Thursday, May 23, 2019

Should I overprice my home to "test" the market?

In this active market with tight inventory, it may be tempting to overprice your home to see if you can score a windfall. Testing the market by setting your list price above market value is not a sound strategy. Here's why;

You waste your early days 
The first month a house is on the market is when activity is highest. A new listing has the market’s attention. An accurate list price will increase the probability of selling in the first two weeks and improve your chance of multiple offers.

You lose credibility 
Savvy Buyers have done research and know what homes like yours are worth. When you price too high Buyers might not even look at your property.
You’re giving offers away
When your property is overpriced, you’re helping sell other homes that have accurate prices. After seeing your high-priced home, Buyers may be eager to get the better-value house nearby.

Days on market will increase
Buyers will start wondering if something is wrong with a property that sits on the market. Ironically, when you do drop the price repeatedly, you often get less for your property than if you offered a realistic price from the start.
Not everyone likes to play Let’s-Make-a-Deal 
Overpricing a home to ensure plenty of extra room for negotiations may backfire. Buyers will generally not engage in “low ball” offers and negotiations that drag out. Additionally, if Buyers overlook your house because it’s out of their budget, there will be no one to negotiate with.

You miss reaching your target audience 
Buyers generally search by price range when looking online. If your property is worth $319,000, but you’re asking $330,000, you won’t capture buyers who search for houses within the $300,000 to $325,000 range.

The house won’t appraise at the inflated price 
If you do get that inflated offer, your Buyer’s lender will need an appraisal to approve a mortgage. If comparable home sales over the last six months don’t support your sale price, then your Buyer won’t get the mortgage.

Today's lower interest rate just added more money to the mix for those shopping for a home

There is good news for home buyers who have been in the market for some time. Let's say you have been looking for a house at a $300,000 price point.  Today, thanks to historically low interest rates, your payments are lower than what you would have paid last year on the same house. We're talking $2,376. less a year which adds up to $71,280. over the life of a 30 year loan.

Home buyers can choose where to put that extra money; purchase a bigger house, secure a college fund, fatten a retirement account or car purchase?  Savvy buyers will not want to miss this opportunity to secure a low rate. When interest rates increase, these savings will disappear. 

Speak to a trusted, local mortgage broker to run your numbers. Delaware Valley Financial Mortgage, LLC can quickly evaluate your financial position and help you determine how much you qualify for. 

Illustration based on $300,000.00 purchase 80% loan to value and credit score of 760. 4%: APR 4.039%. 5.375%: APR 5.447%. Monthly payments reflect principle and interest and do not include property taxes and home owners insurance. Life of loan: 30 year. Rates subject to change without notice.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Wheatland Farms SOLD OUT!

April, 2019 marks the sale of the last new home available in Chester County's premier new home community of Wheatland Farms! Site Agent Bill Raymond (left), and Cedar Knoll Builders Dave Hibbard, Project Manager and Craig Martin, Chief Operating Officer have been at Wheatland Farms from the first ground breaking back in 2005 until today. Bill has tirelessly helped clients in Wheatland navigate the home building process with efficiency and compassion. From the first Wheatland Farms new home buyer to the 143rd, Cedar Knoll Builders has delivered high value homes and superb customer service. This thoughtfully planned community with tree lined streets and 100 acres of scenic open space is a thriving neighborhood.

"When I think back to our initial plan meeting at the Beiler-Campbell Longwood office in October 2005 Wheatland Farms was nothing more than a field and no public utilities in sight. Along the way we dealt with a down-turn in the economy, added new models, adjusted pricing and construction standards, introduced new marketing, and learned a new pricing system all in an effort to present our clients with the very best opportunity in Avon Grove" ~ Bill Raymond.

Market Overview of Local School Districts Combined

Should I fix up my home before selling?

Most home sellers asks themselves: Should I spend more time and money on fixing it up or just try to sell it as is?

The answer depends on variables. What's the condition of competing homes for sale? Is it a hot market? What's the likelihood of a return on your investment?

Most buyers want a home that's in move-in condition. You can limit the number of buyers who might be attracted to your home by not making repairs.

Before Fixing Up Your Home

Smart sellers will weigh the cost of the proposed improvements against the home's market value after the repairs or upgrades are completed. Before you decide to lift the roof and install skylights in the master suite, realize that kitchens and baths carry the highest return.

