3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected life across the globe. Strict social distancing measures, school closures, and, in many locales, a ban on all non-essential businesses have turned people’s lives upside down and thrust us into a surreal existence where we’re spending nearly all of our time at home.

From a real estate perspective, it would be disingenuous to say that nothing has changed. Great agents are honest at all times, even (especially) when it’s difficult.

That said, there’s no indication that we’re in (or headed toward) a housing crisis like the once-in-a-century 2008 collapse. And, by all accounts, the fundamentals of the housing market remain in place, despite the safety precautions enforced by health and government officials.

The following list may help you better understand what’s changed and what hasn’t in the world of real estate:

What’s changed:

1. Access to showings

In many places, the process of showing a home has changed. Some states have put limits on the number of people allowed to gather in one place, which has impacted open houses. Additionally, sellers, buyers, and agents are taking more precautions to keep themselves safe, with more cleaning, access to protective gear, and enforced distancing measures becoming the norm. Digital-only showings are also growing in popularity, although they’re still relatively new. Despite all this, if there’s a home you’re interested in seeing, it’s still possible to make it happen.

2. The closing process

Much of the work that needs to be done between going under contract to sell or buy a house and the closing can be done remotely and electronically. But there are many things that need to be done by many people throughout the process. From the mortgage, to the title work, to inspections and appraisals, getting to the closing table depends upon a lot of people doing their job. Social distancing and working entirely remotely has a certain learning curve while everyone involved figures out how to get their end of things done. So, the process may take at least a little longer, and change as everyone figures out the best way to handle things. The upshot to this is that it could create better, more efficient ways of doing things moving forward.

3. Some mortgage products

Perhaps the most impactful changes in the real estate industry are happening in the mortgage market. The conditions on certain products are being tightened, and some lenders are temporarily exiting the market altogether. Jumbo loans (a type of financing where the loan amount is higher than the conforming loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency) seem to be feeling the most impact, while conventional loans, which are considered less risky, have been less affected. If you have questions about getting pre-approved, you should contact a mortgage professional who can help you better understand your options.

What hasn’t changed:

1. People’s dreams

Even when the whole world comes to a stop, our hearts and minds do not. We all have dreams, whether it’s owning a fabulous condo in the city, a sprawling victorian with a rolling lawn, or a starter home that we can finally call our own. A pandemic doesn’t change that, even though it can help put things in perspective and remind us of what matters most. But don’t let the strange times we’re in stop you from daydreaming and working toward those dreams. A pandemic is temporary; our hopes are not.

2. Housing demand

There’s been a well-documented housing shortage for years, and there’s no indication that the fundamentals have yet changed. That said, every real estate market is unique, and what holds true on a macro-level may not hold true in your local area. Regardless of the specific market and overall demand in your area, people always need homes, despite a pandemic. So, if you want to sell, there’s likely a buyer for your home. And if you want to buy, there’s likely a seller who’d love to sell.

3. Our desire to help

Most agents eat, breathe, and sleep real estate, and aside from looking out for our loved ones and wishing for a healthy and safe resolution to this mess, that hasn’t changed. We want to help you with your real estate needs because we’re passionate about what we do, and it’s likely that our newfound home-time has coincided with a lot more real estate research than it has with cleaning or learning how to play the guitar.

Realtor-Tom Gilliam is your expert to buy or sell your home in Oakland County, Michigan, the Oakland County community’s number one Realtor. In Oakland County, Michigan, you need to find a Realtor who knows the community.

Tom Gilliam currently lives in the Oakland County Area and is very familiar with the market, neighborhoods, schools and community issues. His office is located into the heart of Farmington Hills, with five additional offices throughout the south east metropolitan area to serve his clients real estate needs

changes in housing since pandemic

3 Things That Have Changed in Real Estate Since the Pandemic (and 3 Things That Haven’t)

A For Sale By Owner-6 Reasons To Use Caution

A For Sale By Owner-6 Reasons To Use Caution

When you’re looking to buy a home, you may wonder, “Does it matter if the property is listed with a real estate agent or a for sale by owner who are trying to sell it themselves?” Um, yes. It matters. A lot. The truth is: When it comes to signing contracts, handing over escrow money, and digging into the home’s history, going it alone can end up costing homebuyers a bundle.

