Should I list my home in the Winter months?

Should I list my home in the Winter months?

Should I list my home in the Winter months? Absolutely! There is a mistaken idea that homes sell better in warmer months, but there is plenty of evidence that homes sell at anytime, but Winter has some advantages that other months may not have.

Realtytrac’s longitudinal study of when is the best time to buy a home found that October is the best month followed by February, July, December and January. Four out of five of the top months are Fall or Winter months. The best day of the week to buy a home is Monday, and October 8th is the best day of the year. That one study blows a huge hole in the “Spring is the best time to list” theory.

Should I list my home in the Winter months? Why?: Inventory is lower

For one, inventory tends to be lower in the cold months. That gives a seller more Should I list my home in the Winter months?visibility because competition is lower. The current Winchester-Frederick County, VA market only has 270 previously owned homes on the market. The market typically has 500-600. The current inventory makes great homes fly off the market.

Think about what low inventory means to a home seller. When the competition is lower, a home seller has more opportunity to make a greater profit on a home sale. Buyers will pay more for a home they fall in love with when there are fewer homes to compare it to. Low inventory, means higher sale prices and quicker sales.

Should I list my home in the Winter months? Why?: Fewer showings

Buyers tend to look at fewer homes in the Winter months. It’s dark early. It can be cold outside (depending on your market). There are fewer homes in their criteria list. Our company has more buyers who buy the first home they see in the Winter months. Why? Because buyers have done their homework before looking at homes. When the inventory is up and the sun is up and the curiosity of buyers is up, they will shop and shop and shop.

In the Summer, a buyer may look at a dozen homes before settling on a home to make an offer on. In the Winter, the process is much faster and the buyer moves more quickly. Therefore, a seller will have fewer people passing through the listed home.

Should I list my home in the Winter months? Why?: Curb appeal is curbed (a little)

If you have kept your yard and home in good shape throughout the year, the Winter months may give you a bit of a respite from all the exterior maintenance. You’re not mowing (again, depending on your market) as much, if any. You’re not trimming hedges as much. Once any leaves are off the lawn, you are pretty well set for the season.

Should I list my home in the Winter months? Why?: Holiday fare may be a plus (but not always)

There is something endearing about a beautifully decorated home during the Winter months. When a buyer comes into a home that is welcoming and cozy, there is a sense of ease and comfort that comes with that. A warm environment, accent lighting, tasteful decorations and a sense of comfort gives buyers the ability to see themselves living in the home.

Don’t be afraid of a Winter listing. The general school of thought is that Spring is the time to list because it’s warmer, it’s lighter longer and more homes are coming on the market. All of those things are true, but the competition is also greater, and with an increase in inventory, there will be a far more showings and more competitive bidding on home prices. Winter has advantages over these issues.

There are many more reasons to list your Virginia or West Virginia home in the cooler months, but you get the idea. Every season has some advantages, and Winter is no different. When you’re ready to sell your Virginia home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

 

 

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Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report – 2017

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report – 2017

The Winchester-Frederick County, VA mid-year real estate market continues to shine. Some numbers are up and some are down, but they’re all good. That is welcome news for buyers, sellers and homeowners in general. The total number of sales in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA mid-year real estate market was 840 compared to 806 in 2016. That is not a major change, but it is a number heading in the right direction. It is consistent with the national average of 6% appreciation.

The one number that is the most impressive is the average sale price. The 2017 mid-Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report - 2017year sales price average was $265,500 while 2016 was $255,034. The same period in 2015 was $242,578. That’s a nice consistent progression over the past three years, but the big change is when you look back five years. In 2012, the average sales price for the first six months of 2012 was $209,049. That is a 21% increase over five years. That’s impressive.

Winchester-Frederick County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate: Down Numbers

Another number that is down in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA mid-year report is the days on the market. The days on the market has remained fairly consistent over the past 5 years. The days on the market in 2012 was 87, 85 in 2015, 81 in 2016, but 2017 was down to 63 days. That is a 22% drop between 2016 and 2017. The good news for sellers is that their homes sit on the market fewer days and the sale price is higher.

Another stunning number that is also down is the percentage of distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures). The Winchester-Frederick County, VA distressed property average for the first six months of 2017 was 6%. Foreclosures made up 4.4% and short sales added 1.6%. Here again, historical comparisons show how far the market has come since the recession. The percentage of distressed properties in 2012 was 39%. In 2012, 14% of mid-year sales were short sales and 25% were foreclosures. A 33% improvement is seen in the increase in home prices from 2012 to 2017. The fewer distressed properties on the market means that home values are stable and selling at true market value.

With low-interest rates and a moderate number of homes on the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market, sellers have the upper hand. That can be fragile because a run up in available properties could reverse that benefit in favor of buyers overnight. It happened in July of 2014. But, for now, sellers are in charge of the local real estate market.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market, give the local real estate pros at Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. Let’s talk and make something great happen.

Winchester Distressed Properties Are No Longer Distressing

Winchester Distressed Properties Are No Longer Distressing

The good news for the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market just keeps rolling in. It’s safe to say that Winchester distressed properties are no longer distressing most home-owners. What is a distressed property? A distressed property can be a short sale or a foreclosure (or REO, real estate owned).

Winchester Distressed Properties Are No Longer DistressingA short sale is a property the lender gives the home-owner permission to sell below the current loan balance. Many homeowners who bought in the pre-recession years, bought their homes at a premium price. For instance, a home that sold for $400,000 in 2006 lost value during the recession, and owners who carried those mortgages found themselves in trouble in 2008 and beyond.

