 22 popular home improvements in 136 markets nationwide. The magazine polled contractors on how much they charge for these jobs, as well as real estate agents on how much they think these features would boost a home's market price. They then used those figures to calculate what percentage of its cost each project might recoup—or not.

As it turns out, the price of a few key projects skyrocketed from the last year, while their value dropped, says Clayton DeKorne, chief editor of the JLC Group (which includes Remodeling magazine) and manager of the report. In other words, Americans might spend more on certain renovations and get back a lot less of the money they spent.

So what's going on?

According to DeKorne, President Donald Trump's new import tariffs on steel, lumber, and other building materials are destined to jack up renovation costs all round, leading to thinner margins on their return. Plus, as the housing market wobbles towards a peak in market prices, homeowners are less likely to renovate their homes, and real estate professionals predict that the renovation market will tighten.

"The economy is a little chaotic right now, and homeowners are holding their breath," says DeKorne. "People are very cautious to enter the market, which affects the willingness [of] people [to] pay for projects big and small."

Overall, the report found that in 2019, Americans should expect to make back 66.1% of the money they spend on renovations—a slight bump from last year's 65.8%.

And the report found that for some projects, the ROI is really worth it, especially those improvements that the whole neighborhood can see—in front of your house.

"The primary points of the evidence show us that curb appeal projects add to overall value of the house more than interior projects," DeKorne notes. "It's all about first impressions."

The chart below gives a full rundown of the top renovations, including how much they cost, their value at resale, and the percentage that can be recouped. After garage doors, the top finisher was manufactured stone veneer, with a 94.9% return on investment. Glamorous? No. Valuable? You bet.

A new project on the list this year speaks to another decidedly unsexy but invaluable trend: installing metal roofing. Compared with asphalt shingles, metal roofing costs significantly more, but offers much greater durability. And while metal roofs only yield a 60.9% ROI, DeKorne predicts their value will increase.

"This is the first year we've included metal roofing, and it's gotten a lot of interest," he says. "It's more expensive, but you'll get a better value over time than a common asphalt roof."

And if you're absolutely dying to renovate something indoors this year, DeKorne suggests keeping it in the kitchen. While most of the projects with the highest returns are exterior replacements, a minor kitchen repair cracks the top 10, with an 80.5% recoup.

"When buyers are looking at a house, they want to know the kitchen is something they can live with," says DeKorne.


A look at return on investment for popular home renovations.

Remodeling magazine

A look at return on investment for popular home renovations.

Contact The McLeod Group Network for all your Real Estate needs! 971.208.5093 or [email protected]

By: Realtor.com, Allison Underhill 

What Is Boho Home Decor? 5 Effortless Ways to Achieve Eclectic Design

by Amy McLeod Group


What is boho home decor? If you're partial to mixing prints and colors in new, exciting ways, it's a trend you might want to take for a spin. Boho decor, which draws its name from bohemianism, is an open-minded approach to interior design. It's all about embracing an eclectic and informal mishmash of patterns and textures.

Below, our design experts share the quintessential elements of boho home decor and how simple it is to master this popular look in your home.

What is boho home decor?


Photo by Aundra Skinner Interiors

Boho decor is bold, free-spirited, and adventurous, says Lotta Lundaas of Norse Interiors. Think design that is inspired by decor you could have seen in a home during the hippie movement of the 1960s and '70s.

"I also associate boho design with colorful bazaars and marketplaces in Africa and the Middle East," Lundaas says. "Various textures, colors created from exotic spices, and handpainted patterns all come together and create a warm and interesting effect. Boho design allows you to mix colors and patterns freely and work with multiple layers."

"Boho design is really about self-expression," says Michael Friedes of Michael Friedes Interior Design in San Francisco. "It's about celebrating the individual through an eclectic and worldly aesthetic. Think of many textures and patterns and styles, often with a sense of adventure linked to them."

Where did boho home decor come from?

Although it's named for Bohemia, in the historic area around today's Czech Republic in Eastern Europe, the design trend takes its cues from a relaxed style that originated in France after the French Revolution, Lundaas says. The aesthetic eventually jumped over the ocean to the United States, growing in popularity in both home decor and fashion in the '60s and '70s.

These days, you can spot boho just about anywhere, from chic city lofts to comfy homes in the country.

It's made a comeback largely because it allows you to design your home around your personal tastes, rather than trying to make the latest trend or hot new look fit in your home, says Liat Tzoubari, co-founder and CEO of Sevensmith, an ethical home decor brand.

"Boho allows you to express your inner self and use pieces and decor that you feel reflect your personality," Tzoubari says.

So how do you do that in a way that looks purposeful and designed, not as if a flea market threw up in your living room? The experts have plenty of tips to make boho work in your home.

