The best month and day to put a home on the market – well my birthday of course!

The best month and day to put a home on the market, according to Zillow

A study points to a Saturday in May as a seller’s peak opportunity

Key Takeaways

Homes listed between May 1 through 15 tend to sell nine days faster and sell 1 percent above the asking price, a new Zillow study says.

You may want to hide during the ides of March, but the ides of May are the perfect time to put a home on the market, says a new study by Zillow.

In 20 of the 25 metro areas studied, homes listed anywhere between May 1 and May 15 sold nine days faster and for up to 1 percent more than the asking price.

“With 3 percent fewer homes on the market than last year, 2017 is shaping up to be another competitive buying season,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell in a statement.

“Many [homebuyers] who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later. By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home — and will be more willing to pay a premium to close the deal.”

Mark your calendar for a Saturday in May

Moreover, Zillow’s research revealed the best day to place a home on the market is Saturday — listings that appear on Zillow’s site on this day garner 20 percent more views than early-in-the-week listings.

The second best day to list is Friday, when properties receive 14 percent more views.

Lastly, Gudell says sellers have to be cognizant of other factors, such as weather.

Sellers in Texas, California and Florida have more leeway in when to list their home due to warmer weather patterns. Also, sellers who live in areas without distinct seasonal weather tend to have little variation in sales price based on the month.

Are you thinking of selling?  Call the Caton Team – it is what we do best!  We’re available for a free consultation.  

I read this article at: http://www.inman.com/2017/03/02/the-best-month-and-day-to-put-a-home-on-the-market-according-to-zillow/?utm_source=weeklyheadlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sundaysend&utm_content=20170310_readmore

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Help Clients Avoid House-Hunting Drama

Help Clients Avoid House-Hunting Drama

The Caton Team’s two cents is added in italics.

“Moving is one of the most stressful situations that a person can go through,” says Frank Schofield, an associate broker with Summit REALTORS® in Northern Virginia. “It’s one of the most rewarding, but also one of the most stressful.”

To make the house-hunt a little less stressful, real estate pros offer the following tips:

  1. Determine what you want upfront, and stick to that criteria.

What are your non-negotiables? What location do you desire? What educational opportunities are important? What do you want your daily commute to be? And what price are you willing to pay? “The first step to avoid house hunting drama is to really sit back and think about what is most important to you,” advises Jason Mitchell, founder and president of Jason Mitchell Real Estate. “This will narrow down your scope so you are not looking at hundreds of homes, just the ones that fit in your criteria. … Looking in an area that’s not going to provide the home type that you want is going to cause frustration.”

Being focused is most important. It is also easier said than done, especially if this is your first purchase. The Caton Team suggests you start with a broad scope when you first start off. We like to cover as many options for the start and work our way down quickly to a manageable list.

  1. Get preapproved for a mortgage.

Avoid delays once you do find a home by getting your loan preapproved. “If there is any issue, it is identified early on in the process and not the moment that you’re trying to submit a contract on the property,” says Schofield. Also, you’ll know your numbers and how much to expect on a monthly payment to make sure you’re house-shopping within your price range.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. So important – The Caton Team suggests you get pre-approved even before we meet. Knowing how much mortgage you qualify for, knowing any defects on the credit report before the hunt even starts ensures a smooth experience. And it helps us bring into focus what is most important, where that is and what it looks like in a home. 

  1. Communicate.

Share with your real estate agent the biggest stressors and fears you have in the home-buying process. “The more open the client is with the agent, the less drama is going to present itself in the transaction,” says Schofield. “You have to trust your agent and relate to them as a confidant, as an ally.”

We couldn’t agree more. Being comfortable with your Realtors takes some of the stress off the situation. It helps us too! If we feel we have open communication and trust – truly we (The Caton Team and you) can move mountains.

  1. Don’t linger too long.

“Believe me, procrastination causes drama,” Schofield says. For home buyers on a deadline, Schofield recommends beginning four to six months ahead of time to start learning more about the market. Plus, with mortgage rates forecasted to move higher this year, buyers who wait too long may find what they can afford lessen. “Have the right expectations, or else you’re setting yourself up for frustration,” Schofield says.

I always tell my clients – we are shopping now – with today’s rates, prices and market AND IT WILL CHANGE. Therefore together we plan accordingly.

 The Caton Team knows how much patience and work it takes for our clients to buy a home. We are happy to sit down, answer you questions and prepare a plan to turn your dreams into reality. How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/01/03/help-clients-avoid-house-hunting-drama?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BYa-g2B9W3LGkZ&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

Will 2017 be a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?

