Park City Utah Real Estate Blog

Please take a moment to browse about current Real Estate Issues and get some great tips related to Buying and Selling Real Estate. You will find interesting articles about all aspects of Real Estate related to owning, buying and selling property.

Park City Barn Fall

April 3, 2018

Five Tips to Selling Your Condo

Street View of CondosFive Things You Need to Know About Selling a Condo

Thinking of selling your condo? Whether you live in the condo or own it as an investment property, if you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to talk to a qualified real estate agent in your area. Consider the preferred agent Jim Bradley with Coldwell Banker.

Thinking of selling your condo? Whether you live in the condo or own it as an investment property, if you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to talk to a qualified real estate agent Jim Bradley. By evaluating several criteria, including regional markets, time of year, features of your condo unit, as well as your specific needs as the seller, he or she can create a customized marketing plan for your condo. Here are five important topics to discuss with your real estate agent if you want to sell your home:

1. Best Time of Year to Sell Your Condo

The specifics of your area do more to determine the best time to put your home on the market than whether you’re selling a condo or a house. While the conventional wisdom is that spring is the best time for selling a home, this belief simply doesn’t ring true in every locale. In recent years the historic patterns have eased, and in some cases, totally disappeared. Still, different parts of the country have periods when sellers can be more aggressive with their pricing. And your real estate agent may suggest a distinct timing strategy for condominium sales, especially if your condo is in a resort destination.

2. Open House Strategy and How to De-Clutter

A condo that shows well will sell faster and bring a higher price. Small cosmetic touch-ups can make a big difference. Buyers often suspect that more serious problems may exist if they notice the need for minor repairs. If you want to sell your home, it’s important to make sure your condo is clean, tidy and free of personal clutter. Clear sinks and counters of dishes and toiletries. Neatly stack office supplies and organize storage areas. Replace dim light bulbs and clean windows. Even though your garden area may be commonly owned, do your best to create curb appeal by cleaning front steps and porches, and clearing lawns of toys or equipment.

3. Features to Accentuate

One of the best features to accentuate when selling a condo is the lifestyle of ease that comes with condominium ownership. Many buyers are looking for the hassle-free living experience that they can’t find with a single-family detached house. Another important attribute of any condo is the amenities of the association, which can include a hot tub, fitness center, owner’s lounge, covered parking and even concierge services. If you’re considering selling your condo, take the time to walk through it methodically with your real estate agent. Together you can point out which features of the actual condo unit should be accentuated. Does your unit have a wonderful view? Perhaps the location of your condominium is unique and desirable. Your real estate agent can help accentuate these features in sales and marketing materials.

4. Desired Price and Bottom Line Price

When setting the home price for your condo, it’s important to identify your desired price and your bottom line price. By assessing recent condo sale and listing statistics in your area, your real estate agent and a licensed appraiser can estimate your house value and recommend an appropriate target price range. Working with your agent, you can set an initial asking price, as well the absolute lowest home price you would comfortably accept. One advantage of selling a condo is that by assessing the prices of other units in your association that have recently sold or are currently listed, your real estate agent and the appraiser can determine a very accurate house value.

5. Disclosures

When selling your condo, you may be obligated to disclose problems that could affect the property’s value or desirability, as well as to disclose HOA minutes and costs of common insurance and utilities. In most states, it is illegal to fraudulently conceal major physical defects in your property, such as a water heater that leaks severely. And many states now require sellers to take a proactive role by making written disclosures on the condition of the condo unit. Ask your real estate agent for the particular laws of your state.

 

Feb. 7, 2018

2018 Projected Mortgage Interest Rates

Here is Latest Reports as to Where Mortgage Interest Rates are Headed in 2018

As of 2-7-2018

Where are we headed

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

Projected 2018 Mortgage Interest Rages

 How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 7.0% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.2% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

 

Feb. 6, 2018

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE HOME INSPECTION?

/home/

Almost inevitably, the subject of home inspection will come up during the buying process. Some buyers may be inclined to overlook the importance of the home inspection; there is so much else going at that time that it may just seem like another task to check off the list. However, a professional home inspection is the perfect opportunity to gain insight into the condition of the home – an unbiased evaluation that can provide much-needed peace of mind at a stressful time. This information can prove extremely useful and help avoid unpleasant surprises.

 

A professional home inspection includes a visual assessment of the home’s systems and structural components, including heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical, roof, foundation, walls, chimneys, doors, and windows. Appliance systems as well as heating/cooling and plumbing are tested to ensure proper operation. This evaluation is then included in the written inspection report, which includes detailed findings and identify any potential concerns. The report will also indicate any recommended repairs based on the inspection results. At that time, an agent may recommend that the seller complete needed repairs, or if not, that the cost of doing the repairs be reflected in the selling price.

