Thinking of Selling? 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner

no for sale by owner home selling

In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five reasons:

1. 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 interest 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

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 88% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 21% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 43% on the internet
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

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 9% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

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

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $208,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $235,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $27,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

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Homeownership Still Part of the American Dream

american dream homeownership

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released the first edition of theirHousing Opportunities and Market Experience Survey (H.O.M.E.). NAR explained that the report covers:

“…core topics that will be tracked on a monthly basis such as views on housing as a good financial investment, whether homeownership is part of the American Dream…”

The current survey confirmed two long standing beliefs regarding homeownership:

1. Americans at every income level believe homeownership is part of the American Dream

Homeownership is a Part of the American Dream | Keeping Current Matters

2.)  Americans at every age believe that homeownership is a good financial decision

Homeownership is a Good Financial Decision | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Americans in all age groups and income levels believe in homeownership as a piece of their American Dream. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you determine if you are able to.

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The Importance of Home Equity to a Family

important home equity

There has been much written about how dramatically home values have increased over the last several years. With the increase in values, comes an increase in the equity each home owning family now has. The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University recently reported that, after taking inflation into account, aggregate home equity has increased 60% since 2010. Home equity is the major component of most family’s overall wealth.

Why is this so important?

Throughout history, families have tapped into their homes for many important reasons. Perhaps it was to get seed capital to start a new business; perhaps to help finance their children’s college education; perhaps to get needed medical attention not covered by insurance.

Up to ten years ago, families were able to use the equity in their homes to better the living situation for themselves and their family. More small businesses were created. College students weren’t forced to take on massive student debt. People could get needed medical care.

This hasn’t been the case over the last ten years as families found themselves in a position of having zero equity or, even worse, negative equity post the housing collapse. However, that is about to change.

Using your home as an ATM is not a good idea.

We realize that there are inherent risks to tapping into the equity in your homeespecially if you do it for the wrong reasons. Back in 2005-2007, homeowners were using their homes as their own personal ATM machine to buy depreciating assets like cars, boats and jet skis. This reckless behavior should never be repeated.

However, using your equity (aka family wealth) to invest in yourself, your children or other family members that could use help still makes sense. And the good news is that more and more families can do this as home values continue to increase.

Bottom Line

Home equity gives families an additional financial option when money is needed. The proper use of this family wealth can be used to grow generational wealth.

As Julián Castro, U.S. Secretary of HUDrecently explained:

“Generation after generation, the primary vehicle to create wealth in our country has been through homeownership. In the U.S., homeownership has provided an opportunity for one generation to hand over to the next that opportunity and that wealth.”

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What You Really Need To Qualify For A Mortgage

need-to-qualify-mortgage

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 5% or less.

Below are the results of a Digital Risk survey done on Millennials who recently purchased a home.

Millennials & Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The Ipsos survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

Below are the numbers from the latest Ellie Mae report.

Average FICO Score | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective purchaser who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to buy but not sure if you are also ‘able,’ sit down with someone who can help you understand your true options.

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Montague Miller 2015 Real Estate Report

2015 real estate market report montague miller

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The Residential Rental Market Heading into 2016

residential rental market montague millerBelow are quotes from experts as well as industry reports & articles that cover the residential rental market in the U.S.

The experts…

Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell:

“Make no mistake: Despite this recent slowdown in rental appreciation, the rental affordability crisis we’ve been enduring for the past few years shows no signs of easing, especially as income growth remains weak. It will take a lot more supply, and a lot more renters-turned-homeowners, to fully reverse this.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors

“Rents and home prices are expected to exceed income growth into next year because of the insufficient creation of new home construction and the detrimental impact its inadequacy continues to have on housing costs in several markets.”

David Brickman, Executive Vice President of Freddie Mac Multifamily

“We know rents are rising faster than incomes, and now we have data to show that many renters don’t have enough to pay all their debts each month, which is forcing them to make tradeoffs, such as cutting spending on other items.”

The reports and articles…

Zillow’s 2016 Housing Market Predictions

“Rising rents won’t let up in 2016, and will continue to set new records. The next year will bring the least affordable median rents ever.”

