Tip Tuesday: Real Estate In the Fall

Yes the rumors are true….Spring is prime real estate season but we love Fall real estate.  In our opinion, its a great time for real estate!  And the facts prove it.  For the first time in history, in 2016, October surpassed June in home sales.  

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Photo Credit: realtor.com

Here are our top 3 reasons to sell & buy in the Fall:

Selling

  1. People are serious: Usually, people are trying to beat the winter and get settled in before the snow melts.  They want to be “home for the holidays” in their new home!  You’re most likely not getting buyers that are “poking around” or just casually browsing.  They want to move immediately so they’re not wasting anyone’s time.
  2. You’re the center of attention:  There’s less competition, fewer houses on the market and less open houses.  Your home will stand out more and get seen by more buyers.
  3. Your Home Is Cozier:  Let’s face it there’s nothing quite like New England in the Fall.  Mums outside on the porch.  Cinnamon smelling treats inside.  Fireplace lighted.  When your buyers feel an emotional attachment to the home, they’re more likely to make an offer.  Play up the season and decorate the outside of your home to have Autumn curb appeal and create a cozier atmosphere inside (maybe new, warmer paint colors…touches of yellow, orange and red in the decor of your home).  Pay attention to the details that make your home stand out from just another house to someone’s new home.

 

Buying:

  1. People are serious:  Sellers who have homes on the market in the Fall usually need to sell.  They either have a job relocation, had a home built over the summer and now its ready or (same as buyers) want to move before that winter weather rolls in. There are also less buyers out on the market so it tends to be a season known for good, fair negotiations.
  2. You can take advantage of tax breaks: The property tax and mortgage interest deductions that you can take from buying a new home can make a serious difference in the amount that you owe to the government even if you closed in December.
  3. Mortgage Rates Expected to Rise: Mortgage rates are expected to increase over the next 12 months according to Freddie Mac, The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, and the National Association of Realtors.  This means that a year from now your monthly mortgage expense will increase if you don’t lock in the current rates.

 

As you can see, just because Labor Day has passed doesn’t mean your opportunity for Real Estate has.  Looking to see what your home could be worth or want to browse for homes in your area?  Check out our website and then contact us!  We want to prove to you why you should love Fall real estate as much as we do!

Tip Tuesday: Spring has Sprung and So Have Home Sales!

Real Estate.Happy Spring everyone!  The Spring CT Real Estate Market is gearing up, but are you ready?!  According to the Connecticut Association of Realtors, the past 3 published months of sales (January, December and November) have all reported an increase from the previous year in median sales prices and amount of homes sold for both residential single-family homes and townhouses/condos.  This represents a fantastic trend and as soon as February is published in the next few days, we’ll report it to you.  But, the question remains….what does this mean for you?

As a seller, this means….

  1. Now is a great time to sell!  
  2. Your home may sell for more than it would have a year ago.
  3. You need to get your home ready to impress buyers as they begin to pick up their buying process.

So, what should you do?  

  1. Use a price setting tool to see what your neighborhood’s market value currently is.
  2. Begin getting your home ready to sell!
  3. Contact us for a professional market analysis and assistance with getting your home show ready!

As a buyer, these statistic mean…..

  1. That there a large amount of buyers right now who are placing competitive offers so you need to be ready to put forth a strong offer.  
  2. Your offer not only needs to be competitive in terms of number but also contingencies and financing.  

So, what should you do?

  1. Get your credit ready and your pre-approval ready.  
  2. Determine what you’re searching for.  What are your must-haves and what neighborhoods are you interested in?
  3. Discuss strategy with us.  Our goal is to find your family your dream home, at a great deal and in the right location.  We want to be sure you win your home with an offer that’s competitive but also comfortable and confident for you.  So we’ll help you with referral to a lender, give you tools on finding a neighborhood, show you what your price point can get you in that neighborhood and help you to craft an offer that is strong.

 

 

 

 

Tip Tuesday: Finding a Neighborhood You Love

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If you’re looking to branch out and buy outside of a town you’re not familiar with or moving to CT and don’t know the towns yet, it can be difficult to determine which neighborhood is right for you.  But, it is possible and we’re here to help.
neighborhood
Photo credit: Mycom.net

We have 5 easy steps to choose the right neighborhood for you.

