Did you know that every 1% increase in interest rates reduces the number of potential buyers for your home by half?
It’s true – the higher the rate, the less buyers are able to borrow. So fewer people will qualify for the loan amount they need. Ultimately, this means that home prices will have to drop (which means less money in your pocket at the closing table!) So far, we haven’t seen it impact home prices in the area, so that’s good news.
Interest rates have already increased several times over the past several months – and the Feds are considering more hikes as the economy continues to thrive.
“When you combine higher mortgage rates with increasing home values, mortgage affordability starts to suffer, and buyers will have to spend more and more on their monthly payments,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell noted in a recent press release.
There’s good news, though – we’re still seeing rates between 3.5%-5% – which means a $300,000 mortgage loan is going to cost around $1,500/month.
If you’ve been thinking about selling, you’ve already lost some potential buyers – so it may not be wise to wait until the next increase.
As a matter of fact, home buying has increased recently as a result of the increases. Why? Because people who have been on the fence and haven’t moved forward on buying a home are acting now before the rates go up again. They’ve seen really low interest rates for the past several years and now they realize it’s time to act if they don’t want to miss the low interest rate opportunity.
If you’re planning to buy a new home when you sell the one you currently have, that’s another reason now is the time to act.
Complete the form below and we’ll prepare a Market Study letting you know how much your home could sell for in today’s market. You might be surprised how much the market has improved in the last couple of years. Please include information about any updates you’ve done (along with the year they were completed) so we can get a more accurate picture of how your home compares to others that have recently sold or that are currently on the market.
As a bonus – when we meet to discuss selling your home, you’ll receive a special “thank you” gift just for meeting with us:
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Remember that DIY doesn’t mean you don’t need permits. Be sure to check with your city to determine which permits you need.
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What she doesn’t talk about here is how to avoid paint “bleed” under the tape. With the textured walls and ceilings many of us have here in Florida, it’s difficult to get the tape tight enough (well, it is for me, anyway).
After you put tape along the edges – go over the tape and an inch of the wall with the color of the neighboring surface (i.e. ceiling white next to the ceiling, wall color of the touching wall, etc.)
By going over the tape, the ceiling color will bleed under the tape and form a seal – then, when you go over the wall with the new color, it won’t bleed under.
When you’re thinking about selling a home, it’s tempting to say “let’s get it on the market fast.” But, acting too quickly could actually cost you a LOT of money.
As a real estate agent working with sellers, I provide specific recommendations on things they can do to make their home more appealing to buyers. The goal is to ensure that we can sell the house in a relatively short period of time – and at the highest possible price!
When we work together, I go through the home (inside and out) to look for ways to make it stand out to buyers. However, some things require more time and should be taken care of prior to meeting with me.
Here’s are the top 5 things to do first:
When an agent puts your house on the MLS system, the first photo will be the outside of the home (or it can be second if there’s a water view photo). The MLS system is what feeds popular home searching web sites like realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia – so this photo is really important! If the first photo doesn’t capture their attention, they may bypass your property and not even click-through to see the details and other photos.
It’s also the first impression from the street for those driving by (many buyers drive by before ever calling to make an appointment to see the house). It’s really easy to lose potential buyers before your agent even knows they exist.
Bottom line – making sure the outside of your home entices buyers enough that they want to see the inside is critical when selling a home.
OK – so you’re planning to move anyway, right? That means you’re going to be boxing things up and getting rid of things you no longer want.
Start that process before you list your home!
You want your house to be as free of clutter as possible, as well as free of everything that makes it “yours” – and that means removing knick-knacks, family photos, small appliances you rarely use and out-of-season clothing. Take everything off the refrigerator – including photos, family calendars, etc.
Bottom line – Selling a home requires de-cluttering and de-personalizing every room. The goal is to get buyers to envision themselves living in the home. They can’t do that if your “stuff” is everywhere reminding them that it’s your home.
Sure, living in Florida means not having a basement…which means there’s limited space for your things. But reminding buyers that the house has too little storage is the LAST message you want to send! After all, if your stuff won’t fit – neither will theirs.
Start by taking everything out of the garage (yes – that means everything that is not attached to the walls or floor!) Decide what you need to keep handy for the next couple of months; such as lawn and pool equipment, bicycles, tools and sports gear.
