Category Archives: Selling

7 Pitfalls of Selling Without a REALTOR®

In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own. In the industry, this is referred to as a For Sale by Owner, or “FSBO”. While being a FSBO might seem to have its advantages, there are reasons why nearly 9 of every 10 homes are still sold with the help of a REALTOR®.For Sale By Owner

If you are thinking of selling your home on your own, first consider these challenges you will face by not using a REALTOR.

1. Setting the right price
Overpriced homes don’t sell. On the other hand, no seller wants to risk underpricing their home. FSBOs frequently misjudge the value of their home, basing their pricing decisions on inaccurate information they find online or the common misconceptions about the current state of home prices and the overall real estate market. REALTORS® have the expertise, knowledge, and resources to help sellers choose the best price for their home.

2. Being available for showings
Are you going to be available on short notice to show your home to prospective buyers? Your job, family, and personal life can make for a very busy schedule. This makes it very unrealistic for many of us to simply drop what we are doing and rush home to meet buyers for a showing. One of the roles of a REALTOR is to take the demands away from sellers and be there to represent your house any time a buyer wants to see it.

3. There’s more to negotiating than you may think
Negotiation is a normal part of any real estate transaction, but many FSBOs do not consider all the different people they must be prepared to negotiate with, including:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible for themselves.
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer.
  • The home inspector(s) who works for the buyer, not the seller, and will almost always find some problems with the property.
  • The appraiser if there is a question of home’s value.

4. Exposure to prospective buyers
The days of considering a good marketing plan to be a sign in the front yard and some flyers are long gone. Studies have shown that out of 10 buyers 9 use the Internet to search for homes while just 2 are looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

5. Results come from the Internet
How do we know the Internet is an effective marketing tool? Because it generates real results! A recent study from the National Association of Realtors showed 43% of buyers found the home they actually purchased on the Internet. That is in comparison to only 9% from a yard sign and 1% from a newspaper. Having a strong Internet strategy when selling your home is crucial.

6. FSBOing is not what it used to be, the process today is difficult and complex
Over the years more and more requirements have been set in place and the paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and procedures have become mandatory. This has made the process of real estate transactions a complex one, giving reason for why we have seen a drop in FSBOs from 19% to 9% in the past two decades. If you are thinking of not using a REALTOR to sell your home, ask yourself, how familiar are you with reviewing contracts and negotiating contingencies?

7. Using an agent will net you more money
Many homeowners are drawn to try selling on their own because they believe they will save the real estate commission. However what they don’t realize is that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. In reality, the seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical FBSO home sells for $208,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $235,000. FSBOs are more common in lower price point markets so this doesn’t mean that an agent can get $27,000 more for your home. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Before making the decision to try selling your home on your own, contact a REALTOR in your area and see what they have to offer.

Source: The KCM Crew. http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2015/06/02/5-reasons-you-shouldnt-for-sale-by-owner-5/

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There’s More Than Just Semonin on Semonin.com

Semonin.comSemonin.com is a top local real estate website in our region. Now it has more features than ever to help you find a home. Many people think that Semonin.com only features properties that are listed with a Semonin agent. This is a big misconception. In addition to homes for sale by Semonin Realtors®, you will also find thousands of properties on the market from other real estate brokers across Louisville and its surrounding counties, Southern Indiana, and Elizabethtown.

When someone puts up their home for sale with the help of a Realtor, the broker enters the listing information into the local Multiple Listing System, or MLS. This way Realtors can share and market their listings with other local Realtors outside of their office or company.

So how do all the listings get to Semonin.com? In 2000, the National Association of Realtors® adopted the Internet Data Exchange policy, or more commonly referred to as IDX. IDX technology Listings on Semonin.compowers the data in the MLS to feed into Semonin.com. When you conduct a search on Semonin.com each listing will display a small icon. If this icon is the Semonin Realtors® logo, it is listed by a Semonin agent. If there is an IDX icon next to the property that means it is listed with an agent who is not affiliated with Semonin Realtors®. So, whether a home has a Semonin “For Sale” sign in the front yard, or a sign from another real estate firm that participates with the local MLS, you can find details about the home on Semonin.com.

