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Some Highlights:

When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!

Preparing to Spring Forward [INFOGRAPHIC]

by KCM

Some Highlights:

  • In the majority of the country, this weekend marks the start of Daylight Savings Time as we set our clocks forward an hour on Sunday at 2:00 AM EST.
  • Whether you plan on buying or selling this spring, these tips could help you ‘spring ahead’ of your competition!
  • Spring brings two things: more buyers & more sellers! Get prepared now to stand out in the crowd!

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:

The buyer who wants the best deal possible
The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
The termite company if there are challenges
The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
The appraiser if there is a question of value
The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling
Your bank in the case of a short sale

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together and discuss all we can do to make the process easier for you.

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory has declined year-over-year for the last 35 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 41 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

The Frisco Town Council is considering an overhaul of its short-term rental regulations after receiving estimates that only half of town properties listed on sites like Airbnb and Homeaway are in compliance with current licensing rules.

The most likely change, which could take effect by November, would scrap "umbrella licensing," which allows property management companies to list their entire short-term rental portfolios under a single license. That leaves thousands of revenue dollars on the table and prevents the town from precisely monitoring STR numbers.

A recent third-party analysis found approximately 850 short-term rental listings in Frisco, but only 237 active vacation rental licenses — 25 of which were umbrella licenses. Town staff estimate that even if umbrella licenses account for 200 units, the town has still only achieved a 50 percent compliance rate.

"We've known about this for a couple years, we haven't put the resources into it, but I think now we need to get more staff involved and start looking at it pretty closely," Frisco Mayor Gary Wilkinson said during a council work session on Tuesday.

More stringent measures like capping STRs in town are on the table, but council seemed more inclined to strengthen and better enforce the current licensing system rather than strictly curtails rentals. More public hearings will precede any rule changes, council said.

There are plenty of benefits to short-term rentals, which keep the lights on in town and generate foot traffic on Main Street. And while recent tax revenue data suggest they may be taking a bite out of the hotel business, lodging isn't necessarily a zero-sum game. Renting out a spare room can also help local homeowners stay afloat financially.

Perhaps the most important question for short-term rentals, however, is their impact on housing for locals. While STRs have taken on a sort of symbolism for residents who chafe at the lack of long-term housing options, their actual impact on the rental market is unclear.

"Do we know that, if we limit short-term rentals, those owners are going to turn them into long-term rentals or just sit vacant?" councilman Rick Ihnken asked. "I don't know if we can get that answer, but that's the big unknown for now."

If owners can make more money renting to vacationers day-to-day, the thinking goes, they're less likely to lease their units to locals year round. But testing that theory is almost impossible. Historical data are lacking or incomplete, and there are a slew of factors influencing how owners choose to make money off their properties.

"Impacts on long-term employee housing supply are incredibly difficult to quantify as historical data sets are unavailable as to how many units were once available for long-term rent, how many of those units were actually rented by local employees, and how many of those units may have converted to short-term," Frisco town staff noted in a report to council.

Academic research indicates that short-term rentals can limit local housing. One study by an affordable housing advocacy group found that STRs reduced New York City's housing stock by 10 percent. A paper published in the Harvard Law and Policy Review similarly found that STRs were exacerbating Los Angeles' housing crisis.

Frisco, of course, is no coastal metropolis, and it's unclear how STRs might impact the rental market in a town where roughly 70 percent of properties are second homes.

Breckenridge, like all of Summit County, has a high proportion of second homes as well. In 2016, the town commissioned a study that found STRs had a "significant" impact on local housing, reducing the available stock while increasing the demand for workers. The findings, however, were approximate and limited by data availability.

Nick VanDer Sluis, who lives in Denver but rents two condos in Breckenridge short-term, bought his first unit four years ago to avoid Interstate 70 traffic. Renting it out on Airbnb allowed him to use it whenever he liked while still making money off of it, something he couldn't do with full-time tenants.

Breckenridge is not considering new regulations. However, Sluis said that if he were dis-incentivized to rent short-term — perhaps through a cap system that made licenses expensive — he would probably sell his units rather than rent them long-term.

"It's a two-fold problem," he said. "There's a shortage of affordable housing but there's also a shortage of hotels and rooms to rent to drive the industry there. So that's a tough call. If you start limiting short-terms, you're helping one market and hurting another."

Paty Frost, who also lives in Denver and rents a unit in Breckenridge short-term, also enjoys the flexibility of Airbnb, which allows her to bring in some extra money when she isn't staying at her place.

"We haven't discussed doing long-term, so the economics of it wasn't even really part of the decision," she said. "We just wanted to still be able to use the place."

There are probably many owners like Sluis and Frost, whose units would be empty most of the year if they weren't being rented short-term. And while some units that might otherwise be rented to locals have certainly been converted to short-term, it's an elusive number.

One of the stated goals of the town's STR regulations is to "preserve and build Frisco's sense of community as a place where people live year round." But in a town with so many second homes, short-term renting may actually add life to blocks that might otherwise sit empty.

"Whether it's good or bad for neighborhoods, at least there are lights on in these communities and people going to our businesses," councilman Hunter Mortensen said. "I went for a walk with the dog today and walked by four driveways that had not been plowed all winter. To me, that's more of a concern than short-term rentals."

Latest NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

by KCM

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand for that item is high, and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.

REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX

Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that homebuying demand continued to outpace the supply of homes available in January.

The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger demand there is).

 

In addition to revealing high demand, the index also shows that compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 22 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in only 4 states (Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota & Utah).

Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in the report was not sales but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

Total housing inventory rose 4.1% from December to 1.52 million homes available for sale.
Unsold inventory is 9.5% lower than a year ago, marking the 32nd consecutive month with year-over-year declines.
This represents a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply. The underproduction of single-family homes over the last decade has played a predominant role in the current inventory crisis that is weighing on affordability.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.

As we mentioned before, there is currently a 3.4-month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Existing Home Sales Report shows that 43% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.

In January, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 42 days. As Yun notes, this will continue unless more listings come to the market.

“While the good news is that Realtors in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market and supply will ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

 

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

[2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | MyKCM]

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

A study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter!

by KCM

 

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter!

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this winter makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six, but has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 44 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.7% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Thinkin of Selling? You should act now!

by KCM Blog


If you thought about selling your house this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented:

“Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

Yun goes on to say:

"Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it's clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions."

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction, including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.

Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment!

by KCM Blog

According to a recent report by Trulia, “buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 33.1%.” The report may have some people thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension, but does that make sense from a financial perspective?

Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist explains:

“Owning a home is one of the most common ways households build long-term wealth, as it acts like a forced savings account. Instead of paying your landlord, you can pay yourself in the long run through paying down a mortgage on a house.”

The article listed five reasons why owning a home makes financial sense:

  1. Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up.
  2. Equity in your home can be a financial resource later.
  3. You can build wealth without paying capital gains.
  4. A mortgage can act as a forced savings account.
  5. Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters.

Bottom Line

Before you sign another lease, let’s get together and discuss all your options.

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Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
970-468-6800
800-262-8442
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker