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How Can Winter be Beneficial for Buyers?

by Aaron Novello

According to a Realtor.com article by Dini Harris, there are some great advantages to buying a home in the winter. If you don’t mind a smaller pool of homes for sale or moving around the holidays, winter might be a good time for you to house shop.

Less Competition, More Leverage
Since spring and summer are the most active real estate seasons, many home sellers wait until then to list their homes. That means there are fewer homes for sale in the winter, but the sellers often have strong reasons to sell their homes soon, such as job relocation. These motivated sellers can be a boon to the home buyer.

While there are fewer homes to choose among, the smaller selection can save you a lot of time. Do you really want to traipse through 50 houses? It may be simpler to view the handful of homes for sale in the winter and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Just as there are fewer homes for sale during the winter, there are fewer buyers, too. That means less competition and sellers who are more willing to accommodate potential buyers. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Offer a relatively low (but not insultingly low) bid for the home you’ve selected, or ask for perks such as the living room furniture or the chandelier that you admire. The low number of potential buyers also means you have more time to make your decision. In the spring, you often need to choose a home and act quickly, but in winter you may be able to take your time.

Assessing a Home’s Winter Fitness
Viewing homes in the winter lets you see how it holds up to the weather. Did you feel cold while looking through the house? Is there a functioning heating system and hot water? Are the windows letting in drafts?

Availability of Agents and Others
Another advantage of buying a home in the off-season is the greater availability of industry professionals. Real estate agents will have fewer clients and more time to focus on your home search. Lenders will be more accessible for questions and assistance. Some lenders even waive fees during the off-season to encourage borrowers to use their services. Likewise, movers tend to lower their costs during the winter months.

Gray Gardens or Winter Wonderland?
Home buyers can be turned off by the bleak look of prospective homes in winter. Bare trees and lawns covered in gray snow aren’t the most picturesque. However, you’ll be able to see how well neighbors tend driveways and sidewalks, whether the town plows or salts icy streets, and whether kids come out to play in the snow. Around the holidays, you might even see the neighborhood decorated in its winter finest.

Call Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today to take advantage of this time of year!

Best Time to List Your Home? The Answer May Suprise You

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times by Kenneth R. Harney, the best time to list is actually in the Winter.

Winter — officially Dec. 21 through March 20 for the upcoming season — can be a surprisingly advantageous time to list, shop, negotiate and buy. Consider some findings by researchers at Redfin, the online realty brokerage.

Real estate website Redfin has studied home listing, sale price and time-on-market data from 2010 through this past October from around the country, updating a two-year analysis it completed last year. It concluded that if you want to sell for more than your asking price, listing in December, January, February and March gives you a better chance on average than if you list any time from June through November. During the last three years, listing during those four months has produced higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months other than April and May. In 2012, as the housing market rebounded, December listings produced the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year — 17%.

If your goal is to sell relatively quickly, February "is historically the best month to list, with an average of 66% of homes listed then selling within 90 days," according to Redfin. In the two-year study completed last December, researchers found that in each of 19 major markets, including cold-weather cities such as Boston and Chicago, "home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during any other season."

Researchers are quick to note that the advantages of listing in winter compared with other seasons are not huge. But the fact that winter produces at least competitive or better results by some measures should encourage some potential sellers to get into the game sooner rather than later.

Some sellers pull their unsold houses off the market during the winter, hoping for better results in the spring. By doing so, they leave a smaller inventory of active listings — lessening the competition among sellers who list in January and February, ahead of the pack.

Also, many large corporations sometimes transfer employees and hire new ones early in the year. That creates opportunities for wintertime listers who opt not to wait for the spring.

Bottom line: Real estate does not hibernate from December through March. More than 5 million homes typically are resold annually in the U.S., and many of them are listed and sold during the winter months. In strong local housing markets such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, Boston and Washington, D.C., the likelihood of selling your home within 180 days is highest when you list during the winter months compared with any other season, according to Redfin's 2013 study.

