If you’re selling your home, it’s time to get familiar with the VA home loan — yes, even if you aren’t military yourself. Here’s why. Veterans or active duty military homebuyers are likely to use the VA loan when purchasing a home.
What you’ll learn in this article:
What is the VA loan?
Preparing Your Home to Sell
Research Housing Rates for Your Area
Market to Military
Meeting VA Requirements
The VA Home Inspection
What is the VA loan?
For those of you unfamiliar with it, the VA helps those who are eligible purchase a home at a competitive interest rate, often without requiring a down payment or private mortgage insurance. That means that they not only offer zero down payment loans, but also have lower credit requirements than alternative financing options.
As you can imagine (or have used yourself), the VA loan is a popular choice. So if you’re near a military installation, the likelihood of your potential buyers using this lending option skyrockets. Don’t be mistaken, while there are duty stations tucked away on their own, there are plenty positioned in the heart of major cities that you might not even realize. The point? Thorough research can help you to consider all aspects of the buyers in your area. As a home seller in a heavily dominated market, consider getting to know the lending terms of the VA loan and how to market to VA home loan buyers.
Preparing Your Home to Sell to a VA Home Loan Buyer
There are a couple of key things to know about selling your home to a VA home loan buyer.
“One is that there isn’t a safer bet to close on the market. VA loans have had a higher average closing success rate than conventional loans over the last five years. The other piece is that sellers are not required to pay any costs on behalf of a VA buyer. There’s a misconception that sellers have to pay a VA buyer’s closing costs or are on the hook for repairs if the VA appraisal turns up issues. This isn’t a zero-sum situation, and both are matters of negotiation between buyer and seller.” — Chris Birk, Director of Education for Veterans United Home Loans and the author of The Book on VA Loans: An Essential Guide to Maximizing Your Home Loan Benefits.
Research the Local Housing Rates for Your Area
Here’s an interesting fact: you can look up how much military servicemembers and their families are allotted each month for housing. It’s called the Basic Housing Allowance (BAH). While it isn’t a perfect representation of each family’s personal budget, it does provide a decent baseline to understand where your property falls into the mix.
Enter your zip code and a pay grade. Unless you live close to the Pentagon, you’ll be better served by estimating housing rates on low to mid-level pay grades, such as an O3 or E5.
Estimate the mortgage payment for your property.
Using a mortgage calculator, such as MortgageCalculator.org or Bankrate’s mortgage calculator, you can input your asking price, property tax, and estimated homeowner’s insurance. Consider adding two to three percent to your asking price to account for the VA funding fee for first- or second-time VA homebuyers.
Do the math.
Given the BAH for the local area and the cost of your home, will military homebuyers in your area be able to afford the monthly mortgage payment for a zero down payment VA loan? If your home sale price fits the military homebuyer’s budget, then great! It’s time to market to the military community. If not, homebuyers have the option to purchase your home with an alternative loan product—like state down payment assistance programs and FHA loans. However, for those who qualify, the terms of the VA loan are hard to beat.
If you’re in a tough selling market, consider working with your real estate agent to target homebuyers who may be eligible for these products.
Market to Military
When you market to military homebuyers, you’re working with a unique clientele who, unlike any other homebuyer, operate on a time crunch.
Since military families receive PCS orders for an average of three years, they don’t have the luxury to take weeks or months to find a home to buy. Instead, many families find a home within just a few days.
Knowing this about the military home buying market will help you understand why it’s critical to have great photos, a detailed description of your property’s layout, and a video home tour. Each of these marketing tools will help ensure that you make it onto your military homebuyer’s shortlist of potential homes.
The Logistics: Meeting the Requirements of the VA
The process takes longer when you sell to someone who is using a VA Home Loan than that of most other mortgages.
One way to expedite this process is to make sure that there aren’t any repair issues with your home that may cause either delays for repair or an outright rejection of your home. While the home buyer is required to pay for the inspection and appraisal, it’s not a bad idea to conduct your own pre-inspection with the intent to get your house ready to sell quickly.
