Tag Archives: Realtor.com

When Is Housing’s Black Friday? Some Surprising Holiday Home-Buying Trends, from Realtor.com

So today is Black Friday, but when is the “Black Friday” of the Real Estate market? sRealtor.com explore when the “Black Friday” of real estate is, and surprisingly it seems to be in the winter. Yuqing Pan writes, “So what is the true Black Friday of the housing business? Here’s a holiday shocker: Dec. 28 was actually one of the busiest days for real estate searches in the entire year, despite the fact that Dec. 24 was the single slowest.”


When Is Housing’s Black Friday? Some Surprising Holiday Home-Buying Trends

Rusanovska/iStock; prosado/iStock from Realtor.com

By: Yuqing Pan 

Thanksgiving evokes certain unshakable images: Long tables crammed with too much food. Beloved and bickering family members consuming way too much of that food. Overstuffed family members staggering away from the table to watch football. And once the crumbs and turkey bones and cranberries are cleared away, just about everyone gearing up for the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

While prowling the malls for fantastic deals has become enshrined as a traditional part of many Americans’ holiday season, it has long been considered conventional wisdom that this sales fervor doesn’t extend to shopping for a home—that there’s no deluge of would-be buyers surfing the Web for listings or slogging through the (presumed) snow to open houses.

But does the housing market really come to a screeching halt during the holidays? The realtor.com® team decided to put down its Best Buy circulars and Victoria’s Secret gift cards long enough to find out for sure. In order to measure people’s interest in shopping for a home, we used traffic data on realtor.com from throughout 2014. Not-quite-spoiler: Traffic is much lower on an actual holiday. But what about directly afterwards? And in different parts of the country?

We compared the traffic data for realtor.com on Thanksgiving Day 2014 with that of an average day in 2014’s fourth quarter, and then we identified states where house-hunting activity appeared to be most and least impacted by the holiday.

Source Realtor.com

In balmy Hawaii, the amount of people house hunting on turkey day is only 10% less than the average for that quarter. However, in New Hampshire, the number is down by almost 60%.

And overall, the Thanksgiving slowdown only lasts as long as it takes to digest that huge mass of poultry—and hit a few Black Friday sales. By Saturday, it’s pretty much business as usual.

But according to our database, the number of scheduled open houses on the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend is going to be only 6% of the number from this past weekend. So for buyers serious enough to attend a Thanksgiving open house, your effort will likely pay off—you will be dealing with equally determined sellers and facing less competition.

Moving beyond Thanksgiving, we looked at the impact of all major holidays. Take a look at the graphic: Dark red indicates higher traffic, while light yellow indicates lower traffic.

So what is the true Black Friday of the housing business? Here’s a holiday shocker: Dec. 28 was actually one of the busiest days for real estate searches in the entire year, despite the fact that Dec. 24 was the single slowest.

The reason: When we’re over the holiday hump but still on break, it’s a great time to look for our dream home. The same reason explains the surge of activity on New Year’s Day. And, perhaps buying a house is a popular New Year’s resolution?

Another surprising, best-performing day on a holiday weekend: the other side of the year, July 6. Instead of traveling, many buyers apparently use the long weekend in the height of the buying season to search for homes and go to open houses.

Overall, the spring market typically has the best combination of inventory and value—more homes go onto the market, but prices have not yet thawed. If you miss out on that sweet spot, the second-best opportunity is in fall. Sept. 1, on Labor Day weekend, was another top performer—it’s all part of a seasonal pattern that buyers and sellers can use to their advantage if they are not constrained by school schedules or job transfers.

Besides family-oriented holidays, there’s one more holiday that significantly slows down home-searching activity. Nope, not Mother’s Day, not Father’s Day, but … Valentine’s Day. Think about it: Your significant other wants to take you out for a romantic dinner. Are you gonna say no because you want to stay at home to browse photos of fixer-uppers?

Yuqing Pan


Any time of year is a great time to find your High Country get-away!

Open House Hacks: 9 Tips from Realtor.com

Realtor.com narrows down 9 helpful tips for a successful Open House, including something as simple as “white-ing out” your bathroom by using clean simple white towels. Celeste Perron outlines these 9 tried and true tips. 


Open House Hacks: 9 Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

Spaces Images/Getty Images

Whipping your place into its most marketable shape might land you a buyer with a dream offer. And it might all spring from a terrific  open house—the kind where every attendee is entranced, the hors d’oeuvres are delicious, and nothing remotely goes wrong.