Everything else should be boxed up and put into storage. If you’ve built a storage platform that hangs from the ceiling – great! If not, consider renting a storage unit for a few months.
When putting things back into the garage – consider adding hanging brackets for things like rakes, bicycles and anything else you can keep off the floor.
Most importantly – make sure you have room to park the car (or two).
Bottom line – Many Floridians may be accustomed to leaving the car outside and using the garage for storage – but others (especially northerners who are relocating) expect to park vehicles in the garage.
Here’s a real estate “truth”:
“You always pay to update the house. You either pay for it while you’re living in it, or you pay for it when you sell it.”
Few people want to buy a house with a 1970’s kitchen or a 1950’s bathroom – especially when they’re buying in the range of $400,000 and above. Yes, even waterfront property!
Here’s another “truth”:
“Buyers estimate that the cost of updates and repairs to be a lot higher than they actually are – sometimes by twice as much.”
Buyers who are willing to do the updates themselves may relish the idea of “making the home their own” – but that luxury comes at a premium price for the seller. You may include a $20,000 price reduction in your Listing price to compensate for an outdated kitchen – but buyers will further drop the price by another $10,000 – $20,000!
Houses with outdated kitchens and bathrooms and flooring that needs to be replaced also sit on the market a lot longer than homes that are updated. The longer a house sits on the market – the lower the selling price.
Sure, someone may buy it – eventually – but it might be after multiple price drops, resulting in only “lowball” offers.
I’ve also talked to many sellers who decide they want to try to sell a house first. They figure, if it doesn’t sell, they can always pull it off the market, do the updates, then put it back on at a higher price.
But, here’s the reality – if a house has been listed for sale within the past year (and especially on those that failed to sell) – many lenders won’t issue a home-equity loan.
A good strategy (even if you don’t plan on doing the updates and instead want to “test the market”) is to take out an equity loan or line of credit now – before you put it on the market. With modern Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) loans – you only borrow if and when you decide to use it. Otherwise, you may not be able to make updates and you’ll be stuck accepting less than what you should.
Further – the home’s listing and sales history is available to everyone. If buyers see that a home was listed at $450,000 three months ago – and now it’s listed at $470,000 – it clouds their judgment. Often, they won’t take the time to find out WHY the price went up – they’ll just ignore the property and move on to the next one.
Bottom line – bite the bullet now. Take out a Home Equity Line of Credit before listing the home for sale. To get top dollar – go ahead and do as many major updates you can (kitchens, baths, roofing and flooring). Be sure to leave some money (line of credit) in reserves for things that crop up during the inspection.
You want real estate agents and buyers to get the best possible impression of your home.
In order to do that, every room should be sparkling clean (especially kitchens and bathrooms). This means doing things you may not think about often, such as dusting ceiling fans and baseboards.
When was the last time you painted the inside of the house?
Do the wall colors reflect your personal style?
For example, your daughter may like pink walls with Disney princess-themed murals – but few buyers will see that as a selling feature. Your goal is to appeal to the majority – not the select few.
To attract the most buyers, the walls and trim should be neutral colors. Very few buyers have the ability to envision their furniture in the house if the wall colors clash.
This holds true for carpeting as well. Carpet needs to be completely free of stains, odors and signs of wear. A few hundred spent on room-sized carpet remnants can increase your odds of getting an offer – and at a higher price.
Bottom line – Create a neutral palette that’s sparkling clean and odor-free.
Once you're ready to put your house on the market - give me a call. You'll be amazed at all the things I do DIFFERENTLY than other agents to get your home sold faster and at the highest possible price. Tammy Slater-Kendrick cell: 727.888.3882
Living on the barrier islands means spending LOTS of time enjoying the great scenery right outside the back door. Creating a back yard that showcases just how great it is to live here will make your house stand out.
Creating a great outdoor space also adds tremendous appeal to home buyers. For homes on the water, outdoor space ranks right up there with kitchens and bathrooms on the list of buyers’ hot buttons. Many buyers will overlook a dated bathroom if the back yard offers enough appeal!
Whether you have a pool or not, some simple additions and changes can make the area more appealing for buyers – and it doesn’t have to cost thousands.
For added appeal – don’t forget to draw focus to the outdoor space from inside the home by opening (or removing) blinds and curtains that block the view. Then, make sure home buyers have an open path that leads to the backyard by rearranging furniture.