| East Hanover Real Estate Blog |
Monday, 26 January 2009
How to avoid the common pitfalls of online real estate searching
While the painful real estate swoon appears likely to extend well into 2009—at least—the number of Americans using the Internet to find the home of their dreams is poised to keep on climbing. According to the 2008 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 87 percent of home buyers used the Internet to search for homes in the past year. That's up steadily from 84 percent in 2007, 80 percent in 2006. But despite its mounting popularity, the Internet home-buying process can present a host of pitfalls. To help make your online real estate searching more effective, here's a look at the top five Internet home-buying blunders and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Assuming you can do it all yourself. The Internet allows users to handle for themselves many of the tasks that could once only be performed by real estate agents. The NAR profile, for example, found that the number of home buyers who first learned of their homes on the Internet has been rising in recent years—to 32 percent in 2008, up from a tiny 2 percent in 1997. Accordingly, the number of home buyers who first learned of their homes through agents has been declining—it was at 34 percent in 2008, down from 50 percent in 1997. But although the Internet can provide heaps of helpful tips and research, it would be a mistake to assume that the Web is all you need to buy a house—unless you are an experienced real estate investor. The process of purchasing real estate can be extremely complicated from a legal standpoint, and it's easy to make a mistake if you don't have an expert advising you. And when it comes to something as expensive as real estate, those mistakes could cost you thousands of dollars. "Doing all the paperwork yourself is a huge mistake," says Joshua Dorkin, CEO of BiggerPockets.com, a real estate networking and information site. "There are so many things you can miss on a contract."
2. Looking too narrowly. The sheer amount of information about the real estate market online can be overwhelming. As a result, buyers can be tempted to stick to just one or two popular real estate search engines, like Realtor.com, for their research. The problem with doing that, however, is that you're missing out on the biggest advantages that the Internet offers. First, you're closing yourself off to a smaller cross section of the homes that are out there. "A lot of the sites aren't comprehensive and don't have all of the new listings," says Pat Kitano, a cofounder of Domus Consulting Group, which works with real estate brokerage firms on technology marketing strategies. Don't assume that because a house is on one real estate website that it is on them all, says Greg Healy, vice president of operations at ForSaleByOwner.com. "It's still very fragmented," he says. Healy recommends using several websites to get a more complete picture. Second, you miss all the breaking, up-to-the-minute information on the housing market that can make you a smarter consumer. Blogs have become a popular resource for real estate agents and others to post information as it happens. "If consumers are interested in a local area, they should find local real estate bloggers who know this breaking information," says Kitano.[See Six Secrets of Internet Home Buying]
3. Ignoring the indies. One area that major real estate search engines often overlook is the market for homes sold by the owners. "A lot of people forget to think how many homes are sold without agents. The current estimate is that 20 to 25 percent of homes are" listed by owner, says Healy. Your dream house could easily fall into that 20 to 25 percent. So how do you bring homes sold independently into your online searches? "Craigslist is one of the best resources," says Dorkin.
4. Falling for fake listings. Remember, the Internet is a giant playground for scammers, and unfortunately they have penetrated the world of online home buying as well. Combine big dollars for online advertising and a lot of people searching for homes, and the result is a proliferation of fake home listings. There are a number of red flags to look out for. "If there are no photos [of the house], that's a big warning sign. That's just people trying to collect page views," says Healy. But even if there are photos, it's not guaranteed to be legitimate. Legitimate websites will put watermarks on their home photos to brand those photos as their own. If a home's photos have several different watermarks on it, then you can guess you are looking at the work of a scammer.
5. Putting too much stock in home valuation websites. Sites like Zillow.com and Cyberhomes.com have changed the way people buy homes by putting pricing information at buyers' fingertips. But they're not infallible. Don't assume to know what the value of a home should be based on what these sites tell you about the neighborhood. There are many elements of a home's value that home valuation sites cannot incorporate. "Take their values with a grain of salt," says Dorkin. He recommends using this information merely as a range. Do other research to narrow that range. For example, walkscore.com can tell you the number of amenities within walking distance of a location—those are some of the tangibles that can raise or lower the value of a home
Friday, 16 January 2009
Some cities that were hardest hit by the real downturn are experiencing mini sales booms.
Las Vegas real estate properties are down 28 percent in price, but sales of homes are up 15 percent.