Can you tell I have one thing on my mind this January?  Where is this real estate marketing going?  Enjoy this article from Inman News.

Will 2017 be a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?

Four economists weigh in on what the next year has in store for each group

Key Takeaways

  • Next year will likely remain a seller’s market in most markets, but buyers might have their day in 2018 or 2019.
  • Future buyers will be “less white and a little younger.”

In some years and some markets, the answer is obvious — in 2016, Denver was a seller’s market, and San Francisco’s been one for quite a stretch.

But sometimes, it’s not so clear, and with mortgage rates on the up-and-up and robust plans for the economy ahead, all the plans for 2017 seem to be out the window.

Here’s what four economists had to say about whether 2017 is leaning toward buyers or sellers.

The consensus is?

Most economists we talked to said that overall, they thought 2017 was going to continue to be a strong market for sellers — for now.

“While I expect inventory levels to rise in 2017, it will likely remain a seller’s market,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere. “New construction will pick up steam in 2017, but not to levels that will provide sufficient support to a stretched housing market. Sellers will likely find that it will take a little longer to sell, but demand will still outstrip supply on the back of a job market that continues to tighten.”

Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow, opined that “2017 is probably going to skew more toward the seller’s market — most markets will skew more toward seller’s markets, and even in the Midwest there are probably more seller’s markets than buyer’s markets compared to their own history.”

Geography does play a role, however, said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com.

“Ultimately, I do think it depends on where you are in the country — and not even at a market level,” Smoke said. “We’re seeing some clear patterns emerge within markets — one might be slowing down and cooling off where another part is really heating up. Real estate is so local that I would argue that a neighborhood view is really where you can see the differences and disparities and changes that are occurring around the country.”

Smoke noted that first-time buyers have been most successful in the Midwest this year, whereas markets in the West have seen the most significant price appreciation, making it difficult for first-time buyers to find success.

“We tend to have markets that are either above average in price expectation or sales expectation, and there aren’t many markets that have above-average expectations in both — supply constraint is driving the price movement in the strongest price markets, seller’s markets, but the buyer’s markets where buyers are getting a really affordable home, as a result, those markets are seeing a greater growth in sales,” Smoke explained.

“Either one is good for real estate,” he concluded.

Will we see a shift?

Gudell said that Zillow had just asked a panel of experts — more than 100 economists — “what they thought was going to happen to the tradeoff between buyers versus sellers.”

She said that among the economists surveyed, the most popular belief was that in 2018 or 2019, the bulk of markets will begin to shift from seller’s markets to buyer’s markets.

“In some markets, it’ll start to turn already in 2017, where demand isn’t quite so high and you get a little more inventory in and you have buyers better able to negotiate,” Gudell added.

What does the future buyer look like?

Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American, said that, “assuming an environment with modestly and predictably rising mortgage rates, it becomes a first-time homebuyer purchase-oriented marketplace.

“The question as a real estate agent is, how do you find and market to that first-time homebuyer?” asked Fleming. “Because that first-time homebuyer is going to be a young, technologically savvy millennial — and even more importantly, ethnically diverse. The demand for first-time housing is going to come from a different kind of individual than we’ve traditionally seen: Young, diverse, technologically savvy and much more likely to be college-educated.”

“The homeownership rate will grow, and they’ll be less white and a little younger,” said Gudell.

“Unfortunately, I think all of us will be spending more time in the car as more people have to look for more housing outside the city center as homes become much more expensive in the urban area,” she added. “During the recovery, it’s really picked up and the urban centers have appreciated much faster than the outerlying areas.”

“The potential is there for the market to have the most first-time buyers — certainly on an absolute volume basis, but also on a shared transactions perspective,” said Smoke.

“For the industry, this is the biggest shift we need to be able to contend with because it likely means elongated length of time that people are spending in that journey, especially the first-time buyer, but it potentially also means higher cancellation rates and lower conversion rates. You’re going to have more challenges with people contending with needing to qualify for and buy a home in the environment we’re in now than in the environment we were in the last two years.

“Highly qualified pent-up demand has been driving the market — now, it’s more organic activity at a time when interest rates are on the move-up,” he added. “The potential is there for an even bigger year than we’re forecasting, but it comes with challenges and that’s why we’re expecting only moderate growth instead of huge growth.”

“The thing about housing is that everybody needs it and you can’t outsource it,” said Fleming.

