4 Things NOT to Do When Putting Your Home on the Market

 

So you’ve decided to put your home on the market. Congratulations! Hopefully, you’ve brought a rockin’ REALTOR® on board to help you list your spot, and together you’ve done your due diligence on what to ask for. As you start checking things off your to-do list, it’s also important to pay mind of what not to do. Below are a handful of things to get you started.

Don’t over-improve.
As you ready your home for sale, you may realize you will get a great return on your investment if you make a couple of changes. Updating the appliances or replacing that cracked cabinet in the bathroom are all great ideas. However, it’s important not to over-improve, or make improvements that are hyper-specific to your tastes. For example, not everyone wants a pimped out finished basement equipped with a wet bar and lifted stage for their rock and roll buds to jam out on. (Okay, everyone should want that.) What if your buyers are family oriented and want a basement space for their kids to play in? That rock-and-roll room may look to them like a huge project to un-do. Make any needed fixes to your space, but don’t go above and beyond—you may lose money doing so.

Don’t over-decorate.
Over-decorating is just as bad as over-improving. You may love the look of lace and lavender, but your potential buyer may enter your home and cringe. When prepping for sale, neutralize your decorating scheme so it’s more universally palatable.

Don’t hang around.
Your agent calls to let you know they will be bringing buyers by this afternoon. Great! You rally your whole family, Fluffy the dog included, to be waiting at the door with fresh baked cookies and big smiles. Right? Wrong. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your space, not be confronted by you in your space. Trust, it’s awkward for them to go about judging your home while you stand in the corner smiling like a maniac. Get out of the house, take the kids with you, and if you can’t leave for whatever reason, at least go sit in the backyard. (On the other hand, if you’re buying a home and not selling, then making it personal is the way to go, especially when writing your offer letter. Pull those heart strings!)

Don’t take things personally.
Real estate is a business, but buying and selling homes is very, very emotional. However, when selling your homes, try your very best not to take things personally. When a buyer lowballs you or says they will need to replace your prized 1970s vintage shag carpet with something “more modern,” try not to raise your hackles.

*content taken from RISmedia Housecalls: http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/home-on-the-market/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email

Its A Great Time to Make A Move!

New Construction is Booming!  

There is lots of New Construction in St. Charles and Lincoln County! Did you know we can represent you in New Construction to help you save money? Builders put money aside as a marketing budget to pay your agent’s commission; but if you don’t use an agent, you don’t save that money.

 

The Market is Moving Quickly!

Homes are selling just days after going on the market. Some buyers are hesitant to sell their home for fear of not finding a home for themselves. We will talk strategy with you on how best to reach your goals!

 

LACK OF INVENTORY!

Buyers are just waiting for their perfect home to come on the market. It is a seller’s market right now. We provide advice, assistance and staging accessories to help you get the most money for your home in the shortest time possible.

Rates are Low!

Interest rates continue to remain low, making homes more affordable and renting an unlikely choice.  You can buy more home for your money right now. According to the US Federal Reserve,
rates won’t stay low, act now!

 

6 STEPS TO LISTING YOUR HOME

Listing your home may seem like a daunting task, but thousands of people do it everyday! Take the worry and stress out of selling your home by choosing a Listing Specialist that you trust. Don’t choose an agent simply because they give you the lowest price or somebody who knows somebody recommended them. We suggest interviewing a couple different agents and choose the one you feel will help you best achieve your goals.

We provide a free no obligation consultation for you to Meet with our Listing Specialist to help you better understand Parson Realty Group, the process of marketing and selling your home, the current state of the market and how we can help you achieve those goals.

1. Sign Listing Paperwork. During this time, your Listing Specialist will go over all the necessary paperwork to list your home, collect homework, take measurements and note all of the details that make your home special. This is a good time to ask questions and express any concerns you may have about selling your home.

2. Complete Recommendations. Follow your Listing Specialist’s suggestions for preparing your home to sell in order to showcase your home and maximize its appeal. Trust us, we look at hundreds of houses everyday, whether online or in person and know what people look for in a home. This client took our advice and their home SOLD, unlike with the previous agent they hired.

3. Stage (if necessary). We offer staging accessories at no additional cost to help you get the most money. We will do a walk through and decide what accessories (greens, towels, etc) to bring in to highlight the best features of your home.  A buyers first impression of your home is usually via the photos online and then in person, make both impressions count!

4. Schedule Professional Photos. Professional photos enhance your home’s best features and entices buyers to view it. Buyers will be looking for those characteristics that stood out to them in the photos. We create compelling marketing using only professional photography. We provide you with a to do list before pictures, then oversee the photo shoot to make sure your home is photographed at its best.


