Tag Archives: first time sellers

Undertanding Your Home’s Equity

home equityThe dream of home ownership is about more than just a stable place to live, exempt from the whims and decisions of landlords. For many, home ownership is a piece of the wealth building picture, essential to a future retirement or financial independence. The idea is pretty basic: You purchase a home and pay it down while hoping the value of the home increases over time. Generally speaking, this is what happens over a long enough period of time. (Remember, real estate is meant to be a long term investment.) As you go, you build what’s called “equity.”

 Equity is defined as “the market value of a homeowner’s unencumbered interest in their real property—that is, the sum of the home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property.” If you were to sell your home and pay off the balance of the mortgage (and any other debts, such as home equity credit lines or liens), the cash you would have leftover is your equity. Your “equity position” changes over time due to a variety of factors.

 As you’ve probably noted, the biggest variable in your home equity position is the home’s true market value. A variety of factors can influence your home’s value, including: Market demand for homes in your area, local amenities, schools, your home’s particular features, upgrades you’ve made, condition issues, and quite a bit more. So how can you tell your equity position?

 First, you need to know what you owe on your home. This is as simple as checking home equity 2your mortgage statement to see what your principle balance is on the loan. This number can differ slightly from your actual payoff amount due to closing dates, interest, and other issues determined during the sale, but generally speaking your principle balance is the number you need to know. If you have any other debt on the home, you need to add the value of this debt to the principle balance. This might include credit lines, liens, or second mortgages, for example.

 Next, you need to know the value of your home. While there are sites such as Zillow and Trulia out there which will tell you what your home’s value is, these “automated valuation models” are generally not very accurate when it comes to your home’s value, as they exclude many crucial factors. Often they come in quite a bit higher. They can, however, give you an idea of general changing trends in your market over time.  Learn more about market values and prices here.

Hiring an appraiser is one way to determine your home’s value from a more bank-like perspective. While an actual sale may be above the appraisal, this thorough, conservative option is a good way to go. The downside? You may have to pay up to $500 for the appraisal.

 Of course, We’re happy to help you get a handle on your home’s current value with a comparative market analysis (CMA). Just get in touch today: THE NICHOLAS TEAM, Barbara & Gregg, realestate@thenicholasteam.com  Office: 973-509-2222 ext. 1126

2015 FALL HOME BUYER and SELLER GUIDEs NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

 

Are You Thinking About Selling Your House Soon?

It’s difficult to know when is the best time to sell, or how to get the most money for your house, but you don’t need to go through the process alone.

You may be wondering if prices are projected to rise or fall…or if you should rent your house instead of selling it. The free eGuide below will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you haven’t even thought about yet.

Check it out here and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

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Are You Thinking About Buying a Home?

The process of buying a home can be overwhelming at times, but you don’t need to go through it alone.

You may be wondering if now is a good time to buy a home…or if interest rates are projected to rise or fall. The free eGuide below will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn’t even know you should consider when buying a home.

Check out the Home Buying Guide here, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Crucial Questions for Seller’s Agents

Odds are the day will come when you need to speak to a real estate agent to help you sell your home. When that day comes, you want to be absolutely sure you have the knowledge you need to choose someone who has the background and skills to represent your interests.

First, you’ll want to work with an agent who represents sellers as the majority of their business. You’ll find that many agents have experience on both the buying and selling side of the situation, but it’s optimal to work with an agent who has dedicated the majority of their time working with sellers.

While rapport is important, it is far from the most important factor. Yes, it is ideal to work with someone you like and someone who will communicate well with you, but there is a much more effective way to sort the amateurs and the pros: The numbers.

But which numbers? Here are some direct questions which will help you compare agent experience and performance:

  1. How many continuous years have you been in real estate?
  1. How many homes did you sell last year working as the seller’s agent?
  1. Of the homes you’ve sold in the past year, what was the average number of days the home was on the market from initial listing date until the final, accepted offer?
  1. Looking at your past 12 months of closed sales, what percentage has the final selling price been compared to the initial listing price?
  1. How much will you charge me to sell my home? What sort of marketing efforts does this cover?
  1. Do you have an assistant to help you sell homes? Are you part of a team?
  1. Are you considered by your company’s owner to be one of the top producers in your office?

These questions may seem somewhat blunt, but full-time agents with a career built on selling homes shouldn’t have a problem answering you to the best of their ability. In fact, I’d be happy to answer them if you’re serious about listing. Contact me today: The Nicholas Team, Barbara P. Hughes and Gregg Nicholas  RE/MAX Village Square REALTORS  realestate@thenicholasteam.com 

Summer White-Hot for Real Estate

Spring kicks off the peak home hunting months of the year, but it isn’t until summer that things really get cooking. While there are pros and cons to buying and selling homes at various times throughout the year, summer can be, on average 25 to 30 percent more active than the annual average.

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In summer you have a real mix of buyers and sellers… some serious and some not-so-serious. In the winter months, many buyers searching for homes would only do so if they absolutely had to. In the summer, there are often a larger number of buyers just toying with the idea. (Many of the serious buyers are eager to get settled before school starts in the fall.)

Selling homes in the summer requires its own brand of seasonal marketing and showing. Here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind as you invite buyers to consider your home:

  1. Keep it cool, but don’t keep it dark. Your instinct may be to close the blinds and draw the drapes, but making your rooms feel dark and shut-in is counterproductive. Run the A/C and keep the air circulating. While your wallet may not appreciate the bump in your power bill, imagine how expensive it can be to keep the house on the market.
  1. Stage it inside and out. Have a pool deck? What about a garden patio? Make them as inviting as you would the living room or kitchen. Stage them appropriately and tell the story of what it might be like to live with such nice amenities. Think magazine photo shoot!
  1. Make the lawn sing. Curb appeal can be king in the summer months, especially when the neighbors’ lawns may be looking a little brown by comparison. Find bright flowers that can withstand the heat and provide a high-contrast to your green grass.
  1. Ride the sunset. With the longer daylight hours, you may have buyers who want to check out your home closer to dinner time, once the hottest hours of the afternoon have passed. Try and roll with the disruption… buyers prefer to see a home when the owners aren’t around.

Take advantage of the summer sales activity! We’d be happy to guide you on the buy or sell side of this white hot market: The Nicholas Team, Barbara and Gregg at the office: 973-509-2222 – email us any time – realestate@TheNicholasTeam.com; we’d love to meet for a cup of coffee to discuss the market…

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