For a few hundred dollars, you can mitigate this situation by hiring an inspector who is familiar with VA requirements. Consider it money well spent, as the VA loan follows a set of Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) set to ensure that the property is safe, sanitary, and habitable.
VA Home Appraisal
“The appraisal process looks a bit different. Beyond the typical home valuation, the VA also considers broad property condition requirements. These Minimum Property Requirements are rooted ensuring Veterans are purchasing homes that are safe, sound, and sanitary. This assessment isn’t as in-depth as a home inspection, and any issues raised by the appraiser can be addressed in order to keep the deal moving forward.” — Chris Birk
Common things evaluated by the home appraiser:
Heating and electricity. If the home has a wood-burning stove, is there a backup system?
Water. Does the home have a water heater and access to drinking water and a working septic?
The roof. Does the roof have a substantial amount of life left? Are there any leaks?
Access. Can you reach the property by foot or car by way a private or public road year-round?
Defects and deterioration. Is the home free of defects to include poor construction, or wood-eating insects like termites?
Paint. Is there any lead-based paint that’s chipping or peeling that needs repaired?
The location. Is the home located on a gas or petroleum pipeline or near high-voltage electric lines?
Tips for finding a home inspector:
Get recommendations. You can’t be expected to know the local professionals when you’re new to the area. Check with your real estate agent, loan officer, or experienced friends who can point you in toward a respected home inspector.
Look within reputable organizations. Organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors require certifications for membership. Finding a local who belongs to one of these groups assures a high standard of service.
Know your state laws. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. If you’re unsure of yours, ask your real estate agent and make sure your home inspector meets the criteria.
Ask for a sample inspection report. Nothing is better to determine the quality of someone’s work than viewing a sample of their job. This can tell you a lot about an inspector’s level of experience. You’re looking to make sure the report is clear and that it includes images of any identified issues around the property. You’ll also want to see recommendations made for potential homebuyers.
Consider your budget. Home inspections aren’t free. The cost can vary depending on the provider, the size of the home, and location. However, they most often fall within $300 to $500.
VA Home Inspection
Things the home inspector looks for:
Structure. What’s the condition of the property’s construction (walls, floors, foundation, roof, and ceilings)?
Exterior. How much life is left in the current siding, windows and trim? Looking at other features– how’s the exterior lighting and fences? Is there proper drainage based on grade and elevation?
Plumbing. What are the pipes made of? Is everything up to current standards to include the toilets, showers, sinks, faucets?
Systems. Are the chimney, fireplace, water heater, furnace, A/C unit, and septic system all in good working condition?
Roof and attic. Is the framing sound? Is there proper insulation and ventilation?
Electrical. Is the electrical wiring properly grounded? Are all the light fixtures and the main electrical breaker safe and working correctly?
Appliances. What’s the condition of the appliances like the dishwasher, range, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, smoke detector, and any other relevant small appliances in the home?
At the end of the day, remember that VA home loan buyers want the same thing as everybody else: location, good schools, and more. The basics to preparing your home to sell for a VA home loan buyer are the same as most others; it’s simply a few particulars that keep you on your toes.
Way too many of us have a story about our credit card getting hacked or about being a victim of one of the massive data breaches in recent years. As technology becomes more and more a part of our financial lives, it becomes increasingly important to keep a close eye on our personal credit.
By monitoring your credit score and credit report, you can make sure you know if someone has opened unauthorized accounts in your name.
Monitoring your credit has the added bonus of helping you make sure your credit rating is where you need it to be.
The Easiest Ways To Monitor Your Credit
To put this task in “set it and forget it” mode, you should set up an account with at least one website designed to monitor your credit. (If you’ve frozen your credit, you’ll need to unfreeze it with at least one credit bureau first.)
