There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times, like we face today, it becomes even more important to have a REALTOR® help guide you through the process!
If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), it’s critical to consider the following items.
1. Your Safety Is a Priority
Your safety should always come first, and that’s more crucial than ever given the current health situation in our country. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings but your health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours, real estate professionals are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your potential buyers.
2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer
Recent studies from NAR have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 43% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumps to 97%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house.
3. There Are Too Many Negotiations
Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:
- The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
- The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
- The appraiser, if there is a question of value
As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.
4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage
Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As a FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment. You need someone who’s working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.
5. FSBOing Is Becoming More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint
The documentation involved in the selling process is growing dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.
6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent
Many homeowners think they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save on the commission.
A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:
“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”
The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place, potentially driving the price higher, too.
Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction by yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss your options.
NOVEMBER MARKET STATS
Home Staging on a Budget
When you show your home’s best features by staging it effectively, you help increase your final selling price without breaking the bank. In fact, on average, sellers receive $2 in increased sale price for every $1 they put into staging a home. As the infographic below shows, the following five golden rules of home staging will help you show off its best assets:
Home Ownership Matters!
Home ownership is an important part of our economy, helps our communities thrive and gives our children the stability they need. The Colorado Association of REALTORS® protects consumers’ rights everyday through our political advocacy efforts.
Read More Here
You know what's spooky...? Embers.
“Windborne embers can float miles ahead of a fire front, sparking spot fires wherever they land and posing a major risk to structures built near wilderness.”
During a wildfire, most homes are ignited via embers. Residents should address their home's ember vulnerabilities and take action to increase the likelihood of their home surviving a wildfire.
Check out the following resources:
For Immediate Release: October 20, 2020
Consumer advisory: What to do if you receive a disconnection notice from your utility
With the temporary moratorium on disconnections ending on June 12, 2020, utilities in Colorado have begun issuing shutoff notices to electric and natural gas customers for non-payment of past due amounts.
The Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) want consumers to be aware of what to do if they receive a disconnection notice and assistance that is available to help them pay their energy bills.
Click here for details about what you should do to avoid disconnection: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/CODORA/bulletins/2a6da36
Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential
In today’s real estate market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do.
According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase 4.7% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing into next year. Today, low inventory is largely keeping prices from depreciating. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, notes:
“Looking at the sheer number of buyers, low mortgage rates, and limited sellers, the strength of home prices–which are now growing at the highest pace since January 2018–makes sense.”
When it comes to pricing your home, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.
Click here to keep reading....
Copyright © 2020 - Keeping Current Matters
CDPHE COVID UPDATE - JEFFCO APPROVED VARIANCE
Please click on the link below for the newest Covid approved variance to the Public Health Order.
Get Your SLASH Ready!
If you clear woody vegetation from around your home and stack it in a slash pile, EFR will chip it for you! Learn more pile guidelines and completed the online sign up form at: https://bit.ly/2TVK9Ft
May Market Stats 2020
Will you be prepared for the next wildfire? Visit https://www.rotarywildfireready.com/ for more information.
During the pandemic, REcolorado is also posting weekly market stats to provide timely, relevant information to help brokers navigate uncertain times. These can be found on REcolorado’s Market Watch page.
MARCH MARKET STATS
REALTORS are essential in Colorado. Please be mindful of what you can and cannot do. Open houses are temporarily disabled.
To view the full Executive Order from Governor Jared Polis, please click on this link. REALTORS are essential in Colorado. Please be mindful of what you can and cannot do.
Open houses are temporarily disabled. To view the full Executive Order from Governor Jared Polis, please click on this link. Executive Order
Cost vs. Value: 2020 Home Improvement Projects With the Highest ROI
Curb appeal really does have a major impact on the return you'll see at resale. Among the top 10 home improvement projects with the highest return on investment (ROI) in Remodeling magazine's newly-released Cost vs. Value Report, nine are outdoor projects.
Related: 4 Resolutions for Home Improvements to Make in 2020
Topping this year's list is Manufactured Stone Veneer, a project that has consistently ranked toward the top of the list since the project was added to the report in 2015.
