Tag Archives: Jeff Duneske
In this current real estate market, specifically in Northville, Novi and South Lyon, Michigan, I have discussions with some home owners considering selling by themselves and with no professional representation. Here are ten important reasons how I let home owners know how I can save them time, money, liability and downright hassle.
1. Liability is all on the seller
Everyone makes mistakes. A seller who doesn’t have the representation of a licensed agent pays for those mistakes. Attorneys can close a real estate transaction, but they don’t carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
For an example, if homeowner Sandy lists “hardwood floors” as a feature and the buyer discovers it’s just a wood veneer, chances are Sandy is going to pay for that mistake.
An agent would have either caught the mistake or covered it with E&O insurance. Let’s face it: this is a litigious society, so what homeowner wants to be a target for lawsuits?
This is a litigious society, so what homeowner wants to be a target for lawsuits?
2. Paperwork is daunting
The 2016 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that understanding paperwork was one of the most difficult tasks for FSBO’s.
Depending on the state, there are a variety of legal forms that are needed, including but not limited to a sales contract, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and lead paint records.
Sure, ready-made contracts can be downloaded easily enough. But does an untrained seller understand what all that means? Would the seller know how to customize that one-size-fits-all contract?
Understanding paperwork is one of themes daunting tasks when selling by owner.
3. Do you really know who your inviting into your home
Unfortunately we do live in a world that there are criminals who prey on FSBO’s. Do you really know who your letting into your home? I have heard of too many situations of items being stolen or broken during a showing of a FSBO’s home. I have even heard of home owners being held at gunpoint and robbed.
For every showing we schedule for our clients, we verify that the buyers agent is licensed with the State of Michigan and in good standing with our local real estate board. Can you put a price on having piece of mind knowing your home is being shown by a professional.
4. FSBO’s sell for less
In 2016, FSBO’s lost about 16 percent of the sales price with a median selling price of $210,000 (agent-assisted homes sold for $249,000).
Homeowners selling by themselves simply don’t have the time to devote to the process, don’t know the market value, don’t understand market reports and don’t properly market the property.
If the FSBO seller sold to someone he or she knew, the median dropped to $151,900 (because cousin Sue is doing them a favor and expects a deal).
5. FSBO’s spend more time on the market
Unless the seller knows someone who wants to buy the home, FSBO’s take longer to sell than homes listed with an agent. For the same reasons, they can’t get the right selling price.
No one is “behind the curtain” running the marketing show. On average, 18 percent of FSBO’s were unable to sell within their chosen time frame last year.
6. FSBO’s lack representation
There’s no one looking out for the homeowners who sell on their own. They have no one to call if they have a problem or a question. A homeowner with no representation could be out thousands of dollars unnecessarily if not prepared for the many contingencies involved in a transaction.
7. inspections are problematic
Sellers who don’t know the rules can get stuck with unnecessary and costly repairs. Some inspectors will state items need to be repaired or replaced because the code had changed. The truth is if the home was up to code when the house was built, the seller may not be responsible for these changes.
8. Marketing is limited
FSBO’s have limited resources to market their home. The 2016 NAR Profile of Home Sellers showed 42 percent rely on a yard sign, 32 percent rely on friends and family, and about 15 percent use social media.
Relying on the neighbors and Uncle Bob’s second cousin has its limitations. Even paying for the MLS listing won’t be enough because there’s no incentive for an agent to bring a buyer to a FSBO.
9. Hidden costs add up
The mindset for most FSBO’s is saving money. Chances are, these sellers are being nickeled and dimed into a pretty big chunk of change.
They’re paying for a lot of extras: signage, flyers, photography, MLS listing, attorney, home warranty (optional but hard to sell without one), home inspection, a wood destroying pest inspection, credit report for buyers (if applicable), contracts and the list goes on.
10. Time costs the seller money
The biggest cost to a homeowner is their time. You might hear the argument that it doesn’t take an agent that much time to sell a house. And honestly, given the technology at our disposal, that’s true — to an extent.
But it will take a homeowner a whole lot longer. They don’t have the expertise or the access to the resources agents have. What is their own time worth to them? How much time will the seller spend researching the market and contracts? Is the seller going to leave work to unlock the house each time there’s a showing?
FSBO’s don’t have the expertise or the access to the resources agents have. When you add up everything, and way out the pros and cons, I would hope you agree it is worth hiring a professional.
The spring and summer months have always been known as a very popular time for homebuyers to start the search for their dream home. This year is no different!
We all learned in school that when selling anything, you will get the most money if the demand for that item is high and the inventory of that item is low. It is the well-known Theory of Supply & Demand.
If you are thinking of selling your home, here are two graphs that strongly suggest that the time is now. Here is why…
According to research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer activity this year has far outpaced the same months in 2014. Purchasers who are ready, willing and able to buy are in the market at great numbers.
According to NAR, “Foot Traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”
The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from NAR revealed that the current supply of housing inventory is at a 5.1 month supply, which remains below the 6-months necessary for a normal market.
Buyer demand is far outpacing the supply of homes available for sale.
Listing your house for sale when demand is high and supply is low will guarantee the offers made will truly reflect the true value of your property.
At the end of June, in every region of the country, hundreds of homeowners have a tough decision to make. The ‘listing for sale agreement’ on their house is about to expire and they now must decide to either take their house off the market (OTM), For Sale by Owner (FSBO) or list it again with the same agent or a different agent.
Let’s assume you or someone you know is in this situation and take a closer look at each possibility:
Taking Your Home off the Market
In all probability, after putting your house on the market and seeing it not sell, you’re going to be upset. You may be thinking that no one in the marketplace thought the house was worthy of the sales price.
Because you are upset, you may start to rationalize that selling wasn’t that important after all and say,
“Well, we didn’t really want to sell the house anyway. This idea of making a move right now probably doesn’t make sense.”
Don’t rationalize your dreams away. Instead, consider the reasons you decided to sell in the first place. Ask your family this simple question:
“What made us originally put our home up for sale?”
If that reason made sense a few months ago when you originally listed the house, chances are it still makes sense now. Don’t give up on what your family hoped to accomplish or on goals your family hoped to attain.
Just because the house didn’t sell during the last listing contract doesn’t mean the house will never sell or that it shouldn’t be sold.
Re-Listing with your Existing Agent
For whatever reason, your house did not sell. Perhaps you now realize how difficult selling a house may be or that the listing price was too high, or perhaps you’re now acknowledging that you didn’t exactly listen to your agent’s advice.
If that is the case, you may want to give your existing agent a second chance. That’s a perfectly okay thing to do.
However, if your agent didn’t perform to the standard they promised when they listed your home you may want to either FSBO or try a different agent.
For Sale by Owner
You may now believe that listing your house with an agent is useless because your original agent didn’t accomplish the goal of selling the house. Trying to sell the house on your own this time may be alluring. You may think you will be in control and save on the commission.
But, is that true? Will you be able to negotiate each of the elements that make up a real estate transaction? Are you capable of putting together a comprehensive marketing plan? Do people who FSBO actually ‘net’ more money?
If you are thinking about FSBOing, take the time to first read: 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale by Owner.
List with a New Agent
After failing to sell your home, you may no longer trust your agent or what they say. However, don’t paint all real estate professionals with that same brush. Have you ever gotten a bad haircut before? Of course! Did you stop getting your hair cut or did you simply change hair stylists?
There is good and bad in every profession—good and bad hair stylists, agents, teachers, lawyers, doctors, police officers, etc. And just because there are good and bad in every line of work doesn’t mean you don’t call on others for the products and services you need. You still get your hair cut, see a doctor, talk to a lawyer, send your kids to school, etc.
You initially believed that using an agent made sense. It probably still does. Contact a local real estate professional and discuss the possibilities.
There has been recent press regarding whether or not it makes better financial sense to rent rather than buy in today’s housing market. As an example, the recently released June Summary of the BH&J Buy vs. Rent Index reported:
“…as of the end of the first quarter of 2015, the housing market in the U.S. and all cities in the index are trending either closer to renting being the superior option or strictly favoring renting over purchasing a home.”
The summary goes on to explain that:
“The index conducts a “horse race” comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” (emphasis added)
Though the math may be correct, we are not as sure of the conclusion. Even if you check the methodology offered by the BH&J report itself, you will find that they realize:
“…any extra savings from renting might be spent on non-wealth enhancing goods resulting in any benefits from renting versus owning disappearing in a cloud of consumption spending rather than savings.”
The Concept of ‘Forced Savings’ and Wealth Accumulation
Many believe the wealth accumulation of homeowners is tied into the concept of “forced savings”. The New York Times late last year published an editorial entitled, “Homeownership and Wealth Creation, which discussed this concept. The article explained:
“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”
“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”
Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research done by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which agrees that “forced savings” is a major advantage of homeownership. In a paper, The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America, they concluded:
“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”
The Truth is in the Historical Data
Edwards Deming once said: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”
Let’s look at the data on this subject. The Federal Reserve has conducted a study titled: Survey of Consumer Finances. The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($5,400).
The New York Times editorial articulated it best:
“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth…As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.”
If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!
Summer is here! The temperature isn’t the only thing heating up right now, so too is the housing market! Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.
1. Prices Will Continue to Rise
The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 11.8% (most pessimistic) and 26.7% (most optimistic).
The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.
2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have started to inch up, most experts predict that they will begin to rise even more over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up approximately three quarters of a percentage point over the next 12 months.
An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.
3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage
As a recent paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:
“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”
4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.
But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?
Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.
If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.