1. Stick to informal rooms

Boho is about comfort, which make it a perfect design choice for much of your home, says Ryan Saghian of Ryan Saghian Interior Design in Los Angeles.

That said, your formal dining room isn't going to be the best place to showcase your boho point of view.

"Family rooms and bedrooms are more casual spaces where it is appropriate to incorporate this style, and you can have more flexibility with a relaxed look," Saghian says.


Photo by Urbanology Designs

2. Focus on fabrics

Photo by Breeze Giannasio Interiors 

Whether it's a tapestry on the wall or rugs on the floor, textiles are an easy way to start introducing a boho sensibility. Maybe you found a set of pillows in an exotic print on a trip abroad or at the flea market.

"A tribal rug with modern furniture is also a great way to add a layer of warmth and color as well," Friedes says.

3. Keep it secondhand

Talking of flea markets, open-air bazaars are great for finding boho-themed wares.

Lundaas credits the sustainability movement with helping to bring boho back, as more people have come to embrace the old, rather than constantly buying mass-produced items to keep up with the trends.

With this in mind, she recommends hitting secondhand stores for some truly one-of-a-kind furniture and accessories.

4. Embrace clutter

Take that, Marie Kondo! If you're an organization maven or favor a stark, clean look to your home, boho decor probably isn't for you. A home that's truly boho can certainly be clean, but you're bound to see mismatching frames on the walls and furniture set at odd angles.

"This style should look and feel effortless but still achieve harmony," Lundaas says. "It’s the opposite of minimalism, so refrain from making it too neat and organized. More is more, in this case."


Photo by Heidi Pribell Interiors 

5. Think global

If you're a world traveler, boho design is the perfect way to let your home suggest your taste for adventure.

Friedes suggests bringing home pieces from your travels that excite you and adding them to your home—regardless of whether or not they go with your current decor. The more you add, the more your home will reflect your true personality.

Contact The McLeod Group Network for all your Real Estate needs! 971.208.5093 or [email protected]

By: Realtor.com, Jeanne Sager

Exploring Salem Oregon: Art Party Paint Night at 1859 Cider Co.

by Amy McLeod Group


Fun paint night for adults 21 and over, no experience required!  $40 for everything and $10 toward your tab.  The painting is “Cosmic Lighthouse.”

1859 Cider Co.
249 Liberty Street NE Ste 140
Salem, OR 97301

503-302-0289

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: travelsalem.com

7972 Waterloo St NE: Beautifully Updated Home in Bahnsen Woods Estates!

by Amy McLeod Group

Salem-Keizer OR Real Estate For Sale
7972 Waterloo St NE, Keizer, OR  97303

Appreciate the lovely Bahnsen Woods Estates neighborhood while enjoying this beautifully update split entry home! 7972 Waterloo St offers a great floor plan with 4 generously sized bedroom, 3 full baths, fresh interior paint, glowing wood floors, modern fixtures, recessed lighting and a nice sized yard for outdoor living! An impressive living room is illuminated with natural light through a large picture window and provides plenty of space for all your needs. The delightful kitchen features an abundance of cabinet and counter space, plus a dining area for causal meals or entertaining guests. Easily take the party outside – sliding doors lead to the rear deck and fenced yard. Three bedrooms on the main level including the master with two closets and a private bath. Heading to the lower level, you are sure to enjoy the spacious family room with a toasty gas fireplace, the fourth bedroom and a full bath. This space is currently used as a secondary suite. Plenty of vehicle and equipment storage in the attached 2 car garage and a detached shed. With so much to offer in quality and location; close to all Keizer has to offer and I-5 access, this beauty will not last! Come take a look today! 

The McLeod Group Network has distinguished themselves as a leader in the Salem Oregon real estate market. As a full service, real estate team - focused on working with our Seller and Buyer clients to help achieve their real estate goals!

We bring a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Salem Oregon home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why our clients benefit from our unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future –The McLeod Group Network will help make the most of your Salem Oregon real estate experience. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your real estate transaction will be handled and cared for with the utmost respect and attention to detail. Give us a call today 503-798-4001 and discover the difference we can make during your family's move.

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 
[email protected]

 

By: KCM Crew

Buying a House This Year? This Should Be Your 1st Step!

by Amy McLeod Group


In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage.

If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so today. Let The McLeod Group Network help - 971.208.5093 or [email protected]

By: KCM Crew


Come see this wonderful exhibition which features Chagoya’s deceptively subversive prints that explore issues of immigration, colonialism, the economy, the government, the commodification of art, and the recurring subject of cultural clash that continues to riddle contemporary life. Through January 27, 2019.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art
700 State St.
Salem, OR 97301

925-565-8926

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: travelsalem.com

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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.