There is no doubt that it is easier to sell your house when using the services of a local real estate professional. The agent will provide:
- Greater exposure to more buyers
- The skills of a professional negotiator
- A layer of protection from possible legal liabilities
- Professional guidance in navigating any pitfalls that may arise
- A level of safety while showing the home
“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)
Why would FSBOs net less money on their own than if they used an agent?The study makes several suggestions:
- “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids on with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
- “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
- “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.
Three conclusions from the study:
- FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
- The differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%.
- The sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.
Bottom LineIf you are thinking of selling, FSBOing may end up costing you money instead of saving you money.
If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control. The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury home market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer which can eventually lead to a price change. Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home. The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000. But not all who are buying a luxury home have a home to sell first. In a Washington Post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:
“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”
Bottom LineThe best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.
In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The updated numbers show that the range is an average of 3.5% less expensive in San Jose (CA), all the way up to 50.1% less expensive in Baton Rouge (LA), and 33.1% nationwide! A study by GoBankingRates looked at the cost of renting vs. owning a home at the state level and concluded that in 39 states, it is actually ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ cheaper to own (represented by the two shades of blue in the map below). One of the main reasons owning a home has remained significantly cheaper than renting is the fact that interest rates have remained at or near historic lows. Freddie Mac reports that the current interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.91%. Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 128% increase over today’s average of 4.0%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.
Bottom LineBuying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together and find you your dream home.
- Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale! Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available!
- Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.
- Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.
Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data, covering 2013-2016 was released two weeks ago. The study revealed that the 2016 median net worth of homeowners was $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013). These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.
Owning a home is a great way to build family wealthAs we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home. That is why, for the fourth year in a row, Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment. This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26% and then gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.
Greater equity in your home gives you optionsIf you want to find out how you can use the increased equity in your home to move to a home that better fits your current lifestyle, let’s get together to discuss the process.
The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that non-homeowners cite the main reason for not currently owning a home, as not being able to afford one. This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today.
1. Down PaymentNAR’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 39% of non-homeowners say they believe they need more than 20% for a down payment on a home purchase. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.
2. FICO® ScoresAn Ipson survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower. The average conventional loan closed in August had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 683. The average across all loans closed in August was 724. The chart below shows the distribution of FICO® Scores for all loans approved in August.
Bottom LineIf you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, let’s sit down to help you understand your true options.
Six months ago, we reported that the mismatch between the type of inventory of homes for sale and the demand of buyers in the US was causing the formation of two markets. In the starter and trade-up home categories, there were significantly more buyers than there were homes for sale, causing a seller’s market. In the premium, or luxury, home categories, the opposite was true as there was a surplus of these homes compared to the buyers that were out searching for their dream homes, which created a buyer’s market. According to the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market is at a 4.2-month supply. Inventory is now 6.5% lower than this time last year, marking the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases. Looking at the latest report from Trulia, we can see that not much has changed, and in fact, recent natural disasters across the country have made inventory conditions even direr. Trulia’s market mismatch score measures the search interest of buyers against the category of homes that are available on the market. For example: “if 60% of buyers are searching for starter homes but only 40% of listings are starter homes, [the] market mismatch score for starter homes would be 20.” The results of their latest analysis are detailed in the chart below. Nationally, buyers are searching for starter and trade-up homes and are coming up short with the listings available, which is leading to a highly competitive seller’s market in these categories. Premium homebuyers, on the other hand, have the best chance of less competition and more inventory of listings in their price range with a 14.7-point surplus, which is creating more of a buyer’s market.
Bottom LineReal estate is local. If you are thinking about buying OR selling this fall, let’s get together to discuss the exact market conditions in your area.
Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors puts the annual increase in the median existing-home price at 5.6%. CoreLogic, in their most recent Home Price Index Report, revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. CoreLogic broke appreciation down ever further into four price ranges which gives a more detailed view than simply looking at the year-over-year increases in the national median home price. The chart below shows the four tiers and each one’s growth from July 2016 to July 2017 (the latest data available). It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market. The location of your home is not the only factor in determining how much it has appreciated over the course of the last year. Lower priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum, due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.
Bottom LineIf you are planning on listing your home for sale in today’s market, let’s get together to go over exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range.
According to a survey conducted by ClosingCorp, most homebuyers are surprised by closing costs required to obtain their mortgage. After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much higher the fees were than expected.
“Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees.”Bankrate.com gathered closing cost data from lenders in every state and Washington, D.C. in order to share the average costs in each state. The map below was created using the closing costs on a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment. Can you find the state in tan? There's only one! Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. According to Freddie Mac,
“Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”