We are proud to provide a site to home buyers and sellers that offers the most accurate and up-to-date information. When searching for a new home in Louisville, Southern Indiana, or Elizabethtown Semonin.com is the only local source you will need to use.

Overlooked Advantages of Winter Real Estate

Holiday Real EstateAs the frosty weather and holiday chaos moves in many people choose to stay put. This explains why there is usually a dip in real estate sales during the winter months. It is a common theory that the warmer, more relaxed spring and summer seasons is the best time to sell a home. Temperatures warm, the school year comes to an end, schedules open up, and everything blooms back to life. It is understandable why many buyers plan their home shopping around this time. But that doesn’t mean all of them go into hibernation after Labor Day and are completely dormant until spring.

Here are 3 advantages to buying or selling real estate in the winter:

Reduced Competition

During the winter, many sellers take their home off the market until the spring when buying activity picks up again. As a result, sellers who decide not to follow this trend will experience less competition, given buyers have less inventory to choose from.  The decreased competition may mean more money for sellers because there are less active listings to compare prices to. Yes, there may be fewer people actively shopping for a home during this season, but those who are tend to be serious buyers.

More Motivation

Many buyers and sellers take a break from their real estate journey during the winter, meaning those who remain active typically have a reason for buying or selling a home that cannot be postponed. When time is a key factor, buyers and sellers are looking for a fast sell. This desire to speed up the process can often cause for easier negotiations as both parties have more willingness to compromise. As a result, not only can the process be quicker but both the buyer and the seller could get more of what they want.

The Appeal of Holiday Homes

When buyers are shopping for a home, they want something that feels like a home. While the winter weather is cold and gloomy, homes decorated for the holidays helps create a cheery and cozy welcome. Homebuyers—who often base their decisions on emotion—will appreciate the inviting warmth of tasteful holiday décor. This allows them to picture their own family celebrating future holidays in the space.


Buying or selling a home during the winter may seem out completely overwhelming with all the holiday festivities going on. However, given these advantages it may be the time when real estate transactions are the  most hassle free!

 

The Ranch Makes a Comeback

Ranch Style Home

The ranch home was in its heyday in the 1950s and 60s when it emerged as one of the most popular American styles. As more families moved to the suburbs during these years, the ranch home was appealing because they were affordable and quick to build. In more recent decades, however, the demand for ranch style homes fell as homebuyers gravitated to the grander look of two-story homes. Just as any fashion, housing styles come and go, and the ranch style is now showing signs of a comeback.

A number of factors have contributed to this resurgence of demand for ranch homes. A large portion of home buyers in today’s market are aging baby boomers and first-time buyers. Both the young and the old have recently shown increasing interest in doing all their living on the first floor of the home, and the ranch style offers that. Ranch homes have grabbed the interest of many baby boomers as they are getting older and find the style a good solution for downsizing and avoiding stairs. Many first-time home buyers with young children also like the idea of one-story living to avoid worrying about the safety of stairways. The ranch also offers these young buyers more affordable options that give them more bang for their buck.

Another reason for the ranch revival is the nicer lots many of them were built on in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Unlike the older bungalows and many of the new constructed two-story homes seen in recent neighborhood developments, older ranch homes are often found on larger lots. As more home buyers have been expressing an increased demand for a good yard size and mature trees, the ranch has been getting more attention.

Architecturally, the ranch also has a lot of unique potential. Home owners who like the contemporary style of an open-style floor plan have found that the ranch style can be easily remodeled to convey the open look without compromising structural support. Additionally, if the lot size allows, the ranch is also known to be relatively easy to add on to. Home owners are drawn to the opportunity of increasing their home’s square footage and resale value when their time and money allow.

