Real Estate Lingo, What’s it’s all Mean?

Real Estate Lingo, what’s it all mean? That’s a great question that many of our clients ask so in the next few posts I thought I’d share in hopes to help it all make a little more sense:
 
MLS: Multiple Listing Service which is where agents post their homes for sale for other Realtors to be able to see, share with buyers, and show.
 
RVAR: Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors
 
CMA: Comparative Market Analysis
 
DOM: Days on Market
 
ROC: Removal of Contingency
 
BD: Business Days
 
CD: Closing Disclosure
 
HOA: Homeowners Association
POA: Property Owners Association
 
HI: Home Inspection
If we can help you with buying or selling a home here in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding areas, we would love to apply for the job and interview with you.  We’ve sold 63 so far this year and are committed to taking excellent care of all our customers and clients.
We believe our 50+ year’s combined experience will help you get successfully from one door to the next and help you navigate the waters from beginning to end.

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First Quarter Market Stats for Roanoke

It has been a busy 1st quarter here in Roanoke and I am happy to share our year to date market stats:

Property Type Year to Date Activity Report

For 01/01/2018 To 4/11/2018

Property Type
Area
Current Active
New
Pend
Sold
Sold Volume
Average Sales Price
DOM
CDOM
% Of List
Coop Sales
Coop Volume
Expr
Withdrawn
Residential
0110 – City of Roanoke – Downtown
10
6
1
2
1,069,900
534,950
182
524
95.9
2
1,069,900
3
2
Residential
0120 – City of Roanoke – South
43
50
23
19
6,701,700
352,721
120
143
98.2
17
5,931,700
5
1
Residential
0130 – City of Roanoke – SW
79
146
57
84
14,303,111
170,275
56
74
97.3
80
13,821,631
13
3
Residential
0140 – City of Roanoke – NW
73
93
30
59
5,208,550
88,281
71
88
94.3
51
4,512,101
10
0
Residential
0150 – City of Roanoke – NE
57
106
45
68
7,950,575
116,920
64
92
94.8
61
6,924,200
17
4
Residential
0160 – City of Roanoke – SE
34
39
15
21
1,340,709
63,843
98
126
91.2
19
1,209,809
6
2
Residential
0170 – City of Roanoke – Garden City
17
23
10
17
2,053,450
120,791
69
80
97.5
15
1,767,950
4
0
Residential
0210 – Roanoke County – North
102
177
73
80
14,973,009
187,163
78
125
97.4
77
14,359,009
44
4
Residential
0220 – Roanoke County – East
40
70
32
32
6,364,688
198,896
69
136
98.2
29
5,779,638
30
3
Residential
0221 – Roanoke County – Town of Vinton
34
50
24
21
3,027,362
144,160
62
106
96.4
18
2,507,362
2
2
Residential
0230 – Roanoke County – South
173
230
96
131
30,018,400
229,148
82
121
96.8
119
26,932,450
33
6
Residential
0240 – Roanoke County – West
66
78
40
43
9,079,450
211,150
112
147
96.7
37
8,160,050
11
2
Residential
0300 – City of Salem
67
113
51
77
14,959,213
194,275
70
104
98.7
64
12,128,713
17
1
Residential
0400 – Franklin County
209
197
61
91
17,885,695
196,546
102
175
96.0
75
13,923,391
46
4
Residential
0490 – SML Franklin County
252
167
44
58
26,241,650
452,442
256
368
94.9
48
22,435,850
34
9
Residential
0600 – Bedford County
161
147
57
76
15,386,750
202,457
110
160
97.2
64
12,603,200
30
4
Residential
0601 – Town of Bedford
20
27
8
15
1,997,500
133,167
104
159
94.7
8
1,347,800
5
1
Residential
0690 – SML Bedford County
107
82
24
33
12,715,415
385,316
199
276
95.8
27
10,449,400
15
4
Residential
0700 – Botetourt County
168
174
63
87
19,647,994
225,839
104
146
96.3
75
16,945,449
33
3
Residential
0800 – Craig County
28
31
6
10
1,332,045
133,204
110
167
102.4
4
444,695
7
0
Residential
0900 – City of Radford
0
1
2
1
120,000
120,000
88
88
96.1
1
120,000
0
0
Residential
1000 – Montgomery County
33
32
10
12
2,186,413
182,201
135
149
95.6
12
2,186,413
2
1
Residential
1100 – Floyd County
40
25
9
10
2,128,570
212,857
142
196
84.5
9
2,101,070
11
5
Residential
1200 – Patrick County
6
4
0
4
301,000
75,250
127
127
90.6
2
90,000
2
1
Residential
1300 – City of Martinsville
7
8
1
5
367,415
73,483
116
116
94.3
4
320,715
7
0
Residential
1400 – Henry County
61
42
11
11
1,464,643
133,149
124
135
100.4
9
1,076,643
12
2
Residential
1600 – Pittsylvania County
15
10
2
5
994,900
198,980
143
158
90.3
5
994,900
2
2
Residential
1690 – SML Pittsylvania County
12
1
0
1
245,000
245,000
437
656
95.1
1
245,000
3
0
Residential
1700 – Halifax County
0
0
0
0
 
