3 Things To Know About Real Estate in 2010: Lisa Doyle’s Newsletter Volume XVII

  1. Prices to Bottom:  After more than 3 years of falling, Real Estate values have shown signs of stabilization in recent months.  This improvement will give way to a bottom in home prices, finally, in 2010, but not before some possible declines.  Some Real Estate forecasters are projecting home prices to hit bottom in the 3rd quarter of 2010.
  2. Mortgage Delinquencies Up:  Amid falling home prices and a poor labor market, roughly 1 in 7 mortgages was either past due or in foreclosure by the end of the 3rd quarter in 2009- the highest delinquency rate in the 37-year history of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey.  Two factors are expected to drive delinquencies even higher next year.  First, nearly 1 in 4 homeowners currently owes more on their mortgage than their property is worth, which increases their odds of default.  And secondly, the national unemployment rate- which already stands at 10 %- will peak at about 10.5 % in the first quarter of 2010.  Additional job losses mean more borrowers won’t be able to pay their mortgage bills.
  3. Mortgage Rates to Rise:  Anyone who purchased a home in 2009 was presented with some extremely attractive mortgage rates.  Rates on 30-year, fixed mortgages fell to an average of 4.88 percent in Nov. 2009, down sharply from 6.09 a year earlier.  A key factor behind the plunge was a Federal Reserve program, first announced in Nov. of 2008, which purchased debt and mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  But the program is slated to expire at the end of the first quarter, and if private investors do not step up, fixed mortgage rates could jump.  The unwinding of this Fed program, the improving economy, and mounting concern over govt. deficits could push rates on 30-year, fixed mortgages to roughly 5.5% by mid-2010 and close to 6% by the end of the year. 

Your Home For Sale In Today’s Market

Selling a home in today’s challenging market can be difficult.  Even if your home has outstanding features and you think you have the best property on the block, you need to prepare your home for sale first.  Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  •  Call us to find out what your home is worth.
  • Do not over price.  That is the worst mistake that sellers tend to make.  Especially in today’s market, you are competing with distressed properties such as short sales and bank owned REO’s.  Buyers are looking for good deals.  If you overprice your home, it will not sell.  Other real estate professionals will show your home with the purpose of using it as a comparison to homes in the neighborhood that are well priced.  Buyers will not make offers on overpriced homes because they know the sellers are unrealistic.  Today buyers have so many other choices, they will make an offer on a home that is priced to sell.  Your home should be listed at or slightly below the market value.
  • Start preparing your home for sale by cleaning, disposing of clutter and sprucing up the outside as well.  The buyer’s first impressions when they pull up to the curb are very important.
  • You may want to consider hiring a home staging professional or have your real estate professional provide you with suggestions on how to make your home attractive to a large pool of buyers.  Many times all you need to do is paint, de-clutter, rearrange or remove some furniture and add some colorful accessories.
  • Make repairs that pay off.  If you have hardwood floors, refinish them.  Replace worn carpet and paint the walls and ceilings.  Fix any cracked or chipped tiles.  Resurface or repaint kitchen cabinets.  New faucets and sinks make the kitchen look updated.  The buyers will appreciate a fresh, finished look.
  • Roofs should be replaced if necessary.  Buyers tend to shy away from homes that have leaky roofs or need new roofs.  Resurface driveways and mend fences or replace them.  Also plant flowers, trim bushes and hedges, and mow the grass.  Good curb appeal is important.

 

Today’s buyers are looking for homes in move-in condition that have updated plumbing, heating and electrical systems and need little or no maintenance with finished kitchens and bathrooms.  If you plan on selling your home without making any repairs, then you will need to reflect this in a much lower listing price.  Keep in mind that your home will then appeal to a much smaller group of buyers who are only looking for fixer-uppers that they can purchase at bargain prices.