Motivated buyers accounted for 64 percent of Las Vegas sales in October, says Radar Logic, a derivatives firm. That’s the highest rate in the country.
"There's a pretty active housing market, it's simply at a lower-priced inventory," says Michael Feder, chief executive of Radar Logic. "And there are now bidding wars taking place over homes in foreclosure."
Phoenix and San Diego are reporting similar experiences.
"We're clearing out the bad news," says Kiva Patten, a director at Merrill Lynch specializing in housing derivatives.
"By the end of 2010 – that's where we're calling the bottom in the forward market. You're going to get a small price appreciation in 2011," says Patten. "It's not like the turn is 10 percent per year, it'll be something like 3 percent or 4 percent."
Source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (01/12/09)
Monday, 12 January 2009
In this Real Estate environment about 20% of the homes listed for sale in most towns are actually priced to sell, and 80% are priced to sit. That is why you still see homes here and there getting full list price offers, and sometimes even bidding wars. Just last month there was a home in Madison New Jersey which sold for $60,000 above asking price with just 7 days on the market.
Buyers are out there shopping for homes. Maybe even now more than a few months ago considering mortgage rates are at 5% for a 30 year fixed. The important ingredient that most homeowners are missing is to price your house according to the market. In just the last 2 weeks 3 homes closed in East Hanover ranging from $340,000 to $520,000. I am proud to say Coccia Real Estate Group sold each one of these homes. In Florham Park 5 homes closed and one of them sold for full price at $999,000. Finally, in Hanover township 3 homes closed in the past 2 weeks and again Coccia Real Estate Group sold 2 out of three for 95% of asking price or better!
When choosing to buy or sell Real Estate in a difficult market like we are in now. Every expert will tell you to use a local Real Estate Professional. Your local Real Estate Professional is Coccia Real Estate Group, LLC!
Thursday, 08 January 2009
Occasionally we get a house that we have a real tough time getting offers on from qualified buyers. Since I am in the business for a long time I know that it is possible to sell any house. Usually there is a reason buyers are over looking the home and it is not always price. Here is a great list that mentions issues that "put off" buyers.
FOR BUYERS: You may want to see past some of these issues because the house you pass on today may be tomorrow's "Gem".
10 Tips for Generating Buyer Interest
Distraught sellers who need to generate more interest in house that has been languishing on the market for months should consider 10 steps from MSNBC financial guru Laura T. Coffey
1. Can the clutter. Pack up knickknacks, pictures, piles of paper and furniture that makes the place look crowded.
2. Let the light in. Take down any heavy drapes.
3. Scrub-a-dub-dub. Shampoo soiled carpets, Scrub the front door. Repaint scuffed walls.
4. Tidy up the lawn and trim the shrubs.
5. Get moving on the "honey do" list. Fix everything that is in need of repair.
6. Enhance the view. Erect a fence or plant shrubbery to improve or obscure the view of unattractive nearby properties or streets.
7. Try weeknights. Holding an open house on Wednesday may attract a different crowd.
8. Ask for criticism. Consult with buyers’ agents for their feedback.
9. Send the owners away. Ask them to vacate when potential buyers come around so they can talk freely.
10. Drop the asking price. And figure out the lowest amount you're willing or able to accept.
Monday, 05 January 2009
This may be a difficult real estate market, but let us assure you that homes are still selling! Coccia Real Estate Group has been successful in finding buyers for the following Homes in Madison, Florham Park, Livingston, East Hanover, Montville and Hanover Township in just the last 6 months!
5 Andrea Terr
8 Fairview Ave
8 Kingsbridge Dr
24 Cedar Street
15 Wildwood Ave
36 Bunker Ave
31 W. Wilson Ave
5 Tuscan Place
11 Samuel Street
95 Edgewood Dr
19 Yorktown Terr
6 Prospect Place
30 Hilltop Circle
30 Birchtree Dr
7 Springbrook Road
6 Afterglow Way
10 Briant Ave
38 Overlook Trail
318 Main St
24 Hunter Dr
55 Patriots Road
521 Willis Road
103 Woodland Ave
364 Ridgedale Ave
We would ask you to consider giving us the opportunity of explaining what we do differently to successfully market homes. We have been able to guide many sellers just like you through this competitive market, resulting in their house selling quickly and for the most money possible.