Unsurprisingly, the report shows an increase in cost for all 22 projects listed; however, there is also a consistent dip across the board in terms of what the perceived value of each of these projects is. This is likely due to a market that was anything but smooth in 2019.
"Why the difference? The most likely answer is consumer jitters," says Clay DeKorne, chief editor of the JLC Group, which includes Remodeling magazine. "While remodeling professionals need to stay on point, they can breathe easy. Remodeling activity is growing at a slower rate than in years past, but it continues to grow."
Nationally, here are the 10 projects with the greatest ROI, according to the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report:
Manufactured Stone Veneer (95.6% ROI)
- Average Cost: $9,357
- Average Resale Value: $8,943
Garage Door Replacement (94.5% ROI)
- Average Cost: $3,695
- Average Resale Value: $3,491
Minor Kitchen Remodel (Midrange) (77.6% ROI)
- Average Cost: $23,452
- Average Resale Value: $18,206
Siding Replacement (Fiber-Cement) (77.6% ROI)
- Average Cost: $17,008
- Average Resale Value: $13,195
Siding Replacement (Vinyl) (74.7% ROI)
- Average Cost: $14,359
- Average Resale Value: $10,731
Window Replacement (Vinyl) (72.3% ROI)
- Average Cost: $17,641
- Average Resale Value: $12,761
Deck Addition (Wood) (72.1% ROI)
- Average Cost: $14,360
- Average Resale Value: $10,355
Window Replacement (Wood) (68.9% ROI)
- Average Cost: $21,495
- Average Resale Value: $14,804
Entry Door Replacement (Steel) (68.8% ROI)
- Average Cost: $1,881
- Average Resale Value: $1,294
Deck Addition (Composite) (66.8% ROI)
- Average Cost: $19,856
- Average Resale Value: $13,257
Nationally—and on the other end of the spectrum—here are the 10 projects with the lowest ROI:
Master Suite Addition (Upscale) (51.6% ROI)
- Average Cost: $282,062
- Average Resale Value: $145,486
Grand Entrance (Fiberglass) (53.3% ROI)
- Average Cost: $9,254
- Average Resale Value: $4,930
Major Kitchen Remodel (Upscale) (53.9% ROI)
- Average Cost: $135,547
- Average Resale Value: $72,993
Bathroom Addition (Midrange) (54% ROI)
- Average Cost: $49,598
- Average Resale Value: $26,807
Bathroom Addition (Upscale) (54.7% ROI)
- Average Cost: $91,287
- Average Resale Value: $49,961
Bath Remodel (Upscale) (56.6% ROI)
- Average Cost: $67,106
- Average Resale Value: $37,995
Master Suite Addition (Midrange) (58.5% ROI)
- Average Cost: $136,739
- Average Resale Value: $80,029
Major Kitchen Remodel (Midrange) (58.6% ROI)
- Average Cost: $68,490
- Average Resale Value: $40,127
Roofing Replacement (Metal) (61.2% ROI)
- Average Cost: $40,318
- Average Resale Value: $24,682
Bathroom Remodel (Universal Design) (62% ROI)
- Average Cost: $34,643
- Average Resale Value: $21,463
The 2020 Cost vs. Value Report compared the average costs for 22 popular remodeling projects and how much of that value they retained in 101 different U.S. housing markets. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, here.
THE 3 QUESTIONS VETERANS AND ACTIVE SERVICE PERSONS SHOULD BE ASKING THEIR REALTOR®
BY TANYA SVOBODA
Working with a REALTOR® that’s a good match for you as a veteran or an active service member is key. Buying a home is no small feat, and it’s important that there is an advocate on your side who understands the unique needs of military home buyers and the ins-and-outs of the VA funding and appraisal process.
So how do you find out if your REALTOR® is armed with the knowledge you want behind you during the homebuying process? Below, are three questions you can ask during your search to help you find out.
ARE YOU CERTIFIED TO WORK WITH VETERANS AND/OR ACTIVE SERVICE MEMBERS?
If you are only going to ask your REALTOR® one question, it should be “Are you certified to work with me?” A REALTOR® that can answer yes to that question is one that has spent time learning how to best serve you and your family.
