Six signs a home will hold its resale value
Most buyers have a wish list of features they’d like to have in a home. Often missing from that list is how salable the home will be when they later decide to sell.
Generally, buyers deal indirectly with resale value. They want a home they can buy at market value or less. They want to buy a home that will retain its value. They want to buy a home that will suit their needs. They want to buy a home they can make their own.
A listing that’s priced low to sell fast may be one that will have good resale value only if you use this marketing strategy. The low price may offset an incurable defect, such as a location on a busy street.
There’s nothing wrong with buying a home on a busy street as long as (1) you buy it at a price that reflects the location issue; (2) it suits your long-term needs; and (3) you understand that you will probably have to discount the price accordingly when you sell, depending on the market at the time.
In a hot seller’s market, buyers are desperate to buy. They often overpay, and they are more likely to overlook defects that they would shun in a sour market.
Resale value has become a bigger issue since the housing recession began five years ago. Buyers are more cautious in their home-buying decisions. They don’t want to buy just any home; they don’t want to make a mistake and end up wanting to move in a slow market in which they might lose money.
The homes that hold their resale value well are the ones that appeal to a broad cross section of buyers; offer a good floor plan that works for different lifestyles; have a good amount of space but are not enormous and expensive to maintain; and exhibit a pride of ownership. They should also be in good condition.
Location is also a critical element of resale value. There are market niches that are always in demand, in both hot and soft markets. For example houses in neighborhoods with close proximity to shops, cafés and public transportation systems.
That’s not to say that every listing in these neighborhoods sell quickly. To sell, it needs to be priced right for the market.
It’s easier to recognize a home with good resale value in the current market than it was in the bubble market of 2005 and 2006 when virtually all homes sold in many areas. In a soft market, the homes that sell within 30 to 60 days are either good homes or good deals.
Ideally, you want to buy a home that has good resale value. Not one that’s just a good deal. There’s no urgency to buy now in many areas, although it would be nice to take advantage of record-low interest rates. But you shouldn’t buy a home that won’t work for you long term just to lock in a great interest rate.
Even though there are a lot of homes for sale on the market, in many areas there is a not a surplus of quality inventory on the market. One reason for the lack of quality homes on the market is that many sellers are waiting for a better time to sell. Another reason is that homes with good resale value don’t tend to change hands that often.
THE CLOSING: There may be good news ahead. Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, predicts that sellers who have been waiting for a better time to sell may decide they’ve waited long enough and list their homes for sale in 2012.
Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.
It’s safe to sell your home again
While analysts debate when the housing market will hit bottom, for a surprising number of cities the turnaround has already begun. In December, prices rose in 109 of the 384 metro areas tracked by data firm CoreLogic.
Making sense of the story
- There are certain signs to help determine if a particular neighborhood is on the verge of a rebound. For instance is local employment on the upswing? That’s a critical factor for a region to get itself on the path to recovery. Improving jobs picture has led to shrinking housing stock across the country, as investors and bargain hunters have started buying up foreclosures that have been preventing a recovery.
- For years, buyers were scared of overpaying for a home, but less so now. Many buyers have grown accustomed to thinking they’ll score deals, so they tend to act slowly, and typically start bidding around 10 percent to 15 percent below list price. However, a growing number of buyers are beginning to realize that if they wait too long in this market, they may miss out.
- Sellers can hold firm on price if they’re patient. The days of having to deal with low-ball offers are coming to an end. The higher the price, the more patient the seller must be. Cheaper homes are affordable to more buyers and appealing to investors, so recoveries usually start there.
- Sellers should keep in mind that while they don’t have to placate low-ball offers anymore, they also can’t shoot for the moon either. Working with a REALTOR® and setting a realistic price from the get-go is key.
- Sellers should know what they’re competing against. Homeowners should let their home’s value dictate the price. While this may seem self-evident, some owners may have lost sight of it during the bust. On the one hand, some sellers clung to the false hope of a return to boom prices, so they set prices unrealistically high. Others may have gone too far the other way, and set their price too low.
- It’s also important that sellers understand they’re no longer competing with gutted foreclosures. Buyers are tired of looking at worn-down, neglected, distressed properties and often don’t have much extra money to do a lot of fixing up. REALTORS® often report their clients are willing to pay a little more for a home that’s ready to move into.
Read the full story from CNN here: http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/19/real_estate/housing-market.moneymag/index.htm?iid=HP_River
Six years after the market peaked in 2006 and prices started to decline, many sellers are still in denial about the current market value of their homes. It’s difficult for most sellers to accept the reality of today’s home-sale market, whether they bought at or near the peak and will lose money selling today, or bought decades ago but are still stuck at 2006 prices.
One homeowner recently remarked that she was aware that home prices had dropped quite a bit over the last five years. But she felt that her home hadn’t lost any value.
It’s hard for homeowners to divorce themselves emotionally from a home they’ve enjoyed. But this is what sellers need to do so that they can make rational decisions about a list price that will actually result in a sale.