Winchester distressed properties: What are they?

The Winchester real estate market lost an average of 33% in the fall of 2008, and soon after, Winchester distressed properties shot up. That $400,000 home was now worth $280,000 – $300,000. That left the home-owner with a debt of up to $100,000 beyond his home’s value which was no longer backed by his real estate. That scenario is where the often used real estate term, “under-water” originated. In that case, the owner was drowning in his mortgage debt because he owned more than the home was worth.

Distressed properties came in waves. The first wave of distressed properties came by way of foreclosure. Many families who were dependent on two incomes were reduced to one income as the economy and the real estate values contracted. They were followed by investors who over-extended themselves, and finally, those owners who were hanging on by their fingernails lost their battle in 2009 through 2013. That opened the door to a wave of short sales.

All Winchester-Frederick County distressed properties have declined over the past three years, but the most recent news is the best. Of the current pending sales (homes under contract), only 8.7% are distressed properties. This is a place where an interesting phenomena has taken place. Up until this year, foreclosures have always been the primary source of distressed properties, but in June of 2017, short sales are leading that group of Winchester distressed properties at 6.2% of that total. Foreclosures make up the rest at 2.5%. That number is likely to return to higher foreclosures as short sales continue to fall, but both categories are on the decline.

Winchester distressed properties: By the numbers

There are 289 pending sales in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market. Of those, there are 15 short sales and 7 foreclosures. If you know how the numbers unfold, you can decide whether this is a time to panic or is it the natural progression of a market on the move.

Of the 15 short sales that are pending, 77% (13) were homes purchased before 2008. Winchester Distressed Properties Are No Longer DistressingBecause of the inflated home values before the recession, those properties would be prime candidates for an under-water mortgage. The highest number of short sales also corresponds to highest home sale prices immediately before the recession (2007). The remaining 13% of Winchester distressed properties (2) were purchased after the recession began.

The reason there so many short sales pending in June 2017 is because of the way short sales progress. Before a home-owner can qualify to do a short sale, she must communicate with her bank that she can no longer afford her home and she needs to do something. The home-owner has a few options. None are very good, but she can allow the home to be foreclosed, or offer a deed in lieu of foreclosure or she can begin a short sale.

Winchester distressed properties: How short sales work

A short sale is only possible if the bank agrees to allow the home-owner to sell the property below the loan balance. When the bank agrees, the home is listed and buyers can make offers. Once a buyer makes an offer, the seller can accept the offer, but that does not mean that the property will ever go to closing. The bank also has to agree to the offer. This is where the third part approval is needed a second time in the sale. It’s also traditional real estate sale practices and timelines disappear.

A bank may take 3 months to 6 months to 18 months to accept the buyer’s offer. Even though the seller has already said, “Yes,” to the buyer’s offer, the bank has to sign off on it. Of the pending short sales, 6 of those properties were listed in 2016. Only 9 were listed this year (2017). Some of those short sales have been under contract for months waiting for “third-party approval.”

The bank will hire local real estate agents to assess the property to make sure the list price is a fair price, and they will compare the buyer offer to that assessment. If there is a large gap, they bank will likely turn it down, and that can come after 90 days, or more, of waiting. A short sale is not a good property for someone who has to move quickly. Once the bank has accepted the buyer’s offer, then the process of a traditional sale begins. Home inspections are scheduled, earnest money deposits are deposited, title searches are conducted and the process begins to move toward closing.

Winchester Distressed Properties Are No Longer DistressingThere are 15 short sales pending in June 2017, but they are more likely a sign that the market is doing a little housekeeping after the recession. If the balance of the homes under short sale contracts had been purchased in 2013 and beyond, I would be concerned. Since they are pre-recession purchases, they’re showing that real estate prices were over-inflated, buyers were over extended and the market was in deep need of a correction.

Another reason not to panic over the June 2017 numbers is that there are 535 active listings on the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market. Of that number, only 3.8% are distressed properties. That’s a negligible number compared to where the market has been in the past decade. Only .01% of those distressed properties are short sales. The Winchester distressed properties are no longer distressing home-owners, and that’s good news for everyone in the Winchester-Frederick County, VA real estate market.

 

 

 

Sell your home with Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and we’ll offer a home warranty to sweeten the deal.

Sell your home with Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and we’ll offer a home warranty to sweeten the deal.

Sell your home with Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and Sell your home with Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and we'll provide a home warranty to sweeten the deal.we’ll offer a home warranty to sweeten the deal. A home warranty gives the buyer confidence that if anything happens in the first year of ownership, they’re covered. They can extend the warranty after the first year at their expense if they choose.

A home warranty will  provide peace of mind for the new home-owners. Depending on the warranty purchased, a home warranty can cover all major systems, including, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof and appliances. Most home-owners fear a big-ticket item breaking down and wiping out their savings or reserve cash. The home warranty can relieve those fears and assure a buyer that you have their back.

Sell your home with Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and we'll provide a home warranty to sweeten the deal.When you sell your home with Cornerstone, we have you covered. Our goal is to make sure your home is listed and sold for the most money in the shortest amount of time. A home warranty will encourage buyers to know they can put away worries about major home repairs. That alone may be the issue that pushes a home-buyer over the decision hurdle.

List and sell your home with Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and kiss your home goodbye!

Sell your home with Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., and we’ll offer a home warranty to sweeten the deal.

*Some restrictions apply.