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Is the market heating up? Is it time to make your next move? Check out February's Market Snapshot below.
Home Buyer's Page
Active listings are down slightly from last month at .7%. Active listings are down 12.9% from last year. Pending listings, sold listings and average days on the market have increased from last month. The average sales price is up 7.2% from last year. Access a full market report by clicking the image below:
Sellers: As expected, the market is starting to pick up for our peak season. Average sales prices took a slight dip last month after hitting record highs in January. With interest rates on the rise, the buyer pool will start to decrease. Remember, “pretty homes” sell faster and for more money…have your home in tip-top shape to secure the best offer(s) from potential buyers.
Buyers: Inventory remains lower than usual for this time of year, and interest rates bumped up again. It is still considered a seller’s market, so you will often get a good price or good terms (concessions/contingencies), but rarely both. Be prepared to write your offer accordingly.
There are different types of relationships, or agencies, created between customers, clients, and Realtors. Typically a buyer's agent represents the buyer and the seller's agent represents the seller. What happens when a dual agency situation occurs and both the seller and the buyer receive limited representation since both agents work for the same broker?
When you list a property with an agent you are listing your home with the broker and all of the brokerage's agents are working on your behalf and are bound to act in your best interest. Dual representation takes place when another agent from the same brokerage brings a buyer to purchase a home. Dual representation has to be disclosed to all parties.
Real estate agents that are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are called Realtors and are held to a higher standard called the NAR Realtor Code of Ethics. The NAR specifically states a Realtor's duties to customers vs clients. There are certain things we must adhere to, but Realtors do not owe customers the same duties as they do to their clients. Most active agents are Realtors and adhere to these practices.
Limited dual representation forces both agents to fulfill all of the fiduciary duties an agent normally has to a client, loyalty, obedience, disclosure, confidentiality, and accounting, to both the seller and the buyer. There may be conflicts that arise in this situation since both agents in a limited dual representation scenario have to fulfill the fiduciary duties to the buyer and the seller.
The Arizona Association of Realtor's Consent to Limited Representation disclosure limits the duties the Broker (whom the listing and buyer's agent work for) owes the buyer and the seller as follows:
The AAR Consent to Limited Representation disclosure also obligates the broker and the broker's agents to exercise reasonable skill and care in the performance of their duties. In addition, the broker and the agents must deal honestly and fairly with all parties. Each agent should be looking out for their client's best interest as well as provide their fiduciary dity to the other parties.
Here are some situations that might occur:
Here's a sample of the disclosure:
AAR Consent to Limited Representation
If you have any questions please contact me.
The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits.
Some of the things that will affect most homeowners are the following:
The capital gains exclusion applying to principal residences remains unchanged. Single taxpayers are entitled to $250,000 and married taxpayers filing jointly up to $500,000 of capital gain for homes that they owned and occupied as principal residences for two out of the previous five years.
Not addressed in the new tax law, the Mortgage Forgiveness Relief Act of 2007 expired on 12/31/16. This temporary law limited exclusion of income for discharged home mortgage debt for principal homeowners who went through foreclosure, short sale or other mortgage forgiveness. Debt forgiven is considered income and even though the taxpayer may not be obligated for the debt, they would have to recognize the forgiven debt as income.
These changes could affect a taxpayers’ position and should be discussed with their tax advisor.
If a buyer is using financing to purchase your home, then the buyer's lender will order an appraisal of the property. Appraisals are not a guarantee of value, they are an opinion of value completed by a 3rd party. However, their opinion is what matters most to a buyer’s lender. An appraisal can make or break the deal. The buyer’s lender will only lend based on the appraised value. Unless the buyer can cover the difference in cash, then you will have to decide between lowering the sales price or looking for a new buyer.
At our Pricing and Strategy Meeting, we took a look at what homes sold for recently in the neighborhood as well as those that were currently on the market. We also considered in what price ranges buyers were looking for homes near your house. With this information you determined the best list price for your property. Sometimes this process is an easy one with comparable homes that set a pretty specific price range for your home, and other times that range can be large.
We went through this process with buyers, as well as appraisers, in mind. As we discussed, the appraiser will complete the same process when evaluating the home. Appraisers are trying to find the information that supports the sales price and the method used by many appraisers to establish market value is to compare similar homes in similar condition that have recently sold.
The appraiser will review the information and also complete a tour of your home. They often verify items such as square footage, bedroom count and upgrades. The appraiser then completes an appraisal report that typically includes at least 3 sold comparable homes along with any adjustments for items such as pools, 3 car garages, upgrades, etc. Homes currently on the market or under contract are also considered to see where the market is trending.
