If you’ve never been through a real estate closing before, you might imagine convening around a large table where, at the end of escrow, you’re presented with an itemized list of big expenses required to close the deal.
But that’s not always the reality. While people still do meet around a table at the closing, today some closings happen virtually. The buyers and sellers can sign the necessary documents remotely and wire money for the closing.
Read More: http://www.zillow.com/blog/2013-12-06/who-pays-closing-costs/
With the holidays approaching, sellers often wonder if they should keep their properties on the market or take them off? Or if they haven't listed their homes yet, should they wait until after the first of the year? Maybe hold off until spring?
Conventional wisdom used to be that you shouldn't even try to sell your home during the busy holiday season. Potential homebuyers were too preoccupied with attending parties, cooking meals, buying presents or planning vacations. With all that going on, there just wasn't time to ride around with a real estate agent, looking at properties.
But with the Internet, smartphones, tablets and our always-on lifestyle, that conventional wisdom isn't relevant anymore. The reality is, the homebuying season is now year-round. Here's why you should consider listing your home during the holidays, or even in January.
Knowing what appeals to today’s homebuyers, and considering those trends when you remodel, can pay off years from now when you sell your home.
Two new surveys about what homebuyers want have me feeling pretty smug about my own home choices. Maybe you’ll feel the same.
Privacy from neighbors remains at the top of the most-wanted list (important to 86% of buyers), according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® “2013 Community Preference Survey.” Privacy is no doubt the best feature of my mid-century ranch home, since I can only see one neighbor’s house and it’s a couple hundred feet down my driveway.
Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/blog/home-improvement/what-homebuyers-want-tips-for-remodeling/#ixzz2mR4DgGOO
Homebuyers have had it tough lately, suddenly finding themselves in a sellers market as summer came along. And mortgages suddenly cost more too — when you could even get one. But of course Thanksgiving isn't about looking at negatives. So, if you can, look past that elephant-in-the-room that is thecredit crunch and take stock of what's now on the table for those homebuyers with the capital.
Low Mortgage Rates: Yes, mortgage rates rose year, along with home prices, but rates are still at historic lows (we are constantly assured) and have been sinking in recent weeks. Can housing prices be far behind? If you are really ready to buy, those Black Friday bargains are small potatoes compared to what you might save by shopping right now in real estate's historically slow season – especially from sellers who saw summer's homebuying frenzy pass them by.
A Bidding-War Cease-Fire: The heated bidding wars that have been witnessed in some real estate markets — especially in California — reportedly have cooled with the weather and amid rumors that sellers were deliberately underpricing their homes to encourage competing bids. And although home prices continued to climb as summer drew to a close, it was at a slower pace. Meanwhile, the number of Americans applying for home loans has plunged.
Read More: http://realestate.aol.com/blog/on/reasons-home-buyers-thankful-2013/
If you’re house hunting over the holidays, you’re likely a serious buyer with an immediate need. Perhaps you have to relocate for a new job opportunity, or there’s been a change in your personal life? Regardless, while you may assume it’s not an ideal time to be looking — namely because there isn’t much to look at — there are some advantages to buying this time of year.
Let’s start with the obvious one: less competition. This lowers the chances of multiple offers andbidding wars (something we saw a lot of last spring/summer), and should translate into a bigger discount for you. Know your market! This is where sites like Zillow come in handy. Start your researchhere for comps in your area and to see what homes are selling for.
Serious home sellers
Why would sellers pick such an inconvenient time — while everyone is busy entertaining family and friends and enjoying the spirit of the holidays — to list their properties? Probably because they needto sell and may feel compelled to do so before the end of the year for tax purposes. What this means for you: less hassle when it comes to negotiating; a greater willingness, on the part of the seller, to agree to concessions; less chance of the seller waffling; and greater respect for your offer, even if it’s a little lower than the seller was perhaps expecting.
Read More: http://www.zillow.com/blog/2013-11-19/what-you-need-to-know-about-buying-a-home-during-the-holiday-season/
Before the days of online real estate listings, you knew a home sale was pending because you’d see a big red sticker across the “for sale” sign on the front lawn. But for home buyers searching listings online, it’s common to discover the words “pending” or “sale pending” only after you’ve already fallen in love with the photos, kitchen and location.