 

I read this article at: http://www.inman.com/2016/12/13/will-2017-be-a-buyers-market-or-a-sellers-market/?utm_source=weeklyheadlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sundaysend&utm_content=20161216_readmore

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Real estate predictions for 2017

Brad Inman’s crystal ball: Real estate predictions for 2017

The year of the homeseller, a female CEO of NAR and more

Here were my predictions for 2016.

 

Here are my predicitons for 2017.

2017 will be the year of the homeseller

The most profound real estate technology innovations in the last two decades have benefited homebuyers finding homes and agents becoming more efficient.

This coming year, technologists and venture capitalists will zoom in on homesellers, with the $60 billion commission pie up for grabs.

Opendoor, Knock and to a degree transparent bidding features are examples. Using technology, more companies will figure out how to give sellers more certainty around their home sale.

Don’t miss out on the homeseller innovation parade — your livelihood is at stake.

The housing market will soar (temporarily)

Boosted by the Trump confidence pop, mortgage money will be plentiful.

IRAs (individual retirement accounts) are already increasing in value, and job creation efforts will take hold as unemployment has already reached new lows. Both of these trends will give consumers a boost in the market.

This could be short-lived as robots steal millions of service jobs, middle managers included. This trend will make overseas offshoring seem like a pimple on our butt.

Enjoy the sunlight, but stash away some of your profits for dark clouds later.

NAR will pick a woman to lead the trade group

Though the old-guard will lobby hard for anointing one of its own, the National Association of Realtors will do what the country could not — make a woman the CEO.

Remember, your hard work funds NAR, so speak up in one way or the other. If you hold an opinion, email the search committee and give them a piece of your mind.

Zillow will expand overseas by acquiring a European portal

Zillow will cross international borders through an acquisition of some type, somewhere.

Growth opportunity in the U.S. is still strong, but to fill its valuation expectations globe trotting will be necessary.

Still avoiding Zillow as a source of business?  Think twice before you continue to dismiss the giant portal.

Footnote: dotloop (a Zillow company) will come out of the closet and do some interesting things on the back end that make life easier for brokers and agents.

Opendoor becomes second-biggest broker in the country by year’s end

One year from now, Opendoor will be the second-largest broker in the U.S., second only to NRT.

By unit count — and, most importantly, by revenue — the exchange platform will give a segment of the selling market the certainty they generally cannot get when unloading their homes the traditional way.

Remember, Opendoor still works with buyers agents, so when the company comes to your market, consider how to make it work for you.

Redfin files to go public

The 10-year old online plodder will take its story to Wall Street and file to go public.

Redfin will use its new funds to capture more share in its current markets and continue to innovate and make gains on the recruiting front and with its technology.

Lots to learn from Redfin — copying their best features is one strategy to compete with them.

Equity-sharing mortgages will spread

Wall Street will provide the funds, and homebuyers in pricey markets with a sparse down payment will be the beneficiaries, as equity sharing becomes widespread because of support by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the big lenders.

Learn everything you can about this new loan so you can help your buyers who are scrambling to save their down payment.

Luxury housing market recovers, but tastes change

With a U.S. President who earned his billions in luxury real estate, the high-end market will have a revival as rich people who have been hoarding their cash and hiding out from the redistributionists will tiptoe back into the market.

But tastes will change. Walkable neighborhoods will become the Cartier wrist bands of real estate, guard dogs in tow.

Docusign IPO bigger than Zillow

The paperless cruasader, San Francisco-based Docusign will  go public, shining light on the real estate efficiency race. The company’s finances will look sterling and get the attention of Wall Street technology skeptics.  The IPO could be huge.

 Mars will be subdivided

A first step in creating a new civilized world on Mars will be a plan to subdivide the far-off planet. It could pay for space exploration. That is how we pay for infrastructure on planet earth.

Some of the smartest minds in the real estate industry will get involved. But don’t be bamboozled into investing in Mars property — yet.

The present and future will merge

Bots on your phone and on everything you own or drive will help you manage many functions of your life and will be automatically updated, taking you into the future every second, whether you like it or not.

Installation artist Douglas Coupland calls this phenomenon “accelerated acceleration.” Your challenge will no longer be keeping up with technology, because it has already kidnapped a big part of your life.

Instead figure out how to hold onto, restore and grow your humanness.

Bottom line: Enjoy 2017 — it will be a fun and exciting year.

What do you think 2017 will bring????

