With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.
Look to buy first In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don’t see anything on Zillow, it doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t find the right home.
Think outside the box Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood. You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale.
Protect yourself legally Each state varies in how the purchase process is conducted. Talk to your real estate professional about adding a clause in the purchase contract for the home you are selling that will enable you to not sell the home if you cannot find a suitable home to buy.
Have questions? Send a message or feel free to comment.
Headline: How to avoid vacation rental scams
Home sharing websites like airbnb.com are great for getting the most out of your vacation. Home sharing often saves a lot of money compared to similar lodging arrangements at hotels, and it gives you an opportunity to be part of a new neighborhood during your stay.
The downside is that there’s a bigger chance of encountering a scam. No one wants to have their vacation ruined by a fake rental listing, so here are a few easy tips to avoid scams.
Be skeptical of photos: If a property’s photos look a little too good, ask for additional photos. Photoshop and photography expertise can hide a lot of warts.
Only book with a credit card: Scammers prefer to operate with cash. You have a better chance of recovering your money if you only book with credit cards through trusted sites like airbnb.com.
Read the reviews: Sites like AirBNB and VRBO have customer reviews for each property. Read them to ensure that the rental is as good it seems—or that it even exists in the first place.
Val J Aranda, Metro Realty – San Antonio
I recently had a conversation with a very intelligent young man who was SO convinced that renting was better than buying, his “wall” of judgement was too thick to penetrate. He wanted to “be convinced” otherwise. Look… there’s no other way to put it:
– a recent buyer-client moved into his new home around Christmas 2009
– mortgage payment: roughly $1100/mo
– by late 2013 the home owner had about $15,000 in equity
Purchase Price December 2009: $125,000
Market Value December 2013: $140,000
Equity (profit): $15,000
– mid-2014 his equity has jumped to about $25,000
Purchase Price December 2009: $125,000
Today’s Market Value (July 2014): $150,000
RESULTS – the renter versus the buyer:
– Ownership: $25,000 PROFIT accrued in 55 months (approx.)
– Renter: Just LOST $1100/month for 55 months totaling $60,500 (and that’s not taking rent increases into consideration after every lease renewal)
What do you think? Rent or buy?
No matter how you slice it, owning real estate can be much more profitable than playing the stock market. Where else can you get a +/-20.00% rate of return in less than 5 years?
I can’t guarantee these results with everyone, but I can stand by the value of real estate. The longer you own it, the more value it can have. Afraid of commitment? I’d be more concerned about never seeing $60,500 again.
This is a true story.
Yes, buying a home can be scary and intimidating, but don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you in the dark. We can shine the light on the pros and cons of home-ownership. If buying is a right fit for you, FANTASTIC! We’ll guide you EVERY step of the way. If renting is better for you right now, we can help with that too. Rent or buy – as long as you know what your options are, we are here to take care of your needs.
Val J Aranda, REALTOR® and Certified Home Marketing Specialist
“Coaching first-time Texas Home Buyers & Sellers”
I hadn’t even THOUGHT about selling my house, but after the month I’ve had, I’m thinking about it! ~Agent Val
The market started brewing at the beginning of the year, and it’s only getting HOTTER!
Listings are flying off the shelves! If you happen to have a house for sale and you’re not getting any bites, you’re probably just priced too high. If you’re still on the fence and waiting for the “right time to sell,” maybe these stories will push you off!
MY RECENT EXPERIENCES
REAL SCENARIO #1:
My San Antonio first-time home buyer was recently engaged to get married; we’ll call him Mr. Green (for the sake of privacy). Mr. Green is ready to buy a home for himself and his bride-to-be. One afternoon, I had arranged two showings for that same evening. By 8:00 pm, we were touring house #2.
The house was in impeccable condition, priced within their budget and in an area they wanted. In my book, that’s a grand slam! I saw the stars twinkling in their eyes and knew I had to give them their fair warning,
“I know it seems quick guys, but if you want this home, we need to make an offer tonight!”