The following are 6 reasons to avoid a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) home.

1. Are you sure it’s legit what they are selling?

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Unfortunately, scams abound and the real estate industry isn’t immune, specially if buying a for sale by owner. If you don’t have an agent looking out for your best interests, it’s easy to be duped. For example, would you know what a proper sales contract looks like if real estate is not your field of expertise? Depending on the state in which your reside, there are a number of legal forms that must be completed. In addition to a contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements, and lead paint records are just a few documents that must be signed. Because a for sale by owner is not bound by a code of ethics as Realtors® are, there’s no way to be certain they won’t try to take an unsuspecting buyer for all he or she is worth. No would-be buyer should suffer sleepless nights wondering where that escrow money ended up.

2. Full disclosure When Selling

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Obviously, when you’re making a significant investment you want access to as much information as possible. Real estate agents have the ability to get you the answers you need. Whether it’s about repairs made to the home or liens against the property, the more you can find out, the better off you’ll be when it comes to negotiating. Plus, no one likes an unpleasant surprise when it come to a for sale by owner. Remember: Knowledge is power. On your own, would you know what to ask a seller? And, more to the point, would you know if a seller is hiding key information? It’s a risk better off not taking.

3. Are you a skilled negotiator?

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In the course of doing business, you’ll probably have to go back and forth quite a bit — and not just about the price of a for sale by owners home. What if repairs need to be made? Are you ready to haggle over who takes care of a leak or a structural issue? What if you can’t agree on a closing date? When you have an agent, he or she will handle all that for you.

4. Is money an issue?

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The main reason sellers choose to sell their homes as a for sale by owner is to save money by not having to pay an agent’s commission. So what happens if your seller is strapped for cash but problems pop up during a home inspection and they can’t afford to fix them? This, in turn, raises a red flag as you start to wonder if they took the cheap way out when making important home repairs.

5. Are you ready to deal with a for sale by owner all the time?

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When it comes to arranging the home inspection or any other viewings of the house, your agent can serve as your go-between so you don’t have to contact the homeowner repeatedly. Unless you’re completely comfortable making all those appointments yourself, you should probably have someone representing your best interests.

6. What’s the timeframe for selling?

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When a seller hires an agent, you know they’re serious about making a deal. With a for sale by owner, are you sure the sellers are really going to get moving? Some may have put the home on the market just to see what offers it could attract. If you’re an interested buyer, you need to know that the seller is just as eager to make a move; otherwise you’re wasting your time and getting your hopes up for nothing.

Of course, there are honest for sale by owners out there, but when it comes to making one of the largest investments of your life, you don’t want to take any chances. Having a real estate agent working on your behalf at every stage of the transaction can offer peace of mind and end up saving you money and countless headaches.

Staging on a Budget – Buyers Love a Clean and Well-Scrubbed House

Staging on a Budget – Buyers Love a Clean and Well-Scrubbed House

Want to hear those “oohs” and “aahs” when a potential buyer comes for a tour of your house? The answer to this is staging. Staging does guarantee that your house will see much faster and above the market value. However, it is not all that matters. A few renovations and repairs go a long way in the home inspection report, which can be your saving grace even if its just Staging on a Budget

What staging does show the buyer is spotless rooms, clean walls and carpet, well organized kitchen and a set table for the negotiations. Moreover, the online listing shows spectacular photos, which make your home for sale in Novi, Michigan all the more appealing.

Staging Facts

77% of buyer agents say that staging allows their clients to visualize themselves living in the house. This is an important factor that convinces them whether the house is right for them or not. 39% of seller agents say that when a house is staged, it spends less time on the market. This increases their market value from 6% to 8%.

If you are planning on hiring a staging service for your house, then you need to consider the following points:

Declutter for Best Results

Nobody likes a messy house, especially buyers. Decluttering is all about organizing all your personal items in boxes and shifting them to your new house, the storage unit or the basement until the deal falls through. Here are a few tips that will make the house look cleaner:

  • Shampoo the carpet
  • Change the light bulbs
  • Hang new curtains
  • Oil the door hinges
  • Clean the washroom
  • Scrub the kitchen cabinets

Staging on a Budget

The best time to stage your home for sale in Novi, Michigan is when most of your personal belongings are out of the house but the place is still furnished. According to HomeAdvisor .  Staging on a budget will cost you anywhere from $302 to $1,358. Fixr reports that staging consultations can cost around $150 but if you are on a tight budget, you can watch DIY videos on YouTube and handle this project on your own.

