Why October is a great month for home buying?

by Chuck Roper 9. October 2018 06:59

We traditionally see a flurry of home buying activity in October.  School is in session, the weather in St. Louis is picture perfect and prices are often at their lowest.

Home buyers find good values in the Fall market.  A quick search through MLS shows a rich profusion of price reductions as summer ends and daylight shortens.  These price declines convey a seller’s motivation to put their home under contract and close before winter sets in.   Great values can be found in long dated listings which are just now reduced to compelling prices.

Also at this time of year, new listings are likely to be competitively priced.  Sellers, who don’t relished the prospect of open houses or showings throughout the holidays, feel urgency to attract a buyer in less time than their Spring counterpart.  Moreover, sellers recognize they are in direct competition with existing inventory with newly reduced prices. 

If you are a Seller with your home currently for sale or you are considering listing your home now, here are a few tips.

 

1.  Refresh your outdoor pots with Fall flowers and foliage.  Trim back summer growth on shrubs and perennials if shaggy.

2.  Make sure you have photos of your swimming pool before it is closed and the furniture stored.  Since your buyer will not be able to inspect the pool entirely during winter, ask your pool company to give you a letter stating that it was in good working condition at the time of closing.   

3.  Do you same for your HVAC.   Buyers cannot test the air conditioner when the temperature is below 62 degrees.  Having a letter from your professional will provide a level of comfort for a prospective buyer.

4.  Let the intense Fall sunlight shine through clean windows.  Pollen can cloud the beautiful clear light you want to take advantage of this time of year.  

5.  Make sure your house is set at a comfortable temperature for showings. This can be challenging when temperatures fluctuate every day.

6.  Finally, this is not the time to “test the market” with an over inflated price.  

 

-Janet Horlacher

Principal

Janet McAfee Real Estate

To My Fellow Realtors, “Buyers and Sellers still need YOU”

by Chuck Roper 10. September 2018 05:37

Just released, a 2018 Harris Insights & Analytics study reported that 90% of all buyers and sellers used a real estate agent in their transaction.  This is up from 85% in a similar study conducted four years ago.  

 

The most important factors in choosing an agent were:  “a referral from someone I trust,” “agents who had listings similar to what I am looking for,”  “looking at websites with ratings of agents” and “having a personal relationship with the agent.”

 

Negotiating the best price was mentioned by 89% of buyers and sellers as being extremely or very important.  

 

I’m not surprised by these findings.  A real estate transaction is complex and stressful.  Why wouldn’t you rely on a professional with a proven track record from a reputable brokerage to help you navigate the most important purchase of your life?

 

(Source: Real Trends September 2018 newsletter)

-Janet Horlacher

What Constitutes Luxury?

by Chuck Roper 30. July 2018 09:03

If there’s one thing I’ve learned all these years as a luxury Realtor, is “Luxury” means something unique to each of us.  Luxury is personal.  

•  Luxury = Lifestyle.  Luxury buyers are inspired by amenities which enhance the home experience.  Lifestyle seekers are excited by outdoor kitchens, breathtaking pools and spas, wine tasting rooms, whole house media systems and over the top master closets. 

•  Luxury = Smart.  Technology has introduced a whole new landscape of luxury features for savvy home buyers.   Temperature controlled wine cellars, variable speed air conditioners and window glass which goes from clear to opaque are features which motivate this buyer.  Does our future include A.I. devices in every room?

•  Luxury = Aesthetic.  Buyers are seeking exceptional design and exclusivity.   Architectural provenance is important for the buyer looking for historic significance.  Haute home interiors include hand crafted draperies and authentic wall murals, which cannot be replicated.

What does luxury mean to you?   

-Janet Horlacher

Is the Market Heating Up?

by Chuck Roper 25. June 2018 06:54

Is the real estate market as HOT as our temperatures have been?  Every month, we monitor key statistics for all homes in our MLS as well as specific geographies.  Here’s a snapshot of all homes in the MLS this year through May 31, 2018 compared to last year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closed Sales Dollar Volume          Up 6.5% 

Average Sold Price                       Up 4.3%

 

Average Days on Market               Down 3.6%

% List Price to Sale Price              Up .4%

 

New Listings                                Up 1.2%

Available Listings                         Down 3.6%

 

Our collection of fine listings has never been better. 

 

Janet Horlacher

7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Spring Market

by Chuck Roper 8. February 2018 03:25

Spring is right around the corner, and if you’re planning on putting your house on the market this season, it’s certainly not too early to be giving some thought to preparing your home for buyers. Spring is the optimum time to sell your home. Regardless of whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, there is almost always a rise in demand during the months of April, May and June. Of course, increased demand also means increased competition, so chances are you’ll need to do some sprucing up to stay in the running. Read on for seven helpful tips on how to prepare your home for a spring showing.    

