Wendy Johnson - RE/MAX Professional Associates



Posted by Wendy Johnson on 4/29/2020

Photo by Billion Photos via Shutterstock

When homeowners start thinking about selling, the first thing they want to know is, “How much can I sell my house for?” Your real estate agent's task is determining the fair market value with a range of prices from low to high. The spread between the two values typical is not large and only leaves a little wiggle room for the seller to negotiate. 

Determining the Value

The challenge is that there is no one value for a home on the resale market. Several values go into determining the number. These can include the assessed value (what the local government taxes it on), the appraised value (what a certified and licensed appraiser determines it's worth), the market value (this can go up or down depending on supply and demand) and what the owner needs from it in order to move to the next place. Even among appraisers, the same house might have several different values depending on what that appraiser noted; although, they’re usually fairly close.

The Homeowner’s Price

When a homeowner has a price in mind that they’ll sell for, it may come from several factors:

  • How much they owe on the first mortgage
  • Whether or not it has a second mortgage or HELOC (home equity line of credit)
  • How much they originally paid in the down payment and closing
  • What they’ve spent in renovations and upgrades

How Your Agent Determines a Price

A professional real estate agent may give you an estimate of the market value of your home within a range. These numbers come from comparable residences in similar condition, homes that sold recently and the prices of homes on the agent’s MLS. Additionally, if the agent knows that a bidding war might happen, they’ll factor that into the suggested price too. 

How Overpricing Could Hinder a Sale

There are several reasons that overpricing your home might hinder a sale. Here are the main ones:

  • Your price puts your listing outside the search parameters of potential buyers. Even if you’re willing to negotiate and come down a ways, a buyer won’t know to ask because your home is not on their radar.
  • If your home does come up in a search, it will be because the buyer is looking for homes in that price range. But if yours fails to match similar homes in their price point, yours will drop to be the last one they look at.
  • An overpriced home can spend longer sitting on the market, languishing there as the MLS adds numbers to the “days on the market” category. Often, buyers assume a home sits unsold on the market because there is something wrong with the property or the seller is difficult to work with.

If you need to sell your home quickly, and for top dollar, trust your real estate professional to guide you in setting the price.




Tags: appraisal   home seller   pricing  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 3/11/2020

Photo by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

You’ve decided to sell your home to upgrade or even downsize, but you don’t know whether you should start looking and buy first or wait to sell first. The best-case scenario is to do both, but that takes a lot of planning. If you are sure your credit is good enough to get the loan you want, you can find a home and you have a buyer for your home all at the same time, the process could be quite smooth. Working with an excellent real estate agent goes a long way to making this scenario go smoothly.

Buying First

If you decide to buy a new house before you sell, and then put your home on the market, or choose to put your home on the market and buy a new home, even if your home doesn’t sell quickly, you will most likely have a place to move to—and can take your time moving. This plan has two hitches, and they’re not necessarily bad:

  • Your house sells quicker than you expected. If it does and you haven’t found a home, or you did, but you haven’t closed yet, you may have to move to temporary housing until your deal closes. On the other hand, if the seller is not in any hurry, you could rent your home back until your deal closes and you get moved.

  • You will have to pay two mortgages. If your current home is not paid off, you will have to pay two mortgages. Depending on your income, you may not be able to close the loan on the new home until you sell your current home. If your debt-to-income ratio has room for two mortgages, this is not a problem.

Selling First

Selling first is probably the safest way to go about moving. Once your house sells, put most of your possessions into storage and find a short-term rental. This allows you to take your time finding your dream home and getting the financing for the new house. Since you have all the time in the world, you’ll be able to shop around for the best mortgage without feeling pressured to take something because you need to close quickly.

Making the Decision

Before you decide on whether to buy or sell first or do both at the same time, determine which is best for your situation.

  • Check your credit score. The better your credit, the lower your new interest rate will be. Lenders will be more willing to work with you.

  • Start browsing for homes for sale to see if there is anything you are interested in.

  • Know how much mortgage you will qualify for. Speak to several lenders about the different available loan programs.

  • Contact a real estate agent to discuss listing your home. Ask about the listing contract and the cost of listing. Some real estate agents give you a discount on their commission if you use them to buy and sell.

  • Know the market. If buyers are flooding the market, it may be easier to sell your home. If sellers are flooding the market, it may take longer to sell your home because there are many homes for people to choose from.

The answers to these questions will let you know if it is better to buy or sell first.




Tags: home seller   buying   selling   Homebuyer  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 11/6/2019

When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, it’s an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you don’t know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, there’s a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore. 


One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesn’t seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions. 


Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that they’re secure in the transaction.         



What’s Strange About This House?


While you wouldn’t word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if there’s anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking. 


What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?


While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. It’s helpful to know what’s been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.


Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?


Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home. 


Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?


You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the seller’s own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.

Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. You’ll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they don’t need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and you’ll be off to a great start in your new home.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Wendy Johnson on 7/3/2019

When you first start creating the list of things you need to finish to get your home ready for sale, it can seem daunting. Too much work can throw you for a loop, and you might be tempted to sell your home "as-is" instead. However, just adding a bit of curb appeal can significantly increase the value of the property. You can crack down on that list by starting with these quick and easy items can you do on a weekend by yourself for under a hundred dollars.

Street Address Numbers

One of the easiest and least expensive curb appeal upgrades are new house numbers. You want buyers driving by to see the address easily, so go for clean large numerals that are easily visible on the side of your property. You can get brass or chrome numbers for a shiny effect, or you can get wooden numbers and paint them in the color of your choice. 

Front Door and Shutters

A new front door can give your entryway a sense of welcome. You can go for a new entry entirely to improve on the existing style of your home, or you can just try out a new paint job. If you have shutters, you can refresh the paint on those as well. Check with your local paint specialist to find out what kind of paint works best. Make sure you double-check the material your door is made of before you start, or you could end up with just a peeling mess on your hands. For the best look, make sure you tape off any windows and fixtures and then clean up any remaining paint after its all dry. 

Outdoor Lighting

You don't need to replace your outdoor lights to make a difference, but you do need to give them a good shine. Take them all apart and remove the dust and bugs that build up under the glass. Switch out your light bulbs for brand new LEDs that will be brighter and better for your electrical bill. If you want to make some changes, outdoor lighting can be purchased and hung yourself for relatively cheap at your local lighting or home improvement store. If you're going to install new light fixtures, be sure to turn off the electricity at the breaker box before you start.

Landscaping

Get your whole family together for this one and start by picking any weeds and removing any dead leaves, branches, and other plant matter. Your kids may want to claim some of it for leaf-jumping piles, but make sure to clean up those piles after they have their fun. Clean up your lawn or replace a dried-out lawn with an alternate material such as mulch that is easier to take care of regularly.

Talk to your real estate agent about the best curb appeal upgrades for your home, so that you spend your money in the right place.




Categories: Uncategorized