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Home Staging Decreases Time on Market

As your real estate resource, Cervone, Deegan & Associates would like to share information regarding the importance of staging a home for sale. According to a survey from the National Association of Realtors, 62% of sellers’ agents shared that staging a home decreases the number of days a home will be actively on the market.

“Realtors® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are will to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

The report indicated that nearly two-thirds of sellers’ agents think staging decreased time on the market, with 39% stating it greatly decreases the time and 23% stating it only slightly decreases. Sixteen percent felt it either greatly or slightly increases the days on the market while 8% felt it has no impact.

In terms of the buyer audience, 77% of buyers’ agents said that staging a home makes it easier to visualize living in the home, and 40% are more willing to go view a home they first saw staged online. Meanwhile, 38% of buyers’ agents reported that staging can add value only if decorated according to the buyer’s taste. Therefore the decor should be catering to the greatest audience possible.

The Realtors that represent both buyers and sellers believe that the living room is the most important room to have staged. This is then followed by the master bedroom, kitchen and outdoor space. The guest room ranks of least importance in the line up.

The majority of buyers’ agents agree that staging can increase a home’s dollar value between 1 and 10%. Only 1% of buyer agents feel that staging can have a negative impact on price. Seller agents feel staging can add anywhere from 1 to 15% in value with no agents thinking it has a negative impact on price.

The reports of how many agents recommend staging and when they stage homes were across the board from before listing the property to only when a home proves difficult to sell. However, most agents recommend decluttering the home combined with a deep cleaning and addressing obvious items in need of repair.

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5 Tips for Transforming a Small Bathroom

As your real estate experts, Cervone, Deegan & Associates knows real estate sales as well as helpful tips on home design and trends. One challenge that we know that some have is working with smaller spaces in their homes. Specifically, a smaller bathroom. If you considering a facelift in the near future for one of your small bathrooms, here are 5 great tips on how to make it seem larger without knocking down walls.

  1. Floating vanity – Do you want to save some space under your cabinets? Try installing a floating vanity that is mounted to the wall. A floating vanity will turn that dead space into more floor space creating a larger illusion while offering more room for your feet.
  2. Wall mount faucet – Especially if your sink and counter are already smaller, you can save a lot of space by moving your faucet to the wall. Relocating the faucet will free up valuable counter space for other belongings and storage. Visually, this will make the area appear larger.
  3. Wall mounted medicine cabinet – In the interest of keeping your counters free of items, consider mounting a medicine cabinet on the wall. Keep toiletries and personal items here so they are still easily accessible, but hidden.
  4. Linen storage – If you are tight on storage space, consider relocating your towels to a hall closet or storage chest nearby. If you are keen on keeping them in the bathroom, try doing a wall mounted shelf or utilizing the space under your wall mounted vanity.
  5. Mirrors – Aside from being an essential item in the bathroom for getting ready, mirrors always create an illusion of making a smaller space appear larger. Select a modern and larger mirror for your bathroom to achieve a spacious look. Combining mirrors with a palette of colors that are lighter will generally make the room appear brighter and more spacious.
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Report shows most homeowners feel it’s a great time to sell

Cervone, Deegan & Associates knows that it is no surprise that inventory levels have decreased for the past couple of years. However, recent data from the National Association of Realtors’ “Housing Opportunities and Market Survey” (HOME) has shown that an increasing number of homeowners are feeling that now is a good time to sell. Based on these findings we can anticipate that more will decide to sell and improve the current lack of available homes for sale. Specifically, 71% of homeowners are feeling this way per the report which is up from last quarter at 69% and substantially over last year at 61%.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it’s apparent there’s a mismatch between homeowners’ confidence in selling and actually following through and listing their home for sale. “There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy,” he said. “As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.”

Added Yun, “Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year. Low housing turnover is one of the roots of the ongoing supply and affordability problems plaguing many markets.”

Regarding renters, their confidence has dipped with only 52% of them feeling now is a good time to buy which is down from 56% in Q1 of this year and 62% from a year ago. The higher home prices coupled with the slim inventory challenges have created a barrier for renters to enter into the home buying market.

