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Rent, Sell, or Keep: What to Do with Your Home After Downsizing

Rent, Sell, or Keep: What to Do with Your Home After Downsizing

Downsizing your home

What To Do With Your Home If You Are Downsizing

As you grow older, downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home seems like an increasingly attractive option. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a complicated process. Before you even start dealing with the move, you need to decide what you are going to do with your existing family home. In this article, we will go over a few of the basic things to keep in mind.

Selling the House

This is perhaps the most obvious solution, and the one most people choose. After all, most people will need the cash from a home sale in order to be able to afford to buy a new place. However, it’s important to actually understand the local market before deciding.

According to the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, the average home in Chapel Hill sells for $400,000, and homes take an average of 62 days to sell. This is because Chapel Hill is not a particularly competitive market. What this means is that you cannot be guaranteed a quick sale.

This becomes especially relevant if you are selling a big family home. According to Business Insider, the large multi-bedroom homes owned by boomers are becoming harder to sell to the younger generation. In other words, your big house may be hard to sell, and you are less likely to make as much profit from downsizing.

There is also the matter of downsizing your possessions. Selling the house means you likely have to get rid of many items and furniture. You need to be organized and have a plan to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. My Move recommends starting early and starting small, prioritizing the rooms you won’t have in your new house (like an attic or home office).

Renting Out the House

Renting out your house is a great option if you plan to sell the house someday but would rather hold onto it for now. Rent does not bring in a big cash sum, but it can provide a regular, ongoing source of income. This can be more convenient in terms of cash flow for someone on a fixed retirement income.

The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in Chapel Hill is $1,875, and this is likely to be higher for a house. If you are looking to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center (average rent $1,068.75), you could be looking at a net monthly profit.

If, on the other hand, you are buying your new home, things can be a bit more complicated. For seniors, Bankrate recommends looking at 10-year or 15-year mortgages, which will allow you to pay off the smaller home faster. Using the SmartAsset calculator, we can see that a 15-year mortgage on a $400,000 home, with a $50,000 down payment, would cost almost $3,000 a month. If you wanted to pay off your mortgage with your rent income, your down payment would have to be as big as $200,000.

Of course, these are all approximate figures, which will vary pretty significantly. It is worth noting that a senior could get a traditional 30-year mortgage, which would be a lot easier to finance using rent income. However, experts do tend to recommend seniors minimize debt in retirement, and this may not be the most convenient option.

If you are considering renting your home, Real Estate Experts property management group will take care of your all important investment — your home.  If you want to learn about property managers and what we do and what Real Estate Experts does to protect your home, watch our video about What Property managers Do and visit our web site.

Keeping It in the Family 

This is obviously the best option if there is someone in the family who actively wants the home. There are several options here, from giving the house as a gift to passing on the mortgage to your family member. Each has its own tax implications, so do plenty of research before deciding. For instance, if you try to sell your house to a relative for a big discount, the IRS will still count this as a gift, and the gift tax will apply.

Deciding what to do with a family home when downsizing is never an easy choice. There are a lot of complex financial factors but also significant emotional and practical ones. For this reason, you need to give yourself plenty of time to consider all these carefully and discuss them with your family if needed. In other words: When it comes to downsizing, don’t rush things!

Real Estate Experts can help you evaluate your home and help you make the decision about selling or renting.  The foundation of our business is that is It All About You.  Our goal is to help you make the best decision that meets your family goals.  Contact us anytime!

Picking The Right Realtor For You

Picking The Right Realtor For You

When a whole lobster was presented at the table of a restaurant, the customer noticed there was only one claw on it.  He asked what happened to the lobster and the waiter said, maybe he lost a fight with another lobster.  The customer replied to the explanation by saying “then, bring me the winner.”

There are approximately 1.3 million REALTORS® in the U.S.  The July 2019 Existing Home Sales annualized about 5.4 million units with a listing side and a selling side that totals 10.8 million transactions.  That means that the average number of units sold per agent is 8.

In any given market, 20% of the agents are selling 80% of the homes.  260,000 agents are selling 8,480,000 or an average of 32 transactions sides.  Some markets are dominated by 10% of these successful agents selling 90% of the market.  If that were the case, 130,000 agents are selling 9,720,000 or an average of 75 transactions sides.

