Uncategorized July 26, 2022

How is the current market affecting buyers and sellers?

I’ve been seeing and hearing conflicting information out there about the nature of the current Real Estate market in Hernando and surrounding counties. There is fear that there will be a crash, concerns about the increases in interest rates, and uncertainty from buyers and sellers on how to manage these changes. Here are my thoughts on the current real estate market, and what I feel the market will mean for you over the next few months.
  • While interest rates have risen over the last few months, we are still experiencing historically low rates overall. Just ask our baby boomer generation and they will tell you that when they were buying their first homes, they were paying upwards of 12-18% in interest! While the current 5.75-6% rates are up significantly from what we have been used to over the last two years, we are in still in great shape!
  • According to a list compiled by Realtor.com, ” The Tampa area was one of the top 10 housing markets in America going into 2022. Home sales across this market are forecast to grow by 11.6 percent year over year in 2022, which is nearly two times the national home sales growth projection. That number is continuing to grow as individuals who used to be forced to live where they worked, now have the option to work from home anywhere.” I’m not surprised by this are you? Why not live and work where you vacation? Florida is a destination location surrounded by beautiful beaches, nature, great weather, and several championship teams to root for!
  • So, what does all of this mean for buyers looking to move to Florida? With the interest rate increases, it has caused a slowdown in demand which is allowing for a more balanced market for buyers.  You are not going to have to put in offers thousands over asking, waiving appraisal/inspection contingencies, or getting into a huge bidding war in hopes of getting into a home you love! Now you can potentially negotiate a bit on the price, negotiate on repairs, or even ask for a percentage or two to help on your closing costs!
  • What about all the sellers out there? You are still going to be walking away with a significant amount from the equity you earned over the last two years. Even with home prices dropping a bit, they are not going to fall below the amount earned. Be patient. Homes are selling in weeks instead of days, but they are selling. Trust your realtor and price your home correctly, be willing to negotiate on terms and repairs, and you will ensure you’re going to walk away with what you want for your house, within reason.
This is a great time to be a seller and buyer with a more even playing field for everyone. This is what you call a “healthy market” in my opinion. If you would like to discuss my thoughts in more depth, and/or have questions about your home, call me anytime! I’m your local real estate expert and am always here to help!
Uncategorized April 23, 2022

5 WAYS TO PREP YOUR HOME FOR SUMMER TRAVEL

Summer is a time for slowing down and taking it easy especially if you have school-aged children. Planning a summer vacation can be stressful enough and ensuring that your home is in good shape while you’re away will help ease some of that stress. Here are a few tips to help you get your home ready!

SHUT THE WATER OFF AT THE MAIN LINE

No one wants to worry about plumbing leaks while they’re away for an extended period of time.  Turning the water off at the main line will help prevent any leaks that may occur which could result in water damage and expensive repair bills.  After turning the water off at the main line, run all of the faucets until all of the water is out of the pipes. If you’re not sure how to find the main line, you’re not alone. This article from Bob Vila explains it all!

 

UTILIZE SMART SECURITY OPTIONS

Ding Dong!  Who’s there? These days it’s pretty easy to install smart security features like a doorbell or motion detecting security cameras that record activity on your property.  Utilizing these types of tools allow you access to any activity while you’re away and, in some cases, allow you to communicate directly with someone on the other side.  Not sure which one to get?  Here’s a list of the best doorbells for 2021 from Good Housekeeping. Other items that may prove useful are timer-based switch plugs that will turn on and off based on your settings, so you can set lights or radios to come on at certain times of the day or night.

 

SET THE THERMOSTAT

You definitely want to leave the AC running while you’re gone but it should be set to a few degrees higher than it would be if you were home.  Keeping the AC running will prevent mold and mildew from forming and keep any kind of musty smells at bay.  Setting the temp a few degrees higher will ensure that the unit runs but will also reduce the energy use since it won’t be running as often.

 

POOL MAINTENANCE

If you have a pool, you’ll want to make sure that the filter is cleaned before you go and that the chlorine tablets are added.  Additionally, make sure to turn the heater off if you have one so that you’re not wasting money heating the water while you’re gone.  Brushing the pool and doing a thorough cleaning will also help mitigate the possibility of coming back to an overly dirty pool.  Here’s everything you need to know to get your pool ready!