I read this article at: https://www.inman.com/2016/12/13/brad-inmans-crystal-ball-real-estate-predictions-for-2017/

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

Do Your Part To Conserve Water – Lawn Rebate Programs

Do Your Part….

As I drive around looking at all the beautiful listings coming on the market – I can’t help to notice who is and who is not doing their part for the drought.

I know a green lawn is a beautiful thing. But not during the drought. Check out Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency for their “Lawn Be Gone” rebate program. They are offering rebates from $1.00 – $4.00 a SqFt to remove your lawn! Check out the details, rules and restrictions below.

http://bawsca.org/conservation/lawn-be-gone/

And if you’re thinking of selling your home this season, look into drought tolerant plants – now that’s a beautiful thing! Green homes and thoughtful landscaping is always a plus!

Even if you are not a homeowner, we can all do our part. Shorter showers, using gray water to water our plants, collecting rain water (when and if it rains again) and taking the time to turn off the faucet when washing dishes or brushing our teeth helps. Each drop counts. So please – do you part.

(PS . Check online for other county and city rebate programs going on now!)

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

How to Lose a Bidding War (but Also How to Win One)

As much as I enjoy writing blog content – I enjoy sharing articles that are well written and pertinent. Please enjoy this article – and I’ve added my two cents in

italics.

How to Lose a Bidding War (but Also How to Win One)

It’s prime home buying and selling season, and if you’re looking to buy in an area with low inventory and high demand, you’re probably going to run face-first into a bidding war. After the housing crunch of 2008, they certainly went away for a while, but now a recent study has found bidding wars are back in force.

 

So here’s the question for buyers: Do you know how to handle a bidding war, or are you going to let that dream home get away? Here are all the things you can do wrong—so you know how to do it right.

 

Fail to realize you’re in a bidding war

 

A surefire way to lose a bidding war is to not realize there’s going to be one. So, how do you know?

First thing’s first: Know where you’re shopping. If you’re in one of the following markets—some of the hottest in the country, viewed two to seven times more often on our site than the national average—chances are, there’s going to be a bidding war:

Even if you’re not in one of those regions, the housing market remains tight nationwide (too many buyers, not enough inventory). So, observe your surroundings. How many people are at the open house?

“If it feels as though you’re at Grand Central Station at rush hour, chances are there will be a multiple-offers situation,” says Victoria Vinokur, an estate broker at Halstead Property in New York City.

Finally, if you’ve made an offer and your agent tells you they’ve heard of higher bids, “you now know you have competition,” says Susan MacDonald of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Garden City, NY.

 

On the San Francisco Bay Area – we are experience a severe housing shortage coupled with high demand. You can bet your bottom dollar if you are trying to buy property right now – you will be up against multiple offers.

Be completely disorganized 

Sellers want your offer to come in a crisp, easy-to-read package, not in a mis-autocorrected Snapchat. When you know you’re in a bidding war, says Vinokur, get answers to these questions:

  • Is there a deadline to submit offers?
  • Is there a specific offer format the seller wants to see?
  • Are there any other factors that might be important to the seller? Do he want a quick closing or a delayed one? Noncontingent financing offers? Does the seller want to stay in or rent the home until he can find another home (also known as a rent-back agreement)?

 

Now this is where The Caton Team comes in. We are proactive Realtors. So once a client tells us they are interested in a property – we pick up the phone and call the Sellers Agent. I ask the above questions and more. When possible, I get the disclosure package so my buyers can read them before we write an offer and therefore write a stronger offer knowing the condition of the property. Price is important – do not get me wrong – however a great offers encompasses more than just price. So The Caton Team makes sure to find out the sellers’ needs and wants and how our clients can fulfill them and find a happy medium.

Not asking these questions is a good way to get your offer rejected. You also want to know what the seller is looking for and if it lines up with what you’re willing to do.

“Have a clean, correct, and easily legible offer packet, with a pre-approval letter or proof of funds,” said Sepehr Niakin, a broker who owns CondoBlackBook.com in Miami. Add a cover letter, and don’t be afraid to get personal.

“Write a letter to the owners stating why you love the home,” Vinokur said. Make no mistake: This should not be a lighthearted letter—it should be well-written and sincere.

An effective cover letter should include these things:

  • An introduction complimenting the seller’s property
  • A second paragraph describing what you’re like—your job (a good one, we hope!), your family, your interests.
  • The third paragraph should describe how you envision your future in the property. For example: “We hope you will accept us—we would love to raise our kids here.”

