Three Points That Will Help a "For Sale by Owner" (FSBO) Sell Their Home in Half the Time

In today’s economy, many homeowners try to enter the real estate market without the help of a broker. As an agent, I have noticed that the main reasons for this may be the price homeowners pay to get their homes sold or simply bad experiences with realtors. Many brokerage firms charge a standard 6% commission, which can turn out to be a lump sum to some homeowners. However, it is important to remember the time and money that homeowners have to invest if they want to sell through for sale by owner.

1. Price your home right

This is the most important part of the process. Be very careful not to overprice your home; overpricing will reduce the buyers’ interest in the property and makes competing homes seem like they are of better value. Overpricing when selling a home is the single biggest reason why many “for sale by owner” (FSBO) home sellers don’t sell their homes successfully.

The best way to price your home is to research the selling price of similar homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood. The easiest way to accurately price your home is to contact your local home appraiser. This will prevent mortgage rejections from happening in the future if you find a potential buyer.

Finally, set your price right under a whole number, such as $349,000 rather than $350,000

2. Market your home correctly

Welcome to the era of the Internet: EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE, EXPOSURE. In today’s market, 92% of buyers search online for their next home. That is in comparison to only 28% looking at print advertisement. We specialize in internet strategies to promote the sale of your home. A couple of places where you could start reaching out to potential buyers are on Zillow.com, ForSaleByOwner.com, FSBO.com, and through social media.

It is very important to write a detailed description of your house, but remember that being simple and to the point is everything. Details like beds/baths, square footage, nearby schools, supermarkets, and your home’s best features are all critical when a buyer is trying to find the perfect fit.

Last but not least, get a yard sign. It is proven that about half the time the person buying your home is referred by a fellow neighbor or friend who lives in the area so make sure everyone in your neighborhood knows you’re selling!

3. Photography and staging

First impression is key. Photography and staging go hand in hand. Make sure that the home’s yard/driveway is uncluttered. Remove parked cars, garbage cans, and bikes. The same thing applies for interior shots. Remember to think of furniture as props and the room as a stage. Take a lot of photos as the more you shoot, the better the odds are that you’ll get some great shots.

You are selling your home. Usually, this is one of your most valuable possessions. It deserves quality. Put some effort into it. It will pay off.

Conclusion

Most “for sale by owners” (FSBO) are willing to cooperate with brokers, usually offering a 3% commission and saving the remaining 3%. The main concern is the time and money a “for sale by owner” (FSBO) has to invest. After paying for advertisement, disrupts family time for showing, keeps the house clean at all hours, hosts open houses every weekend, negotiates with unqualified or bargain-hunting buyers, and finally covers lawyer fees, are “for sale by owners” really saving much? For some homeowners, it is not really worth their time and since 95% of properties are listed with an agent, and 95% of buyers buy something that is listed, it only leaves a “for sale by owner” with a 5% reach. If you played that in Vegas, it wouldn’t be very good odds in today’s market. Happy selling!

What Does It Really Cost To Buy A Home?

It is important to know exactly what costs on top of the purchase price you’ll be responsible for when purchasing a new home. Closing costs often come as a surprise to new home owners and can be quite considerable (between 1.5% and 2.5% of the purchase price), so it is important to budget for them in addition to your down payment, moving, and decorating costs. What are closing costs? Here is a brief list.

Home Inspection: An inspection by a certified professional is for the benefit of the buyer and helps to alleviate concerns with respect to the condition of a property. A home inspection costs between $400 and $500.

Mortgage Appraisal: Lenders require an appraisal of a property to determine market value prior to processing your mortgage. While often waived by the lender, appraisals can range from $150 to $450. Some lenders also charge a mortgage application fee.

Property Survey or Title Insurance: When a new survey is not available, Title Insurance protects Buyers from losses due to title defects. While a survey can cost over $1,000 depending on the size of the property, title insurance typically starts around $275.

Land Transfer Tax: Payable to the province, this tax is calculated in tiers as a percentage of the selling price of a home (visit http://www.callthom.com/resources/calculators/ ). First time home buyers can qualify for a refund of up to $4000.

Home Insurance: Mortgage lenders require a certificate of insurance when you take possession of your home. Like all insurance, the price varies depending on a number of variables but ranges from $750 to $1,500 for most properties.

