Posts Tagged ‘ pricing your home ’

Boise Real Estate-A Tale of Two Markets

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… This is how many people feel about the real estate market here in Boise right now. It is definitely an odd time for buyers and sellers. It would appear that the pendulum is sitting right in the middle. A great indication that the market is about to move again but in what direction?

Looking back we see an insane sellers market in 2005-2008, to an almost equally insane buyers market in 2009-2011. During the seller’s market, a seller could ask almost any price for their home and would get it (thanks to appraisers who said ” what price do you need?” and lenders who said “approved”). When that came to a screeching halt, it took at least a year of a stagnant market for sellers to finally get the message that the fun was over.

In came the buyers market and while not as fun as the seller’s market, it was a market to be had. In the beginning (2009) the buyers were having to adjust to being in the driver’s seat,  while the sellers had to come to terms with this. Then came the how low can you go prices. Short sales that could not close (ah yes, the banks at it again)  became bank owned. As we all know it is better to sell 20-30% below market than to try and work things out with the existing homeowner! Not! Not only were the prices rock bottom (and some going below that), closing costs were thrown into the deal as an expected concession and interest rates that practically gave the money away for free!

A great market indeed, except where are all the buyers? Oh, that’s right, the government was involved. We know how well they made home-ownership work during the height of the seller’s market. Everyone gets one, no income verification and no money down! Woo-hoo!!! Oh wait…,  you mean people borrowed more than they could afford or possibly ever pay back? Well then, we (the government) know how to fix that! No one can borrow unless they have an 800 credit score and have never had debt! Yes, that will fix the problem! Here we go again…

2011 had so many bank owned properties hurting the “real ” sellers even more, that many took their homes off the market to wait it out. We watched as each  month the inventory continued to drop here in the Boise area, and then we watched as the prices stopped sliding downward. Hmmm…could we possibly be seeing the signs of a market improvement?

In comes 2012, a year that many gladly accepted, if only to say good-by to 2011! What we are seeing is an odd time for sure, being both a seller’s market and a buyer’s market. It is a seller’s market because inventory is at all time lows. Price your home right and it can sell with multiple offers on it in less than a week, at or above asking price. It is a buyer’s market because home affordability has never been better. It is now cheaper to own than to rent! Interest rates are still under 4%,and in most cases you do not need more than 3.5% down and closing costs are still being covered.

Will 2012 be the year that we see a full recovery? When I say “recovery”, I mean back to a normal market like before 2004, with an end in sight of distressed properties and an increase in “normal” sales. It is a political year, so many things can happen that could alter yet again the housing market. For the moment however, the pendulum sits waiting to move!

If you would like to see what homes are currently going for in the Boise area, please go to my website: http;//www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

or if you have a question regarding the local real estate market, please send me an e-mail: mary@BoiseRealEstateChick.com

And always feel free to leave a comment!

Boise Real Estate Market Stats-Meridian-May 2011

Here are the numbers for the Meridian area for May 2011, active, sold and pending. These numbers are based on single family/single family with acreage from the Intermountain MLS. My commentary will be below each grouping.

Available-May 2011

# Available: 666 (yuck! don’t like that number!!!)

# Vacant: 371

# Short Sale: 200

# Bank Owned: 30

Median Asking Price: $175,000

The active numbers have stayed steady from April, particularly the number available (665 in April) and Asking Price is up slightly ($174,900 in April)

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Pending – May 2011

# Pending: 275

Median Asking Price: $172,000

Numbers are up for pendings (246 in April) and the Asking Price is up nicely ($163,753 in April)  This will be interesting to watch for June closings to see if the median sales price continues to inch up.

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Closed Sales- May 2011

# Closed: 176

# Short Sales: 31

# Bank Owned: 59

Median Sales Price: $152,650

Median Days on Market: 49

The number of closed is up from April’s 156 as is the Sale Price ($151,450 in April). Good news also is that Days on Market are continuing to go down (65 in April).

Sellers that price their home correctly can expect to move their home within 49 days or less! With inventory remaining flat, interest rates remaining low, and buyer demand picking up (particularly in the under $200k range), it is looking like a seller’s market (for the under $200k range)!

If you would like to see what the current Boise Real Estate Market looks like please got to my web site (no sign up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com You can contact me through the website!

 

Current Boise Real Estate Market -April 17, 2011

I usually wait until the end of the month to do my statistic information for the Boise real estate market but today I decided to check things out.  What I am seeing makes me think that buyers who have been waiting for the spring to go look, may want to move this up on their schedule.  

I noticed that in the past few weeks just about every home that I have shown has gone pending within a few hours to a few days of the showing. Now keep in mind that I am showing homes in the most sought after price range of $150K and under. Not only are these homes going quickly but they are receiving multiple offers on them. To me, there feels like a sense of urgency has begun to develop in the market. (I can not say if this same urgency is happening in the price range of $150K and up )

Looking at the current inventory numbers for April 17, 2011, there are 2612 homes available (single/single family with acreage). This is almost identical to March’s numbers but what is very interesting to me is that the number of vacant homes is down from 1347 in March to 1319, and there are less distressed properties on the market as well (there are 18 less which may not seem like much but every month that seems to go up, so to see it down even slightly is good news). The other interesting item to watch is that this is the month when inventory begins to climb (the spring season) and I am just not seeing that.

