Why do you need a real estate agent to sell a home?

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

For the same reason you don’t represent yourself in court or try to diagnose your ailments – when it’s important, you bring in the experts. And what’s more important than your home? Consider this…

  • A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing – Real Estate is hyper-local, and national headlines don’t tell the story of what’s happening in your marketplace. Do you understand local market trends and how they will impact the sale of your home? A good real estate agent does.
  • Are you a pricing expert? Instant home valuations are interesting to look at, but the algorithms used don’t factor in location or condition. A real estate agent has the tools and resources to properly position your home in the market.

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Why do you need a real estate agent to buy a home?

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Just like you have an attorney by your side in court and a doctor to set the leg you broke, it makes no sense to go it alone or do it yourself when purchasing what is likely your largest single investment.

Consider this:

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Staging don’ts when preparing your home for sale

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Unless you’ve been living in East Jibip, you’ve probably heard how staging your home can positively impact the sale price and shorten the marketing time.

There’s been plenty written about what to do when staging your home, but consider a few things NOT to do:

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Low inventory and high demand of homes in Bucks County

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

The trend in our local Bucks County market of low inventory and high demand is continuing. The gap between ready, willing and able buyers and available homes to sell them is continuing to widen.

In many cases where homes are priced properly and in good condition, we’re consistently seeing multiple-offer situations, buyers paying above appraised value and/or asking price, and homes selling in less than 10 days in our local market. Our market cannot move forward without inventory because we cannot place our buyers into homes.

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Top eight list of showing “DON’TS” for home sellers

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

  1. Don’t follow buyers through the house and try to “sell” them on all its wonderful features – get outta Dodge!
  2. Don’t leave out your bowling trophies, stuffed dead animals or plastic encased doll collection complete w/ certificates of authenticity. The goal is for prospective buyers to look at your space, not your stuff.
  3. Don’t dismiss the importance of Staging – it’s a critical step in a successful home sale.
  4. Don’t dismiss the importance of a deep clean – both inside and out. It is probably the single most important factor when showing your home.
  5. Don’t think that just because you can no longer smell it, your house doesn’t stink! Ask a good friend to come over for a “smell test” as unpleasant odors are a deal killer.
  6. Don’t keep up your wedding picture with the bad hair from the 70’s – or worse yet, the glamour shot with the provocative draping on the fake bear rug that hangs in your bedroom.
  7. Don’t make it difficult to show your home! When you refuse a showing and ask that they come at a different time, it often isn’t possible to re-route the entire itinerary, and you’ll be taken off the list.
  8. Don’t think a “lived in” look is going to cut it. Piles of dirty laundry, globs of toothpaste stuck in the sink, toilet seats in the up position and unmade beds are unacceptable.
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Tips on buying and selling a house in today’s market

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

The housing market has continued its recovery and continues to be one of the strongest sectors in the US economy, with 2015 sales up 6.5% – the best year in nearly a decade. Bucks County outpaced the national average and saw the number of settled units rise 14.74%.

While home prices rose 6.5% nationally, the local markets didn’t keep pace, with the average sale price in Bucks County rising 1.49%. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, predicts a relatively modest sales increase of 1% to 3% for 2016.

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Wealth accumulation of homeowners

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors recently wrote an article in Forbes magazine outlining the difference in wealth accumulation between homeowners and renters. The difference is astounding. According to data collected in 2013 by the Federal Reserve, a typical homeowner’s net worth was $195,400, compared to $5400 for a renter.

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Bucks County real estate update

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

It’s impossible for national and regional statistics to tell you the full story on the many factors surrounding our local real estate market. Consumer sentiment and confidence have much to do with where we stand, and the statistics we’re seeing year-to-date and year-over-year are very good for Bucks County overall.

Low interest rates continue to keep affordability up for buyers, which is also good news for sellers. To really grasp current market conditions, it’s important to look at and track history.

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Big changes in home buying effective October 3rd, 2015

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Fox Roach Realtors Newtown Office

If you’re buying a home and getting a mortgage to do so, or if you’re selling a home to a buyer that needs to obtain a mortgage, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has instituted new rules designed to protect the consumer, which go into effect on October 3rd and can significantly impact the closing process.

The most impactful change is that now the Buyer must receive and review a new form called a Closing Disclosure no later than three days prior to the closing date.

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