Long Beach Island and Ocean County Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 15, 2018

Selling Your Home? Top 10 Pro Tips to Sell Fast and for Top Dollar!

Your home is likely your largest investment, and selling it can be an emotional experience.


When you decide to sell, it’s important to select an experienced real estate agent in your area. Realtors® like Richard Melton are industry professionals and they will help you prepare to sell your home, identify any improvements, set expectations, develop an amazing marketing plan and ultimately help you earn top dollar. Not only will they get your house listed in the MLS system, they will also guide you in pricing your home and work their network of contacts to help sell your house.



Should I sell my house?

According to recent research from a Zillow Real Estate Market Report, home values across the U.S. have risen 7.6 percent since February 2017; so many homeowners are enjoying increased equity.  Nationwide, according to a new ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of home sales from 2011 to 2017, May is the primary sales month. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should rearrange your schedule. There are pros and cons of selling in every season, and every market is different. If you have your choice of any season and market conditions do fluctuate regularly, however, you may want to plan for a late winter listing launch for an estimated springtime sale.
 

Do you have equity in your home?

Equity allows you to successfully pay off your existing mortgage and apply what’s left over toward a new down payment and moving expenses. However, if you bought at a high price and the market where you live has gone down, you could have negative equity, meaning your house is worth less than you owe. Check your home’s estimated market value using today’s top online home valuation tools for instant home value estimates. If you have enough equity, you may be in a good place to sell.


Clarifying your goals to sell

Planting a “for sale” sign in front of a house might seem like the beginning of the home sale process. The truth is, it’s only one step of a journey that typically starts months earlier. Your real estate agent can suggest ways to make the process go smoothly, but all homeowners can take some basic steps even without professional help.



 
Your Top 10 Pro Tips to Sell Fast and for Top Dollar:

1] Find the best agent! Great agents can sell your home for $1000's over market value or help you buy your dream home for $1000's under market value. There is no shortage of Realtors®, yet top real estate agents from EXP Realty have the advantage of innovative real estate technology for more accurate comparable market analysis to help determine accurate listing pricing and with positive closing rates. For our buyer clients, our agents regularly negotiate lower purchase prices with positive closing terms and conditions. You can be confident you will experience a less stressful and more successful home selling experience with an agent from the Melton & Partners Real Estate Team.


2] Pick a future date to launch your new home listing, and work backwards to produce a reasonable time line for your To-Do List. Don't just list your home right away. Start working with your real estate agent 2-6 months in advance of your planned launch date. Don’t feel like you have to get it on the market ASAP. Work together to make a list of what needs to be done (many of the those items are below), and then set a reasonable time that it will take to get them done.


3] Clear the home of clutter. Do what you can to make the house as free of clutter as you can. Remove knickknacks, toys and other belongings that clutter the rooms in your house to make the spaces seem larger and more open. Buyers will also have fewer distractions as they walk through the home. Remove personal photos of your family, and keep decorations and photos neutral. Don’t plan on shoving your clutter into closets, though, because potential buyers will open closet doors as they tour your house. If you have a lot of clutter, consider temporarily renting storage space for some of your belongings.

4] Repair damaged items and usually plan to paint/stain. If you have items that need obvious repair, take care of them before deep cleaning and listing your home for sale. For us real estate agents, that meant fixing some drywall cracks, peeling drywall tape, patching up small drywall holes, fixing a leaking faucet, caulking bathrooms tile cracks and windows / doors, replace all burned out light bulbs, oil squeaky doors, paint interior rooms and touch up nicks and scrapes on walls. Make sure your lawn and bushes aren’t overgrown. If your exterior doesn’t provide a good first impression, consider power washing and paint/stain where appropriate for increased curb appeal. You’ll also want to make sure you correct major issues that a buyer may not see immediately, such as problems with the heating and cooling system, before you put your home on the market. A potential buyer will probably hire a home inspector before closing. If the inspector finds problems, the sale could be put on hold until they’re resolved.
 

5] Deep Cleaning. Every surface a potential buyer sees is a surface that needs to be clean. Messy spaces could send the message that you don’t take care of your home, and it could make potential buyers wonder what else is wrong with the property. A deep cleaning means washing windows, shampooing carpets and some will clean tile grout throughout the house. Pay special attention to bathrooms; make sure fixtures are sparkling and wipe out any dirt rings or mold patches. While the home is on the market, spruce up the home’s entry and keep up the cleaning routine. If you’re pressed for time, consider hiring a weekly cleaning service.