 

CLEAN THE KITCHEN

Cleaning out the refrigerator and taking out the trash are probably the easiest things you can do to ensure you come back to a pleasant-smelling home. Do a quick clean out of the fridge and gather trash from all areas before you go.  You’ll be happy you did!

These are just a few things you can do to prep your home for your absence, but you may want to consider having someone come by to check on things if you have that option. Everyone has different scenarios like pets or plants, so check out this thorough list from HGTV for more ideas on getting your home ready for summer vacation!

Uncategorized April 22, 2022

5 TECHNIQUES TO GET YOUR OFFERS ACCEPTED

Presenting the most competitive offer in today’s market can be frustrating and can make you feel like you’re in the 5th round of a boxing match! As we all know, “cash is king”, so Cash offers are generally going to be dominantly accepted over Conventional and VA offers.  To overcome this daunting task, I’m giving you my input on how to present a competitive offer and get your buyers’ offers accepted!

I utilize 5 different techniques in order to land the knockout and make sure that her offers not only stand out, but get accepted.  Let’s dig in!

TBD LOAN APPROVAL

Ask the lender if your buyer can go through a TBD approval, meaning that the home address is “To Be Determined”.  This process allows the lender to go a step further in the pre-approval process by putting the buyer through the initial underwriting process. This way your buyer is already approved for the loan, pending conditions to be met such as appraisal and inspections. Once the appraisal is completed the buyer can be submitted back to underwriting to obtain a “clear to close”, cutting the approval process down to close within 2-3 weeks.

If the lender can’t do a TBD Loan Approval, they may be willing to write a letter to potential sellers explaining the lendability of your buyer. This additional reassurance can be helpful to hear for a seller, putting them at ease to know the deal will not fall through due to a financing issue.

SHORTENING THE INSPECTION PERIOD

On the contract you can give your buyer up to 15 days to have inspections completed and do their due diligence before being “locked in”. During that time frame the buyer can back out of the contract for any reason, which makes sellers nervous. If you can present an offer with a smaller inspection period window, such as 5-7 days, that is less time for your buyer to back out and puts a seller’s mind at ease.

INCREASED ESCROW DEPOSIT

Instead of the usual $1,000 deposit, have your buyer deposit a larger amount into Escrow.  Nicole recommends $2,500-$5,000 depending on the list price of the property. This shows the seller that your buyer has more stability as far as cash flow, and proves the buyer is serious about doing what it takes to move forward with the purchase of their property. These funds are held in Escrow by the Title Company and are applied towards the purchase price at closing anyways. So, while it’s really the same out of pocket to the buyer, having a larger Escrow deposit gives the seller more piece of mind.

LARGER DOWN PAYMENT

If your buyer is doing a FHA,VA or USDA loan, they may not have additional cash to put down, but suggesting to them that putting any additional cash down is a good idea.  This will make their offer more appealing because it shows that the buyer isn’t strapped financially and is able to make things work, especially if there is a problem with the appraisal, repairs with a roof, or something else. This proves to the seller that there is room for negotiating and they aren’t going to be left having to pay out of pocket for repairs or drop the price due to an appraisal issue to make the deal work. A little “wiggle room” is always more appealing to a seller.

APPRAISAL CONTINGENCIES

In a more “normal” market paying over appraised value out of pocket is not advised. However, right now while things are still climbing it may be necessary to advise your buyer to pay out of pocket should the home not appraise for the contracted price.

I have written contracts stating that the buyer will pay up to XXX amount out of pocket to meet the appraised value, so that the seller doesn’t have to drop the price to get the deal to go through. For example, if the contract price on the home is $275,000 and the appraisal comes back at $270,000, the buyer would bring cash to make up the difference.

Having said that, I do not advise going over $5,000 but using this technique does help in having a leg up on the competition. If the home appraises at value, it is a non-issue, but definitely reassures the seller that if that problem arises, they won’t lose money by having to drop the list price.

At Dennis Realty we genuinely believe in educating our agents and our clients so if you have questions, we would love to hear from you. It’s part of what we call “The Dennis Difference” and we invite you to come experience it!