 
55
55
 
0
 
0
0
Residential
1900 – City of Lynchburg
12
14
5
6
864,900
144,150
74
82
95.0
2
197,300
0
0
Residential
2000 – Campbell County
5
6
3
4
1,026,800
256,700
156
274
91.7
1
150,800
0
0
Residential
2100 – Appomattox County
0
1
0
0
 
 
87
208
 
0
 
3
0
Residential
2200 – Amherst County
5
0
0
3
356,000
118,667
204
204
87.5
2
216,000
1
0
Residential
2300 – City of Buena Vista
1
1
1
0
 
 
381
478
 
0
 
1
0
Residential
2400 – City of Lexington
7
4
2
2
742,000
371,000
185
185
101.1
2
742,000
0
0
Residential
2500 – Rockbridge County
27
16
1
2
446,500
223,250
188
219
95.4
2
446,500
4
0
Residential
2600 – City of Covington
6
4
2
5
139,060
27,812
81
81
74.8
4
101,310
0
0
Residential
2700 – Alleghany County
47
30
10
19
1,506,299
79,279
115
121
92.1
8
684,850
1
0
Residential
2800 – Giles County
5
4
0
1
236,000
236,000
81
81
92.6
1
236,000
0
0
Residential
3000 – Pulaski County
14
14
5
6
2,263,350
377,225
120
136
97.8
5
1,963,450
4
0
Residential
3100 – Wythe County
4
2
1
0
 
 
335
335
 
0
 
0
0
Residential
3300 – Carroll County
3
2
0
1
85,000
85,000
84
147
85.4
0
 
0
0
Residential
9900 – All Other Counties/Cities
4
1
2
4
667,000
166,750
205
205
85.1
2
293,500
2
0
Subtotal
2054
2228
827
1126
228,398,017
202,840
112
160
96.1
962
195,420,749
420
66

 

If you are thinking about selling your home and would like a market analysis of your home showing what it could sell for in today’s market, give us a call at 540-312-0085 or email us at christy@thecrouchteam.com.

 

 

 

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What’s Gen Z?

Thought this was insightful information about our Gen Z!  Our world is always changing and since change is the only constant we must continue changing how we do what we do!
THE BLOG 

11/05/2016 11:59 am ET Updated Nov 06, 2017

8 Key Differences between Gen Z and Millennials

A question I’ve been hearing a lot lately is “What is the difference between Millennialsand Generation Z?” I am going to list 8 key differences between Gen Z and Millennials in this post, hopefully shedding some light here.
Generation Z, as they have been coined, consist of those born in 1995 or later. This generation makes up 25.9% of the United States population, the largest percentage, and contribute $44 billion to the American economy. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.

Just so we’re clear:
A “Millennial” is a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000.
Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation) is the demographic cohort following the Millennials.

The difference between the two is important to know in order to prepare your business, shift marketing, adjust leadership, and adapt recruiting efforts to stay relevant for the future.

How Generation Z Differs from Millennials

1. Less Focused

Today relevant is constantly being refined and Gen Z lives in a world of continuous updates. Gen Z processes information faster than other generations thanks to apps like Snapchat and Vine. Thus their attention spans might be significantly lower than Millennials.

2. Better Multi-Taskers

Though Gen Z can be less focused than their Millennial counterparts, in school, they will create a document on their school computer, do research on their phone or tablet, while taking notes on a notepad, then finish in front of the TV with a laptop, while face-timing a friend. You get the picture.

Gen Z can quickly and efficiently shift between work and play, with multiple distractions going on in the background…working on multiple tasks at once. Talk about multi-multi-tasking. Just think about how this kind of flow might reshape the office.

