Posts Tagged ‘ boise homes for sale ’

Why You Should Use a Realtor When Selling Your Home

There are some sellers who feel that they do not need a Realtor to sell their home. After all what does a Realtor do that they can’t?  Plus they will save on commission and get a lot more money at the table, right? Well, no, not really.

A few months back a friend of mine wanted to list his house in Boise for sale but he had another friend convince him that he could do this himself. He did ask my opinion on price and I gave it to him – $159K. Well, he felt that was way too low and he did some of his own research and decided it would go on the market for $189K.

I advised him that the price was too high for his subdivision and since he was doing this as a FSBO, the price should be even lower than the $159K.(Nothing makes me laugh more than when I see FSBO’s higher priced than homes that are using a realtor!) He would not listen to me and so proceeded to make one mistake after another in trying to sell the home. Here are a few of them:

1. Listed it almost $30k higher than market value (was in denial that it was a buyers market)

2. Did costly and unnecessary work such as put a new roof on which cost him $6k, all new carpeting -$5k and new paint $1k. (Now he was $12k down on this deal already)

3. Only listed it with a FSBO company

4. Did not lower his price until the property was on the market for 5 months (with only a handful of showings)

After the property was on the market for 7 months he decided he would list it with a real estate company (his friend talked him into using a Realtor that they liked and yes, I am still actually friends with him!) He lowered the price to – $159.9K  (shocker). It sold within 2 weeks at $155K in a cash deal.

Now had he listened to me to start with he would have listed it at the $159K price, would not have done the $12k in work he thought was going to attract a buyer, and he would not have had to pay 7 more mortgage payments.  

So why use a Realtor? Two very important reasons (there are more but this post is already way too long!):

1. Pricing- In this market it is all about pricing and if you are not a distressed seller you must know how to figure out pricing! A Realtor can do this with a thorough Current Market Analysis.  Price your home incorrectly and it is going to sit.

2. Marketing- Listing your home with a realtor puts you in front of thousands of buyers and realtors. Doing a FSBO is like yelling from your front door that your home is for sale. Your neighbors will know, but not many others.

Also, according to the National Association of Realtors, only 1 in 10 homes that sold in 2010 were FSBO.  The median price for a FSBO was  $140K and ones sold using a Realtor sold for $199.3K.

So if you are thinking about selling your home, I highly advise using a Realtor (and if you are in the Boise area please use me!). It will save you time and money in the long run.

For more information regarding selling your home in the Boise, Idaho area or if you would like a Current Market Analysis of your home, please go to my website:


Foreclosures Tripled in Idaho since 2008-Really?!

I love when my local newspaper gives me something to write about! The Idaho Statesman so consistently gives half a story I wonder how they get away printing them as news.

If you happened to catch the article about Foreclosure sales having tripled in Idaho, let me give you the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say.

This article compares foreclosed property sales (bank owned)  in 2008 with 2010 in Idaho. Well, duh, there was an increase in foreclosed properties!  Let me show you the numbers to better illustrate the “duh” moment:

2008 ADA County

Total Sold: 5359

Short Sale: 253

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 0


2009 ADA County

Total Sold: 5752

Short Sale: 852

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 1205


2010 ADA County

Total Sold: 6254

Short Sale: 1066

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 1866

Observe the Foreclosed number in 2008(and no, I was not making an emoticon face there!).  That’s right! It was zero! This is not a shocker because short sales were just getting started with the housing market decline that did not officially start until late 2007. Therefore foreclosed properties would not start for another 6 months at least. So to compare 2008 to 2010, the article might as well have compared 2003 with 2010 and they would have had the same outcome.

But look carefully at all the sold numbers, because this is the good news. In 2008, 5359 homes sold and in 2010, 6254 homes sold. That is a pretty significant increase. So how come the article did not highlight this aspect? 

But here are some even more interesting numbers to me that give me hope that the market truly is turning around:

January 2008- ADA County

Total Sold: 324

Short Sale: 44

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 0


January 2009 – ADA County

Total Sold: 245

Short Sale : 30

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 14


January 2010 – ADA County

Total Sold: 305

Short Sale: 60

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 101


January 2011 – ADA County

Total Sold: 381

Short Sale: 69

Foreclosed/Bank Owned: 150

Look carefully at the Sold numbers.  January 2011 had 381 solds while January 2008 had 324.  Yes, more than half of the homes sold in January 2010 and 2011 are distressed properties but these two years reflect the mortgage and housing collapse of 2008.

Two sold numbers that I find promising are the total in 2010 and the January 2011.  We have increased sales and a shrinking inventory which will help lead us back to a healthy balance in the real estate market.