It’s important to note that appraisals are somewhat subjective. There’s a saying in real estate that you if you ask 3 appraisers for an opinion of value, you’ll most likely get 3 different opinions. And this is in part due to some of the challenges that appraisers face. For example, if there are not a lot of photos or information available on the MLS, the appraiser could use a home that needs repairs as a comparable home to a more updated home unless they do the research and not make the proper adjustments. Or an appraiser may not be familiar with the area and pull comparable homes from a neighborhood that is not comparable to yours.
What can you do to help? Your main job is to make sure your house is still looking its best, after all, this could be the MOST important showing that you have! It’s best if you are not at the property and give the appraiser the time to complete the report.
Once the appraisal is received, if the value comes in below the sales price, it can be very hard to get the value changed. My main job is to be proactive and try to combat some of the possible challenges that appraisers face upfront. First, I make sure that the appraiser is familiar with the area. If an appraiser has not completed an appraisal in the neighborhood in the past 2 or 3 years, we can request a new appraiser.
Before the appraiser goes out to your property provide the appraiser with the following:
It typically takes an appraiser 48 to 72 hours to submit the appraisal report to the buyer's lender. Once I have received a copy of the appraisal we can go over the findings and what your next steps will be.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me at 623-252-9350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the National Association of REALTORS 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the median down payment for first-time buyers has dropped to 5%, down from 6% last year. In September, 60% of first-time home buyers put 6 percent or less down when purchasing a home. These numbers are much lower than most first-time home buyers think they are. In fact, earlier this year, NAR conducted a survey and they found that most consumers that did not currently own a home believe that they need a down payment of 10% or 20%.
Some buyers can take advantage of even lower down payments, FHA has a low down payment option of 3.5% and there is a conventional loan program that only requires a 3% down payment. Some downpayment assistance programs still exist as well.
If you've been thinking about buying a home, talk to a mortgage professional about the different loan programs out there that could help you get into a home for a smaller down payment. Contact me at 623-252-9350 or email@example.com if you'd like me to send you the name of a local lender and help you get a game plan together for owning a new home in 2018!!
The home inspection period begins the next day after all parties have signed the Purchase Contract and any Counters. Typically the home inspection period is 10 days.
During the inspection period, you must make your home available for the buyer to complete inspections. You must also make sure that all utilities remain on at the property. This is the buyer's time to fully inspect the house and the surrounding area. It's important to give them full access. This may cause some inconvenience and you may only receive a short notice for a last minute inspection, so it is crucial to stay flexible during the first 10 days to make sure you don't inadvertently cause any delays.
If you completed a pre-inspection before you listed the house, you have a good understanding of the current condition of your home and it puts you in a better negotiating position. However, that doesn't mean the inspection period is a done deal and in the bag. The buyer may still complete their own inspections, including a full home inspection. Be aware that the buyer may still find additional items or pertinent information about the house during this time. In addition, the buyer may have specialized contractors come out to complete further inspections, such as HVAC companies or roofing companies during their home inspection period.
Per the Purchase Contract, the buyer may cancel during the home inspection period due to the inspection findings and receive their earnest money back. Or the buyer may request repairs through the Buyer's Inspection Notice and Seller Response (BINSR) form. All repairs must be requested at one time and within the inspection period.
If repairs are requested, the BINSR becomes the mechanism to negotiate the repairs. If you choose not to correct or repair some or all of the items disapproved by the buyer, the buyer may cancel the contract and receive their earnest money back. Sometimes a credit or price reduction will take place on a separate addendum to the contract in order for both parties to come to terms.
If you have any further questions about the home inspection period please contact me at 623-252-9350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. Request that the buyer gives you a 24 hour response time for all offers on the MLS. If a good solid offer comes in right away, take it. All other subsequent offers can be held as backup offers.
B. Request that the buyer allows you a longer response time, allowing you to collect other offers, and then review all offers received at one time.
Another issue that often comes up is the information that you allow to be disclosed to potential buyers about any offers, even verbal, that you have received. As the seller, you are allowed to disclose all of the terms of a contract to other buyers. You will need to decide how much you want to disclose. For example:
Dealing with multiple offers can sometimes be tricky, but if you have a clear understanding of how you want to deal with multiple offers it will make the process easier. You can then easily convey to the parties wanting to purchase your home how you will proceed.
The moment you've been planning for has arrived and you have received an offer on your property! Now what? Since an offer is about more than just the sales price, it is important to look at all of the terms in the Purchase Contract and how it will affect your bottom line and your time off the market.
Have questions? Contact me at 623-252-9350 or email@example.com.
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