Local Market Conditions & home prices
Median home prices
When we look at home prices we need to look at the big picture. People who bought homes in about 2003 may find that their home is worth about as much today as it was then. While prices are going up many home owners need to adjust to the idea that they are still down from what they were during the peak in 2006. It may take until 2018 or beyond for home values to be what they were at the peak.
There are a few times in our lives when we start to think about moving. One of them is after the kids are grown up and maybe it would be fun to have some leisure time instead of having to clean and maintain a house and a yard on top of working full time.
Moving to a townhouse or a condo close to work might mean more free time and more money. Leisure time could be spent on the bike trail instead of pulling weeds or removing all of the volunteer elm trees growing along the foundation. Instead of planing a fall weekend of window washing and leaf raking a person could go someplace to enjoy the fall color.
There has to be more to life than working and taking care of a home. When it isn’t fun anymore it is time to move. Sometimes renting makes more sense than owning.
People who have lived in the same house for a long time can start the process by cleaning out the garage and the basement, and each closet. It may take a few months to get everything in shape for a move. During the cleaning and organizing process is a good time to start searching for homes on the internet and exploring open houses.
If it is time to move planing ahead can save a lot of money.
For Home buyers
The other day I was touring a home with some buyers when I noticed a camera on one of the book shelves. The camera was plugged in but I am familiar with the particular model and I don’t think anyone was watching us or recording because the little green light wasn’t blinking.
These cameras are popular as baby monitors and can be set up as motion detectors that will send an email to the owners who can activate an app on their tablet or smart phone or use a computer to get the same view the camera is getting.
In other words a homeowner could be away and watching people inside their home. The cameras can see and hear, zoom in or out and pan the room.
This picture is coming from a camera placed near the ceiling on a cabinet. It automatically adjusts to gray scale in low light situations so that it even works in the dark.
For Home Sellers
Every home should be staged before it is put on the market. Sometimes staging is just about re-arranging furniture and removing clutter and other times it is a lot more involved. Sometimes hiring a professional stager is the way to go.
However since most home buyers are using the internet to find their next home it is really a shame that some folks go through all the trouble of staging a home but don’t bother getting professional quality photographs. Buyers are attracted to the photographs of home for sale and will decide which homes to see in person based on the pictures.
Few people will ever know how well staged your home is if it isn’t marketed on the internet and internet marketing is all about photographs and words.
Home sellers should always insist on professional photography.
It is Friday and fridays are for fun. Today I am just going to share some pictures of summer. I have been too busy to enjoy much of it and am looking forward to a camping trip in August and a few days up on the north shore in September.
Here are some pictures of summer here in St. Paul. All of them were taken right here in St. Paul. There are plenty of parks and places to go to enjoy the great out doors.
For Home Sellers
We call it the “hogger” when a real estate agent sells a house and represents both the seller and the buyer. Some real estate agents will go to great lengths to get both sides of the sale because if there is no buyers agent then the listing agent makes almost twice as much money.
We call it dual agency and I have written about it a few times and I am not fan.
last spring there was a home on the market and I had a cash buyer who was interested in looking at it. The home was put in a temporarily not available to show status the day after it was listed so I sent the agent an email asking when I could show it to my buyer.
I also left a voice mail message. The agent got back to me a week later and told me the home was sold.
I looked it up after it sold and found that it was on the market for two days and that the seller did not get the asking price and has to pay some of the buyers closing costs. I also saw that the listing agent represented the buyer. In other words the listing agent “hogged” the sale and my buyer never got a shot at it.
Did the seller come out ahead? I don’t think so. My buyer probably would have paid the asking price and since he was paying cash he would not have been asking anyone to pay his closing costs either. The listing agent would have made a lot less money if the seller had accepted my buyers cash offer.
I don’t think it is a good idea for sellers to accept a less than full price offer on their home if it has only been on the market for one day and if the listing agent is also representing the buyer. Wait another day and insist that more people see the property before an offer is accepted. Sometimes the first offer is the best and only offer but it is still best to give more than one person the opportunity to write an offer.
On the other hand home sellers who want their agent to come our ahead should let the agent prevent other agents from showing the property or writing offers in it. I guess it depends upon what the sellers true goal is.