It is hard to tell if this upward trend will continue to climb, but for now, it is evident that many homebuyers have a newfound appreciation for the ranch.

 

Adapted from article at http://realtormag.realtor.org/

 

Staging Your Home To Sell!

Staging to Sell Infographic

Why Do People Sell Their Homes?

Top 5 Reasons For Selling A Home

  1. Home is too small. 19% of sellers in 2013 decided to make a move to upgrade to a home with more square footage. The majority of people who listed this as their reason for selling were first-time sellers.
  2.  Job relocation. 15% of all sellers in 2013 indicated they had to sell their home due to relocating for work.
  3.  Proximity to family and friends. 13% of sellers put their house on the market because they wanted to move closer to their loved ones.
  4.  A tie between downsizing and a decreased desire in neighborhood. 10% of sellers in 2013 thought their home was too large for their needs and sold their home to downsize to one with less square footage. The same percentage of sellers said their neighborhoods had become less desirable in some way or another, which gave them reason to move.
  5.  Recent change in family situation. 8% of people who sold their home in 2013 did so because something changed within the family. Such changes may include things like the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, or death.
Based on a 2013 study by the National Association of Realtors®
Reasons for Selling A Home

How Do Buyers Search for Homes?

The real estate world has changed drastically since the good old days when searching for homes meant picking up the newspaper and diligently scanning through all the cramped text and tiny photos. Everyone has turned to the Internet for everyday tasks, including searching for homes.

How many buyers use each tool to search for homes (in percentage) Online Website: 89% Real Estate Agent: 89 Yard Sign: 51  Open House: 45 Mobile/tablet website or application: 45           Mobile/tablet search engine:  42           Online video site: 27 Print newspaper advertising:  5 Home Builder: 5 Home book or magazine: 5 Billboard: 5 Television: 4 Relocation Company: 3 Information Sources Used in Home Search From the National Association of Realtors  Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers - 2013

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, in 2013, 92% of homebuyers used the Internet to search for homes, and 43% actually found the home they purchased on the Web. These numbers have continued to rise year after year. As a seller, the more buyers you reach, the better chance you have of getting an offer. How do you reach more buyers? Easy; market your home with the tools buyers are using to shop, or in other words, put your listing where they will see it.

The chart to the right displays which tools buyers use most often to search for homes. Primarily focusing on the most popular, you should use a combination of these sources to reach a good amount of buyers. If you are using a real estate agent to list your home, ask questions about marketing tools: What websites will your listing be on? Is their website compatible for smart phones and tablets? How many open houses will you have? What kinds of tools will be used to specifically reach other real estate agents? All of these are valid questions to be asked and could influence your decision of which agent you should use.  

A knowledgeable seller, is a successful seller. Information like this will help you feel confident and informed through the difficult process of selling a home.

Remodeling Costs & Resale Value

Remodeling projects are a great way to add value to your home, but not all projects produce the same return. If you are looking to add value to your home, it is important to know how much certain jobs cost and how much of that money you will get back when you sell the property. Remodeling Magazine recently came out with the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report which provides estimates for national averages and for local areas such as the Greater Louisville region. Below are some remodel projects with their average cost and value recouped in our local area. Our averages are generally at or above the national percentage of cost recouped.

Project: Attic Bedroom; Job Cost: $47,725; Resale Value: $32,968; % Recouped: 69.10% Project: Basement Remodel; Job Cost: $59,830; Resale Value: $38,218; % Recouped: 63.90% Project: Bathroom Remodel; Job Cost: $15,444; Resale Value: $8,479; % Recouped: 54.90% Project: Family Room Addition; Job Cost: $76,667; Resale Value: $45,600; % Recouped: 59.50% Project: Garage Addition; Job Cost: $48,619; Resale Value: $27,496; % Recouped: 56.60% Project: Garage Door Replacement; Job Cost: $1,468; Resale Value: $1,054; % Recouped: 72.00% Project: Major Kitchen Remodel; Job Cost: $52,836; Resale Value: $36,762; % Recouped: 69.60% Project: Minor Kitchen Remodel; Job Cost: $18,211; Resale Value: $13,625; % Recouped: 74.80% Project: Master Suite Addition; Job Cost: $99,369; Resale Value: $60,196; % Recouped: 61.00% Project: Home Office Remodel; Job Cost: $26,923; Resale Value: $8,582; % Recouped: 31.90% Project: Roofing Replacement; Job Cost: $16,591; Resale Value: $9,112; % Recouped: 54.90% 