 

We call the Offer Letter part of our Home Buyer toolbox. And ask each buyer to write on for each home they offer on. The power of a personal letter can move mountains and sometimes make the difference between an accepted offer or an overlooked one.

Part of each offer we present, The Caton Team always ensures the offer is well written, properly completed (after all it is a legally binding contact), pre-approval letter, proof of funds and a letter from the buyer along with a letter from The Caton team is attached. When at all possible we present the offer directly to the Seller and their Realtor. However, these days most offers are emailed in – so we also write an email letter outlining the offer and our clients strengths.

 

Make a lowball offer that doesn’t stand out 

 

In a hot market, don’t lowball to see if the seller will entertain your offer (that’s for the off-season). When crafting your bid, make it a strong figure—and make it a number that might stand out.

“Most offers will be in round numbers, so stand out by going to the next highest number with a 1 or a 6 at the end of it,” says Brian Horan, a broker with Home Buyers Marketing II in Los Angeles.

 

A lowball offer in this market screams one thing – the buyer is not serious, not working in reality and is wasting everyone’s time (ok that’s three things – but you get my point). The Caton Team will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis before we write the offer – so our buying clients can write their strongest offer and know what to expect.

 

Don’t sweeten the pot

 

When you’re competing with multiple offers, you have to come prepared. If you can pay with cash, that’s a huge plus—our experts agree it’s one of the best ways to win. But not everyone can do that. Get pre-approved so the seller knows you’re serious. If that’s not enough, sweeten the pot.

“Pay with cash if possible; if not, consider increasing the amount of your down payment,” said Sharon Voss, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association.

You can also put down some substantial earnest money—“1% or greater,” says Lera Lasater Lee, a Realtor® with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in Dallas.

If you’re still dead-set on getting that home, you can also offer to pay the seller’s closing costs.

 

Cash is king – but not all of us have cash. Don’t let this sway you. A well-written offer, with a solid down payment, strong / competitive terms and supporting documentation is hard pressed to be overlooked. If you can swing more than 20% down, this will set you apart. And we always encourage our buyers to write a 3% earnest money deposit (the maximum protected in the contract).  Offering to pay the closings costs helps too – and part of those fees are possible tax write-offs.  Not bad..

 

Lose sight of your limits

 

It’s a fine line to walk, though––sweetening the pot can be helpful, but be careful not to get caught up in a buying frenzy. If you overpay for the house, did you really win? Take a step back and figure out a limit on how much you want to pay for that property.

You can go about this in two ways:

  • Make your best offer upfront, pre-emptively assuming you won’t have a chance to make another, Voss says.
  • Go with an escalation clause, which details how much you’re willing to outbid another offer up to a certain limit, says Niakin. For example, you make an offer of $400,000 with a cap of $425,000, offering to outbid the last bidder by $5,000 increments until it reaches $425,000. (You’ll also want to get a lawyer to word the clause correctly.)

“This is only recommended if the buyer really wants the property and is willing to lay all their cards on a table when they know there will be multiple, very motivated buyers making offers,” Niakin said.

 

It is very important for a buyer to know their financial life before they start the buying process. Just because the bank has approved your for X – doesn’t mean X fits your lifestyle. So each buyer needs a budget and needs to know their maximum comfort level. 

Rarely is a buyer going to get a second chance in this market. So writing your best offer, with no chance of a counter is the best mindset. In regards to the escalation clause – we’ve seen this, we’ve done this – but always with a Real Estate attorney present. In Realtor jargon – these are known as sharp offers.

Put in a bid, then skip town

Now is not the time to head to the Bahamas. If you really want that home, you should stick around until you know whether your offer fell through or was accepted.

“Don’t go out of town or be otherwise inaccessible to your Realtor during a bidding war,” says Voss. “Be prepared to make decisions very quickly and respond very quickly to questions about your offer.”

 

If you are planning a vacation – let your Realtor know when and then plan on stepping out of the buyer ring until you return. There is very little time in the midst of real estate negotiations and you could lose out on a home if you are not available to respond quickly.

 

Drag your feet to the closing

 

Sellers like to close fast. When you’re in a multiple-offer situation, it’s best to make an offer with few contingencies. That can mean forgoing repairs or added appliances and furniture.

An appraisal contingency is debatable if you’re paying with cash—if you really know your area and are confident it will appraise right, you might decide to waive it—but be sure to ask your agent. One thing you don’t want to do is skip the inspection contingency.

No matter what, be quick about it.