Which Realtor Do You Want Representing You: The Choice is Very Important

The question you should ask yourself is who do you want representing you in the purchase or sale of the largest asset that most people have?  Do you want an average agent, or do you want a powerhouse agent who can provide you the best advice, avoid issues that can cost time, and maximize the results that you expect and deserve?

Finding the right property is listed as the most difficult experienced by buyers (56%), according to the Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, together with the paperwork (20%) and understanding the process and steps (16%) makes these the most important areas of expertise needed when evaluating your agent.

An agent provides valuable services for buyers and sellers during the transaction that can make a difference in finding the “right” home or buyer, negotiating the best terms, and closing on time.  The answers to the following questions can help you decide who to work with in your next purchase or sale.

  • Describe your experience in real estate?
  • What are your personal sales stats compared to the market? (For sellers, list price to sales price ratio, days on market; for buyers, average # of houses shown and closure rate)
  • Describe your strategy to accomplish my needs?
  • Do you have references and/or reviews?
  • What makes you different than your competition?
  • Can you help me find the other professionals and vendors?
  • What is your fee and who pays it?

Who is Real Estate Experts and What Do We Have to Offer?

At Real Estate Experts, we listen to your wants, needs and goals.  This is the first and most important step is helping you buy a home you will love or sell your home.  For more information, request our Sellers Guide and Buyers Guide.

Also look at our web site to learn how Real Estate Experts works with home buyers and why you should list your home for sale with Real Estate Experts.

Price It Right The First Time

Price It Right The First Time

The Internet has empowered all buyers with information and home buyers are no exception.    The amount of information available to public includes details on size, condition, sales history, current inventory, recent sales, photographs, videos, school info, drive-times, entertainment and much more.

When a seller realizes that buyers are educated with facts, it becomes unlikely that they will pay more than a home is worth.

If a home is priced too high in the beginning, it may stay on the market longer than normal which could adversely affect the ultimate sales price.  It is a natural reaction from people, personally or professionally, to assume that something must be wrong with a home that doesn’t sell in a reasonable time for that market.

The seller is entitled to maximize the equity in their home and pricing it properly in the beginning is the best way to achieve that.  Overpricing can reduce buyers activity because they assume that the best homes are purchased soon after they are offered for sale and if one has been on the market longer than normal, there must be a problem with it.  Similarly, sales associates may come to the same conclusion.

After buyers have seen a few homes in a certain price range, they begin to expect similar amenities in each home they look at.  If a home is overpriced, it will not compare favorably with the other homes that are being viewed.  Sometimes, the buyer may even think that another home could be a bargain because it offers much more for the same price as the overpriced listing.

Shopping the market means looking at the homes that meet a buyers’ wants and needs and selecting the one that gives them the most, whether it is in price or amenities.  The overpriced listing doesn’t compete well, and it extends the market time.  There is a documented study that shows that the longer a home stays on the market, the lower the price will be.

It is essential that a seller receive factual information to price their home to compete favorably in the current market.  Some of the obstacles can include:

  • Failure to objectively compare the current and sold homes with theirs
  • Neighbors who mislead the seller as to how much they got for their home
  • Fear of making a mistake and thinking they can start high and always lower the price
  • Loss of perspective because the seller is emotionally involved
  • Expecting the home to sell for more than fair market value because they need the money
  • Agents who will accept a listing at any price in order to tie up the property until the seller realizes the price is too high

What a seller paid for the home or the cost to rebuild it today do not affect market value.  Neither does the amount spent by sellers on certain improvements that were made for their own pleasure and enjoyment.

It is unrealistic to expect a buyer to pay more than market value for a home.  The seller sets the price of a home but the buyer determines the value.  If the home is priced properly in the beginning, it is more likely to sell for a higher price, in a shorter period and with less problems.

At Real Estate Experts, we are skilled in analyzing the market and in pricing homes for sale.  If you want a detailed analysis for your home, contact us and speak with one of our experts.

Why Professional Photography Is Critical to Your Home Sale

Why Professional Photography Is Critical to Your Home Sale

With buyers increasingly starting their home search online, your marketing efforts are actually reaching them all over the world.

From the outset, buyers want to see pictures of your home. If one room of your home is messy in any way, it’ll be reflected in the picture online, and buyers have a low tolerance for clutter. Your Realtor will help you position your property with professional photography so that your home is highlighted in its best possible light.

