When selling your home you must do your best to appeal to all potential home buyers. Each buyer may be looking for something specific, but most of them are just looking for the nicest home at the best price. What that means is that unless there is a “must have” on their list of features needed in a buyers next home, most buyers just want something clean and at a fair price. You can not please every buyer all of the time, but it is your job as the seller to do your best to have your home in the right condition, and at the right price, so that it appeals to as many potential buyers as possible. Let’s talk about some of the things in your home that may turn off potential buyers.
House Buyer Complaint #1: Odors.
Buying a home is an emotional decision for the buyer. When they are in a house they have to be able to envision living in the home. Unusual or unpleasant odors are a big detractor to home buyers because they will not want to live there. Nothing turns a buyer off quicker than an odor. For example, musty smells in the basement cause a buyer to wonder if there is mold in the home, or if the basement has had water intrusion in the past. The odor could be something easily correctable like taking out the trash that is stinky. However, it may be more of a challenge if the odor is cigarette or pet odor.
In particular, cigarette and pet odors in a house that seems to have been well-cleaned create the concern that they might be permanent and that the buyer might not be able to get rid of them without spending a lot of money on cleaning or replacing floor coverings and repainting the entire house. A simple air freshener or lit candle will not overcome serious odors.
House Buyer Complaint #2: Dirt and messes.
Possibly the single largest source of buyer complaints is the dirt, messes, and personal belongings that buyers find so distracting when they walk into a home they were excited to see. Again, buyers need to visualize living in the home. They want to be excited to move in. A dirty house does not help the buyers feel excited about moving in. They often can not overlook the clutter, dog mess in the yard, or any other unsanitary condition.
Will one or two small, untidy items ruin the sale of your home? Will a few dishes left in the sink prevent a sale? No, but a few of them (or more) can certainly distract a buyer enough that they fixate on the home’s messes and, in the process, fail to see what is so great about your property. It is wise to make sure the home is as close to a show home as possible. Remember, living in the home normally and living in the home when trying to sell it are two different things.
House Buyer Complaint #3: Lots of little malfunctions.
All of us tend to think our homes are in fantastic condition. We live there and are OK with the condition of the home. Sure, there may be a few little things that don’t work perfectly, but most home owners have just lived with it. Potential home buyers are not so willing to overlook the items that need to be fixed. They will want every light switch to work when they flip it on. They do not want a loose handrail. They want the plumbing to not leak. They want doors to latch easily.
Since these little fixes are inexpensive to make, have them completed before you list your house, if at all possible. It will help with the buyers first impression of the home. They will not have concerns about the condition of the home if they feel you have maintained the house.
The goal of working on these three items is to get your home sold. Small improvements will help make it possible to sell your home. If you have any questions about selling your home in Pocatello, Idaho, please contact Greg Johnston, Realtor, at 208-232-9041.
The first quarter of 2013 was a busy one in Bannock County, Idaho. The real estate market has improved from the previous year in many areas of the market. The overall buzz is positive. REALTORS, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, appraisers and title companies all say they are busy with business right now. That is a good sign that this summer will be a good one for Pocatello, Idaho real estate. Click on this link for a list of the statistics: 1Q 2013
Right now there are 463 single family homes for sale in Bannock County. This is up from the 426 homes listed at the same time one year ago. Our inventory is not being absorbed, but with an improving market we do expect to see people put their home on the market and try to sell now that things are improving.
March 2013 had 53 home sales. That is near identical to the 54 sold in March of 2012. Personally, I expected the number of sales to be 70-80. There is a lot of activity and I felt more homes had sold. Notice that there are 114 homes under contract scheduled to close soon. Maybe many homes have accepted offers and have not yet closed. Again, I thought we had sold more than 53 homes in March, but maybe many of them will close in April 2013. Also notice the three month home sales trend. The first quarter 2013 had 145 home sale compared to only 117 sales in the first quarter of last year. That is a good sign of a stronger overall real estate market. The sales are also up for townhouses and twin homes. 77 have sold in the past twelve months compared to 49 sales at the same time one year ago. That is a dramatic increase.
The average price of a home listed for sale in our area is $177,211. The average sales price of a home that has sold in March 2013 is $150,310.
New construction sales are increasing. Twelve new homes have sold in the past three months. Ten more homes are on the MLS for sale. Building lots are selling and homes are being built. 52 building lots have sold in the past year compared to only 28 at the same time one year ago. The number of lots sold has almost doubled. That is an indication of many new homes being built this summer. The number of lots available to purchase is down to only 141 compared to 176 last year. Do not be surprised to see some new additions to existing subdivisions soon. Our market area needs more building lots for the new homes.
Overall, things are improving. I think 2013 will exceed 2012 in home sales. I expect home values to increase slightly. There are still some excellent buying opportunities. If you have an interest in buying real estate in Pocatello, Idaho please contact Greg Johnston, REALTOR, at 208-232-9041.
