Executives Blog

 

Nov. 29, 2016

Sellers: Winter is Coming, But Don't Discount it

Sellers beware: WINTER IS COMING [credit: Game of Thrones] (please don't sue us).  

But what does that mean for selling your home?  Should you really wait until Spring like everyone else?

Conventional wisdom, of course, tells us that Spring is the best time to list a home for sale, the thought being that more buyers are actively looking to buy in the spring and thus, sellers have a greater chance of selling more quickly and for more money.

But is it true?  Let's take a closer look.  Like nearly everything, the devil is in the details.  

Consider this first chart, which shows us a downward trend in the number of listings from October to January each year: 

Source: Cape Girardeau County MLS and MARIS MLS

This chart tells us one important thing: Your competition is sitting at home for the winter. Literally.

Consider that fact in light of these figures:

Source: Cape Girardeau County MLS and MARIS MLS

What do these numbers all mean?  Well, for starters, bear in mind that roughly 25% of homes should, in theory, sell in any three month period of a calendar year.  Considering that, the figures tell us two things: (1) roughly 20-21% of homes in a given calendar year sell in the winter months, and (2) roughly 27-28% of homes in a given calendar year sell in the spring months.  "Hmm, that's not a very big difference," you might be thinking.

There's more.  Remember the first chart?  The one that tells us how low inventory is in the winter and how high it starts to creep in the spring?  When you factor in the inventory counts and compare them to the sales numbers, the difference between the time periods is almost negligible.

So when is your home more likely to sell?  That conventional wisdom may be doing you a disservice. 

Winter is coming, but don't discount it!

Nov. 9, 2016

Missouri Votes YES on Amendment 4: No Sales Taxes on Services

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, Missourians voted YES on Amendment 4, marking a huge victory for hard-working taxpayers.  Amendment 4 sought to amend the Missouri constitution to prohibit state and local governments from imposing any new sales tax or use tax on services.  A statewide coalition consisting of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Missouri Bankers Association, the Missouri Independent Bankers Association, the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, and Missouri REALTORS, among many others, paved the way for the Amendment's success.

Scott Charton, spokesman for Missourians for Fair Taxation had this to say following the victory:

"The time was right to make a stand.  This is a victory for Missouri's hard-working taxpayers and their families.  Passage of Missouri's Amendment 4 is a first-in-the-nation, preemptive strike against new sales taxes on everyday services.  The threat of new sales tax on services has been stopped, thanks to the bipartisan support of common-sense Missourians. We are so very proud of the hard work and the extensive grassroots campaign by the Missourians for Fair Taxation coalition. This broad-based coalition was created by the 20,000-member Missouri REALTORS® with financial support from the National Association of REALTORS® and a long list of Missouri based organizations and small business owners.  Much credit for this victory goes to the local boards/associations of REALTORS® throughout Missouri, and their leadership and staff who served as local hubs for Amendment 4 information, campaign materials, signs and coordination with allies on the ground."

As Mr. Charton points out, this Amendment was spearheaded by REALTORS® fighting for property rights.  A sales tax on services would have had a drastic effect on everyone's ability to both buy and sell their homes.  Without this amendment, future legislation could have taxed real estate related services such as lending, title, real estate brokerage, and home inspections.  

"For REALTORS®, passage of Amendment 4 is the latest accomplishment in a long-term commitment to protecting consumers and helping them achieve the American Dream of homeownership," Mr. Charton said.

We are proud REALTORS® here at Realty Executives of Cape County.

Oct. 10, 2016

The Role of a REALTOR®

To most consumers, the terms "real estate agent" and "realtor" are synonymous.  However, a closer look will tell a very different tale; the word "REALTOR®" is a technical term that means much more than "real estate agent."

A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® ("NAR"), the largest trade association in the United States.  REALTORS® place high importance on honesty and good faith in their dealings with one another and with clients.  REALTORS® take an oath to abide by a stringent, enforceable Code of Ethics along with Standards of Practice, which means REALTORS® owe specific duties to clients, the public, and to other REALTORS®.  Their non-member "real estate agent" counterparts do not have to abide by any such code. 

