Monthly Archives: March 2019

‘What Will My Home Be Worth?’ Expert-Approved Tactics to Determine Property Value


Homeowners who plan on moving at some point in the future are likely to ask the question: “What will my home be worth?” Ah, if only there was a real estate magic eight ball that could reveal the price tag sellers should slap on their homes! Location and real estate market conditions help determine your home’s value, but unfortunately, pinpointing an exact number is far from a perfect science.

But there are certain tried and true tactics you can employ to help you get a ballpark figure for your home’s worth. Below, our real estate experts offer their most reliable methods.

‘What will my home be worth?’

Projecting out what your home will be worth in just a couple of years can be challenging, but in a conservative market, 3% appreciation per year is a good guideline to use, says Liane Jamason, broker associate at Smith & Associates Real Estate, in Tampa Bay, FL.

So, using that number, you can estimate that a $200,000 home you bought today could be worth $268,783 in 10 years. Of course, keep in mind that exceptions abound. In some markets, you can see jumps in value of 15% to 20% over short periods of time.

Look back to look forward

Another way to estimate your home’s value is by taking a backward, historical look, says Bruce Ailion, a real estate agent and attorney for Re/Max Town and Country in Atlanta.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Price Index Calculator, for example, will show you market trends from the past that you can use to help you plan for the future. For example, the calculator shows that a home purchased 20 years ago for $100,000 in Portland, OR, would be worth $252,335 today, meaning that it had increased 4.74% annually, for a total of 153.34%. Taking that same percentage and pushing it out 20 years, you could guess that your home might be worth $636,640 in 20 years.

Jason Walgrave with Re/Max Advantage Plus in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, likes to look at the even longer term. “The Twin Cities housing market has appreciated an average of 4.2% per year over the last 40 years, so under that model, a $250,000 house today may be valued at $300,000 in five years, $350,000 in 10 years, and $450,000 in 20 years.”

Keep in mind however, that these scenarios don’t take into account the specific circumstances of a neighborhood, the home’s condition, or city revitalizations that would drive up the cost of housing.

The most accurate way to answer the question “What will my home be worth?” is to work with your real estate agent. This can help you get a handle on the comps—or comparable properties—in your neighborhood that will help give you an accurate read on how much your home could sell for. If you looked at nine homes in a given subdivision that sold for $100,000 in 2006 and were selling in the $140,000 range in 2016, you could say that real estate in that area was appreciating by 40% every 10 years.

The bottom line is that the longer you stay in a home, the more time you have to reap the benefits of real estate appreciation.

Any real estate expert will tell you that if you are planning to move, it’s wise to keep yourself in the know about your property’s value. That way, you won’t be surprised when the time comes to put your home on the market.

The post ‘What Will My Home Be Worth?’ Expert-Approved Tactics to Determine Property Value appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

6 Things You’ll Love (and Hate) About Selling a Home This Spring


For many home sellers, there’s no better time to list than the spring, and for good reason: This is peak home-buying season, folks! Buyers turn out in droves once warmer weather finally arrives, bringing people out of hibernation mode, and bidding wars abound as buyers look for ways to one-up their competition.

The bad news? Selling a home during the spring isn’t free of pitfalls.

Indeed, “Spring home sellers still face challenges that they need to prepare for,” says Chris Dossman, a real estate agent with Century 21 Scheetz in Indianapolis.

Since knowing what to expect can help you nab a great offer, here are six things you’ll love—and hate—about selling a home this spring.

You’ll love: All the demand

While home sales decline in the winter (chalk it up to bad weather and holiday obligations), many home buyers blitz the housing market in spring, says Dossman. To meet that pent-up demand, many sellers list their homes at this time of year. It’s no surprise, then, that the lion’s share of real estate agents say March, April, and May are the best months to sell a home. With so many buyers competing for homes, sellers may be in a stronger position to spark bidding wars.

You’ll hate: All the competition

Demand is strong, but so is competition among home sellers, says Kimberly Sands, a real estate broker in Carolina Beach, NC. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the four heaviest home-selling months—May, June, July, and August—account for 40% of an average year’s total home-selling volume.

Want to compete with other home sellers and fetch top dollar for your house? Presenting your home in the best light is crucial. This may entail decluttering your house, having your home professionally staged, or making minor repairs so that your property is looking in tip-top shape when you put it on the market.

You’ll love: Selling in warmer weather

Open houses are often more successful during the spring than in the winter, says Dossman, since the nicer weather makes buyers more willing to emerge from the comfort of their homes to shop for houses. Another boon for home sellers: Daylight saving time gives buyers more time to look at houses, which means your property can potentially be seen by more people, says Dana Hill, vice president of Buyer’s Edge Realty in Bethesda, MD.

That said, “Sellers still need to do some prep work before holding an open house,” Dossman adds. To make sure your home is ready to be seen, do a thorough cleaning, remove such personal belongings as family photos and religious artwork, and trim your lawn for maximum curb appeal. Pro tip: Take a hike for a few hours during the open house. Buyers will feel more comfortable asking questions of your agent if you’re not hovering in the background.

You’ll hate: Fighting for your agent’s attention

Because this is a busy time for home buyers and sellers, it’s also a busy time for real estate agents. Unfortunately, some agents may take on more clients than they can handle at one time. That’s why it’s important to find a listing agent who is going to put the proper level of effort and time into selling your home. “If your agent is distracted, you’re not going to get great service,” Sands warns.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for the maximum number of clients an agent should be working with, but make sure to address this topic when interviewing prospective agents. If your gut says you’re not going to be a priority, continue looking, says Sands.