3. Bargains

Millennials care more about prices than Gen Z. This is arguably because they came of age during the recession.

Sixty-seven percent of millennials surveyed said that they would go to the website to get a coupon, whereas only 46% of Gen Z polled said they would do the same.

Millennials also tend to click on more ads; 71% of Millennials in a recent poll said they followed an advertisement online before making a purchase, however only 59% of Gen Z’ers said the same.

4. Gen Z is Full of Early Starters

Many employers are predicting that more teens, between the ages of 16 and 18 will go straight into the workforce, opting out of the traditional route of higher education, and instead finishing school online, if at all. Would you make a major investment, possibly leading to years of debt to come—knowing there are new, more affordable (not to mention more convenient) online alternatives coming up every day?

As we’ll discuss later in this post, Gen Z knows the true value of independence, and knowledge is no exception here. If a Gen Z’er knows they are capable of learning something themselves, or through a more efficient, non-traditional route, you can bet they’ll take the opportunity.

5. Gen Z Is More Entrepreneurial

According to Gen Z marketing strategist Deep Patel, “the newly developing high tech and highly networked world has resulted in an entire generation thinking and acting more entrepreneurially.” Generation Z desires more independent work environments. As a matter of fact, 72% of teens say they want to start a business someday.

One apparent recurring factor you might notice throughout this post, is that many Gen Zidentifying factors can be traced back to the recession in 2008, from their frugality, to their value of experiences, and increased likelihood to become entrepreneurs. This is an interesting note to take down.

6. Gen Z Has Higher Expectations Than Millennials

Millennials remember playing solitaire, coming home to dial-up internet and using AOL. Generation Z was born into a world overrun with technology. What was taken as amazing and inspiring inventions, are now taken as a given for teens.

“When it doesn’t get there that fast they think something’s wrong,” said Marcie Merriman, executive director of growth strategy at Ernst & Young. “They expect businesses, brands and retailers to be loyal to them. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re going to move on. It’s not about them being loyal to the business.”

7. Gen Z Is Big On Individuality

Gen Z’ers were born social. In fact, nearly 92% of Gen Z has a digital footprint. Arguably as a result of the celebrities and media they follow, Gen Z seeks uniqueness in all walks of life primarily through the brands they do business with, future employers, etc.

8. Gen Z Is More Global

Millennials were considered the first “global” generation with the development of the internet, but as more of the world comes online — Generation Z will become more global in their thinking, interactions, and relatability. 58% of adults worldwide ages 35+ agree that “kids today have more in common with their global peers than they do with adults in their own country.” Diversity will be an expectation of Generation Z.

After asking people “Would you call yourself addicted to your digital devices? (computer, smartphone, etc.),” we found Gen Z’ers are 25% more likely than Millennials to say they are addicted to their digital devices. A full 40% of Gen Z are self-identified digital device addicts.

This generation grew up with technology, and for them, it’s probably hard to go without their devices. If this younger generation is constantly on their phones or devices and not watching as much live TV, we may experience a massive shift in advertising methods and marketing messages.

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Zillow Reports Seller’s Experience When Selling

New Data Finds Homeowners Struggle When Selling, Despite Hot Market

Twelve days before Thanksgiving, Mark Meaney and his wife, Sue, decided to put their 109-year-old house on the market. They looked at comps of similar-sized homes near their St. Paul neighborhood, agreed on a price with their agent and waited anxiously for their first offer to roll in.

Mark and Sue knew their timing wasn’t ideal. The holidays loomed, and the market was slowing; worse, St. Paul was entering its notorious subzero season.

The couple felt torn. After one year of searching for a new home, they had found the perfect place a few miles from where they lived. It was spacious enough to raise their three kids and had a first-floor bedroom and bathroom to accommodate Sue’s aging parents who could no longer live on their own.

As first-time sellers – Mark and Sue had lived in the house for 20 years – the couple took a leap of faith. They bought the new home, moved in Sue’s parents and dropped nearly $20,000 to spruce up their old house to help it sell quickly.

Several weeks later their vacant home remains for sale, its exterior weathering the forces of yet another Minnesota winter.

Selling a home: Truth in data

Skim any number of news articles on the U.S. housing market and chances are you’ll run across the phrases “low inventory,” “sellers’ market” and “strong demand.”