As a local REALTOR, one of the most common phone calls I receive is from a potential home buyer calling on a great deal on a fixer upper or foreclosure home that I have listed for sale. They may have seen it in a magazine ad, on a website, or just see my for sale sign as they drive by. I receive many calls from buyers looking for the great deals on the foreclosure homes that are for sale. The buyer calls and asks me to show the home to him so he can see if he wants to buy it. Most of the time I have to inform the potential home buyer that the home has already sold, and that it sold quickly. The hot buys in the Pocatello, Idaho real estate market always sell very fast. If you are looking for a hot buy, you can not wait for the new real estate magazine to come out the next month. You must act fast and be watching the market daily for the new listings. There are some things we can do to help ensure you can get in on one of these hot buys when it hits the market.
Whether you are looking for a home for yourself to live in, or as an investment property, you need to be in a position to make an offer quickly. This means you need to have your loan lined up, or your cash available for the purchase. Most sellers and all bank owned properties will not accept a financing contingency on the offer. They know there are lots of buyers and they want to have a sure deal before they take it off the market.
The best thing you can do is call me and let me know that you are looking for a fixer upper to buy. If you want to buy a home for yourself to live in, a home to use as a rental property, or a home to fix up and resale for a profit as a flip, I can find it for you. I watch the market every day and can find a deal for you. I can see the new listings, and I can see when a listed home has a price reduction making it more attractive. I can also put you on an automatic email list so that you can receive an email whenever a new fixer upper home hits the MLS. Again, if you are interested in investing in Pocatello, Idaho real estate, call me, Greg Johnston, so that I can keep you in mind when homes are available. There are always great deals on bank owned foreclosures, distressed sales, and short sales if you know where to find them. I can help you find them. Contact Greg Johnston, REALTOR at 208-232-9041.
We all want to get top dollar for our home when we are trying to sell it. It seems that most home sellers list their home at the highest price they hope to get and then eventually lower the price to where it ends up selling. If you are one of those sellers, it may be time to lower the price to where it will sell. How do you know when it is time? These six signs may be telling you it’s time to lower your price.
1. Fewer interested buyers are looking
You get the most interest in your home right after you put it on the market because buyers want to catch a great new home before anybody else takes it. If your real estate agent reports there have been fewer buyers calling about and asking to tour your home than there have been for other homes in your area, that may be a sign buyers think it’s overpriced and are waiting for the price to fall before viewing it.
2. Many buyers look, but no offers
If you have had a lot of potential buyers come through your home and not a single one has made an offer, something is off. It could be the location, an undesirable floor plan, the condition, or something, but most of the time it is price. An overly high price may be discouraging buyers from making an offer. It is true that the right price will overcome all buyer objections. They are not objecting to location, condition or anything as much as they are really objecting to the price.
3. You have a deadline
If you’ve got to sell soon because of a job transfer or you’ve already purchased another home, it may be necessary to generate buyer interest by dropping your price so your home is a little lower priced than comparable homes in your area. Remember: It’s not how much money you need that determines the sale price of your home, it’s how much money a buyer is willing to spend. An attractive price will help a buyer to choose to buy your home so you can meet your deadline and get moved.
4. You can’t make the needed home improvements
Maybe you are out of cash and do not have the funds to put fresh paint on the walls, replace the carpets, and add curb appeal. If your home needs some repairs, but you can not afford them, a price reduction will help attract the buyer. When your home has been on the market longer than comparable homes in better condition, it’s time to accept that buyers expect to pay less for a home that doesn’t show as well as others.
5. The competition has changed
If months go by with no offers, continue to check out the competition. What have comparable homes sold for and what's still on the market? What are you competing with in your price range, and how does your home compare to them? What new listings have been added since you listed your home for sale? If comparable home sales or new listings show your price is too steep, consider a price reduction.
We all want to maximize the return on our investment, but there are many factors to consider when pricing a home. If you need to sell, price is the number one thing that will attract a buyer. If you have questions about the pricing of your home in Pocatello, Idaho, contact Greg Johnston, Realtor.
The Pocatello, Idaho real estate market showed some good signs during 2012. With the year now complete we can look at the statistics to see how 2012 compared with previous years. This will help give us indications of what to expect for 2013. Although there are many factors that can affect the local real estate market, we can gauge if the market is improving or not by comparing to past years.
Bannock County had 705 single family home sales in the year 2012. That is up slightly (about 3%) from the 684 home sales in 2011 and the 676 home sales in 2010. However, it is still far below the 1,000 – 1,200 homes sales we saw in the years 2005 through 2008. We did see a slight increase in home sales for the second straight year, but we are far behind the sales we had a few years ago. I feel that this is what our expectations should be for the next year or two. I do not expect 1,000 home sales in 2103 or 2104, but expect 700-775 home sales this year. We should continue to see a slight increase in the number of homes sold.
