Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today

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Shifting trends and industry-leading research are pointing toward some valuable projections about the status of the housing market for the rest of the year.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to know what experts are saying is on the horizon, here are the top three things to put on your radar as we head into the coming months:

  1. Home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate: Home prices have been appreciating for about ten years now. Experts at the Home Price Expectation Survey, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae are forecasting continued growth throughout the next year, although it should be leveling-off to normal appreciation (3.6%), as we move into 2020.
  2. Interest rates are low: Over the past 30 years, the average mortgage rate in the United States has been 8.27%, and rates even peaked as high as 18% in the 1980s. Today, at 3.81%, the rate is considerably lower than the historical 30-year average. Although experts predict it may climb into the low 4% range in the near future, that’s still remarkably lower than our running average, suggesting a great time to get more for your money over the life of your loan.
  3. An impending recession does not mean there will be a housing crash: Although expert research studies such as those found in the Duke Survey of American CFOs and the National Association of Business Economics, are pointing toward a recession beginning within the next 18 months, a potential recession isn’t expected to be driven by the housing industry. That means we likely won’t experience a devastating housing crash like the country felt in 2008. Expert financial analyst Morgan Housel tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

In fact, during 3 of the 5 last U.S. recessions, housing prices actually appreciated:

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Bottom Line

With prices appreciating and low interest rates available, it’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home. Let’s get together to discuss how you can take the next step in the exciting journey of homeownership.

Retrieved from: https://www.mykcm.com/2019/07/24/mid-year-housing-market-update-three-things-to-know-today/

 

Why It’s Important to Hire a Real Estate Agent

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When you’re selling your home it can be tempting to try and go it alone. Maybe you don’t want to work with a real estate agent to try and save some money, or you just think it won’t make much of a difference. There are a lot of people who do try to sell their homes on their own and when you’re watching the success stories on TV or reading them online it’s easy to think there’s nothing to it.

The truth is there’s a lot that goes into selling a house you may not have considered. Depending on your level of experience with buying and selling homes you may not even know the basics of how things work. Agents do more than just bring in potential buyers and show up to have documents signed. They know all the ins and outs of both buying and selling a house.

If you’re trying to sell your home you really do need to consider all your options to make your sale a success and that includes using a real estate agent. The reasons you need an agent to sell your home are the same no matter where you go. Having a good agent to sell your home is invaluable. Here are five things you should take into consideration when deciding to get a real estate agent to sell your home. 

1. You’re Already Busy

Selling a house can be a full-time job. You’ll have to field calls from interested buyers, work out where you want to advertise any open houses you might have and about a thousand other little things that lead up to a finalized sale. You’re already busy with your life and job, so adding in everything that comes with selling a home is a lot to ask. 

A real estate agent’s job is to deal with all of these exact things. They are not too busy to get back to interested buyers right away. They are not too busy to find the best places to advertise. They aren’t too busy to make sure people who express interest are actually qualified buyers. Basically, everything that would add more to your plate is already something a real estate agent just does.

The things that are extra for you are the day to day life activities of an agent. They do these things multiple times a day and they do them well. They already know how to sell a house, so they’re not learning how to do any of these things on the fly. If you’re already finding yourself busy with life, you definitely need a real estate agent to sell your home. 

2. Real Estate Agents Have More Experience

Unless you’re selling houses every day along with whatever your normal day job is, you don’t have as much experience as an agent. Experience can make a huge difference in getting your house sold quickly, or having to drop the price because it’s been on the market too long. Real estate agents know how to navigate the market better than anyone else out there. 

They’ve trained for this, they’ve taken and passed exams, and they’ve done this all before. More than once. Their experience is valuable and worth the costs involved. Your end goal is to get your house sold so it doesn’t become a hassle you have to deal with or lose money on. A real estate agent’s goal is the same as yours, they just know how to do it faster and better. 