Monitoring Your Credit With Credit Karma and Credit Sesame
When we talk about monitoring your credit, we’re talking about keeping an eye on both your credit reports and your credit scores.
Credit reports include all the details on your credit accounts, both current and closed. The reports track payments and other information for every loan, credit card and line of credit you have.
Your credit scores are numbers based on that credit history and activity.
If you have any credit history at all, the “big three” credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — will each have both a credit report and a credit score associated with your accounts. The good news is that you can access all of this information for free online.
Money expert Clark Howard’s favorite site for monitoring your credit is Credit Karma. This site lets you keep tabs on your credit score and view credit reports for free. Once you set up your account, you’ll get:
Your estimated credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax
Access to your credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax
The option to get an alert when your credit score changes or something is added to your credit report (credit monitoring)
Additional services including identity monitoring, free tax filing, and access to your auto insurance score
Again, you will need to set up your Credit Karma account before you freeze your credit, or you’ll need to unfreeze your credit in order to sign up.
You may have noticed that neither Credit Karma nor Credit Sesame gives you access to your Experian credit report and score. But you can get your reports for free directly from both Experian and Equifax by creating online accounts with them (Experian also includes your credit score):
While monitoring your credit is crucial, it still means that you’ll find out if someone else has opened a credit line in your name only after the fact. So you should freeze your credit with all three major credit bureaus.
With a credit freeze in place, no one (not even you) will be able to open a new line of credit in your name without first unfreezing your credit — which only you should be able to do.
Light up Alta Sierra, Christmas Light Street list, and Route information 2022
My favorite time of year is just around the corner.
While I start my thoughts of decorating, baking, and holiday gatherings, one thing that always comes up is holiday lights. Nevada County has some of the best holiday light displays.
Grass Valley and Nevada City offer two of the most charming downtown areas great for shopping.
But we also have several areas like Alta Sierra, Morgan Ranch, Cypress Hill, and Banner Mountain areas that offer homes adorned with lights and holiday decorations. Some homes feature just lights…some have characters and lights…and some offer walking tours as well.
We are attaching a list of streets in Alta Sierra to help you get started on your light tour.
Grab some hot cocoa, jump in the car and get ready for some holiday cheer. The lights on display are sure to brighten your day and bring joy to all those enjoying the lights with you.
Hope you all enjoy a little time exploring Alta Sierra and seeing all the beautiful lights on display.
Dane Tashima for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.
Often described as “dragged through the garden” — referring to all of the vegetable toppings — this hot dog is a joy to eat in honor of the Windy City.
A proper Chicago dog is an all-beef frankfurter (such as Vienna Beef) in a poppy seed bun, topped with yellow mustard, neon-green sweet pickle relish, chopped white onion, tomato slices, a dill pickle spear, pickled sport peppers and celery salt. This stovetop recipe is very forgiving, and there are ways to adapt: No poppy seed buns? Just sprinkle a pinch of loose poppy seeds over regular hot dog buns slathered in melted butter. No neon-green sweet relish? Stir a drop or two of green food coloring into regular sweet relish. If you can’t find Chicago-style sport peppers, then sliced pepperoncini works in a pinch. Don’t skip the celery salt; its herbal lightness makes these dogs shine.
1small tomato, halved and thickly sliced lengthwise
4dill pickle spears
4 to 8sport peppers
In a large skillet over medium, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Without splitting them in half completely, gently flatten the hot dog buns and place them seam-side up in the pan. Move them around to catch all the melted butter and cook until very lightly toasted at the edges, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove the buns and set aside.
Raise the heat to medium-high and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. When the butter is melted, add the hot dogs and cook, rolling occasionally until all sides are browned and looking crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. (See Tip if grilling.)
Place the cooked dogs in the buns and top each with as much yellow mustard, relish and onion as you like. On one side of each dog, place a couple of tomato slices; on the other side, place a single pickle spear. Top with as many sport peppers as you can handle. Generously season with the celery salt and serve immediately.
