July-August 2019 Newsletter

Top Tips to Make Your Offer Stick

By Debbie Wysocki

It’s that time again, when the real estate market is as hot as the summer sun.

You might ask WHY? I know the even news is sending mixed signals — right?

Here is the scoop. It is a SELLER’s Market for First Time Home Buyer’s and Trade Up Buyer — maybe even 2nd time Trade Up Buyers in most markets across the Country.

Thirty year old couple meeting financial adviser for investment

  • Up your budget — First Time Buyers
    If you’re a first-time buyer looking in a lower price range, you’re in the most competitive market. Getting pre-approved for a little more could move you into a higher price bracket and eliminate some competition. Adding even a few thousand dollars could make the difference, and the change to your monthly mortgage payment will be negligible.</

  • Investors — There is a Play for You Too

    If you are an investor — NOW and I do mean NOW, is the time to BUY. There are a couple of reasons:

    • Interest rates are Low — we are expected to have one more 25 basis point drop
    • Many parts of the Country are experiencing Affordable Housing Shortages (as in Rental). This severely affects traditional workers and families. When you have people who are putting out 40 to 50% of their earnings towards RENT, there is a problem. And, This creates future problems — these families will not be able to save to buy a home, and end up living pay check to pay check and are under constant stress.
      When an investor can come in, purchase a property at a reasonable price, and charge a fair rent, it is a WIN-WIN.
    • We are seeing a slight uptick in wholesale properties.

    For those of you who are not in the category of First Time Home Buyers — and are looking to SELL or Trade Up or maybe even Downsize and your property is above the $750,000 price point in the South Florida Market — we are in a BALANCED MARKET — meaning we have roughly a 6 month supply of homes.

    In your negotiations — it is going to be give and take — and really how bad do you want the home.

  • LUXURY MARKET — You are in the Driver’s Seat — It’s a Buyer’s Market

    If you are looking to BUY in the LUXURY MARKET of $1 Million Plus, it is your LUCKY DAY!!!

    It’s a BUYER’S MARKET.

    Because most Luxury Sellers generally do not listen to their Realtor — and think their home is different and amazingly better than the other 300 Luxury Homes in the City for sale — it ends up sitting on the Market for a very long time (2 to 3 years to be exact). To be clear, this does not mean that the homes are not absolutely amazing g and even unique — it just means that initially the Seller is not entirely motivated or does not understand the market. Then, after very few showings and no or perhaps one offer that is priced where the market is, the home sits and sits. Then the home begins taking price reductions.

    And, now it becomes known as a STALE HOME. And not only buyers new to the market but their agents begin to think something is wrong with the property when it sits for so long.

    Eventtually the SELLER ends up selling the home for LESS than he should have — iF ot had been priced correctly in the beginning.

    So, if you are in the Market for a Luxury Property these are the factors to take into account:

    • How long has it been on the market — if it’s over a YEAR — then there could be serious negotiating
    • Have there been price reductions
    • Does the property need work? Did the Seller provide a Seller’s Disclosure
    • How much Inventory IS in the Market?
    • Have your Agent provide you with the Original List to Sales Price numbers for similar priced properties along with Days on Market

    Remember, there is a Limited Buyer’s Pool in the Luxury Market — and the higher the price point, the more limited it becomes.

  • Last but not Least — Cash is KING — for all BUYER’s

    Remember, Sellers LOVE it when YOU have your inspection done quickly — and get that out of the way.

    As always, if you are looking to buy in the South Florida Market, it would be my pleasure to be of service to you.

    AND, we can now offer services across North America with our new APP — simply TEXT 72727 and type in DebbieRE —

    I have partners litterally in all Cities who work the same way I do — WIN-WIN or no deal. And, I would be happy to make that introduction for you — 5 Star Luxury Service is our goal in every transaction.

    Please feel free to reach out to me with any Real Estate questions, and I will be happy to answer them.
    Low inventory, multiple-offers, and offers that soar over asking price are great for sellers, not so much for buyers. If you’re looking for an edge to ensure you get the home you want, here are a few tips.

  • Up your budget
    If you’re a first-time buyer looking in a lower price range, you’re in the most competitive market. Getting pre-approved for a little more could move you into a higher price bracket and eliminate some competition. Adding even a few thousand dollars could make the difference, and the change to your monthly mortgage payment will be negligible.

  • Cut associated expenses
    If you’re worried about upping your budget, think of ways to save on associated expenses, and put that money into your mortgage instead. Look for homes without a homeowner’s association. That could save you several hundred dollars per month. Look at areas where you don’t have to pay a toll for your daily commute (or, better yet, where you don’t have to drive at all). Those savings add up.

  • Watch the contingencies
    “Sellers have the upper hand in a multiple-bid situation, and they want offers that are clean and concise,” says NerdWallet. Asking the seller to pay closing costs, purchase a home warranty, or requesting that they make small repairs like fixing a leaky faucet can get your offer thrown in the trash.

  • Be flexible
    In a multiple-offer situation, the seller is looking for the easiest path to closing. The trick is finding out what they really want—beyond the right price, of course. It could be that a shorter closing would do the trick. Or maybe you can offer them the opportunity to rent back until they’re ready to make their move.

  • Write a letter
    Yes, writing a sappy letter to the seller telling them all about you and why you love their home is shameless pandering, but sometimes shameless pandering works. Include a picture and don’t hesitate to include your cute kids or four-legged friends.

Have your Handyman Check this 4 Things to Lower Your Energy Bill

If you live in a place where summer heat is an issue, this time of year can mean substantially higher energy costs. Here are four low-cost, high-impact changes you can make on your own to save money and keep your home more comfortable this summer.

  • Clean your window sills
    A few seasons worth of dirt and soot can prevent your windows from closing all the way. Even a little air getting in can make your AC less efficient and raise your electric bill. Drafty windows are the top energy leak in a typical home, accounting for up to 25% of a home’s energy loss.

  • Install a door sweep
    “A common place where air leaks occur is under the door leading from the house to the garage because they are often not as well sealed as doors leading directly to the outside,” says Energy Star. Install a door sweep to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold to prevent cold air from escaping your home.

  • Caulk your windows
    Window air leakage can be reduced by applying a continuous bead of caulk around the window trim where it meets the wall, at the mitered joints of the trim, and between the trim and the frame. Make sure the caulk is intended for indoor use and can be painted. Using Charlotte, NC as an example, the Department of Energy estimated that the average homeowner could save 14% on heating and cooling costs each year with proper air sealing and insulation.

  • Search by your profession.
    You’ve probably heard about VA loans for military members and veterans, but there are other professions that are eligible for down-payment assistance. The Neighbor Next Door Program is a program for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and teachers that requires only a $100 down payment for eligible homebuyers. Because the program is tied to the idea of revitalization, homes in these communities are offered to eligible buyers at a 50% discount.

  • Check your ducts
    Ducts are used to distribute AC and heat throughout houses with forced-air systems “In typical houses, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts.” says Energy Star. “The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high utility bills, and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.” You can check all the ducts you can access, such as those in the attic, crawlspace, or garage. Look for holes and tears, and seal them using mastic or metal tape.