This rings especially true in larger metropolitan areas where stories of bidding wars abound, leaving the impression that sellers in these markets simply list their homes, sit back and thumb through stacks of “Dear Seller” letters from desperate buyers submitting offers above the asking price.

For much of the U.S., however, the data reveals a starker reality.

According to new findings from Zillow Group – which compiled a deep dive on the seller experience using data from the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017 – selling a home in the U.S. is not only fraught with anxiety, but often culminates in unmet expectations.

In fact, close to one third of sellers said they felt unsatisfied with the selling process. Of first-time sellers, nearly 30 percent were unprepared for how long it took to sell their homes and said they wished they would have started the process sooner, according to the analysis.

Furthermore, 76 percent of sellers across the U.S. ended up making at least one concession, with lowering the price the most-cited compromise. And 36 percent said they either struggled to sell their homes within their desired price range – or time frame.

“Despite low inventory in many parts of the country, sellers still encounter massive pain points when trying to sell their homes,” said Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow Group. “This data shows there is a huge opportunity to create a better end-to-end experience for sellers and help them turn over their homes faster.”

More information, more stress

Much of the stress sellers feel stems from that nail-biting wait to get the right offer. Fueling this collective anxiety is, of course, more access to information.

While the internet has greatly democratized the buying and selling process, it has also created a state of seller vigilance. Sellers are more involved than ever in the sale of their homes – and more stressed out.

Take Mark, for instance. He’s constantly monitoring how many views his house gets on Zillow and how it ranks compared to other homes coming on the market.

He regularly gets text alerts when anyone wants a tour. He also reads “with too much interest,” he says, the feedback that buyers leave on what they liked and didn’t like about the house.

Despite working with an agent, Mark is immersed – and stressed.

While Zillow’s findings show that 82 percent of sellers valued having an agent guide them through the process, America has entered a new era of how deeply involved homeowners are in selling their most expensive investment, Wacksman said.

“Sellers today are all-in, monitoring every piece of data about their home. They are no longer content to sit back and wait,” he said. “In many cases, they cannot afford to.”

In fact, timing is a big driver of anxiety, according to the data. More than one third of sellers had difficulty timing the sale of their home with buying a new home.

Even in a hot market, selling comes with risks. How long will it take? Is our house priced right? Are we paying too much for a new home?

And the most pressing worry: What if something goes wrong?

Hot market? Still stressful

Fall, 2017. Mention that period to Diana Leath and you will likely hear her exhale, then laugh. Diana remembers fall 2017 as a happy time. She also remembers it as a crazy, stressful time. Which makes sense when she explains.

In October, Diana gave birth to a baby girl, Noelle. She also had a two-year-old daughter to care for. Her husband, Adam, happened to be in the throes of building a new hotel for his family business. And that same month, after spending 200 days searching for a bigger home in Raleigh for their growing family, the couple finally stumbled upon The One.

Four bedrooms. Three baths. A yard. With a mixture of hope and anxiety, they submitted an offer. Soon after, their agent called. They had beat out the competition.

They had won The One.

Which was great. But it meant packing up. And selling their house. And doing all the things sellers do to ensure their house will sell quickly. They cleaned and painted and power washed and landscaped. They stewed over minor details – should they decorate the house for Christmas? Or would a big tree make the house look small? (They nixed the tree in favor of a wreath.)

They went back and forth on a list price with their agent, listened to her advice on comps, and put it on the market December 7. Then the family of four moved into a hotel and waited for their agent to call.

They didn’t wait long. Their 1,500 square foot ranch in Raleigh received two offers above the asking price one day after being on the market.

‘Sweating it’ in a hot market

Herein lies the rub of living in a hot market. If you want to stay in that market, be prepared to downsize – or shell out a lot more cash.

In Diana’s case, she and her husband are paying 67 percent more than what they sold their house for in order to buy their new house. As a couple in their 30s still working toward their peak earning years, that increase hit the outer limits of how far they could stretch.

“Trust me, we are sweating it right now,” Diana says. But she remains hopeful that, once the new hotel opens and she goes back to work, the financial strain will ease.

Looking back, she says, she was grateful for her agent who handled various complications that arose and helped beautify their home before it went on the market.

But she has no intention of going through the turmoil of the selling and moving process anytime soon, she says.

“We’re probably going to be here forever.”

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What’s Up in Roanoke, Virginia?

