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July 2019

 

The Fourth of July is just days away.  Take time to enjoy some of the many summertime events in West Michigan.  Or travel to a completely different Michigan, the Upper Penninsula.  And be sure to stop for some fudge in Mackinaw City or on Mackinaw Island. 

A special thanks to those who've recommended me to their friends and family.  With 3,200 Realtors to choose from in our market, I appreciate your support.  

Steve Katerberg
Realtor
yrent@grar.com   |   (616) 447-7028
http://www.SteveKaterberg.com

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FINANCIAL ADVICE

Appraisals Can Protect Buyers, Sellers and Lenders

Seeing something with one’s own eyes is the best way to make an evaluation. That’s the purpose of bank appraisals, which are designed to protect banks from over lending, homebuyers from overborrowing, and home sellers from overpricing their homes.  

Once the purchase offer is accepted by the seller, the homebuyer’s lender orders an appraisal of the seller’s home to determine the home’s true market value based on location, quality of materials, featured amenities and other criteria.

The property’s condition also impacts value, so sellers are often advised to order an appraisal before putting their homes on the market to help them determine a reasonable asking price. To make sure the home evaluation is as high as possible, sellers are advised to clean the home, repair anything that’s damaged, such as a gate latch or dripping faucet, and to improve the home with fresh paint, new surfaces such as countertops, or whatever makes the home look tired and dated.

When the appraiser arrives, the seller is expected to be on hand to answer questions. The appraiser will be armed with “comparables,” which are similar homes in size and location that are on the market or have recently sold. This is the seller’s opportunity to tell the appraiser about new updates, new features and amenities in the neighborhood that make the home more attractive, such as nearby parks and public transportation.

Share the appraisal results with your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional to move forward with a more informed selling or buying strategy.

BUYING/SELLING ADVICE

Understanding Buyer’s and Seller’s Markets

While any time is a great time to buy or sell a home, knowing whether market conditions favor buyers or sellers will help you to improve your own position and to navigate your transaction more easily.  

A seller’s market takes place when financial conditions are positive. New employers are coming to town, there are plenty of jobs, workers are receiving bonuses and raises, and there’s a general sense of optimism that encourages people to buy their first home or move up to a bigger, better home. This creates demand for homes, higher home prices and often a shortage of available homes for sale. Homes don’t last long on the market, and soon, there are shortages for entry-level homes and other price points.

A buyer’s market reflects a receding economy. Employers stop hiring and salaries stagnate. If major employers exit the market, workers have trouble finding other employment. Confidence wanes, and sellers find that there’s less demand for their homes. Soon, inventories of homes for sale increase, bringing prices lower. A buyer’s market means buyers are cautious and expect sellers to sweeten the pot by presenting updated homes in premium condition.

Buyer’s and seller’s markets can be as localized as a single street within a neighborhood, a zip code, or a suburb. It’s all about the economy’s impact on demand.

Are you in a buyer’s or seller’s market? If you’re not sure, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional can show you the sales trends for your area and price range.

HOMESELLERS’ ADVICE

Moving with Pets

Moving from one end of town to another, or across the country, can be as challenging for your pets as for the rest of the family. Preparation and patience can help your dog, rabbit, bird or cat adjust more easily to its new home.

Tell your veterinarian. Your pet’s medical records and microchip data can easily be updated with your new address, but if you’re moving out of the area, ask your vet to forward this information to your new veterinarian.

Manage stress. Think about your pet’s stress levels as well as your own, as it can be alarmed by changes in routine. A squawking parrot, nosy cat or clingy puppy can lead to frayed nerves and possible accidents if they’re underfoot. The best solution is to board your pet for moving day.  

Include pets on outings to the new home. Before move-in, you can visit your new home for the bank appraisal, home inspection, and final walkthrough. Take your dog along, if it’s well behaved, and let the pet have a nice sniff around the property. Take his water bowl and set it in its planned future location and let your pet have a cool drink. It will help accustom the pet to the new home a little more quickly.

Take time to play. Remember to cuddle, play and talk to the pet as usual. Let the cat jump in empty boxes, toss the ball for your dog, and bring your bird to a perch in the room you’re packing.

HOMESELLERS’ ADVICE

Six Tips for Better Listing Photos

A recent National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 89% of homebuyers who searched for a home online found photos to be among the most useful features of real estate websites. That’s why many home sellers hire professional photographers. Whether or not you use a pro, here are six tips for better results. 

Stage the shoot. Photographers aren’t movers or house cleaners, so it’s up to you to get your home close-up ready. Move the car and kids’ toys out of sight. Power-wash the front and sweep the walk and porch. Mow, prune and weed the yard.

Notice details. The camera captures everything in its view in equal detail, so look out for random coffee cups, crooked wall art, and cluttered surfaces and straighten your walk-in closet to ensure personal effects are out of sight.

Make it sparkling clean. Make your floors gleam. Wipe fingerprints and grease from your appliances so they look showroom-new. Clean the carpets and polish the furniture.

Amp up the lighting. Pick a sunny day for the shoot. Open the shutters, blinds and curtains. Install fresh lightbulbs, clean ceiling fixtures and turn on the lights.

Accent special features. Some of your home’s features can’t be duplicated easily, so celebrate the built-in bookcases, mullion windows and window seats, too. Also, include shots of any improvements or updates.

Pretend you’re the buyer. What do you see? Hopefully, fresh paint on the front door and a new welcome mat. Inside, your home should flow from room to room, so remove excess furniture, bric-a-brac, and personal items.

 
 
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