If you’re grilling, just cook the hot dogs over direct medium heat until charred and blistered in spots, 8 to 10 minutes, and meanwhile toast the buns over the open flame as well, about 30 seconds.
ENJOY SUMMER’S ENDING AND FALL’S BEGINNING FROM ALL OF US AT JOHNSON’S SIERRA LIFESTYLE TEAM!
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS WEEKLY MARKET MINUTE
August 22, 2022 – Housing sentiment continued to sink for both the supply side and the demand side as market’s buying conditions remained sour.
Not only did homebuilders scale back in production as suggested by the dip in building permits, but potential homebuyers have also hit the brake hard as market uncertainty and high costs of borrowing lingered on. Closed sales for existing single-family homes have taken a beating as the market has shifted in response to the recent surge in interest rates, while pending sales suggested that the market could remain soft in August.
The pace of sales declines is expected to decelerate in the coming months, however, as rates continue to stabilize, market volatility begins to subside and supply conditions further normalize.
A bounce back in California’s employment situation, was perhaps the silver lining in last week’s news, as it hints on an economy that could remain resilient in the third quarter, despite a back-to-back decline in GDP in the first and second quarter of the year.
Rising interest rates and affordability crunch drag down July home sales and prices: Housing demand in California cooled further in July as the effects of rising interest rates and high home prices hit would-be homebuyers, dragging home sales below the annualized 300,000 benchmark level for the first time since May 2020. Existing single-family home sales totaled 295,460 in July on a seasonal adjusted annualized rate, down 14.4% from June and 31.1% from July of last year. The statewide median home price was $833,910, down 3.5% from June and up 2.8% from July 2021.
While high home prices and rising interest rates depressed housing affordability and in turn dampened demand in the midst of the peak home-buying season, buying opportunities remain in the coming months for those who have been waiting on the sideline as more listings become available, competition continues to cool off and rates begin to stabilize.
Homebuilders’ sentiment turns negative: According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, homebuilders have become more pessimistic as their sentiment towards the housing market dropped another 6 points in August to 49. This marked the eight straight decline in the index and the first time it dipped below 50 since June 2014, excluding a very brief plunge at the start of the Pandemic. Of its three components, current sales conditions saw the largest drop by 7 points, though sales expectations in the next six months and buyer traffic also declined by 2 and 5 points, respectively. Homebuilders’ confidence has deteriorated as buyer demand continued to be diminished by affordability constraints.
Despite higher costs for land, labor, and buildering materials, about 1 in 5 builders in August reported lowering prices by about 5% in the past month in an effort to increase sales or limit cancellations.
Housing starts decline sharply in July as building material prices rise and demand for housing softens: Higher mortgage rates upend residential construction in July with total housing starts falling 9.6% from June and 8.1% from July of last year. Single-family starts declined 10.1%, and while upward revision to starts during June helped take some sting out of July’s sharp decline, single-family starts have now declined for five consecutive months. The pull-back was attributed primarily to higher mortgage rates, which have significantly worsened affordability and caused buyers to hold off on their housing demand.
With building permits declining 1.3% in the latest report, starts will likely fall further in the upcoming months.
California employment improves as hiring rebounds in July:
After a bit of a slump this spring, hiring perked back up in July. California’s employers added a nation’s best 84,800 jobs in July, marking the largest gain since February.
The job gains were broad based but the resurgence in hiring appears to have been driven by a rebound in tech hiring. The state’s unemployment rate dipped to the new low, dropping 0.3% to 3.9% – the lowest level since 1976. While this rebound in hiring is good news for California’s economy, it is also becoming more evident that the labor market is cooling off as job openings fell 212,000 in June. California’s 15.7% drop was by far the largest of any state and brought job openings back down to the lowest level since August of last year.
