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4 Reasons to Sell This Fall

by Mayes Harris Team

Traditional lore says that the best time to list your home for sale is spring and if it hasn’t sold by the end of summer, you’re out of luck. Along the same lines, homeowners across the country are often advised not to list in the fall and wait until after the holidays to list. The truth is that a great home will sell at any time of year and in fact there are some very good reasons to list in the fall, while everyone else is busy doing other activities.

4 Reasons to Sell this Fall

  1. Less Competition – As mentioned above, most sellers list in spring so as a seller, fall provides you less competition which increases the opportunity for buyers to view your home.
  2. Serious Buyers – Home buyers in fall often have a timeline to move before the holidays. They tend to take the home search seriously and move to write offers faster and avoid wasting time.
  3. Curb Appeal – Fall is a beautiful time of year and homes always seem cozier
  4. as the weather turns. Fall colors in the trees and the scent of baking entice buyers to feel “at home” which encourages offers.
  5. Closing is Easier – The pace of home sales slows during the fall; as such lenders can move faster and the process tends to take less time.

The last and best reason to sell this fall is that it’s the right time for you and your plans. Regardless of whether you are relocating, moving up or scaling down, if this is the right time to sell, then this is the best time to sell.

Market Report Update: Mecklenburg County's September 2019 Stats

by Mayes Harris Team

We have exited Summer and now are turning the page on yet another month on the calendar. This time we begin by reviewing Mecklenburg County's September 2019 Stats.

Let's dive a little farther than this starting with the Median Sales Price in SEPTEMBER. If we look back at 2017, we see a median sales price of $230,000. The following year, 2018, that price increased by +7.3 percent to $246,750. In 2019, we increased again by +9.4 percent to a median sales price of $270,000 in Mecklenburg County.

 

Next, we are going to review the number of New Listings that came on the market in Mecklenburg County in SEPTEMBER. We start with 2 years ago, 2017, and see that there were 2,189 new homes that came on the market. The following year, 2018, there was a decrease of -12.4 percent with 1,918 new homes coming on the market. This year, 2019, there was an increase of -+6.3 percent with 2,039 homes coming on the market.

The next statistic we will review is the SEPTEMBER Median Days on Market. Starting in 2017, we saw 10 median days on the market and then the following year, 2018, we increased by +20 percent to 12 median days on the market. In 2019, we increased by +8.3 percent to 13 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!!

Home Sales Slip As Summer Winds Down

by Mayes Harris Team

The brokerage I work for, RE/MAX,  has taken a look at the national real estate trends for August. I thought I'd share that with you today.

Here's the full report -

August 2019 existing home sales slipped 1.6% from a year ago, despite buyer demand exceeding available housing supply, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Following July’s year-over-year sales increase of 2.3%, the slight August decline marks the sixth month of 2019 that produced fewer sales than 2018.
 
Buyer demand outpaced homes listed for sale in August, causing the largest inventory decline in 13 months. An analysis of the report's 53 metro areas shows August inventory shrank 5.5% year-over-year, the largest drop since 7.8% in July 2018. August’s inventory contraction followed July’s year-over-year inventory decline of 1.5% after nine consecutive months of year-over-year inventory growth. Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.8 compared to 2.9 in July 2019 and eclipsed the previous August low in the report’s 11-year history.
 
“The modest inventory growth that started last fall has been swallowed up by demand as buyers have returned to the market, likely spurred on by attractive interest rates,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Home sales dipping at the same time inventory falls suggests there may have been some reluctance on the part of sellers to list their homes. Nevertheless, demand is again ahead of supply, extending the favorable seller’s market that has been in place for several years.”
 
Inventory has remained below four months in 39 of the last 42 months, dating back to March 2016. Six months is considered a market balanced between sellers and buyers.  
 
Homes moved quickly and August saw a year-over-year price increase of 5.7%, further evidence of buyer demand. The August Days on Market total of 44 represented the second-fastest pace of August home sales in the report’s history. The previous record was set last August, when homes sold in an average of 43 days.
 
August weighed in as the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year price growth as the Median Sales Price rose to $263,000. Going back to February 2012, prices have increased year over year in 89 of the past 91 months.
 
Despite the favorable conditions for sellers, there were still a few encouraging signs for buyers in the last of 2019’s peak months for home sales:  

While home prices typically decline from July to August, the decrease of 3.6% was the steepest drop-off in report history from July to August.

Despite August’s significant year-over-year inventory shrinkage, the seasonal decline in inventory from July-to-August of 3.9% is on par with the 3.7% average since the RE/MAX National Housing Report began in August 2008.

 
Closed Transactions
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in August 2019, the overall average number of home sales is down
4.2% compared to July 2019, and down 1.6% compared to August 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage decrease were Miami, FL at -13.5%, Dover, NH at -13.1%, and Washington, D.C. at -10.3%.
 
Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In August 2019, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $263,000, down 3.6% from July 2019, and up 5.7% from August 2018. Two metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price: San Francisco, CA at -3.2% and Wichita, KS at -1.2%. Six metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Birmingham, AL at +13.2%, Milwaukee, WI at +11.3%, and Manchester, NH at +11.2%.
 
Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in August 2019 was 44, up one day from the average in July 2019, and up one day from the August 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 19, Cincinnati, OH at 25, and Nashville, TN at 28. The highest Days on Market averages were in Des Moines, IA at 95, Miami, FL at 79, and Hartford, CT at 75. 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 August 2019 was down 3.9% from July 2019 and down 5.5% from August 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in August 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory was 2.8, a decrease compared to 2.9 in July 2019 and 3.5 in August 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In August 2019, of the 53 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL, at 6.9, reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Phoenix, AZ and Manchester, NH, both at 1.5.
 

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.

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