You’ll love: The higher valuations

When your home’s value is assessed by a home buyer’s appraiser, the appraiser will look at data for comparable homes (or “comps”) that were recently sold in your neighborhood. The good news: With more homes selling in the on-season, the comparable data tend in your favor, Hill says. In other words, your house is more likely to pass the home appraisal, assuming that you’re selling it at around its fair market value.

You’ll hate: The picky buyers

Naturally, some buyers can afford to be more selective when there are more houses to choose from, says Dossman. For instance, if your home clearly needs major repairs, they might simply pass. Add in the fact that most spring buyers aren’t shopping under pressure (as they might be during the winter), and you can expect to have a larger pool of picky house hunters in the spring than you do during other seasons.

The bottom line

Spring is unequivocally the busiest time of year to be selling a house, and though more demand from buyers can be good news for home sellers, there are still obstacles you need to plan for when selling a home at this time of year.

The post 6 Things You’ll Love (and Hate) About Selling a Home This Spring appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Home Seller Secrets: ‘The Best Home-Staging Advice I’ve Heard, Ever’


When it comes to selling a house, appearances are everything. That’s why more and more homeowners hoping to impress buyers are investing in home staging. But between decluttering, styling, and making your house look its absolute best, this process can make you want to pull your hair out.

To make this undertaking a little easier, we asked sellers for their very best home-staging advice, and then compiled their greatest tips. If you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, use these pointers to spruce things up in a jiffy—and help buyers fall in love with your home.

Keep your home tidy 24/7

“When showing a house, I’ve learned it’s so important to keep your home tidy with all your possessions stowed away for two reasons. First, you don’t always know who’s walking through your house, and the listing agent can’t be in every room to watch your valuables. I had a brand-new bottle of Chanel perfume in one of my bathrooms, and one day I came home after a showing and it was gone. Second, a tidy house looks better. You want potential buyers to come in and see a beautiful dream home, not your clutter. You never know when a potential buyer will want a last-minute tour, so put away your dishes as soon as you’re done eating, pick up dirty clothes on the floor, and make your bed every morning.” – Jennifer Davis, homeowner in St. Louis, MO

Invest in a few trendy items

“Before showing, you should update your house with a few new, stylish pieces to make it more on-trend. Look on Pinterest to see what’s fashionable right now, or tour open homes to see how they’re staged. Then, re-create the look. Don’t worry, you can do this while being budget-friendly! When we were selling our house, we ended up investing in a few pieces—a new duvet cover, some curtains, and some wall hangings—to make our home look more like other houses that were on the market. All this stuff only cost us a couple of hundred dollars, but we got a lot of compliments on our style and, in the end, our house sold for more than we expected. Remember that spending a few hundred on décor could end up getting you thousands in the end.” – Cassidy Carr, homeowner in Provo, UT

Make your home feel like their home

“The best home-staging wisdom I’ve heard is that potential buyers need to see themselves in your home. That’s why real estate agents tell you to clear out any personal pictures you have on the walls. You don’t want buyers to think of it as your house, because it’ll make it harder for them to picture themselves living there. For that same reason, try your best not to be home when your house is being toured. If buyers see you, they’ll remember that they’re guests.

“And unless you feel very strongly about people taking their shoes off, remember that you’re moving, so it doesn’t really matter if people are tracking in dirt. When buyers are told to take their shoes off in a home, they’re reminded that someone else lives here, and it makes it harder for them to see themselves living in that house. Plus, for some people it’s awkward to walk around in their socks, and you don’t want potential buyers to feel uncomfortable.” – Anne Andrews, homeowner in San Juan Capistrano, CA

Spray a clean, simple scent

“You can absolutely kill a person’s interest by showing them a house that smells like dirty teenagers and smelly dogs. Houses need to smell fresh and clean, but shouldn’t smell like chemicals. Invest in a really good home fragrance spray with a soft scent, like lavender or fresh linen.” – Ashley Matthews, homeowner in New York, NY

Don’t try to hide your clutter

“It’s common to use the garage as a place to stash the boxes you’ve cleared out of your home for a showing. However, you still want the garage to look presentable. People want to see the entire house, so take this opportunity to clear it out. Buyers will also open closets. They’re not trying to be invasive—they just want to see how much space you have. Don’t think you can cram everything behind those doors and it’ll be invisible. People will look through everything, and when they do open closet doors, they probably won’t appreciate being met with an avalanche of stuff. In fact, it will probably make them think your house doesn’t have enough storage, and they’ll move onto the next.” – Linda Roberts, homeowner in Mission Viejo, CA

Get your pets out of the house

“The best advice I got before selling my home was to make sure that both buyers and my pets feel comfortable. Meeting someone else’s animals can be stressful. Pets might be protective of their turf, so owners should consider taking them somewhere else during showings. If you’re having an open house, bring your pet to a friend’s house for the day. If someone is coming over for a tour, take that opportunity to walk your dog. However, if you must leave your pets at home, always make sure you leave instructions on how to handle them. Give your listing agent instructions on where to put dogs if they get rowdy (like a guest room), but don’t just assume you can just put your pets in the backyard, because buyers want to see the outdoor space too.” – Leanne Logan, homeowner in Hershey, PA

The post Home Seller Secrets: ‘The Best Home-Staging Advice I’ve Heard, Ever’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.