Tips for Selling Your Home – Fast!

The spring season is one of the most popular times to list a home for sale. Of course, you don’t want to miss out on this short window. Summer is still a great time to have your home up for sale, but people get busier with summer vacations and other plans. So, to make the most of the spring selling season, follow these tips.

Separate Yourself from the Neighbors

Just because there isn’t a lot of inventory on the market doesn’t mean that your house shouldn’t stand out. Find ways to attract attention and distinguish your home from every other one on the block. When potential buyers turn onto your street, you want them to see your home and think, “I hope this is the one for sale.” Ideas include freshly planted shrubs and flowers, landscape lighting, energy efficient windows, a new roof, newly painted shutters, professional landscaping or a functional backyard.

Stage Your Home

We all think our homes are the greatest, but remember that potential buyers will have a completely different idea of what’s attractive. Therefore, all of your personal belongings and clutter should be removed so that your home is a clean, neutral palate. You can hire a professional stager to help with this step, but even realtors can offer a few pointers. You’ll be moving in the near future, so now is a great time to de-clutter anyway.

Add an Incentive

Selling your home quickly offers plenty of rewards: you get to move on sooner, and you don’t have to have any more showings. So, don’t be afraid to sweeten the pot a bit. Money toward closing costs, a transferable home warranty or fast closing times are all examples of what can be done to get you that contract sooner.

Get Your Home in “Move In” Condition

What this means is that your home is ready to be moved into. Families today are short on time and money, so being able to move in over the weekend and start enjoying a new home is invaluable. This equals more time and money for the buyers, and it will set your home apart from the many other short sales and foreclosures that still flood the market.

List at a Competitive Price

Most sellers are taking a hit on the sale of their home because of the housing market’s slow recovery, but there are gains to made on the other side. Instead of sticking it out to get a certain amount from your home, price it competitively and get it sold fast. If you’re planning to purchase again, you’ll be pleased to know that housing prices are still competitive and interest rates low.

First-Time Homebuyers: Will there be Enough?

It’s no secret that the housing market has been slow to recover, but there has been one group of homeowners that continue to strengthen the market little by little: first-time homebuyers. If you were a first time-buyer within the last couple of years or are looking to make your first purchase, you know the type of market that’s out there. Low interest rates and low housing prices make investing in a home an excellent choice.

What many people don’t know is that being a first-time homebuyer is challenging because there is very little inventory as more people are holding onto their properties and riding out the market. And, loans aren’t as easy to get as they once were, and incentives are dwindling down. For instance, starting June 1, 2013, anyone who takes out an FHA loan and doesn’t have at least 10 percent down will pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.

As home prices go up, interest rates go up and housing inventory stays low, first-time homebuyers – the key to a healthy residential real estate market – are still taking it slow. It’s hard to jump on something just because the price is right when the home or the location is not. Perhaps this is why first time buyers make up only 29 percent of recent buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Generally, these first time buyers make up about 40 percent of the market.

There are other factors that are making it hard for young adults to enter the housing market. Some are unemployed or underemployed and others don’t have a sufficient down payment. Others have poor credit or are burdened with student loans, with not enough money to handle a mortgage payment. These factors affect the young most of all, and it has some worried that there may not be enough first time buyers to sustain the market.

Only time will tell, as some believe that there are many buyers out there that are “on the fence,” waiting out the market to see what happens. If a young couple finds their dream home and has to pay a bit more in interest, it’s worth the wait.

New Home Construction is 45% Higher than Last Year

It’s another sign of recovery for the housing market: home construction in New Jersey is up 45 percent compared to last year. Nearly 9,000 housing permits were issued in the past five months; last year’s numbers were just around 6,000. And, with reasonable home prices and low interest rates, buyers aren’t afraid to buy. They know that their clock is running down, and they’re ready to take the plunge and invest in a home to get the best rates before they’re gone.

The majority of housing permits were for multi-family construction, which is growing in demand. These homes are cost-effective, easy to maintain and offer plenty of space, and they are good for growing families or those looking to downsize. This makes up a lot of New Jersey buyers at this time, especially as there is more spillover from the New York City market.

People who are used to living in small apartments in the heart of the city find it more difficult to spring for the large home in New Jersey. With jobs being less secure than in years past, people want to remain close the city. That’s where new multi-family homes become the perfect solution; they are a nice upgrade for urban dwellers and packed with new amenities and they still keep a reasonable price tag.

Single-family builds are also on the rise and will serve as great housing for families that may have more job stability and want to move a bit farther out from NYC. The fact that new home construction is up nearly 50 percent from last year is exciting, and it’s definitely what the NJ market needs to grow. With more sales comes more stability, and homeowners who have been waiting out the market may finally have their opportunity to sell. They may still have to take a loss, but it won’t be nearly as bad as last year.

The housing market is unpredictable as we’ve learned, but both buyers and sellers have more opportunities at their fingertips than ever before. With more new construction, there will be a better inventory for homebuyers, coupled with historically low interest rates and reasonable housing prices. Sellers are watching their homes get bid on quickly, and if they can sell without taking too big of a loss, they too can take advantage of a great time to buy.