Getting the Ball Rolling: What You Should Do Before Hiring an Agent

It’s easy to overlook the fact that buying or selling a home is hard work, and not just for the real estate agent. Ultimately, homeowners and prospective buyers have the biggest stake in the process, and should play a major role in whether a sale happens or not. There are some important tasks that need to be done before you connect with an agent.

Courtesy of Housing Price Trends, here are some important tips that can help you prepare to enter the market with an agent who’s empowered with all the information needed to make your dreams come true.

 

What can you afford

If you’re in the market to buy, there are several things you should find out before hiring an agent. Have a clear idea of what kind of home you want and where you want to live. Once you know what to look for, find out how much house you can afford.

 

Check your credit status. If all’s well, begin contacting lending institutions to find the best possible loan rate and how much they’re willing to give you. See if you qualify for loans that offer more comfortable terms to buyers, like VA loans and FHA loans. Real estate professionals Team Brannigan note that getting a loan pre-approval letter can come in handy once you start placing bids, because it lets the seller know you’re a serious buyer with sufficient financial backing. Along with your personal priorities this is the kind of information your agent will need to do an effective job on your behalf.

 

Your financial house

Sellers should double-check the status of their mortgage; specifically, how much you’ve paid and how much is still owed. Remember, an agent will need precise numbers even if you owe less than the current value of your home. Knowing your financial position will help an agent work within the framework of your exact situation, which will make the buying process go much more smoothly, not to mention quickly.

 

Don’t forget to make sure there are no liens, tax issues, or property disputes involving your home, which could complicate a deal with a prospective buyer. Also, check into the value of comparable homes in your area. Find out how the market’s performing in your area to help you get an idea of what your asking price should be. And bear in mind that the best time to sell is between March and June.

 

Clean it up

A clean house with plenty of flow and lack of clutter is an absolute must if you’re serious about selling. Make sure your home is in pristine condition for when the agent comes by to have a look, and be receptive to any advice that the agent has for you. In particular, get rid of all signs that you own pets. Buyers who see signs of a dog or cat, like a urine stain on the carpet, a couch that’s been scratched up, or balls of fur in the corners, will see it as a sign that yours is a dirty and damaged home that they’ll have to get fixed. Take down pictures of your pets and family, and don’t forget to remove pet photos from your Facebook page.

 

Keep in mind that your furniture can harbor smells from our pets that we have ultimately become nose blind to — meaning that while we’re accustomed to the smells, others may immediately notice them. Search “upholstery cleaners near me” online and look for pros who have received top scores from previous customers. When it comes to your furniture, you want someone you know you can trust with the job.

 

Do smart staging

The best presentation of your home goes beyond basic tidying, cleaning and depersonalizing. It’s important to show every space in a manner that will optimally appeal to house hunters. This means knowing how to use color, light, arrangement and display to show off your home in the best possible way. Ideally, your home will not reflect your own personal tastes, but will still be warm and inviting.

 

Buying or selling a home is a team effort, so anything you can do to pave the way will help your agent. Solicit their advice, and be responsive if you’re asked to do something. Remember, you’re the one who will reap the benefits in the long run.

This article was gratefully submitted by Jackie Waters of hyper-tidy.com

Housing Price Trends Posts 3Q2021 Results

Housing Price Trends has updated the price charts with 3Q2021 Housing Price Index data. For this quarter, there were an amazing 73 BUY signals and no SELL signals. Of the 73 BUY signals, there were 20 BUY signals  in the top 148 cities in which to invest. Remember the BUY signals that occur outside of the top 148 cities are not as meaningful, since those cities have prices that generally go up and down on much smaller amounts.

This is a major shift in BUY and SELL signals: the BUY signals in the top 148 cities more than doubled and no SELL signals in any of the cities indicate a further distortion of the housing market. In my humble opinion, this cannot continue: if, and when, there is a correction, the results might be painful. There have been unprecedented geographic population shifts which have added to housing price trends.

With some caution, there are some areas that will appreciate and be very profitable in the near future. However, I would expect that the SELL signal to occur sooner rather than later in some of these areas.

I expect some major changes in 2022; stay tuned for the next update.

When researching a particular city be sure to check our annual " HPT Proficient Performance Report: Housing Price Index Percent Change, Year to Year, by State-City-Zip" to investigate price changes by zip code. Here is part of that report for Fresno, CA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note how different zip codes have much different price patterns. Zip code 93701 had some very high annual appreciation scores, while appreciation for zip code 93711 was generally low with some negative appreciation years.

How To Create An Appealing Rental Property

Whether you are looking to purchase a new rental property or you are a homeowner looking to rent out your property, then you need to do it just right. While many people like to buy houses outright, many others enjoy renting, so there is a big market out there. If you want to make the most profit then you need to set up your rental property to be as attractive as possible, and there are many ways to make that happen. Here at Housing Price Trends, we are experts on the housing market, so we have some great tips for how you can prepare your home to be the ultimate rental.

Create A Plan

Before you start marketing your home or making major renovations, you need to create a plan of action. First, you need to decide if you plan to buy a new property to rent out or if you want to rent out a home that you already own. Renting to others is a good idea if you don’t plan to live in the house again because if the renters get comfortable, they may not want to leave and you can continue to earn rent money.

