holiday home, Homes for sale in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Real Estate, Real Estate Team, selling your home, selling your home during the holidays, selling your home in the fall, selling your home in the summer. summer real estate
Summer is the time to sell your home, right?
You might think that from the stories out there. But the reality is that buyers are always looking for homes. You just need to find the right buyer.
During the summer, homes that are for sale usually see a significantly higher amount of traffic versus their fall and winter counterparts. Some buyers looking in the summer have the philosophy that if they find the “perfect” house and can move in before school starts, they’ll move. If they don’t, they won’t. There’s not a big sense of urgency. That leads to passive buyers flooding open houses, requesting showings and not submitting offers.
The fall is a different story.
After a small traditional dip at the beginning of September, things in the real estate industry pick up in time for fall. While there are fewer “lookey loos” checking things out but not making offers, the buyers who are looking are serious.
There are plenty of things to do during the weeks leading up to Halloween, Thanksgiving and the December holidays. A buyer who is taking time to look for homes is doing it for a reason — because they need to buy a home. Now.
For a seller, this is a winning combination. The buyers looking at your home are serious and ready to make offers, and there are fewer “passive” buyers walking through and taking a peek at your home when they’re not pressed to purchase a home. This means a reduced inconvenience for sellers accommodating showings, and more (often stronger) offers.
Is now the time to sell your home? Call the Hanley Home Team and we’ll walk you through it! http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com 904-515-2479 Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside
The run-up to an open house is as important as the event itself. Preparing yourself and others for the event is crucial to not only showcasing a property, but also building relationships with neighbors, future buyers, and people who may just provide that essential referral. One of the best ways to ensure success every time? Make a checklist of what must be done, and set up alerts on your calendar to remind you to do the tasks on your checklist.
Below is a sample checklist of a successful open house plan:
1 week before: Create flyers with date, time, and contact info for the open house, and home/mortgage info on the house. Create a Facebook Event and invite friends, fans, and prospects.
6 days before: Call all your buyers to let them know about the open house. Hang 25 flyers and 25 door-knockers around the neighborhood.
5 days before: Check on the status of the flyers. If you run into people in the neighborhood while you’re there, introduce yourself and let them know about the open house.
2 days before: Be sure you’ve memorized the house and its details, and know its floor plan well enough to give effective tours that showcase the property. Create an attractive sign-in sheet, featuring your photo and contact info, and offering a line for their own contact info (including email address!) and space for them to share where they heard about the open house.
30 minutes before: Make sure the house is clean, and smells clean (many home sprays are clean and pleasant; avoid overtly floral or scented scents, as many people are allergic or sensitive to strong scents). Place at least 4 directional signs, each with eye-catching accessories, such as balloons to grab people’s attention and pull traffic from main intersections (don’t forget the sign license as they are required in some parts of the county).
10 minutes before: Open house and front door. Put at least two signs and 4 attention-getters out front, and an “Open” rider on the sign. Play background music, preferably something instrumental and subtle, at low volume.
Within 24-hours after: Follow up with all contacts by phone or email.
From open house to open house, you’ll refine your plan. Take notes. Write down what seemed to work, and what bombed. Over time, you’ll have a custom checklist which will help you efficiently and effectively prepare for blockbuster open houses.
Open houses are a lot more work than you might think! Need someone to help you with your open house? Get in touch! The Hanley Home Team – expert real estate agents (and open house agents!) Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTOR – Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com
Do you understand what an MLS is? If you’re searching for a home, an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is absolutely crucial for discovering homes and marketing homes to agents and potential buyers. Get a clear understanding of the benefits of an MLS!
Odds are you’ve spent a little time online searching for homes. After all, most home searches begin online. You may have even used a broker’s website or a site like Trulia or Zillow to help you browse listings.
But where does listing information come from?
