Gay E. Rosen, ABR, CBR, CDPE, CRS, GRI, SRES
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
What a Difference a Year Makes!
What a difference a year makes! Spring, 2013 has had a ‘cautiously’ optimistic start (in different price points, and I am hoping that the trend will continue throughout the year. Why the change?
With interest rates at wonderful lows and with the Federal Reserve expected to keep those mortgage rates at record lows, it is no wonder that it is a great incentive to purchase a home. Larchmont, which always seems to have a thriving spring market (if only for a few short weeks as has been the case for the last several years), has started strong once again this year also with a paucity of new listings. We all have the buyers in certain price points, but we are awaiting for those homes to enter the market-place and/or our clients deciding on whether the time to sell is now! Some sellers are waiting to see what will be with the property re-assessment for Larchmont and Mamaroneck which will take effect in 2014.
Builders are once again building, seeking land to build upon, and the buyers are still searching for that renovated/new home. Buyers are still seeking homes that have been renovated, and taking advantage of those low interest rates, low enough to venture out into the realm of purchasing a home again. However, not everyone has money to renovate, and so those homes that have been renovated tend to sell quicker, and obviously at better prices.
Per the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, home prices ( for the twelve months ending November, 2012) rose 4.5% for the 10 city composite, and 5.5% for the 20 City Composite. New York showed a seasonal decline… which is rather interesting, for as I write this newsletter, properties are sailing off the shelves in Manhattan we are hearing. Multiple bidding is common, and we are all hoping that the New Yorkers will realize those values to be obtained in Westchester County.
Obtaining the Best Price – How?
Every seller wants to obtain THE best price for their hoe – and why shouldn’t they! Sometimes, it is harder for a home-owner to be objective about their home, and it is always advisable to ask a local Realtor of choice for advice.
It is becoming more and more important to have a home staged/decluttered if the home-owner wishes to seek the best price they can. The buyers are increasingly more internet savvy, and have probably been following the recent home sales in the area, and are quite aware of the updates in one home compared to another. Buyers always ask about central air conditioning. That is important to them, and just because they feel they must ask the questions – even if they are purchasing and can afford higher priced homes, questions always arise regarding the age of the utilities. It is always a good idea to maintain the furnace, air conditioning, roof, sprinkler system, etc. and have documentation readily at hand for any potential buyer.
I have mentioned this in past newsletters, but if the sellers has questions about the maintenance of their home, they can always have a seller’s pre-inspection which will give them a good indication of what should be repaired prior to placing the home onto the market. Not only that, but should there be a dispute with a potential buyer about the condition of something, the home-owner has their report on hand as a reference, and this alone can save them money and potentially the sale.
If the taxes are higher than warranted , then they should be grieved the year prior to placing the home onto the market if possible too.
Ask your agent for floor plans too. When purchasing a home in Manhattan, floor plans are common-place, and so it just makes good sense that when those same buyers are seeking a home in Westchester, they want the floor plans too. Videos are popular also.
Choose your agent wisely. Did you know that only 3% of Realtors have the Certified Residential Specialist designation? Did you know that it is the Highest credential awarded to residential agents, manager and brokers?
It is a great time in which to sell, and to buy. Those low rates are offsetting the increasing sales prices. While prices can’t be expected to be at those pre-2006 price levels, it is a welcoming sight to see the sales prices higher than they were.
At the end of the day, buying a home is a good investment.
Gay E. Rosen
New York State CRS Chapter Communications & Public Relations Chair Person