Don’t hesitate to call The Sierra Lifestyle Team for free evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have an interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.
This update on the kid-friendly classic uses half the meat as a traditional sloppy Joe recipe, but retains the qualities that everyone loves: a tart-sweet savoriness and a quick cooking time. You can substitute ground pork, turkey, lamb or plant-based ground meat for the beef; the key is to use a protein that’s not too lean. A little fat helps carry the flavor of the meat through the entire dish. (If you use plant-based meat or you only have lean meat on hand, add another tablespoon of olive oil or your preferred fat.) The addition of adobo sauce from a can of chipotles imparts smoke, with just a hint of heat. (If you’d like a spicier version, by all means, chop up one or two of the chipotles and add them.) The leftover chipotles keep for at least two weeks in the fridge or indefinitely in the freezer, and they are a welcome addition to many dishes, like chicken tacos or chili
2tablespoons olive oil
1medium onion, finely chopped
1red, yellow or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
½pound ground beef, preferably 85 percent lean
1packed tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
1tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½teaspoons garlic powder
½teaspoon ground cumin
¾cup canned or jarred tomato purée
1tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in adobo)
1tablespoon cider vinegar
1(15-ounce) can cannellini or pinto beans, drained
4hamburger buns, preferably potato buns
Tomato slices and pickle chips, for topping
Warm the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over high heat. Add the onion, season with 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the bell pepper, then spread out the vegetable mixture and let it cook undisturbed for about 1 minute. Stir well and repeat, letting the vegetables cook undisturbed for another minute or so at a time. You want the onions and peppers to get softened, seared and browned in spots, about 5 minutes total.
Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan, making an empty spot in the middle of the pan, and add the ground beef. Season the beef with a pinch of salt, and smash it flat with a spatula, letting it cook undisturbed for 1 minute until brown underneath. Break up the beef with the spatula and cook 1 to 2 more minutes, until completely browned with no visible pink spots.
Combine the vegetables and beef, then add the sugar and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute to toast the tomato paste. Add the garlic powder and cumin, then the tomato purée, adobo sauce and vinegar. Stir in the beans. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer to thicken slightly, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the buns.
With a fork, roughly smash some of the beans to thicken the mixture. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve on toasted buns, topped with tomatoes and pickles.
Refinishing hardwood floors is the remodeling project that pays back the most, recovering the highest percentage of its cost—147%—at resale, according to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study from the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
Home remodeling projects aren’t only offering a potential boost at resale; they’re also making homeowners happier. Painting a home’s interior, adding a home office, installing hardwood flooring, and renovating closets made consumers happiest, the report shows.
The remodeling boom has continued since the pandemic began as homeowners’ desires to spruce up their homes grow, whether through large house additions or simply small one-room painting tasks.
“Quite often, an added benefit to home renovations is the possibility of an increase in the home’s value, which is a reason why some people remodel,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR. “This is especially advantageous to a homeowner who may be considering selling their house or converting the home to a rental property.”
For the report, REALTORS® provided an estimate of the likely dollar value of various remodeling projects that could add to the value of a home during resale that was compared to National Association of Remodeling Industry remodelers’ estimations of project costs.
Besides refinished hardwood flooring, new hardwood flooring also had the potential for a high recovery at resale, at 118%, as did upgrading the home’s insulation, at 100%, the survey shows.
Among exterior projects, new roofing and garage doors had recovery rates reaching 100% of the project costs, according to the report.
Kitchen upgrades also showed a high potential payback at resale. NARI remodelers estimated an average kitchen remodel would cost about $45,000. But REALTORS® surveyed estimated that $30,000 of that would likely be recovered at resale—a 67% recovery rate.