Compare homes in your price range to yours. If most of them have upgraded kitchens, you should concentrate on fixing the kitchen. This doesn't mean that you have to tear out the cabinets but a minor kitchen remodel might be a good investment. 

Where to Start

Make a list of everything that's defective, broken, or worn out. Buyers might wonder what else in the home has been neglected if they spot problems or malfunctioning systems as they tour your home.

Minimum improvements to consider making include patching holes and cracks in the walls and ceilings and fixing broken appliances and HVAC systems. Repair leaky faucets.

Replace broken window glass and repair the roof if necessary. Change any dated light fixtures or ceiling fans.  

Cosmetic Touches

Replace carpeting, repaint with neutral paint—not white. Tidy landscaping, a fresh coat of paint on the front door and a clean front porch will make a great first impression.

Keep in mind that empty homes don't show as well as furnished rooms, but battered furniture and clutter can detract from your home's appeal. Consider upgrading your furniture if it's in bad shape. You can always take it with you when you go. 

Talk to your agent before making any repairs to weigh the pros and cons with your particular home and your personal situation. Your agent has his/her thumb on the market, so ask him/her for advice.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Weekly Market Overview Shows Increasing Spring Activity

Data includes school districts: Unionville/Chadds-Ford, Kennett Consolidated, Avon Grove, Oxford, Octorara, Coatesville and Solanco. Data reported in BRIGHT MLS

What difference does just .5% make?

A savings of over $25K on the life of the loan!
Will these low rates last? Not likely.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized at a March 20 news conference that many things are going right: wages are growing, consumer confidence has rebounded, and financial conditions are good. He said that economic fundamentals are strong.

According to Kiplinger’s latest forecast on interest rates: “Long rates are likely to pick up a little as the U.S. economy improves later this year. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will likely reach 4.5%.”

The takeaway: If you are planning to buy, now is the time to take advantage of the current low interest rates and enjoy thousands in savings.

Contact Delaware Valley Financial Mortgage, LLC to take the first step and learn what mortgage amount you will qualify for.

Illustration based on $300,000.00 purchase 80% loan to value and credit score of 760. 4%: APR 4.039%. 4.5%: APR 4.541%. Monthly payments reflect principle and interest and do not include property taxes and home owners insurance. Rates subject to change without notice.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Housing sentiment surges in March, and sellers are increasingly optimistic

· The net share of those who say it is a good time to buy increased 7 percentage points in March over February to 22%

· The share of those who say now is a good time to sell a home increased 13 percentage points to 43% in March, up 4 points from a year ago

More consumers think now is a good time to buy and sell a home. Lower mortgage rates are likely behind the positive surge in housing sentiment, which could help rev up the spring real estate season.

A monthly survey from Fannie Mae showed that, in March, positive sentiment jumped to the highest level since June, which was just below the record high.

 "The results further corroborate the positive effect of falling mortgage rates on affordability, which we expect will help support a rebound in home sales," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist. "Meanwhile, job confidence — little changed from last month's survey high — also continues to support housing sentiment, while income growth perceptions firmed from both prior month and year-ago levels, potentially supporting an uptick in housing demand."

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage jumped over 5% at the start of November of last year, after moving slowly higher last summer. It then began falling in December but took a deep dive in the middle of March. It has moved slightly higher since then but is still below where it was at this time a year ago.

Data source: CNBC 4/8/2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Data reflects settlements in FEBRUARY, 2019 of Single Family Homes in Chester County, PA as reported by Suburban West Realtors Association.

Data includes Chester County PA, Single Family Homes from February 2018 through February 2019 as provided by Suburban West Realtors Association.  
Inventory is tight creating a market in which homes sell quickly and for a good price. If you are considering selling your home, now is an optimal time to act. 

CLICK for a no-cost home market analysis
CLICK to ask a real estate professional a question

Mortgage Broker vs Bank Which is the sound choice?

The first step in buying a home is determining how much you have to spend. This means a consultation with a mortgage broker or bank. Choosing which to work with is a decision that will influence the smoothness of your transaction and the costs of your mortgage. Working with a mortgage broker instead of a bank for a home loan can not only save money but can provide a smoother overall experience with less headaches and better customer service.

