3 Ways to Buy Remotely With Confidence

It may seem impractical to purchase a home sight unseen, but one in five buyers have made an offer on a property without ever visiting it, according to a recent BusinessWire survey of 2,134 Americans. It’s a risky way to buy, so for those who can’t be there for an in-person showing and need to rely on the Internet to come to a purchase decision, here are a few tips to help them feel more confident that they’re making the right choice:

  1. Get a bird’s eye view. Buyers should not only look at the home but also the neighborhood and surrounding area. “I recommend [buyers] look at Google Earth and do Street View to get a good feel for their area,” says Benjamin Beaver, an agent in San Angelo, Texas. Beaver says that he’ll do a video tour of the neighborhood for his clients to pinpoint any possible noise issues, such as from a nearby highway, that wouldn’t be identified through online listing photos. Video tours also allow buyers to see every angle of the home itself — not just the most flattering ones depicted in listing photos. “I think it gives buyers that confidence of OK, I know what I’m getting here,” he says.
  2. Hire an inspector. A home inspector can uncover any potential problems, but they are usually hired after an offer is made. For remote buyers, however, you could ask an inspector to skim the home’s online photos, and they may be able to spot glaring issues sellers are trying to hide, says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors. Also remote buyers should ask an inspector once they are able to do an in-person evaluation about any odor issues, such as from a dank basement. Those are issues remote buyers can’t identify for themselves online.
  3. Request a walk-through contingency. Negotiate a walk-through contingency into a contract, which will provide a safeguard if the home doesn’t measure up to expectations in person. The buyer will then be able to walk through the property before signing papers at closing. But as is the case with any contingency, sellers don’t have to agree to it and may demand a higher purchase price in order to comply.

On line photos can tell a lot about a property. Most competent and Agents take many photos and offer virtual tours. I also advocate providing a lot of info describing the total picture of what is being offered. No trickery just honest statements of facts.

HAPPY HOUSE HUNTING

www.franksacco.com

More Sellers, Buyers Say: We Need an Agent

Fewer home sellers and buyers are opting to navigate their home sale or purchase on their own, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report. Nearly 90 percent of respondents surveyed say they worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home.

That has pushed for-sale-by-owner transactions to the lowest share ever, according to the survey.Eighty-nine percent of sellers said they sold their home with an agent, while for-sale-by-owner sales only accounted for about 8 percent of transactions (down from 9 percent the last three years).

“Although the Internet and digital technology have created several channels for sellers to market their listings to a wider cast of potential buyers, the preference to use a REALTOR® to sell a home has never been stronger,” says NAR’s president.

The majority of home buyers reported that the Internet was their first step in their home search. Still, 88 percent of buyers who searched for homes online ended up purchasing through a real estate agent.

“Although buyers between the ages of 18-24 were the most likely to use an agent (90 percent), over 85 percent of buyers in each of the other age categories also used an agent during their home search,” Polychron says. “With tight inventory conditions leading to stiff competition in several parts of the country and what’s found online sometimes not entirely accurate, buyers are turning to REALTORS® for expert advice and assistance in navigating today’s fast-moving housing market.”

The home search resources that are gaining the most popularity lately are mobile and tablet applications, increasing from 45 percent in 2013 to 61 percent use among buyers this year.

I’m pleased to say that in my 23 years of experience not one Client has regretted my services. There were a few bumps in the road along the way but nothing that couldn’t be resolved. My customer surveys have me at a 97% customer satisfaction rating. My work ethics and moral values have never wavered and I’m committed to those attributes.

Should you ever have any curious questions or concerns regarding real estate matters and information please don’t hesitate to contact me. If I don’t have the answer for you I’ll do my best to steer you in the right direction.

Source: NAR

www.franksacco.com

Why September Is The Best Month for Buyers

Buyers who are willing to close on a home purchase during the off-peak seasons – like fall and winter – tend to have the upper-hand, according to Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. September, in particular, is the best month of this year to sign a contract to purchase a home, according to his analysis.

For one thing, supply is rising, providing home buyers with more choices of homes for sale than they’ve had in the past 10 months. In the third week of August, inventory was at 1.91 million units, an increase from 21 percent since January, according to realtor.com®.

“Normally inventory peaks in August and begins to slow as the nights grow longer,” Smoke says. “But this year the typical seasonal decline will start a bit later. There will be more choices in September than any other month in 2015.”

Also, he says that overall demand is down now that the school year has started so buyers will provide less competition this month too.

“And, of course, with less competition for the most listings all year, pricing power weakens as inventory takes longer to sell,” Smoke says.

As an added incentive to home buyers, mortgage rates are remaining low, for now. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ended the week under 4 percent due to recent stock market turbulence. In June, 30-year rates were averaging 4.2 percent, but have since fallen.

Looking back over the years I have had numerous sales in the Fall. I never gave it much thought until now. It seems to make sense based on my sales. Today10/24/2015 in the Record Searchlight our local newspaper headlines read Home Sales up 17.5% from one year ago. Good news but not great news. There should be more Buyers on the hunt given the interest rates a still very low. And it’s not because the homes aren’t affordable. They are when compared to other cities like Redding. The main reason is Redding does not have job opportunities with reasonable wages. It’s time for our City Council members and County officials to lure more businesses to our area.

www.franksacco.com

5 Common Buyer’s Remorse Culprits

Some home buyers suffer from post-purchase regret. Realtor.com® recently spoke to real estate industry experts to find out what home features tend to spark the biggest regrets among buyers. Topping the list:

1. Buying too big of a home. Buyers may think at the time having a big home is what they want, but after moving in, they may later regret the expense and upkeep of maintaining a big home. Cooling and heating bills can be much higher and just cleaning the place can become a much bigger chore. Also if the room size is big, buyers may find their furniture a mismatch and too small. Urge buyers to bring a tape measure to verify their furniture would work in the space and also to consider the utility bills.

2. Awkward layouts. The kitchen island is often a desirable amenity among home buyers – it can add prep space, after all. But “kitchen islands can be a mistake if you don’t take your ‘work triangle’ into account,” Baumbusch says. She urges buyers to walk around the kitchen and consider their usual prepping and cooking patterns.

3. Not considering what’s missing. Architects and remodelers sometimes will remove something from a room to give it a more modern, cleaner feel. For example, “there is a trend to eliminate the bathtub in favor of just a shower,” Baumbusch says. “Some home owners regret that decision because sometimes they find themselves wishing for a nice long soak after a tough day.”

4. Pools. For some home buyers, the pool can become a selling-point that later turns into a source of regret. Pools can be costly and some buyers may fail to consider the all of the additional costs. For example, there’s regularly monthly maintenance and cleaning as well as pools in seasonal areas often are opened and closed by a professional. “It can cost upward of $600 just to open a pool and prepare it for swimmers,” Baumbusch says.

5. Falling for fads. “Today’s popular ice-white appliances, steel countertops, and Edison bulb light fixtures are yesterday’s saloon doors, linoleum, and brass hardware,” realtor.com® notes. “If you buy a house just for its trendy look, you may end up regretting it when the styles change, especially if you have to sell the outdated design.” Baumbusch recommends buyers look for timeless features – classic, well-designed homes.

These talking points are right on target. All Buyers should should follow these tips. Too many Buyers make these mistakes believe it or not.  I worked new home sales for 10 years in my 24 years of service. I’ve seen many plan changes occur before ground breaking and even changes during the building process. A savvy new home Buyer is less likely to make mistakes. For the not so savvy Buyer it will be an expensive lesson.

www.franksacco.com