Focus on the Main Rooms

The bedroom, kitchen and dining room are the three main rooms that usually wow the buyer. To set the stage: give them a grand entrance, lead them to the bedroom and then to the kitchen. Finally, meet in the dining room and sit down for a chat. Make sure the table is set with place mats and flower vase. Small touches go a long way in showing the buyer how interested you are in selling the house.

Staging the Yard

  • Plant more flowers in the yard
  • Repaint the fence
  • Wash the windows
  • Power-wash the walkway and the siding
  • Retouch the house number with paint, so that it is easily visible
  • Turn on the sprinklers 30 minutes before the buyer arrives
  • Mow the grass
  • Change porch lights
  • Repaint the front door

From basic upgrades to big renovations, staging is all about impressing the buyer. The house should be spotless and must have the picture-perfect look, so that the buyer is convinced by just looking at the exterior. To find the perfect real estate agent who knows how to market your home for sale in Novi, Michigan to the best, visit Homes2MoveYou.

“Must” and “Lust” – Don’t Overspend When Buying a Home for Sale in Farmington Hills

“Must” and “Lust” – Don’t Overspend When Buying a Home for Sale in Farmington Hills

We are sure that you are familiar with the battle of needs vs. wants… what we like to call must vs. lust. It’s a battle where you spend a lot of time fantasizing about the changes you can make in the home for sale in Farmington Hills, Michigan you just bought and then act on them without giving your needs a second thought. It’s time you stopped making frivolous purchases for your house.

However, in order to satisfy your inner shopper and give you a way to let all that new-house excitement out, we have come up with a few tips to keep you in line.

Most first-time home buyers find themselves in a situation where they are torn between the responsibility of taking care of a house repair or buying something that they don’t actually need. Here’s how the inner conversation usually goes:

“This 50″ LCD screen on sale is once in a lifetime deal. Maybe, if I schedule the plumbing repair for the next month, I can include this LCD in my budget.”

Never do this! Plumbing and structural repairs are the ones that should be fixed immediately or you might find yourself paying thousands of dollars for something that could have been easily taken care of by tightening a bolt.

So, follow the below tips to put your needs first when shopping for the house:

Make a List with All Your wants in a Home for sale in Farmington Hills

Now that you have paid the real estate agent his commission for the home for sale in Farmington Hill, Michigan he bought you, you will find yourself short of funds. So, before you set foot out for shopping, create a wish list. Once the list is made, narrow down ten repairs and items that are necessary.

The wants that you have prioritized automatically become your needs in a Home for sale in Farmington Hills, which bring us to our next point:

Highlight Those Needs that are Important

Take the “top 10” list and now prioritize the items on it according to what requires immediate attention. Separate the DIY jobs from repairs that require a professional’s hand.

For example: you can paint walls on your own but you cannot replace the broken shingles on the roof.

Obviously, the latter repair requires attention now, as it can cause damage to the house during a heavy downfall. The former can be done anytime, when you are settled in.

Keep the List on You When Shopping

It’s possible you might get sidetracked by something you see on sale in the store. The list will work as a reminder that you are on a budget. This way, you will think twice before making a frivolous purchase.

So, are you ready to hire a real estate agent to find your dream house? Use these tips wisely and you will be able to fulfill your wants sooner down the line. If you want to buy a home for sale in Farmington Hill, Michigan that falls under your budget and has all the features you need, then visit Homes2MoveYou. Get in touch with a real estate agent and start seeing houses in areas of your liking.

Buyer Competition Heats Up This Spring

Buyer Competition Heats Up This Spring

From all accounts, this spring’s 2018 housing market is going to be a busy one. High buyer demand has carried over from last year and so have inventory concerns in many markets. In other words, anyone hoping to find and buy a house this spring should be prepared for buyer competition from other interested buyers. What does that mean? Well, in short, it means moving quickly and saving up some extra money to sweeten the pot, if necessary. In fact, according to a recent survey, home buyers say they are checking online listings every day and 40 percent say they’re planning to put more than 20 percent down, which is a great example of  in today’s market . Other strategies buyers say they’re employing this spring to beat the buyer competition include setting price alerts and offering above asking price.

