Waiting until the spring to put your home on the market could only decrease the likelihood that it will sell. Find out why.
The biggest challenge in today’s real estate market is the lack of good sellable homes. In this market throughout 2017, any home that has been aggressively marketed by a professional Realtor and priced in the right market value range has been selling within the first two to four weeks, often with multiple offers on each. This has had the effect of increasing the top price even further, which is very exciting.
Right now, that situation is even more critical. To quote Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sean Becketti, “House prices today are higher than they were at the peak of the summer of 2006. Near record-low mortgage rates have boosted housing demand, and sales volume is robust.”
So think about it: A very common, yet very inaccurate assumption is that now is the time to take your home off the market and wait until spring to list.
Au contraire, now is the time to take advantage of the already rich real estate market, and the fact there is still a very strong pool of buyers in this market. Right now, you can absolutely take advantage of the sellers who don’t see this information and decide to wait until spring, where they’ll compete with hundreds of other sellers for homes like yours.
According to a quote from Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, “Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”
So you see, according to the experts—and myself, with nearly 30 years of experience of professionally helping sellers sell and buyers buy—you can put more money in your pocket now than if you wait until those buyers that are on the sidelines have many more choices than just your home.
If you have any more questions about selling during the upcoming holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.
Why are you putting off homeownership? Today, I’ve got four reasons to buy this fall.
Some people think that once we’ve made it through the competitive spring and summer months, the market slows to a stop.
This simply isn’t the case. Today, I’ve got four reasons to buy a home this fall:
1. Prices will continue to increase. CoreLogic’s latest home price index indicates that prices have appreciated 6.7% nationally over the last year. The same report also predicted that prices are going to continue to increase at a rate of 5% over the next year. The bottom line is prices are on the rise.
2. Mortgage interest rates are projected to increase. Freddie Mac’s primary market survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage are hovering around 4%, but most experts expect this to rise over the next year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the National Association of Realtors all agree with this prediction.
3. Either way, you’re paying a mortgage. Many renters worry about the idea of paying a monthly mortgage. However, unless you’re living rent-free in your parents’ basement, you are paying a mortgage—it’s just someone else’s. You could either pay your own mortgage or your landlord’s. As an owner, your mortgage is a forced savings account.
4. It’s just time to move. The cost of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the interest rates. While these things both appear to be on the rise, would you wait to buy if they weren’t? Think about the real reason you might want to buy. Do you want a place to raise kids, a better neighborhood, or simply a place of your own? Whatever the reason, why wait?
Buying in the fall may be more prudent in terms of finances and opportunity, so don’t hesitate to make your move.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
The Miami Valley real estate market is as hot as it has ever been. Here’s how we know that.
Unless you’ve been sequestered on Walden’s Pond, you know that the Miami Valley real estate market is hotter than it’s been in over a decade. Naturally, there are markets and price ranges selling faster or slower than others, but the market is up overall. Coming from someone who has been selling real estate for almost 30 years, it’s very refreshing.
Here are the most recent statistics from the Dayton area Board of Realtors from January to July of 2017, compared to the numbers we saw during that same time frame in 2016:
These numbers mean it’s a great time to sell. If you’re thinking about selling your home in Dayton, we’re the team to call. If you need our assistance or just have any questions, reach out to us today and we’ll be here to help. We look forward to hearing from you.
To help you feel more at ease when buying a home, I’ve compiled a list of key terms that come up during the home buying process
and explained their meaning.
Here is a list of terms you need to know to feel more confident and comfortable during the home buying process:
Appraisal: A professional analysis used by your bank to estimate the value of the property. This includes examples of similar properties that have sold.
Closing costs: The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, and processing or transaction fees that must be prepaid or escrowed.
Credit score: A number ranging from 350 to 850 that is based on an analysis of your credit history. Your credit score plays a significant role when securing a mortgage, as it helps lenders determine the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts. The higher your score, the better. In actuality, over 55% of loans approved had scores below 750.
Down payment: The portion of the cost of your home that you pay up front to secure the purchase of the property. Down payments vary widely, and there are zero-down programs available through VA loans or USDA loans for rural areas.
