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Friday, July 14, 2017

What Colors To Utilize When Selling


               

We all know that certain things sell homes. Location and price are obvious. Equally important is structural integrity, as are features including kitchens, bathrooms and adequate living spaces.         
 
If a two homes on the same block, probably constructed by the same builder and maintained by owners of a similar type, are for sale, something has to put one of them over the top. That's where color psychology can come into play.

Most prospective buyers utilize the Internet and the imagery placed online is a major factor. It is often the colors of rooms that make the photos stand out.                  

Once the prospective buyer arrives at the showing, is when the home's aesthetics really come into play.
                               
Below are some of the colors that can help make your home stand out from the crowd, and the type of buyer who may respond to them:                                

Yellow

There's not a happier hue on the color wheel. Yellow is typically associated with happiness and, more directly, with sunlight. That makes it the ideal color for places that may not receive a lot of natural light, like a shady study, hallway or bedroom. Many people do not particularly like yellow according to Realtor.com, which means it should be used strategically and subtly; softer hues like butter creams and soft yellows are often the way to go. If someone wants bright yellows they'll bring their own accessories (though some cheery yellow daffodils are never a bad idea, particularly in kitchens that may have a lot of white or black surfaces).                                 
Gray                                

Gray is considered a neutral, but it's trickier than that; the difference between a light gray and a dark slate can be quite different, as can a potential buyer's reaction to it. Connecting spaces like hallways and foyers are good places for gray paint, while its neutral qualities can play well with brighter pops of blue or yellow when it comes to accessories.                                

From Realtor.com:                               

The key is choosing a gray with the right base color. For example, Colson noted, a beige-based gray will create warmth, while a blue-based shade will have more of a cooling, icy effect.

Similarly, brown is a neutral with a large range of possibilities. It can be useful in certain places and a no-no in others, and runs the risk of clashing with wood furniture and trims that could possibly turn off potential buyers.

Reds                                

Realtor.com warns designers to stay away from utilizing some shades of red when trying to attract prospective buyers. Those colors are associated with action and intensity, and can make buyers feel anxious. That being said, RealEstateAgentU.com recommends red - think burgundy or black cherry - for a dining area, as it can increase stimulation and there for conversation... and appetites.                                   
White                                

If you're trying to sell a home in a hurry, white is the safest bet on the board, both internally and externally. It's clean, easy, refreshing, and easy to accessorize with accessories and trims of all colors. Best of all, white helps a potential buyer see the possibilities of a space - it's easy to say "well, we could paint this room X color" when it's a sparkling fresh white. Not the case when a room is painted navy or even a darker beige or ochre. It's also wise to make sure the exterior of your home fits, at least partially, with the rest of the homes in your neighborhood. Chances are white is going to work.
Blue                                

Blue is a solid choice for a bedroom, as it is typically associated with tranquility and water - which most people find relaxing (there's a reason many blue hues have names associated with the ocean, after all). But it doesn't have to be all about the boudoir.                                

From Realtor.com:

"Separated dining rooms are the perfect place to try out a deep navy or dark gray, because they are supposed to feel cozy and inviting instead of open and expansive."

Blue's many shades - ranging from near-black navy selections to bright teals that are nearly green - are also perfect for additional trappings like pillows and window treatments, particularly in bright places with white walls and a lot of light.

Green                                 

Green is soothing, and an effective choice for living areas and bedrooms, and - for those of you with a thumb of this color - plants can be an attractive way to make a sunroom or living space really pop on the cheap. The soothing green is versatile, as well. From Realtor.com:                                

That vibe makes green a perfect complement to almost any room in your house. For example, paler greens like seafoam or sage have a calming effect best suited to bathrooms, while darker, earthy shades of green such as moss or evergreen create a sense of quiet and peace--perfect for a cozy den space.
 