Way back in the day, prior to the Information Age revolution, brokers used to gather and exchange information about their properties. The idea was fairly straightforward: I’ll help you sell your properties if you help me sell mine. It’s a “private offer of cooperation and compensation.” Cooperation meant the real estate industry could thrive and buyers and sellers could enjoy smoother transactions.
This spirit of cooperation gave rise to Multiple Listing Service(s) (MLS). By consolidating information about housing inventory in an MLS, listing brokers and buyers’ brokers can easily share up-to-date information about homes on the market. Though an MLS is typically a private database available to brokers, much of the information is syndicated to outside sites in the interest of casting wider net for buyers and sellers.
As an MLS is the primary source of information about a property, it tends to be the most accurate. It may also contain private information for use by brokers only, such as times the home is available for showings and seller contact information.
There are upwards of 850 MLS databases in the U.S. alone, and to a certain extent, there is market pressure to centralize these into a national MLS database. We’re sure to see changes in how Multiple Listing Services are used in the future, but the core benefits to home sellers and buyers is sure to remain.
Ready to put the power of an MLS to work for you? Search with me today for homes on the market right now. You can search like us at http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com or call us at 904-515-2479 – Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside
POOL SAFETY FINAL PRINTED – reprinted with permission
The Hanley Home Team wants our customers, and future customers, to remain happy and healthy this summer. Please find the following important pool safety tips. Of course, if you are looking for a pool home in the Jacksonville, FL area, please count on us! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS, http://www.TheHanleyHomeTeam.com, Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside, 904-515-2479
If affordability is a concern and you are unsure were you’d like to live in the near future, you may find this article on the hidden long-term cost of renting compelling. It’s called “The $700,000+ mistake nearly 6 in 10 millennials may make.” You can check out the article here:
Renting in the short-term may be your best option, but waiting to buy can have a high cost. For example: “At current rates of appreciation, in 10 years the average home (now priced at $190,000) would be selling for about $249,000. If interest rates return to their historical norm (from over the past 15 years) of 5.6%, a monthly house payment (including mortgage, taxes and insurance) on a $249,000 home would be $1,574 a month, a 52% increase over the $1,037 house payment for a median priced home now.”
If you ever have any questions about home ownership, we are more than happy to help you plan for your future. Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS TheHanleyHomeTeam.com 904-515-2479
Not every home sold gets a shiny new for sale sign out front. Some change hands quickly and quietly without any public advertising whatsoever. In the industry, these are known as “pocket listings.” Pocket listings are sometimes referred to as “coming soon” listings or “whisper” listings.
Pocket listings used to be the domain of the very famous or the very wealthy. People who liked to protect their privacy would typically work with an agent who could find a buyer among word-of-mouth networks of agents representing high-end buyers. Often this happened only in urban areas or in the luxury segment, but now in markets where inventory is tight and bidding wars are not uncommon, pocket listings are becoming somewhat more mainstream.
You might ask yourself: Why not advertise a home in a market where multiple offers are the norm? It can depend. In some cases, the seller may want a quick and painless sale, and would prefer not to go through the traditional process of cleaning, curb appeal sprucing, and open houses. When the seller’s agent happens to know the buyers directly, often a simple walk-through with prospective buyers is enough to secure one acceptable offer.
Sellers should understand that it’s possible for a pocket listing to generate a slightly lower price. While it’s not always the case, the trade-off for a quick, quiet sale may be worth it. If you’re considering a pocket listing, you’ll be asked to sign something which indicates your consent to avoid a wide-scale advertising effort. An agent has a responsibility to try and secure a seller the best possible price, and will want to make sure there’s a clear understanding.
One slight marketing advantage the pocket listing retains is the idea that buyers are getting special access to a property others will never know hit the market. For the seller, a pocket listing can also prevent the unfortunate experience of having a home’s value decrease because it sat on the market too long.
On the whole, casting the widest possible net for a buyer is the best strategy for securing the highest closing price, but if you’re more comfortable with a quick and quiet approach, you might want to talk to an agent about the prospect of a pocket listing.