You don’t have to hire a pro home stager and rent all new furniture to get the look buyers love. We asked agents and home staging experts for their secret staging hacks. Here are nine little moves that have a great impact for minimal effort or money.

1. Strip the windows

“Light and bright is what sells,” says Randy Wine, a real estate agent in Rutherford, NJ. So pack away your curtains. “They might be beautiful, but they’ll darken and date the room. You can leave the sheers, but take down the drapes.”

Pull the blinds all the way up. “If blinds are left in the down but open position, that can reduce light by 50% over the course of the day,” says Justin M. Riordan, founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency in Portland, OR. And make sure your windows are sparkling clean; they let in more light and just look nicer, too.

2. White-out the bathroom

Just as hotels use white items to reinforce the idea that they’re clean, white in the bathroom makes things look fresh and new.

“Even if you can’t replace cabinets or countertops, at least purchase fresh white towels,” says Sheila Schostok of Your Home Matters Staging & Redesign in Lake County, IL. And add a white shower curtain, white soap dish, and new white bathmat (though, if your bathroom floor is a selling point, skip the bathmat).

3. Update kitchen fixtures

You don’t need to replace the countertops or even paint to give your kitchen an update. The solution is simpler and cheaper.

“Replacing an old light fixture with a nice modern one from Home Depot can do a lot to improve the look of your kitchen,” says Wine.

If your drawer pulls and cabinet knobs look dated, swap them out for the style and finish that’s most sought-after in your area, whether that’s brushed nickel or polished brass—ask your broker what’s hot.

4. Flip every switch

Lighting up the house by turning on every lamp and overhead light will make prospective buyers confident that you have nothing to hide. Remember, you’re not trying to create “atmosphere” like you would at a dinner party—you’re showcasing a product for sale. Place floor lamps in dark corners. “An inexpensive, high-intensity floor lamp directed at the ceiling can do a lot to make a room look bigger and brighter,” says Wine.

5. Replace wall art with mirrors

Whether your walls feature fine art or family photos, swap those personal pieces out for a large mirror on one or two key walls. Since people’s taste in art varies a lot, you should hide prominent paintings or art photographs unless you are confident they have broad appeal.

“Mirrors have the advantage of maximizing light to make rooms look bigger and brighter,” says Wine. If you have a nice backyard, try placing a mirror on the wall across from the window that looks out on the yard, so the greenery will be reflected and visible from multiple angles in the room.

6. Roll up rugs

Hardwood floors are a major selling point for most buyers, and a rug that’s even slightly stained or tattered is a turn-off. So don’t hide wood floors, unless they’re a mess or your rugs are classic and pristine. Always remove area rugs from your kitchen, because the room will feel cleaner and more spacious without them.

7. Swap out lampshades

To make a room look more light, clean, and modern, replace any old lampshades for new white drum shades, which are cheap and readily available at Ikea and Target.

8. Set the table

Elaborate table settings can have an overly staged look, but if your dining room table has seen better days or the room could use some livening up, set the table with simple modern place settings from CB2 or Bed Bath & Beyond. Go for modern white plates, sleek stainless-steel cutlery, and stemless wine glasses atop neutral-hued place mats or a tablecloth. If the room could use a touch of color, add vibrant napkins.

9. Add a metallic accent

Making a room look more luxurious and contemporary is as easy as adding a metallic accessory or two—like a silver leather throw pillow, a bronze side table or garden stool, or a copper tray.

“Metallics add visual appeal, but they’re less controversial than color,” says Wine. “They’re like glamorous neutrals.”

By: Celeste Perron


 

For original article: Open House Hacks: 9 Tips for Staging Your Home

Don’t Wait – Beat the Crowds and Buy This Winter, Realtor.com

Did you know it is cheaper to own than to rent in more than three-quarters of the counties in the United States? Realtor.com’s Jonathan Smoke explains why now is the time to buy if you can, and how in doing so you can not only get the best deal, but also save money in the long run.


 

Don’t Wait – Beat the Crowds and Buy this Winter

From Realtor.com
Snow globe: rakchai/iStock; sign: jdillontoole/iStock

Now that the U.S. has regained its job-creation mojo, as the October employment report showed, the demand for housing is only going to grow.

After all, when people have jobs they can break off and form new households—ditching the roommates behind or finally moving out of Mom and Dad’s basement—and that’s what fundamentally drives home purchases.

