A friend sent me this article from STLtoday.com (titled: Home sellers skip agent, hope to save). The article is informative, but the comments are much more interesting. Here’s one of my favorites:
This is a no brain-er. You strike a deal,contact a real estate atty,and for a couple hundred bucks you get all the legal paper work done. Then you proceed to closing,and nothing happens there unless it’s all up to speed. Have sold many a home myself. Just hang in there,you DON’T need a realtor. As for pricing. Simple. Check what other like kinds in your area are going for
True: Not everyone needs a Realtor and lots of folks are successful selling on their own. By all means if you have the time and the marketing ability, give it shot. BUT, pricing is not simple. To fully understand that statement, it may be helpful to try an exercise.
Here’s the task: A new seller would like to list his home. By studying the chart below, what do you think the appropriate price for the home would be? The home has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a one car garage with a fenced yard of average size. The home is approximately 1700 square feet. The kitchen is updated and has granite, but not a ton of storage or counter space. The bathrooms are nice, new and clean, but not really very large. The systems and windows are new (within 5 years).
Location matters. It is important to understand that at the center of this neighborhood, Clifton Heights, is a beautiful lake in a park setting. Homes with lake/park views tend to go for higher values. For our purposes, the subject property does not have a lake view, nor is it on the outskirts of the neighborhood. From the chart above, please note that both Simpson addresses (6241 and 6172) had lake/park views.
Two more things to add: The zestimate (zillow.com) for the property is $205,000 and the last market sale was about 5 years ago for $211,000. These are just interesting side facts. Neither is truly helpful. No one from zillow has ever been inside this home so that number cannot be relied on. And it doesn’t matter if the owner paid a $1 yesterday or $400,000 two years ago.
What is the property worth now?
Your comments would be very much appreciated!
Like everyone else in this city I am a sucker for those big, old, historic homes. The high ceilings, intricate brick work, and crown molding made of plaster are architectural details that are just too expensive and labor intensive to replicate today. But those big old houses are big responsibilities. Lots of square footage means increased maintenance costs, more upkeep, increased energy consumption and a pretty hefty monthly mortgage.
If you are looking for a simpler lifestyle–one where not every free moment is devoted to home maintenance–think small.
All three of these homes are under 1000 square feet, are super solid, require little maintenance and have low utility bills.
7321 Melrose in University City has 2 beds and 1 bath with a large yard full of mature trees.
4031 Bamberger is in South St. Louis has 2 beds and 1 bath, small fenced in yard and a 1 car garage
2645 Pennsylvania is on a beautiful street in Tower Grove East has 2 beds and 1 bath with parking pad.
As I was looking through the available for sale housing in Tower Grove South I noticed that there just isn’t a whole lot of inventory out there. My clients were looking for homes that had at least 3 bedrooms and no less than 2 baths in move-in ready condition priced up to 300K. I only found 8 in the area I mapped which included the area between Grand and Kingshighway, Arsenal to Chippewa. We already looked at all these and none have met my clients needs. They really love TGS, so I need some more listings, please. If you live in TGS and have been thinking about putting your house on the market, but aren’t sure if this is the right time, I can assure this is the right time. There’s not a great deal of competition in the immediate area; interest rates are low; and there are buyers who want to act before the $8000 tax credit disappears.
I guess as long as I am asking people to put their houses on the market, I may as well ask you all to list with me. I am also running out of quality listings. I just checked my sold stats since May of 2009 and here’s what I found
Since May of this year, I have had 11 listings sell or go under contract. My listings are selling on average within 60 days with list prices ranging from 100-300K.Three of my listings are scheduled to close this week. My listing load is lightening up and my schedule is opening up. If you would like to talk about market conditions and what it means to list your home with Circa Properties, feel free to give me a call or send an email.
Included here are all the open houses that were advertised in the MLS as of Thursday August 13, 2009 in zip codes: 63104, 63111, 63116,63118, 63109, 63110, 63139 & 63109 listed between $90,000 and $290,000.
