NAR Reports Reveal Two Reasons to Sell Now

NAR Reports Reveal Reasons to Sell Now | Keeping Current Matters

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now may be the best time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) “surged” by 6.1%. The increase was “the largest month-over-month gain since April 2010, when first-time home buyers rushed to sign purchase contracts before a popular tax credit program ended”.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, expects improving home sales throughout the rest of the year:

“Sales should exceed an annual pace of five million homes in some of the upcoming months behind favorable mortgage rates, more inventory and improved job creation.”

TakeawayDemand is beginning to increase dramatically compared to earlier in the year.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales but instead the inventory of homes on the market (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory climbed 2.2 percent to 2.28 million homes available for sale
  • That represents a 5.6-month supply at the current sales pace
  • Unsold inventory is 6.0 percent higher than a year ago

There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:

1.)   “Rising inventory bodes well for slower price growth and greater affordability, but the amount of homes for sale is still modestly below a balanced market.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies. When there is less than 6 months inventory available, we are in a sellers’ market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than 7 months inventory means we are in a buyers’ market and should expect depreciation in home values.

As Yun notes, we are currently in a sellers’ market (prices still increasing) but are headed to a neutral market.

2.)   New home construction is still needed to keep prices and housing supply healthy in the long run.”

As new construction begins to be built, there will be increased downward pressure on the prices of existing homes on the market.

Takeaway: Supply is about to increase significantly. The supply of existing homes is already increasing and the number of newly constructed homes is about to increase.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time.

FSBOs Must Be Ready to Negotiate

FSBOs Must Be Ready to Negotiate | The KCM Crew

In a recovering market, some sellers might be tempted to try and sell their home on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional. The real estate agent is a trained and experienced negotiator. In most cases, the seller is not. The seller must realize the ability to negotiate will determine whether they get the best deal for themselves and their family.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the COs permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges on the house your buyer is selling.
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

5 Reasons to Sell Now!

5 Reasons to Sell Now | The KCM Crew

Many sellers are still hesitant about putting their house up for sale. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? Can buyers qualify for a mortgage?  These are all valid questions. However, there are several reasons to sell your home sooner rather than later. Here are five of those reasons.

1. Demand is Strong

There is currently a pent-up demand of purchasers as many home buyers pushed off their search this past winter & early spring because of extreme weather. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of buyers in the market, which feel off dramatically in December, January and February, has begun to increase again over the last few months. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as prices increased over the last eighteen months. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future. Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen.  Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market and pricing it so it sells. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Should I Rent My House if I Can’t Sell It?

Should I Rent If I Can't Sell | The KCM Crew

There has been a lot written about how buying a home is less expensive than renting one in most parts of the country. Rents are skyrocketing and homes are still at great prices. These two situations are also causing some sellers to consider renting their home instead of selling it. After all, a homeowner can get great rental income now and perhaps wait until house values increase even further before selling.

This logic makes sense in some cases. There is a strong belief that residential real estate is a great investment right now. However, if you have no desire to actually become an educated investor in this sector, you may be headed for more trouble than you were looking for.

Before renting your home, you should answer the following questions to make sure this is the right course of action for you and your family.

10 Questions to ask BEFORE renting your home

  1. How will you respond if your tenant says they can’t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).
  2. Because of the economy, many homeowners cannot make their mortgage payment. What percentage of tenants do you think cannot afford to pay their rent?
  3. Have you interviewed experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?
  4. Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?
  5. Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?
  6. How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?
  7. Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs come up?
  8. Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?
  9. How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?
  10. Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?

Bottom Line

Again, renting out residential real estate is historically a great investment. However, it is not without its challenges. Make sure you have decided to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because you are hoping to get a few extra dollars by postponing a sale.

Pent-Up Buyer & Seller Demand about to be Released?

Pent-Up Buyer & Seller Demand about to be Released? | The KCM Crew

American consumers’ perception of the residential real estate market was revealed in a recent survey by Edelman Berland. They interviewed 2,500 Americans who are “in the market” to buy or sell a home. Respondents were between 25-64 years old with a household income of at least $50,000.

Here are the key findings of the survey:

BELIEF in the HOUSING MARKET

There is a strong belief among this segment of the population that the housing market is on the right track and that is committing almost 7 out of 10 to buy or sell a home this year. Millennials belief in real estate is actually higher than the overall population.