5. Final touches.
Even before your home is listed, there is a systematic strategy to every thing that we do to create excitement about your home, from putting a sign in the yard, to posting it as “coming soon” on social media, announcing it in our office to other agents and posting it on real estate sites.


6. Congratulations, Your Home Is Active! Within about 24 hours of the photographer taking pictures, your listing will be active on the market and ready for prospective buyers! We will send you links where you can help spread the word about your home with co-workers, friends and family!

Throughout the entire process, we keep you as the client updated on the market, feedback from prospective buyers/agents and the current standing of your home in the market.

Have questions and concerns about selling your home and/or purchasing?  Contact us today for a consultation so you can make an informed decision for you and your family! 314-614-9731

What sellers are saying about Parson Realty Group
List of Homes Sold by Stephanie Parson

 

3 Steps to Freshen Your Home For Spring

Spring is here {finally}! There is something about a breath of fresh spring air to fill your heart and home. Everywhere you look people are embracing the season: sprucing up their yards, walking their dogs and driving with the windows down. Stores are stocking up on new colors, trends and décor. If you’re like me, you’re ready for a fresh look around your home and want to buy everything that shouts “Spring”! But for most people, that just doesn’t make sense. Below are some steps to freshen up your home without breaking the bank.

Declutter the Unnecessary.

It’s so easy to collect things you may {or may not} need over the winter months. The reality is that the more stuff you own, the more there is to clean, pick up and think about. There are all kinds of plans and ideas on Pinterest of how to declutter, but the important thing is that you do it. Just take a walk around your home with two boxes labeled, “Trash” and “Donate.” Decide if your items are serving a purpose and if you really love what they add to your home. If not, get rid of them. Trust me, you will be able to think more clearly and your home will be well on its way to a fresh spring look!

RE-PURPOSE What You Already Own.

Now that you got rid of clutter, before you go buy all new stuff, take a step back and go through your home again with an open mind. Decide what you like about each room and what you could use elsewhere. I can’t tell you how many times we simply rearrange a client’s furniture or swap out pillows from one room to another and they say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” You’ll be amazed at the impact of a simple transformation. Below are some ideas of re purposing and rearranging:

  • Use the throw in the living room to add a pop of color in the guest bedroom.
  • Move the chair that’s crammed in the living room to your office for a new favorite reading spot.
  • Move the extra chairs you keep in the dining downstairs until you actually need them. Your dining room will feel way bigger!
  • Turn the couch in a different direction to open up the space more.

Add Color to Your Home.

Now that you have decluttered and repurposed what you already have, make a list of things that would brighten up your home. It could be pillows, greens, curtains, trays, etc. Consider a new color scheme that you could introduce. Don’t just buy everything you see, be intentional about your purchases and try to stick to your list. There are so many places to find spring decor: Hobby Lobby and  Kirklands,  HomegoodsMarshalls always have reasonable and unique décor, you never know what you will find there. Freshening up your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Have fun and get creative this spring!

5 IMPORTANT THINGS A GREAT REAL ESTATE AGENT PROVIDES

 Selling or buying a home can be a very stressful experience, and if you don’t choose a great real estate agent,  the process will be even more stressful.

Every city will have hundreds of real estate agents to choose from, especially in the market we are in right now. Alot of people just assume all real estate professionals are out to get them and take all of their money. Just like with any vocation, there are good agents and there are bad agents. It is up to you to do your homework, interview a few agents and make an educated decision on who will give you the best service. 

Below are five things a real estate agent should possess, whether you are going to buy, sell or invest in real estate.

1. HONESTY

When a real estate agent signs up for the job, they must abide by the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics.  While it can be hard to tell if your real estate agent is honest, there is one thing you can do to see how honest they truly are: ask for past referrals. 

If their past clients allow it, ask for at least three to five phone numbers and/or email addresses to see if you can talk to these clients to see what they thought about the process and agent.  When choosing any professional, referrals are key, so if you’re hearing great things from contacting these past clients, then this can be a great sign.  

Another option is to check their online reputations via google, zillow, yelp, etc.

2. PROFESSIONALISM

We all know that first impressions are everything.  When you meet your agent for the first time, pay close attention to the way they present themselves.  Are they dressed professionally, or are we looking ripped up jeans and a t-shirt from 1992?  Remember, this agent will be representing you and other people as well. 

3. GOOD COMMUNICATION

Pay close attention to how fast your potential agent answers emails or phone calls.  If it’s taking more than 24 hours to receive a call back, do you really want to have this sort of communication while you have questions that need answers fast? 