 
6] Consider home staging. Home staging can make a massive difference to your home and can make it look warmer, brighter, and bigger. It’s adding small details and dressing your home for success. If you’re not prepared to pay for a home staging company, do some research yourself. There’s plenty of advice online, which can give you some great ideas. Home staging experts are artists and use a variety of items and furniture to make your home look more welcoming.

7] Schedule dates for a professional photo and video shoot. Work with your real estate agent to plan a few days (weather dependent) that will work with all parties to have a photographer and videographer take photos and videos. Your house is now in showroom condition, so it's time to showcase it for online eyeballs. Depending on your agreement, you may also use drone video, floor plans and/or 3D virtual tours that can help market your home to online viewers.


8] Decide on a competitive asking price. Work with your Realtor® for their knowledge and advice. Update your review of comparable homes on the market along with those that have recently sold in your neighborhood. Consider any improvements that were recently performed.

Your agent will be the best expert to price it right. If you price it too high, then it might sit for longer than you want and that buzz and excitement will wane. Prospective buyers will see that it's been sitting for a while and will be more likely to come in with lower offers. Buyers today are savvy. Chances are anyone who looks at your house — with or without an agent — has spent time both online and offline scoping out properties. In addition, whoever buys your house will most likely need a mortgage, which means their lender will require an appraisal. If your home doesn’t appraise at or above the agreed upon sale price, the buyer will need to come up with the additional funds to close the gap between the appraised price and the actual sale price. Even then, there is no guarantee the lender will underwrite the loan, and most buyers won’t agree and use their option to cancel the agreement. Then you just need to let your agent know any day or time restrictions for upcoming planned buyer showings, and decide on any dates for one or more open houses, if that’s what your agent recommends.


9] Your agent will take it from there. They will launch your home on the multiple listing service (MLS), publish to affiliate websites, place a “For Sale” sign in your yard and install a lockbox and/or Supra electronic box for agent showing key access. When a house is first listed, it will have its highest level of interest during those first few weeks. It's new on the market, and generating as much buzz and excitement as possible is important. If you follow the steps above and have a top Realtor® with connections, your house will sell Fast and for Top Dollar! Find your moving company and/or start shopping for your new home.

 
10] Your home will soon be an asset for sale, treat it like a business. It's an asset that you want to get top dollar for. Your real estate agent will handle the burden of phone, text and emails for showings, and you as homeowners (if still residing at the residence) must do your best to remove emotion and be very accommodating to showings. Yes, it's always inconvenient to show your house, but you need to work on the schedule of prospective buyers, not the other way around. Remember, the goal is to have as few showings as possible. You want one of those first ones to make an offer and get it sold!

 
Selling your house, especially if it’s your first home, is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. Before you go buying your next house, make sure you’re ready to sell your current one first.

Together... we can do great things!

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Posted in Selling Your Home
June 28, 2018

Richard Melton Earns Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Membership

Richard Melton Earns Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Membership

Richard Melton earned the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing membership on June 27, 2018 as he works toward becoming a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist.  This recognition is earned for experience, knowledge, and expertise in million-dollar and above residential properties. Richard is among an exclusive group of real estate professionals who have completed The Institute’s training and has demonstrated proven knowledge, skills and experience in the upper-tier market. The specialized training and membership with The Institute provides Richard and his Melton & Partners Real Estate Team with the advanced tools and networking to best serve affluent clients in the luxury home and estate market. The GUILD recognition adds evidence of the successful commitment to service to his clients at a very high level.

It is Richard Melton’s dedication and commitment to his customers and clients to bring back the lost art of Customer Service, Hard Work and Attention to Detail which he feels all clients who work with Melton & Partners Real Estate Team will enjoy.

If you are considering Buying or Selling, or are interested to learn what your existing property is worth, call 609-961-6161 or visit www.meltonpartnersrealestate.com today.

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 18, 2018

New Jersey's housing market is showing no signs of slowing down

New Jersey's housing market is showing no signs of slowing down



We are not in a bubble, instead we are in a comfortable yet competitive market.

The data is showing a lot of buyer demand, prices are rising, interest rates are rising, home inventories are falling, days on market are falling with the average home sale going under contract in only 36 days. This is a fast market but is really nothing new as it has remained a seller’s market over the past few years.

The medium home price topped over $300,000 for the first time ever, according to Redfin’s chief economist Nela Richardson.

 

Home prices have soared 7.6% this April from April 2017

Starter homes are also harder to find, as most builders and investors are putting their money into higher margin properties, and that’s a challenge forcing more young buyers into the suburbs or into more affordable markets. Wages have also not risen at the same pace as housing prices, making it an even tougher challenge to find the perfect home.