I saw their hesitation, so I shared the one common mistake many first-time home buyers make:
First-time home buyers are often surprised to find “the one” so quickly that they choose to “look at a few more, just to make sure.” More often than not, that extra time results in a missed opportunity. It’s during that “loss” when a buyer realizes just how much they wanted that home. The side-effects of this mistake result in deep regret along with the buyer comparing every home thereafter to, “the one that got away.” (It’s painful to watch.)
I gave them a brief moment to soak in the information and then I asked the million dollar question:
If I call you tomorrow to tell you this home is already sold, how would that make you feel?
I explained that I’d be in their corner regardless of their decision. They glanced at each other, gave each other an accepting nod and gave me the green light. “Let’s do it!”
I rushed to my home office to start the paperwork; it was almost 9:30 pm. I pulled up the listing in MLS to gather information and guess what? The new listing status read, “ACTIVE OPTION.” It was under contract. It was gone. TRUE STORY. I called the buyers to let them know right away. Of course they were disappointed, but I hope there was a sense of peace knowing they acted quickly. If they had waited, they would have regretted it.
DAYS ON THE MARKET: 1
REAL SCENARIO #2 – SAME BUYERS, DIFFERENT LISTING:
I showed them two more homes. Mr. Green loved one and she loved the other. Even after experiencing their first home “loss,” they still decided to wait and take the night to think things over. I was behind their decision 100%. I believe they should both fall in love with the same thing (or at least feel they can compromise). Mr. Green called me the next morning to say he was ready to make an offer. By the time our offer got into the hands of the listing agent, two other offers were already there.
I advised Mr. Green to make his best offer upfront. At this point, trying to “wheel and deal” would not get the house. Sellers are not required to counter all of the offers. They usually pick the best one and decline the others.
“If you really want this house, show them you’re serious. Make an offer so strong that if you still lose this house, you know you gave it your best shot.”
We lost. The offer that gave the seller the highest net profit won.
DAYS ON THE MARKET: 2
REAL SCENARIO #3 – We’ll call this buyer, “Mr. Red”:
Mr. Red is a little more experienced and has watched listings quickly disappear online. We saw a listing in his area and in his price range. There was a particular feature he wasn’t crazy about, so we kept house-hunting. The “feature” was probably one reason the house had been on the market a little while. After seeing what else was out there (for about 2 weeks), we noticed that the “feature” house had a price reduction. Mr. Red decided to make an offer. We offered full price (at the new price).
Lo and behold, by the time our offer got into the hands of the listing agent, THREE other offers had been submitted. This situation created quite a stir and a “bidding war.” I alerted Mr. Red immediately and asked if he wanted to make any adjustments to his offer, to place him in a better position. He decided to offer the original list price (before the price reduction). We STILL lost.
TOTAL DAYS ON THE MARKET: 89
DAYS ON THE MARKET WITH THE REDUCED PRICE: 8
How can someone improve their chances during a bidding war?
Don’t ask for too much – limit contingencies. If you’re making an offer below list price, asking the seller to pay some of your closing costs, and needing two months to close (for example), you’re weakening your leverage. If you give full asking price and ask for little to no closing cost assistance, your offer will show you’re serious. If you REALLY want that house, offer a little more than what the seller is asking for and eliminate contingencies. You’ll definitely grab some attention!
Are you a home owner who just got the itch to sell? Are you ready to see a bidding war on your house?
Contact your local REALTOR® today! Why wait? The market hasn’t been this HOT in almost 10 years! Don’t have a REALTOR®? Contact me using the form below. I’d love to help you. If I’m not in your area, I’ll find someone who is!
METRO REALTY | Val J Aranda, REALTOR®
A Certified Home Marketing Specialist coaching first-time Texas Home Buyers and Sellers.
4007 McCullough Ave. #477
San Antonio, TX 78212
*At your service*