Multiple Offers. How high should you go?

28 03 2013

Should Buyers Increase Their Offer?

PrintLimited inventory and a very strong demand for housing has created an environment where bidding wars are commonplace in today’s real estate market. Homes priced properly are getting multiple offers within a short time of coming to market. This brings about a dilemma for the agent: How should they advise their client who is about to make an offer when other offers will also be presented?

Over the last several years, there wasn’t any pressure on the buyer to adjust their offer for three reasons:

  1. There were plenty of homes for sale
  2. Prices were falling
  3. Mortgage interest rates were falling

They buyer could find another home easily for probably less money and a lower mortgage rate. There was no downside to not ‘upping the ante’. However, in today’s market, things have dramatically changed.

HOUSING INVENTORY

A normal real estate market has between 5-6 months worth of inventory. Over the last several years, the inventory of homes for sale had skyrocketed to 10 months. Most buyers in almost any price range had a multitude of houses to choose from. Today, the national month’s supply of inventory has fallen below five months. In many markets, there is not enough housing inventory to satisfy the current demand.

Conclusion: If the buyer loses the house they are bidding on, there is no guarantee they will find a similar home anytime soon.

HOME PRICES

Becausemof the limited inventory, home prices are again appreciating. The Case Shiller Pricing Index revealed that house prices rose by 6.8% in 2012. Experts are projecting home prices to increase by 5% to 8% in 2013.

Conclusion: If the buyer doesn’t get this house, there is a good likelihood that a similar home will cost more in the future.

MORTGAGE RATES

The ‘cost’ of a home to a buyer is determined by the price of the house and the expense associated with the financing. Mortgage rates are projected to inch up in 2013. In a recent forecast, the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted that rates could climb as high as 4.3% by the end of the year.

Conclusion: If interest rates do inch up, the ‘cost’ of the next home could be impacted significantly.

Bottom Line

If a buyer truly loves the house they are bidding on, it probably makes sense to raise their bid now instead of waiting for another dream house to appear.

Source:  KCM Blog





Top 10 Home Improvement Myths

11 03 2013

Not just any project adds value…and, some will actually turn buyers away.

1. Any remodeling project will add value to your home.

While many remodeling projects will add value to a home, some can be seen as a negative by future buyers. For instance, combining two smaller bedrooms to create one larger bedroom may better fit one homeowner’s lifestyle today, but it may cause the home to lose value in the eyes of a future buyer who needs the two separate rooms.

2. Buying the highest-quality materials attracts more buyers.
Installing high-end materials may seem like a wise decision, but it can backfire. For instance, using the most expensive tile in a bathroom may create an impressive appearance, but value-conscious buyers may opt for a more affordable home if the seller has over-improved compared to others in the neighborhood.

3. Adding square footage always adds value.

A better way to think about this statement is to insert the worduseable into the sentence. Finished attics and basements – even if considered liveable by local standards – may not be attractive to a buyer if they are not finished to the same standards as the rest of the home.

4. Colors and textures – safe and simple is better.

Keeping a home “vanilla” so buyers can choose their own style and décor might be a safe bet, but it ignores the fact that most buyers just don’t have the ability to visualize the home differently. Without splashes of color and mixtures of texture, sellers can lose value to others that have taken the time to consult with an interior designer.

5. Inside improvements are better than outside improvements.

Not necessarily. If a home’s exterior has been neglected or doesn’t offer a good curb appeal, a buyer might stop there – and then the seller’s efforts on on the inside may not net them any more dollars. To get the biggest bang for their remodeling buck, sellers should start from the outside and work their way in.

6. Adding a bedroom is better than adding a bathroom.

It depends on the starting point. If a seller only has one or two bedrooms to start with, adding a bedroom before adding a second bath is probably a wise choice since most buyers are more attracted to three-bedroom homes. On the other hand, if the home already has three bedrooms and only one bath, the sellers’s next investment should probably be in a new bathroom.

Not all paint is created equal.

Not all paint is created equal.

7. Paint hides a multitude of sins.

Dry rot? Fungus damage? Mold problems? Carpenter ants? Termite issues? Nothing a can of paint can’t fix, right? Wrong! Not only does this practice violate disclosure laws in most states, it can set sellers up for liability after the sale, as most buyers will want the sellers to foot the bill for these hidden issues.