Adjustments (between Seller and Purchaser): Buyers are required to repay the Seller for prepayments they have made in relation to the property such as property taxes, utilities, condo fees, or topping off the oil tank.

Legal Fees and Disbursements: Your lawyer will charge fees for professional services including title search, drafting the title deed and preparing the mortgage. These fees vary, but expect to pay between $600 and $1,000, plus out-of-pocket and miscellaneous expenses up to $350.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST): Resale homes are not subject to HST, however, HST is payable on the sale price of a newly constructed or a significantly renovated home. HST is also collected on professional fees, and on Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Insurance fees.

Not all of these costs may pertain, and depending on your circumstance, others may apply. It is best to speak to your lawyer for more information.

Highland Park, CA Homes and Real Estate – A Look at the Numbers

In Los Angeles real estate circles, everyone is talking about Highland Park. Like other Northeast LA neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Eagle Rock and Mt. Washington, Highland Park is in a state of gentrification as new stores and restaurants are popping up on York Blvd. and homes are being purchased and restored. As a result, homes in Highland Park are in demand and prices have steadily risen. But gentrification isn’t the only reason. Highland Park is a wonderful area to call home.

Highlan Park is an amiable historic neighborhood located in Northeast Los Angeles. It is a hilly neighborhood located in the San Rafael Hills along the Arroyo Seco. It is southwest of Eagle Rock and Northeast of Cypress Park. People from many ethnic and socioeconomic groups call this neighborhood “home”. The weather is pristine with the highest monthly average temperature being 73 degrees in the hottest month of July and 57 degrees in the coldest month of December. Highland Park experiences light rain; January receives the highest amount at 4.6 inches total. According to Walk Score, Highland Park is the most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with a score of 72. It is very accessible and most errands can be completed on foot. It has some public transportation and is somewhat bikeable with a transit score of 47 and a bike score of 53.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census there were 57,566 residents in the 3.42 square miles of neighborhood. That is an average of 16,385 people per square mile. Highland Park is one of the highest density areas in Los Angeles. Highland Park grew to 60,835 people by 2008. The ethnicity break down was as follows: Latinos, 72.4% Whites 11.3%, Asians 11.2%, Blacks 2.4% and others 2.6%. A larger than average 57.8% residents were born abroad. 55.3% of them were born in Mexico and 12% were from El Salvador. In the male population 52.2% were married, 41.2% had never been married, 4.9% had been divorced and 1.6% were widowed. For the women: 50.4% were married, 33.2% were never married, 9.3% were divorced and 7.1% were widowed. The demographic for never married was among the county’s highest. 14.3% of residents who were 25 and above had a four-year degree. This was average for Los Angeles. 45.1% of the residents were born in a foreign city. This was a high number for Los Angeles. 4.9% of people in the population were veterans; this was a low number for Los Angeles. The average age of residents was 28, which is seen as young compared to the other areas of Los Angeles.

The average household income in 2008 was $45,478, which is an average number for Los Angeles. The average household size was 3.3 people, which is 25% higher than the national average. Renters occupied60.9% of housing units, which is 105% higher than the national average. Owners completed the other 39.1%, which is 58% lower than the national average.

Zillow states that Highland Park’s home value index is $662,800, which is up 13.1% since last year and with a projected increase of 4.3% predicted over next year. The market temperature is very hot and ideal for sellers. The average price per square foot is $582, which is higher than the Los Angeles average of $448. The average price of homes is $652,500, which is 123% higher than the national average. The average rent per month is $2,600, being 22% higher than the national average. The current Market Health is 5.3/10, which is relative to other markets across the country. Highland Park will continue to grow and develop.

Because Highland Park is in a stage of gentrification with rising home prices, it is highly advised for homebuyers and home sellers to seek out an experienced Highland Park realtor who specializes in the area.

Defensive Buying – 5 Ways to Buy Smart in a Down Economy

Depending on where you live, your local real estate market may be experiencing a downturn. Historically, these market adjustments have served as a natural protection against runaway price inflation, and in the long-run can be very positive, but as a buyer in one of these markets you must buy smart to protect your financial future.