“ Knowing these terms will help you feel more confident and comfortable. “
Escrow: The holding of money or documents by a neutral third party for closing.
Mortgage interest rate: The interest rate you pay to borrow the money to buy your home.
Pre-approval letter: A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that you not only qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount but that your income and assets to purchase the home have also been verified. This is a much stronger letter in a competitive market.
We real estate professionals are here to help you through the confusing paperwork, help you find your dream home, negotiate any of the details that come up, and make sure you know exactly what’s going on in the housing market.
If you need help, we’d like to apply for the job of helping you find your dream home. All you have to do is reach out to us. We look forward to hearing from you.
The answer to whether you should buy a pre-existing home or build a new one depends on several different factors.
If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Miami Valley area, should you purchase a pre-existing home or build a new one? There are several factors you must consider before making a decision.
The first is your budget and the cost of the home. The median sales price of a new home in the U.S. was $322,500 in December 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. During the same month, the median price of an existing home was $232,200, according to the National Association of Realtors.
With home prices increasing and mortgage rates remaining low (for now), the time might be ideal for buyers to secure a new deal on a pre-existing home or build considering all the costs of building a new home, which is the better investment between the two.
If you’re thinking of building a new home, though, there are three main factors to take into account.
The first is that the average cost of new construction is $160 to $260 per square foot, whereas the average price per square foot of a pre-existing home is $104. There are many deciding factors within those numbers, too. One of which is the fact that the cost of construction materials is not a stagnant cost. Roofing, lumber, labor, etc. have all increased over the years.
The second factor is the time frame necessary to build a home. From the removal of the first shovel of dirt to the date of delivery, if everything cooperates (including no inclement weather or acts of God that would delay the process), every bit of the materials necessary to build are delivered on time, and every selection made for flooring, cabinets, hardware, etc. is in stock at the time needed, it would take you a minimum of five months. If you have a home to sell in order to build, you’ll likely move at least twice too.
“The time might be ideal for buyers to secure a new deal on a pre-existing home or build.“
The third factor is landscaping. This is an area buyers often neglect when considering the building process. Most non-custom homes come with sodding in the back and seeding along the sides and in the rear yard, and I can tell you that you’ll need a lawn service just to kill the weeds. They may also offer a bush or two or a small tree. Custom homes don’t even offer these basics in the price.
If you’re thinking of buying a pre-existing home, there are also three main factors you must consider.
First, although the initial cost to build may be higher, a pre-existing home isn’t new. There will be some initial added costs in having the property inspected in the very beginning before you purchase. Even with inspections, it’s likely something can be missed.
Second, what will be the overall monthly maintenance costs? What do you need to do to budget for them? If you’re buying a 20-year-old home, it’s safe to assume that the roof is 20 years old too. The average lifespan of a roof is 20 to 30 years, and the average cost of a roof is $10,000 to $15,000. Do you start saving now?
Lastly, think about the utility bills. This is subjective based on the age of the home, but it’s obvious that with new homes, the materials used will be more efficient and likely lower your utility bills.
There are numerous other things to consider when deciding to build or buy, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you.
Have you ever wanted to invest in real estate? It can be an amazing investment opportunity, but you need to consider these six things before making the leap.
It’s still a great market for buying property here in the Dayton area, and that’s especially true for investment property. Have you thought about adding real estate to your portfolio? If so, you need to know these six important things before buying one:
1. Your personal finances need to be in order first. Can you handle this commitment? You should have a steady income and a well-stocked emergency fund and your non-productive, high-interest debt paid off, and be on track for your retirement goals. Like with stocks, you want to map out the investment carefully because not every real estate deal will make sense for your portfolio.
2. Calculate your return on investment before buying: You wouldn’t put money in a mutual fund without checking its performance. Rental property isn’t a low-risk investment, so it’s important to consider the ROI as it compares to the risk you’ll incur.
3. Find the right agent: Since many agents only view you as a potential commission, it’s critical to find an agent who’s on your side and has experience. They should be interested in establishing a mutually beneficial relationship and have investment property of their own.