Here’s some exciting news I just saw from our local Board of Realtors

Roanoke County Studies Oak Grove and Hollins Areas
Roanoke County is beginning two new planning studies focused on commercial corridors in the Hollins and Oak Grove areas. Much like the 419 Town Center project, the purpose of these studies is to reimagine what the areas might look like in the future — including strategies to improve access to parks, shops, restaurants and amenities, as well as to enhance business development opportunities.

The Oak Grove Center Study covers 173 acres and more than 80 commercial and residential properties. The Hollins Center Study will focus on plans for a connected, mixed-use center in the heart of the Hollins community, comprised of 465 acres and more than 270 commercial and residential properties.

Click here for more information, including online surveys and dates for community meetings. (Posted 2/3/2018.)

Additionally, I read about another new restaurant coming near Earth Fare on Franklin Road.

Even more good news about our local economy from my broker last week:

Virginia legislature authorized $80,000,000 project to double the size of Tech’s Medical School in Roanoke and expand their research institute.  Building is going on now for a new building off Reserve Ave.  Carilion says 1000 more medical students, doctors and researchers should be living in Roanoke within 3 years.  The research institute connected with the medical school will concentrate on brain research.  All good jobs.
In addition, Carilion will be building a 15 story addition to Roanoke Memorial where old Crystal Springs tennis courts are now.
 Combine that with new Deschutes and Ballast distilleries, the new car part manufacturing facility in Botetourt and Virginia Community College System’s new facility in Daleville, it has been good news on the job front lately.
With this being said I expect the housing market in Roanoke Virginia to continue consistent and hopefully even continue on an upward trend.
If you have questions about the local housing market, buying, selling, or home values reach out, we’d love to help you!

 

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Enjoyed Being on The Morning Show Today!

http://www.virginiafirst.com/news/local-news/growing-up-in-the-valley-how-to-properly-sell-your-home-in-todays-market/940394897

More on this…..

When is a good time to formally put your home on the market to get the most action?

I always say the sooner in the year the better, as a seller.  The closer we get to the spring season the more inventory, thus more competition for sellers.

This year even more than recent years, the market has been crazy busy!  It didn’t slow down for the holiday season, the New Year, or the frigid temps.

We are low on inventory so it’s a great time to come on the market now.

What can a seller do to best prepare their home for showing

Photos and curb appeal are more important now than ever before because most buyers are shopping online and then driving by to determine if they like the outside and location in most cases before ever getting with their agent on the homes they actually want to tour.

A few quick bullet points we always like to mention to our sellers when listing:

•       If it needs to be painted, paint!  Paint makes a world of difference inside and out when it needs it.

•       Remove front window screens, clean the windows really good and watch it glisten!  This makes a big difference.

•       If you are able to paint your front door a fresh, catchy color this is a new trend that seems to really set a house apart from all the others

•       Clean, organize and declutter throughout.  The idea is to make your home feel as light, bright, spacious, and as tidy as possible.

•       Replace all light bulbs in light fixtures, lamps, ceiling fans, etc., super frustrating when showing a home and a buyer reaches to turn a light on that doesn’t work.  This is simple and so many sellers fail to do it.

•       Replace your air filters throughout and clean, paint, or replace the cover as needed

•       Remove important, personal, expensive jewelry etc from your home allow a family member to keep or purchase a safety deposit box.  While it rarely happens you must accept you’re opening your home to the public and need to take necessary steps to protect your belongings.

•       Be flexible with showings and make it easy for buyers and agents to see

•       Fix anything that needs to be fixed.  As a seller you must disclose if everything is not safe, operating, structurally sound, free and clear of any hazardous materials, infestation, etc.  The inspection process can be a very stressful and overwhelming for sellers and it will go much smoother if you ensure everything is in good shape beforehand.  Any work done once under contract must be done by licensed contractors so it also becomes more expensive.

•       And last, I always tell our sellers to walk around and through the home through the eyes of a buyer.  If you were looking to buy, what would you think of your home?  Adjust, fix, repair, paint, etc as necessary.

What are the biggest factors in what causes a home to sell

After 27 years of helping buyers and sellers I could come up with a laundry list but honestly, in the end, it boils down to 3 things:

Price, Condition, and Location. You have control over 2 so make sure you do your very best ☺


How should a seller go about choosing the right price

You know that’s the million dollar question!  What’s the right price to list at.  And it’s also one that there’s no magic answer for.  You could likely line 10 agents up alongside 10 appraisers and potentially get 20 different opinions on what the right price is.  In the end, it’s what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to sell for.

