Success Keys for Every Real Estate Buyer

Success Keys for Every Real Estate Buyer

There are success keys for every real estate buyer. It doesn’t matter if you’re an investor, first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner. Getting the best deal possible starts with knowledge.

Knowledge is power for every real estate buyer

Know the numbers.

  • What did the seller pay for the property?
  • How long ago did he buy the property?
  • Has the seller refinanced during his ownership?
  • Did he take cash out if he refinanced?
  • What do neighborhood or area comps tell you about the list price?
  • How many days has it been on the market?

Neighborhood trends every real estate buyer needs to know

What is the neighborhood trend? I recently sold two properties in neighborhoods where I Real Estate Buyersaw new trends forming. I listed my properties 10-15% above the most recent sales, and I was able to push the neighborhood trend up about $10000 in each case.

What are the trends? Any skillful Realtor can find that information with a simple multiple listing service search and a little math. Knowing the neighborhood trend helps you understand the list price.

If the list price is well above the trend, you may have a seller who is trying to recoup years of investment in the property. It may also be a seller who has been underwater and finally has an opportunity to make a little money or break even. A lot of American homeowners suffered significant losses after the September 2008 real estate market collapse. Many held on to their properties in hopes of being to unload them without ruining their credit or without bringing money to the closing table.

What is the trend in the neighborhood? If the trend is up, you may have to pay a little more. If the trend is flat and the price is higher, you may want to move on to a better deal. Every real estate buyer needs to know the trends.

As a real estate buyer, always be ready to buy.

One of the most important and necessary keys to your real estate buying success is financing. If you’re not paying cash, you should stay on top of your finances and always be ready to make an offer. Some deals appear out of nowhere, and you’ve got to be ready. What can you do?

  • Know your credit score. Knowing you credit score is important for a myriad of reasons, but just know that a lender is going to look at that early in the process.
  • When you’re on the hunt for a property, don’t expand your debit. Pay down credit cards, don’t make new debt, pay your debts on time and don’t open new Real Estate Buyeraccounts. The only exception is if you don’t have adequate credit for a lender to make a decision. Make sure you have some evidence of a credit history, such as, utility accounts, cell phone account, etc.
  • If you’re paying cash, have a bank letter showing that you are capable. Keep it updated and on file for such spur of the moment opportunities.
  • Keep your financial statement up to date and keep a copy at your preferred lender’s office. Update it quarterly and make sure your lender gets a fresh copy.

Establish financing relationships

During the 1990s, I was buying a lot of rental properties. I kept my financial statement up to date all the time. On one occasion, I walked into the office of a local bank president. I handed him my financial statement and a listing I was interested in buying. I told him what I was willing to pay. He reviewed my statement and asked, “When do you want to close?” We closed in two weeks. I had established a relationship with the bank, and I kept them up to date on my financial condition.

It’s important to keep that information up to date so you can move quickly when an opportunity presents itself. There are more keys to success for real estate buyers, but these three will get you started. And, when you’re ready to buy, give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent a call. We are your local real estate sales pros, and we are experienced and successful real estate investors.

Success Keys for Every Real Estate Buyer



5 Ways to Sell Your Home Fast

5 Ways to sell your home fast

What are the 5 ways to sell your home faster? That’s easy, the hard part is trying to unlearn many of things you’ve learned about real estate in your lifetime. You see, real estate is cyclical, and that cycle changes both up and down.

Real estate is cyclical

It has been a broad belief that real estate will continually go up in value, but that belief was challenged in 2008. In my market, property lost 33% of its value across the market. It didn’t matter if you bought a million dollar home or a $100,000 home. They all lost 33%. That brings me to the first point.

1. Sell your home fast by realizing what you paid for you home doesn’t matter to a buyer and your home may no longer be worth what you paid.

With the losses experienced in our market in 2008 – 2010, a homeowner may have found 5 Ways to sell your home fasthimself underwater. Depending on what kind of down payment a homeowner put down on his home, the home’s value may have passed the mortgage in its downward spiral.

The days of looking at what you paid for you home and then assuming you could add a certain percentage to that were over temporarily. My market is seeing a revival in home sale prices. They haven’t reached 2008 values, but they are improving. In 2016, a great home can expect to bring 20-30% above the current county/city assessment. Some may go higher, but the 20-30 rule has been very consistent this year.

I’ve seen more people break even this year than any other time in my 20+ years in real estate. That tells me that the market is better, but it is still soft. What you paid for the home really doesn’t matter to a buyer. A home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay, and an appraisal will prove that.

2. Sell your home fast by spending your resources on the right upgrades.

Two of the best things you can do to your home before you list is to paint the walls and redo the floors. If you have hardwood floors, consider having a flooring expert in to see what they need to be spectacular again. If you have carpet, do the same thing. Can the carpet be revived, or would it be better to replace it?

Let me give you a piece of advice related to flooring. Except for those areas where you tile, hardwoods are always the best investment. Laminate flooring should only be used if it is a high-end laminate. A lot of the laminate on the market today looks cheap and adds very little value to the property. At the cost of sounding like a hypocrite, I have seen a number of homes this year with beautiful laminate floors. They almost swayed my opinion of laminate, but the truth is, when you invest what those homeowners did for high-end laminate flooring, you could get hardwoods for just a little more.

