28 8 / 2012
Pricing your house to sell quickly
A first-quarter survey of homebuyers and sellers done by HomeGain.com, a real estate services website, revealed that 76 percent of homeowners believe their home is worth more than the list price recommended by their real estate agent.
Homebuyers usually have a better grasp of current market value in the area where they’re looking to buy than do sellers who own and live there. Buyers look at a lot of new listings. They make offers, know what sells quickly and for how much, and what doesn’t and why. HomeGain reported that homebuyers still think sellers are overpricing their homes.
Your home is worth what a buyer will pay for it given current market conditions. This may not be the same as your opinion of what your home will sell for, or what you hope it’s worth. Relying on emotion rather than logic when selecting a list price can lead to disappointing results.
The prime opportunity for selling a home is when it’s new on the market. This is when it is most marketable. Buyers wait for the new listings. Usually, listings receive the most showings and have the busiest open houses during the first couple of weeks they are on the market.
This is the opportunity to show your house off to advantage with a list price that attracts buyers’ attention. Listings that sell today are priced right for the market. Buyers need to feel comfortable that they are getting a good deal.
Buyers won’t overpay if they feel home prices are still declining, and in some areas of the country, they still are. In areas of strong sales, buyers may shy away from multiple-offer situations if they feel the recovery is fragile and that prices may slide further before stabilizing. Even in areas where home sales have been strong in the first half of 2012, local practitioners wonder how long the uptick will last.
HOUSE HUNTING TIP: When selecting a list price, it helps to understand how real estate agents and appraisers establish an expected selling price or price range for your home. They research the recent listing inventory for homes similar to yours that sold. The most recent sales give the best indication of the direction of the market.
They analyze these comparable sales giving more value to your home for attributes that it has that the comparables don’t, like a remodeled kitchen. Value is subtracted from your home for features it lacks when compared to the sold comparables, like an easily accessible, level backyard.
It’s difficult for sellers to step back and take an attitude of detached interest in their home. But it’s essential to do so if you want to sell successfully in this market. For example, your home could actually sell for less, not more, than a comparable sale because you added a swimming pool in an area where most homebuyers would rather have a yard with a generous lawn.
If the comparable sale information suggests that the value of homes like yours is declining, select a list price that undercuts the competition to drive buyers — and hopefully offers — to your home. You can take a more aggressive stance on pricing if the comparables show that prices are moving up.
If there is high demand for homes like yours, you may receive more than one offer. But don’t list too high. It’s better to stay in the range shown by the comparables and expose the house to the market before accepting offers. The market will drive the price up if it’s warranted.
THE CLOSING: Don’t rely on rumors circulating in the neighborhood about how high a home sold. Prices tend to get inflated when passed from one person to another. Select your list price based on hard facts.
- Courtesy of Dana Hymer and Inman News
08 8 / 2012
The Kuehl Group Receives 2012 Best of Chicago Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Kuehl Group Receives 2012 Best of Chicago Award
Chicago Award Program Honors the Achievement
CHICAGO August 1, 2012 — The Kuehl Group has been selected for the 2012 Best of Chicago Award in the Real Estate Agents category by the Chicago Award Program.
Each year, the Chicago Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Chicago area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Chicago Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Chicago Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Chicago Award Program
The Chicago Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Chicago area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Chicago Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Chicago Award ProgramCONTACT:
Chicago Award Program
07 7 / 2012
The Perfect House
Home buyers must often deal with deferred maintenance or repairs. For example, you may have found a terrific house and like many competent home buyers you included a structural inspection contingency in your purchase agreement. What happens when you find out that your “perfect” house needs some work? Do you ask the sellers to pay for the repairs? Before you answer “yes”, there are some important considerations.
Some contracts require that all of the home’s systems, such as plumbing, heating, electrical and central air conditioning, be in working order. In this case, the sellers may be obligated to repair any problems with these systems. Leaky roofs, damp basements, or other structural problems may not be covered. However, most contracts allow that inspections are for the purpose of structural and mechanical issues and these may be negotiated with the sellers. If you ask the sellers to make these types of repairs, you may void the contract by doing so. Make sure that your attorney or person making the requests of seller word them such that they are independent of the contract and do not void it. The sellers might prefer to negotiate the repairs to keep from losing the sale. If there are other buyers waiting in the wings with back-up contracts, you run the risk of losing the home.
Another important factor is that home inspections are not intended for minor maintenance or repairs even though home inspectors will point them out when found. A home built before GFCI outlets were required in kitchen and bathrooms may not have them, for instance. This not make the home defective and these outlets are a $12 item at the hardware store and easy to install. Asking the seller to update them is not what the inspection is intended for. Similarly, noting that the perfectly functioning furnace or dryer vent may need cleaning is not an appropriate inspection request. There is no such thing as a “perfect” house, particularly with a re-sale. Be realistic with your requests and stick to major mechanical and structural defects.
For other tips, advice or any Chicago area real estate need, call MaryEllen Kuehl, Broker/Owner of The Kuehl Group, Inc. 773-327-5753 or email MaryEllen@KuehlGroup.com
28 6 / 2012
Refinancing Your Home
Interest rates fluctuate as changes occur in the general economy. If you purchased your home when interest rates were higher, you may want to consider re-financing your loan at a lower rate since rates have again adjusted down and are at all time historical lows.
You will have to apply for the new mortgage and have your current income eligibility assessed. Depending on how long you have had your present loan, a current appraisal may be required. There are closing costs, such as attorney, title fees, recording and notary fees, and appraisal charges. Often times the current lender or loan officer you used for the current mortgage are willing to refinance for “no cost” and will waive the customary fees.
The biggest factor in your decision should be the length of time you plan to remain in your home. If you will be there for only a year or two more, it might not pay to re-finance depending on costs. If you will be in your home longer or your loan officer will absorb or waive the costs, re-financing could provide you with lower mortgage payments. MaryEllen Kuehl with the Kuehl Group can refer you to reputable mortgage lenders in the greater Chicago area. Just give her a call at 773-327-5753 or email at MaryEllen@KuehlGroup.com.