“Tighten up your timelines,” Niakin said. “Instead of 15 days, make it seven or 10 days. If you run into some issue, you can always ask for an extension later.”

 

Thankfully most sellers in the San Francisco Bay Area provide upfront disclosures packages that include a recent Home, Pest and Roof Inspection. In our market, we are seeing no contingencies. Which can be scary – but note – no property contingency doesn’t mean you cannot have your own inspections – you can!  However they are not contingent to the sale. Unless new material information is discovered (IE. Previously undisclosed defects arise.  You do have an opportunity to discuss this with the seller and have a short time frame to do so.)  Sound scary? That is why The Caton Team is by your side each step of the way. We will provide the disclosures to you, answer your questions and advise you how to tackle each offer.  Each home presents its own opportunities and issues – so each situation is different.  

Lose your sense of perspective 

 

Above all else, keep a clear head.

“Don’t be emotional; set a threshold price and don’t be upset if you lose,” Vinokur said.

“Get your ducks in a row before entering the home purchase process,” Lee echoed. “Don’t be afraid to walk away.”

 

This article had great advice that I do follow with my own clients. We always say – offer your best price and if you do not get the house – you know they other fella paid too much!

If you have any real estate questions or concerns or would like to share your two cents please feel free to email us, or comment below.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/how-to-win-a-bidding-war-on-your-dream-house/?identityID=9851214&MID=2015_0403_WeeklyNL&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2015-0403-WeeklyNL-blog_1_lose_bidding_war-RDC_buy

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Why Millennials Are Having Trouble Buying Homes

Why Millennials Are Having Trouble Buying Homes

This topic is near and dear to my heart of two reason – the cost of real estate on the San Francisco Peninsula – and the fact I’m experiencing the same frustrations!

There are many reasons why the millennial generation – young adults in their 20s and early 30s – are either having trouble buying a home or have decided to delay their purchase. Recent troubles in home purchasing have left many millennials feeling discouraged and wondering if they will ever become homeowners. Many experts are also worried about the lack of homes being purchased by millennials, because the housing market is fairly dependent on young first-time homebuyers.

The census bureau has reported that only about 36 percent of Americans below the age of 35 have become homeowners. Despite the fact that this number is so low, at least 90 percent of millennials would rather buy a house than continue to rent. If the percentage of millennials that would prefer to own their own home is so high, then why is the percentage of actual homeowners so low?

Why millennials are not buying

One major factor is the trickle down of expensive college educations. As the price of college continues to rise, more students are forced to take on the load of student debt. Millennials rack up student loans throughout their college career, not realizing that it will one day affect their ability to purchase a home. This is especially sad because the mortgage on an average priced home is cheaper than renting an apartment in most cases.

While student loans provide recent graduates with the advantage of establishing their credit history, they can hurt them when it comes time to apply for a home loan. Lenders consider an applicant’s debt to income ratio as part of the loan application. A hefty student loan can greatly hurt what the bank views as an ability to make payments on a mortgage.

This is particularly true for someone that has private student loans, because private loans tend to have higher interest rates and shorter payment terms, meaning that their monthly payment is much higher than that of someone who only has government student loans. Another problem that people run into is multiple student loan payments. If you are making five $70 dollar payments to separate lenders as opposed to one $150 dollar payment to one lender, you weaken your ability to prove that you can afford to take on a mortgage payment.

If that is not enough to worry about, there is still the fact that you have to save for a down payment. Many millennials barely have a savings account, much less a 20 percent down payment. Those who do decide to buy will rely on their parents and other family members to help with the expense of their down payment.

Another reason why millennials are having trouble buying homes deals with the job market. The country is finally making its way out of one of the biggest recessions we have seen in a long time, and finding a job can still be difficult for some people, especially for those who are new to the job market and lack experience. While a college degree can help get one in the door, it still does not warrant the pay level that many millennials need in order to cover their student loans and a mortgage.

It might take a little time, but, hopefully, we will start to see more millennials buying homes sometime in the near future. If you have trouble buying a home and would like credit counseling and loan information, contact The Caton Team

I read this article at: http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/4486707/why-millennials-are-having-trouble-buying-homes

My two cents – I’ve been able to work with several millennial buys who have either saved their pennies or were given investment assistance. It can be very discouraging on the San Francisco Peninsula to be a 1st time buyer – but options are out there – If you think outside the box and open your mind. Curious how you can become a homeowner – contact The Caton Team and we can come up with a plan to turn your dreams into Realty!

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900