The only way to determine price is by numbers, I always say numbers never lie.

There are several parties a seller must convince of the right price and sometimes more

First the buyer, sometimes their family members (parents, grandparents, Realtor friends from out of town, etc)

Second is the buyer’s agent

And last and most importantly is the appraiser

There’s way more to choosing just the right price than an agent coming in the door and telling a seller what they want to hear so they get to take the listing.

The key is looking at what other homes you’ll be in competition with and what’s recently sold and coming on the market within a range of value that other similar homes are selling for.  It’s always best to price it right from the beginning than to come on high and sit on the market.  This actually helps other sellers sell their homes vs getting your own home sold.

How should a seller go about choosing the right Realtor to list with?

Well, you could simply list with our team and be in great hands ☺ no, just kidding!

I would say to interview a couple different agents and companies before listing to see who you feel most comfortable with, get a couple of opinions on pricing, and see what their track record is for getting homes sold.  Anyone can list a home but getting a home sold is another story.

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Interesting Stuff on Home Buyers and Sellers from 2017

NAR 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

A Snapshot

Home Buyers

• 34% of recent home buyers
were first time buyers.

• 41% of first time buyers have
student debt.

• 65% were married couples,

18% single females, 7%

single males and 8%
unmarried couples.

• The typical buyer was 45
years old.

• 88% of buyers purchased
their home through a real
estate agent.

• 42% of buyers paid the list
price or higher.

• The median purchase price
was $235,000.

Source: National Association of
REALTORS®

Home Sellers

• The typical seller was 55
years old and lived in their
home for 10 years.

• 89% of sellers used a real
estate agent to sell their
home.

• Sellers sold their homes for a
median of $47,500 more than
they purchased.

• Homes were on the market for
an all-time low of 3 weeks.

• The median distance between
the home purchased and the
home sold was 18 miles.

• 52% traded up to a larger
home.

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What To Expect With The Process Of Buying Or Selling a Home

What To Expect With The Process Of Buying Or Selling a Home

First things first… It makes sense for a buyer to get pre-approved for financing before looking at homes. This not only gives buying power but also allows the buyer to go into the home buying process with eyes wide open on the numbers. Talking with a lender will reveal how much cash is needed to close, what programs are available, what grants and help with down payments are available and most importantly, to know what price range to stay under to keep monthly payments where the buyer wants to be.

After this, the next step is finding just the right home.

Once the right home is found next is making an offer and negotiating terms and conditions.

Once an offer is accepted the next phase is processing of paperwork with the Realtors involved, lenders, closing company, and getting inspections ordered.

After inspections are complete it’s time to negotiate any repairs that may need to be done. There is a standard cap for seller’s of $1,000 toward repairs unless otherwise agreed to by both buyer and seller. All repairs must be done by licensed contractors unless otherwise agreed upon.

Once the inspection process is over, the lender will order the formal appraisal to be done to ensure the property is worth what the buyer has offered and to make sure the home meets the lender’s approval physically. If the value doesn’t meet the sales price one of three things can happen. The seller can come down to the appraised value, the buyer can pay the difference out of pocket, or the contract can be declared null and void. If there are any appraisal required repairs this must be done prior to closing with enough time for the appraiser to go back out and reinspect to ensure the repairs are done to the appraiser’s satisfaction. In some cases, there is a fee involved if the appraiser has to visit the property for a second time.

If you make it this far, it should be smooth sailing from here and time to coordinate the final steps to closing and moving time!

Be aware no closing date is set in stone and is always subject to change. Whether on the buying or selling side, when making any moving plans, do everything with flexibility in mind in case that closing date needs to change. The home doesn’t become the buyer’s until after the final closing and recording. So, as a seller, you must maintain the home, utilities, and insurance until after the closing. As a buyer, you can’t move until you sign on the dotted line.

Before the final closing, a final walk-through will be scheduled with the buyer and their agent. The purpose of this is to make sure the home is in the same condition as when the offer was placed as well as to make sure any repairs were done with receipts provided to the buyer. Seller’s, you should leave the home as you would want to find it if you were the buyer. Clean, tidy, grass mowed, and leave any appliance manuals, warranties, etc for the buyer out on the kitchen counter.