One more item in the article that always makes me crazy is the talk of “shadow inventory” that has not been put on the market yet. This is fear mongering plain and simple. This “shadow inventory being dumped on the market” theory has been around for a few years now.

 Two things about this theory: One, the banks are not going to dump all their inventory at one time. They are already discounting their properties well below market value so to dump them all at once would further devalue their properties. Two, you can consider all homes that are not on the market as shadow inventory. My house, your house and anyone else who has not put their house up for sale are technically “shadow inventory”!

Please note that these statistics are based on Single family and Single family with acreage in ADA County from the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service.

If you would like additional statistics for the Boise Real Estate market area please go to my website:

Article referenced: Foreclosure sales in Idaho have tripled since 2008; Joe Estrella; Idaho 2/24/2011

Real Estate Industry Trends

Over the last two days I have posted Buyer and Seller Real Estate Trends that were listed in Brian Buffini’s Real Estate Report. Today I will share with you real estate trends that affect buyers and sellers, such as distressed properties, mortgage facts and other useful real estate facts from 2010.

Distressed Property:

Distressed homes make up 36% of the market.

Half of all buyers considered purchasing a foreclosed home but did not.

Areas where housing is predicted to recover the quickest:

North Dakota

South Dakota





Mortgage Facts:

91% of all buyers financed their home purchase

FHA loans were used for 56% of first time home buyers purchase

Median down payments:

First time buyers : 4%

All home buyers : 8%

Repeat Buyers: 14%

Mortgage rates (fixed) are expected to go from 4.75% to 5.75% by year end


Industry Facts:

Only 1 in 10 sales was a For Sale By Owner

Types of Homes Purchased:

Single Family: 77%

Condos: 9%

Townhouse/row house: 8%

Other Kind: 6%

Home in a subdivision or suburb: 52%

The percent of a persons income used for housing: 34%


November 2010: 9.5 months supply

December 2010: 8.1 months supply

Median Home Prices:

West: $204K

Midwest: $139.7K

South: $148.4K

Northeast: $237.3k


Once again I would like you to keep in mind that these numbers are median and are at the national level. Your local numbers will vary and if you would like the numbers for the Boise area real estate market please contact me through my website (no sign up required):

Article referenced: Brian Buffini’s Real Estate Report; Buffini & Co.




Home Prices- Pre-Bubble?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article it was discussed that we are now at pre-bubble prices for housing. (Pre-bubble is considered to be pre 2003.) Nationally there are still pockets that are over valued (Seattle, New York, Portland , Oregon and Charlotte).  Place like Cleveland are so undervalued that their prices are considered to be at the 1991 level! Economists are expecting another 5-10% drop. But that is nationally, and as I have said in a prior post, real estate is local!

So I checked the Intermountain MLS to see if the data agrees with that and here is what I found for the ADA County (Boise, Idaho area):

In 2002 the Median price (sold) was : $140K

In 2003 the Median price (sold) was : $146.9K

In 2004 the Median price (sold) was:  $162,990

In 2010 the Median price (sold) was : $155K

It is possible that if the 2010 price goes down 5% it will be $147,250 which is near the 2003 price. If it goes down 10% it will be $139.5K which is almost the 2002 prices. So far the data I have seen doesn’t suggest a 10% decrease but a 5% decrease is plausible.

Would that be bad news? No! I do not remember anyone complaining in 2003 that homes were too expensive (okay, maybe there were a few). I have stated before that getting back to normal prices for real estate in the Boise, Idaho area will be closer to 2002-early 2003 pricing.  And affordability is always a good thing! 

If you would like to see what current home prices are in the Boise, ID area please go to my website:

To see more of the Wall Street Journal article go to:

How to Sell Your Home in Today’s Market

It is a tough time to be a home seller in today’s market! If you are a “normal” seller (remember those?) you are faced with some stiff competition. ( And it is  not even really comparable competition for the most part.) There are the short sales which are usually below market and then there are the REO (Bank Owned) and they are always below market. These distressed properties are also usually in fair to poor condition.

 Unfortunately the seller has to deal with the human nature of the buyer, and that is how to get the most for the least. The good news is that as time goes on many buyers have become weary of the distressed properties and are looking for a good “normal” deal.

