Not just selling shore homes, selling a shore way of life. Your resource for the best homes, hotspots, & happenings in Margate, Ventnor, & Atlantic City.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Newest Challenge in the Market - No Inventory!!!

For some of you this entry will be a huge surprise. All you ever hear about the Real Estate market is there are so many homes on the market.

This is true and not true.

Many of the homes that are on the market are the
SAME homes that came on the market over a year ago. Many of these homes needed work, and were over priced when they first came on the market. Now, while their prices may have come down, many of them are still over priced and just sitting on the market giving the illusion that market is glutted with homes for sale.

Buyers come to the shore already with the belief that it is a "buyer's market" and judge the home for sale based upon the plethora of homes that have been sitting that have not sold and probably will never sell until there is a reality check.

Buyers are looking for deals, but more so, they are looking for good homes in good locations that are fairly priced.

Today’s blog entry is directed at people either trying to sell their property or considering their property on the market now. The Buyers are here and they are coming down in mass at this time. There is an opportunity for you to sell your home at the fair market price. You don't need to "wait until Spring".
Currently Listed Properties

If your house is on the market now, and you haven't gotten any offer in the last 3 months, it is time to reconsider the price and condition of the property.

1) Speak to your Realtor and have them provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) to
determine what homes like your have SOLD for in recent months.

2) If you are priced right, and by this I mean, priced close to what similar homes have sold for), then it may mean you need to make a few cosmetic improvements to your home to make it more appealing. Remember, first impressions make a huge difference and if your home is messy or does not show well, Buyers will be turned off and not even go inside. (I will add my home improvement tips to my blog soon)

3) The Market value of your home may have declined below your bottom line. Keeping it on the market at a price that it will not sell for is not helping your cause. It only becomes know on the market as “that overpriced house that has been on the market forever.” If you can not afford to sell it at the current market value, take your property off the market until a later time when the market can meet your financial expectations.
Calling New Properties

I have published these 10 tips in The Press of Atlantic City previously. These are my "10 commandments" for Sellers for increasing your odds for a quicker sale of your property:

Matchmaker, matchmaker – choosing the right Realtor. This is probably your largest personal asset. While it is very nice that you want to help your friend or your relative who is “in the business,” this is not a good reason to have them sell your home. Seek out a full time, top producer in your area with whom you are comfortable. Look for someone who offers a creative marketing plan to sell your property.

Welcome to my neighborhood – knowledge is power. As special as your home is, it is not the first house to sell in your neighborhood. Your Realtor should provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). This will include similar homes that have been recently sold, currently for sale, and how long these homes have been on the market. This will help you set an appropriate asking price.

Price to sell, not to keep – pricing right is critical.
Overpricing a house because you need a certain amount for the next house, for your retirement or based on what you paid for it is counter productive. Overpriced properties are used by other Realtors to sell appropriately priced homes. Upping the price for “wiggle room” is also an ineffective tactic. In a tight market our goal is to get as many people through your front door and as many offers as possible.

First impressions make a difference – curb appeal matters! 75% of a buyer’s decision is made when they pull up to the door. Plant flowers in the springtime, baskets of mums in the fall. Use window boxes if you don’t have beds. Touch up your front door if it needs a coat of paint. Buy a new door mat. Do whatever you can to give the exterior of your property that “WOW” factor. If you are in a condo, that “WOW” factor will have to happen when they open your unit door.

It’s an inside job – cleanliness is next to marketable.
It’s time for spring cleaning no matter what month it is if you are selling your house. Time to clear out all that junk that has been sitting around forever. If you can make one major change inside your home that will improve it the most, it is removing as much of the unnecessary stuff as possible. Clear pathways, open spaces, spacious closets sell homes. Less is more!

If you can smell it, you won’t sell it!
Pet lovers and smokers beware! You may not mind the odor or may even be oblivious to it, but you can bet that it will be the first thing that potential buyers notice. Stale cigarettes or pet aromas are instant turn offs to most people, making your home appear dirty and unsanitary. If you are selling your home and you smoke, start smoking outside or at least try to contain it to one room. Empty and dispose of old cigarette butts and open windows. If you have pets, bath them often and use pet odor neutralizers.