Overall, home buyers are aware of current conditions and are preparing themselves for the possibility of having to win over a home seller with an offer that exceeds all others. As evidence of this, as buyer competition heats up, just six percent of survey respondents said they are doing nothing to prepare for competition from other buyers. More here.

Do you want to increase the chances that you get a good deal on a house when you buy one without buyer compitition!?

Of course you do. Who doesn’t?

But most people go about it all wrong. They think that you have to find a desperate seller, or some overlooked, underpriced home that’s a steal.

Sure, those are ways to get a good deal, but there are always buyers waiting in the wings wanting to scoop those up if and when they appear. But most aren’t ready and able to do anything about it.

Here are 6 tips to help you be able and ready to get those deals when you find one and beat the other buyer competition .

1. Be flexible with your closing date.

This sounds so easy and simple. And it is. Many buyers simply cannot be flexible with their closing date. They need to time the closing on the sale of their home, or the end of their lease, for instance.

People selling their home are no different. This is a super common issue. And finding a buyer who can be entirely flexible is a huge benefit to a homeowner. Such a huge benefit that it can help you negotiate a better price and terms than someone who can’t be flexible.

2. Have cash.

You’ve probably heard the term “cash is king”. And it’s true, to a degree. A homeowner isn’t necessarily going to give you a steal just because you have cash…but they might if they’re in a rush, or they’ve been burned by your previous buyer competition who was turned down for a mortgage.

The weight of cash will vary from seller to seller. And, obviously, having enough cash to buy a home outright isn’t something a lot of people have. But, if you have the cash, it can certainly help.

3. Be pre-approved for a mortgage.

This is also pretty much a basic in the world of real estate. Talk to any real estate agent and they’ll tell you this is a must-have.

However, you’d be surprised at how many buyers don’t have a solid pre-approval in hand when they find a great deal. So, have that figured out and ready, so that when a good deal shows up, you’re ready to roll.

4. Be ready to jump before your other buyer competition.

Oddly, a lot of buyers looking for a good deal feel like it makes sense to wait a bit once they find a good deal. Let the owner stew a little bit, and come begging for an offer.

That can work…

It can also cost you a great deal. All it takes is someone else coming across the deal and scooping it up before you even make an offer. In the least, it can create a bidding war between you and someone else…and then it might not be such a deal anymore.

Another thing many deal-seekers do is wait to see if a better deal comes around. Deals don’t necessarily come around every day…or week…or month. Maybe not even that many in a year.

So, don’t wait. Go after a deal when you see it.

5. Go after houses that have been on the market for a long time.

So many buyers ignore houses that have been sitting on the market for a long time. They often think something must be wrong with the house, or feel like the owner isn’t going to listen to lower offers…so why waste their time.

But, those are great opportunities.

Those sellers are most likely desperate for anyone to simply come see the house, let alone make an offer. Sure, they aren’t necessarily going to love you coming in with a low offer. But, since most buyers are ignoring the house, and it’s been on for quite some time, the chances of you having any competition are slim. So, you can take more time negotiating the best deal possible.

6. Don’t have multiple real estate agents looking for you.

So many buyers who are specifically looking for a great deal feel like it makes sense to have as many agents looking out for deals for them as possible.

This backfires. All it leads to is a bunch of agents who’re halfheartedly looking for you. Agents will figure out if you have other agents looking for you as well, and will likely not pay you the attention you need if you’re going to get the best deal.

Be loyal to one, rather than having a bunch of half-looking, half-caring agents. Be all in.

Your loyalty and commitment to the agent and the process of finding and buying a great deal will pay off.

In summary

The best way to find and get yourself a great real estate deal is to be ready to beat your other buyer comptition. So many people just go around saying, “Got any hot deals?” to every real estate agent they come across.

However, they aren’t actually able and ready when and if the time comes. Or they think that it’s about driving a hard bargain when negotiating, or playing some sort of game with the seller.

Nope. The best way to get a deal is to be a solid, ready, and able buyer, who can give sellers something beyond a higher price.

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