Think about it for a second:  If your agent wasn’t responding fast enough, you could miss out on your dream home because the seller had a bid deadline.  Now, your agent doesn’t need to answer within 10 minutes, but frankly, a great real estate agent should answer by the end of the business day.

Secondly, is this the agent’s full time job that they devote their full attention to, or is this something that they do on the side to make extra money? Do they have a team to back them up to provide outstanding service and communication? Good communication is key.

4. RESEARCH

When preparing to buy or even sell a home, a real estate agent should be able to offer you all the statistics they found out about your home.  This should include a Comparative Market Analysis, a process where the agent will tour your home, look at homes similar to yours and suggests a price.  If your agent doesn’t even bother to do this, it more than likely shows your agent isn’t willing to put in much effort to get you the best price possible.

5. CREATIVITY

No matter where you live, there are going to be other homes for sale.  So the question is:  What is your real estate agent going to do to make sure your home sticks out?  Selling a house today is more than plopping a sign in the front yard and telling a few neighbors.  Talk with your agent to see what they can do for you to attract more eyeballs.   This could include using a drone to take overhead pictures, writing great descriptions or even how they write their advertisements.  It’s up to you if you think it’s creative or not.

These are five of the many things you should expect from any agent.  If you feel the agent you’re interviewing doesn’t hold these traits, then you may want to play it safe and move on to the next agent. 

HOW LONG DO MOST FAMILIES STAY IN THEIR HOME?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historical data on many aspects of homeownership. One of the data points that has changed dramatically is the median tenure of a family in a home. As the graph below shows, for over twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2008, that average is almost nine years – an increase of almost 50%.

How Long Do Most Families Stay in Their Home? | MyKCM

Why the dramatic increase?

The reasons for this change are plentiful!

The fall in home prices during the housing crisis left many homeowners in a negative equity situation (where their home was worth less than the mortgage on the property). Also, the uncertainty of the economy made some homeowners much more fiscally conservative about making a move.

With home prices rising dramatically over the last several years, 93.7% of homes with a mortgage are now in a positive equity situation with 79.1% of them having at least 20% equity, according to CoreLogic.

With the economy coming back and wages starting to increase, many homeowners are in a much better financial situation than they were just a few short years ago.

One other reason for the increase was brought to light during a recent presentation by Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist of NAR, at the Realtor’s Summit in San Diego, CA. Yun pointed to the fact that historically, young homeowners who were either looking for more space to accommodate their growing family or looking for a better school district were more likely to move more often (every 5 years). The homeownership rate among young families, however, has still not caught up to previous generations resulting in the jump we have seen in median tenure!

What does this mean for housing?

Many believe that a large portion of homeowners are not in a house that is best for their current family circumstances. They could be baby boomers living in an empty, four-bedroom colonial, or a millennial couple planning to start a family that currently lives in a one-bedroom condo.

These homeowners are ready to make a move. Since the lack of housing inventory is a major challenge in the current housing market, this could be great news.

Source: KCM

POPULAR CURB APPEAL TRENDS FOR 2017: NEW IDEAS FOR FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Never underestimate the importance of a pretty face…on your home or a client’s home. A curbside “facelift” is money well-spent, whether prepping to sell your house, increasing its equity-value, or just for your own pleasure.

These new ideas and trends should get your creative juices flowing.

Re-Think the Front Door

REALTORS® have long advised that the front door—one of the first things a visitor touches—should look well-kept and attractive. The cheapest option is to repaint it, and people are getting more adventurous with color choices for doors. No longer feel bound to match your door to the window and shutter hue. Contrast is good, and some homes benefit from brighter colors.

For just a few more dollars, replace old, corroded hardware—knobs, kickplate, etc. For a professional look, and to save yourself some time and clean-up, install the new hardware afterpainting.

Replacing the entire door might cost you or your client $500 or more, but if you are bored or unhappy with your plain door or if the door will affect the value of the home, peruse the latest new styles.

If you really want a big change, consider adding an arched doorway, windows on either side or expanding to a double-door. Ironically, one new trend is to go old and ornate.

Light the Way

Some home-building companies scrimp on the porch or entrance-way lighting. If you or your client weren’t involved in the original lighting decisions—or even if you were—over time, glass fixtures become dim from dirt, dead moths or old bulbs.

Cleaning globes and replacing bulbs instantly brings new life to your evening facade. New fixtures are inexpensive and can usually be owner-installed. You will likely be delighted—no pun intended—to discover that advanced lighting technology has gone beyond florescent with the introduction of LED bulbs. LEDs provide more lumens with less power, resulting in brighter entryways while saving on electricity.