“You wouldn’t put money in a mutual fund without checking its performance first.“
4. Realize that your investment property doesn’t have to be your dream home: I can say from personal experience that your wants and must-haves in a home generally aren’t what your investments are looking for. Regardless of your decision of ROI, you want to find the best properties available in the location you can afford and where your returns fit best.
5. Find a good and trustworthy accountant: As a real estate investor, your life will change in terms of bookkeeping and accounting. A great tax advisor can unearth all the benefits and write-offs you get as a property owner.
6. Keeping tenants requires some TLC: Finding good tenants who pay their rent on time is just as important to finding a good investment property. It’s important to screen every potential tenant with background checks, credits checks, and previous landlord checks. Once you find a good tenant, hold on to them!
If you’re interested in buying investment property or just learning more, give me a call or send me an email soon. I’d love to help you out.
Buyers and sellers will have to go through the closing process. How long does the process take and how can you avoid common delays in closing?
Whether you plan on buying or selling a home, once an offer has been submitted and accepted, you will have to go through the closing process.
How long does the closing process usually take? The first thing to keep in mind is that as a buyer, being pre-approved carries far more weight than being pre-qualified. Those who are pre-approved are often in a position to close sooner.
However, getting pre-approved is a process all its own. The pre-approval process involves verification of certain items up front before any kind of contract is made or signed on the home.
Once a lender has verified the buyer’s employment, bank account, and credit report, closing can go as quickly as an underwriter can process the paperwork and review the appraisal. Generally, that only takes a week or two. If a document is missing from the file, such as a preliminary title report or a seller’s condition of sale, the closing process could take longer.
“First-time buyer programs with down payment assistance take longer to close. “
Typically, most federal mortgage loans close within 30 to 45 days. Special first-time buyer programs, particularly those with down payment assistance, might take 45 to 60 days to close. That’s because those loans require approval from an additional underwriter.
Delays during the pre-approval process usually fall on the buyer, but there are a few other delays that you need to look out for:
The closing process can go very smoothly if you are prepared, so make sure that you talk to your lender and a professional Realtor to avoid delays and snags along the way. You can read more about the home closing process here.
If you have any other questions about the closing process or about buying or selling a home, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!
Can you trust Zillow’s Zestimate to accurately determine the value of your home? It depends on these key factors.
Many people love to use Zillow to evaluate a home if they’re thinking about buying or selling a home. How accurate are Zillow’s home value estimates, or Zestimates, though?
Zillow uses an algorithm to determine home value, much like the algorithms used to assess the value of a large pool of mortgages bought and sold in the market. According to market research and even Zillow’s website, Zestimates can range from 5% to 25% too high or too low.
If your home is worth is $200,000 but Zillow says it’s worth $220,000, it will sound exciting, but buyers will know what the home’s true value is. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and you don’t want to ruin it by pricing your home too high just because you relied on false information from an algorithm.
“Even Zillow admits that Zestimates should only be used as a starting point.“
Even Zillow says that their Zestimates are a good place to start, and state on their site to “Please know that we, Zillow, do not intend for the Zestimate to replace a comparative market analysis, as they can take into account market intricacies that the Zillow Zestimate can not.”
The Zestimate simply can’t replace the market expertise of an agent like myself who studies the market all day long.
If your home is in a good neighborhood with other similar homes and you haven’t made any major home improvements over the area standard, Zillow might be close. However, if your house is in an area in a transition, has a wide variety of home types and sizes, or is in an area that’s very urban or rural, Zillow will be way off. Zillow can’t see inside your home or distinguish between a three-acre flat lot and a three-acre lot with woods, a pond, and a stream.
If you’re curious what your home is really worth or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help!
Today we’re going to see who the best most awesome & coolest realtor in Dayton, and well, really all of Ohio! Maybe you’re asking yourself “exactly what scientific measures did they use to determine such a thing?” below we’ll review the criteria and exactly how we came to our conclusion.
Clearly based on the criteria above, Denise Swick is the best realtor in Dayton, Ohio!
