Should You Sell or Sit on the Sidelines?

Recent reports were released for the third quarter on the Central Indiana Real Estate market. I thought it was interesting because we have seen these kinds of statistics for a long time. Every new quarterly report that comes out I expect things to change, but they just seem to be going in a positive direction. I am not complaining at all, but it is just surprising, as I sometimes wonder how our local market can sustain such growth.

That being said, I wanted to share a few things that stuck out to me and bring them to your attention. Next time someone asks you about the real estate market, just throw out some numbers at them and it makes you sound really smart….that’s what I am trying to do right here!

When comparing the 3rd quarter foreclosure inventory to the same quarter of 2015, we have seen a 20.8 percent decrease. This is the number that I saw that made me want to share it with everyone. That is a huge decrease! Traditional inventory was also down compared to 2015, but not as drastic. However, the decrease was still significant at 13.4 percent lower than the 3rd quarter of 2015 (combined 13.8 percent decrease).

One of the things that we struggle with locally as Realtors, is the lack of inventory and the growing buyer interest. To understand what I mean by that, take the 3rd quarter sales for 2016. Sales increased 8.7 percent when compared to the 3rd quarter of 2015. Prices also increased 5 percent during the same period.

If you take a look at those numbers and put that in perspective, you will see the struggle that we face. Not only as Realtors, but buyers too. When you get a decrease in inventory of 13.8 percent and an increase in sales of 8.7 percent, it makes finding that perfect home a little more difficult.

While I have never seen a better time to sell your home, you are then faced with a tough challenge of finding a property to buy, which is a challenge at times. This is why many people that are interested in selling are still on the sidelines because they are nervous that they will list their home and it sells quickly and they won’t be able to find their next home. Overall, the market is fantastic and I don’t want to sound like I am complaining. I just wanted to give you information about what I am seeing and show you the numbers to back it up. If you are interested in reading more, click here to see the full report.

Home Buyers and Sellers Prime Time

Attention home buyers and sellers! School is nearly over in most districts, and this means many things.  It means tulips, and daffodils, and lilacs, and crocuses, and remembering our beloved dead, and spring cleaning.  It also means that prime home-selling and buying season is here.

Many people looking to sell their home have put off listing their homes so their children can finish up a school year without the disruption of people touring their home.  Many home buyers have put off seeking a new home for this same reason.  Once school is out, homes are listed and the prospective buyers go into serious action.

Home Sellers Be Prepared to Sell

Home Buyers Be Ready - Schools Out for SummerIf you are a seller, be sure your home – even if your family is still living in the home – is thoroughly clean and prepped for close inspection by prospective buyers.  If you need some specific advice about what to do and how to do it, we’ve posted about how to clean a house that you want to sell before.

If you are a seller, be ready for people who want to see your house.  Make sure your house will be ready before school starts up again; most families who are relocating want to be settled with enough time for their children to settle in before that important first day of school.

Home Buyers Be Ready to Move!

Once the kids are out of school, the home buyers can begin their house-hunting can begin in earnest.  Get yourself a great real estate agent who works in a reputable agency and schedule a face-to-face meeting so that your agent knows exactly what you are looking for, and where you would like to live.  Be sure your agent knows about any deal-breakers, and be sure your agent knows exactly what you absolutely must have; this will save both of you from wasting your time with homes that are not going to work out for you and your family.  If you require an in-ground pool, be sure your agent understands that you are not interested in looking at a house that doesn’t have one.  If you have small children, be sure your agent isn’t going to show you a house on a cul-de-sac populated by older people who work nights and require quiet days.  Give your agent as much information as possible.

Spring and summer are the very times when many families are actively seeking a new home.  These are also times when many homeowners find that they will be sure to get a bid on their house.

Both must be ready!

Preparing Your House for Sale

One of the most important things to make sure of, when trying to sell your home, is cleanliness.  Once you get all of your personal property out of the house, step back and really give it a look.  Look at the walls; any house that’s been lived in will have walls that reflect it.  Paint all of your paintable interior walls, and this is no time to express your quirky tastes.  Repaint the interior walls a plain off-white.  Don’t forget to look up; the ceilings probably need to be repainted, if possible, also.  If the ceilings can’t be painted, do whatever needs to be done to make those ceilings look brand new.

Clean Empty BedroomLook at Your Floors

Now look at the floors in the house you want to sell.  Don’t waste your money on an over-the-counter bottle of spray-on carpet shampoo.  Hire a professional to steam-clean every carpet in the house, and not just the carpets in the living room, either. If the carpets are too stained to be made spotless, replace those carpets.  The money you spend on new carpet will be made up for in the bids you’ll get because the carpets look so nice.

Hardwood floors?  Hire a professional to clean those, too.  If you’ve lived in the house for any length of time, hard-wood floors will be scratched and stained, and you can’t get rid of those with a bottle of furniture polish.

Use your judgment with tile and linoleum.  Good tile, unless it’s chipped or deeply scratched, can be made to look nice with some vinegar-and-water.  Look closely at any linoleum; sometimes it can be cleaned thoroughly enough and sometimes it will need to be replaced.

Now take a good look at the woodwork.  Paint it to match the walls, or refinish it, if it can’t be fixed up with some simple polish.  Prospective buyers look at these things.

Kitchens and Bathrooms Should Sparkle

Sinks – kitchen and bathrooms – should be spotless, along with the faucets and shower heads.  Countertops should have no stains, deep scratches, or stains.  Fix these if you can; replace them if you can’t.

Thoroughly clean all wooden cabinets.

Clean Kitchen Interior Photo

Make sure all the windows are clean on both sides.  Check all shades and blinds to make sure they work.  Raise and lower each window; a window that won’t stay up can make or break a sale!  If you are leaving curtains, be sure they’re absolutely clean.

Remove all evidence of pets from the interior of the house, especially in regard to odors.  Even if a prospective buyer is an animal lover, NOBODY is an odor lover.

Set out some nice, NOT strong-smelling air fresheners in each room.  Put a new box of baking soda in the refrigerator.  Be sure the oven is spotless.

The interior of the house should make a prospective buyer really, really want to live there.  Clean sells.

Missed Your Home Selling Opportunity?

Home For Sale by Owner

Around central Indiana, we all know that we should list our homes in the Spring, right?  It seems like everyone is aware of this and our market does embrace this. If you were considering selling your home this year and you haven’t yet; should you be worried?  Don’t be worried just yet. There is still a lot of time left in 2012 and there are still a lot of buyers out there.  School is getting ready to start back up about this time and the market does take a small step back during this time due to families getting back into routines, etc. However, once school is back in full swing, the home selling will pick up again for several more months.  Of course, we always slow down towards the end of the year, but that is no reason to not try and sell your home if you are considering it.  Many times it can better in the winter as you will have much less competition.  Ultimately, if you have your house priced correctly and it is in good condition, there is no bad time to sell your home. You have all heard the phrase….location, location, location, right?  While, I believe that location is extremely important, I believe that condition and pricing are more important. If you have the best location in the neighborhood, but it is priced too high, it isn’t going to sell. Try and remember this when you are considering a pricing strategy for your home.

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