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Report: Average Owner Stays Put for 10 Years

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 30, 2017 - 11:00pm

Though homeowners are delaying trading up for a larger house, there’s a silver lining to the dip in repeat-buyer transactions.

Categories: Real Estate

Supreme Court Declines Affordable Housing Case

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 30, 2017 - 11:00pm

Developers of an 11-unit condo building were disputing requirements by the City of Los Angeles that they pay a fee to support affordable housing...

Categories: Real Estate

Merger Forms Nation’s Largest Home Builder

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 30, 2017 - 11:00pm

Lennar Corp. and CalAtlantic Group announced that they will merge in a $9.3 billion deal. 

Categories: Real Estate

Top Places to Score Treats This Halloween

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 30, 2017 - 11:00pm

Find out where households spend the most on candy for Halloween.

Categories: Real Estate

3 Ways to Be a Better Leader

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 29, 2017 - 11:00pm

Building relationships is key to strong, effective brokerage management. Here are some tips for growing your skills as a leader.

Categories: Real Estate

When to Drop Your Listing Price

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 29, 2017 - 11:00pm

Though low inventory is prompting buyers to raise their offers in order to beat out competitors, you still want your sellers to know: an...

Categories: Real Estate

Why First-Timers Can’t Capitalize on Ripe Market

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 29, 2017 - 11:00pm

Though economic conditions are highly favorable for first-time home buyers, their share of overall purchase activity is approaching a 36-year low...

Categories: Real Estate

How Your Attractiveness Affects the Sale

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 29, 2017 - 11:00pm

Learn what researchers discovered about whether an agent’s looks could influence buyers’ overall impression of online property...

Categories: Real Estate

Rise in Vacancies a Sign of Inventory Relief?

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 29, 2017 - 11:00pm

More than half of U.S. housing markets saw an uptick in the annual rate of vacant properties in the third quarter of this year, according to the...

Categories: Real Estate

10 Cities That Can Survive an Apocalypse

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 29, 2017 - 11:00pm

Where you live may be the most important determining factor when it comes to whether you will make it through an extinction-level disaster.

Categories: Real Estate

The Housing Hot List for October

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 29, 2017 - 11:00pm

Find out the top-performing housing markets this month, based on the pace of sales and online clicks. 

Categories: Real Estate

Ask the Expert: How Should I Prepare a Home to Sell in the Fall?

RisMedia - October 29, 2017 - 11:07am

Today’s Ask the Expert column features Dan Steward, president of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

Q: What are your top tips for preparing to sell a home in the fall?

A: First and foremost, use the beauty of the season. If you’re lucky enough to live in a region that experiences changing seasons, take advantage of everything the season has to offer by incorporating autumnal flowers, plants and floral arrangements into the mix. Whether it’s colorful mums or adding intense color and drama to the home’s exterior with perennials, feature a variety of fall floral arrangements both inside and outside the home.

Next, be sure to check the roof and gutters. While a roof’s drainage system diverts thousands of gallons of water from a home’s exterior and foundation walls, it’s important to keep the process moving in order to avoid water damage. In addition to taking the time to unclog and clean the gutters, now is also a good time to inspect the roof from top to bottom. In addition to looking for damage to metal flashing in and around vents and chimneys, check ridge shingles for cracks and wind damage.

While outside, take the time to check driveways, walkways and steps for any noticeable damage. Fixing any problem areas during the fall is critical in order to prevent little problems from becoming expensive headaches down the line. Look for cracks that are more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections and loose railings on steps.

Before the bitter temperatures of the winter season move in, take the necessary steps to ensure that outside faucets and in-ground irrigation systems don’t freeze and burst. Close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to the drain line. If you don’t have shut-off valves, or freeze-proof faucets, you can buy faucet covers at your local home improvement store.

Moving inside, check the home for air leaks, as gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for 10 percent of a home’s heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. While weather-stripping is the most cost-effective way to control heating and cooling costs, it should be checked and replaced as needed every six months.

And last, but not least, bring in a professional to inspect the home’s heating system to ensure it’s working properly before the cold weather arrives.

