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Archive for the ‘Home Tips’ Category

Why Sellers Need to Keep their Homes on the Market for the Holidays

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!
2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!
3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!
4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!
5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!

6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week!
7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!
8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs.  Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!
9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!
10. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!
11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more

houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell high and buy low!Santa at Xmas_iStock_000002255010XSmall

FSBO or Realtor?

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Recently, I saw an online article, giving the major reasons why a seller should use a Realtor, rather than doing it themselves (FSBO=For Sale By Owner).

Sold by Nancy Aroneck

  1. A professional Realtor knows how to sell and close a property. We do it all day, every day. We see properties in every shape, condition, price range. We professionally list and sell homes for a living.
  2. A Realtor knows how to work the system to receive maximum exposure from prospective buyers. When selling a house, the property must be listed on hundreds of internet sites. Realtors know how to  do this, getting maximum exposure with professional photographs, pulling emotional heart-strings and providing financial criteria for their buyer audience. We know who is looking and who to contact.
  3. A Realtor will know how to prepare a house for sale and get it ready for the market. Is the seller prepared to deal with home contractors or know where to find trustworthy home-vendors? Does the house need costly repairs, such as interior and exterior painting, flooring, wood or brick repairs, kitchen or bathroom remodeling? Or does it just need to be decluttered, with the furniture rearranged and staged? Sometimes, a house doesn’t need anything and a seller wants to make unneeded repairs; it’s the Realtor’s job to stop them!
  4. A Realtor can get buyers into your home. Will a FSBO know how to properly and safely hold an Open House, then recognize and pre-qualify the buyers who come to the Open House? i.e.: does a visitor have to pre-sell their existing home before buying another; are they financially qualified to purchase a home in that price range; are the visitors just nosy neighbors? A good Realtor knows how to deal with these situations. In our market, relocating buyers (“relos”) will be using only Realtors, and their Realtors won’t show a FSBO because (a) they don’t know about it, (b) it is not prepared or priced correctly for the market and (c) their relo company is controlling the process. That company will not allow the buyer to purchase a non-Realtor-listed property. Relo’s receive incentives for moving; many of those incentives and exclusions, are specified in advance by the relo company. Relos are usually in a time crunch and cannot waste valuable showing time looking at houses they cannot/will not purchase.
  5. A Realtor knows the different areas of the city. Is the area declining or inclining in value? What are the future plans for the surrounding area? Are there plans for a school redistricting, a major street expansion, a sports stadium nearby? What grocery stores, recreational amenities, schools and entertainment venues are near the property?
  6. A trained Realtor knows how to effectively negotiate. She/he will negotiate objectively and fairly, not allowing emotions into the process and will strive for a win/win situation, in which a seller and  a buyer get what they want out of the sale. A Realtor knows how to get everyone to the closing table in a fast and effective manner. A happy closing is what everyone wants!

Atlanta’s Real Estate Closings in 2012

Friday, December 28th, 2012

What paperwork do you need if you bought or sold in 2012?  Many residential sales are non-taxable events (principal residence or no gain), but sellers will have a 1099 and must still file the appropriate income tax forms.

Buyers: 

1.  HUD-1 Settlement Statement – this is needed for income tax preparation. Pay attention to closing costs, prepaid interest, property tax prorations, and other fees that may be deductible.

2.     Recorded Warranty Deed (or other deeds such as Limited Warranty Deed, Special Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Executor’s Deed, or Trustee’s Deed)  – these are needed to claim homestead exemption. You must provide recording deed book and page number from the recorded deed.

Sellers:

1.     HUD-1 Settlement Statement – this is needed for income tax preparation to show the sales price and all costs of the sale (closing costs, commissions, property taxes, etc.);

2.     1099 form – usually provided at closing by closing attorney – this form shows the gross sales price plus any prorated taxes that are being credited to the seller from the buyer (in case the seller tries to deduct the entire year’s property taxes).  The 1099 forms are no longer mailed out; there is an electronic report sent by each closing attorney directly to the IRS.

Again, please note that many, but not all, residential sales are non-taxable events (principal residence or no gain);  the seller will have a 1099 and must still file the appropriate income tax forms! Remember, as your Atlanta Realtor, I will always keep you informed!

 

Closing on your New Home during the Holidays

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Many of the real estate closings in November and December have to be scheduled around the longer holiday breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year’s Day.  Most lenders and attorneys are closed for the Wednesday – Friday period around Thanksgiving. They are also usually closed for an extra day or two before or after Christmas and New Year’s Day.

There are also many buyers, sellers, and agents who will be out of town or otherwise unavailable during these holiday breaks.

Attorneys and lenders  will work hard to accommodate the buyers and sellers, but it is important to check with all parties before scheduling and to make every attempt to have all parties at closing.  Mailouts of loan packages are much more complicated today, and the parties must find a title company or attorney in their location to supervise the signatures.  This is required for buyers and sellers.  In addition, the loan papers must be sent out several days prior to the closing deadline, in order to meet the contract expiration for completing the closing.

Please notify the closing attorney and lender as soon as possible if you know that you or the other party will be unavailable for your closing, and try to reschedule your closing to avoid the extra time, effort, and expense of a mailout.

And, as always, if you want to CLOSE before 2013, call Nancy Aroneck & Company! We are experienced and will actually get you to the closing table  quickly, and with as little “pain” as possible!

