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Looking Ahead: What’s in Store for Real Estate Sales in 2019?

As 2018 comes to a close, what real estate trends are on the horizon? While no one can predict precisely what the future holds, 2019 is likely to reflect the following issues in the housing market:

New Home Construction on the Rise

There’s a rise in building permits nationwide, up 8.4% over April 2017 levels, offering hope for a much-needed influx of new single-family homes. However, with long lag times until completion 2019 will likely continue to suffer supply shortages.

Rising Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates, which hovered below 4% back in 2017, have risen substantially. Their steady upward climb has continued for months, from 4.52% for the average 30-year mortgage back in July of this year to around 4.75% today.

Moving forward, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) predicts rates hitting around 4.9% by the close of the year, with rates continuing to inch upward in 2019. Economists at Freddie Mac concur. Despite rising rates, however, the economy is strong and employment is high, thus real estate sales are not expected to take a hit.

Continually Rising Home Prices

Given short supply and increased demand, home prices in most U.S. cities are expected to continue to climb in 2019. How high will they go? Zillow estimates the median home price rose 8.1% over the past year, and anticipates a 6.5% increase over the 12-month period from July 2018 to July 2019. Tighter markets, such as those in California, Oregon, and Washington, are likely to see the greatest gains.

Despite This, It’s Still a Seller’s Market

Despite all of the above, 2019 is expected to remain a seller’s market. The inventory shortages seen in most markets through 2017-18 are likely to continue, driving the trend and putting upward pressure on prices.

Don’t get stuck in the past. Stay on top of current real estate trends. Ensure a shining, successful New Year with the help of Properties Online today.

Flooded? Our Tips for Selling a House with Water Damage Fast

Flooded? Our Tips for Selling a House with Water Damage Fast

Representing a homeowner with a water-damaged home in need of a bail-out? Help them navigate troubled waters with these real estate tips for selling a house with water damage fast.

Real Estate Tips for Selling a House with Water Damage

When it comes to selling a home with water damage, there are generally two options:

Minimize & Repair Underlying Damage.

When possible, repair is best to protect the value of the home. The first step to repair is minimizing damage and cleaning/removing affected items per the homeowner’s insurance company stipulations. Drying everything as fast as possible is key to preventing mold proliferation, which begins as soon as 48-hours after water damage.

Though drywall, particle board, and carpet are not salvageable, wood and plaster are if quickly dried. Carefully repairing any underlying damage is key, as signs of the after-effects of water damage scares off most buyers, who assume the worst scenario is lying behind water stains.

Always disclose repaired damages and hire a home inspector (or two) – not only to provide buyers peace-of-mind, but to ensure the highest price possible for the home and protect sellers from potential legal issues down the road. It will also put sellers in the driver’s seat when/if negotiating for further repairs.

Sell the Home Fast – As Is.

For those without insurance or the funds to make repairs, it’s possible to sell a water damaged home ‘as is.’ Removing all water-damaged material, leaving behind only structure that is salvageable, is more work. But it could allow potential buyers to truly see what’s under the surface of home repair needs, safeguarding the value of what remains.

Water damage is quite common in ‘as is’ properties. Some companies and even individual investors specialize in restoring water damage homes. Prepare buyers for a huge hit on home value, however.

Flood of home sales issues? Properties Online has the real estate tips you need to ensure safe harbor.

November May Just End Up Being Your Best Month

Could November be Your Best Real Estate Sales Month Ever?

Many homeowners avoid the holiday real estate selling season like the flu, believing it’s a bad time to sell. In today’s real estate tips, we’ll look into this shunned selling season, and why it no longer applies today…

Holiday Buyers are More Motivated During the Holiday Season

The main idea that spring and summer are the best time to list homes for sale involves real estate tips surrounding parents waiting for summer to move school-aged children. However, this idea is outdated.

Today, more than half of home buyers are single, and their decisions aren’t based on the school calendar. Those looking to buy are either dragging their feet in hopes of a better deal, facing the time constraints of finding a home due to a change in employment, and more. They’re now highly-motivated.

Cold weather, shorter days, and hectic schedules don’t apply. These buyers need a home!

Today’s Holiday Home Sales Go Faster & Closer to Asking Price

Because holiday buyers are motivated, they’re more likely to pay closer to listing price. Several studies show homes listed during the holiday season today are more likely to sell faster and closer to asking price, particularly in November during prime holiday sales time.

