Posts Tagged ‘Home selling’

Should I Sell As-Is?

July 22nd, 2014 at 12:08 pm by Rick Schutte

Should I Sell As-Is?As one of the most difficult decisions in real estate marketing, the idea of selling “as-is” (without making any repairs, renovations, or upgrades) appeals to homeowners needing to sell quickly or that are cash strapped.

Can you do it? Yes.

Should you do it? Well…that depends on your market and how badly your home needs fixing, how much you owe on it and how much you need from it.

Buyers that lean toward purchasing a fixer typically fall into three main categories:

  • Flippers – a flipper is a real estate investor that purchases property with the intent to generate revenue quickly. Often, they are willing to purchase a fixer or distressed property with good “bones” (structure, foundation, etc.), fix it up quickly for resale or rental.
  • Fixers – a fixer purchases distressed property to fix up, but they tend to live in the property while they fix it with the goal of eventually selling or renting when they invest in a new property to fix. Different from flippers, they look to own the home longer term, so may be more willing to purchase a home that needs more work.
  • First-timers – a first-time buyer is either someone that has never owned a home, or someone that has not held title to a home for more than three years so they are not rolling the proceeds from a previous property into the new one. First timers that have never owned a home, but have some skill in the DIY area may look for lower cost, as-is properties for the low entry cost. This category includes former property owners that may have lost their home during a financial crisis or bankruptcy and are now in a position to buy again.
  • One final category is investors purchasing a home for the land and location, intending to demolish the home and build new. If your property is on the verge of a rezoned business area, is transitioning to multi-family dwellings, hotels or some other type of property, an investor may purchase your home for its location rather than for its amenities.

In each of these cases, you might benefit from a quick sale, freeing up cash for yourself. Just know that the buyer expects a discounted price that reflects the additional amount they will have to invest to make the property livable. Seeking these types of buyers in a hot market is more likely than in a slow market area.

Note: FHA has specific minimum property standards (MPS) required, so selling “as is” may reduce your buying pool by those wanting FHA loans if your property does not meet those standards.

What are the minimal fixes?

Fixing up your property, at least by bringing it up to code, will increase its value and bring you nearer to fair market value for your home. If you owe money on your home, this is an important consideration. Unless the investment to fix it up will cost more than the amount you might still owe if it sells low, you should figure out a way to fix it up. We can help you determine which items are important to fix, which can be concessions in your contract and which you can ignore.

Here is a short list of items to consider fixing if you can:

  • Patch cracks in ceilings and walls
  • Remove peeling paint
  • Paint walls with a neutral color
  • Replace broken windows
  • Fix code violations
  • Repair leaky or broken pipes
  • Repair the roof if there are leaks
  • Remove and replace moldy drywall
  • Trim overgrown vegetation
  • Remove anything dangerous that could make you liable for injuries to potential buyers visiting your home.

If you need to sell your home quickly, let your real estate agent know immediately so that they can best advise you on which items to repair, which to ignore, and which to offer concessions for.

Compliments of Virtual Results

-->

Feng Shui and Your Home for Sale

July 23rd, 2012 at 1:56 pm by Rick Schutte

Feng Shui and Your Home for SaleSelling a home can be quite challenging at times, causing sellers to question what they can do to make the sale occur more quickly. Service providers such as home stagers, organizers, and professional clutter eliminators can all offer assistance, but many sellers are also considering the art of feng shui, through consulting services or as a do-it-yourself technique. Feng shui offers some universal principles that can benefit in selling a home, whether you subscribe to tenants from the form or compass school, or prefer the eight mansion Bagua theory, so utilize the ones that work best in your home. The overall goal is to create “positive chi” or energy flow in each room of your home.

This quote from A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style, by Tim Gunn, can help you understand how something as seemingly insignificant as a closet can affect you and your potential buyer. “Closets are where we hide things: skeletons, forbidden loves, terrible birthday gifts we couldn’t return. It is for this reason that deciding what to wear while staring into those murky depths can be not just daunting, but emotionally exhausting as well.”  Using feng shui techniques, you can clear the clutter, along with the negative memories and energy, creating a home that will sell more easily.  On that note, let’s move to 5 real tips that will give you positive emotional energy while readying your home for sale.