1. Stage Your Home

“Home staging” refers to arranging furniture so as to maximize feelings of space and light with an aesthetic eye as to how each room should flow into another. Yes, this means stowing away your pile of magazines or unpaid bills in the hopes of presenting a fantasy version of your home for buyers. If your personal decor isn’t cutting it, you can transfer your belongings into storage and rent furniture and artwork from a home staging company on a monthly basis.

2. Wash Windows & Mirrors

When cleaning your home, remember the phrase “sparkle sells.” A potential buyer may not realize why your home seems so inviting, but if your windows are spotless inside and out and your mirrors clearly reflect the sun, they’ll want to stay all afternoon! So let in the spring sunshine with the help of a bottle of Windex to impress home buyers.

3. Eliminate Odors

As much as we may not like to admit it, we all have unpleasant odors that plague our home from time to time, and nothing will make a potential buyer want to walk out the door than a bad smell in the kitchen, bathroom or living room. However, don’t take the easy way out and simply mask odors with air fresheners, which can be overwhelming and cause allergies. Rather include fresh flowers throughout your home, spice up the kitchen with the scent of boiled cinnamon, or freshen up the bathroom with some eucalyptus.

4. Paint Your Walls

While you may be in love with your seafoam green walls in the kitchen and bathroom, chances are it may be too specific for today’s buyer. The truth is that most buyers prefer to see a blank canvas where they can inject their own personality. Why not select a neutral base color and extend it to all rooms on the same floor? You are making your home appeal to the largest possible audience.

5. Clean or Replace Flooring

Damage to floors and carpeting over the years is unavoidable, and those stains, scratches and cracks will be apparent to potential buyers. Prevent this by cleaning or replacing flooring throughout your home. Carpets should be shampooed and treated for stains, while hardwoods should be swept and mopped until sparkling clean. Any flooring permanently stained or damaged should be replaced, or at the very least refinished.

6. Yardwork

Prepping your home for buyers means cleaning both inside and out. Rake up dead leaves and other debris in your yard, and don’t let overground vegetation block windows or a pathway to the entrance. Trimming bushes and trees will allow more sunlight to shine into your home, and artfully cut lawns will tell buyers to pay attention to small details inside. Remember, the exterior of your home is the first impression buyers will have.

7. Snacks and Drinks

Touring homes all day makes buyers hungry. What better way to make a positive impression than by providing snacks and drinks for guests? Set out crackers and cheese or a plate of your homemade cookies, then place a couple dozen water bottles in the sink filled with ice. Giving refreshments for guests will allow them to spend more time in your kitchen, and marvel at how beautiful it is!

Selling your home can be a stressful process for buyers and sellers alike. Deep cleaning your home will inevitably force you to adapt your aesthetic preferences to sell to a wider audience and sacrifice personal touches you’ve included over the years, but it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind. Follow the above tips to get your home looking amazing for spring showings and watch your listing sell quickly and at a great price!

Need help with listing your home for sale? Contact Janet McAfee Real Estate today for over three decades of buying and selling experience!

 

 

"Beat the Heat" Showing Tips

by Chuck Roper 24. July 2017 07:38

St. Louis reached an official high temperature on Saturday with a scorching 108 degrees.  It’s difficult to do just about anything in that heat zone, much less tour homes with out of town buyers.  Everything looks and feels “wilted” making it difficult to showcase our lush St. Louis neighborhoods to transferees (especially if they are coming from Northern Michigan!)

Cool down the House 30 Minutes Prior to Showing – If the home is vacant or if the programmable thermostat is set for energy conservation during the day, an uncomfortably hot house is an immediate turn off for prospective buyers.  Make sure someone arrives early to cool the house, turn on all the lights and play quiet, calming music. 

 

Run the Irrigation System before your showing – Remember, first impressions are everything in real estate.  Nothing says “old, tired, long dated listing” like scraggly, drooping landscaping.  Keep weeds in check; lawns should be cut appropriately for the heat and perennials should be kept trimmed and looking healthy.  Watering prior to showings will give a healthy and well-kept appearance. 

 

Keep your home Clean and Uncluttered.   There’s something about hot weather that makes dirty, overstuffed homes feel even more stifling.   Now, more than ever, it is imperative to purge tabletops of dust loving knick-knacks, wipe down counter tops and vacuum carpets.  A glistening, streamlined home feels cooler and more inviting.

 

Janet Horlacher

Principal, Janet McAfee Real Estate

 

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