House Projects That Bring the Most Joy
The survey also identified projects that made home renovators want to remain in their homes and those that brought them an increase in the enjoyment of their spaces. The home remodeling projects that received a “Joy Score” of 10, the top score, were:
Painting a home’s entire interior
Painting one room
Adding a home office
Hardwood floor refinishing
The Remodeling Boom Continues
Americans spent $420 billion in 2020 on home remodeling. Contractors report greater demand for services and for larger-scale projects, such as remodels of more than one room, according to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report. Eighty-six percent of consumers reported that remodeling one area of their home then inspired them to remodel other areas of the house.
“The pandemic has changed the way we use our homes, and many of those changes are here to stay,” Lautz says. “As a result, homeowners needed to reconfigure or remodel how they use their home and maximize space.”
Thirty-five percent of homeowners said one of the top motivators for their remodel was to improve their home’s functionality and livability.
Also, 22% of homeowners were motivated to have greater durability in the materials and appliances inside their homes. Fourteen percent were motivated to improve the beauty and aesthetics of their home.
Realtor.com® Listapalooza – the best time to list – is now a national holiday, according to National Day Archives
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the final countdown begins to Realtor.com® Listapalooza (April 10-16), a new national holiday, the company today released survey data that shows homeowners are gearing up to sell this Spring and Summer.
According to the report, 64% of prospective 2022 sellers anticipate doing so within the next six months, and with high expectations for making a profit.
Still, the potential uptick in newly-listed homes indicates some much-needed relief could be on the horizon for buyers – especially first-timers. Today’s sellers expect to ask for relatively affordable prices and include a higher share of millennials than last Spring, suggesting that more Americans plan to upgrade from their starter homes.
The Realtor.com® survey of 3,000 consumers, which was conducted online by HarrisX in February 2022, also asked about the experiences of recent sellers, who said determining the right time to list was the longest stage of the process.
“Our survey data illustrates the importance of helping empower homeowners to take control of the listing process, by providing information about market conditions, prices and seasonal trends, like the best dates to list your home. While sellers are expected to hold the upper hand in 2022, navigating the listing process remains a challenge – particularly for those also buying in today’s fast-paced market,” said George Ratiu, Senior Economist & Manager of Economic Research at Realtor.com®. “Homeowners who are ready to move forward with pandemic-delayed plans will find plenty of opportunity this Spring and Summer. Although accelerating inflation is leading to higher housing costs and living expenses, many buyers remain interested in finding a home. At the same time, recent housing trends suggest demand is beginning to moderate as higher mortgage rates push monthly payments out of some buyers’ budgets, underscoring the long-term need for more affordable inventory.”
Homeowners are ready to take advantage of the Spring and Summer buying seasons
Survey data suggests some relief is on the horizon for Americans grappling with one of the worst housing shortages of all-time. Almost two-thirds (64%) of prospective 2022 sellers anticipate listing a home within the next six months. Whether these sellers follow-through with their plans will be key to the forecasted 2022 inventory recovery and critical for buyers hoping to find a home before mortgage rates climb even further. In a positive sign that homeowners are serious about listing, many sellers are already getting their home ready. However, they’re doing so with great expectations of the current market, which means buyers should prepare for sellers asking for high offer prices, quick closes, waived contingencies and more.
The majority of 2022 prospective sellers plan to list within the next six months, with 9% already listed and the remaining getting ready to list within the next 30 days (11%), 1-3 months (24%) or 4-6 months (20%).
Compared to those who planned to list last Spring, this year’s prospective sellers have higher expectations of the hot housing market, including asking for more than their home is worth (42% vs. 29%) and refusing to pay for repairs or improvements (28% vs. 24%).
When asked why they’re planning to list in 2022, surveyed sellers’ top reason was wanting to profit off the current market, tied with their home no longer meeting their families needs (each at 31%).
Homeowners’ motivating factors behind moving also reflect the impact of pandemic trends, such as wanting different features after spending so much time at home (15%) and no longer needing to live near their office (14%).