There’s Less Competition in the Holiday Season

Because most home sellers suffer misconceptions about holiday sales, they take their homes off the market, shrinking supply. This results in potential gains for those sellers that do list. Less competition means more buyers checking out the few desirable homes on the market.

There May Be Year-End Tax Break Opportunities

Those looking to lower their taxes may also snipe a home late in the year to deduct purchase costs like points, interest, property and capital gains taxes.

Do you have the real estate tips you need to make the most of the holiday home buying season? Give yourself the gift of steadier sales with the help of Properties Online today.

Tips for Putting Together Great Marketing Photos

How to Get Those Home Photos That Sell a Property Fast

If you’re a fan of reality TV and those fix-it-and-flip-it shows, you’ve probably noticed that in addition to the show’s host(s), there’s typically one constant: The photographer. And there’s good reason for this. Those skilled in real estate selling know photography can make or break a potential buyer’s attraction to the property, limiting showings and potential offers.

First Impressions are Everything

While it may not be easy to figure out what makes a good photo, identifying bad ones is pretty easy. So how can the average agent ensure better shots? Consider:

What do you want the viewer to see?

Draw the viewer’s eye to what you want them to remember: A stunning fireplace; industrial appliances; a massive pool… When taking shots, focus on this feature, omitting surrounding unnecessary and distracting objects.

Have you lost the bigger picture?

While ‘zooming in’ on key features, be careful not to literally lose the bigger picture. In focusing on those industrial kitchen appliances, did you fail to reveal the kitchen size and layout? Wider shots help buyers make sense of what they’re seeing. Figure out what angle works best, and take lots of photos, zooming in/out.

Are photos too dark?

Brighter is better. That being said, lean toward natural light over light fixtures, allowing a space’s charm to shine through. Clear days are ideal. If lighting washes out shots in rooms with large windows, consider timing: Maybe a morning/afternoon shot or cloudier day could improve the outcome.

Did you skip prep work?

Eradicate clutter, ugly stains, magnet-covered fridges and unmade beds pre-session. Tidy = clean and low-maintenance in the buyer’s eye.

Are your photos tech-poor?

Skip the smartphone for a high-def digital camera – or hire a pro.

Real estate selling can be a tricky business – but photography doesn’t have to be. Get the tips and tricks you need to ensure success with the help of Properties Online today.

Can Staging Help Home Sales?

Tips to Help Your Buyers Dress Their Home for Fall Selling

Just because the weather cools down, doesn’t mean real estate selling will. The fall market has typically always been a hot buying season, with shoppers continuing to peruse post-back-to-school and pre-holiday season listings. How can you make the most of fall sales?

Eight Tips for Attracting Fall Home Buyers:

1. Clear Overgrown Summer Vegetation.

Wild bushes, runaway summer vines, fading flowers and foliage, and leaf buildup should be cleared away from the home, ensuring a clear path to the entrance and making the property appear low maintenance.

2. Add a Touch of Autumn Curb Appeal.

With mums, marigolds, pumpkins and gourds along the sidewalk and stairs.

3. Add a Touch of the Outdoors, Indoors.

After rooms have been decluttered and depersonalized, bring them by to life with the energy of autumn: Red, orange, and gold throw pillows; Autumn-inspired quilts and throws; Pine cone and nut table centerpieces; Orange candles; Bold autumn accent pieces in groups of 3 or 5.

4. Make Windows Sparkle.

Clear interior window smudges, then head outdoors, removing windows screens, bug and plant debris and cleaning the entire window area.

5. Maintain, then Light the Fireplace.

Have the chimney professionally maintained and key safety items attended. Then clean and decorate the fireplace surround and mantle with fall flare, lighting it when buyers come for a showing.

6. Think with Your Stomach.

Fill a bowl with crisp apples, then set out fresh pumpkin muffins or simmering apple cider.

7. Lighten Things Up.

With cooler weather, days are shortening, and this can darken rooms. Combat this by turning on every light in the house for showings (including closets).

8. Leave Treats.

As a parting treat, encourage prospective buyers to leave comments, leaving a bowl of snack size candy bars in return.

Fall real estate selling doesn’t have to be scary. Treat yourself to the latest real estate selling tricks from Properties Online today.