Blog :: 09-2020

Welcome to Our Real Estate Blog!

Read our latest insights into the Greater Washington real estate market, including Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Our team of expert real estate professionals at RE/MAX Realty Group/100 have a finger on the pulse of the local market. Stay tuned for news and analysis on all the most important topics pertaining to real estate and home ownership in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

 

 

 

Should You Make Repairs That a Buyer Requested, Offer a Repair Credit or Lower Your Asking Price?

Before purchasing a house, a buyer will typically request a home inspection. The inspector may uncover a long list of problems, some minor and some major. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to make repairs or you may be able to compensate for problems in another way.

Which Things Do You Have to Fix?
A lender won’t release funds for a buyer to purchase a house with serious problems. If the home inspector finds major structural deficiencies, safety hazards or building code violations, the buyer’s lender will most likely require you to repair those issues before it will approve a mortgage. 

Sellers are not required to fix cosmetic issues or to repair problems that were caused by regular wear and tear. Other issues that fall in between are negotiable. Your state’s laws may affect your liability for issues that are discovered in an inspection.

How Should You Handle Problems?
If you aren’t required to make certain repairs, you and the buyer can work together to figure out how to address them. You may choose to make some repairs but not others, offer the buyer a credit on the purchase price to cover the cost of repairs or lower the asking price. 

If the buyer threatens to walk away unless you make specific repairs, it may be in your best interest to do as requested. If the deal falls apart, you will have to look for another buyer and have to disclose problems that you became aware of from the inspection report. If major problems were found, you will have to repair them anyway before you will be able to sell the house.

Reducing your home’s price can help you avoid the hassle of making repairs yourself and can prevent a delay in the closing. Before you lower the price, get a few quotes from local contractors. Many buyers overestimate the cost of repairs and ask for a price reduction that is much larger than what it will actually cost to fix problems.

You can offer a credit that will reduce the buyer’s closing costs to offset the cost of repairs. That may be a win-win because it can allow the buyer to choose a contractor and have the repairs done to his or her standards and let you avoid the hassle of having repairs done yourself, finding that the buyer is dissatisfied with the results, having to figure out whether to make more repairs or not go through with the sale at all.

Work Together 
Review the inspection report and discuss it with your real estate agent. Ask which repairs you are required to make, which are negotiable, and how to handle the buyer’s requests. Be willing to negotiate with the buyer when appropriate, but stand firm if the buyer demands that you pay for cosmetic repairs.

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    How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall

    How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall

    How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall | MyKCM
     

    Real estate continues to be called the ‘bright spot’ in the current economy, but there’s one thing that may hold the housing market back from achieving its full potential this year: the lack of homes for sale.

    Buyers are actively searching for and purchasing homes, looking to capitalize on today’s historically low interest rates, but there just aren’t enough houses for sale to meet that growing need. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, explains:

    Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to a late summer slowdown in the economic recovery…These low rates have ignited robust purchase demand activity…However, heading into the fall it will be difficult to sustain the growth momentum in purchases because the lack of supply is already exhibiting a constraint on sales activity.”

    According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), right now, unsold inventory sits at a 3.1-month supply at the current sales pace. To have a balanced market where there are enough homes for sale to meet buyer demand, the market needs inventory for 6 months. Today, we’re nowhere near where that number needs to be. If the trend continues, it will get even harder to find homes to purchase this fall, and that may slow down potential buyers. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comnotes:

    “The overall lack of sustained new listings growth could put a dent in fall home sales despite high interest from home shoppers, because new listings are key to home sales.”

    The realtor.com Weekly Recovery Report keeps an eye on the number of listings coming into the market (houses available for sale) and the total number of listings staying in the market compared to the previous year (See graph below):

    How Low Inventory May Impact the Housing Market This Fall | MyKCM

    Buyers are clearly scooping up homes faster than they’re being put up for sale. The number of total listings (the orange line) continues to decline even as new listings (the blue line) are coming to the market. Why? Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.comnotes:

    “The post-pandemic period has brought a record number of homebuyers back into the market, but it’s also failed to bring a consistent number of sellers back. Homes are selling faster, and sales are still on an upward trend, but rapidly disappearing inventory also means more home shoppers are being priced out. If we don’t see material improvement to supply in the next few weeks, we could see the number of transactions begin to dwindle again even as the lineup of buyers continues to grow.”

    Does this mean it’s a good time to sell?

    Yes. If you’re thinking about selling your house, this fall is a great time to make it happen. There are plenty of buyers looking for homes to purchase because they want to take advantage of low interest rates. Realtors are also reporting an average of 3 offers per house and an increase in bidding wars, meaning the demand is there and the opportunity to sell for the most favorable terms is in your favor as a seller.

    Bottom Line

    If you’re considering selling your house, this is the perfect time to connect so we can talk about how you can benefit from the market trends in our local area.

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      Essential Maintenance to Conduct on Newly Purchased Homes

      You've worked hard to become a homeowner. However, your work is not done. After you move into your new house, there are several essential maintenance tasks that you'll need to attend to. Here are a few things you need to do in order to maintain your new home:

      Gutter Maintenance

      Your gutters are an important part of your home. They're designed to prevent water from damaging the foundation of your home by redirecting the flow away from the base. They'll also prevent ice dams from forming on your roof by creating a path for the water to flow off of your roof. You should inspect your gutters and clean them if necessary, as gutters can become easily clogged with leaves and branches - and even sustain damage over time if not taken care of. This is an easy fix that many neglect after purchasing a home, resulting in more costly repairs down the road.

      Air Conditioner Maintenance

      Unless the air conditioner is brand new, you should ensure that it gets maintenance. You'll need to have the filter changed, since it's responsible for removing dirt, dust and allergens from the air. A dirty filter will cause your HVAC system to work harder, as well as produce poor air quality.

      You'll also need to have your HVAC system inspected by a professional. They can perform a tune-up. Air conditioner maintenance will help you save money because the unit will use less energy and last a lot longer.

      Water Heater Maintenance

      Your water heater likely needs to be drained if it's been used before. Sediment has a tendency to build up in water heaters over time, and few sellers have this taken care of before they sell their home. If the sediment hardens, your water heater will become less efficient. Draining the water heater will help get rid of the sediment and ensure your heater works normally long after you move into your new home.

      Plumbing Maintenance

      Inspecting the pipes in a property you've just moved into is crucial. Look under your sinks to make sure the pipes aren't leaking. Also, if there are water stains on your ceiling, you may have a plumbing leak. Additionally, you'll need to check your faucets for drips. If you notice any problems, call a plumber who can ensure that your sinks, toilets and pipes are in good working condition. Plumbing maintenance can help you save a lot of time and money further down the road.

      You will need to perform basic maintenance when you move into a home. You'll need to clean your gutters in order to protect the foundation, as well as perform water heater maintenance and air conditioner maintenance. Additionally, it's important to make sure your plumbing system is in good shape.