For more information, please visit www.pillartopost.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Ask the Expert: How Should I Prepare a Home to Sell in the Fall? appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season

RisMedia - October 27, 2017 - 10:00pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

There’s a reason that spring and summer are the major seasons for selling houses. Most people want to move at a time that allows them to be settled by the fall, when kids go back to school and daylight shortens.

However, you might find yourself having to sell a vacant home in the off-season. The home might be empty because the seller had to move on for reasons of work or had to move into a house he or she was paying for.

There are really two issues here. The first is selling a vacant house. The second is selling a house in the off-season. Here are some tips on how to do both:

Selling a Vacant House

Keep Up Maintenance and Repair – Even with no one around, surfaces need to be dusted and kept clean. Once people move out, minor items needing repair, like a leaky faucet or a burned-out light bulb, might not be noticed. It’s your job to notice, though, because signs of even minor disrepair or lack of maintenance can quickly turn off prospective buyers.

Clean the house or hire someone to clean it at least once a month. Surfaces need to be dusted, for example, and floors mopped or vacuumed. Do a walkthrough looking for repairs once a month, or hire a property manager to do it.

Make Sure the House Doesn’t Look Vacant  A vacant property shouldn’t look vacant for two reasons: First, it’s uninviting to see an empty property. It’s less likely that a buyer will see themselves in the space; second, it’s an open invitation to thieves, vandals and even squatters. You don’t want to open the door one day and see that vandals spray-painted all over the walls.

Develop a plan. Pick up mail if the seller isn’t having it forwarded. Place lights on timers so that they go on automatically in the evening, just as they would if someone still lived there. Many have remote apps that make this easy.

Turn Heat or Air Conditioning on Regularly  Don’t leave the heat or air conditioning off for long periods of time. Lack of heat can cause pipes to freeze or burst. Lack of air conditioning may make it difficult to cool the house properly when it comes time to show it. In addition, lack of proper ventilation can make the house smell musty and unused.

It’s best to run the heat and air conditioning at regular intervals while the house is vacant.

Focus on Curb Appeal  Don’t skimp on curb appeal just because the house is vacant. If anything, making the house look inviting becomes even more critical if no one lives there. Keep the grounds and garden in the same pristine condition as the house. Paint the door a vibrant color. Place small trees on either side to frame it.

Stage the Interior  When prospective buyers come, they need to see an interior that looks welcoming, and that allows them to visualize themselves in the house. They may not be able to do that fully if the house is completely empty.

On the other hand, completely furnishing an empty house may not be practical. What you need to do is stage the interior. Put focal pieces in each room, for example. You don’t need to create a functional room; you just have to give clients a sense of how the room would look if they lived there. In other words: a fireplace with wood, a lamp and a sofa in the living room might be enough. No need for matching armchairs and two more lamps!

Selling in the Off-Season

Price to Sell  While you likely won’t attract the maximum number of buyers in the off-season, some people do look in the fall and winter. To move the house, the most prudent move is to price it to sell. If you’re in a hot market, that may be at a market price. If demand is a tad sluggish, price it slightly under. For most sellers, it’s better to sell at a price slightly under the asking price in October than to wait five more months, especially if they’re carrying the mortgage.

Sweeten the Offer  Sweetening the offer may also help sell the house in the off-season. Nicely enough, sweeteners abound, depending on the property. Does a patio look as if it may need replacement in the next five years? See if the seller will replace it as a sweetener. Do the same with any major appliance that may go in five years, such as water heaters.

The other sweetener strategy is to wait for buyers to suggest things. Some may want a reseeded lawn or pruned trees. Entertain these offers if they look likely to result in a sale.

It can be more challenging to sell a vacant home in the off-season, but by utilizing these tips, you’ll place yourself at a strategic advantage in moving a house in the off-season.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Protect Your Email From Latest Hacking Trend

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 26, 2017 - 11:00pm

Hackers are using more sophisticated methods and research to make targeted personal email attacks in order to access to financial information...

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Jump to 3-Month High

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 26, 2017 - 11:00pm

Borrowers saw higher rates this week as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped 6 basis points. 

Categories: Real Estate

Evictions Are a Growing Threat to Renters

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 26, 2017 - 11:00pm

Nearly one in five renters were unable to pay their rent in full within the past three months, according to a new study. 

