Category Archives: Homeowner Tips

Tips for the home owner.

Is It a Seller’s Market Yet? by Kathleen Adams, Canadian Lakes Homes

Well, we see the tides changing.  We are coming into a seller’s market in Canadian Lakes.  While it is still at the transition point, we see less inventory and more multiple offers.  All signs lead to the beginnings of a seller’s market.

Caution – don’t overprice your home just yet.  It is going to take a bit of time for all of this to digest.  Remember just a few short years ago, sellers would not believe that the market prices were going “that low”.  Well they did – and they were – we just didn’t want to believe it.  It took time for sellers to get on the right track and lower their prices.  We will most likely see this happening the other way around now.  Buyers will not believe that prices are truly going up and they will not be able to buy a home without a bidding war.  So, make it count – that first offer that is.  Make it good so that you are the best in the bunch trying to buy that home!  Success will be with those that truly know what the market is doing.

Yes indeed – we are coming into a seller’s market!

See my current inventory – click here!

Winter Home Buying. by Kathleen Adams, Canadian Lakes Homes Blog

Winter home buying can be perplexing for both buyer and seller, especially in the north.  When the weather turns and temperatures are freezing the ground, the snow is up to your knees, and it is not fun to tramp through the elements to shop for homes, it can be trying.

Working in a climate that brings snow, cold temperatures and homes that are seasonal, it has many challenges for the Realtor, the buyer and the seller.  But, working through the challenges can be rewarding.

Sellers often think that there are no buyers in the winter and take their homes off the market.  This is simply not true, there is always someone looking for a home.   Seller on the market through winter may just be rewarded with a buyer.

When we had little kids and took them to the mountains to ski, we always advised them to dress in layers and take extra gloves.  You can always strip down if you get too hot, we would tell them.  This is the same advice I have for buyers looking in snowy northern Michigan for homes.  Buyers are often coming from climates that are not as severe and are met with a surprise when they have to trudge through snow knee deep and look at a home with little to no heat.  Be prepared for all things when looking at homes in the winter months.  Bring boots, hats, gloves, etc.

Sellers find another challenge when they actually have an offer presented to them in the winter.  If it is a summer home, they are often out of town during the winter months and need to deal with things from a distance.  Their home may be winterized and they will now need to deal with opening it up for inspections and then re-winterizing it until closing.  They may not want people coming through the home with snow.  They may not want to have the driveway plowed and add an additional expense.

Seller can work with their Realtor to handle snow plowing and to protect their homes.

I find that buyers generally flexible when it comes to inspections.  Trying to coordinate things to avoid de-winterizing more than once, etc. can be done.  Depend on the Realtor to make sure things get done to eliminate extra costs.

Buyers sometime take a risk buying in the winter.  For instance, a waterfront home be a risky buy because you really cannot see what the waterfront is like.  The Realtor should be able to come up with photos from the seller to rest assure the buyer as to the condition of the waterfront.  Another challenge is inspections of the well and septic systems.  This can not always be done in the winter.  If the septic inspector cannot break ground to access the system, inspection has to be postponed or waived.  A seller that has records of all septic inspections can be helpful.  These records sometimes serve the purpose for the buyer.  Keep those systems in good condition with regular checkups and keep the records handy.

These are just a few examples of winter challenges when buying or selling a home.  They are not monumental, but a bit more work versus summer season selling.  It can be done if the seller, buyer and Realtor all work as a team to – get it sold!

 

 

How to Insulate a Garage Door

This great article will help you get that garage ready for winter.  An easy project to help keep the cold from getting into the indoor spaces.

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Copyright 2014 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Open House Anyone? by Kathleen Adams, Canadian Lakes Homes

OPEN HOUSE…Houle from water2OR NO OPEN HOUSE?

A lot of clients ask about hosting an open house.  Actually, it is what we do every day.  Once your home is on the market – we are hosting an open house for anyone interested in seeing the home – anytime.

There was a time when an open house drove traffic to the area and more people came to see a home.  Today, unless you are in a highly populated area, an open house may not work the same.

Today’s buyer is using a Real Estate Agent most of the time in their home search.  The second most popular tool the buyer is using is yard signs – believe it or not!  People still like to drive around neighborhoods and look for homes for sale.  The mobile marketing tools and open house statistics for 2013 were real near the same – which was a surprise to me.    Most of the buyers I work with have used either a Realtor or Internet Searches to find homes.

