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April 2020

Whether you own a home or are looking to buy or sell one, here are some useful tips, ideas and advice. When you’re ready to make your move, give me a call or drop me a line.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty
Nicki Turner
REALTOR®
563-343-7193
Nicki.Turner@BHHSTxRealty.com
www.NickiTurnerRealtor.com/

 

Covid-19 update

What Resources are Available to You?

There's a lot of uncertainty to go around these days.  To help you stay up to date on what resources are available to you, check out this information page from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It includes information on what to do if you need mortgage assistance, as well as Small Business Loan programs, and Student debt relief. As always, please reach out to me directly if you have any questions or need any further information.

SELLERS & BUYERS

A Winning Real Estate Strategy

Sometimes, buyers and sellers can behave like adversaries. Both sides want to “win,” often sabotaging the transaction irreparably. No one wins if the home doesn’t sell.  

So how can you win and keep things civil?

Sellers: Be thoughtful and reasonable. Price your home to appeal to buyers and get stronger offers. Make your home easy to show to working buyers. Be flexible about showing times, especially on short notice. Put your pets in the kennel. Keep your home show-ready (clean and neat) so buyers can really see what they’re buying.

Respond quickly to requests for repairs and get the work done as soon as possible. Return calls or texts from your real estate professional quickly.

Don’t take offense at low offers. Simply counter the offer with your reasons why you feel the home is priced correctly through your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional.

Buyers: Don’t ridicule the seller or their home on Instagram or when asked for feedback; the price won’t improve. Be on time and respect sellers’ property for showings. Leave small children with a sitter for showings to minimize distractions. Schedule appraisals and inspections as soon as the contract is signed.

Apply for your mortgage loan immediately and let your real estate professional know when you’re preapproved and for what amount. If you do this in advance of shopping for a home, you have the advantage over other buyers that you’re vetted by a lender.

The key is courteous communication with everyone. 

HOMEOWNERS’ ADVICE

Colors of the Year 2020

Companies use color trends to boost brand awareness and product sales, but the research behind colors and how they impact consumers is anything but arbitrary. Color trends aim to appeal to emotions caused by world events, history and cultures, the economy, and the human need for change.

Consider Tiffany's aqua blue, recognizable the world over as a symbol of elegance and sophistication, or Coca-Cola’ssignature Christmas red that forever changed the color of Santa Claus’ iconic suit.  

Architectural Digest notes that since Pantone Color Institute's introduction of its first Color of the YEAR (COTY) in 2000, a subtle blue called Cerulean, many paint manufacturers are announcing their own COTYs as well as curated “collections” of the year.

When you look at the color trends for the year collectively, you’ll see that the colors have characteristics in common. They help promote familiarity, serenity, coziness and comfort.

Behr's choice for COTY 2020 is a fresh split-pea green called Back to Nature. The Behr 2020 Color Trends palette “was inspired by “natural elements such as sky, earth, water and plant life.” Sherwin-Williams’ 2020 COTY is Naval, a classic ocean blue. The company’s 2020 palette is called Simply Blissful Color Collection. A pale peachy pink the color of dawn is called First Light,  BenjaminMoore.com’s selection for 2020. Their Color Trends 2020 palette combines “optimism and understatement.”

Paint is one of the easiest ways to update a home, so trying one of these soothing colors may help you create the serene room(s) you’ve always wanted.  

FINANCIAL ADVICE

Fair Market and Other Values

Home buyers and home sellers want to know one thing – how much a home is worth.  Fair market comparable data, assessments and appraisals are all relevant ways to determine value, but all values are not the same. So what are the differences?

Fair market value. This metric is used to help determine asking and offer prices for a given home for sale. Market conditions and the economy can cause home prices to fluctuate, so get an electronic comparable market analysis (CMA) from your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional. The CMA will include at least three recently sold homes (within three to six months) that are as similar as possible to the home you want to buy or sell, including the dates of sale, time on the market, addresses, age when built, square footage, condition, features and improvements.

Assessed value. Tax roll authorities use assessments to determine annual property taxes. They use market data such as CMAs from multiple listing services but also include non-market data such as type of ownership (homestead VS investment property) and age of the homeowner (taxes are often frozen for seniors).

Appraised value. Mortgage bankers hire licensed appraisers to ascertain whether or not a home is valued correctly to protect homebuyers and limit their own risk. They use sales and rental data, plus other formulas. If the appraised amount is lower than the sales contract amount, the buyer can either come up with more cash or back away, or the seller can lower the price.   

HOMEBUYERS’ ADVICE

Advice for Single Female Homebuyers

In 2019, the National Association of REALTORS reported that 18% of home buyers were single females, compared to nine percent of single males. From this data, it’s clear that single women see homeownership as an important way to provide themselves with more stability and financial security.

Here’s some helpful advice to help single women meet the responsibilities and rewards of homeownership.

  1. Buy within your means. While it’s good advice for all home buyers, single women can lower their risk by keeping their house payment, including property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowner association fees and mortgage insurance at no more than one third of their income.
  2. Choose a forever home. Your home should promote well-being and prosperity. The longer you own your home, the more equity you build. And your home can provide rental income should you move or marry in the future.
  3. Plan for surprises. You may have put all your funds into your down payment, but as soon as you can, start rebuilding your cash savings. Create a fund for home repairs and planned expenses such as a new roof one day. You should also have at least six months cash on hand in the event of illness or layoffs.
  4. Take ownership and repair classes. Your state or local housing authority may offer homebuying and home ownership classes. You can also take repair or home improvement workshops at your local Home Depot or elsewhere. It’s a great way to meet people, develop skills and save money on maintenance and repairs.


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