The 2014 Housing Market

It is always hard to predict the future in real estate, as you can never be absolutely sure what the housing market will do. However, based on past activity and current trends there are a few things believed to happen during 2014:

Interest Rates Will Rise

Throughout the year of 2013 we saw interest rates rise steadily. During the first quarter of the year, rates hovered around 3%, but as we closed out 2013 rates were just under 5%. It is believed that this trend will only continue on its upward slope throughout 2014, and interest rates on mortgage loans will begin to approach the mid-5% to 6% range.

Home Sales Will Increase

The numbers have shown the strength of the housing market is only getting better. More people are becoming increasingly optimistic about buying a home. Furthermore, Generation Y—the largest generation since the Baby Boomers—is moving into the “ready stage” when it comes to making an investment in real estate. With interest rates rising at a steady rate, many people are looking to buy sooner rather than later.

Demand Will Exceed Supply

The surge of homes sales will likely cause a shortage of inventory, similar, if not worse, to what we saw in 2013. To satisfy the demands of all the home buyers, it is probable that 2014 will bring excellent opportunity for builders and real estate professionals.

Happy New Year

Source: Keeping Current Matters: “KCM’s Housing Predictions for 2014”

The Importance of Photography

Making a Good First Impression When Selling a HomeTaking good real estate photos

When home buyers search for a property they are ultimately going through an elimination process. Generally, when a buyer crosses a house off their list, it stays off their list. This is why first impressions are crucial when selling a home. In today’s information and technology driven society, the majority of home buyers are starting their house hunt on the Internet. Furthermore, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, about 80 percent of home buyers rated photos as the most useful feature when shopping for homes online. As a result, sellers now have to count primarily on property photos to make a good first impression on prospective buyers. As shoppers scroll through online listings, those with poor photos, or none at all, are the ones they tend to cross off their list first or overlook all together.

To better improve a listing’s Internet appeal, the quality AND quantity of pictures is important. A single picture of the outside of the house can be just as ineffective as 30 bad photos. Even though pictures are just giving buyers a preview of a property, they still want to feel they’ve had a good look at the property. Online listings with too few photos can make buyers question why there are not more—is there something wrong that the seller does not want them to see? This brings up another important trait of good real estate photos: honesty.

Making a home appear as appealing as possible in photos is important, but be careful to not get carried away. The pictures you use should be honest. Deceiving photos will leave the buyer irritated when they view a home and find it not how it was pictured on the Internet. For example, avoid using photos that are not current that will mislead buyers. If a photo shows a swimming pool in the backyard that has since been removed, do not use that photo.

Since many can underestimate the power of good real estate photos, the job is often rushed through in effort to get the property listed faster. However, it is important to take the proper time to prepare and produce valuable pictures. Before pulling out the camera do a little staging. Simple jobs like picking up clutter and making beds can make a huge difference. Buyers are purchasing a house, not all the stuff in it. Put away items that could be distracting, like toys or laundry.

Lighting is another factor to consider. Better pictures can be taken when there is more natural light in the space. Open the curtains and blinds and turn on all the lights in a room to make the space appear open and bright. It is also a good idea to consider the weather and time of day you take photos—a more beautiful day makes for more beautiful pictures.

There are numerous photography tips and tricks that can be helpful to learn, and there is always the option of hiring a professional to take the pictures. However you choose to get them, give prospective buyers a good first impression with good, quality photos.

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