Did we mention she’s available day and night to help you sell or buy your next home? Call Denise at (937) 619-7447 for assistance today, feel free mention that you saw this for a good laugh 🙂
Here we can see Denise having a few glasses of wine with some Corgi friends of hers.
How many realtors do you know that hang out with Unicorns?
Contact Denise Swick for complete assistance selling your home today! Denise and her team are also always ready to help you find your next dream home, call (937) 619-7447!
Below are directions to Denise’s Dayton, Ohio office from local attractions:
Buying a home after getting a divorce can be especially overwhelming, so today, we have a few key tips to help you navigate this process.
Going through a divorce is difficult enough on its own, but buying a home and having to check off that divorced box can also be difficult. That said, there are a few things you can do to make this part of your life a little bit easier.
Start by being completely sure of your mortgage budget. Check it and check it again. When you start working with a mortgage lender, you will get a pre-approval letter which tells you the maximum amount of money they can loan you for your home.
However, keep in mind that you do not have to go and spend the maximum amount on your new home. You don’t want to end up house poor, where all of your money goes into your mortgage. After all, you still need money to live your life, right?
Don’t forget to talk to multiple lenders, either. Find a lender who understands your life situation. Make sure you are confident that your lender can help make this process smoother.
When you are out looking at houses, consider what’s really important. Downsizing because your financial situation has changed may not sound ideal, but you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin financially just to stay in the same area or get a home of a similar size. Being down to one income also means that you will have less buying power, which does limit your options.
“Make sure that you are emotionally ready to buy a home. “
You should always begin this process by creating a list of your must-haves. For example, do you need to be in a certain school district or is your commute more important? Location is a huge factor that can determine the style and size of the home.
You might also want to take your name off the marital home’s mortgage. Doing so can improve your creditworthiness. Even if you’re no longer married, if your name is on the mortgage, the lender still holds you liable for mortgage payments unless you sell that house or refinance it.
Over the course of this whole process, make sure that you take your time. You don’t have to rush any decisions. You might not be ready to buy a home as far as savings go, but there are many low down payment options available.
The final and most important thing is to make sure that you are emotionally ready to buy. Buying a house is a massive undertaking, not only financially, but also in terms of commitment and maintenance. Again, take your time and make sure that you are ready to take this step.
These are just a few key tips to help you navigate this process. If you have any questions, give us a call. We would be happy to guide you through buying a home for this new chapter of your life.
If you are thinking of selling your home, now is the time to prepare your home for the market. It may seem overwhelming, but luckily, I found a great list of items home sellers should focus on before you list your property.
This list takes you room by room and tells you exactly what to do. I’ll go over a few of my favorite tips for you today.
First, you should always start with the front yard. Curb appeal is incredibly important, and you never get a second chance at a first impression. Prune back bushes and plants so they look neat and healthy. Weed your garden, keep the lawn freshly mowed, and put down fresh mulch. If you need to, add a few flowers for a splash of color. Painting the front door is a great way to make your home look more inviting.
As for the inside of your home, cleaning, packing up, and decluttering should be your top priorities. Whether your home is 25 years old or 5 years old, you want to make it look as new as you possibly can.
Clean things you don’t usually pay attention to. For instance, clean or replace light switch covers, blinds, and AC or heater vents. If you’re not comfortable cleaning the fireplace on your own, hire a professional. Deep clean your carpets and wipe down the walls.
“You want your home to be as neutral as possible so that the buyer can picture themselves living in your home. “
You also need to dust everything. Prospective buyers will be much more critical of your home than they are of their own. Most people don’t dust every week, but you need to keep your home show-ready if you want your home to sell.
When it comes to decluttering, go through each room and clear off any surfaces. In the living room, take personal photos off of the coffee table and pack up any toys, books, or other knickknacks that you and your family can do without for awhile. Keep your dining room table clear except for one nice centerpiece. Take everything off of your kitchen counters. Take personal photographs down, too. You want your home to be as neutral as possible so that the buyer can picture themselves living in your home. If there is too much of your stuff laying around, buyers will feel like they are intruding on someone else’s space.
Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms, as they are two of the most important rooms to prospective buyers. Clean all of the tile grout; you can bleach it if you need to. Empty the trash before each showing and scrub the sink and shower to make them look new again. Remove all unnecessary items from your kitchen and bathroom. If you want to keep those items, go ahead and pack them up now.
As I mentioned, there are many details to take care of before you put your home on the market. To see the complete list, click here. In the meantime, if you have any other questions about the home selling process or if you would like to know what your home is worth, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!
With the competitive spring market on the horizon, here are five tips to help homebuyers land their dream home.
Spring tends to bring out more buyers than other times of the year in almost every market. With more buyers, there will also be more sellers. However, the majority of buyers want homes that are priced fairly and have the most amount of updates and amenities. With the majority of buyers wanting the same thing, what is a qualified buyer to do? Here are the five most important things to do right now if you want to find a home this spring.
First, contact a professional lender and get your loan not only pre-qualified—which basically means you’re credit worthy and breathing—but also pre-approved. This means supplying your mortgage professional with your income and asset statements for an even stronger position and offer in the eyes of sellers. Just last month in a multiple offer situation, a buyer with that type of letter won out over another offer that had a better price.
Second, choose your agent wisely. As the buyer, it doesn’t theoretically cost you anything out of pocket to pay the majority of the commission, but it can cost you thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars if you hire the wrong agent when it comes to negotiating the best price, terms, and/or inspection issues.
Third, know what you want in advance. Do your homework and know which items you have to have and which might be nice. This is important because if or when you do find yourself in a multiple offer situation, you can act quickly and confidently because you’ll know whether or not this property is the one you really want and are willing to pay for.
“Know what you want so you can act quickly and confidently.“
Fourth, make sure you have the home thoroughly inspected. You are probably spending the most amount of money you have ever spent. Whole-house inspectors are nice and sometimes a little cheaper, but they’re jacks of all trades and masters of none. I’m not saying they’re bad—just stating a fact. It’s kind of like having heart pains and going to a general doctor or surgeon as opposed to employing a cardiologist specialist to find and fix your issues. The choice is up to you.
Fifth, prepare for the process. Finding the house, negotiating for it, inspecting it, and financing it can and probably will take more time than you initially imagine. Find yourself an agent that will assist you with all of the phases of the home buying process. You want someone with a great track record of successfully representing buyers so that when the rubber meets the road, you know you can trust their advice.
Lastly—although this isn’t a must—have a lot of fun! Buying a home can and should be a really great thing.
If you have any questions or you are in need of a professional to help you find and close the house of your dreams, give us a call or shoot us an email. We’d be glad to help.
Pricing your home is one of the most important aspects of your real estate transaction. How can you be sure your home is priced to sell for the most money possible?
How much is your home really worth? This is a hot topic in our market right now.
There is an old sales adage that any product or service is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay and that the seller is willing to accept. I know you’ve probably heard that, but there really is a science to pricing property.
In 2012 I was asked to collaborate with other top agents across the country on a book called “Cracking the Real Estate Code” which became a bestseller right out of the gate, and all proceeds went to charity. You can get a copy at DeniseSwick.com.
So what is important about pricing?
Many of my clients that had previously been with other agents and who failed to sell their home have said that the agent asked them what they wanted. We’d all like to get everything we want in life, but wouldn’t you agree that it is completely unrealistic? When this happens, run.
“If your doctor asked you what prescription you wanted, you’d find a new doctor!“
You hire an agent to help you market, service, and price your home to get the highest current value that the market will bear. If you went to your doctor and they asked you what prescription you want to take to fix your need or ailment, how would you feel? You’d hire a new doctor!
These are the four most important things to look for when pricing:
If you have any other questions about pricing your home or you’re thinking about buying a new one, give me a call or send me an email soon. I’d be happy to help!
Why do local real estate websites matter? They hold three important advantages over national websites that I’d like to show you.
Before you move into your new home, consider doing these eight things first.
You are the president and CEO of your home sale. Here’s how.
I recently came across an article from HGTV that featured some very useful and thrifty kitchen update ideas that I want to share with you.