Recently I have encountered a couple transactions that needed a little extra help. Specifically, how do you finance a house that is perfect in all respects except that it is missing water supply lines?
Most of my clients are first time home buyers with great jobs, great educations and great credit. Most have money saved, but few have 20% of the value of the home they would like to purchase. So, one of the best options for this type of buyer is the FHA loan. FHA is a great loan product for those buyers who have little money for huge down payments. However, FHA comes with a few extra guidelines that often make it impossible to fund on houses that need a little extra work, but are for the most part in great shape. Enter the 5% down conventional loan.
“Access to conventional loans with 5% down has been severely limited over the past several months due to tightened PMI guidelines. Recently, several PMI companies loosened these restrictions. While still much more difficult to qualify for versus loans with 10% down, both first-time and repeat borrowers with at least a 680 credit score can now technically qualify. There are strict limitations on total debt-to-income ratios and it helps if the borrowers have at least 2 months of reserves left over after the 5% down. Buyers should still consider FHA as an option here, as these loans only require 3.5% down and they are ultimately much easier to qualify for. However, because some properties will not qualify for FHA, this conventional loan option will end up helping a lot of people”(Thank you Mark Anderson)
What properties might not qualify for traditional FHA financing?
Bank owned properties without HVAC systems
HUD owned properties without water supply lines
Short Sales with roof issues
In short any home that might have some immediate occupancy issue and where there is no live seller willing to take care of any repairs prior to closing, may not be a good candidate for an FHA loan. If you are looking at any listing which states “as-is, seller to perform no repairs or inspections” it is likely (though not absolute) that the home will not qualify for traditional FHA financing. One option to consider is the 5% Conventional.
As always, your buyer’s agent and your lender working together should be able to help you navigate this process. Just know that there are many options to explore when searching for financing. Loan products are not one-size fits all and it is very important that your financing match your house purchase. If you only qualify for a certain type of financing you and your agent need to know that up front so that you are looking for the right place.
I am still getting A LOT of questions about this and some buyers still don’t know that it exists. While I hate to beat a dead horse, I think it’s time for a refresher. There is indeed a home-buyer credit out there thanks to all that stimulus $$$$. So here are a couple facts. (Please run this by your lender and your account)
Fact: The credit comes with no strings attached, unless the home is sold again within three years.
Fact: The full amount is available for individuals with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000, and to married taxpayers earning up to $150,000. Reduced amounts are available to individuals earning between $75,000 and $95,000 and to couples earning between $150,000 and $170,000 in adjusted gross income.
Fact: the full $8,000 credit will be paid, whether you owe that much in federal income taxes or not. If you qualify for a credit of $8,000 and you only owe $2,000 in federal taxes, the tax credit will cover your tax payment and you will receive a $6,000 refund check.
Fact: anyone who has not owned a home during the past three years is eligible, regardless of how many homes they owned previous to that time.
Fact: There are also programs that allow buyers to get the money up front to put toward down payment or closing costs, without waiting for the refund itself.
As of today rates are 5.5% for Conventional loans with 10% down payment and 5.37% for FHA with 3.5% down payment.
Just a sample of some really great places that are new to the market:
Two of my listings will be open tomorrow from 1-3PM
7321 Melrose in University City
2645 Pennsylvania in Tower Grove East
Here are other homes that will be open in the neighborhoods surrounding these two lisitngs
Dawn Griffin Real Estate Blog
I’m an experienced Saint Louis Realtor specializing in St. Louis City as well as neighborhoods like Webster Groves, Maplewood, Clayton, University City and Ladue. With an undergraduate degree in Education and Master's in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development — I have the heart of teacher.
I have been immersed in Residential Real Estate, helping home buyers and sellers understand the market, manage the ambiguities and negotiate the best terms for themselves. I am consistently voted a 5-Star Agent by clients and featured as one of St. Louis' Best Agents in Saint Louis Magazine.