“It should come as little surprise that the confidence reading among renters has fallen every month since January (64.8) and currently sits at its lowest level (53.8) since tracking began in March 2015 (65.7),” said Yun. “Paying more in rent each year and seeing home prices outpace their incomes is discouraging, and it’s unfortunately pushing home ownership further away — especially for those living in expensive metro areas on the East and West Coast.”

Home sales have still been continuing at a strong pace this year despite the inventory challenges. The overall economic health has been strong enough to fuel demand. We can hope that if homeowners are thinking now is a great time to sell, maybe inventory levels will increase towards a more “normal” and balanced market.

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What happens after you make an offer?

Once you have been touring properties and find one that suits your needs then it is time to act quickly and make an offer. This is a significant milestone and very exciting time during your home buying process. Once you write and submit your offer, one of three things will happen as a result. It will either be accepted, countered or rejected. Cervone, Deegan & Associates takes a closer look at the possible outcomes.

Offer is rejected
If your offer is rejected, then the seller may feel that your offer price and terms are too far from their goals and are not willing to negotiate. You may want to move on as it may be likely that there is too big of a gap between you and the seller.

Offer is countered
If your offer is countered then you have another chance to negotiate. At this point consider if the seller’s offer is acceptable or if you may need to go back and modify it a bit more. This can go back and forth until you either agree on terms or if one party decides to walk away.

Offer is accepted
If your offer is accepted then things become more real and exciting. Here are the next things tol follow after the acceptance and signed offer.

  • Financing – Now you will need to follow up with your mortgage broker and alert them of the terms of your deal. Your lender will also order a an appraisal to verify that the price you paid is a fair market value.
  • Home inspection – A home inspection is a really good idea as it is a detailed inspection of the home’s condition. Depending on what is found by the inspector, you may ask the seller for some repairs, ask for a concession or pass on the home altogether.
  • Homeowner Insurance – Lenders will want to confirm that you have an insurance policy for the home. Shop around for prices and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Sometimes you can save money when you combine things like home and auto plans.
  • The closing – As you work towards the closing date things will happen behind the scenes and you may be contacted for some information. Your lender will prepare your loan paperwork, your attorney will prepare your closing documents and title company will be doing research. Your task is to make sure that you have your down payment monies ready. Before your closing appointment, you will do a final walk through of the home to inspect the condition. You will then proceed to the closing table and complete everything by signing all necessary documents. Once this is done then you are officially a homeowner!
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5 Reasons why you should sell your home this summer

Cervone, Deegan & Associates knows that other than specific things that force you to sell your home at a any given time, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out when is the right time to put your home on the market for sale. Here are 5 reasons why selling your home this summer can make sense.

The demand is strong
According to a Buyer Traffic Report shared recently by the National Association of Realtors, buyer demand is remaining strong for most markets across the country. These buyers are prepared to make their move as they are looking for properties so take advantage of the activity in the market.

Quicker process
If the market is busy then banks have more loans to close on properties making them busy as well. Selling your home now could make the process quicker and easier. According to Ellie Mae, a loan these days is on average 42 days to close versus the 48 days we saw in busier January.

Less competition
The current market has a 4 month supply of housing stock which is below the 6 months that is dubbed as a normal market. This tells us that there are not enough properties available to satisfy the current demand in the marketplace. In some regions there is pent up desire to sell their homes as their home value has reached a point where they can now afford to sell. Builder confidence has also reached its highest point in a decade so construction will most likely increase this summer. These factors may lead to an increase in inventory changing the competitive landscape.

It is time to move up
If you are going to be upgrading to a bigger home, now is probably a good time to do so. With home prices on the rise the amount to finance is going to cost you more. In addition, mortgage rates are also expected to increase even more so locking in now at today’s rates is a good idea.

It is time to move on
Consider the reason why you started to think of selling in the first place and see if it makes sense to wait or not. Would selling your home now afford you a better financial situation or better life quality or experiences? Only you know these answers and the control is in your hands.