Finding a Realtor in Atlanta

Monday, March 5th, 2012

How does one go about finding a good Realtor in Atlanta? Are you looking for one that is trustworthy and honest or one who knows the real estate market and all of Atlanta’s neighborhoods? Do you want a Realtor that will find you the right house or one who can negotiate on your behalf for your new Atlanta home? Can you combine these attributes and get it all?

The answer to all of the above should be a resounding “Yes”!

Ask your friends who own a home: “how did you find your Realtor”? In a recent study by the National Association of Realtors’ of how buyers/sellers found their agent, over 80% of buyers/sellers say, as they walk away from the closing table, they would use their agent again*. Yet when it comes to actually re-buying or re-selling, less than 10% actually used their previous agent*.

How frequently do you hear from your agent? Does  she keep up with you and your family’s lives? Does she know the market and give you information regarding the Atlanta real estate market’s fluctuations? If not, you could be one of the 70% that forgets your agent’s name and number, when you sell or buy property.

For many of my buyers/sellers, I am on  the 2nd, 3rd and in one case, 4th “generation”, of purchases/sales! My clients refer me to their friends and relatives because I keep in touch and keep my clients in the-know. Does your Atlanta Realtor do that? If not, may I help you with your real estate needs?

* From a National Association of Realtors’ study of buyers/sellers.

Atlanta’s Real Estate and New Homes Market

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Atlanta Home For Sale

I’ve been feeling, and saying, that Atlanta’s real estate market is getting better. One of the ways to gauge Atlanta’s home market, is to look at new-construction. I feel like I’ve been right all along, as here’s another signal that the market is improving.

Single-Family Housing Starts rose to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized 430,000 units in October – a 4 percent increase from September and the highest reading in 3 months (a “Housing Start” is defined as a home on which ground has been broken).

The increase surprised Wall Street analysts, although it shouldn’t have.  Earlier this week, the National Association of Homebuilders showed that Homebuilder Confidence is at its highest point since May 2010, the effect of better market conditions and more sold units. Rising housing starts, amid a lift in builder confidence, is to be expected — the two metrics have moved with loose correlation since mid-2000.

Of course, as with everything in real estate, Single-Family Housing Starts volume varied by location. The nation’s 4 regions posted wide-ranging results:

  • Northeast Region :  +10.0% from September
  • Midwest Region :  -4.1% from September
  • South Region:  +11.3% from September
  • West Region:  -10.2% from September

Buyers of new construction in Atlanta can infer two key points from last month’s data. First, with more homes being built, home supply should rise, thereby softening pressure on rising home prices. This should help keep homes affordable. However, the second point is
that with builder confidence rising, buyers are less likely to win price concessions and “free upgrades” in negotiations.

The last 6 weeks of 2011 may be the optimal time to buy new construction. Home prices remain affordable and mortgage rates are rock-bottom, the lowest they’ve been in decades. If you are a buyer and because there are typically fewer active home buyers during the holidays, you’ll be more likely to locate one of the few remaining new construction “deals” in the next several weeks.

Talk to me, your Realtor, about neighborhood trends and new construction. Simply done and always at your service!

How to sell a House in 6 Easy Steps

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Many sellers think that agents have a secret listing strategy. However, the truth is, without a seller’s help, our strategies go out the window. Here are 6 easy steps to sell a house fast:

  1. Price it right; price it competitively.
  2. Interior and exterior condition is key. Make the repairs that your agent tells you to do; at a minimum, paint the outside trim and pressure wash the outside of the home.
  3. Stage the house. Make sure it is clutter-free and clean at all times. When you have a showing, leave the lights on.
  4. Make it easy on the agent. Allow the listing agent to put up a sign, a lockbox and please forget “Appointment Only”. If we can’t see it, we can’t sell it!
  5. Internet and pictures will sell it. When the listing agent, or his/her photographer, is coming to take pictures, make sure that the house is sparkling. If the pictures are bad, or non-existant, buyers will skip over the house.
  6. When in doubt, go back to items 1-5. If you are still in doubt, refer to #1.

Atlanta Weather

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

 

The weather gets cold in Atlanta, but many homeowners do not adequately prepare for it. Homes in mild-weather climates are especially vulnerable to frozen pipes and those frozen pipes equal disaster. Why? Because these homes tend to have plumbing in exterior walls, attics, crawl spaces and other unheated or unprotected areas.

A pipe freezing in a cold snap, where outside temperatures drop below 20-degrees, can not only be expensive to repair, but also messy. When water freezes inside a pipe, it creates a blockage that causes pressure to rise. That pressure builds up and the pipe blows. Play it safe and follow these tips from The Institute for Business and Home Safety:

  1. Wrap pipes with foam or fiberglas insulation.
  2. Seal openings in exterior walls where cold air can get to unprotected pipes.
  3. Disconnect garden hoses and place insulated covers over outdoor faucets. Better yet, install inside shut-off valves for outdoor faucets and drain water from the pipes.
  4. Consider wrapping pipes with heat tapes or cable that use a small amount of electricity to warm pipes. Some come with built-in thermostats.
  5. Leave cabinets doors open to let warmer room air get to the pipes under the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  6. Turn on faucets to a very slow drip to relieve pressure in the pipe. Make sure both the hot-and cold-water lines are open.
  7. If you are away from your home during the cold-weather months, et your thermostat above 55-degrees.

If you or someone you know are thinking of buying, selling or investing in real estate, email or call me. I get the job done!