Thursday, January 29, 2009

Real Estate Myths for Buyers and Sellers

Today’s real estate market can be a confusing sea to navigate without a qualified Realtor to look out for your best interests. The family of Realtors here at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty are here to help you through the process to the American dream of owning your own home.

Its always important to address certain Real Estate myths for both Home Buyers and Home Sellers. There are several myths that keep fears running rampant on both sides of the market. Barbara Corcoran, a real estate expert for NBC, did a wonderful job covering a few of these myths recently on the Today Show with Matt Lauer.

10 Real Estate Myths for Buyers and Sellers
Buyer myth No. 1: The longer the house is on the market, the more you can negotiate.When buyers ask, “How long has this property been on the market?”, they think “six months” means they can negotiate the price down. It more often means the seller is stubbornly holding on to their price.
Buyer myth No. 2: The sellers today are desperate.Most aren’t. Always ask why the sellers are selling. It’s the key to finding how motivated and anxious they are. “I’m being transferred to Dallas” is a very different answer than “We’d like to find something bigger.” The first homeowner is hot to trot.
Buyer myth No. 3: You can’t buy a home today with less than 20 percent down.FHA loans require only 3.5 percent down, and you can even ask the seller to pay the closing costs.
Buyer myth No. 4: You need good credit to get a good loan.Once again, the FHA to the rescue! They’re happy to lend money to buyers with bad credit.
Buyer myth No. 5: You shouldn’t buy before prices have bottomed.You can’t sharpshoot the real estate market. Once you identify the “bottom,” prices have already moved up.
Seller myth No. 1: Now’s the absolute worst time to sell.Not necessarily. It depends upon where you live. Many of the worst hit markets, like Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Diego, are already beginning to turn around. And if you’re a homeowner who wants to trade up, the loss you’ll take on your current home will be more than offset by the bargain you’ll get on the next one.
Seller myth No. 2: Never respond to a low-ball bid.All buyers today feel obligated to put in low-ball offers to see if the seller bites. If you respond with a reasonable counter offer, most buyers can be convinced to come up in price and make the deal.
Seller myth No. 3: The first offer is never the best offer.Most sellers believe that it’s smart to hold out for something better. But four times out of five, the first offer is the best you’ll ever see.
Seller myth No. 4: ‘I can always reduce my price later.’Sellers often price their home high for a few weeks just to test the market. But buyers shop by price bracket and if your house is in the wrong one, you’ll just help sell everyone else’s home while yours sits there overpriced. And reducing your price later in small increments puts you in the position of chasing the tide as it goes out.
Seller myth No. 5: Before you refinance, shop around.You can if you want, but you’ll usually get the best deal from your current lender. And you’ll be able to negotiate your closing costs.

Courtesy of Barbara Corcoran, MSNBC

Forbes Lists Hampstead Homes As Highest In Retaining Home Equity Values

One of the most desirable North Carolina areas is in Hampstead. What a perfect location. In between the waterfront and the Holly Shelter Game Land, you can probably see in your mind’s eye the beautiful coast and equally desirable park landscape. For outdoors people, the Holly Shelter, with almost 50,000 acres promises true wild life, plant life, and endless natural habitats. Also for the outdoors people, the coastal life promises relaxation and a high quality of life. Forbes recently listed Hampstead as No. 20 across the US as retaining the highest levels of home equity. Those are reasons enough to visit Hampstead and look into the real estate opportunities.

Frequently asked question about selling in a buyer's market

Q: Should I wait to sell my house until I can get the same price my neighbor sold for?

A: It’s always better to trade up in a buyer’s market, like the one we are in now. While the value of your house has fallen, the price of higher-end homes has also dropped.

Here's an example. Say your neighbor sold his house six months ago for $300,000. In today's market, your home's value may have decreased 10 percent and you could only get $270,000. So you might think you'd be taking a $30,000 "loss" on your home.

But, don’t forget that higher priced homes have also dropped in price.

So, using the same example, the $500,000 move-up home you'd like to buy has also dropped 10 percent in value and now sells at $450,000. If you sold your home today for $270,000 and purchased the larger house for $450,000, the difference in price would be $180,000.

But if you waited to recoup the 10 percent value on your home and sold it at $300,000, chances are that same move-up home would also move up in price to at least 10 percent to $500,000. That’s a $200,000 price difference between the two homes.

So by not waiting, and selling today, you could actually save $20,000. And most likely, by jumping into the market today your savings would be even greater because consumers have much more bargaining power when shopping for higher-end homes in a buyer’s market.

For answers to more home buying questions, please email us or call us at 910-233-8810

Local real estate market points up foreclosure alternatives

Here’s an astounding fact: Distressed properties accounted for 45 percent of all home resales nationwide in October.
In contrast, foreclosure sales have comprised only a small part of Wilmington’s housing market, according to Susan Lacey, president of the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors.
Foreclosures are concentrated in areas of the country where so-called exotic mortgages made up a big chunk of the lending, says Walter Molony, senior public affairs specialist for the National Association of Realtors. Loans such as option adjustable-rate mortgages and interest-only mortgages were concentrated in areas such as California and Florida but did not account for a substantial portion of the loans made in North Carolina, local and state banking figures say.
Sales of what are called distressed properties are enough of a factor here, however, that a local real estate agent has become the first in the area certified by the national Realtors group to help clients through the process of distress sales and, especially, via what are called short sales.
In a short sale, a lender agrees that an owner can sell his or her home for less than is owed on it.
It’s an alternative to foreclosure, says Melanie Cameron of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty, who at the end of October received a National Association of Realtors designation as a distressed-property specialist. She is the first one in Southeastern North Carolina, according to Sea Coast, and one of only eight in the state, Cameron added.
That number is expected to grow.
“What we’re seeing is more inquiries by people about short sales. Many people who want to put their house on the market don’t realize they are in a short-sale situation,” said Tim Milam, president of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast.
People, especially those who bought at the top of the market and put little or nothing down, may have seen any equity they had evaporate as home values have fallen from boom-time levels. They may, in fact, find themselves owing more on the property than they can sell it for.
Distressed properties include foreclosed homes, and there’s a market here for that as well.
Search distressed properties here