Whether you rent your existing home or buy a new rental property, you will also need to decide if you plan to be the landlord or if you want to hire a property manager to keep an eye on things. First you will need to look at your budget to see if you can even afford a manager. Once you hire them, you will want to lay out all the details, including how much you plan to charge for rent, when it will be due each month, and how it will be collected.

If you want to run your rental more like a business then you should consider creating a limited liability corporation (LLC). Creating an LLC offers great benefits, including less paperwork and several tax advantages. However, actually making the LLC is a bit more complicated and regulations can differ by state, so it is a good idea to hire a formation service to get you started. Zen Business can help you with this crucial step, so contact the Zen Business phone number at 844-493-6249.

Appeal to Most Tenants

Now that you have your business details set in stone, it is time to get to work on your rental and make adjustments that will make it desirable to as many tenants as possible. Start with good curb appeal. Everyone wants to return home from work to a gorgeous home where the grass is cut, shrubs are pruned, and the exterior of the home is without blemishes. If your rental needs improvements in these areas, make them now.

On the inside, it is wise to not have any rooms painted in radical colors that may turn off potential renters. Instead, go for neutral colors like white and gray that will appeal to most people that walk in those doors. Your rental agreement should be specific as to the rules you have if renters want to paint the walls a different color, such as requiring that they be returned to their original color if the renter moves out.

Focus On Kitchens And Bathrooms

Experts say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that will be the case for renters as well. This is where families gather to eat dinner and talk about their days. It is also where many people entertain their guests. So, clean the kitchen and make repairs where necessary. Also, consider installing new appliances that will create convenience for renters.

Bathrooms are another big selling point for renters and homeowners in general. People will be immediately turned off by a dirty bathroom with faulty toilets and sinks. Make necessary repairs, add a fresh coat of paint, and redo the bathroom tile to make it as presentable as possible.

As you can see, renting out a property will take some work up front, but the profits you bring in could be exponential. If you need help pricing your rental or are interested in current trends, contact Housing Price Trends at 951-400-5045.

This article was gratefully submitted by Jackie Waters of hyper-tidy.com

 

Housing Price Trends Posts 2Q2021 Results

Housing Price Trends has updated the price charts with 2Q2021 Housing Price Index data. For this quarter, there were 40 BUY signals and 5 SELL signals. There were 11 BUY signals and 1 SELL signal (Binghamton, NY) in the top 148 cities in which to invest, and 29 BUY signals & 4 SELL signals other than in the top 148 cities. Remember the BUY signals that occur outside of the top 148 cities are not as meaningful, since those cities have prices that generally go up and down on much smaller amounts.

The volume of BUY signals in the top 148 cities is only slightly less than the  previous quarter. Adding the last 2 quarters together, there were 95 BUY signals out of 148 cities. Obviously, the housing market is in unusual territory. The big question is "will we see a large number of SELL signals in the near future?" We live in volatile times. When you get SELL signals, you normally have some time to actually sell, since these signals usually trigger BEFORE prices actually fall. The Housing Price Trends system detects a change in price momentum; that's when prices increases slow down enough to matter, often before prices start declining.

If you buy during these times, you should not be surprised that your hold period is somewhat shorter than the past history. There are certainly still massive opportunities in the housing market; just add more caution to your investing.

 

Housing Price Trends Posts 1Q2021 Results

Housing Price Trends has updated the price charts with 1Q2021 Housing Price Index data. For this quarter, there were 45 BUY signals and no SELL signals. There were 19 BUY signals in the top 148 cities in which to invest, and 26 BUY signals other than in the top 148 cities. Remember the BUY signals that occur outside of the top 148 cities are not as meaningful, since those cities have prices that generally go up and down on much smaller amounts.

This is an extraordinary number of BUY signals. But we all know the housing market is affected by extraordinary conditions. Some of those influencing conditions are rent moratorium, stimulus money, building material prices and migration patterns. We will have to see if the rent moratorium actually ends at the end of June. It may not take much to pop this bubble: a raise in interest rates could be a start (1% rise in interest rates could drop prices by 10%).

 

 

Release of 2020 Zip Code Data

Housing Price Trends recently released the 2020 annual Housing Price Index Percent Change (un-adjusted for inflation) report. As indicated in the report, these data are considered experimental by the FHFA. We recently also added a second report of the same data sorted by the most recent year's change (sorted high to low).

Housing Price Trends Posts 4Q2020 Results

Housing Price Trends has updated the price charts with 4Q2020 Housing Price Index data. For this quarter, there were 25 BUY signals and no SELL signals. There were 9 BUY signals in the top 148 cities in which to invest, and 16 BUY signals other than in the top 148 cities. Remember the BUY signals that occur outside of the top 148 cities are not as meaningful, since those cities have prices that generally go up and down on much smaller amounts.

This is the highest number of BUY signals in the top 148 than we have seen in a few years.

As the end of some government housing assistance programs approaches, and with the uncertainty of future programs, the housing market could be in for some future turmoil. It would be wise not to read too much into the high number of BUY signals, as the unusual economic conditions, job uncertainty and uncertainty in future interest rates all create more than normal pressures on the housing market.