Categories: Real Estate

Fewer ‘Zombie’ Homes Haunt Neighborhoods

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 26, 2017 - 11:00pm

Homes in foreclosure limbo—labeled “zombies”—have seen a big plunge in the past year as a supply-starved housing market...

Categories: Real Estate

What Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 26, 2017 - 11:00pm

Make sure your homeowners read the fine print so they don’t have any surprises if disaster ever strikes. 

Categories: Real Estate

5 Smells That Sell Houses

RisMedia - October 26, 2017 - 2:07pm

What’s that smell? The sense of smell is the strongest of all the senses to connect buyers to a home. While a bad smell can really deter buyers, a good smell can tempt buyers to a sale. From “green” scents to seasonal scents, discover the right smells for triggering positive emotions and home sales.

  1. Clean Smell
    Most of us associate “clean” with strongly scented cleaning products and disinfectants. It can even make buyers nostalgic. But remember, a little goes a long way. You should dilute your cleaning solutions so buyers don’t get overwhelmed.
  1. Citrus
    Using actual fruit is one way to get a clean smell without all the cleaning products. Lemon, orange and grapefruit scents are best. One great tip is to grind up lemon or orange rind with a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal. This will freshen up the kitchen, one of the most important rooms in the house.
  1. Natural Smell
    Sometimes the best scent is no scent at all. Try using “green” cleaning supplies, baking soda and other non-scented products that neutralize odors. The idea is that simpler is better, so you want to avoid complex, artificial smells from potpourri, sprays and plug-ins, which can actually distract buyers and turn them off.
  1. Baked Goods
    Nothing can make a house smell more like home than freshly baked goods, but be sure to stick to simple smells like vanilla, cinnamon and fresh bread. You don’t have to really bake anything. One trick is to boil some water and throw in a few cinnamon sticks an hour before a showing.
  1. Pine
    Don’t we all love that fresh pine scent? Especially with the holidays around the corner, it’s a great scent to greet buyers when they walk in the door. If you don’t want to put up a live tree, you can simply hang a wreath of tree trimmings or some fresh garland. You can’t go wrong with setting a holiday mood to inspire a sale.

There’s a lot that goes into the sale of a home. Make sure a great smell is at the top of the list. And to increase its value even more, add an American Home Shield® Home Warranty to every transaction.

For more articles like this, please visit the American Home Shield Blog at ahs.com/home-matters.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 5 Smells That Sell Houses appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

All About Clean: Master Bathroom Trends

RisMedia Consumer News - October 26, 2017 - 2:05pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Thumb through any home decor magazine, and you’ll see a master bathroom with a soaker or shower as the showpiece. Ta-da!

Homeowners, it turns out, are splurging to scrub up, according to the recently released U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. Ninety-one percent of homeowners in the study added a spacious shower to their master bathroom (after tearing out the tub), and many added on deluxe features, like a body sprayer or rainfall showerhead, for an improved, spa-like space.

The average cost for a large-scale remodel of a master bath (sized over 100 square feet) was $21,000, shows the study. Master bath renovations cost more in pricey markets, however. In San Francisco, Calif., for example, a major remodel averages $34,100.

Accompanying a luxury shower is a soothing gray and white color palette, according to the study. Nineteen percent of homeowners installed white countertops in the master bath, and 40 percent painted its walls white. Fourteen percent added gray cabinets, as well, to complete the tone-on-tone look. The majority of homeowners (90 percent) changed the overall style of the room, some to contemporary (25 percent), some to transitional (17 percent), and some, still, to modern (15 percent).

As with other areas at home, homeowners are also integrating technology into their master baths. Atmospheric lighting, digital controls and smart toilets are all popular upgrades, shows the study.

Bathrooms—master bathrooms, especially—are key at resale. The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine estimates the resale value of a “mid-range” bath renovation at $12,024 (a 64.8 percent return on investment), and the resale value of an “upscale” bath renovation at $35,456 (a 59.1 percent return on investment).

Beyond a master bath overhaul, another bathroom anywhere in the home can make homeowners happier with their house, a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) showed. A bathroom earned a perfect 10 “Joy Score” in the report.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post All About Clean: Master Bathroom Trends appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate