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Appraisals Explained

by Mayes Harris Team

Appraisals are one of the most confusing aspects of buying or selling real estate for the consumer. When a buyer and seller agree on a sales price, it can be frustrating to hear that the appraisal came in with a value too low. It’s not enough for the principals to agree to the price, the appraisal is the lender’s way to ensure they are not loaning money over the actual market value of the property.

The appraised value is reached by a licensed professional who looks at the real estate market in which the target property is located. They start with the target property and then look for recent sales in the area of comparable properties. These comparable properties will be located within a short distance of the target home, normally within a 5 mile radius. They should also be of comparable size and often fall within the same housing development.

Once these homes are identified, the appraiser will adjust for the specific differences. For instance, does the target home have an upgraded kitchen or swimming pool? They add or subtract value based on such things as location, view, lot size, upgrades, additions, condition and many other factors. They can then arrive at a valuation for the target home.

Once the appraisal has been completed, the lender is notified of the value. At this point, the loan amount is either confirmed or declined. If the appraisal comes in too low, the principals can choose to make up the difference in sales price, lower the sales price or cancel the transaction.

Appraisals are not as complicated as they appear. By learning about recent sales in your area ahead of time, you can price your home appropriately up front; then the appraisal should come back as expected.

Tips for Selling in Summer

by Mayes Harris Team

Summer has traditionally been the best time to sell a home. Not only do many families take advantage of moving when the kids are out of school, but in climates where winter weather is unpredictable or severe, the warmer months make it easier to be away for showings. With more homes on the market, how can you maximize your potential for a great offer among the options? Fortunately, you can take a few steps to ensure your home stands out from the crowd.

Tips for Selling in Summer

  • Control the Climate – The first thing a buyer will notice when they walk into a home is the temperature. If the weather is warm and humid, it’s critical you keep the home cool. A larger air conditioning bill is a small price to pay for a top dollar offer.
  • Let in the Sun – It might be tempting to close the blinds to save money on air conditioning, but bright, sunny rooms are always more appealing; leave enough open to showcase natural light.
  • Extend Outdoors – Today’s lifestyle includes the outdoor areas and more and more homes feature outdoor living and dining areas. Regardless of your home’s features, maximize the impact of your yard with furniture, BBQs and manicured landscaping.
  • Spring Clean – A fresh, decluttered home with a lighter, seasonal color scheme will be visually appealing to your buyers. Replace dark pillows, linen and accents with softer colors which make the rooms seem larger.

The summer selling season is here. Make sure your home is dressed for success. Welcoming outdoor spaces and bright sunny rooms combined with inviting an air conditioned rooms will ensure you get the best possible offer.

Negotiating for Top Dollar

by Mayes Harris Team

Selling your home? Every seller wants to make sure they sell their home for the best possible sales price. Getting top dollar for your home is not as complicated as you might think. By using a simple negotiation strategy, you can make sure to receive the best price for your home listing.

The first step in a negotiation strategy begins before you even list your home. Choosing the right real estate agent and listening to their advice regarding home value is important. Choose a realistic list price; over-pricing to “test the market” is not only a waste of time but as the listing ages on the market, buyers are more likely to write lowball offers.

Once you receive an offer; review and respond to all reasonable offers. Never assume that a buyer isn’t serious just because the offer is lower than you’re willing to accept. Make a reasonable counter offer; if you are motivated to lower your price, you can, but if not, countering with a full price number is acceptable also. Just make sure your price is fair for the actual value of the home.

Consider compromising on terms. Often you can negotiate a higher sales price if you are flexible on other terms. Does the buyer need extra time to close/move? Would they like to have the garage shelves or patio furniture? Win-win situations do not have to involve compromising on price.

All negotiations are different, but by setting the proper stage and calmly navigating through offers, you can make sure you sell your home for the best possible sales price. Getting top dollar for your home is a simple strategy of fair pricing and unemotional negotiations.

Market Report Update: Mecklenburg County's April 2019 Stats

by Mayes Harris Team

It is time once again to take a look back at yet another page on the calendar. This month we begin by reviewing Mecklenburg County's April 2019 Stats.

Let's get started with the Median Sales Price in April. If we look back at 2017, we see a median sales price of $330,296. The following year, 2018, that price increased by +10.1 percent to $363.784. In 2019, we increased again by +2.4 percent to a median sales price of $372,512 in Mecklenburg County.

Next, we are going to review the number of New Listings that came on the market in Mecklenburg County in April. We start with 2 years ago, 2017, and see that there were 1,953 new homes that came on the market. The following year, 2018, there was a decrease of -3.5 percent with1,884 new homes coming on the market. In 2019, there was a slight increase of+2.7 percent with 1,934 new homes coming on the market.

The next statistic we will review is the April Median Days on Market. Starting in 2017, we saw 6 median days on the market and then the following year, 2018, we saw an increase of -16.7 percent with 7 median days on the market. In 2019, we increased to 11 median days on the market.

So there you have it. A quick overview of what is happening in our local market of Mecklenburg County. If you have questions or need real estate assistance than please reach out to us. We would love to help you!!

5 QUICK Ways to Get Your Home Ready To List In Today's Market!

by Mayes Harris Team

You do not have to break the bank to get your home in tiptop shape before listing it. I've come up with a list of 5 QUICK ways to get your home ready to list in today's market, and here they are!

1. Cleaning. That's right, but I'm not talking about a simple cleaning, I'm referring to a deep clean. Think Spring cleaning. You want to make sure that every window is washed and baseboards are dusted. Here's a great resource  - The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist.

2. Declutter.  Now is the time where less is really more. You don't want people to walk into your home and be overwhelmed with knick-knacks, collectibles, and personal memorabilia. These are things to pack away or donate. Of course, I have another resource for you - The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home

3. Landscaping. Your landscaping is essential as it is what will entice people to come into your home, and it lets them know if you maintain your property in a way that shows them you appreciate it. First impressions do matter, and there are little things that will make a significant impact on buyers. Check this out. Landscaping Tips That Can Help Sell Your Home

4. Small projects. We all have been known to live with certain things for so long that we don't even see them. For example, the doorknob that doesn't work anymore or the cracked tile in the kitchen or the leaky faucet. These type of things can usually be remedied by the homeowner. If buyers walk through your home and find these things, then they start to wonder what else has the homeowner neglected.

5. Call a REALTOR©. You want to call your real estate professional as soon as possible. An excellent real estate agent/broker can also help you know what you need to do to prepare your home for listing. They will know what the current competition is and how far you must go to make your home stand out.

I hope this has helped you, but do let me know if you have any questions or if you know someone interested in buying or selling in the Mecklenburg County area. I'd love to help!!

Buying and Selling at Same Time

by Mayes Harris Team

Either buying or selling a home can be extremely stressful, it can be even more overwhelming if one is trying to do both at the same time. The good news is that this happens all the time and by following a few simple tips, both buying and selling can be a seamless process.

Tips for Buying and Selling at the Same Time

The good news is that you’re planning to move anyway. Before you list your home for sale, why not start packing now? Take personal items and excess furnishings and pack them up and move them to storage. Not only will your home look larger and neater, but you are also getting a start on the move.

Next make sure your agent, or agents, understand the timeline and requirements. There are many standard contingencies which can protect you from owning two homes at once or none at all. Not only can the purchase of your new home be contingent on successfully closing on your current one but you can also reverse the process and ensure you find a replacement before the close as well.

Finally, get the entire family involved. Be excited about the change and create a moving plan in which everyone has a task and there is a plan for the move itself. By taking a few initial steps, moving can be fun and easy.

The Internet Can’t Replace Your Agent

by Mayes Harris Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live in the information age; the Internet offers advice on every topic and real estate is no exception. With more and more home buyers starting their home search online, they are bombarded with advice and information – it can be easy to think that you can learn everything you need to know just by reading articles online.


The truth is your real estate agent does much more than answer your questions and open doors with a special key. A professional real estate agent will be there every step of the way. They have the experience necessary to navigate the complicated home buying process and solve common hiccups that present themselves in every real estate transaction.


Your real estate agent is a local professional. They will start by presenting themselves to the buyer’s agent as someone who will work with them to see the transaction through to a successful conclusion. They have a network of professionals who will work as a team to help you through the process. These include such professionals as lenders, title reps, escrow officers, transaction coordinators, home inspectors, contractors, and handymen, among others.


Most importantly, your agent is your ally in the home buying process. They negotiate on your behalf – armed with experience and understanding of customary charges, costs, and terms. They will ensure that the price you pay for the home is fair for the condition and neighborhood. They will negotiate repairs, if needed and make sure you are protected with the proper contingencies.


The Internet offers lots of great information, but the most important step you can take when buying a new home is hiring a local professional real estate agent. Their knowledge and expertise can’t be found by reading an article or two online.

You May Need To Move If The Following Conditions Exist.

by Mayes Harris Team


Most people dread the thought of moving, yet those same people love it when they move. Why? Most likely it’s an emotional attachment and nostalgia for a beloved home. It’s understandable but a home that just doesn’t fit your needs any longer can make even the most loved home uncomfortable.