Right now there are 904 pending sales in ADA County which is a huge number. (there were a total of 809 pending by March 31). So far this month, 235 properties have closed so I believe that we are well on our way to matching or exceeding  March’s closed sales.

So, once again I would urge any buyers who may be thinking about purchasing a home to move it along a little quicker. I would also urge any sellers who are waiting for better weather, to consider putting your home on the market now. Inventory is moving and the competition is not that great so your odds of selling quickly and closer to your (reasonable) asking price is much better. 

If you would like more information regarding the buying or selling market in the Boise area please go to my website (no sign up required) and contact me there: www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Quick Tips for Homeowners

Some of the easiest solutions to everyday household problems are sitting right in your kitchen. They are convenient and relatively inexpensive and when you see the results you will be wondering why you did not think of that sooner! These are also handy for home sellers who would like inexpensive quick fixes that will not look like you went cheap to fix it.

Carpet Stains: Baby Wipes! Yes, it is that simple!

Microwave: To get rid of cooked-on spatters heat a half cup of water for two minutes on high (or long enough to create a steam. This softens the food and makes it easier to wipe off.

Cooking odors: Heat white vinegar in an uncovered pot on the stove (medium heat, do not boil). The vinegar smell will gradually dissipate and so will the odors.

Coffee Grinder: Want to sharpen the blades? Run a handful of dried rice in the grinder. (okay, this is not exactly an item you need to fix to sell your home but I thought I would throw it in any way!)

Chimney: A handful of salt thrown on the fire will help keep the chimney clean.

Nail Holes: Fill hole with a paste made from starch and water and it will work just as good as putty.

Squeaky Doors: Use petroleum jelly instead of oil for a dripless solution.

Want the whole house to smell like apple pie? (This is a great thing to do right before an open house or a scheduled showing.) Simmer a sliced apple and a couple of cinnamon sticks in water on the stove.  Gives off a wonderful homey smell!

If you would like additional ways to spruce up your home before putting it on Boise Real Estate market please contact me through my website (no sign-up required): www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

Home Buyer Turn-Offs

There are some things that a seller does that can really repel potential buyers. In today’s market, a traditional seller has to compete against some pretty tough competition: banks and short sales. Both are below market type of listings but a traditional or what I call a “regular” seller does have some advantages.  A normal closing time and a relatively well maintained property are two of those advantages. But there are also ways that a seller can kill a deal. Tara -Nicholle Nelson of Trulia gave several reasons that I will share with you below along with my take on it.

1.-Stalker-ish Sellers. This one made me smile! I have shown houses where the seller insists on giving the tour. After all, they know their property best! Problem is most buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the home. Having the seller there in the same space makes that process very difficult. The buyer will no longer be paying attention to what they could like about the home because the seller is distracting them with little pieces of nostalgia that the buyer does not need or want to know.

Sellers, go for a walk or go to the store but whatever you do, just do not make your presence known while the buyer is looking at your home. If there is a lack of chemistry (kind of like dating) between you and the buyer, you could kill the deal before it even makes it to paper.

2. Keep it Clean – Sellers will be told this a dozen times but it really does make a difference. When buyers have seen the trashed bank owned and short sale properties it is such a relief to see a well cared for home.  So clear the clutter, straighten items up (laundry, dirty dishes, toys, etc.) and try not to have any offensive odors lingering in the home (cigarette smoke, stinky food, dirty cat boxes,  wet dog,etc.).

3. Pricing – It used to be location, location, location that sold a home. Today it is pricing, pricing, pricing! It is hard when your home is in better condition than the distressed property but pricing your home like it is 2006, regardless of the superior condition, will not get you a buyer. Actually, overpricing indicates to the buyers that you are either testing the market or will be unreasonable to negotiate with.  Have your realtor do the comps with and without the distressed properties and then figure on a price that meets in the middle.

4. Bad Home Improvements– If you are going to take the time and money to do an improvement, do it to sell and not for your personal liking. Use neutral or warm toned colors that will appeal to a majority of buyers, not your favorite shade of pink “because you still have to live there until it sells”! I am always amazed at what some sellers consider improvements (which makes me wonder how bad did it look before?).  If you know you are going to sell soon and are going to update or upgrade, get a professional opinion from either a home decorating store, paint store or your favorite realtor (most realtors actually do know what the current trends are!). You want to make sure that you will get a return on your money so choose wisely. Remember, any job worth doing is worth doing well and doing smart!

5. Listing Photos– Listing photos are so important and yet are so over looked! The internet is generally where most buyers view the homes that they would like to see before they ever get in the car. A bad photo will have them clicking the “next” button to see a different home. If your realtor does not have a decent camera, they should be hiring a professional to take the pictures. And make sure that you the seller see and approve the pictures first and have the realtor show you what your listing looks like on the MLS and internet.

One more item that is also overlooked and that is showing availability. Many buyers have a limited time when they are out looking so don’t make it difficult to schedule a showing. Most buyers are understanding but if they have to arrange the entire schedule of properties to see around yours, they may just skip you all together.

If you would like additional tips for selling your home in the Boise Idaho real estate market please see my other posts under home selling tips or go to my website (no sign up required): http://www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com

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: http://www.BoieRealEstateChick.com

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: http://www.BoiseRealEstateChick.com  (no sign up required!)

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