Millennials are moving on up, signaling more starter homes for first-time buyers
With the oldest millennials already 40-years-old, these homeowners are playing an important role in adding to the supply of starter homes. Millennials represent nearly half (49%) of sellers who plan to list within the next six months and many anticipate selling at relatively affordable prices. This is welcome news for first-time buyers, who face fierce competition for limited available starter homes. Combined with rising affordability issues as home prices and mortgage rates climb, survey data offers some hope for first-time buyers, based on:
More millennials plan to list within the next six months than in March 2021 (75% vs. 66%), and account for a higher share of all 2022 prospective sellers (42.0% vs. 26.0%).
In a further sign that older millennials are moving on up from their starter homes, the share of surveyed millennials who have sold a home before was nearly as high as the overall rate (61% vs. 64%).
Millennials have plenty of financial motivation to stick to their plans, with top reasons for selling reflecting the pressures of rising inflation and economic uncertainties. Compared to all survey respondents, higher shares of Gen Y sellers want a more affordable home (34% vs. 21%) and need the sale money ASAP (14% vs. 11%).
In a potential sign of more starter homes coming onto the market, the majority of 2022 prospective sellers expect to list in relatively affordable price ranges: $350,000 or less (43%) and $351,000-$500,000 (22%).
Recent experiences highlight the importance of preparation, even in a seller’s market
The COVID housing market has largely favored sellers and many who recently sold were able to take advantage of bidding wars, fast closings, waived contingencies, inspections and appraisals, and more. At the same time, sellers’ experiences highlight the importance of preparation, especially as buyer demand is beginning to moderate. Even among recent sellers who found success, the majority took steps to get their home ready to list, such as making repairs, cleaning and decluttering. Additionally, although many sellers were able to list quickly, 41% said the process took longer than they originally anticipated.
Over half (53%) of sellers spent less than a month preparing their home for listing, while another 26% said the process took 1-3 months.
Forty-one percent of recent sellers said getting their home ready to list took longer than they expected. Determining the right time to enter the market took longer than any step of the home prep process, with 38% of respondents reporting that this decision took more than 3 months.
Among steps successful sellers took to prepare their home for listing, top responses included repairs and updates (59%) and cleaning and decluttering (67%). While minor cosmetic updates were the top repair sellers made before listing, at 53% of respondents, nearly as many fully repainted interiors and replaced flooring (47% each).
The majority (80%) of recent sellers sold at or above their asking price. Other top benefits of the competitive market included: buyers forgoing repair concessions (28%), offers within a week (27%), and waived contingencies like inspections (25%).
This Realtor.com® survey was conducted online within the United States from February 16-18, 2022 among 3,000 adults in the United States by HarrisX. The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 1.8 percentage points. The results reflect a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Results were weighted for age by gender, region, race/ethnicity, and income where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.
Realtor.com® makes buying, selling, renting and living in homes easier and more rewarding for everyone. Realtor.com®pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 25 years ago, and today through its website and mobile apps offers a marketplace where people can learn about their options, trust in the transparency of information provided to them, and get services and resources that are personalized to their needs. Using proprietary data science and machine learning technology, Realtor.com® pairs buyers and sellers with local agents in their market, helping take the guesswork out of buying and selling a home. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted provider of consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today’s on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp [Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA] [ASX: NWS, NWSLV] subsidiary Move, Inc. For more information, visit Realtor.com®.
Home Placed under Contract in March 2022:4555 units.