The good news according to the latest US Census Bureau and US Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Sales Report, the number of single-family building permits are up 7.4% over last year, with hopes of giving buyers more options as we head into 2019.

Today, with the tremendous lack of inventory, a seller can expect a great price on their home as buyers may need to outbid each other, or accept a quick sale at full price as buyers don’t want to rock the boat on negotiating. But in 2019 I would expect new construction to start taking a larger share of the market.

Bottom Line – If you are considering selling your house, you’ll want to beat this new competition to the market to ensure you get the most attention for your listing and gain the best price.

 

Home Valuations

Want to know the market value on your house, or the house you are interested in purchasing? Click here to find out today's market values.

By: The Melton & Partners Real Estate Team

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 17, 2018

Top 4 reasons why selling in 2018 could be very beneficial

Top 4 reasons why selling in 2018 could prove to be very beneficial

Buyers are chomping at the bit

Before the end of 2017, people were looking at buy or sell a home in 2018, as HomeLight noticed a 25% increase in traffic on its website on December 26, 2017, with continuing high traffic hits through the new year.

Eager homebuyers have sen low inventory levels in many markets, pushing them to shop for homes earlier in the year to try to beat out the competition. Buyer's need to remain active and quick so as not to miss out on any available properties that are priced right.

The best time to sell homes has traditionally been between March and June. This time of year gets people out of the house during some warmer weather, notwithstanding the warmer climate regions which may see a longer time frame as they are not restricted by weather. 

Zillow predicts home builders to construct more entry level style homes to meet the anticipated buyer demands later this year. If you wait too long to put your home on the market, you may find yourself competing with more newly built properties. We have not seen a lot of newly built properties since before the recession. While the last few years have proven beneficial for sellers, seeing many homes sell at their asking price or above with multiple offer bids, the seller's market will not last too much longer. 

 

Interest rates are low … for now

While mortgage rates aren’t expected to increase drastically in 2018, they are forecasted to increase overall. The Mortgage Bankers Association does predict that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to rise to 5% by the end of 2019, and to 6% by the end of 2020. For both the buyer of your home, and for your own next home purchase, low interest rates can help make a transaction possible. According to NerdWallet, mortgage rate averages reached more than 4.4 percent in 2017.

The current low rates can serve as a jump start for many potential homebuyers to get moving sooner rather than later. But as interest rates continue to rise, less bidding wars are likely and welcome news for buyers, but not sellers.

 

You can move to find cheaper property taxes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed at the end of 2017 means a few home-related tax policy changes are implemented for the 2018 calendar year.

For instance, mortgage interest rates are deductible up to $750,000 in debt, and property taxes are only deductible up to $10,000. While these limits don’t affect all homeowners, people who live in towns like Long Beach Island and similar NJ shore towns are likely to feel the financial hit when they file taxes in 2019. The longer term outlook appears to have lower demand at the higher price points because the tax incentives just aren't there, besides the multi-family investment options.

Richard Melton expects housing markets in coastal states like New Jersey to be most impacted by the tax reform, and more specifically in the towns with highly ranked school districts because their property taxes tend to be higher. While homeowners with children in school may see the education factor weigh heavier than the financial burden, “You will likely see families and empty nesters move out of these high ranking school neighborhoods once there is no longer the need” he says.

To gain the maximum price on your home, the longer the new tax law sinks in, the more likely it is to change feelings toward pricier neighborhoods in coastal markets. You certainly shouldn’t have a hurried reaction to a policy change with an asset as significant as your house, but be aware of the anticipated housing market cycle. 

 

 

Renovations today won’t come back in full next year

The focus of the seller’s market this year is not taking the tight inventory for granted. Buyers still expect effort from sellers in preparing a property for sale. Some may be willing to overlook a dated kitchen, maybe some deferred maintenance or lack of curb appeal, but any of these can still kill a deal. Sellers need to remain cognizant and take the process seriously to maximize buyer interest.

Zillow is a leading real estate marketplace company, and their 2018 predictions include an expectation for most homeowners to work on renovations and repairs this year rather than to sell their property. While it is unlikely to have a 100% return when it comes time to recoup your renovation expenses, remodeling does become an investment and increase the market value by spending to make your home look amazing.

 

Melton & Partners offers free Home Valuations

To receive your instant analysis on your own personal property, or a property that you may be interested in purchase, visit Melton & Partners today and click on the Home Valuation image. All you will need is your property address, and sign up using your email address and mobile phone number. The website is mobile optimized, has interactive maps of all MLS properties with large pictures, and has an overall great user experience.  

Posted in Selling Your Home