Here are 5 ways in which you can take advantage of a down market and protect your interests for the future at the same time…

1. Look at the local job market. Know who the major employers are in town and where their employees typically live. Read the papers and pay attention to the stability of these employers. If the company is in financial trouble, or is going to lay off employees, be careful about buying in areas heavily populated by their employees. Yes, you may get a great deal, but home prices may drop dramatically around you and cause you to lose money. Plan for that in your negotiations.

2. Research new commercial developments in your area. If you discover that a new retail / commercial center is going in near an area you desire to live in, take the time to find out what stores are planned for the development, and look at how things like traffic flow and access are going to be addressed. A bad plan can negatively affect area property values, but conversely a well-planned development can draw buyers like a magnet raising property values.

3. Learn about zoning. If you buy a home right next to land zoned for commercial development and you do not realize it, your property value could be negatively affected by the increase in traffic and the type of development. If you are looking in a fully-developed residential area this may not prove to be much of a factor, but be aware of any nearby open spaces and their zoning that could make access to your residential area more challenging. Again, good developments can be to your benefit, but consider how the changes could affect value in your negotiations.

4. Drive the area you desire to live in. Take a camera and a note pad to record what you find. Look for things like for-sale signs, blighted properties, new construction or residential developments, open lots and land, road construction and access, and the availability of retail services. Lots of ‘for sale by owner’ or real estate signs could spell trouble as numerous homes for sale could cause a price reduction war to sell. Again, it may be to your benefit, but you must consider this in your negotiations.

Blighted properties will reduce the value of homes in the immediate area, and new construction, or anything that increases housing density can ultimately reduce value in a slow market as inventory increases and the number of buyers decreases. Be wary of new developments without any noticeable construction activity as there may be financial issues that could affect the value of all of the homes in the area. Don’t be the sucker that pays top price for a home nobody wants.

Open lots and the availability of land can be a positive depending on the area you are looking in, but keep in mind that zoning can change and there are lots of commercial developers out there looking for any sliver of land possible to develop in many markets.

5. Negotiate strongly with the seller. I am a firm believer in homes being exchanged for fair market values, meaning the transaction should be a win-win, but that doesn’t mean you cannot, or should not attempt to negotiate your best terms. Do your research and come to the table armed with extensive, current market knowledge, and a willingness to set your final terms and stick with them. Be reasonable, but firm. Be aware of the long-term implications of your purchase and ensure you have an exit strategy in place. Most importantly, do not be afraid to stand your ground. If you have done your research, the numbers will speak for themselves.

I hope these ideas will help you make a smart purchase in a down market. You must keep in mind that even if you get a great deal on a home, the market can continue to slow down and negate your gains. Know your market well enough to withstand the fluctuations. Above all, secure competent, knowledgeable assistance from professionals in the real estate industry to answer your questions and educate you so you can buy smart in our current market.

Some Tips to Sell House for the Best Price

People sell houses for many reasons including job transfer, change in family size, financial needs etc. The ways to sell house are also plenty. Some people use traditional methods like going through a real estate agent. Still others advertise in newspapers and television. These days, most people do not have the time to go behind all such portals. Internet has become an ideal platform for such people to sell their houses. Whatever the method they choose the main aim of any seller would be to get the best price on their deal.

Some tips to sell house effectively are listed here.

• The first and the foremost thing you should do is to de clutter your home. Remove all the unwanted things from your house. If you cannot throw them, store them away in containers. Alternatively, just take the help of your friends. Ask them to store your things for a few days. When buyers come to see your house, they want to see a neat house.

• Try to fix problems like leakages, broken windowpanes, door hinges etc.

• Try to find out the value of your property. Unless, you know how much your house is worth, you cannot get a best price on it. You can do this with the help of several databases online. Most people will be able to sell house at a higher price than that is shown in the directory.

• Market your home. Try to list your home in various websites. There are many such sites which offer free services to sell house. Get some good photos of your house and display them online.

• Do not forget to add a virtual tour of your home. Many customers like to view each aspect of the house they are going to buy.

• Make sure to give exact information about your house. Specify the number of rooms, bathrooms etc. Also try to give additional information about your locality. For example, distance from prominent places like schools, hospitals, markets etc., as most people prefer to stay closer to such facilities.

• Try to have an open house if possible to sell house quickly and at a good price.

• Choose a good real estate agent. These agents can help you to get the best price on your house.