 

However, in many of today’s hot real estate markets the home inspection contingency is waived in order for an offer to be considered at all. In these cases, a home inspection is still extremely important because it allows buyers to learn about the home and provides a comprehensive picture of the home’s condition. Alternatively, a home inspection can be conducted after the sale, providing the buyer with valuable information they can use in planning for future repairs, upgrades, or addressing other issues.

 

To get the most out of a home inspection, the buyer should accompany the home inspector during the process. This allows the buyer to ask questions on site and get any needed clarification about potential issues that come up along the way. It’s a great way to get to know the home and locate key items such as key shutoff valves, the breaker panel and more. Attending the inspection will also give them a better understanding of any repair recommendations.

 

The home inspection is truly a key part of a smooth transaction and a confident purchase. Not only that, the inspection report will serve as a reference for details about the home once the purchase is complete. They say a little knowledge goes a long way; a lot of knowledge can take you even further.

 

Feb. 2, 2018

Why You Need a Professional Realtor

Wondering Why You Need a Professional When Buying a Home

Group of Experts

There are a lot of people who wonder if they will need a Realtor to help them buy their family home or real estate investment. Some Buyers try to go through the buying process on their own only to get frustrated by the complicated process and the lack of inventory on the market today. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

Why Not Use an Expert To Guide You Through The Process?

The field of real estate is loaded with landmines; you need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and is ready for you to move into can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift through the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”

A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in order to secure your dream home.

 Here is Why You Need a Skilled Professional

A talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of dollars. There are many steps to consider along the way – from the original offer to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Realize that when an agent is negotiating his or her commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money, not cost you money.

Jan. 5, 2018

The Best 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t FSBO

Sell my home

As you know we have been experiencing a rapid rise in home prices due to the lack of inventory and very low interest rates. Some homeowners have been considering trying to sell their home or properties by themselves or commonly known as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). The National Association of Realtors have been studying how this is working out for Home owners and have become of several reasons why this might not be the best idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are the top five reasons for not trying to Sell your home on your own:

1. You will need the maximum exposure to qualified Buyers.

The most recent information from the housing industry have shown that 95% of buyers are searching online for a home. Print newspaper ads or classified ads are accounting for less than 17%. Most active real estate agents have an internet strategy and access to over 900 web sites to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. The Best Results Come from the Internet

You must have a strong internet strategy is critical. Home buyers are finding the homes they actually purchased online?  

The current home buyers find out about the available homes by:

49% on the internet

31% from a Real Estate Agent

7% from a yard sign

1% from newspapers

You can no longer sell your house by just putting up a sign and putting and ad in the local paper to get your home sold.

3. The Selling Process is Complicated and You Need to Negotiate With Many Different Individuals.

Here is a short list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate:

The buyer who wants the best deal possible at your expense

A Buyer’s agent who solely represents the Buyer and their best interest

The Title Company for yourself and the Buyer.

The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer that almost always find some problems with the house setting up the need for a second negotiation after you have agreed on at selling price

The Appraiser if there is a problem if the Appraisal comes in under the value of the agreed upon sales price

4. Selling Your Home Yourself Has Become More And More Trying and Difficult

There is a ton of paperwork involved in selling and buying a home.  The number of documents needed to sale a home has increased dramatically since the industry has implemented disclosures and regulations. The increase in paperwork and documents is the number one reasons that the percentage of people selling their own home by themselves has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years. The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since National Association of Realtors began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Will Put More Money in Your Pocket When Using an Agent

It is a common belief that homeowners will save the real estate commission by selling their home on their own. The main reason buyers look for homes being sold by the owners is because they also they will save by not paying real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer figure they can both save the commission.

In a recent study by Collateral Analytics the results revealed that selling your home yourself does not actually save and money. In a lot of cases it may be costing more by not using an Agent. The Collateral Analytics study revealed that one of the biggest reasons is the time involved by all of the parties related to the sale: 

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

It goes without saying that if more buyers see a home, there is greater the chances that there could be a bidding war for the property which could net you more in the end.

Why choose to sell your home and manage the entire transaction when you can hire an agent and not have to pay anything more and probably net more money to you after the sale?

It is a good idea to sit down with a real estate professional in your area and see what they have to offer and how much they will be able to save you in time and money.

Dec. 12, 2017

Making an Offer on a Home!

4 Tips to Help in Making a Successful Offer!

Making an Offer

Now that you have found that perfect home that meets all of your needs, and you are finally really ready to make it yours, making a good offer will is all even more important.  In our current competitive market you will want to consider the following 4 tips to make sure the offer is as strong as possible. 

Many organizations including the following made by Freddie Mac will offer a good place to start. Below are the “4 Tips for Making an Offer” as written by Freddie Mac with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

“While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process.

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

2. Act Fast

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.” 

The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.

Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with your agent to present it as soon as possible.

3. Make a Solid Offer

Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:

“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”

Talk with your agent to find out if there are any ways that you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market!

4. Be Prepared to Negotiate

“It’s likely that you’ll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.

Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller, or cancel the contract.