The options are nearly limitless for affordable and novel ways to illuminate your home’s front porch or portico.

Install Stone Veneer

For many homes, a major transformation from common, run-of-the-mill appearance to a luxury look is achieved with stone veneer. No doubt about it: stone veneer is an up-and-coming trend for home upgrades. Once installed, stone veneer is nearly indistinguishable from full stonework. The key difference is cost and ease of installation.

Stonework speaks to craftsmanship, and veneer gives your home this expensive look for less. Stone veneer also has advantages beyond cosmetic:

  • It’s rugged and never needs painting.
  • It comes in a wide variety of textures and colors.
  • You can use it for an entire house, a single wall or just the skirting.

You will be pleasantly surprised at how it sets your home apart from others on your street while increasing its value and marketability.

Related: Manufactured Stone Veneer: A Cost-Effective Option for Improving Curb Appeal

Refinish Sidewalks and Driveways

Just as the upscale look of stone upgrades exterior walls, stone or brick makes a huge improvement to unsightly cracked concrete walks and drives. Different types and shapes of stone can create a variety of patterns, and hiring a professional installer on a complete tear and replace will save time and your back.

If your property’s asphalt or concrete drive is in good condition, bordering it with brick pavers can add a touch of class. Trims can be a do-it-yourself project requiring minimal skill, effort and cost.

Add Color to Landscaping

You’ll want the lawn and hedges manicured. Go further. Green is great, but dots of color lift your yard to a higher level of beauty.

Over the last decade, most cities have upgraded cosmetics, realizing that public street-corners beg for flowers and professional landscaping. Eyes have come to expect more color and design street-side—and in desirable neighborhoods, and that expectation translates over to the look of your curb.

Again, a tiny expenditure equals a major step up. Bulbs, shrubs, borders, fencing and mulch are all things to consider.

Check Your Mailbox

In many neighborhoods, another first curb-appeal object is literally at the curb: the mailbox. It’s often not seen for what it is: an eyesore.

Sure, you can spend a pile for a pile of bricks to dress up your mailbox. But a recent trend is less costly: unique and artsy mailboxes and posts. Visit an arts and crafts show and you may find hand-crafted mailboxes for a reasonable price. At the least, meet a local artist who would enjoy crafting something special for you. If you prefer to do it yourself, concrete footing, a post, wood trim, paint and of course, your mailbox, will go far.

On a street where all the mailboxes look the same — and where the houses also may be cookie-cutter—you can set yours apart. That’s the point of all these improvements. Give your house its own attractive identity—and for less than you might expect.

Source: Rismedia

First Comes Love… Then Comes Mortgage?

According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers,married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2016 at 58% of all buyers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

But, many couples are also deciding to buy a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding, as unmarried couples made up 14% of all first-time buyers last year.

If you’re single, don’t fret! Single women made up 18% of first-time buyers in 2016, while single men accounted for 8% of buyers. One recent article pointed to a sense of responsibility and commitment that drives many single women to want to own their home, rather than rent.

Here is the breakdown of all first-time homebuyers in 2016 by percentage of all buyers, income, and age:

First Comes Love… Then Comes Mortgage? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

You may not be that much different than those who have already purchased their first homes. Let’s get together to determine if your dream home is already within your grasp!

 

Source: KCM

Lack of Homes for Sale Slowing Down the Housing Market

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.

Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

National Association of Realtors

“Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 10.8%…which is the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 19 straight months and is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace.”

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com

“More than two-thirds of the markets are seeing less inventory now compared to a year ago.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“The dismal number of listings in the affordable price range is squeezing prospective first-time buyers the most. As a result, young households are missing out on the wealth gains most homeowners have accrued from the 41% cumulative rise in existing home prices since 2011.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic

“The lack of affordable supply is really driving up home prices.”

Peter Muoio, Chief Economist at Auction.com

“Tight housing inventory remains a constraining factor limiting stronger sales growth…

We expect further price growth to entice more homeowners to list their homes, particularly as existing homeowners have greater equity.”

Bottom Line 

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.

 

 

Source: RISmedia

BUYER DEMAND IS OUTPACING THE SUPPLY OF HOMES FOR SALE

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market demand. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

Buyer Demand Is Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale | MyKCM

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only six states had a weak demand level.

Seller Supply

The Index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

As you can see from the map below, the majority of the country has weak Seller Traffic, meaning there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.

Buyer Demand Is Outpacing the Supply of Homes for Sale | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet the buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!

Source: KCM