What to Do When Your Home Gets a Lowball Offer

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This happens more than I would like to admit. But, it is how you respond that makes all the difference.

Please remember, your agent is required to bring you any and all offers made on your home, so once and a while you’ll receive what’s known as a “lowball” offer. Lowball offers are buyer offers which far fall below your asking price. Sometimes they’re so low that they only serve to make you angry.

Don’t get angry! While selling your home is an emotional process, there are rational, effective strategies for dealing with the lowball offer. Sometimes the lowball offer can even turn into the right price if you handle negotiations the right way.

  1. Remain calm. Your urge may be to tell the buyer to go #*&@! themselves, but there’s nothing to be gained in making enemies.
  1. Understand that sometimes buyers aren’t familiar with true market value. They may be from somewhere where homes are much less expensive, or they could be first-time buyers who have been counseled by friends and family to begin with lowball offers.
  1. Have your agent communicate that while you’re happy to work with them as buyers, you’ll need an offer which is somewhat more competitive and at a level you could consider seriously.
  1. Consider countering for a small amount off your asking price to signal your willingness to negotiate, but reiterate that you will need to hear something more in line with market value to continue negotiations.
  1. Alternately, if you really are in a hurry to sell, counter with your rock-bottom offer. This number may not be close to their lowball, but it could be substantially less than your listing price. This may make the lowball buyer suddenly reconsider their position, tempted by the opportunity to purchase the property at what they consider to be a “substantial discount.”
  1. Ask the buyer to justify their price. If they truly believe their offer is genuine and fair, they should be able to point to reasons why your listing price is inflated. Make them show their homework. If they haven’t done it, you’ll know soon enough.
  1. Don’t fall for the “but we can’t afford more” pity play. Sympathize with their financial situation, but in no way let it sway you from the true value of your home.

Of course sometimes a stream of lowball offers can indicate that the home is priced too high. Occasionally agents will “buy the listing” by assuring sellers they can get the higher price, only to take a lower offer much later down the line. It’s not a sound strategy. If you’re looking for the honest market value of your home, get in touch with me today!

 

Mortgage Rates Again at Historic Lows

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Just two weeks ago, we posted an article discussing where mortgage interest rates may be heading over the next twelve months. We quoted projections from Fannie MaeFreddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors. Each predicted that rates would begin to rise slowly and steadily throughout 2016. However, shaky economic news and a volatile stock market have actually caused rates to drop six out of the last seven weeks, and have remained at 3.65% for the past two weeks.ImageProxy.mvc.jpeg

Rates have again fallen to historic lows yet many experts still expect them to increase in 2016. The only thing we know for sure is that, according to Freddie Mac, current rates are the best they have been since last April.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of buying your first home or moving up to your ultimate dream home, now is a great time to get a sensational rate on your mortgage. Call Linda!

Easy Ways to Add Ambiance to Your Listing

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You don’t want the listing to be so neutral that it lacks any personality or visual interest. So what are some simple ways you can add ambiance to a home? RISMedia recently featured an article spotlighting a few ideas, including:

Add some indoor plants.

Try adding real plants to nearly every room in the home. Be sure to select shade-loving and indoor plants to make sure they are easier to keep alive.

Enhance the lighting.

The right lighting can work wonders in a space. Try wall sconces along the hallway. Also, sconces along a living room wall can be used as decorative accents as well as emit softer lights. Pendant lights over a kitchen island can also add to the ambiance. The use of glass doors inside the home – such as French doors for the study — can also make a home brighter.

Create more places for shelves.

Shelves not only can ramp up the storage space but also make a decorative statement too. For example, floating shelves under staircases or along living room walls can store books or collectibles. The shelves should add to the décor and be functional simultaneously.

Add a vintage piece of furniture.

The furniture is often the focal point of any living room. Add some visual interest with a vintage, upholstered chair. “Older items tend to have decades-old patterns that can improve a home’s ambiance with one quick glance,” the RISMedia article notes.

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2016 – REALTOR.COM

Homeowner’s Net Worth is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s

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Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400). In a Forbes article the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that in 2016 the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater. The graph below demonstrates the results of the last two Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction:

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Put Your Housing Cost to Work For You

Simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings’. Every time you pay your mortgage you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth. The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments:

“Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Bottom Line

If you are interested in finding out if you could put your housing cost to work for you by purchasing a home, CALL ME and I will guide you through the process. 407-925-7721 (Cell or Text).

Rents Still Skyrocketing

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Zillow recently revealed that the 43 million renter households in the US spent $535 billion on rent in 2015. Aggregate numbers like these often make it difficult to truly assess a situation. For more clarity, we want to share some points that were made in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month. The article made two important points:

1. Rents are increasing faster than the last several years:

 “Apartment rents increased faster last year than at any time since 2007.”

2. Rent increases are accelerating

“Another report from Axiometrics Inc., a Dallas-based apartment research company, showed that rents increased 4.7% in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier, the strongest year-end performance since 2005”.

Here’s a graph to show rate of increase in rents:

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In short…renting is going to increase and buying a home NOW makes more sense than ever!

Are You Wondering What It Takes To Buy Your First Home?

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There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage. I want to share what the typical first time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home

Buyers and Sellers…here are some interesting facts on the first time buyer.

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Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Call me today so that I may help determine if your dream home is within your grasp.

The Rich Are Different

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The Changing Luxury Market

I am a specialist in luxury homes and marketing luxury goods to clients throughout the world. This current economic climate though has changed my opinion of the definition of luxury. Times change, people change and luxury has changed.

Luxury clients were once an elite group of individuals who were fairly obvious to even the most amateur of sales executives. But luxury elite status has dimmed somewhat as firstly, many people are now able to afford luxury goods and secondly, many luxury clients remain cautious after the real estate and financial meltdown.

Today’s luxury homeowner may look wealthy (expensive diamonds, cars, art) but underneath their demeanor is a homeowner who is living month to month and wondering how to maintain appearances. It’s a fragile world and frankly, they are ill prepared.

Today’s TRUE luxury client often looks different and buys based on knowledge and experience. The smart ones are people who have not fallen prey to every excess on the market, purchased a bucket load of baubles and continue to drive the latest most expensive cars. I am finding many luxury clients asking me to assist them as they work through a financial downturn they never anticipated or saved for.

It’s a scary world. Our next election means a great deal for our economy. As I have said in the past, home sales equal a strong economy.

Today’s luxury client could mean dreadlocks and diamonds. In other words – today’s luxury is not the obvious…in fact, it’s the reverse.

Today’s luxury buyer has invested well and with discretion. They may may drive a Ford and not have a multi-million dollar medieval castle. They wear jeans and Nikes. The high-end buyer is unique and totally in tune with the market.

80% of today’s luxury buyers are tech savvy and researches every purchase. And most importantly, today’s luxury customer rarely buys on impulse. Long term investments are the rule with multiple properties instead of one show home. It’s actually an interesting turn of events.

I am reminded of my grandmother who came from great wealth but lived her later years in a charming bungalow of about 970 square feet. She mowed her own yard in knee highs and pearls. She drank her tea on fine china in a tiny kitchen. That’s somewhat representative of today’s luxury.

They luxury buyers are different, they act different and they have a certain rule for living that is going to redefine the future. They may not have a million dollar home but their home will be chic and charming. Gaudy is out and tasteful and charming is in. Small is the new big. This is going to be amazing to watch the old world appeal of outlandish display transformed by a new era of discrete buyers.

To quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The rich are different…”