 

 

 

8. Converting a garage to living space is a great trade-off.

Nope. A garage conversion is almost always viewed negatively by future home buyers unless the sellers replace the lost garage with another parking and storage space of equal size.

9. Sellers can save money by doing improvements themselves.

For some homeowners, wiring a new lighting fixture or plumbing a new dishwasher is a no-brainer, but for others it may end up costing more later if they have to have the work redone by a professional. Another consideration is local and state laws regarding remodeling work: In many states if a buyer has purchased a home to remodel and resell, they must either hold a contractor’s license or hire a contractor to do the work for them.

10. Pools add value to your home.

This is only true in areas where pools are must-have amenities. In most areas of the country, pools have more limited appeal – and the idea of maintaining a pool for ten months out of the year when it can’t be enjoyed won’t appeal to most buyers.

Source:  Trulia





Real Estate Prediction…Looking good.

11 03 2013

Real Estate: When She Speaks, We Should Listen

ZelmanIvy Zelman is an industry expert consistently recognized by Institutional Investor,Greenwich Associates, StarMine and The Wall Street Journal as an industry-leading analyst. What separates her from many other analysts is the fact that she has accurately called the real estate market continuously over the last decade.

Her Position in 2006

She was one of the first to call the burst of the housing bubble. She was nicknamed ‘Poison Ivy’ for the harsh positions she took in combating the overly optimistic views of many in the industry at the time.

What happened next?

Existing home sales plummeted, new construction starts feel to historic lows and prices dropped by 50% in some areas of the country.

Her Position in 2012

Ivy Zelman, in a Wall Street Journal article in March Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars Are Back, projected that the real estate market was about to rebound and that home prices would begin to appreciate. She emphatically claimed:

“We very much believe we’ve hit bottom.”

What happened next?

Pending sales (homes going into contract) surged in May and have remained above what is recognized as a healthy market level ever since. Starting in June, home prices began to appreciate on a year-over-year basis. This continued through the rest of the year with yearend appreciation coming in at 6.8%.

Her Position Today

What is Ms. Zelman saying today? In an interview on CNBC, she said:

“I think we are in Nirvana for housing…I’m probably the most bullish I’ve ever been fundamentally…I think home prices could go up for four to six years…Today, the urgency and sentiment toward buying residential real estate is back.”

What will the future bring?

If Ms. Zelman’s past predictions are evidence of her understanding of the housing industry, it seems that real estate is about to make a dramatic comeback.

Source: KCM Blog





Small changes in interest rates means a big difference in payment

8 03 2013

A Closer Look at Mortgage Rates [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted: 08 Mar 2013 04:00 AM PST

Rate MovementInfo

Source: KCM Blog





Supply and Demand – Real Estate – It’s a Law

5 03 2013

Future House Values? Simple as Supply and Demand

Months SupplyFor some time now, we have attempted to shed light on the fact that pricing in today’s real estate market, as it is in the markets for every other saleable item, will be determined by the concept of ‘supply and demand’.

According to dictionary.com:

“The relationship between supply and demand determines the price of a commodity. This relationship is thought to be the driving force in a free market.”

In real estate, supply and demand is represented as the current month’s supply of homes for sale (the number of homes for sale divided by the number of homes sold in the previous month).

While there is no steadfast rule that will apply to pricing in every category of housing, here is a great guideline:

  • 1-4 months supply creates a sellers’ market where there are not enough homes to satisfy buyer demand. Appreciation is guaranteed.
  • 5-6 months supply creates a balanced market. Historically home values appreciate at a rate a little greater than inflation.
  • 7-8 months supply creates a buyers’ market where the number of homes for sale exceeds the demand. Depreciation follows.

What is happening across the country right now?

In most parts of the country, home values are rising. This is for two reasons:

  1. According to NAR’s latest Existing Homes Sales Report, raw unsold inventory is at the lowest level since December 1999 when there were 1.71 million homes on the market.
  2. According to this month’s Pending Sales Report from NAR, houses going into contract reached levels last seen in April 2010 which was the month the Home Buyers’ Tax Credit expired.

This has resulted in a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace which is the lowest housing supply since April 2005 when it was also 4.2 months.

Based on the table above, we can see that the supply/demand ratio is leaning toward a sellers’ market where prices will appreciate. That has created positive movement in housing values in most parts of the country.

Source:  KCM Blog