  • #1 Open the windows and doors. Let a breeze blow through your home to clear the negative energy and refresh you as you begin your work.
  • #2 Step outdoors onto your walkway, the entrance of your home. What do you see first when you walk into your home?  Clear any cobwebs and dust and make sure nothing is blocking the entrance. If you have to step over something, remove it.
  • #3 Add energy with greenery. Whether an indoor or outdoor plant, make sure your home feels vibrant through adding plant energy. You can do this through exterior landscaping, by adding fresh flowers to the entry, or with the addition of indoor plants.
  • #4 Add positive energy through art and movement through proper mirror placement. There are tons of books that can guide you through this step, however, remember that the goal is to reflect positivity and not overwhelm or create clutter in your home for sale.
  • #5 Clear the clutter. Cull what you don’t need and create a “spa feel” throughout your home in all rooms. Counters should be free of objects and papers, furniture should be placed to allow for ease of movement. Any obstacles to interior door entrances should be moved.

While these tips may not offer a “cure all” to getting your home sold, they can definitely point you in the right direction. Stop by the library and get a few books on feng shui to increase your knowledge.  As you do, take care to notice your landscaping and apply some shine and good chi to your Home for Sale sign, too.

-->

North Whidbey Island Real Estate update

February 8th, 2012 at 4:48 pm by Rick Schutte

January 2012 is over and we are headed into an exciting year of opportunity.  In researching the statistics for North Whidbey Island real estate sales for January, we have found that the market seems to be starting a rebound. The number of active listings (homes for sale) is decreasing and the number of pending sales is increasing which is a very good indicator for a stabilizing market. Also the number of days that homes are on the market for sale is decreasing. Another great statistic is our sales prices. After a number of years of decline, we seem to be bouncing along the bottom. Prices have stabilized with a little increase in some markets. New construction and condominiums are still at a slow pace but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

For purchasers this is still a good time to be considering buying a home. With the interest rates at an all time low and the market still soft, now seems to be the best time to be a buyer.  As we approach the summer selling season, I believe that with the decreased amount of homes for sale, the prices will start to inch up. Hopefully interest rates will stay down for some time.

-->

Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

January 30th, 2012 at 5:17 pm by Rick Schutte

Like you, we are always trying to discover ways to save money. This interview with Rick Bunzel of Pacific Crest Inspections gives us five great tips on ways to reduce our heating bills.

  • Lower your hot water heater to 120 degrees
  • Use a programmable thermostat to drop night time temps to 55 degrees
  • Change your furnace filter regularly and make sure the furnace is tuned.
  • Have your duct work checked and vents balanced
  • Add insulation to the attic

By following these tips and watching your energy consumption, you should be able to save some money and help the planet. We hope that you have enjoyed these energy saving tips. Please feel free to contact Rick Bunzel at Pacific Crest Inspections,  1-866-618-7764, or contact any of us at Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate in beautiful Oak Harbor, Wa. for any other real estate related questions or comments. We are here to serve you.

-->

Whidbey Island Home Selling Tips

July 20th, 2011 at 11:43 am by Rick Schutte

This article will provide Whidbey Island Home Selling Tips and 5 Reasons to Hire a Pro to Sell Your Home. We are in a very different type of real estate market, a buyer’s market, and it is just to treacherous to go it alone. With these Home Selling Tips for Whidbey Island sellers, hopefully your experience with selling your home will be better and the outcome will be what you desire.

1. Employ an expert: A typical property owner does not have anywhere near the home-selling experience of a real estate agent. Agents can recommend relatively simple improvements—painting, making repairs, decluttering—that can help a home sell faster and for a better price. Your Realtor is the neighborhood expert. They can walk through a property and see right away what needs to be done to get the home sold. Independent sellers might not be aware of these tricks of the trade.

2. Use better tools: Homeowners using agents can get their property listed on Realtor.com, the most widely searched real estate website. Whidbey Island Home Sellers can get their homes listed on all of the local real estate company websites, including Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate website, which is one of the most comprehensive local real estate websites. Independent sellers do not have access to these services.  Another of our Whidbey Island Home Selling Tips is to ensure that your home listing is available for mobile viewing, ie. smartphones, Ipads, etc.

