2015 3rd Quarter Newsletter

Posted on November 3, 2015 at 10:01 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate, Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics, Newsletter | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Make your home offer irresistible

When you're competing with a lot of other buyers for a hot piece of property, your bid needs to stand out.

You have found a home you can afford, in a great neighborhood with good schools. It even has a fenced-in yard for your dog. What could go wrong?

Any number of things, ranging from a competing buyer's all-cash offer to an insufficient earnest money deposit from you. In markets with houses in short supply, sellers have the advantage over buyers, and bidding wars often erupt between buyers vying for the nicest properties. The purchase offer should persuade sellers that your buyers are a serious contender who will give them most of what they want, even as it protects the buyer’s interests.

1. Pay cash. Investors have been snapping up homes to flip or rent, and they usually come to the table with cash. Sellers love all-cash offers because they're less likely to fall through before the sale closes. In January, all-cash transactions accounted for 28% of existing home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. Cities currently attracting strong investor interest include Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas and Phoenix, reports CoreLogic. If you need a mortgage, a low appraisal could cause your bank to back out of the deal, forcing the sellers to put the house back on the market.

2. Get preapproved. If you can't pay cash, you'll need to get a mortgage. Three or four months before you shop for a home, check your credit reports, says Michael Corbett, a consultant to real estate Web site Trulia and author of "Before You Buy!" That will give you time to dispute any errors and take short-term steps, such as paying off debts, that will improve your credit score. You can get your reports once a year free from the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. Then get a bank's preapproval. It won't guarantee that you'll get a loan, but it will show sellers that a lender has verified your income and credit score and determined that you can afford payments on a mortgage for a certain amount.

3. Make your best offer on price. You may only have one shot to get it right, so make your best offer — what you're willing and able to pay. Base your offer on recent sale prices of com­parable properties in the neighborhood so that it will pass muster when the property is appraised. If you hold back, thinking you'll sweeten the offer on the second try, you may lose the property to another buyer.

4. Up the ante. You can add an escalator clause, with which you agree to ratchet up your offer if there's a higher bid from another buyer. Keep in mind that if you agree to pay more than the market value determined by an appraisal, you're on the hook for the difference from your own funds.

5. Beef up your earnest money. This deposit signals how serious a buyer you are. Try doubling the amount that the seller requests or that is customary in the area. If you must renege on the offer for any reason allowed by the contract or state law, you'll get your money back.

6. Pay for extras yourself. These might include some of the closing costs, homeowners association dues that must be prepaid, a one-time contribution to a community-enhancement fund, or a home warranty.

7. Make contingencies palatable. Most sellers prefer offers with no contingencies, but you probably can't afford to forgo the protection that contingencies provide if you want to cancel the contract. Offset a financing contingency with preapproval and a strong earnest money deposit. If you have enough cash, temper an appraisal contingency by assuring sellers that if the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, you'll pay the difference or split it with them (up to a certain amount). Include a home-inspection contingency, but tell sellers that you will cover the cost of any repairs. If the price tag on those repairs gets out of hand, you can back out of the deal.

8. Write a love letter to the sellers. Re/Max agent Gayle Henderson, of Scottsdale, Ariz., says this will help you connect with the sellers, especially if you haven't met them. She suggests such points as: "We're relocating from…" "We see ourselves living in your neighborhood or chose your schools because …" "We especially love …" and "We appreciate your accommodating our visits."

9. Give the gift of time. Express your willingness to work with the sellers' timetable to go to closing. If the sellers want to remain in the home for a while after closing, offer them a "lease back" or "rent back," which means that you will be their temporary landlord. This is a legal arrangement, and you'll need to work out the details with your agents and be sure that the sellers keep their homeowners insurance during their stay. If you are bidding on a short sale, make clear to the sellers that you are patient and can wait for the bank's decision.

