Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Is the Anchorage Real Estate Market Really Busy?!

Rewind the past 7 years I've been selling real estate and the most common question asked is,  "How is the real estate market right now?"  And since that question gets asked so often to all Realtors, we are even trained on how to properly answer the question beyond an answer of "Slow. Busy. Good."  But I noticed a shift in how that question is being asked to me over the past few months.  It's now asked as, "Is the market really busy now?  I've been driving around neighborhoods and I see all these sale pending signs!"  Or, "My sister's house just sold in 2 days!  Why do you think it's so much better this year?"  See that shift in the question?  People KNOW it's busy without even asking but they are reaffirming what they already know and see!

We are in definite need of clean, well maintained homes priced right.  But hasn't there always been that need?  Yes, even when the market slowed down a bit the last 6 years, we still need those kinds of homes but the difference is it's likely those homes are getting multiple offers the first week if not the first day on the market!  Well what about the homes in less desirable condition?  Priced right, they will sell too!  My favorite time to list a home is between January and April if I'm being honest here.  The inventory is usually super low and if a buyer is going to brave our zero degree weather and icy roads to go look at a house, I'll assume in most cases they are a serious buyer. 
Pended in 11 Days!
What about waiting until the summer to list a house so the grass is green and buyers can see the outdoor space better?  That's great too....especially if you have a really great outdoor space!  Spend a couple weekends really cleaning it up and boosting your curb appeal and backyard space and you'll drive in buyers that have been waiting all winter to buy so they could find the right outdoor space or maybe they needed to wait until their kids were out of school but before the new school year started.  Now if you live in an area or have a yard that doesn't show well in the summer, then maybe winter is a better time for you so there is a white blanket over those less desirable areas (as long as you disclose if there is any issues with your outdoor space that a buyer would discover once the snow melts!!).

With less than a 2 month supply of houses in almost every price range of homes, now really is a good time to list your home to get top dollar.  I am busier this first and second quarter of the year than I've ever been.  And that's the truth.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Elf on the Shelf Ideas!

Here's a sampling of Elf on the Shelf ideas we've done over the past 2 years! This is not real estate related but thought my clients would enjoy seeing the shenanigans that Buddy the Elf has gotten himself into:)
Elf on the Shelf Idea Balloon Ride

Elf on the Shelf Cookie Monster Lockout

Elf on the Shelf Idea Airplane Ride

Elf on the Shelf Idea Toy Bowling

Elf on the Shelf Idea Car Race

Elf on the Shelf, Buddy Says Goodbye on Christmas

Elf on the Shelf Idea Dog Shaming

Elf on the Shelf Idea Fishing

Elf on the Shelf Idea Guitar Player

Elf on the Shelf Idea Mini Donuts

Elf on the Shelf Idea Mini Ice Cream Cone

Elf on the Shelf Idea Mini Pancakes

Elf on the Shelf Idea Movie Party

Elf on the Shelf Idea Funny Picture

Elf on the Shelf Idea Stayed up Late Reading

Elf on the Shelf Idea Scrubbing Toilet with Toothbrush

Elf on the Shelf Idea Smores Date with Barbie

Elf on the Shelf Idea Snow Angel

Elf on the Shelf Idea Spin the Bottle

Elf on the Shelf Idea Super Hero Elf

Elf on the Shelf Idea Tied to the Race Track

Elf on the Shelf Idea Toilet Papered Tree

Elf on the Shelf Idea Replace Stockings with Underwear

Elf on the Shelf Idea Ziplining

Friday, November 18, 2011

Get Your Home Ready to Sell! Home Inspection

I am a big fan of having my sellers get a pre-sale home inspection before we place their home on the market.  Our history of homes we’ve sold that were pre-inspected shows us that it is clearly an advantage for sellers because their homes sell faster and for more money than those that chose not to do this.  However, often times when I bring up this topic at my listing appointments I get the same questions from each seller.  Below you will find common questions as well as my advice to my sellers.

-"Doesn't the buyer usually pay for it?  I'd rather not pay for it I don't have to."
The buyer does usually pay for the home inspection but in my opinion, having your home pre-inspected and repairs complete will yield you a higher sales price and a smoother, quicker closing.  Even if a great offer comes in, you could lose that buyer or the sales price could be lowered if the buyer’s home inspection reveals unexpected repairs.  I believe it’s best to have all the information up front.  It also shows a buyer you are a serious seller and that you are selling them a solid home.
-"Isn't it better to wait so that a buyer doesn't know everything that's wrong with the house and they decide not to make an offer?"
I think most of the buyers in our market appreciate seeing a seller take this extra step and it rarely turns them off from buying the home if the repairs have been completed.  If they are going to back out of the contract because of repairs that come up in their own home inspection (and you didn’t have the home pre-inspected), now you have lost marketing time and you still have to disclose that buyers home inspection report to the next buyer. 