1) Talk to us:  If you let us know what kind of neighborhood qualities you’re looking for, we’d be happy to make recommendations and give you our insights.  Use the contact agent form on our website and we’ll contact you within 24 hours!
2) Website: You can also use our website or mobile web to get a sense of the area fairly quickly. By switching your search results to the interactive map view, can opt to see restaurants, shops, schools, public transportation lines, as well as neighborhood and school district boundaries; and of course, you’ll always see every available home for sale.
Once you click on a home, you’ll see information regarding how each school in that district ranks.
3) Drive and Walk: One of the greatest pieces of advice we can give clients is to drive around potential neighborhoods and do it at different times.  For example, drive to the neighborhood after getting out of work at rush hour and see how your commute would be.  Then drive by the area on a Saturday at 3pm to see how active it is or if its quiet.
4) Talk to the Neighbors: There have been times clients have seen homes they love but are uncertain because there’s a home on the street that’s run down.  We always recommend knocking on neighbors doors and asking them how they like the neighborhood.  What are their pros and cons are and if anyone is troubling on the street? It will also let you know how much people love their neighborhood. Do they stay there for years or are there high turn-overs?
5) Call the Police:  The police station will provide you with public crime records for certain neighborhoods if this is an aspect you’re concerned about.  We once had a client fall in love with a property but had concerns because they simply didn’t know the area at all.  They called the Police Station to find out how many or if any crimes had been reported in the past year in that area.  The Police were able to calm their nerves and give them honest information about the neighborhood.
A new area can be nerve-wrenching for so many reasons, but there’s no reason to go into a decision blindly.  There are many resources to help ensure that you’re finding the home of your dreams in the neighborhood of your dreams.

Tip Tuesday: Getting Your Credit Ready!

Remember our blog post about the first thing you should if you’re thinking about purchasing a home?  If not, you can review it here.  The sum of the article is the first thing you should do is talk to a Mortgage Lender.

There are 3 main reasons for this:

  1. Competitive offer.  Home inventory is low right now so to craft an attractive offer you need to make sure that the seller knows that you’re serious.  A good way to do this is to get pre-approved in order for the seller to know that you can afford the home and are ready to begin the mortgage process as soon as an offer is accepted.
  2. It keeps you in perspective.  Why look at and fall in love with a home that’s $300,000 only to find out that you can’t afford it and can only afford $225,000.  No other home will compare and you’ll be heartbroken.  On the other hand, you may be surprised at what you can get approved for and can afford higher than you thought.
  3. It will set you up for the future.  The lender may tell you that you can’t get qualified right now, but they’ll also tell you why not and what you can do about it.

This brings me to today’s Tip Tuesday….Get Your Credit Ready!

mortgage
Credit: LA Times

The Spring and Summer real estate market is on its way and you’re excited about potentially buying a home!  But, can you?

  •  You might be worried that your credit isn’t in the shape it needs to be to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  
  • Or you may not know if your credit is in the shape it needs to be.  
  • Or you may have good credit but want to improve it to get a better interest rate.  

So what can you do today about it?  

The Simple Dollar recommends 3 main items:

1) Find out what’s currently appearing on your credit score.

2) Talk to a Mortgage Lender about which balances would help your credit score by paying them down and which ones are fine to keep in installment payments.

3) After you get approved for a mortgage or even after you get an accepted offer on a home, don’t open new credit accounts!  It will decrease your credit score and thus affect your mortgage application.

A preferred Lender that many of our clients work with, Ed Angiollo of Trademark Financial Group recommends:

“Make sure you’re not late on your payments, which seems obvious but many people assume that being late on one month isn’t a big deal and it is.  Also, keep your credit card balances below 50% balance to available credit.”

Finally, don’t hold off on buying a home just because you think it requires a significant down payment.  The National Association of Realtors found that the average home buyer in the past few years paid a 6% down payment, but there are mortgage programs that require as low as 3.5%, 1% and even 0% down payment.  

  • How can you find out about these mortgage programs?
  • How can you get referred to a Lender to find out what shape your credit is in?

Contact us at harrisonrealtyteam@gmail.com or 860-539-9076 and we’ll make the appropriate referral based upon your needs!

Tip Tuesday: Price Setting Tools

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Thinking about selling your home in the upcoming Spring Season?!  Not sure if the market supports the sale price you need for your home?  Use these tools:

  1. Home Value Estimates:  This is the perfect place to start.  It will give you a general idea of what your home is worth.
  2. Interactive Pricing Tool:  For a more accurate and detailed estimate, based upon nearby comparables and your market values use the interactive pricing tools.
  3. Connect to us:  In addition to giving you a complimentary assessment on your home, we will also send you a weekly insight report to let you know what’s going on in your market area.  That way you’ll know exactly when the right time to list your home is!

Tip Tuesday: Planning for Thanksgiving

Today’s Tip Tuesday is a quick one but right to the point!  Planning for Thanksgiving next week?  Are you hosting?  We found this great graphic to help you plan your most effective Thanksgiving yet; ensuring that your guests are full and that you aren’t buried in leftovers after.

turkey
Thank you Whole Foods for this graphic!

 

Also, don’t forget to re-read this post from last year about ways to save energy and money during Thanksgiving!

Tip Tuesday: Considering a Move?

Will the results of today’s election make you consider a move to Canada?!

move-to-canada

Well, then let’s get started!

The most important first step in selling your home (besides hiring us as your Realtors!) is to see what is happening in your current market to ensure that your home is priced to sell and bring you the best value!

Pricing your home right is an art. You want to set a price that will attract attention (and qualified buyers!) to your home. If your market is favoring sellers (because not enough good homes are available), you’re likely to get multiple offers on your home, even if you initially set an aggressively low price.

When you’re ready, we can talk over more in-depth what’€s been happening in your neighborhood so you can set a price that will compete well in your local market.
As always, we’re available and ready to give you the service you deserve from a team you can trust!