  • 77% of consumers (and 85% of Millennials) have a favorable view of housing
  • 79% of people (and 83% of Millennials) believe the housing market is on the right track
  • 69% of consumers said they are committed to buying or selling a home now

CHALLENGES

The extreme weather faced by much of the U.S. definitely delayed many real estate transactions. That pent-up demand is now being released causing price appreciation in many regions of the country. This rise in prices and the expected increase in interest rates is causing many purchasers to buy sooner than later.

  • The main reason (45%) people waited to make a real estate transaction is they were waiting for spring weather to arrive
  • 76% of consumers believe that pent-up demand will create even more competition for existing homes
  • 74% of consumers are most concerned about higher than expected prices when buying a home this spring
  • 83% of consumers are motivated to act sooner than later because they fear interest rates will increase

Other interesting findings from the survey (broken down by buyers and sellers):

Buyers

  • 80% of real estate consumers are more committed to buying
  • 78% of potential buyers said it will be easier to purchase a home this spring since “homeowners want to sell”
  • 72% are encouraged because “the economy is improving”
  • 46% of buyers said spring was a more favorable time to buy a home
  • 28% of buyers said summer was a more favorable time to buy a home (an 8% increase over last summer)

Sellers

  • 83% of real estate consumers are more committed to selling
  • 63% of sellers are buoyed this spring by the improving economy and their perception that buyers are motivated following the difficult winter

Bottom Line

The real estate market will continue to gain ground through the summer as more and more people realize this is a great time to move. And, the vast majority (88%) of those surveyed realized that hiring a real estate professional is important to their home buying or selling success.

5 Reasons to Sell Now

5 Reasons to Sell Now | The KCM Crew

Many sellers are still hesitant about putting their house up for sale. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? Can buyers qualify for a mortgage?  These are all valid questions. However, there are several reasons to sell your home sooner rather than later. Here are five of those reasons.

1. Demand is Strong

There is currently a pent-up demand of purchasers as many home buyers pushed off their search this past winter because of extreme weather. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of buyers in the market, which feel off dramatically in December, January and February, has begun to increase again over the last few months. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as prices increased over the last eighteen months. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future. Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing timelines to lengthen.  Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market and pricing it so it sells. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Future House Prices: A Look into the Crystal Ball

Home-Price-Expectation-275Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why  the Home Price Expectation Survey is a great barometer. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.4% in 2014.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 9.4% by 2018.

Individual opinions make headlines. This survey is a fairer depiction of future values.

FSBO Millionaires Use Real Estate Agents

We pride ourselves on the quality of real estate information we deliver each and every day. We try to gather empirical evidence to validate the positions we take. We do not use just an anecdotal story to make a point. We also do not get caught up in the sensationalism of the moment. However, today will be different.

Confusion2Do as I Say… not as I Do

This adage could be no truer today after it has been reported, in a recent Herald Tribune article, that when it came to selling his Florida mansion, Al Bennati, the longtime chief executive of BuyOwner.com, has chosen to list his home with a local real estate agent.

BuyOwner.com is one of many websites out there now that encourage home owners that they do not need to enlist the help of a professional agent to be able to sell their home. They go as far as to tell homeowners:

“BuyOwner.com allows you to reach the most potential buyers in the shortest amount of time, in the most effective (the Internet) and most cost effective manner (no commission!) possible.”

Let’s break down that statement:

Myth #1 – The internet is the most effective way to sell your home

Many have said that, with the introduction of home search on the internet, hiring an agent is no longer a necessity. When the time came to list his own home, Bennati went against his own advice saying:

“To sell a home of this magnitude, it needs to be done by a person and a company that reaches buyers of this caliber.”

Myth #2 – FSBO’ing is the most cost effective solution

Without proper exposure to the “right kind of buyers” your home will not sell. Many real estate professionals have elaborate strategies to get your listing in front of exactly who needs to see it.

The most recent Home Sellers’ and Buyers’ Profile Report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that, though 92% of buyers search for a home on the internet, 90% still use a real estate professional.

This isn’t the first time that a CEO of a major FSBO website has enlisted the help of an agent when the time came to sell their own home. In August of 2011 it was reported that Colby Sambrotto of forsalebyowner.com who, after failing to sell his home using FSBO websites, needed an agent to sell his NYC apartment.

And, he got more money!!!!

Bottom Line

Two separate people made fortunes convincing others to sell their home through their FSBO sites. Yet, when it came to selling their own home, they recognized the value of using a real estate professional.

There is a reason the real estate industry has been around for centuries: it performs a valuable service.