Home Buyer Statistics:*

  • First time home buyers:  38%
  • Repeat buyers median age: 52
  • Median Age of first-time home buyers: 31
  • Information sources used in home search:
    • Real Estate Agent 89%
    • Yard Sign 51%
    • Mobile or Tablet Website Application 45%
    • Open House 45%
    • Mobile or Tablet Search Engine
    • Print Newspaper Advertisement 23%

*Source:  National Association of Realtors Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics for REALTORS®

The great debate continues – open house or not?  My experience – even when heavy advertising has been done – is that they have been poorly received.  Most of the time if we get one person at an open house we celebrate.

If you really want to sell it – drive more traffic to your home by having a quality product in a great location with a fair price.  That’s it!  If you are missing one of the main elements, make up for it with one of the other.  For instance, if your home is not in a great neighborhood, perhaps a lower price would do the trick.  In the National Association of Realtor’s 2013 Community Preference Survey, 78% of home buyers responded that neighborhood quality is more important than size of home.  If you are in a great neighborhood, make sure the home shows well by keeping it maintained in and out.  And do not overlook the pricing – overpricing can be deadly.  Check out the neighborhood and what the sales have been.  Make sure you are not pricing yourself too high and missing a buyer.

For more information and tips on buying or selling a home visit my website or contact me!  Happy shopping and selling

CONTACT KATHY – CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

How is your December Going? – by Kathleen Adams, Canadian Lakes Homes Blog

How is your December going? Are you busy with the holiday rush? Let’s remember to stop and enjoy the season of giving a bit. Why not try changing a few things this holiday to help someone out. Giving up something might be a way to give to someone. A few years ago I gave up sending holiday cards. I use that time and money savings to do a few nice things in the community. I actually feel better about the giving of my time for that purpose as well. Writing holiday cards always seemed stressful and too time consuming. It wasn’t enjoyable for me. I know some of you may love doing it, but I am not that person.

What can you change to be someone’s giving elf this year? It could be as simple as making cookies for a neighbor, or taking someone their mail on a nasty day. Look around you and see who or what you can do to be a giver of a different kind of gift this season – the gift of kindness is always warm and welcome.

Happy season of giving to all of you!  Warm your Heart and Home with Love and Laughter.

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Up, Up and Away, Kathleen Adams Blog

Up, up and away is something my first time home buyers are now crying.  After doing pre-qualification work, then shopping for their first home, it all comes down to offers.  Some of what they see, and like, while shopping is beginning to get “scooped-up” quickly.  They are starting to see the trends of upward prices and limited inventory.  That’s good news for sellers, but not especially for first time home buyers on a tight budget.  How you can get ahead of the rest of the buyers is to be prepared.  Here are a few tips to keep it straight and get it done:

  1. Have your pre-qualification letter ready, printed and in the hands of your Realtor.
  2. Have your good faith deposit ready to go.  Not, I will have it when I get paid next week.  Set it aside and be ready when you find that perfect home.  In today’s market of “bank owned” properties, the typical deposit requirement is $1,000.00.  That is CASH.  Not money they will “take out” at closing.  You need CASH, today, to write the offer.
  3. Probably the most important tip, do not shop out of your budgeted amount.  Last year this would have been different.  Everyone was shopping in a bit higher price range because you could get deals.  Today, the prices have corrected to the point that banks are marketing the property at prices that are bringing in multiple offers.  So, if your budget will not allow a full price, or sometimes, an over full price offer, expect to be disappointed when the offer is rejected or outbid by another buyer.  This disappointment can lead to a deflation in spirit and sometimes can turn a buyer to renting longer.
  4. Roll off disappointment and start over.  The best thing to remember is the ultimate goal – owning your home and not paying rent.  We all know the foreclosure market has led to more renters and higher rent prices.  Don’t get caught in the disappointment of losing a bid on a home.  It’s a lot of work to shop, and write offers, etc. for all parties involved; but so worth the reward when you finally accomplish your goal.

Get it done should be your mindset when shopping for a home.  With the proper planning it should not be hard to accomplish your goal of buying a home.  So don’t let that perfect home go up in price, up in a bidding war, and away from your hands!  Get it done!

See an inventory of the area’s homes here:  kathy_adams_header2

Pick Your Paint

Be inspired to paint.  It’s a great winter project.

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Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®