Beyond paint and flooring, kitchen upgrades, bathroom upgrades, high quality appliances and curb appeal are the better places to invest your money. Granite or quartz counter-tops are still more desirable than laminate counters. Quartz is a less expensive granite alternative. It looks like granite, but it doesn’t stain. You can get more bang for the buck with quartz.

3. Sell your home fast with the right Realtor.

Not all real estate agents are created equal. Interview agents. Listen to them, watch them, ask about their production, ask about their experience, have them detail how they plan to market your home. Ask friends which Realtor they’ve used. Read reviews online.

What type of marketing do they use? Our local market is more influenced by the Internet than the Homes Magazine or the local newspaper. Only 1-2% of total local sales come from hard copy marketing. They are expensive and a waste of money. The Internet brings in 89% of real estate sales in our market.

A tech savvy agent is more likely to get your home sold fast than one who ignores or refuses to use that media. Many regional multiple listing services syndicate their listings to the major online real estate portals. Beyond that, there are individual property websites, along with regional and local sites.

4. Sell your home fast by keeping it in good repair.

house_with_just_a_roof_800_clr_12500No matter what you do inside your home, it won’t help you sell your home fast if the outside is in dis-repair. How old is your roof? When was it replaced last? What do the gutters look like? Are the plants and shrubs overgrown? Does it need paint or pressure washed? Is the grass trimmed?

Take an honest assessment of your property. Look at it through the buyer’s eyes. What is the buyer determining he will have to change? What will he have to fix? He’s going to deduct that off of his offer price. Fix it before you list to make sure you get top dollar.

5. Sell your home fast by pricing it right.

This brings us back to our first point. What you paid doesn’t matter. What the market will bear is what matters. Be sure to have solid comps to price your property correctly. Remember, every financed property must meet the appraisal. It doesn’t matter what a buyer offers, if it doesn’t appraise for the offer price, the lender will only lend up to the appraised price.

You may find that your home is more valuable than you realize. I recently pushed the trend up $10,000 in a neighborhood where I listed a home. I could see the trend moving that way, and the appraisal confirmed the trend. The same thing happened on a second home I listed a few miles away. Again, the sale pushed the trend for future sales up beyond $10,000. Pick and agent who knows how to price properties accurately and it will sell fast.

It’s hard to remove all emotion from a real estate sale, but if you want to sell your home fast, you’ve got to do it. Strong emotional ties to a home can make it hard to let it go. Memories linger and years of time and investment are sown into the fabric of every square foot, but when it’s time to sell, you’ve got to set those good things aside to realistically work within the market you’re in. And, when you’re ready to sell your home fast, give your Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., agent a call. We are you local real estate sales pros.

5 Ways to Sell Your Home Fast

Winchester, VA Mid-year Real Estate Market Update – 2016

Winchester, VA Mid-year Real Estate Market Update – 2016

The Winchester, VA mid-year real estate market update for 2016 reveals that the localGraph of Winchester, VA with January through June 2016. market has reached a level of equilibrium and good health. With few exceptions, the first six months of 2016 have mimicked the real estate market of 2015. June 2016 is the only month with considerably lower sales as compared to June 2015.

Distressed property sales have stayed consistent in the 9% range for most of the first six months. That’s a 4% decline from the 2015 first six month report. The volume of homes sold during the first six months was 791, a 4% drop from the same period in 2015.

Frederick County Continues to dominate the volume of sales

The Winchester, VA real estate market is made of Winchester City and Frederick County. Frederick County encircles the City of Winchester and has a high population and housing volume. It also has the highest volume of sales in the local real estate market. Stephens City, VA continues to dominate the highest volume of sales in a named Frederick County community. Stephens City has consistently increased sales throughout 2016. It has 202 of the 791 total local sales in this Winchester, VA mid-year real estate market update.

Averages and Days on the Market

The average sales price for the Winchester, VA mid-year real estate market was $254,986, and the average total days on the market was 82. Many things contribute to the total days on the market, such as, weather, volume of available homes, price, location of available homes, condition, along with a few other things.

Higher days on the market is not necessarily an indicator that a property is flawed in some way. High inventory can cause properties to sit longer than in previous months. A high volume of similar properties priced around the same price point can also keep properties on the market longer. When buyers have more choices, they may take longer to decide on a property to purchase.

What will the next six months hold for the Winchester, VA real estate market?A graph of an arrow shooting up like the Winchester, VA real estate market.

The past three years have followed similar patterns. In July 2014 and 2015, the overall sales volume dropped 34% from June. In a case like that, it is easy to see why the market would take such a dive in one month. Buyers are vacationing and busy with family activities. Parents are looking for housing in other communities for their college bound students.

Many things play into a drop like that, but both 2014 and 2015 were followed with solid sales in August and beyond. If this year follows a similar dip in July, it would be good to remember the past few years, and avoid the temptation to panic. Real estate is cyclical, and it appears that the Winchester, VA real estate market has reached equilibrium and good health.