3. Sidestep lawsuits: Agents can also help protect sellers from potential litigation. There are all kinds of liability issues that a seller could potentially face when…dealing one on one with a buyer.  A homeowner could, for example  tell a potential buyer that hardwood floors extend to all corners of the house underneath the wall-to-wall carpeting. But if even one room has cement flooring, the homeowner could be sued. Agents, who have experience dealing with these liability issues, can help homeowners dodge such scenarios. Another Whidbey Island home selling tip to avoid lawsuits: provide a full home disclosure to the purchaser. This is required by law.

4. Duck the riffraff: Independent sellers might not have any idea whom they are letting into their homes during open houses. These potential buyers might not have the credit to make the purchase—and would therefore be wasting the homeowner’s time—or could even “try to rob them later on. Homeowners working with agents will have qualified buyers visiting their properties. The agent has developed a relationship with their client and knows their qualifications.

5. Avoid hardball tactics: It’s a buyer’s market out there. And with all the information available online, today’s well-informed buyers are tough negotiators, too. Real estate agents have been through the home-selling process before and are trained in negotiating tactics—giving them a potential edge in negotiating  a deal in the seller’s best interest.  Our last Whidbey Island home selling tip is to have a strong negotiator on your side. Using a professional is in your best interest.

Hopefully these Whidbey Island home selling tips have been a help to you. Please feel free to contact us at 360-675-5915 or email us at cbk@whidbeyrealestate.com at any time. We are here to be of service to you.

Content provided by: Luke Mullins: USNews.com

-->

How Are Homes Priced to Market

July 7th, 2011 at 10:21 am by Rick Schutte

One of the responsibilities we have is to help our homesellers establish a realistic market price for their home when they are preparing it for sale. Historically,  the sale price of recently sold comparable homes has been used as the basis for calculating a value for the current home for sale. Together with adjustments for the differences in homes and their amenities has produced a very reliable market value.

That was historically.  In today’s market enviornment, things have changed. Values have decreased from past sales and there are many other influencing factors involved in the calculations to achieve a realistic, marketable price for a home today. The amount of foreclosures and short sales has dramatically affected values.  The deflated price of  those sales affects the value of homes around them. Buyers then use those sales as the benchmark for value, offering to purchase at those deflated prices.

In today’s market, we must take a look at a home’s competition before setting a price to sell. If like homes are competing for the buyers attention, we must make sure the price is in line with, or lower than the competing homes that are for sale. Purchasers are shopping for value in the current  real estate market.

For information or help in preparing your home for sale, and in preparing the asking price, contact us at any time. We are here to help you with all of your housing needs.

-->

Home Seller Tips

May 23rd, 2011 at 8:01 am by Rick Schutte

Recently I was reading an article regarding home seller tips  in Money Magazine.  I was so impressed by what the article had to say, I thought that I should share some of the highlights with our Whidbey News Times readers.

The essence of the article was that if you are a home seller in this market, you probably feel you can’t catch a break.  To help overcome that, you need a bit of razzle-dazzle to nab a buyer today.  The following attention-grabbing home seller tips will get prospects to your front door.

  • Slash Your Price, Bigtime

Many sellers give in to the temptation to list the property above fair market value to see what happens. Big mistake. About a quarter of sellers in the past year initially listed too high and were forced to knock the price lower, according to Trulia.com.  Think you can always drop the price if your home doesn’t sell.  Bigger mistake.  The first 30 days on the market are the most important. That’s when your home will receive the most attention and get the most showings. So get aggressive right out of the gate.

  • Hire a Stager

Veteran real estate brokers interviewed by Money Magazine say that proper staging can speed the sale and often increase the price too. The key is to get it done right.  Staging, increasingly popular with homeowners trying to sell mid-range houses, can extend from simply rearranging existing furniture to repainting, replacing fixtures, and bringing in new furnishings. The goal: to highlight the house’s best features while making it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine themselves living there.