Most of the households created over the past two years have been renting households, but based on U.S. Census data for the third quarter of this year, it appears that homeownership has started to recover.

This especially makes sense now that it is cheaper to own than rent in more than three-quarters of the counties in the U.S. And it’s not getting better— rents are rising year over year at twice the pace of listing prices. Meanwhile, mortgage rates remain at near record lows but appear poised to increase over the next year. And home prices are rising, too.

So if you qualify for a mortgage and have the funds for a down payment and closing costs—and if you intend to live in a home long enough to cover the transaction costs of buying and selling—you will be better off financially if you buy as soon as you can. After all, if you are tired of your current home now, you won’t feel better about it in six months.

The top factors driving home shoppers this summer were pent-up demand and recognition of favorable mortgage rates and home prices. These drivers will likely remain well into next year.

Yet demand for housing is extremely seasonal. In most markets in the country, we are conditioned to believe that we should buy homes in the spring and summer. So come each October, plans to purchase shift to the spring. While the school calendar and weather do influence the ideal time to move, many buyers would benefit from buying this fall and winter rather than waiting until next spring.

In October, the percentage of would-be buyers on realtor.com® saying that they intend to buy in seven to 12 months was the highest it has been all year and represented the largest time frame for purchase. Likewise, October produced the lowest percentage of would-be buyers saying they intend to buy in the next three months.

In other words, people’s stated plans point to a very strong spring for home sales. Great, right? But here’s the problem: Inventory isn’t likely to be higher in March and April than it is now. And while inventory should grow in late spring and into summer, it won’t grow as fast as the seasonal demand.

So, if you are ready, consider getting in the market now instead of early spring. You will have more choices and less competition, and you can lock in today’s rates rather than risk rates being 25 to 50 basis points higher. (A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.)

A 50 basis-point increase in rates (for example, from 4.05% to 4.55%) would cause monthly payments to be 6% higher. And that increase would not only affect your monthly cash flow but could also affect your ability to qualify.

So if you are considering buying a home this spring, it’s worth exploring the inventory now and reaching out to a local Realtor®. A new home could be the best gift you give yourself and your family this holiday season.

Jonathan Smoke

For Original article click Here.


 

El Niño is Coming: What that means for Real Estate

Realtor.com discusses the effect El Niño may have on the market this winter, especially in the front range. Though sometimes harsh winters limit selling, “the Herald reported that there have been 23 El Niño winters since 1950; most of them we haven’t even noticed.”


 

Realtor.com What Will the Winter of El Nino Be Like for Colorado Real Estate? By Lisa Davis

A funny thing about El Niño and the hot Denver market: This winter, the weather pattern will bring much-needed snow in Colorado—but locals aren’t sure that’s good news.

More frequent and wilder storms are expected across the western U.S., inundating those parts with snow and rain. Now Coloradans are wondering if a whole lotta snow will mean a whole lotta slow in the real estate market. That’s what the Durango Herald looked into this weekend.

“Heavy snowfall may be great for the Durango area’s ski industry,” the paper reported, “but it could put a chill on the area’s real estate market.”

None of the industry professionals the Herald interviewed were prepared to offer a definitive vision—there are as many potential outcomes as there are Eskimo words for snow. (As a reminder: 50.)

But while snow is good for the ski areas in theory, “the winter can have a dampening effect on land sales if the property is deeply covered with snow, and the same can be true for residences with acreage,” Don Ricedorff of The Wells Group told the Herald.

The story continued, “The Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book, an anecdotal summary of economic conditions reported by the Federal Reserve districts, frequently reports accounts of low inventory and construction delays during extreme winter weather and temperatures.” Sellers don’t feel like packing up and moving in the dead of winter, it added.

Low inventory has been a continuing problem for parts of Colorado, but not just because of snow. Rather, it’s because of demand. Denver is the No. 1 hottest market in our October rankings, and in recent months its sales have increased more sharply than those in any other city.

Is Denver’s real estate market hot enough to melt all that El Niño snow? Heck, it may not even need to be. After all that fretting, the Herald reported that there have been 23 El Niño winters since 1950; most of them we haven’t even noticed. Just in case, though, take some tips from us. You can find them in our story on how to Niño-proof your home.

By: Lisa Davis

For original article: What Will the Winter of El Niño Be Like for Colorado Real Estate?