When you’re considering whether or not to use an agent you really do need to consider how their experience can help you get your house sold. They’re the ones that know everything from regulations to tiny things like the best place to look for buyers. Again, this is what they do so trusting the pros, in this case, is a great idea.

3. Real Estate Agents are Professional Negotiators

This is just another fact that goes into what a real estate agent does. Selling your house can be emotional. It’s somewhere you’ve lived your day-to-day life as a family or maybe even grown into as a family. If you’ve put a lot of work into it, you can have an extra attachment because you know the amount of sweat equity involved in that work. 

An agent is removed from all of that. Their main goal is to get your house sold and if negotiations are involved they aren’t going to hold onto emotional ties that prevent them from making a good deal. They definitely aren’t going to make a deal without your approval but since they’re removed from the emotional side of things they can give you better guidance and advice.

Everyone is attached to their home in one way or another. Even if you try really hard to be objective there’s still a high likelihood that some amount of emotional attachment will creep into your negotiation skills. Having a real estate agent present to help you refocus on the bigger picture will be essential to getting your house sold without getting hung up in the negotiation phase. 

4. Real Estate Agents Understand Contracts

At one point selling a home on your own may have been an easy thing to do. There wasn’t much involved on the paperwork side of things and closings were pretty simple. Now, however, that is not the case. Closing paperwork is complicated. There are state and federal regulations that have to be gone over, and closings can get overwhelming very quickly. 

Your buyer may have a real estate agent there with them during the closing, but that agent is going to be focused on the buyer’s best interests. You’re going to need someone on your side, too. Sometimes last minute things come up right as someone is about to sign on that dotted line. For someone that doesn’t deal with closings often these can be deal breaker situations. 

A real estate agent helping you sell your house is going to know about contracts and closings. They’re going to know what needs to be disclosed and what to do if something comes up as paperwork is being signed. 

Contracts and disclosures are not always easy things to understand, especially if you haven’t gone through the process more than once or twice. Having an agent there to navigate the closing contract signing situations is a huge key to the successful sale of your home.

5. Real Estate Agents Can Give You Pricing Advice

Much like the negotiating, pricing your home can be something that’s hard to separate emotion from. You already know how hard you worked to get your home ready for sale, or the work you’ve put in during the past years you’ve owned the house. It’s hard to keep that out of your mind entirely while coming up with a price to list your home at. 

Agents can help you because they know the neighborhoods, they know the market, and they know comparable housing prices. All of these things factor into making sure you’re pricing your home effectively. You still have the final say, and a real estate agent can’t force you to list at a certain price but their experience and knowledge should be given proper credit. 

An agent can help talk through what you would like to sell the home for, and show you what other homes are selling for right now. If there’s a huge gap in what you want and what the real estate agent thinks is attainable it’s something you can talk about. There might be something you don’t know, or there might be something the agent hasn’t considered for your pricing. 

As a team, you can come up with a price together. Again, this gives you someone removed from the situation emotionally that’s still on your side. They still want you to make money on the sale but they are going to have a realistic way of looking at things that you might not have if you’re very attached to your house. This is an invaluable resource to have when trying to make a sale.

Bottom Line:

Selling your house is not as easy as you might initially think it will be. There are a lot of reasons you’ll want to have a real estate agent on your side. From negotiation to fielding interested buyers there’s just a lot to consider and this is what they do day in and day out. 

Hiring an agent to sell your home is likely to take a lot of stress off of your shoulders, and may even get your home listed and sold more quickly potentially being the best decision you make during the entire process.

Retrieved from: https://www.mckissock.com/blog/real-estate/why-its-important-to-hire-a-real-estate-agent/

10 things to put on your summer home maintenance checklist

There are a lot of things you need to do for your home throughout the year, and summer is the time when a lot of those efforts need a little extra attention. Consequently, putting together a checklist to follow for the rest of July and August is a great way to avoid unexpected issues.