Bottom Line 

It is a good idea to have a local real estate professional who knows the market at your side to help make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible. I would love to talk to you about how we can make your dream of owning a home a reality.  

Dec. 6, 2017

How much equity do I have in my home?

Wondering how to Calculate Home Equity?

Whats my equity

We all know our home is one of our important investment. Have you every wondered how you can find out how much equity you have in your home?  Knowing how much equity you have in your home can be used as a factor in determining when is the right time to sell.

The easiest method used is to figure the equity is to calculate the difference between the market value of your home and how much you owe on your mortgage. Your down payment actually marked your first stake of equity in your home. As you pay down your mortgage, your equity in your home continues to increase. Other factors that can increase your home equity include improvements on your house or your local market appreciating over time. 

By familiarizing yourself with the equity you have in your home, along with the economic conditions of our local market, you will gain insight into when might be the right opportunity to make your next move. 

If you are looking to enter the housing market, as either a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to go over exactly what’s going on in our neighborhood and discuss your options! 

When you're ready to buy, sell or invest in real estate, you need trusted local experts.

Call today to arrange a personalized consultation!

Jim Bradley  801.599.1089

Nov. 30, 2017

Home Shortages Push Values Up

Home Prices are increasing due to the lack of housing inventory.

 Home prices are going up

Drilling down into the home market will explains why home value are continuing to increase. 

The recent increase in housing prices is easily explained with the theory of supply & demand. When supply of homes is limited and the demand is high prices will increase.

Most housing expert agree that it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. If there is anything less than six months of inventory home prices are pressured to appreciate.  When you find anything more than seven months of home inventory home prices are pressured to fall. (see chart 1).

 Seller vs Buyer market

Home experts with the National Association of Realtor (NAR) who track the monthly inventory of homes report the supply of homes has been below six months for the last four years (see chart 2).

 

When buyer demand outpaces the current supply of existing homes for sale we experience the continuing increase in home prices.  It has been reported that until the supply meets demand the prices will continue to rise. The theory of supply & demand is alive and well in the housing market.

Nov. 16, 2017

Does Selling Make Sense?

By Jim Bradley

Five Questions You Should Ask When Considering Selling Your Home.

Today's housing market presents considerable opportunities for both sellers and homebuyers. The demand for homes is high and now that prices are stabilizing, and in many cases increasing, across much of the country, it may be the right time to consider taking advantage of the market and selling your home.

While potential homebuyers are aware of the positive impact of historically attractive low interest rates, we're seeing many sellers who are confused and concerned whether now is indeed the right time to put their home on the market. If this is the fence that you're sitting on, here are five questions to help you decide if now is the right time to make a move:

1. Have you built equity in your home? Home equity can be defined as the value of a home, minus the amount of outstanding debt. Although equity does not generally develop in the first few years of home ownership, five or more years of home payments may create significant unrealized gains. Any equity you may have can be used to move up to a larger home or as a comfortable nest egg if you're nearing retirement and considering downsizing.

2. Has your income or financial situation improved? You should consider your overall financial situation, including current and future expenses, in order to make an educated decision on a price range for a new home. For example, an increase in salary may allow for an increased mortgage.

3. Has your lifestyle changed? Lifestyle changes are one of the most common reasons people choose to move. Starting or adding to a family may require an extra bedroom or additional square footage. A desire to live closer to work or family may provide the motivation for a home in a new town. Or now may be the time to downsize to a home that requires less up-keep.

4. How is the housing supply in your neighborhood? Demand for homes is high and there are currently not enough sellers for potential buyers. Have you noticed there is only a spattering of for sale signs in your neighborhood? And more importantly - have you noticed how quickly those sale pending signs are posted? With fewer homes on the market, there is more competition for yours, which could mean more offers and potentially more money.

5. Are interest rates attractive? A low interest rate means lower mortgage payments on your next home, even if it is in the same price range. Visit sites like Bankrate.com to get most up to date mortgage rates in your area.

Posted in Selling my home
Nov. 16, 2017

Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home

By Jim Bradley

Did you miss your opportunity to Buy or Sell a home?

Let get together

Are you hearing that home prices have gone up so much that it is no longer a good time to buy a home? Are your friends and family telling you that it no longer make good financial sense to purchase a home because they are no longer affordable?  Guess what they could be wrong.

Right now homes are more affordable than almost any time in history except during the bottom of the last financial meltdown between 2009 and 2015 when there were so many run down foreclosures on the market selling at distress prices.  Check out the graph below published by Black Knight Mortgage Monitor which illustrates the percent of median income needed to purchase a medium home in most markets today.  

Currently the percentage needed is less than the prior periods.

Black Knight Mortgage Monitor goes on to illustrate that home affordability is better today than it was in the late 1990s in all but 3 States. Map of Affordability

 

 

Let’s get together and figure out what is your best solutions when it comes to buying your first home or selling your current house to buy the home of your dreams.