Winter is warmer for real estate than you might think.

Call Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today to take advantage of this wonderful season!

Realtors Continue to Report Tight Credit

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Did you Know, by Jed Smith, Managing Director, Quantitative Magazine on September 5, 2014:

About 59 percent of Realtors reported that a sample of buyers in July had a FICO credit score of 740 and above. In the 2001-04 time frame, approximately 40 percent of residential loans aquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went to applicants with credit scores above 740. Realtors continued to report that obtaining a mortgage remains "difficult", "long" and "complicated," even for borrowers with "strong" credit scores. Only two percent of Realtors reported a purchase by a buyer with a credit score of less than 620.

Want to know more about your credit score? Please contact Aaron Novello of The

Novello Group today!

 

 

The Five Biggest Turn-Offs for Homebuyers

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

A lot of sellers don't listen to their real estate agents, so we'll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can't say to you and this is it - your agent can't get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition.

That means no sticking drawers in the kitchen. No leaning fences. No rust-stained plumbing fixtures. We could go on, but maybe we need to make it clear. If you have even one of following "turn-offs," your home won't sell.

Buyers can get instantly turned off. Here are their five biggest turn-offs according to a recent article in The Realty Times by Blance Evans:

1. Overpricing for the market

2. Smells

3. Clutter

4. Deferred maintenance

5. Dark, dated decor

Overpricing your home

Overpricing your home is like trying to crash the country club without a membership. You'll be found out and escorted out.

If you ignored your agent's advice and listed at a higher price than recommended, you're going to get some negative feedback from buyers. The worst feedback, of course, is silence. That could include no showings and no offers.

The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home won't see it because they're shopping in a lower price range. The buyers who do it will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.

Smells

Smells can come from a number of sources - pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage, and much more. You may not even notice it, but your real estate agent may have hinted to you that something needs to be done.

There's not a buyer in the world that will buy a home that smells unless they're investors looking for a bargain. Even so, they'll get a forensic inspection to find out the source of the smells. If they find anything like undisclosed water damage, or pet urine under the "new" carpet, then they will either severely discount their offer or walk away.

Clutter

If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail, and drinking glasses, buyers' attention is going to more focused on running the gauntlet of your living room without breaking any Hummels than in considering your home for purchase.

Too much furniture confuses the eye - it makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of rooms. If they can't see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.

Deferred maintenance

Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart. Just like people age due to the effects of the sun, wind and gravity, so do structures like your home. Things wear out, break and weather, and it's your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.

Your buyers really want a home that's been well-maintained. They don't want to wonder what needs to fixed next or how much it will cost.

Dated decor

The reason people are looking at your home instead of buying brand new is because of cost and location. They want your neighborhood, but that doesn't mean they want a dated-looking home. Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it's from a different era.

Harvest gold and avocado green from the seventies; soft blues and mauves from the eighties, jewel tones from the nineties, and onyx and pewter from the oughts are all colorways that can date your home. Textures like popcorn ceilings, shag or berber carpet, and flocked wallpaper can also date your home.

When you're behind the times, buyers don't want to join you. They want to be perceived as savvy and cool.

In conclusion, the market is a brutal mirror. if you're guilty of not putting money into your home because you believe it's an investment that others should pay you to profit, you're in for a rude awakening. You'll be stuck with an asset that isn't selling.

For more tips on how to get top-dollar for your home, please contact Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today!