-"Well I know I need to put in GFCI's, but I want to leave that be for now so that that inspector has something to find and write up.  If I fix all the repairs before we list the home, the next inspector is going to really dig deep to try to find something and find something big."
I would say GFCI’s are the most common item in older homes that my clients didn’t repair before they decided to sell their home so that they could “give the home inspector to write up.”  Please, don’t assume the home inspector is just looking for a couple items to write up before he packs up his ladder and calls it a day!  Everything visible in your house is going to be looked at, tested, and discussed so it is rare the inspector misses anything.  It is also against the law to know that something is defective or not up to code in your house and not disclose that on the State of Alaska property transfer disclosure statement that the buyer receives.   I also have many sellers that have been model homeowners and maintained their homes very well, but the average inspection report I see has anywhere from 5-20 items on it.  In an older home it’s often closer to the 20 items.  Some of these can be as simple as the grout in the shower needs to be removed and re-grouted, an outlet cover is loose, gutters don’t drain far enough away from the home to more serious items such as rotted decks, leaks in the roof, water in the crawlspace and so on.

-"I don't want to do repairs, I've set my price and if anything is wrong, the buyer can pay to have it fixed.  I want the home sold as-is."
And that is perfectly okay with me to sell your home as-is.  However the home has to be priced accordingly.  You know those shelves at the grocery store towards the back of the store where all the dented cans and almost expired baked goods are shelved and priced for a fast sale, that’s what an as-is house is to a buyer.  Just like the dented cans, it might sell but it probably will not sale at a price you were hoping for but for some sellers they are more interested in just getting rid of the house instead of putting that house in the best light possible in order to get top dollar.  You will also limit the buyers that can buy your home.  Nowadays, many loans will require certain repairs in order for that buyer to get the loan and it’s rare for a buyer to be willing to put money into a house they don’t already own to fix it up in order to get the loan.  The fewer buyers there are for your home, the less demand which equates to a lower sales price.  Also, just because a repair comes up on an inspection does not automatically mean the seller has to make that repair but at least the buyer is aware of the repair before making an offer and before you settle on a sales price versus accepting a sales price only to have the buyer do their home inspection and decide they want to go back and negotiate a price reduction and if all parties cannot come to an agreement, the buyer can terminate their contract.

-"If I have the home pre-inspected, does that mean the buyer won't have their own home inspection?"
Not necessarily, but in most cases yes.  In my experience there are only a handful of inspectors that buyers use out of the hundreds of licensed home inspectors available. If you choose a reputable, thorough home inspector, many buyers will decide not to spend the money on an additional inspection.  My suggestion to buyers is if you do choose to do your own that you withhold the first inspection report until your own home inspectors has completed their home inspection, then you can present them with a copy of the report and go over any areas that are not on their report also and take it from there.   One important factor for the buyer in not choosing to have another inspection is how you went about getting repairs completed.  Did you save receipts and invoices to show the buyer?  Hire professionals that specialized in that repair?  If a buyer does decide to move forward with their own inspection, feel confident that you have taken the extra step to prepare your home for the sale and that it’s going to be rare their home inspection reveals any big surprises!

If you are thinking of selling your home, call me at 317-1992 today so can come up with the best plan to get your home sold for the most money, with the least amount of hassles, in the least amount of time possible!

Monday, July 18, 2011

City and Mountain Views, Immaculate Condition! 11140 Kasilof Boulevard, Anchorage, AK

I have a great home listed off of Upper O'malley near the Prospects trail head that is move in ready!  I've toured many homes on the hillside and it can be difficult to find a home on hillside that truly has city views, is easily accessible, and in great condition.  This home has underwent a major remodel in the past few years when the current owners remodeled a garage/workshop into a family room perfect for anyone wanting a great place for the family to watch movies, for homework to get finished at the custom built desk, or to invite friends and family over on the back deck to take in the views of the Anchorage cityscape. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Buying a Forelcosure: What to do when the REO company refuses to pay a closing cost

In the past year, I've closed on three foreclosures and all sellers were willing to contribute some or all closing costs.  I've learned over the years to be very particular in how you word that additional term in your purchase and sales agreement.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thinking of Cancelling Your Listing with Your Realtor? Consider this....

Cancellations are rampant in our Anchorage and Eagle River market.  Since January 1st, we've had 574 cancellations (and 236 listings that expired) compared to 1544 closings.  Sellers cancel or let their listings expire for all sorts of reasons but a lot of time it's because they've decided to hire a different Realtor.  Many seller expect that the Realtor they hired has a pool of their own buyers just waiting to buy their listings and this is very uncommon that the listing Realtor also finds the buyer.  So before you become a disgruntled seller thinking of cancelling your listing, see if there is a possible reason your home has not sold.