Real Estate News from Angie Baltic and Teri Mitchell May 2018   

 
When you put your home on the market, it's important to take care of certain details to ensure buyers don't head out the door in disgust. This month's article offers six buyer turnoffs that you need to be aware of.

There are also some great ideas on how to save money at the pump as well as a few tips on how to seasonally transform your home with a fresh spring theme.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!

Blessings,
Angie & Teri

In this issue...
National Pending Home Sales Update 
National pending home sales move up 0.4 percent.


Pending home sales inched higher for the second consecutive month in March, but unrelenting inventory constraints once again kept overall activity below year ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, inched up 0.4 percent to 107.6 in March from a downwardly revised 107.2 in February. Even with last month's increase in activity, the index declined on an annualized basis (3.0 percent) for the third straight month.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says contract activity is moving sideways and not breaking higher despite the strong job-creating economy. "Healthy economic conditions are creating considerable demand for purchasing a home, but not all buyers are able to sign contracts because of the lack of choices in inventory," he said.

"Steady price growth and the swift pace listings are coming off the market are proof that more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. What continues to hold back sales is the fact that prospective buyers are increasingly having difficulty finding an affordable home to buy." Added Yun, "As anticipated, the multiple winter storms and unseasonably cold weather contributed to the decrease in contract signings in the Northeast."

Looking ahead to the upcoming peak months for home sales, Yun believes that affordability will be a significant topic of discussion and driving factor of if overall activity can break out above year ago levels. Price appreciation in most markets continues to outpace incomes, and the recent uptick in mortgage rates to over a four-year high only adds to the budget constraints aspiring buyers are feeling this spring.

"Much of the country is enjoying a thriving job market, but buying a home is becoming more expensive," said Yun. "That is why it is an absolute necessity for there to be a large increase in new and existing homes available for sale in coming months to moderate home price growth. Otherwise, sales will remain stuck in this holding pattern and a growing share of would-be buyers — especially first-time buyers — will be left on the sidelines."

Yun forecasts for existing-home sales in 2018 to be around 5.61 million — up from 5.51 million in 2017. The national median existing-home price is expected to increase around 4.4 percent. In 2017, existing sales increased 1.1 percent and prices rose 5.8 percent.

The PHSI in the Northeast fell 5.6 percent to 90.6 in March, and is now 8.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 2.4 percent to 101.3 in March, but is 6.0 percent lower than March 2017. Pending home sales in the South climbed 2.5 percent to an index of 128.6 in March, and are 0.3 percent higher than last March.

The index in the West declined 1.1 percent in March to 94.7, and is 2.2 percent below a year ago. The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Beware of Buyer Turn-offs 
Address these common turn-offs so buyers don’t run for the door!

When you put your home on the market, it must appeal to a large cross-section of buyers in order to generate a frenzy of activity.

Buying a home is such an emotional decision that even a seemingly small issue can create a bad impression. Here are six of the top turn-offs you need to know:

  1. Get Out - Make yourself scarce during showings as nothing turns buyers off more than a stalking seller.

  2. Fido & Fluffy - Pets and their associated smells will put many buyers off so relocate them before showings and hide their bed, bones, toys, etc.

  3. Killer Clutter - Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home but most can’t look past other people's clutter, even if it’s tucked away in closets and cupboards.

  4. Problems Down Below - If your basement’s unfinished, you’ll want to show that it has potential so investigate any signs of moisture and paint the floor white to make it feel more spacious.

  5. Grubby Grout - It's imperative that your entire home remains thoroughly cleaned right down to the inside of your microwave. Neglected personal spaces like bathrooms will have them running for the door!

  6. Forgo the Fish Fry - It's best not to cook fish, bacon or other strong smelling foods while your home's on the market. Always air out your home by opening the windows instead of using artificial scents as some people are allergic.

When you sell your home, your goal is to get the highest price in the shortest amount of time. Sometimes the best way to do that is by focusing on the small stuff. It's definitely worth the effort and the good news is that depersonalizing, decluttering and thoroughly cleaning your home doesn't cost a fortune.

Tips On How to Guzzle Less Gas 
Modifying your driving habits can save you loads at the pump!

Maximizing your vehicle's fuel efficiency will not only save you money but you'll also be doing your bit for the environment! Here are a few tips that'll pay off at the pump:

  1. Turn it Off - Don't idle as it unnecessarily wastes fuel.

  2. Take it In - Regular tune-ups will increase your car's efficiency.

  3. Check & Inflate - Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure.

  4. Slow Down - Speeding increases fuel consumption by as much as 50%!

  5. Don't Brake Down - Don't constantly jam on your brakes and then rapidly accelerate.

  6. There's an App for That! - Download an app that tracks the cheapest local gas prices.

  7. Lighten Up - Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle as extra weight reduces fuel efficiency.

The best way to save on gas is to keep your car in the driveway, so next time you climb behind the wheel, ask yourself if you can walk there instead. Just a few small changes to your driving habits such as combining errands or carpooling to work will save you a small fortune over time.

Spring Your Home Decor into Action 
Transform and refresh your home now that spring is here!

Spring is a time of renewal so why not bring the season's vitality into your home by making some simple decorating changes. Here are a few ideas that'll help you create a fresh spring feel:

  • Swap out heavy curtains for blinds or sheers.

  • Bring nature inside with a few plants or some fresh cut flowers.

  • Switch your cushion covers to spring shades such as yellows and purples.

Celebrate spring's arrival by bringing a breath of fresh air into your home. Just a few simple changes and a good spring clean can reflect the season’s sunny, fresh energy!



PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing out on your dream home.


Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.