  • Find the Right Hook

These days it’s going to take far more than a For Sale sign in the front yard and a spot on the multiple-listing service to get potential buyers in the door. That means getting the word out in a creative fashion-and finding a Realtor who is willing to do the same. “The more eyeballs that get on the listing, the better,” says Katie Curnutte of the real estate information website Zillow.com. To do that, you need a multi pronged marketing plan of attack.

To read the whole article in Money Magazine please click here.

To discuss these homes seller tips, plus many other ideas for getting your home sold, please feel free to contact us at anytime at Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate.

 

-->

How’s The Oak Harbor Real Estate Market (Part 1)

March 24th, 2011 at 3:31 pm by Rick Schutte

I am often asked, “How’s The Real Estate Market in Oak Harbor?”  

I was recently asked to speak at the Rotary Luncheon about the state of the real estate market in Oak Harbor. My speaking engagement was postponed for a few weeks, but I thought I would share some of the information in this blog. I will continue with a second blog that will address another area that affects the real estate market, Short Sales and Bank Owned Properties.

 The first answer that I have after someone asks me about the real estate market is, “It depends”. Now I am not trying to be flippant with that statement, but my answer really does depend on if you are a buyer, a seller, when you bought your home, etc.

  •  If you are a buyer, the question is a no brainer. The Oak Harbor Real Estate Market is fantastic. In fact, I just helped my niece and her family make a purchase of a home. Interest rates are at all time lows (though they are starting to creep up). There is a large supply of inventory on the market for sale right now and sellers are being very generous in their negotiations.

 

  • If you are a seller and you have owned your home for at least 10 years, than it is a good market. As you can see from the chart, home prices have appreciated 3-4% average over the last 10 years. So if you need to sell, than from an investment perspective, you have made a good decision and the Real Estate Market is good. 

 

  • If you are a seller and you haven’t owned your home for more than 5 years, than the value of your home is probably equal to or less than your original purchase price and you might want to consider other alternatives to selling, such as rent, or not moving. If you are in this situation than the Oak Harbor Real Estate Market is not so good but is getting better.

A large component of the Oak Harbor Real Estate Market is Short Sales and Bank Owned Properties. In my next post, I will explain the statistics for these sales and how they are affecting our market.

 Contributed By: Rick Schutte

Owner/Designated Broker Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate

-->

9 Frequently Asked Short Sale Questions

November 29th, 2010 at 2:20 pm by Rick Schutte

1. What is a real estate short sale?
A short sale occurs when a lender agrees that it will take less than what the homeowner owes on their note.  The lender usually agrees to this during the beginning stages of foreclosure when the they realize that the homeowner will not be able to meet the terms of their agreement and will be foreclosed upon if a short sale does not occur. This short sale would result in a substantially discounted purchase price for the end buyer of the home. The buyer would then proceed with the purchase of the home when the lender agrees to a price.

2. Will a lender allow a real estate short sale when the seller has some a good amount of equity?
If the home has some amount of equity, the lender may choose to continue with a traditional foreclosure proceeding to regain title to the property and dispose of it at a fair market price. Short Sales are generally discounted below fair market value, because the time value of money makes it more viable for the lender to sell it quickly rather than waiting through the redemption period, which in some states can be 6 to 12 months.  Banks are not in the real estate business and generally don’t want to own the home.  

3. What documents are necessary to proceed with a short sale?
The individual documents necessary to proceed with the short sale will depend on the lender. Typically, the lender will require hardship letter detailing the circumstances leading to a short sale. A signed, valid purchase and sales contract, preliminary HUD-1 settlement statement and a preliminary estimate of proceeds to the lender. There may be additional requests for more detailed information on the financial condition of the seller, ie; pay check stubs, bank statements, a personal financial statement and monthly budget assessment, amongst other things.

4. Will the seller’s credit be affected if they agree to a short sale versus a foreclosure?
While it is up to the individual lender to decide what to report, what often happens is the loan will report as “paid” on their credit report for a short sale, and sometimes with a reference that says “settled for less than originally owed”. A foreclosure will show as a default and can affect one’s credit for 3-7 years.  It is absolutely less damaging to have the short sale referenced than to have a foreclosure on a credit report.