 

Download a PDF of this blog post here: JACKIE98110_Make_your_home_offer_irresistible

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bainbridge Island Real Estate Sales in Review

RESIDENTIAL HOME SALES IN REVIEW

YEAR                  Avg. Sale Price            Total # of Sales           Avg. Days on Market

2003                    $481,758                           454                                      101

2004                    $551,462                           468                                      92

2005                    $670,004                           442                                      91

2006                    $752,154                           349                                      87

2007                    $820,607                           317                                      97

2008                    $749,970                           187                                      108

2009                    $662,668                           212                                      139

2010                    $639,169                           255                                      102

2011                    $581,855                           257                                      113

2012                    $636,705                           384                                      101

2013                    $599,116                           414                                      75

2014                    $706,275                           401                                      65

CONDOMINIUM SALES IN REVIEW

YEAR                  Avg. Sale Price            Total # of Sales           Avg. Days on Market

2003                    $304,874                           73                                        165

2004                    $302,123                           157                                      185

2005                    $381,143                           74                                        55

2006                    $359,040                           150                                      89

2007                    $459,756                           129                                      218

2008                    $458,383                           42                                        107

2009                    $366,369                           53                                        176

2010                    $326,174                           53                                        214

2011                    $289,338                           67                                        212

2012                    $296,702                           80                                        147

2013                    $328,139                           93                                        117

2014                    $384,416                           100                                      60

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LAND SALES IN REVIEW

YEAR                 Avg. Sale Price            Total # of Sales           Avg. Days on Market

2003                    $211,651                           106                                      233

2004                    $187,045                           104                                      254

2005                    $292,644                           87                                        216

2006                    $460,802                           53                                        183

2007                    $378,295                           30                                        164

2008                    $421,728                           15                                        124

2009                    $433,500                           11                                        291

2010                    $172,625                           24                                        175

2011                    $233,405                           20                                        182

2012                    $216,672                           32                                        159

2013                    $197,453                           52                                        315

2014                    $249,267                           43                                        209         

 

So you’ve begun thinking about selling your house and you figure: Let’s wait until spring or early summer before listing. The yard will look its best and potential buyers will be out in force.  Recent research studies show home listing prices, sales price and time-on-market data from January 2010 through October 2014, concluded that if you want to sell for more than your asking price, listing in December through March gives you a better chance on average than if you list June through November.  If your goal is to sell relatively quickly, February is historically the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes listed then selling within 90 days, according to national averages, including cold weather cities like Boston and Chicago.

Researchers are quick to note that the advantages of listing in winter compared with other seasons are not huge. But the fact that winter produces at least competitive or better results by some measures should encourage potential sellers to get into the game sooner rather than later. Bottom line: Real estate does not hibernate. Other factors to consider:   Only 63 Homes, 8 Condominiums and 53 land parcels currently For Sale on Bainbridge Island. Less Inventory = Less Competition for Sellers who list prior to spring. This is surprisingly an advantageous time to list, shop and buy Real Estate. Buyers shopping at this time of year are Serious Buyers. More Corporate Transfers at this time of year.  Buyers have more time to surf the web for homes.

What are your real estate goals for 2015?

Call me for a Current Market Analysis and I will provide you with an honest, fact-based report of the financial value of your home. 

Posted on January 6, 2015 at 11:10 pm
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Bainbridge Island Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Fay Bainbridge State Park

Fay Bainbridge Park is a 17-acre marine camping park with 1,420 feet of saltwater shoreline on the northeast corner of Bainbridge Island. The park offers sweeping views of Puget Sound, the Cascade Mountains and features sandy beaches. On clear days, Mount Rainier and Mount Baker are visible from a sandy beach.

Besides the amazing beachcombing, Fay Bainbridge also has sheltered Picnic areas with water and electricity, a large playground and camping! 

While it is free to access the park, there are nominal fees for camping and use of the large shelter areas.  There are plenty of open picnic tables all over the park that are free to use – first come first served!

For more information on this lovely treasure, go to the Bainbridge Island Parks Department website: 

http://www.biparks.org/parksandfacilities/pkfaybainbridge.html

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 2:39 am
Jackie Syvertsen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,