2015 rent.com Rental Market Report

“68% of property managers predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%”

CNBC

“The primary reasons cited for the latest rises were increasing demand and low inventory. Vacancy rates for rental housing nationally dropped to a 20-year low of 6.8 percent in the second quarter…Rents and occupancies are currently hovering at historic highs as supply isn’t keeping up with demand.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many renters debating a home purchase, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can show you your options, before your rent goes up!

November 2015 Market Report

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The Impact of Higher Interest Rates

the impact of higher interest rates

Last month, an article in the Washington Post discussed a new ‘threat’ homebuyers will soon be facing: higher mortgage rates. The article revealed:

“The Mortgage Bankers Association expects that rates on 30-year loans could reach 4.8 percent by the end of next year, topping 5 percent in 2017. Rates haven’t been that high since the recession.”

How can this impact the housing market?

The article reported that recent analysis from Realtor.com found that -

“…as many as 7% of people who applied for a mortgage during the first half of the year would have had trouble qualifying if rates rose by half a percentage point.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that those buyers negatively impacted by a rate increase would not purchase a home. However, it would mean that they would either need to come up with substantially more cash for a down payment or settle for a lesser priced home.

Below is a table showing how a jump in mortgage interest rates would impact the purchasing power of a prospective buyer on a $300,000 home.

Buyers Purchasing Power | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are considering a home purchase (either as a first time buyer or move-up buyer), purchasing sooner rather than later may make more sense from a pure financial outlook.

Learn more about mortgages:

Prices & Mortgage Rates Going Up in 2016

What does it take to get a mortgage?

The VA Loan Process Demystified

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Prices & Mortgage Rates Going Up in 2016

Prices and Mortgages Rates Going Up 2016The monthly mortgage payment on a home is determined by two elements: the price of the house and the interest rate you pay on your mortgage. Recently released reports are revealing that the experts expect both elements to increase in 2016.

HOME PRICES

CoreLogic has projected a nationwide 5.2% home value appreciation for the next twelve months. Here is their breakdown by state:

Pricing Forecast | Keeping Current Matters

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES

All four of the entities that provide projections on mortgage interest rates agree: they’re going up in 2016. Here are the predictions over the next four quarters:

Interest Rates | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With both home values and interest rates projected to increase over the next twelve months, buying (or moving-up), sooner rather than later, makes sense.

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Why You Should Sell Your Home This Winter

sell your home this winter

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are up 3.9% over last year, and have increased year-over-year now for 14 consecutive months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, expects demand to remain stable through the final two months of the year, and “forecasts existing-home sales to finish 2015 at a pace of 5.30 million – the highest since 2006.”

Takeaway: Demand for housing will continue throughout the end of 2015 and into 2016. The seasonal slowdown often felt in the winter months hasn’t started and shows little signs of being near.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales but instead the inventory of homes on the market (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory decreased 2.3% to 2.14 million homes available for sale
  • That represents a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace
  • Unsold inventory is 4.5% lower than a year ago

There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:

1. “New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies. When there is less than 6 months inventory available, we are in a sellers’ market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than 7 months inventory means we are in a buyers’ market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are currently in a sellers’ market (prices still increasing).

2. “Unless sizeable supply gains occur for new and existing homes, prices and rents will continue to exceed wages into next year and hamstring a large pool of potential buyers trying to buy a home.” As rents and prices increase, potential buyers will not able to save as much for a down payment and many may become priced out of the market.

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6 months needed for a normal market. Prices will continue to rise if a ‘sizeable’ supply does not enter the market. Take advantage of the ready willing and able buyers that are still out looking for your house.

Local Market Conditions

According to the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS (CAAR), houses are selling faster than the five-year-average, and the number of active listings on the market is decreasing.

In November 2015, houses in the Greater Charlottesville Area were on the market an average of 108 days, which is down 18 days from the 5-year average.

In addition, there were 1,720 active listings, which is 235 less than the 5-year average.

What does this mean for you? With houses selling faster and less listings on the market, your house has less competition and there are more financially stable homebuyers than in previous years.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time.

Home Selling Resources:

Prepare your home for sale with home staging

6 ways to increase your home value

Be careful before you invest in costly home improvements

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Keep your home safe this holiday season

Stay safe this holiday infographic

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