Your Realtor may use a staging service or they may conduct the staging on their own by way of drone footage or virtual staging.

Ultimately, the goal is to have a marketing plan and professional photography is an incredibly important way for buyers from all over the world, and who are looking in your area, to see your home.  

If you have any questions about professional photography or these types of services, don’t hesitate to be in touch. I’d be happy to help!

The Ins and Outs of NC’s Due Diligence Period

The Ins and Outs of NC’s Due Diligence Period

The North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract is also often called a due diligence contract. We have a due diligence period, and within this time frame, a buyer can terminate a contract for any reason. It doesn’t have to be because of a bad inspection, loan, or other obvious problems.

When an offer in North Carolina is made, there are two important dates and two important checks that accompany all the terms and conditions of the offer:

The first date is the due diligence date; this is the time frame in which the buyer does all of their investigations concerning the property, including home inspections and loan processing. Again, regardless of your reason, you can cancel your contract at any time—as long as you do so on or before the due diligence date.

The second date to remember is the closing date. Everything in our contracts is negotiable. Typically, we see closing dates set about two weeks after the due diligence date, but it can be longer. The due diligence period is, on average, three to four weeks, depending on how competitive your offer is; the shorter the due diligence period, the better it is from a seller’s perspective.

Now let’s talk about the money:

In our market, the earnest money deposit is usually about 1% of the purchase price.

On the other hand, the due diligence money can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the price of the house and whether you’re in  competition with other buyers for the same house. If a buyer terminates a contract before the due diligence date, the only money that is at risk is the due diligence money; your earnest money will come back to you unequivocally. So when you’re making your offer, you need to think through the process and consider how much money you’re willing to lose if you end up terminating the contract.

If you go all the way to closing, the due diligence and the earnest money deposit both come back to you at closing as part of your down payment.

The only way a buyer can lose everything—both the due diligence AND earnest money—is if you say that you’ll buy the home, but then cancel the contract AFTER the due diligence date. That’s considered a breach of contract, and you’ll receive neither of those deposits back.

When you’re interviewing prospective Realtors, talk to them about the due diligence process and what it means for you, because it’s different when looked at through a buyer’s eyes and a seller’s eyes.

At Real Estate Experts, we’re more than happy to discuss this period with you. All you have to do is reach out to us, and we’d be happy to help.

Selling your house in Fall or Winter?

Selling your house in Fall or Winter?

When the weather gets cooler, typically the real estate market slows down. Spring, after all, is the best time to buy and sell a house. However, fall the second best season to list your home.  Selling your house in fall or winter is not necessarily bad timing.  While we are half-way through fall, there’s still time! Even though fall and winter are slower times in the real estate world, listing your home during this time of year means less competition on the market. Homes can even sell faster during the winter, for some reason. Besides, there’s less of a need for landscaping at this time of year!

Are You Considering Selling Your House in Fall or Winter?

If you’re selling your home during these seasons, here’s what you need to know.

  • Still be wary of seasonal decor or too many personalized decorations however do embrace fall
  • Highlight seasonal positives (if you have a nice fireplace, etc)
  • Regardless of whether there’s less of a need for landscaping or not, keep up the curb appeal (blow leaves, etc)
  • Basically, turn on every light ever for all showings
  • Prepare your home for showings  (fall smells are wonderful, don’t burn candles, this may not be safe when you leave your home but a fall potpurri can add just the right touch.  If you are lucky and you get a second or third showing, pull out all the stops and bake chocolate chip cookies.  That is a lovely touch!

Find Your Real Estate Listing Expert

A professional realtor is your best ally in buying or selling a home, no matter what the season. The marketing materials on your house are more important now than ever, thanks to mobile technology that allows buyers to search homes on their phones or tablets. Using professional photos, a virtual tour and using a fantastic description boosts the chances of your home selling. At Real Estate Experts, we’re ready to give your house marketing something extra.

As a buyer, having a trusted real estate professional (agent or buyer’s agent) will increase your chances of winning a bidding war. With low inventory on the market, bidding wars are commonplace. Buyers agents are a buyer’s best friend in a market like this because they have sole responsibility to the buyer and can provide the ultimate amount of information.

If you are interested in learning about available properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

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