There are a number of certification programs created to educate REALTORS® on how to work effectively with military home buyers, but the Military Relocation Professional certification (MRP) that’s taught by The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is one of the most well-known.
If your REALTOR® has completed MRP training they’ll be coming to you with a thorough understanding of the VA loan process. The Military Times article, Do your homework on military-friendly real estate agents, explains that in the MRP certification course “Attendees are walked through the with an eye toward helping their customers, but also toward educating fellow agents who may steer clients away from VA-related deals based on outdated information or speculation.”
MRP certified REALTORS® have been shown how to deftly handle the needs of active duty service members, like last-minute home relocations. Additionally, they are well prepared to provide resources and find homes for veterans that might need accommodations due to physical injuries or PTSD.
Before NAR grants an MRP designation to a REALTOR®, they must demonstrate that they are proficient and fully prepared to help you by scoring 80% or higher on the final exam. To make it easier for military home buyers NAR provides a searchable directory of REALTORS® that have completed their MRP certification.
DO YOU KNOW THE LATEST VA HOME LOAN AND APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS?
Asking the first question about certification ensures that your REALTOR® has received solid, initial instruction around VA home loans. However, because there are always ongoing changes being made to the VA home loan and appraisal process – you’ll want to work with a REALTOR® that is making it their priority to stay current.
For example, the website Military.com explains that a new law called the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 is expanding VA disability benefits for veterans who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange. However, because of the way the law is structured it will actually benefit all future VA loan applicants.
At the time this article was written, there is a VA loan limit of $484,350 when no down payment is being made. (This figure is set by the FHA and varies yearly and may be higher in Alaska and Hawaii.) But once the Blue Water Law is put into place that limit will be lifted entirely.
“Starting Jan.1, 2020, when the new law takes effect, the VA will not cap the size of a loan a veteran can get with no money down, paving the way for veterans to buy higher-value homes.” A REALTOR® who is aware of changes like this one will be able to present you with a bigger range of homes.
Areas with low housing inventories can pose a big challenge for veterans and service families trying to purchase homes with VA loans. Kelly Hendrickson, a real estate broker and President of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP), gives an example, “Because the Seattle-Tacoma area is a sellers’ market, many home listings have requirements like ‘conventional loans and cash offers only’, making finding a home feel like an impossible task for military families and veterans working with a VA loan.”
Kelly explains that “One of the reasons sellers prefer cash offers and conventional loans over VA loans is because of how long it has been taking VA approved appraisers to come out.” To combat this, the Seattle-Tacoma VAREP office has been conducting Lunch and Learn sessions that bring real estate professionals up-to-date on the latest VA loan updates.
“One of the exciting changes we are able to convey is that VA appraisers were given a pay increase that puts them on par with what conventional appraisers make. A more desirable income has increased the number of available VA appraisers and incentivized the existing ones, speeding up the appraisal process.” REALTORS® armed with this knowledge are now better equipped to fight objections to VA loans.
ARE YOU A GOOD COMMUNICATOR?
There are several reasons that you should consider putting this question forward. The most obvious is that you want to work with someone that understands the importance of being available to you.
Veterans that have been displaced or disabled may need their REALTOR® to be available to multiple support sources. For newly discharged veterans, there may be potential career opportunities they want to discuss with their REALTOR®. Quite a few recently discharged veterans are finding that house flipping is a career path that aligns with the skill sets they learned in the military.
The article, 5 Reasons Veterans Make Great House Flippers, states “Flipping a house can be a very stressful experience for the average person, but for our men and women in uniform, it’s a perfect fit of skill and temperament.” Veterans choosing this path need a REALTOR® who will be responsive about quickly sharing new property listings.
Active service persons value communication because of the uncertainty of their timelines. The article, 9 Things a Military Family Wants Their Realtor to Know, sums up the situation well, “We have no control over anything with a military PCS. No control over dates, or the timeline, or how long we’re going to be there. None whatsoever.” Military families need to be able to get in touch with their REALTOR® and launch the home buying or selling process at a moment’s notice.
Military home buyers also shared that they value honest, straightforward communication because they may need to buy a home without ever having set foot in it. “We need the truth, up front, all of it.”