Here are 10 things around the home you can’t afford to ignore this summer:

1) Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

This is something you should be doing on a regular basis anyway, but if you haven’t done it in a while, now is definitely the time, according to Insurance Hub. Test every one and, if they don’t beep, replace the batteries. It doesn’t take much effort but it’s vital to protecting your loved ones and your home itself.

2) Dust the fans

Whether you have ceiling fans or the box version you pull out of the attic or basement every summer, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re free of dust and other debris before putting them into heavy use over the next few months. Making sure the blades and other components are cleared off is good for not spreading dust around a room, but also because it keeps the fan balanced and in good working order.

3) Inspect your air conditioners

The same is true of your AC units – whether you have a central system or install individual units in windows – because a lot more debris can build up around them. Due to how much power they use, an inefficient air conditioner can be quite costly, and there can also be some fire risk if the unit is in particularly bad shape. In that case, it might be better to get it repaired or replaced.

4) Give the grill a once-over

If you plan to do any grilling this summer, you will have to check that all components of it are in good working order, according to The Nest. First, you should clean it thoroughly, whether it’s gas or charcoal. However, if you have a gas grill, there’s plenty more to consider to make sure everyone is safe, including the propane tank and hookups.

5) Make sure the porch, deck or patio is in good shape

If you’re going to be spending plenty of pleasant hours hosting company or just reading a book alone in an outdoor space, you need to make sure all the masonry or wood is in good shape. If not, there may be plenty of steps you can take to fix them, but doing so sooner than later is vital to ensuring everyone avoids slipping or tripping – and potentially injuring themselves – when they come over.

6) Get to work on the appliances

There are plenty of appliances you should look over in the summer, from cleaning all the collected dust and debris off the back of the refrigerator to clearing out the exhaust fan above the stove, according to Better Homes and Gardens. You should also be sure to clear out all the lint that can build up around your washer and dryer, and inspect the dishwasher for leaks.

7) See if the trees and bushes are healthy

Not only are dead and dying trees or shrubbery around your home not good for the other plants in your yard, they’re also a potential risk. In the summer and into early fall, weather events like thunderstorms, tornados and hurricanes can threaten your property depending upon where you live, and in those cases, big overhanging limbs or the entire plant can put people and other objects in your yard in harm’s way. Pruning the vegetation back as necessary, or having them removed altogether, is usually a good idea for this reason.

8) Vacuum all the vents

Similar to clearing all the dust off your fans, tuning up your air conditioner and cleaning your appliances, you might want to ensure all vents in your home is clear of dust and other debris, according to Home Advisor. In the course of your regular vacuuming, making sure to get every vent you encounter – whether intake or exhaust – can help your HVAC system run more effectively. That’s true not only in the summer, when the A/C is often on full blast, but also the winter when you have the heat going.

9) Look at the roof

As mentioned, summer can bring with it some storms that pack heavy rains and winds, and even a little damage to your roof could lead to major problems for your entire home. Water damage that starts at the roof can have a very real (and literal) trickle-down effect that cost thousands or more to repair. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to get up on the roof when the weather is good to make sure there are no missing shingles or tiles and everything is as it should be. If not, it’s time to repair the issues immediately.

10) Clear the gutters regularly

Along similar lines, there’s plenty of stuff that can get stuck in your gutters over the course of the year, and if you’re not making sure to clear them off regularly, you’re significantly increasing your risk of having a backup that causes water damage. As such, taking a few hours to make sure there are no leaves, pine needles sticks and other debris clogging up your gutters and spouts is going to be time well spent when heavy rains come. It can also be a good idea to make sure where the gutters empty out either has a rain barrel collecting the excess water or is properly designed to make it flow away from your foundation.

Bottom Line:

Every home has its own unique needs that owners must take into account when putting together a to-do list – the list of necessary maintenance tasks expands quickly if you have a pool, for instance. In general, common sense should dictate many of the steps you take to make sure your home is protected not only during these next few months of summer, but all year long.

Retrieved from: https://www.hmsnational.com/real-estate-professional/blog/10-things-to-put-on-your-summer-home-maintenance-checklist