These are the home improvements experts say will return more of their cost when you sell:

1. New exterior siding. Upscale fiber cement siding pays back an average 78% of its cost. Foam-backed insulated vinyl siding and standard vinyl siding pay back almost 70% of their cost.
2. New entry door. A midrange 20-gauge steel door pays back 73% of its cost and boosts curb appeal.
3. Attic bedroom. Pop out a dormer, add a 5' X 7' bathroom with shower, insulate and finish walls and ceiling, and bring in heat, a/c, and wiring. You'll get almost 73% back on your money and an attic remodel is the least expensive way to add living space and a bathroom.
4. A simple kitchen remodel. Keep this under $20,000 and you'll get back an average 72% of your investment. Include upgrades like new sinks, faucets, appliances, and laminate countertops. Keep the floor but reface the cabinets with new hardware.
5. New garage door(s). Believe it or not, garage door replacements pay back over 71% of their cost if you install a mid-range or high-end product. They also instantly up your curb appeal.
6. New wood deck. This earns back over 70% of its cost at resale.
7. Upscale vinyl replacement windows. Change out your old windows with ones with low-emissivity glass and insulation and you'll enjoy a payback of over 69% of the cost.

8 HEALTH HAZARDS TO AVOID IN YOUR HOME

1. Bed linens. These can hold germs, grime, and allergens. Wash at least once a week using the hottest washer and dryer settings. It takes extreme heat to kill most bacteria.
2. Pet toys. These can be a source of staph, as well as coli forms, yeast, and mold. Hard toys should be cleaned once a month with hot soapy water, rinsed, disinfected with a mild bleach solution, then rinsed again. Sanitize soft toys with laundry on the hot water cycle.
3. Refrigerator ice and water dispensers. A recent study found these can be loaded with yeast and mold. Clean the ice dispenser monthly. Turn off and wash the bin with dish detergent and warm water, then dry with a clean towel. Every six months, pour 3-4 cups of distilled white vinegar into the water supply tube and let it run through to sanitize. Wipe water spout once a week with cotton swab and a dry cloth.
4. HVAC ducts. In a year, a 1500 square foot home's duckt work can collect 40 pounds of dust containing allergens, bacteria, dirt, fungi, mold, and about 40,000 dust mites per ounce. When you turn on the system, all this circulates, causing fatigue, sinus problems, and asthma. Have a NADCA-certified company clean ducts every 2 years.
5. Sponges. Unless disinfected, a sponge is a prime place for germs to grow, and then spread around the kitchen. Clean a nonmetallic sponge by completely wetting it and placing it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Throw out sponges after two weeks. Better options are towels, dishcloths, and rags you can sanitize with bleach in your washing machine's hot water cycle.
6. Ceiling fan blades. These are home to dust mites which the fan then circulates. Put a pillowcase on each blade and pull it off while wiping the dust into it. Empty it outside, and then launder the case inside out on your hottest washer and dryer settings.
7. The dishwasher. Mold can form here when moisture lingers after the heat cycle ends. Run your dishwasher only when you can empty it soon after it stops.
8. The washing machine. Mold and staph can grow here. Once a month, use the self-clean cycle or put a cup of bleach in an empty machine and run on the hottest setting. Leave the door or lid open when not in use.

When you're ready to upgrade, downsize, or buy your first home, please contact Aaron Novello of The Novello Group today!

 

Five Biggest Regrets of Homebuyers

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

Buying a home is a huge decision. Picking the right home is just about the biggest single financial decision most will make in their lives. Chase recently conducted a survey of new homeowners and asked what they would do differently if they could have a “do-over” with their home purchase. While most reported being happy with their final decision, there were four general areas that many new homeowners would handle differently if given the chance.

1. They would understand their mortgage and financing options better.

Ninety percent of those surveyed said that while they believed they understood their financing options pretty well at the time of purchase, in hindsight they would have been better off to understand the entire process more thoroughly. They commonly reported wishing they understood the entire closing process better, wishing they understood their financing options and their mortgage better, and wishing they had more experience in how to make or negotiate an offer.

2. They would evaluate the size of their new home more carefully.

Many in the survey suggested they would buy either a larger or smaller home if given the chance. Sometimes people don’t realize how much “stuff” they have until they try to fit it into their new space and realize it won’t fit. Some also said they would choose a different neighborhood if given the chance.

3. They would purchase a home at a different price point.

Thirty-nine percent of homebuyers said they would likely purchase a home with a different size or price. Many realize after the initial honeymoon period wears off that they simply paid too much for the house.