At the final closing, it generally takes about 30 minutes to go through the paperwork on the buyer’s side and about fifteen minutes on the seller’s side. This is generally scheduled at different times for buyer and seller. Whether a buyer or a seller, if you’re bringing cash to the table at closing the check, will need to be made payable to the closing office in the form of a cashier’s check.

In a nutshell, that’s what you can expect for the process of buying and selling. If we can answer specific questions for you or be of support with helping you get successfully from one door to the next please reach out to us. You can call or text me at 540-312-0085 or email me at christy@thecrouchteam.com

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9 Things Sellers Should Know

Ran across this article by Julie Ryan Evans on our National Association of Realtors site and thought it was worthy of sharing.  I agree with Julie these are things we as Realtors wish all our sellers knew.  And if you’re thinking about selling a home here in Roanoke, Virginia our team would love to be of support to you.

We work with a lot of folks here in the area and have been able to help 138 folks buy and sell so far this year.  We  will take excellent care of you every step of the way.  We understand it’s one of your largest single investments and will treat it just that way.  With over 45 years combined experience you can rest assured you’ll be in goods hands when working with our team.

If we can be of support, reach out to us at 540-725-7727 or email at christy@thecrouchteam.com. Here’s Julie’s article:

9 Things Real Estate Agents Wish You Knew About Selling Your Home

 | Sep 20, 2017

When it comes time to sell your house, having a great listing agent is one of the keys to making it happen. And yet, the agent can’t do it all—your help is needed. Help your agent help you!

Ideally, you will have an open, honest relationship with your listing agent. But even then, there are some things your agent might be reluctant to tell you. Whether to spare your feelings or because he assumes you already know, here are some things your listing agent wishes you knew. Listen up and learn!

1. Your stuff is lovely, but…

“While your home may be beautifully decorated, it still looks like yourhome, not the buyer’s,” says Teresa Stephenson, vice president of residential brokerage at Platinum Properties in New York.

“If you are going to be moving anyway, it makes perfect sense to start packing and put a lot of your current belongings in storage,” says Stephenson. “You don’t have to pay to have your home staged, but if you don’t buy into the concept that ‘less is more,’ you’ll pay when it comes time to sell.”

2. Stop hiding things from me

Leaky faucets? Termite infestation? An air conditioner that barely blows cool air?

“Don’t keep any of your home’s flaws from your agent because you are scared it might hurt your sale,” says Karen Elmir, founder and CEO of the Elmir Group in Miami.

Remember, your listing agent is on your side and knows what must be fixed or what can slide—so go ahead and share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Whatever you hide from an agent could rear its head as a nasty surprise later.

3. You need to fix a few things

Katie Messenger, a Realtor® with Bello Dimora Real Estate Network in Kentucky and Cincinnati, wants clients to know they might have to spend a few bucks to make their house look its best.

“Replace the trim the dogs scratched up. Clean the scuff marks off the walls. Power-wash the algae off the vinyl siding,” she says. “To you, it’s totally normal because you’ve lived with these issues for years. To buyers, these will look like expensive repairs, which means they’ll have to lowball you, or not make an offer at all, because your house ‘needs a lot of work.’” Even if it actually doesn’t.

4. Your remodeling might not pay off much

Blood, sweat, tears, and a heck of a lot of cash might have gone into your remodeling projects, but that doesn’t mean there’s a guaranteed payback for any of it, as illogical as that might seem.

“An ROI, or return, on a home’s upgrades does not necessarily increase value,” says Michael Kelczewski, a Realtor with Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Delaware and Maryland.

It largely depends on what kind of home improvement you do; here’s a list of some common renovations with their return on investment.

5. Be nice: Don’t overprice!

While listing at a high price and then coming down as necessary seems like the best way to avoid leaving any money on the table, you could actually be shooting yourself in the foot.

“If you overprice your home, buyers may not catch that, but buyer’s agents will,” points out Doc Reiss, managing broker at Town & Country Real Estate in Port Angeles, WA. “When a home is overpriced, buyer’s agents will either avoid bringing their buyers or, worse yet, they use it as an example to sell another property: ‘See how much nicer this one is for the price than the last one we saw?’”

6. Cleanliness really does count

Do people really not clean their house before it’s shown to potential buyers? Yep.

Andrew Mak, an agent with Corcoran in New York, says things like a greasy stove, dust on the floors or furniture, and unkempt bathroom fixtures like the shower, sinks, and toilets are noticed most during a showing.

“The kitchen and the bathroom are the two main areas where cleanliness—or lack thereof—is most obvious,” says Mak. Gross. (You did want to sell this house, right?)

7. Have some patience

Yes, we know you thought your beautiful house would fly off the market the moment it hit, but that’s not always the case. In fact, realtor.com data shows that homes sit on the market for an average 66 days.

“The real estate process is a long process from showings to inspections to negotiations,“ says Kelczewski. “Be patient! Persevering leads to success.”

8. Don’t hurt the messenger

“When I present a lowball offer, a long list of repair items, or a low appraisal, I am just relaying information from another party,” Messenger says. “I know it’s an emotional and sometimes frustrating process; however, I am not the one writing ‘insulting’ offers, performing home inspections, or appraising the home.

“I am a representative of your best interests, so know that I am always in your corner to fight for what makes the most sense for you—not all of the other parties involved in a real estate transaction,” she says.

9. Selling your home isn’t a spectator sport

“Some sellers don’t realize that hiring a real estate agent doesn’t mean they get to sit back with a bag of popcorn and watch the home sale unfold,” says Jonathan Self, a Realtor with Center Coast Realty in Chicago.

“Selling a home is a team effort, even when you hire a real estate agent. If you can keep your home clean and tidy and arrange for someone to dog sit during showings, I can be 100% focused on selling your home for top dollar. That cooperation and partnership make it much easier for me to do a good job for you.”

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A Guide To Moving For Seniors

A friend of mine recently helped his parents downsize and relocate their home.  After going through the somewhat overwhelming experience he took some time to write about some things he thought might help others and was gracious enough to share it with me to share with you.

What Seniors Should Avoid When Buying a New Home

a guide to downsizing for seniors and their loved ones 2

Seniors making a big move have a lot to consider. If you’re buying a new home late in life, there’s a good chance that you’re doing so because you want to make independent living – aging in place – possible. You may want to move closer to your family or friends. You may simply want a change of scenery. Whatever the reason, here are some things you should probably avoid.

A major fixer-upper

Even if you ignore the fact that home repairs to things like the foundation, structure, roofing, and exterior composition can become extremely costly, buying a fixer-upper can be a real headache for seniors looking for a new, easier-to-manage home. That’s because you have to think about construction time as much as money – do you want to live in a construction zone for months, maybe years? How does that mesh with your plan to simplify your life by moving to a more manageable home? You don’t have to buy a so-called “cream puff” home (one where everything is 100% perfect from day one), but you should avoid the other end of the spectrum as well. If you do want to opt for a home that needs a little bit of work, here’s how to avoid it turning into a money pit.

A giant yard

One of the main things seniors must consider when buying a new home is how it will accommodate their needs not only now, but in the future as well. As you age, one of the most burdensome aspects of a home tends to be a large and unruly yard (front or back). While many seniors enjoy gardening and the scenery of a backyard, copious amounts of yard work (mowing, raking leaves, etc) can become a strain very fast. And when it does, you’re forced to either move, pay someone to do it, or simply let it fall into disrepair. None of those are great, long-term options. Stick to houses with small, manageable plots of land – maybe where most of it is covered by low-maintenance plants, stones or pavers, or a patio.

Lateral moves in terms of size

One thing that almost universal for seniors is that moving into a new home should involve a good bit of downsizing. As you age, you’re going to want less square footage to have to manage, and you’re going to want to have to deal with less clutter around the home. Don’t move to a large home that’s the same size as the one you’re selling. Take the opportunity to make your life much, much easier. Take steps to downsize and declutter your belongings as early as possible. This will help you to figure out exactly how much space – both in terms of actual living space and storage – you require in a new home. Read this for tips on decluttering your home room-by-room.

Overspending

Don’t spend more than 30% of your income on your new home. That’s a tried and true rule. Another thing to be mindful of are all the ancillary costs associated with buying and owning a home other than the mortgage. When calculating what you can afford, remember that you need to set aside funds for insurance, taxes, home repairs, and any modifications you may need to make if you have a disability, illness, or a mobility issue. Try a simple calculator to give you a good baseline.

In the end, the new home you buy as an senior should be a home you can envision yourself living in for the rest of your life. When considering which home to buy, always have this question in mind: Will this home make it easier for me to live independently as I age? If the answer is no, move on.

Image Credit: Redfin

Article written and provided by:  Jim Vogel

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