Put on a happy face – a fresh coat of paint. Nothing will help the sale of your home better than a new coat of neutral toned paint. It is the least expensive way to clean up and brighten your home.
8) Shoulda, woulda, coulda list.
Every one has that list of things they know they should get to around the house. Once you put your house on the market is too late to suddenly realize how many little things should have been fixed before you tried to sell it. These are the things that everyone will notice. Fix them now!
9) Timing is everything. Ask someone on the Jersey Shore when is the best time to sell their home and most people will say “In the Spring.” Unfortunately, if everyone puts their home on the market at the same time, it makes it even more difficult to make your home stand out in the crowd. Entering the market as a new home during a less popular month with less competition has its advantages. Buyers are looking for homes all year long. Don’t believe there is only one right time to sell.
10) Seeing is believing. Make showings easy!
The most important thing you can do to help sell your home is make it easily available for showings. The easier it is to show, the more willing Realtors will be to show it to their buyers. If you refuse showings or make rules that restrict times, your home may be avoided, as it will be considered a hassle. Lock boxes are the easiest way for all Realtors to gain access for showings, but your schedule will ultimately determine how easily the home can be shown.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Right Time...Right Property...If you Can Find It!

While October –December is not generally thought of as a busy “home shopping” time at the shore, I found myself quite busy and many homes were sold. Now that January is here, my phone is ringing even more with people calling and looking for a home at the shore.

While temperatures may be dropping, so are the mortgage rates. With rates like 4.75-5.25% people are really crunching numbers and realizing renting is no longer the best choice.

Is this the right time to buy for you?

It is IF you can find the right property.
One thing all Buyers must keep in mind is that there is no such thing as a “perfect house.” Looking for the “perfect home” is a little like looking for the “perfect soul mate”. Neither exists but with a home you have a better chance of making changes that match with your lifestyle and requirements.

The vast majority of Buyers do not want a home that will require work.

Definition of work:
Needs a new bathroom or kitchen...maybe it needs new siding or the backyard is a mess.

Most buyers (not all) want a home that is move in ready.

There are two big reasons (and probably many more):
1) For most of the people buying a home at one of the Shore Points it is a second home. Not a primary residence. Even if Buyers are willing to do the work, their concern is how they will find someone to do it and how they can supervise it when it is going on.

2) Most Buyers want as much house as they can buy for the money. They either can’t or don’t want to put more money into the house after they buy it.

Solutions for Buyers and Sellers
Sellers – Before you put your house on the market, clean it up and make it as cosmetically appealing as possible. Most Buyers will “live” with your choices if they are clean and neutral. A few bucks spent now may make the difference in keeping your house from sitting on the market for a long time and getting a better price.

Buyers – Try to see past cosmetic repairs. A diamond in the rough could save you a fortune. There are some terrific tradespeople at the shore that can make that old house look new.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Cheer for a Great Year

Happy New Year everyone...2008 was a great year!
We closed out the year with 72 units representing just under $30 million dollars in sales. Just more proof that the smart buyers know that South Jersey is the right place to invest their money.
Congratulations to:

Sareh & Bijen on the purchase of their home in Margate
Bob & Val on the purchase of their townhouse in Brigantine
Gina on the sale of her townhouse in Brigantine
Jack & Sharon on sale of their home in Margate
Dot on the sale of her house in Northfield
Buyer & Sellers ALERT!!!

Mortgage rates have been hovering between 4.5%-$5.5%. These are the lowest rates in
37 years!!!. Buyers continue to come to the shore scouting out the best buys on the market. Now that includes the money they can borrow. Sellers who held off listing their homes during the holidays, have started bringing their homes on the market as of January 1. It's a great time to sell with eager Buyers that can obtain great mortgages.
Homes Are Selling!!!

In recent weeks, Seller and Buyers that I represent have made or received offers that have been accepted:

Single Family Home in Margate - priced $800-$859k- closing in Jan.

Single Family Home in Atlantic City - priced $900-975k - closing in Feb.
Condo In Longport - priced $900-975k - closing in Feb.

(Please note: actually prices can not be disclosed until after settlement)