Honest Advice for First-Time Homebuyers in a Sellers’ Market

Honest Advice for First-Time Homebuyers in a Sellers' Market

 

With home inventory so low, homes are selling quickly and above the asking price, in many cases. Here is some sound advice to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home in this sellers’ market:

  1. Get pre-approved from a mortgage lender. Whether you go through a traditional bank or a mortgage broker, first-time homebuyers should get pre-approved before shopping for a home. This will show sellers that their lenders have run a credit check, verified income and have tentatively agreed to lend the buyers money to buy a home. Pre-approval also typically means that the homebuyers know how much home they can afford. Learn more about pre-qualification and pre-approval here.
  2. Buy a home with a conventional mortgage. This will make homebuyers more attractive to sellers than someone who is getting financed through a VA or FHA loan, for example, because those home loan programs sometimes have greater restrictions.
  3. Put down a large down payment. While low down payment programs like VA and FHA home loans exist so buyers can buy a home with less money down, you will be more attractive to a mortgage lender and home seller with a larger down payment. This will also save you in mortgage interest over the life of your mortgage loan.
  4. Come to the table prepared to cover closing costs. When sellers have multiple buyers to choose from, they are more likely to select a homebuyer that is not going to ask the seller to share in closing costs.
  5. Require fewer contingencies when making an offer. When a seller has to wait for you to sell your home, or when other contingencies exist, a homebuyer becomes less attractive. Sellers want to sell their homes for as much money as possible, and as quickly as is possible. When contingencies exist, they could potentially hold up the selling process.
  6. Make an offer above asking price. Homes on the market now are selling within days. To buy one of those homes, homebuyers often have to offer more than the asking price to get their offer seriously considered. Of course, how much a buyer can offer is going to be based on their budget and down payment, but in this market, they should be prepared to go above the asking price.

This market is particularly challenging for first-time homebuyers. If you are in the market to buy a home now, consult with an experienced Realtor – like me – who can help you improve your chances of finding a home and getting your offer accepted. We can help you understand your options and improve your chances of having your offer accepted.

 

 

Zillow Testimonial: Marti has your best interests in mind!

Why It Is Important to Use a Professional like Marti Reeder to Sell Your HOmeThanks to “user9028524” for this wonderful five-star testimonial on Zillow. This family solder their Kent home for approximately $275,000 in the spring of 2015:

“Our home sold in one day. Every step of the process was done on a professional level – from the guidance Marti gave us regarding preparing our home for showing, to posting quality photos with our listing and listing it across multiple platforms. Marti will answer the phone when you call (or return your call very promptly). She will handle your negotiations with your best interest in mind and ensure that everything goes smoothly.

We highly recommend Marti to anyone needing a real estate professional!”

Thank You for Your 2017 ‘Best of Kent’ Votes!

I have been fortunate to have been named “Best Real Estate Agent” by readers of the Kent Reporter eight times, and I was nominated again this year. Thank you to all of my friends and clients who took time to vote for me this spring. I hope I will be “Best of Kent” again this year. I’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, please know that I appreciate each and every one of you. I am grateful!

~ Marti

Kent Realtor Marti Reeder: Thank you for your 'Best of Kent" votes!

9 Ways to Freshen Your Home’s Curb Appeal This Spring

Kent Realtor Marti Reeder: 9 Ways to Freshen Your Home’s Curb Appeal This SpringWhen you’re selling your home, you want to make a good first impression, so curb appeal is important. This is particularly true when you’re marketing your home online. According to HGTV, 88% of home searches begin online, so make sure your home is inviting.

Here are 9 ways to freshen your home’s curb appeal this spring:

  1. Take photos of your home and then look at them as if you were a prospective homebuyer. Do you see anything out of place (maybe kids’ toys in the garden or Fido’s bone on the front lawn) or that wouldn’t appeal to you as a potential buyer? Remove any unwanted items.
  2. Make obvious repairs or replacements. Are the house numbers faded or missing? Could your front door or mailbox use a fresh coat a paint? Is a shingle missing? Is one of your shutters crooked?
  3. Spruce up a paint job, siding, deck, driveway and sidewalk with a good pressure washing. It is an easy, affordable way to freshen your home’s exterior for springtime.
  4. Add some color with seasonal flowers in the garden, or add a colorful container garden to your front porch or patio. Clusters of three pots of different sizes and styles can also add a welcome pop of color.
  5. Evaluate your window treatments from the outside, including curtains, blinds and shutters. Do any of them need replacing? For example, if you have pets, the ends of blinds can sometimes get bent or broken, and those will be obvious from the outside. Changing out the blinds is an easy and affordable fix.
  6. Groom your lawn. This is true before and after your Realtor® takes photos. Groom your lawn. Keep your lawn freshly mowed, the edges trimmed, beauty bark freshened annually, and your trees and bushes pruned.
  7. Upgrade your lighting. Whether you are switching out a light fixture on your porch, adding landscape lights to a garden pathway or installing outdoor spotlights to your backyard, new lighting is a cost-friendly way to add ambience to your home’s exterior.
  8. Create an inviting entrance with a cozy front porch. In addition to the tips above, consider adding a seasonal wreath to your front door, attractive seating (maybe even a porch swing!), a new rug and a fresh coat of paint.
  9. Maximize outdoor living space, whether it is a side deck or a backyard patio. This might include lighting, landscaping, outdoor furniture, outdoor cooking spaces, play areas for the kids, butterfly garden, or even a backyard sanctuary.

If you’re considering listing your home this spring, and want suggestions for how to improve your home’s curb appeal, Team Marti can help. Contact us today.

Sources: HGTV and Forbes

3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Your Dream Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place? 

This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in December (the latest data available) was $232,200, up 4.0% from last year. This increase also marks the 58th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

If we look at the numbers year over year, CoreLogic forecasted a rise by 4.7% from December 2016 to December 2017. On a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $11,750 if you wait until next year.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, with prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, and Fannie Mae have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:

3 Questions to Ask If You Want to Buy Your Dream Home | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Listings Wanted: This is the BEST Time to Sell

Time to Sell?

Home inventory in King County is incredibly low right now, making this a seller’s market. Homes are selling within days of being listed, often with multiple offers. I sell an average of one home per week, and I’d love to help you sell your home. With a 23-point marketing plan, my team has the experience you need to get the best price for your home while streamlining the process to make it as simple as possible for you.

Even if you aren’t ready to sell now, but are thinking about selling your King County or Pierce County home in the near future, I can help you decide the right timing for you and your family. You might be surprised to learn why this is the BEST time to sell.

Call Team Marti TODAY at 253-246-8938 to see how we can help.

 

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Spring

For me, spring is a time for hope and renewal — with the flowers blooming, trees budding and birds chirping. This includes buying a home. After all, what better way to look at the year ahead than with a new (or new-to-you) home!

Here are four more reasons to buy a home this spring.

  1. Prices will keep going up. According to CoreLogic, home prices went up 7.2 percent between December 2015 and December 2016. They predict that home prices will increase another 4.7 percent by December 2017. If you buy your dream home now, you can prevent that price increase while watching your new home appreciate in value.
  2. Mortgage rates will also continue to increase. Over the last few months, mortgage rates have slowly crept up, hovering around 4 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors anticipate that, over the next year, interest rates will climb another 0.05 percent. While that may not seem like much, even a slight increase in interest rate will affect how much your monthly mortgage payment will be.
  3. Whether you buy or rent, you are paying a mortgage payment. Yes, you read that right. If you are a renter, you are making your landlord’s mortgage payment. If you are buying your own home, you are also paying a mortgage. The big difference is that one will increase your assets and appreciate in value over time.
  4. There is more inventory available. In the spring, homeowners are more likely to list their homes, meaning that there may be more inventory available to choose from. Right now homes for sale are at an all-time low, but an increase in springtime inventory can make this an attractive time to buy.

Facebook Testimonial: Above and beyond!

Thanks to Andrea Keikkala for this great review on Facebook!

“Marti sold my home and helped me buy my new home. She and her team are fantastic to work with, making sure that I was kept up to date the entire process. Her professional stager was a joy to work with and her professional photographer was fantastic! With all her support, I was able to enjoy what could have been a very stressful process. Marti and her team go above and beyond to sell and buy homes and I would highly recommend them.”

~ Andrea Keikkala