Wednesday, November 14, 2018

‘Tis the Season:5 Reasons Why Winter is a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home




It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months. 

This is generally considered the “offseason” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home. 

The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the offseason!


1. LESS COMPETITION

What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the offseason? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete. 

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate offseason. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the offseason. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!


2. EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED

During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.

January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3

If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the offseason may be the perfect real estate season for you.


3. GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION

Another key benefit to buying and selling in the offseason is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.

While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.


4. COST SAVINGS

Clients who move during the offseason often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the offseason.Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales. 

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an offseason move.


5. EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL

Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance! 

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.6That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the offseason, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.


ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?

Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the offseason, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move. 

Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you needto move quickly or you simply wantto take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market. 

Give us a call today to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!


Sources:

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Septic tank Repair or Replace

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Copyright 2018 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Ali Palacios, ABR, MCNE, TAHS
Realtor
Today's Home Realty
ali.palacios@todayshomerealty.com
Mobile - 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Getting your home ready for a home inspection


Your home is usually your largest asset. A buyer’s agent will use an inspection report to re-negoicate the terms of the contract. With a little preparation you can avoid further negotiations (price reductions and repair credits) or “deal breakers”. 


In most cases cosmetic issues and normal wear and tear usually don’t have to be fixed. That doesn’t mean the buyer won’t want a paint credit to cover a purple wall :). 
That said, there are issues that come up that involve structural defects, building code violations, or safety issues. These are issues that can impair or make financing on your home conditional on repairs. As a seller you don’t have to complete any repairs or offer credits in lieu of repairs but keep in mind that it’s always better to negotiate. If your current buyer has a problem with it, you will most likely have issues with other future buyers. If your contract is cancelled and you have been given a copy of the inspection report, you must disclosure this inspection report to future buyers. 
Below you will find the most common items that come up during an inspection report. Keep in mind that every home is different and this is not an all encompassing list but it’s a great starting point. For more info on a home inspection

When preparing your home for sale keep in mind: Repair, Replace or Remove
  • Repair when ever possible. It will usually cost you less to repair in advance than it will after inspection.
  • Replace if it’s a necessary component of the home (such as roof shingles) 
  • Remove if broken and not a necesary home’s component (example: a non functioning ceiling fan)
TOP 5 ISSUES

1. Plumbing
Major issues will include plumbing leaks under the foundation. This issue will require a plumber to find the leak with a camera then they have to dig a trench under the slab foundation to repair the leak. This is very costly and can be a deal breaker for most buyers. More info on slab leaks

Other issues include: 
Leaks - If it’s leaking, fix it. This is usually a cheap fix that can be more costly after an inspection. Remember to address any water damaged caused by these leaks.

Water Pressure - A home inspector will check water pressure by turning on multiple faucets and flushing toilets at the same time. 

Backed-up lines - does water flow well down the drains? A home inspector will fill up the sinks and bath tub and then release the water. Slow draining water in sinks and bathtubs usually means there is a clog somewhere. If the water is slow to drain, have the drain checked. There might be a backup

2. Electrical
Serious electrical issues on a home inspection report can include things like faulty wiring, old wiring, bad junction box connections, spliced wiring, and defective electrical panels. If you think there is an issue in these areas, it’s best to have an electrician check them out.

Electrical codes change constantly so you won’t be able to avoid all issues. Before listing your home check to see if all electrical outlets are working. Replace burned out light bulbs. Replace non-working light fixtures. Do you have GFCI outlets in wet areas?

3. HVAC
We can not live without air conditioning in the Houston metro area. During a home inspection, the inspector will visually check the units and the furnace.  Common issues will be rusted pans, clogged drain lines, not enough walkway space to and around the units, dirty filters and temperature differential (Large gaps in temperature differential can signal a potentially major problem to the HVAC system)

I’d recommend to have your HVAC serviced before listing the home. Almost every inspector will request that the HVAC system be serviced. Might as well do it in advance.

4. Foundation
Most homes in the Houston metro area are on pier and beam or the slab (concrete) foundation. Most homes in our area will have foundation issues at some point. Most of the soil in Houston has a high content of clay, which is usually very sensitive to moisture fluctuations. Water will make the soil expand and drought will make the soil contract. The contraction and expansion in the soil under a home causes the house to settle, shift, crack and potentially move.  

Concrete does not give much without breaking. Signs of potential foundation issues: sloping floors, difficulty opening and closing windows, doors not latching properly, separation of brick from the home, large sections of missing mortar from the brick, etc. If you are concerned, let’s chat about your options.

One thing you can address that shows up in every report is grading. The soil (mulch/rock) around your foundation should slope away from your foundation not towards. A slope away from the foundation will allow water to flow away from the foundation and not pool along the foundation. The concrete foundation should not be completely covered by soil, mulch or rock. More info 

5. Roofing
A roof can be a major issue and could deter financing. Certain loans will require that the roof have a certain number of years life left in it. Redflags:  
  • Evidence of prior leaks. The decking is the plywood layer of roofing to which the felt and shingles are attached.  You (and your inspector) can visually inspect the decking from the attic where the underside of the plywood will be exposed.  Large water spots, dark areas, and rotted plywood will be evidence of a prior leak. 
  • Missing Shingles. The inspector should physically climb onto the roof and "walk it" to inspect its condition or they will position a ladder close to the roof to visually inspect the roof with binoculars.
  • Loose or missing nails on shingles
Other smaller red flags:
  • Caulking: Caulk every area that should be caulked. Around windows (inside and out), tubs, sinks, showers, counters and backsplashes.
  • Foggy windows. Double pane windows have a gas within the two panes. This gas with time will escape and cause condensation within the two panes. For more info 
  • Sprinklers: Run your sprinkler system and adjust or repair any broken sprinkler head. 
  • Wood rot in the exterior of your home. This problem is best to remedy before you put the home on the market. There are types of loans that will not permit financing until this is repaired. 
  • Exhaust fans: In the past builders would vent the exhaust fans into the attic. New codes don’t allow this because in theory the exhaust fans could be pumping moisture into the attic. 
  • Window: Missing screens, windows that will not open or close properly. The windows must open for safety. 
  • Chimney: is it gas fireplace? does it work? Do you need a key to turn on the gas? Do you have the key?
  • Doorbells: Does it work?
  • Water heater: The T&P values on your water heater are recommended to be changed every 3 years. For more info on this
  • Appliances: The stove, dishwasher, microwave and range typically stay with the home unless it’s excluded. Do they work? 
  • Pests: do you have pests? I would recommend you treat your home before putting it on the market. Check for termites. This can be a big expense to treat. For more info

Ali Palacios, ABR, MCNE, TAHS
Realtor
Today's Home Realty
ali.palacios@todayshomerealty.com
Mobile - 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

9119 Hwy 6 S #230-116, Missouri City, TX 77459

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