This decision should be based on listings that have sold in your area that could be considered somewhat comparable to your home. Some sellers go to open houses to evaluate the competition. If you’re still emotionally wrapped up in your home, the exercise can be futile. You return home feeling that the other homes aren’t as good as yours.
Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes. This is easier for sellers who are also buying in this market. They know what it’s like to want to make sure they’re getting a good deal. Your house needs to be listed at a price that is enticing to buyers because it represents a good value. In most areas, buyers are buying in a market knowing that prices may continue to decline before the market fully recovers.
HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Be wary of real estate agents who tell you that your home will sell for a higher-than-supportable price just to get the listing. Then they work on you over time until you reduce the price to market value. Agents refer to this as buying a listing.
It’s hard to resist the temptation of trying for a higher price than the comparable sales indicate. However, you won’t be happy if your home is on the market for months with no activity, and each time you drop the price it feels like too little too late. You can end up selling for less later if home prices in your area are still declining.
Refinance appraisals are notoriously inaccurate in terms of market value — either too high or too low. An appraiser is attempting to gauge what price a buyer would pay when there isn’t a ratified contract that states what a buyer will pay. A high refinance appraisal can leave the seller with a false expectation.
Listing your home based on what you want or need to net from the sale won’t motivate buyers to pay more. Buyers pay market value. They’re won’t overpay in today’s market.
Find out what buyers are looking for in your area and see how your home matches up to their expectations. Generally, today’s buyers are looking for a home that is well-located, in good condition and is priced right for the market.
If your home needs a lot of work compared with the competition, you’ll either need to have work done before selling, or discount your price accordingly.
Walkable neighborhoods are highly desirable in some areas. If your home doesn’t offer this amenity, you may have to make a price accommodation.
THE CLOSING: For best results, be realistic about the current market value of your home and what preparation it needs in order to sell successfully in today’s market.
Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and a nationally syndicated real estate columnist.
The Union Tribune San Diego had a great article on the state of San Diego county foreclosures–they’re currently at a 4-year low! Read the article below:
The number of San Diego County foreclosures in March stayed at its lowest point in more than four years, essentially mirroring the downward trend seen statewide, based on Tuesday’s DataQuick foreclosure report. An improving picture in the distressed market could be attributed to some pick-up in the national economy and increasing number of homeowners who short-sell their homes instead of letting them fall into foreclosure.
A little more than 500 homes fell into foreclosure last month, the lowest it’s been since November 2007, when the county recorded 478. The March total is 21 percent lower than the previous month’s and more than half of what it was a year ago.
Statewide, foreclosures in the first quarter of 2012 fell to their lowest level since the third quarter of 2007, when 24,209 trustee deeds were filed. They peaked at 79,511 in 2008’s third quarter.
Local and statewide numbers for default notices, the official start of the formal foreclosure process, were mixed in March, DataQuick numbers show.
San Diego County recorded 1,500, 17.4 percent bump from February but an 18.3 percent drop from a year ago.
The number of default…
Read the rest of this article by U~T San Diego’s Lily Leung here: “San Diego foreclosures remain at 4-year low“.
Taxes, real estate, and marriage: ’till death do us part
In the aftermath of tax day, specifically personal taxes, some people have a sigh of relief while some people are devastated. We cannot all avoid some emotion for this day whether we filed early, at the last minute, or are prolonging the agony with an extension. I would say that if someone is experiencing agony, their taxes are usually always postponed and prolonged. Why is this?
In marriage, with the highest divorce rates ever, is it not the same result as in taxes by delaying the inevitable if there is a problem? The procrastination of not addressing a problem or not thinking it is a problem when the other spouse does, spells disaster.
In real estate, I also see similar scenarios: with most people waiting ’till the last minute, whether trying to keep their home with a bad loan that’s worth more than the actual house, while days or weeks away from a foreclosure. Or with false hopes of keeping the property and thinking that they will get the modification done or that better yet, a miracle will happen and their loan will go away! While all these positive results are possible, isn’t it also possible to win the lottery? Your answer of “yes” is correct, but unfortunately the answer of “unlikely” is also correct. Unrealistic expectations rarely add up.
Anyone who has married knows they take a vow of “’till death do us part”, while taxes literally follow you until death and could even lower your estate in the process after death. In real estate, some people have the notion that they will not leave their home unless they are dead! My take on this is that many people just do not see the big picture. I ask the question again: Why is this?
Everyone knows that life and everything on this earth is not forever–taxes, real estate, marriage–but still want to hold onto everything in it. We are all guilty of this, and yet we all know the reality deep down inside. If everyone told their friend going through the rough bumps in life that they knew of someone right here that could advise them on their situation, and has the experience and record to back it up, wouldn’t that make a difference in that person’s life?
I work with attorneys and accountants, and am a seasoned real estate professional that will handle your situation as if it were my own. Won’t you call? I am here to help 24-hours a day, your Realtor in Action–call now, or better yet: “Just Do It!”
– John A. Silva