 
Sources: Realtor.com, RealEstateagentU.com, ZBuyer                                 

Friday, July 7, 2017

5 Most Common Home Buyer Regrets

Half of recent home buyers say that if they could repeat the homebuying process, they’d do something differently, according to a survey by financial website NerdWallet.com. Respondents indicate that their biggest source of regret when buying a home was not preparing enough financially for homeownership. Here are some of the most common reasons for buyer regret, according to the survey.
  1. Purchasing a home that’s too expensive. Millennials and Generation X members were more likely than baby boomers to say they overspent on their home purchase, according to the NerdWallet survey. A 2015 MacArthur Foundation survey also found that more than half of consumers had to make sacrifices in order to afford their mortgage or rent. About 20 percent said they took an extra job, 17 percent stopped saving for retirement, and 14 percent accumulated credit card debt, according to the MacArthur survey.
  2. Purchasing a home that doesn’t fit their needs. About 5 percent of respondents to the NerdWallet survey say their home didn’t align with their homeownership goals. Housing experts recommend avoiding common homebuying mistakes like forgoing a home inspection, ignoring commute time, or choosing the wrong neighborhood. Also, consumers need to know what amenities they need. That’s not always easy: 7 percent of buyers say the amenities and features they valued most changed after buying a home.
  3. Not putting enough money down. Low-down-payment loans can help buyers without robust savings get into a home, but some may later regret not saving more before taking on the costs of homeownership. Twenty-eight percent of millennials and 27 percent of Gen Xers say they wish they had saved more before buying their house, according to the NerdWallet survey.
  4. Not being organized. Many home shoppers say they wish they had gathered paperwork before the mortgage application process and developed a system for keeping it organized. That includes W-2 or tax return forms, profit-and-loss statements for business owners, brokerage statements, proof of Social Security income, and evidence of child support payments. Home shoppers also need proof of their assets, such as documentation of down-payment gifts and copies of bank statements, as well as information on outstanding debts.
  5. Not shopping around for a loan. Half of borrowers take the first mortgage that’s offered to them, according to a survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But shopping around for a mortgage with an interest rate that is even half of a percentage point lower can result in tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the mortgage. Home buyers should compare more than interest fees, including the cost of private mortgage insurance and the loan’s APR (which is the interest rate, points, fees, and other charges all rolled into a yearly rate).
Source: “The 10 Biggest Regrets People Have About Buying a Home,” CheatSheet.com (June 14, 2017)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Avoid These Comon Mistakes When Planning to Submit an Offer to Purchase

In competitive housing markets across the country, making an offer that sticks has become increasingly difficult. Do not make the process even tougher by succumbing to one of these common mistakes:

Delaying
Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property altogether. Buyers need to be ready with their paperwork, such as bank statements, a preapproval letter, and documents supporting proof of funds, from the day they begin house-hunting mode. That way you can pursue with an offer when you do find a home you like. Many sellers will not consider an offer without these essential documents indicating a ready, willing and able buyer.

Making an offer for their preapproved amount
Smart buyers are getting preapproved to show a seller they’re financially able to purchase a home.
Many buyers come in with a preapproval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers, including cash offers, you want to show financial strength. An exact preapproval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise.

Submitting a lowball offer
Lowballing a seller often backfires, particularly in a seller’s market. A lowball offer that isn't backed up with math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller and possibly mean you will miss out on the property completely. Additionally, if the seller counters your offer, other interested parties may be submitting an offer for the same property. Sellers do not always provide all interested parties an opportunity to submit their "highest and best" offer when presented with multiple offers.

Waiving inspection contingencies
Regardless whether it’s new construction or even your mom’s house you’re buying from her – get it inspected. Further, if you waive the inspection contingency in your offer, you may lose the earnest money if you later back out of the transaction.

Not presenting yourself well enough
In a seller’s market, buyers need to take steps to make sure they look good in the eyes of the seller. In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with. Buyers may want to avoid pointing out every defect, making nitpicky queries, or questioning the seller’s tastes.
Basically, buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers.

Source: realtor.com Edited by Scott Snyder - Welles Bowen Realtors

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Before You Start Looking

Before you start looking for your new home, you need to take a few key steps with your finances to make the process as smooth and painless as possible. Once you take care of your finances THEN you can start looking at homes and contacting a real estate agent. If you put the cart before the horse, you will be disappointed at every turn and waste a lot of valuable time – for everyone.
  1. Get your financial situation in order.
    • Know your credit history and fix any issues that might keep you from getting a loan.
    • Calculate your debt and expenses to help determine your desired monthly mortgage payment.
  2. Once you have your finances in order and you have an idea of what you can afford, gather all the necessary financial documents and seek a reputable lender.
    • Find a reputable lender who listens to your needs. A good loan officer can make or break your experience.
  3. Now that you have your finances in good order and have found a lender, the next important step is to get a pre-approval letter from your lender to prove your buying potential.
Now you’re ready to actually start looking at properties. In addition to knowing just how much you can afford and the type of home you want, make sure you take into consideration  different neighborhoods, schools, and other important variables like commute times, parks and recreation opportunities, and shopping.

Source: First American Home Warranty Newsletter
By: Amy Thyre

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Title Insurance

If you’ve ever purchased a home, you’ve likely purchased title insurance. But do you know what title insurance is, or why you would need it?
When you buy a home, you are given “title”– the owner’s right to possess and use the property. Title Insurance protects you, the buyer, as well as the lender, against the possibility that the sellers (or previous sellers) do not have free and clear ownership of the property, and therefore the right to transfer the home.
Title problems can surface after you close on your home and can affect your homeownership rights. Here are just a few examples of the hidden title problems that can surface:
  • Errors or omissions in deeds
  • Undisclosed mortgages, liens, or lawsuits
  • Undisclosed easement and boundary issues
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Undisclosed heirs

How Title Insurance Works

When you buy title insurance for your property, the title company conducts an in-depth review of public records to make sure there are no problems with the title. Title searches can uncover title issues like liens, judgments, information on prior loans, assessment taxes, and other issues. The title company will then work to fix any defects that are found before the transaction closes.
The title company will then issue an insurance policy that will help protect you from a variety of issues that might be uncovered later. Unlike homeowners insurance that is limited to future incidents, title insurance is limited to problems that already exist when the policy is issued. If you should happen to have problems related to the title of your home, your title insurance policy includes coverage for legal expenses that may be necessary to investigate, litigate, or settle a claim.