The average sales price for a sold home was $146,251 in 2012. This is consistent with the statistics comparing it to 2009 and 2010, but is up from last year’s low value of $133,594. It would be nice to celebrate home value appreciation, but I feel that last year was not a typical year for values. Values have remained flat, with the exception of last years decrease due to a large number of lower-priced foreclosure home sales that brought down the average.
Foreclosures, bank repo’s, and short sales remain a significant segment of the market, but not as large of a total percentage compared to 2011. In my experience, the Pocatello, Idaho real estate market is seeing fewer foreclosure homes on the market. This may be because homes are selling as a short sale prior to foreclosure, or home owners are able to do a new loan through a loan modification program that prevents the foreclosure. Two years ago nearly 35% of all home sales were foreclosures. In 2012, the number was closer to 20% of all homes – a significant reduction and good sign of market stabilization.
I expect to see more new home construction in 2013. 56 building lots were sold in 2012 compared to 40 in 2011. Lots are selling and people are planning to build homes.
There are many real estate investors in the market looking to buy rental properties. Values on multi-family units are down right now. This is creating a good investment opportunity for investors. Both lower priced single family homes and multi-family units are attractive to buyers.
Click on this link for a copy of my 2012 market statistics.
If you have questions, or need help with real estate in Pocatello, Idaho, please contact Greg Johnston, REALTOR® at 208-234-0900 or email Greg@JohnstonTeam.com
This time a year I am often asked by home sellers what they should do during the winter months and during the holidays to help their home sell. Some will ask if they should decorate for the holidays or keep the home the same as usual. Staging a home is always important. The key is to keep it simple and make the home inviting. Maybe avoid making your home look like the picture above. Here are a few things to think about.
Keep it warm
The key to staging for the holidays is to keep homes warm and inviting. Prospective home buyers will not take their time to explore the home if they are cold. This is especially important to keep in mind if a property is vacant. I recommend making the investment to keep the home heated during the cold months.
Keep it light
This time a year the sun is down so early that many home buyers look at homes when it is dark outside. Therefore, use ample lighting throughout the home. Make sure you have fresh light bulbs in all light fixtures. Make sure it is easy to locate the light switches in the home. It is a good idea to have lights on for prospective buyers – especially the front porch light and entry room light.
Keep it basic
How we live in our home is different from how we sell a home. That certainly applies when it comes to holiday decorations. Remember, you want home buyers to see the home, not allow decorations to grab their attention away from envisioning what it would be like to live there. It is OK to have a Christmas Tree and other decorations, but this year while the home is for sale, try not to go overboard with decorations.
Keep it clean
In one way, staging a home during the holidays is no different from any other time a year. It is always important and essential to keep a home clean and free from clutter. Keeping it clean can be more difficult during the holiday season. Snow and rain may cause your home to quickly look untidy during a showing. Keep a rug in the front entry to wipe feet. Make sure that all walks are free from snow and ice as much as possible.
Wreaths and garlands instantly create a holiday mood, and they also fill your home with the unmistakable fragrance of cedar and pine. Wreaths can be hung on doors, mailboxes and front windows, and you can wind garlands around banisters. It is simple decoration that does not take up much space.
Fill Your Home with Winter Aromas
You can find scented pinecones in stores throughout the country. Fill large bowls with them and place them in living rooms, bedrooms, and the dining room. Also, candles with winter fragrances–like gingerbread and cinnamon–serve a similar purpose.
During the winter months, it’s all about bringing the most memorable aspects of winter indoors. When buyers walk into a home and don’t want to leave, you know that your staging efforts have been worthwhile.
Taking some extra steps—such as lighting the fireplace and adding simple holiday touches—will leave a lasting impression, and make your home stand out from the others. If you have any questions about selling your Pocatello, Idaho home during the winter months, please contact Greg Johnston, Realtor, at The Home Specialists Real Estate Company at 208-234-0900 or email Greg@JohnstonTeam.com
Old Town Pocatello has a fun, annual tradition the day after Thanksgiving. This Friday, November 23rd, 2102, a night time parade will take place in Pocatello, Idaho. Each float in the parade is covered with decorative lights. It is always fun to see this unique parade.
The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. The parade follows a simple route from East Center street, through the underpass, and then along North Main Street right in front of my real estate office at 150 N. Main Street. Dress warm and come watch this fun parade. Santa will even be there!
Mark your calendars for the annual Old Town Pocatello Business Trick-or-Treat. The 2012 event will be held on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31st 2011 between 3:00 - 5:30. This event is free to the public. Dozens of businesses participate in this event. Most of the businesses are along Main Street and Arthur Street. Some businesses are on the side streets such as West Center, West Clark, etc. How will you know if a business in participating? Look for the bright orange pumpkin picture displayed on the door, or just follow the crowd of people.
Make sure to get some candy at my office. Please visit Greg Johnston, Realtor, at The Home Specialists Real Estate Company at 150 N. Main Street on the corner of North Main and West Clark. And come back to my office when you are ready to buy or sell real estate. I am here to help you. Greg Johnston, 208-232-9041.