Many buyers assume that “sale pending” means the property is no longer available. The truth is, that’s not always the case. “Sale pending” can mean a few different things, depending on how a local market or a real estate agent works.
Here’s what you need to know to decide if a “sale pending” home is still worth pursuing.
Understanding ‘subject to’ and ‘contingent upon’
To understand what “sale pending” means, it helps to understand how a basic real estate transaction works.
A buyer generally makes an offer “subject to” or “contingent upon” a property inspection, a bank appraisal or full loan approval. In these situations, the buyer plans to close on the home but wants to be certain the property is in good condition and that financing can be secured. If the buyer can’t get financing, or there’s an issue with the inspection that can’t be worked out, the buyer has the right to exit the contract, subject to one of those terms.
Read More: http://www.zillow.com/blog/2013-11-15/sale-pending-what-does-it-mean-should-you-make-an-offer/
In many areas of the country, such as coastal cities, it’s getting harder to find a fair real estate investment deal. This leads many to consider whether out-of-town properties might be a better option.
While the numbers may be more favorable, investing in far-away properties still carries significant risks that you should consider.
Managing your investment
Single-unit investment property ownership has always been primarily a mom-and-pop business. It’s hard, time-consuming work, and the small landlords who make better investment returns are typically the ones who manage their own properties. This isn’t just to save management fees; in fact, that’s pretty far down the list of reasons.
Only one person has the most incentive to put in the hard work to find high-quality tenants for the property, maintain a good relationship with those tenants and keep those tenants in place.
And that person is you!
Read More: http://www.zillow.com/blog/2013-11-13/should-you-invest-in-out-of-town-real-estate/
If you're prepping to sell your home, there are always steps you should take to make it more appealing inside and out.
To avoid spending thousands of dollars on renovations, here are some relatively inexpensive things you can do to improve the house and increase its value to prospective buyers.
1. Go with neutral walls: It's important that all of the walls look uniform and neutral in color. Buying a can or two of the same color of paint will allow you to do this and patch up any spaces where there might be splotches or stains. The walls will have a fresh new look, and it won't cost you much to do so.
Read More: http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–10-budget-home-improvements-for-home-sellers
Finding the perfect home for your needs, wants and budget can be a challenge even when mortgage rates are low and there are plenty of properties for sale. But when fewer homes are on the market, buyers and their real estate agents must find creative ways to maneuver around the competition.
According to the National Association of Realtors, while inventory levels rose in September for the fifth straight month, the supply of non-distressed homes remain well below normal.
Danny Hertzberg, a Realtor with The Jills Group with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Miami Beach, says that when inventory is low, buyers need to establish their priorities in terms of price and the type of home and neighborhood they're searching for. If low inventory makes your search a challenge, you need to be willing to think outside the box.
8 outside-the-box ideas for finding a home
No. 1: Set up an alert system
"We always set up our buyers with daily automatic emails and text alerts with new listings based on their criteria from the past 24 hours," says Russ Murray, broker/owner of Buyer's Resource Real Estate in Greenwood Village, Colo.
Read More: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/10/31/8-outside-box-ways-to-find-home/
More than 70 percent of the U.S. housing stock was built prior to 1990, and an aging housing stock may present more opportunities for buyers searching for a bargain, according to RealtyTrac’s Aging Homes Analysis.
"The high percentage of homes that are at least 20 years old and likely in need of some major repairs is eye-opening," says Jake Adger, chief economist at RealtyTrac. "However, given the low inventory of homes available for sale in today's market, this challenge of aging U.S. housing supply can also be an opportunity for buyers looking for a bargain and home owners looking to update their living space and improve the value of their homes."
Older homes often need upgrades for energy efficiency and may lack floor plans or amenities that home buyers desire today, according to RealtyTrac’s analysis.
On average, homes built prior to 1990 sold for $233,211 this year, compared to $256,292 for newer homes.
Read More: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/11/01/aging-homes-may-present-big-bargains