Even in the Winter You Can Make Your Yard Pop

With the snow falling tonight, it’s official to say winter has arrived in Summit County. An article by Jamie Wiebe on Realtor.com outlines some great tips to keep your yard and landscape looking good even in the winter especially if you are selling.


Realtor.com…Erika Craddock/Getty Images

Selling Your Home This Winter? You Can Still Make Your Yard Pop

By
Jamie Wiebe


 

Selling your home in the winter is hard enough without snow.

Add some frozen tundra or gray-brown slush, and you might be tempted to put that “For Sale” sign away until spring, when budding flowers and lush lawns entice buyers on their own. But waiting isn’t an option for everyone. If a job transfer or family circumstances have you on a tight timeline, you might be stuck trudging through the wintertime sell.

Don’t lose hope—winter can be a fabulous time to sell if you know how to capitalize on the market. High on the priority list: Know how to make your home stand out from all those other sad, cold houses on the block.

Winter landscaping is far from an oxymoron—it’s a necessity. Here are some easy solutions to improve the appearance of your snow-covered yard this winter.

Put in the work

Before you throw up your hands and call it a lost cause, remember this: To achieve a winter wonderland of a yard, the most important ingredient is some good old-fashioned sweat equity.

“Simple yard maintenance can go a long way,” says Steve Firlit, president of Firlit Landscape Design in Rochester, NY.

If the leaves are still falling, get out your rake; if it’s winter, make sure to neatly shovel your sidewalks, porch, and driveway. And don’t neglect your bushes and shrubs during the cold months—pruning them occasionally gives the landscape a “tidier, neater look,” Firlit says.

“If you’re making the effort to sell the house, put in a little bit of elbow grease,” he says. “You want to show off your landscaping on the front of the house.”

Dress up your garden beds

Your beds may not be filled with flowers, but that doesn’t mean they should look dreary. While adding mulch won’t help plants grow when the ground is frozen, it will give your garden a visual makeover and help you catch a buyer’s eye.

Firlit recommends re-edging your garden beds and giving them a light coating of mulch, covering up dead material and making the landscaping pop.

“It gives the appearance that the planting beds are kept up and neat-looking,” he says. “That goes a long way.”

Mix in color and greenery

Just because your flowers are dead for the season doesn’t mean your home’s exterior should be, too.

There are a number of hardy plants that can survive the winter. Some require forethought—shrubs such as the vibrant, red flowering quince need to be planted no later than fall, and the imposing boxwood requires time for growing and shaping. But others, such as Christmas greens, can be found at your local nursery and do well potted on porches.

Firlit suggests trying a seasonal wintertime arrangement. Winter greens such as holly and pine hold their color throughout the winter, which means you won’t be rushing out to refresh your plants every time your agent hosts an open house. Intertwine these with colorful fabric from a crafts store and dried flowers to create attention-grabbing arrangements.

“Color makes people feel warm and fuzzy,” says Firlit.

(Pro tip: Stop by your garden center shortly after Christmas to get some great deals on seasonal greenery.)

Add lighting

As the days get shorter, lighting up your home’s exterior becomes more important. Start with path lighting—which helps with navigation—and build up your lighting scheme to highlight your home’s best features.

“If you want the house to pop out from the roadside, temporary lighting can go a long way,” Firlit says.

Spotlight obvious focal points, and add small lighting at the bottom of your water features or showstopper trees such as the Japanese maple.

Don’t leave your home in the dark, either. If you’re lucky enough to have beautiful brick or stone veneer, Firlit recommends soft spotlights to highlight the architectural details.

“When you drive by along the road, it’ll grab you,” Firlit says.

When it comes to winter home sales, any method to attract the attention of prospective buyers is a worthy investment. Lights aren’t only a great idea—they’re a necessity.

Don’t ignore the backyard

After a big snowfall, we’re sure you at least try to keep your front yard in order, but when was the last time you took your shovel out back?

If you’re trying to sell your home during the snowy winter, this is a vital step. You should even consider hauling out your patio furniture during open houses to help visitors determine how they would use the space.

Sweep off other features, too, such as fountains, decorative paving, or the pool area. Mentioning them in the listing isn’t enough—if you want every advantage possible in a difficult winter market, you need to make buyers understand the glory of the home in the spring and summer.

“If there’s snow on the ground, it’s hard to visualize what’s underneath it,” Firlit says. “It’s one thing to show off the inside of the house, but families with kids or who want to entertain will want to see the landscaping.”

For original article visit Realtor.com