Brokers have access to far more loan products and types of loans than a bank, whether it’s FHA loans, VA loans, jumbo loans, a USDA loan, or simply a borrower with bad credit. Meanwhile, an institutional bank might only offer conventional mortgages.

Because of their ability to shop around, you will generally find lower interest rates when working with a broker. Over the years on a life of a loan, this can mean a savings of thousands of dollars.

Local brokers offer more personalized service, where they can carve out solutions to your problems, whether it’s a low down payment, limited credit history, or the desire to limit closing costs. A broker will find solutions if/when any roadblocks present themselves. Your experience will be more consistent because you will work with the same person and their team, as opposed to a large bank with thousands of employees.

Local brokers are tightly knitted into the industry marketplace and are committed to title companies and REALTORS. Reputation and performance are key as their business income depends on happy clients and industry professionals. Brokers work hard to earn the trust of industry professionals and go the extra mile to keep that trust.

To sum it up ~ the pros of working with a mortgage broker:

· Brokers do all the legwork for you, working on your behalf with the lender

· They compare wholesale mortgage rates from a large number of lenders all at once

· Wholesale interest rates can be lower than retail bank branch interest rates

· They have more loan options because they work with numerous lenders

· Can finance tricky deals because of their knowledge and various lending partners

· Are easier to get in contact with, less bureaucratic and offer a higher level of service

One such local mortgage broker with an outstanding reputation in the industry is Delaware Valley Financial Mortgage. Visit their website at

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Market Snapshot

Data includes school districts: Unionville-Chadds Ford, Kennett Consolidated, Avon Grove, Oxford, Octorara and Solanco. Data source: Bright MLS 3/13/2019

WIRE FRAUD what you need to know

It's a nightmare scenario for any homebuyer: the day before closing, a scammer manages to trick you into wiring your down payment to an offshore account. You lose your hard-earned money and you lose the house, and there's no way you can get either one back.

How criminals fool homebuyers

1. A person involved in a real estate transaction, such as a title company, real estate attorney or realtor, has his or her email account compromised by malicious software, known as malware, sent by a criminal over email.

2. Just as a closing date is coming near, the fraudster uses the compromised email account to send a legitimate-looking message to the buyer complete with company logos – which, coming directly from the realtor, title company or attorney's account, appears real. The email tells the buyer that there's been a change of plans, and he or she needs to wire the down payment just before the closing date, supposedly to a bank account belonging to the seller.

3. But the account actually belongs to the criminal, and is typically overseas, out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

4. In some cases criminals even follow up with phone calls to the victim buyers, purporting to be from a representative for the title company or seller's law office, and reassuring them the wire transfer request is real.

What you can do

According to the FBI, email compromise crimes, including similar attacks on businesses, have been spiking. Cybersecurity company eSentire reported that real estate was the second highest industry hit with malware events in the second quarter of 2018. Between 2017 and mid 2018, businesses and consumers reported a 136% increase in losses related to these crimes. The fraudulent transfers have been sent globally, to 115 countries, the FBI said. These scams are being reported nationwide.  Regardless of the size of the company, no title company, mortgage broker, bank or attorney firm is immune.

There are steps homebuyers should take to make sure they are protecting themselves from falling victim to fraudsters, according to Kalember and the FBI.

Be vigilant:
Homebuyers should first just be aware that they may be a targeted by scammers in this manner, and should be suspicious and act accordingly to verify any correspondence associated with their home purchase or sale.

Do not send or request wiring instructions via e-mail:
If an email is being hacked and watched by a scammer, this will tip them off to your upcoming transaction.

Voice verify before and after:

Lori Court, Manager Anvil Land Transfer Title Company says, "It might seem cumbersome in an already long homebuying process, but following up emails with a voice verification is a must. Do not trust any email alone containing wiring instructions - even if it looks authentic."  And this is important: do not call the number, or accept a call from a phone number within the email. You must make the call to a previously used phone number for your title company. After you send a wire, call your title company to validate the funds were received. Detecting that you sent money to the wrong account within 24 hours
gives you the best chance of recovering your money.

Agents at Beiler-Campbell Realtors & Appraisers are well educated on the schemes targeting the real estate industry. Their Agents are committed to educating their buyers and sellers to protect themselves. Click to view a wire fraud warning on their website.

Click to ask a Real Estate Professional a question