Thinking of selling, but would like to have a conversation before you commit? Get in touch with our team today: The Hanley Home Team – http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com 904-515-2479 Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS
529 plan, Buying a home, Debt, financial planning, Financial security, homes for sale, Jackie Waters, Jacksonville FL real estate agents, Jacksonville Real Estate, Life Insurance, life insurance policy, planning, student loan debt
Guest writer for The Hanley Home Tea Blog – Jackie Waters
As a parent, from the day your baby comes bursting into the world, you are going to want what’s best for them. As the saying goes, parenthood does not come with a manual or set of instructions. However, day in and day out, you try your best, even though your best may vary from day to day. There’s no way to predict the future, but there are certain steps you want to have in place to ensure that your child’s future is secure. Raising a child can indeed be expensive, but the rewards are far greater than the monetary costs. Here are a few contingencies to plan for in the future for you and your child.
Obtain a life insurance policy
Having a life insurance policy in effect for you and your spouse will guarantee that your child is taken care of, in the event of your demise (an estate plan wouldn’t hurt either). Having a policy will provide the extra protection and cushion your family would need, should a tragedy occur. Becoming a parent is one of life’s major milestones and it is imperative that you prepare you and your family for any seen or unforeseen circumstances. There are several life insurance coverages available, each varying in different perks as well as drawbacks.
There is term life insurance, which provides coverage for a certain period of time. If the insured should live past the term of the policy, no benefits will be made available. However if the insured should die during the term of the policy, all benefits will go to the beneficiary, be it your spouse, child or a split between the two.
Whole life insurance lasts for the entire life of the insured. It also offers the ability to accumulate cash value on a tax-deferred basis. As long as you, the insured, continues payment on the premium, the policy will remain in force. Making sure you chose the right policy that w\ill properly benefit your family is a vital task. If you are not sure which is best, it is advised to meet with an insurance representative to gain clarity.
Save for a home
The home you are currently living in may suit your family’s needs just fine, but you never know what circumstances could lead you to purchasing a new home. Perhaps you got a new job or your family has outgrown your current humble abode. According to studies, Americans feel that building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood are the top reasons to make the financial decision to buy a home. Regardless of what circumstances have led you to make a real estate purchase, it will take some planning. Determine how much you need to save for a down payment and set a realistic timeframe in which to do it. Allocate a percentage of your income to be placed in a savings account dedicated to buying a home, and watch as you gradually build toward your goal.
Start a college savings plan
Having a child obtain a degree is a dream most parents have, however the current amount of student loan debt is alarming. Many students are graduating from major universities and entering the real world with an unsurmountable amount of debt, with no surefire plan in motion to pay it off. Interest rates are high, leaving most college grads with a financial burden they may never be able to escape. Take action to ensure that this will not be your child’s future. Having a college savings plan in place eliminates debt for your child and grants you the peace of mind that your child will be given the opportunity to receive a great education, stress-free.
Starting early on your child’s college plan will also ensure that you won’t have to deal with the burden of paying for their education, should they not receive enough funding for their school of choice. Similar to life insurance, there are several college savings vehicles available, with the most commonly heard of being the 529 Plan. A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. Consider your options and start saving money for your child’s future expenses immediately.
Few things in life compare to the joy of starting a family. Becoming a parent will be one of the most challenging, yet fulfilling experiences you will have in your lifetime. Ensuring the security of your child’s future is one of the best gifts you can give them —along with lots of love, affirmation and guidance. Set your child up for success in life and your job as a parent will be perceived as well done.
Author: Jackie Waters
Have you had a hard time landing your dream home in a hot market? If you’ve been through the bidding wars and have come up short, here’s a tool that might give you an edge in the next round of offers.
If you’ve ever experienced the disappointment of losing out on a home in a seller’s market, you want to do everything possible to keep it from happening again. One tactic many buyers overlook is the “love letter” written to sellers about their home.