This is the time for sellers to start taking advantage of an ever-changing market, a market that may be turning back in their favor! So what does a seller have to do to get their home sold in a reasonable amount of time without practically giving the home away? Here are a few tips:

  • Pricing: Study the comparables and go over them with your realtor. Do one set of comps with all properties (distressed included) and one with just the non distressed ones. Depending on the upgrades in your home you probably want to fall somewhere between the two types of comps. Most importantly be realistic!
  • Incentives: To compete with the distressed deals you may have to offer up to 3% of buyers closing costs. If that does not appeal to you, offer a set amount for closing costs and offer a one-year home warranty (they are relatively inexpensive – running around $250) and it offers the buyer a peace of mind.
  • Curb Appeal: First impressions are important! This goes for inside and out. You want curb appeal so that the buyers will at least get out of the car. Clean up the debris around the yard and put away all items that do not need to be out. A daily sweep  of the sidewalk, driveway and front door area will give a well maintained appearance.
  • Clean: Now that the curb appeal brought them in make sure their first impression inside makes them stay awhile. Make sure the house is clean and clutter free. The buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in your home. If you have piles of your stuff on the counters and in odd spots throughout the house it distracts from that vision.  

A few other things that will help get buyers in the door are having the very best pictures for the MLS and internet.  The majority of  buyers view homes on the internet well before they ever go physically to look at it. So make sure the outside front shot and the interior of your home are the very best. If your realtor does not have a decent camera ask them to hire a virtual tour person to take the pics.

Also, be as flexible for showings as possible. Some buyers may only be able to view homes during certain hours and if your home is unavailable during that time they may just skip you all together or find another home before they get a chance to see yours.

Remember, as a “normal” seller you have an advantage over the distressed properties. Your house is clean, maintained and ready to move onto in a reasonable amount of time. For todays buyers that is like a breath of fresh air!

If you would like additional seller tips please visit my website:  (no sign up required!)

Hello Buyers-Mortgage Rates on the Rise


Buyers who have been waiting for the real estate market to bottom need to take note. All indicators tell us that we are coming out of bottom. What also needs to be watched are the mortgage interest rates and they are on the rise.  Interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose to the highest level since April of 2010.  Now historically the interest rates are still very low at 5.04% fixed on a 30 year mortgage but with just a small percentage hike, what you can afford goes down. Let me show you:

On a $150K mortgage with a 5.04% rate for 30 years is $808.90 per month.

On a $150K mortgage with a 5.75% rate for 30 years is $875.36 per month.

No big deal right? It is just a $66.46 a month difference. But over a year that $66.46 grows to $797.52, and over 30 years grows to $23,325.60. Now it is a big deal because that is money that you would like to keep! 

In order to have that monthly payment stay at $808.90 with a 5.75%  rate you would now only be able to borrow $138K.  And if you have been out looking for a home  in the Boise area you know that you can buy a lot more house with$150k than $138K.

If you would like additional information please go to my website: (There is no sign-up or registering, you can browse as long as you want!) where you can use the mortgage calculator and see how much home you can afford. Then browse through the listings to see the difference $12K makes when buying a home!  

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me:

Are We There Yet?

Many are wondering if the real estate market has hit bottom (here in Boise anyway…). It seems every time we think that the market was there, it then edged a little lower the next month. But if we look at the statistics from the past few months, the story seems to be changing. So, are we there yet?

The problem with knowing when the market has hit bottom, is when the data shows you that your are already out. And the numbers are indicating that we are not in bottom anymore. Now there will be those that argue that “shadow” inventory has not hit yet so we can expect further decreases in prices and increased inventory. The problem with this theory is that shadow inventory could be considered every house that is not for sale yet! Well if that is the case, then the market is doomed! Kind of silly thinking, so here are some real numbers to consider:

In the ADA County (Boise, ID)  market units sold:

December: 2010- 518  homes sold

                       2009 – 374 homes sold

                       2006 – 614 homes sold

Keep in mind that in 2009 the buyers credit was in place and yet we still sold more in 2010. This means a few things to me: 1. that lenders are doing a better job of closing short sales and bank owned, and 2. that smart buyers are realizing that the prices are definitely in bottom.

Inventory has also had quite a change:

December: 2010 – 2641  active

                       2009 – 3428 active

                       2006 – 3919 active

The difference between Decembers 2010 and 2009 for active listings really highlights how inventory has decreased. With prices staying relatively flat for the past few months and inventory on the decrease, I sense a subtle shift in the market. Now does this mean that we are going back into a seller’s market? Not immediately, because we do have to see how it goes come spring, but it is pretty safe to say that the pendulum is starting to shift out of the buyers side and back in the sellers direction.

One more thing to keep in mind! When we think of getting back to normal, do not think of the market as it was in 2006, when the median sales price was $ 232.9K but closer to the 2004 median sales price of $167K.  2004 was a much “saner” normal!

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