4. They would not expect a speedy process.

Around 40 percent of home buyers believed it would take less time than it did to go through the entire process, from looking at potential homes to going through the closing process. These homebuyers said they would not expect such speed in a future move.

5. They would get clear about the costs of maintenance and moving.

Four of five in the survey believed their new home was move-in ready, but quickly realized that repairs or renovations were needed. Just over half also reported being unpleasantly surprised by the costs of maintaining their new home. These buyers said that in the future, they would work to have a better understanding of these costs before purchasing a new home.

Did you have any regrets on your home purchase?

Maximize Value With These Spring Cleaning Tips

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

Spring is here, so it's a great time to tackle some projects that have been putt off all winter. Here are some things that you can do to maximize the value of your property.

1. Purge, purge, purge! Remove unwanted or unused items. You can donate, recycle or throw them away.

2. Power wash exterior walls, porches, decks, driveways and sidewalks.

3. Clean outdoor furniture, lights, gutters and fixtures.

4. Clean out the refrigerator and make sure to vacuum the grill and coils.

5. Vacuum baseboards, walls, ceilings and wipe down the walls.

6. Steam clean carpets, area rugs and upholstery.

7. Re-seal natural stone surfaces (travertine, etc.).

8. Re-seal and repair grout in bathtubs and showers.

9. Clean window treatments, dust blinds and clean shutters.

10. Remove all items from shelves and clean.

11. Oil hinges.

Once your done, please Aaron Novello of The Novello Group a call to get a free estimate of your home's value. We look forward to hearing from you!

Do Drones Have a Future in the Real Estate Industry?

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

Inman News recently ranked drones as one of the top ten Real Estate trends to look out for in 2014. In a recent interview with Matt Murphy, owner of Boston Virtual Imaging, Inman News sought to shed some light on the issue. Here is what Murphy had to say:

"The most immediate positive result for the real estate industry is that camera-equipped UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) now allow people to tell stories about listings in ways that they could not previously do. We all have access to Google Earth for aerial imagery. Very high-end listings use full-size helicopters to capture aerial photography and video. However, much of the media captured from helicopters or Google Earth is shot from too high of an altitude to tell the story you want to tell about a listing. That is where UAVs come in.

UAVs allow you to capture very low-altitude aerial footage, which often does a better job at telling a home’s story, compared to higher altitude footage. I like to say that UAVs can tell the story from 8 to 80 feet in ways that few other capture methods can. The technology is exciting, but it is just a tool. Telling a home’s unique story is the most important goal."

When asked what is happening with the drone/UAV technology, Murphy answered, "The advances in electronics are probably the most surprising to people not involved in the field. It is now possible to use off-the-shelf components to build a UAV that can take off, fly to a specific location and land completely autonomously without any pilot input during the flight. UAVs can record highly stabilized HD video and sound, and transmit that video and audio down to a receiver on the ground. If a pilot loses contact with their UAV while in the air, many have a “go home” feature that will automatically fly the UAV back to the takeoff location to safely land by itself."

The use of drones in today's media is highly controversial because of the military connotations that go along with them. Do you think this is a good idea to use drones in the real estate industry as a way to highlight special features of homes? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Aaron Novello - The Novello Group Sells 120 Homes in 2013!

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

Thank you so much to our friends, family and past clients that helped us break our record and sell 120 properties in 2013. We appreciate all of your support and could not have done it without you!

We are looking to 2014 to be another breakthrough year. Not only is the market improving, but we have the staff and efficiency in place to help even more clients this year. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are looking to buy or sell in this ever-improving South Florida real estate market.

We are committed to your success!

Aaron Novello Gives Advice to Sellers in the South Florida Real Estate Market

by Aaron Novello-The Novello Group

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 59

Contact Information

Photo of Aaron Novello -The Novello Group Real Estate
Aaron Novello -The Novello Group
Keller Williams Realty
FL
954-653-4406
Fax: 954-809-3003