5. Will a lender allow the homeowner to make a profit on a short sale?
Absolutely not. The lender is taking a loss when they agree to a short sale and they will not agree to let the homeowner benefit financially.

6. If a seller is in bankruptcy, will that affect the short sale of the property?
Absolutely, as most lenders will not consider a short sale if the homeowner is in the middle of a bankruptcy proceeding. Negotiating a short sale between the parties is considered a collection activity and such a negotiation is prohibited during bankruptcy proceedings.

7. Will the bank or lender require an appraisal on the home in a short sale?
Most lenders will hire a broker to develop a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) to determine the value of the home. Some will require that a full appraisal be submitted in the short sale package. The lender will need some formal assessment of the value of the home in order to make a decision as to an acceptable offer.  Settling on an agreeable price usually requires some negotiating between the end buyer and the lender and this can be an iterative process.
 
8. Are there tax implications for the short sale?
Much like the issue of credit reporting, the circumstances vary by lender. As a short sale represents a loss for the lender, they can report the amount lost as “debt forgiveness” to the seller. If a formal tax form 1099 is filed, the seller may be responsible for paying taxes on the amount of debt forgiveness. A CPA should be consulted by the homeowner in this situation.

9. Why would a lender agree to a short sale?
The lender doesn’t want to own the home because they are not real estate experts.  Foreclosure proceedings can be very time-consuming and costly.  The seller is relieved of the home they can no longer afford. The buyer is purchasing the home at an attractive price. A professionally executed short sale can benefit all parties involved in the transaction.

Request Additional Short Sale Information

Courtesy of:  Donna Sanford

-->

For months there has been an ever-growing fear that our economy is headed towards deflation, which is when prices on goods and services are falling lower. Deflation is the exact opposite of inflation, which of course occurs when prices climb higher. Remember, inflation is the arch-enemy of Bonds, so fears of inflation negatively impact Bond prices and home loan rates. But fears of deflation are good for Bonds and home loan rates. That’s because the fixed payment that a Bond provides to an investor goes further in a deflationary environment. So, the recent fears of deflation have helped Bond prices move higher and home loan rates move lower.

But last week, future deflation/inflation expectations changed… and investors in the Bond market started betting that the Fed will be successful in “creating inflation” via their Quantitative Easing plans, and will thus avoid continuing down a deflationary road. This was evidenced by the results of last week’s 5-Year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) auction, which saw investors buying TIPS at a premium since they were confident they’d be able to benefit from the increased inflation that should result from the QE2.

Of course, investors aren’t the only ones impacted by this. The media has already been chattering that the Fed has to be careful not to let inflation get out of control in the coming months and years. In fact, just last week, there was a headline explaining how another round of Quantitative Easing brings the risk of “unleashing the 1970s inflation genie.” Consumers who are looking to purchase or refinance a house should also take note of that possibility – since even talk of inflation can impact home loan rates negatively. After all, a rise in inflation would be bad for Mortgage Bonds and, as a result, for home loan rates.

The good news is that home loan rates are still near historic lows for the time being. If you or someone you know would like to see how you can benefit from the current situation, call or email us today.

Information courtesy of Alaska USA Mortgage

-->
    Page 1 of 212
Write your own blog

Do you have something to say? Are you passionate about a particular topic and can write regularly and coherently? We'd love to talk with you. Contact us today about blogging on this site.

Blog Search
About Rick Schutte

Rick is the owner/designated broker of Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate and Koetje Property Management. He has been involved with the real estate industry on Whidbey Island for over 32 years. He is a past president of the NWMLS as well as a current board member of the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors. He has been designated by the National Association of Realtors as a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager as well as a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute. Rick can be reached at 360-675-5811 or cbk@WhidbeyRealEstate.com You can also check out his website at http://www.cbkoetje.com

*About Community Blogs

Community blogs are written by volunteers. They are members of our community but not employees of this site or newspaper. They have applied or were invited to blog here but their words are their own and are not edited by the editor or staff of this site, and have agreed to abide by our Terms of Use. The authors are solely responsible for their content. If you have concerns about something you read on a community blog, please contact the author directly or email us.

Would you like to have your own blog on our site? Contact us today.