REALTORS® aggressively fight for the rights of homeowners through well-run state associations and knowledgeable political action committees.  If there's an issue in the legislature that will negatively affect homeowners, you can bet that REALTORS® will fight to protect homeowners.  REALTORS® regularly take training courses to ensure they serve their customers and clients with the level of skill, knowledge, and attention required by today's real estate consumer.  

Most importantly, REALTORS® represent their clients with zeal.  Many people, in fact, are not aware of the expertise, professional knowledge, and hard work that goes into a proper real estate transaction.  The Orlando Regional REALTOR Association compiled these things into a very thorough list.  

At Realty Executives of Cape County, we have set the REALTOR® Code of Ethics as the bare minimum standard for how we do business.  This means we train on, and abide by, the Code and Standards of Practice to the fullest extent in our dealings with clients, the public, and with other REALTORS®, and in many cases, we try to set the bar even higher.  

Anyone can attempt to "DIY" a real estate transaction.  Some even get lucky and get through the transaction without a hitch.  But beware: there are many land mines along the path from listing to closing and beyond, and REALTORS® know what they are and how to effectively navigate through the minefield.

So get REALTOR®.  And more specifically, get Realty Executives.

Posted in Ethics, REALTOR
July 14, 2016

6 Renovations That Can Add Value to Your Home

A lot of people get excited at the idea of a home renovation. They have grand ideas of how they want their home to look. But one thing to keep in mind is how those ideas will affect your home's value once it comes time to sell after a tenure of nine years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

It's important that you do some research before committing to any home renovation project. A good place to start is with a cost versus value report. The report is based on information gathered from real estate agents and RemodelMAX, an online remodelers estimator tool. It will will help you outline the average cost, resale value, and cost recouped for a number of home renovation projects, providing both national and regional estimates. City estimates are also available, but you have to register to access these reports.

To help you determine what renovation projects could add value to your home, here are seven renovations that are worth considering:

 

  1. Bathroom. When renovating a bathroom, there is no need to go overboard with a complete overhaul. In fact, according to Remodeling’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, simple low-cost renovations on average yield a 10% higher return on investment compared to upscale renovations. Instead, consider adding new light fixtures and some paint to revitalize your bathroom.
  2. Kitchen. According to the Consumer Reports National Research Center, 53% of real estate professionals believe that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms to prepare before putting your home on the market, so this isn't a room that you want to ignore. However, the national average for a minor kitchen renovation is likely to set you back $20,122 with a resale value of $16,716. Since you're only likely to recoup 80% of the cost, be sure to consider minor repairs and a gentle spruce up before undertaking any major kitchen renovations.
  3. Income Suite. One of the most direct ways of adding value to a home is to have an income suite. Whether you have a beautifully finished basement or an attic/apartment living space, having the option for a tenant (or even just a guest room), will no doubt boost your value.
  4. Make a Good First Impression. First impressions count and they also generate a higher return on investment. Entry and garage door improvements feature near the top of the Cost vs. Value rankings, so if your entrance way looks a little dated, this may be a good place to start.
  5. Energy Efficient Windows. The real estate world continues to go green, so the more energy efficient your home is, the better. Energy Star claims that adding Energy Star-rated windows can save you up to $500 a year. If your windows look like they’re from the 1970s, it could turn off potential buyers.
  6. Energy Efficient Insulation. Attic insulation has the highest return on investment of any project listed on the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, with a 116.9% return on investment. If your attic lacks proper insulation, the average cost of installation is estimated at $1,268 with a resale value of $1,482.

Do some research before making any major renovations and you’ll be more likely to make decisions that will pay off when it comes time to sell. 

This guest post was written for Realty Executives International by Sara Luckman of CityBlast. The team at CityBlast helps over 10,000 agents and brokers with their social media marketing, keeping their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn up-to-date and professional.