Up 29.2% compared to last month
Down 4.4% compared to last year
*Buyer’s market: more than 6 months of inventory based on closed sales
Seller’s market: less than 3 months of inventory based on closed sales
Neutral market: 3 – 6 months of inventory based on closed sales
March 2022 Average Sold Price per Square Footage is Appreciating* Average Sold Price per Square Footage in March 2022: $336
Up 2.8% compared to last month
Up 17.9% compared to last year
*Based on 6 month trend – Appreciating/Depreciating/Neutral
March 2022 Average Continuous Days on Market trend Remains Steady* Continuous Days on Market in March 2022: 19
Down 20.8% compared to last month
Down 9.5% compared to last year
March 2022 Sold/Original List Price Ratio is Rising* Sold/Original List Price % in March 2022:103%
Up 2% compared to last month
Up 1% compared to last year
*Based on 6 month trend – Rising/Falling/Remains Steady
March 2022 Average For Sale Price is Appreciating* Average For Sale Price (in thousand) in March 2022:$820
Up 2.5% compared to last month
Up 3.8% compared to last year
March 2022 Average Sold Price is Appreciating* Average Sold Price (in thousand) in March 2022:$639
Up 5.1% compared to last month
Up 16.4% compared to last year
*Based on 6 month trend – Appreciating/Depreciating/Neutral
March 2022 is a Seller’s market*
Months of Inventory based on Closed Sales in March 2022: 0.8
Down 11.1% compared to last month
Up 31.8% compared to last year
*Buyer’s market: more than 6 months of inventory based on closed sales
Seller’s market: less than 3 months of inventory based on closed sales
Neutral market: 3 – 6 months of inventory based on closed sales
Don’t hesitate to call The Sierra Lifestyle Team for free evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.
All That Said, But Is the Party Almost Over For Sellers?
As Buyers Reel, Sellers May Need to Consider Price Drops
April 15, 2022
Higher mortgage rates may soften demand this spring as worsening affordability prices more buyers out of the market.
With mortgage applications down 6% from a year ago, sellers may need to be more realistic about how much they can ask for their property. An increasing number of listings are experiencing price reductions, climbing at the fastest pace since at least 2015, according to a new Redfin survey. Still, only 3.2% of homes on the market are seeing price drops.
“There really is a limit to homebuyer demand, even though the market over the past few years has made it seem endless,” says Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. “The sharp increase in mortgage rates is pushing more home buyers out of the market, but it also appears to be discouraging some homeowners from selling. With demand and supply both slipping, the market isn’t likely to flip from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market any time soon.”
For first-time home buyers, the cost of buying the same home this year compared to just one year ago has jumped by 40%—a combined impact of higher home prices and mortgage rates.
“There will be an inevitable slowdown in home sales,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, recently said in a statement. “Keep an eye on days-on-market and a decrease in multiple offers. Home sellers should not expect big, easy profit gains.”
Even with some early signs of cooling, the housing market remains elevated. Homes are selling at some of the fastest speeds ever, and price escalations on asking prices are still common, Redfin reports.
Forty-five percent of homes that went under contract found a buyer within a week. Also, the average home sold for 2.4% above its asking price, Redfin notes.
We are inviting all of our clients and community members to our 1st Shred-It event.
Saturday May 21, 2022
10am to 1pm
HomeSmart Realty office 10076 Alta Sierra Dr Grass Valley, CA 95949
Any questions please reach out to Alisa Johnson, 530-559-4871.
First Shred-It event put on by Johnson’s SIERRA Lifestyle Team
One of my favorite parts about working in real estate is that it allows our team to provide support to our community through community service. I host several yearly events/drives to support local schools, children in need, victims of recent natural disasters, and much more.
You are invited to my first Shred-It event on May 21, 2022. This event is a time for you to gather up all that paperwork with private or sensitive information and have it shredded (remove any staples, paperclips, etc.). I will have the Shred-It truck available from 10am to 1pm on May 21st at my office, HomeSmart Realty 10076 Alta Sierra Dr Grass Valley, CA 95949. The location is less than 1 block off Hwy 49 below the gas station.
If you are a client of Johnson’s SIERRA Lifestyle team this event is complimentary for you.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to buy, sell or refer to our team, we are asking for 5.00 for your first box/bag (any size) or $10.00 for up to 10 boxes/bags.
All proceeds from this event will go to support residents during/after natural disasters.
So, gather up all that paperwork and come on down on the 21st to get it all shredded.