Two Types: Owner’s Policy and Loan Policy

There are two types of title insurance policies: a loan policy and an owner’s policy. If you take out a mortgage loan when you buy your property, your lender will require a loan policy of title insurance. This policy is typically based on the amount of your loan, and the policy amount decreases as you pay off the loan. It protects the lender’s interest in the property should there be a problem with the title. It does not protect the buyer.
An owner’s policy protects the buyer if there is a title issue. This policy is issued for the amount of the real estate purchase. Even though you will pay for this policy only once (at closing), your coverage will last as long as you own your home.
For many of us, a real estate purchase may be the largest financial investment we will ever make. Like many types of insurance, you may never need to use your owner’s policy, but the value of what you stand to lose is quite high. So, when you buy a title insurance owner’s policy, think of it as buying peace of mind.

Source: First American By on February 1, 2017                                      

Monday, January 9, 2017

Which Is Cheaper: To Buy or Build New?

On the surface, buying an existing home seems like the most affordable route to go. After all, the median cost of an existing single-family home is $223,000. On the other hand, the average cost for building new construction averages $289,415.Obviously, there is quite a bit of variations in sorting out those costs. Plus, the price you pay upfront is only part of the equation when deciding to buy an existing home or build a new one.

A recent article at realtor.com® laid out some of the pros and cons financially of buying a new versus an existing home. Make some of these considerations when weighing the best financial decision:

Square footage: New-homes tend to be more spacious than existing ones at a median size of 2,467 square feet. As such, when you take the average cost of a new build, it breaks down nationally to about $103 per square foot, which is actually lower than the cost of existing homes.

Finishes: With an existing home you inherit all the features and finishes, even if you don’t want them. That may mean you need to budget in some renovations if you’d like to redo anything. With a new home, you’ll be able to choose all the features and finishes yourself and have it set in the price from the get-go.

Maintenance: Older homes tend to require more maintenance. The cost of upkeep can be pricey too, depending on what needs to be done. For example, the average furnace tends to last about 20 years. When it needs replacement, expect to pay about $4,000. Not to mention, that shingled roof will likely need replacement after about 25 years at a cost of at least $5,000. On the other hand, newer homes tend to need less maintenance because all of the major appliances are brand new and under warranty.

Energy efficiency: Older homes tend to have dated windows and appliances, which can result in less energy efficiency and pricier energy bills. New construction tends to nearly always trump older homes in energy efficiency. Homes built post-2000 consume 21 percent less energy for heating than older homes.

Landscaping: Older homes tend to have mature landscaping already in place. And that landscaping can up a person’s property value by thousands. Further, those trees can save an estimated 56 percent on your annual air conditioning bill, according to the U.S. Forest Service. With newer homes, you’ll have to likely pay thousands to install landscaping and may have to wait years to get it to the point you desire.

Appreciation: With an older home, you can see the trajectory of prices based on previous sales prices and of comps nearby. New homes can be a gamble since they do not come with a proven track record of plentiful comps that have been tested over time.
Source: realtor.com® (Jan. 5, 2017)

Scott Snyder with Welles Bowen Realtors cautions; when you decide to sell your newly constructed home, hope that other vacant lots are not available as your house may serve as a model for buyers that may ultimately decide to buy a vacant lot and build a house to suit their needs.



 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Closing Delays Rise


Closing times are lengthening. The time-to-close averaged 40.5 days from November 2015 to November 2016 compared to 36.7 days the year before, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR called the longer times in closing “unexpected” in a recent blog post.

NAR began tracking closing delays following the implementation in 2015 of new mortgage disclosure rules, known as TRID or Know Before You Owe. The new mortgage rules changed the settlement process by adding new closing documents and timelines. Closing times have remained elevated since the implementation of the new rules.

NAR points out that many of the loans that settled in November were under contract during the busy months of September and October. The extra demand in fall contracts may have sparked some of the delays.

“These delays should ease in the coming months as refinance volume eases and as lenders continue to adapt to the new settlement process, but a longer average time-to-close may be part of the new normal,” notes Ken Fears, NAR’s director of regional economics and housing finance policy.

About 32 percent of real estate professionals reported a delay to settlement, according to November’s REALTORS® Confidence Index. Real estate pros said the top issues sparking a delay involved obtaining financing, the appraisal, and home inspection. Delays to closing due to financing accounted for nearly half of all delayed contract settlements. However, delays due to appraisals have been on the rise in recent months, partially due to a shortage of appraisers, the report notes
Source: National Association of REALTORS® Economists'