Are you wondering if it’s time to move? Here are 6 telltale signs that will help you make that decision. 

1. Your Home is Too Small – One of the most common signs is you’ve outgrown your current home.  Your family has grown and the number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms have not or the storage is not there. 

2. Your Home is Too Large – Life changes and you may now be in the chapter of life known as the empty nester chapter. When that happens you might find that your home is simply too large and the maintenance is too much. Maybe you would rather take your free time to travel and relax.

3. Your Home is Too Expensive – You  may find you are spending all your extra cash and savings making repairs or in making major upgrades to suit your lifestyle.

4. The Neighborhood is Losing Value – Neighborhoods do change over time if yours is declining then it may be time to consider a move. 

5. Changing the Weather – Maybe you are finally tired of shoveling snow. A move to a warmer state could be the right move.

6. Change is Good – The last great reason to move is to try something new. A different style or location, if the home isn’t making you happy any longer, time to move.

Mayes Harris Team: RE/MAX National Housing Report for December 2018

by Mayes Harris Team

DENVER – December’s declining home sales and growing inventory solidified 2018 as the year the red-hot seller’s market moved toward a balanced market. Price growth also moderated, though December was the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home prices, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report, which includes 53 metro areas.
 
December’s year-over-year decline in home sales of 12.1% set a December record in the 10-year history of the report and also marked the fifth consecutive month that home sales were lower than 2017.  December was 2018’s 10th month of year-over-year declines in home sales with only April and July topping 2017 sales.
 
Most telling was December’s 4.6% growth in inventory, which was also a report record. December’s year-over-year inventory increase marked the third consecutive month of growth – a trend reversing a decade-long streak of year-over-year inventory declines.
 
“December’s inventory gain, continuing the three-month growth trend, is welcome news,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The market remains choppy and there’s still a long way to go, but these gains represent steps toward a balanced market, which in the long run is healthy for both buyers and sellers.”
 
While 54 Days on Market was a record low for December sold Listings, the 4.1 Months Supply of Inventory was higher than December 2017’s 3.7 months and ahead of November 2018’s 3.9 months supply.
 
Home buyers paid record amounts throughout 2018 as prices grew year-over-year in every month last year, led by June’s Median Sold Price of $258,500 – an all-time report high. Even so, December’s year-over-year increase of 2.1% was 2018’s smallest, and far lower than the 8.1% price growth from December 2016 to December 2017.
 
“Home sales have cooled, especially during the second half of 2018, but that was inevitable given the strong seller’s market that has persisted for nearly a decade,” Contos said. “We believe sales activity can pick back up if the pace of price escalation continues to moderate, interest rates tick further downward, and wage growth continues.”
 
Closed Transactions 
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in December 2018, the overall average number of home sales is down -8.5% compared to November 2018, and down -12.1% compared to December 2017. None of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in sales year-over-year.
 
Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In December 2018, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $240,000, up 2.1% from November 2018, and up +2.1% from December 2017. Eight metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price, including Honolulu, HI, -7.7%, Birmingham, AL, -4.6%, and Billings, MT, -2.6%. Five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Boise, ID, +13.1%, Wichita, KS, +11.1%, and Salt Lake City, UT, +10.3%.
 
Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in December 2018 was 54, up three days from the average in November 2018, and down three days from the December 2017 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE, at 26, a tie at 37 in San Francisco, CA, and Salt Lake City, UT, and a tie at 38 in Nashville, TN, and Las Vegas, NV. The highest Days on Market averages were in Trenton, NJ, at 113, a tie at 90 in Augusta, ME, and Hartford, CT, and Burlington, VT, at 88. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
 
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in December 2018 was down -10.8% from November 2018 and up +4.6% from December 2017. Based on the rate of home sales in December, the Months Supply of Inventory increased to 4.1 from 3.9 in November 2018 and increased compared to December 2017 at 3.7. In December 2018, four of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply over six, including Miami, FL, at 10.9 and Augusta, ME, at 8.9, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory are San Francisco, CA, at 1.8, Denver, CO, at 2.1, and Minneapolis, MN, at 2.2.
 

 

Top 7 New Year's Resolutions for Sellers

by Mayes Harris Team

With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return.

Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

  1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – Time to do your spring cleaning now. Declutter, depersonalize and make the home look roomier.
  2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter.
  3. Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think carefully and don’t overspend by guessing.
  4. Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman or break out the tool belt to take care of deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs.
  5. Interview Real Estate Agents – Hiring a real estate agent is critical to your success. Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for your needs.
  6. Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging, and pricing based on the market.
  7. Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful. Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, drop-by agents, and odd terms. Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 30

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