Do Home Improvements Sell a House?

If you are a South Johnson County property owner who is seriously considering whether to sell your house, you know there are many practical details that bear careful consideration. One of the first is the decision regarding whether or not -- and if so, to what extent - refurbishing or upgrading the property will be a sound financial move.
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Attitudes in Real Estate

I've noticed an amazing trend in the Real Estate Industry. While talking to other agents out there I am finding that the ones who think the market is bad aren't doing very good and the ones that think the market is good are doing great.

Some of you may be quick to say something like; well if I was doing a lot business I'd think the market was good too. However you've got it backwards. Those of us with a positive attitude are able to succeed. The power of positive thinking isn't just some catchphrase heard at motivational seminars; it's really a deciding factor on your success in any given industry.

I can tell you people are selling homes (I should bring four new homes to market in the next three weeks) and there are buyers out in the market right now like crazy. I've seen my traffic skyrocket in the last week. Unfortunately I sold most of my inventory last month and I'm only seeing the traffic increase on my three current listings.

I suggest that if you are thinking of listing your home you should probably interview several agents and if you find some with a positive attitude and proof of sales then you're going to have success getting your home sold. If the only agents you interview have a long face and talk about how bad the market is right now, keep searching. Those agents most likely aren't going to do a great job marketing your home because they are predisposed to think there is no point in their efforts.

Every time I hear an agent griping about the market I get a smile on my face. That's because I know I have one less agent to compete with :) The buyers are thinking things are turning for the better, sellers seem to notice the fact we are getting better, and I would like to know when the lion share of agents will realize the market is actually better than it's been in two years!!

Let me know your thoughts... are you seeing positive things in our Real Estate market?

Sellers Market?

It appears that at least for certain price ranges and neighborhoods in Kansas City there are the signs of a sellers market emerging. Homes going under contract for full or above full price in less than a week is becoming more frequent in the last couple of weeks. This could be because of the tax credit expiring April 30th, or possibly pent up buyer demand, or a combination of both. The real question is how long will it last?

I'm no recognized industry expert by any means, but I do work successfully in this industry. I feel that while the expiring tax credit plays a role I really feel that pent up buyer demand is a bigger issue at play. Home sales have been down for almost 18 months. The home buyers out there who have been putting decisions off for a while are finally getting back in the market.

The biggest factor that drives home prices is demand. If multiple buyers are interested in a property and multiple offers come in a bidding war ensues. This bidding war will inevitably push the price over asking price because no one knows what others are bidding. This is encouraging to see and I've seen it first hand working with buyers and sellers.

In my opinion the buyer demand will keep the market strong for at least through the summer. There have been experts advising buyers to wait until after the tax credit when prices tumble. Of course this philosophy will only work if no one listens to the advice. If droves of buyers are waiting patiently for May 1st to come around then the prices will remain high and the market will remain strong.

I started in this business in April of 2008. I've never seen a crazy market where homes sell before the agent even gets them posted on MLS. I can tell you however, that I've had much success getting homes sold quickly. This market we find ourselves in currently is great, and I think it is pretty close to a normal market. A normal market is better considered a flat market. It is important to note that flat markets don't last long in any industry. Normal economic rules will dictate that we will be swinging to a sellers market slowly but surely.

When you are choosing an agent to represent you buying or selling, make sure they've had success in this current market. You want to be sure they are there to fight for your best price when you're selling, and ensure your offer gets considered when you're buying. If you have someone representing you that thinks the market is still a buyers market and suggest you submit offers 10 or 20% below market value you will be loosing many opportunities to buy.

I hope this was helpful, anyone thinking of buying or selling a home needs to know this a great time. Low prices and low rates won't last forever.

Kansas City Condo's

There are many condo's available in the Kansas City Metro, most are downtown & in the Plaza. The Kansas City condo market is tough, in total there are 845 condo's available in Jackson County. In the last three months 60 have sold. For the last six months 175 have sold. This shows a declining demand, however the winter weather could have also played a role in skewing those numbers.

Looking at the numbers we have about 30 months worth of inventory in the condo market here in Kansas City. The worst part about the whole condo situation is that many of the available condo's (218) are new, or never lived in. The average days on the market for those 218 is 556. So to say the least the condo market is not thriving.

The worst part of the country for FHA loan default is in Florida, due mostly to the condo market. There is a great article here from CNN Money that goes into great detail about how the market came to crash in Florida. The point to this post is to inform anyone thinking of buying a condo that the market is volatile all over the country and here in Kansas City there isn't much different.

Need a Contractor?

I've run across many homes in my Real Estate career that need little fixes, or major fixes to ensure they sell quickly and for top dollar. The biggest problem when this need arises is finding a contractor. There are literally hundreds of contractors or companies you can call in Kansas City. Meeting with contractors all day to get quotes on your needed repairs can be a pain.

I found an excellent new site that helps connect homeowners and contractors without all the downfalls that some of the services bring with them. The site is Fixr.com and allows you to post the needed job and get quotes from several contractors (depending on the service you need). There are almost 200 contractors in Kansas City registered on the site and posting your needed service is free.

Most Real Estate agents have contacts to reliable contractors, but most homeowners want several opinions and price quotes. This service will help tremendously in those circumstances and also can be a good resource for those who are selling their home For Sale By Owner.

I haven't used this site personally yet, but I've seen great reviews and talked to a couple of agents who have great luck getting several bids for their clients, so I thought I'd pass it along. If anyone has any personal experience I would love to hear from you.

Fewer Sellers Dropping their price

The housing market is pretty hot right now. I have a client that came in from out of town to look at homes. They picked 10 homes to see two weeks ago. Today, the day we were supposed to look at homes, all 10 are under contract.

I've put together four deals this week and I can attest that homes are jumping off the market much quicker than usual. I think the reasons are two fold. One, sellers have finally realized that their homes aren't worth as much as they think and two, the pent up buyer demand seems to be present in fears they will miss out on the tax credit.

This short article shows that Trulia.com is noticing fewer price reductions across the country. Things are heating up and while I don't expect home prices to rise, I think the back log of inventory will be cleared and we should find our selves in a very stable market.

This is great news for home sellers and I'm not sure if the industry experts who expect a drop in prices after the tax credit ends are delaying some buyers from acting now and in turn ensuring the market will stay balanced come May 1st. We will all see together...