Rationally, you might expect the highest offer will always win the home, but there are a host of other factors involved. Some are emotional. Some sellers want to see their home go to a buyer they not only trust to close the deal, but they also like personally.
Want to give yourself an edge? Craft a short “love letter” to go with your offer. Here are the basics you’ll want to cover in your letter:
1. Explain how much you like their home. Don’t go overboard, but prove to them you know the home and you truly appreciate their taste and the unique characteristics of the house. This might touch on improvements they’ve made or other aesthetic details.
2. Spare them all the things you might want to change. What you say is as important as what you don’t say. Don’t tell them you’re going to gut the place as soon as you close, add a second story, or rip out their garden for a pool.
3. Demonstrate you’re qualified to close. Make them feel confident in your qualifications as a buyer. Show them you’re pre-qualified for a loan, are buying cash, or have other reasons why you’ll be a hassle-free buyer.
4. Be humble and positive. Don’t give them a sob story about the four other homes you’ve lost out on. Praise the neighborhood and make them feel as though you would be positively honored to be chosen as the next owner of their home.
5. Check the letter for typos. Read it out loud. Listen for clunky sentences or awkward repetition. Have someone proof it for mistakes. Their confidence in your attention to detail is important.
A good agent should be able to tell you if the letter sounds like an honest appeal. Have it included with your offer as a cover letter.
Need help finding a home worth a love letter? Get in touch today: Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com The Hanley Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside
Whether you’re a die-hard charcoal fan, or more of a Hank Hill “taste the meat not the heat” propane griller, I hope you enjoy these tips and recipes. One of the great joys of owning your own home is making a space for a little outdoor cooking. It can be hard to grill on an apartment balcony!
The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (http://www.hpba.org/) recently shared these interesting facts for National Barbecue Month. You can see why grilling is so popular!
81% of Americans report that at least one aspect of grilling outside is easier than cooking indoors. The most convenient parts are cited as cleanup (49%) followed by the cooking process itself (40%).
The majority of adults (58%) agree that cooking out is more fun and relaxing than dining out and beneficial for avoiding travel (58%), dress codes (57%) and crowds (56%).
70% of Americans say cooking out gets them in a healthier routine, specifically by encouraging time spent outdoors instead of cooped up in the house. Outdoor cooking also encourages adults to make smarter food choices such as eating fresh rather than frozen foods (54% agreed) and cooking healthier food on the grill overall (40% agreed).
Get your tongs, spatulas, brushes, rubs, marinades, and skewers ready. Grilling doesn’t always have to be about meat. If it grows, you can grill it, and adding garden variety fruits and veggies can transform a BBQ experience. Check out 15 amazing recipes, recently featured on the Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market website:
Quick and Easy BBQ & Grilling Recipes
Also: Don’t neglect to “set the stage” for grilling when selling your home. Dressing the patio for cookouts can get your buyers thinking of the fun summer afternoons ahead.
Invite the neighbors over and get grilling!
Looking for a patio you can call your own? Time to upgrade from no back yard to a grill-worthy lot? Get in touch with us today! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com – 904-515-2479 Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside – The Hanley Home Team
Have you recently fallen in love with a “flipped” home? Does the idea of moving into a cleanly renovated space excite you? To see an old home tuned up with brand new appliances, gleaming marble countertops, and fresh wood floors can make other homes seem shabby by comparison, but be careful before you make the leap. There are some precautions you want to take before you close.
“Flipped” or “rehabbed” homes are homes which real estate investors buy in order to renovate them and sell them for a profit. Sometimes these homes have been secured after short sales, foreclosures, surviving relatives, or even at auction. For real estate investors, part of the profit depends on how fast and affordably they can renovate the property. In seller’s markets, there’s even more pressure to make sure a home is ready to sell, fast.
While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with a flipped house, you will want to make sure you know a bit about the home’s history. Naturally, you’ll want to do all the due diligence you’d normally do when buying a home, but it can be useful to dig a little deeper. Here are some questions to ask:
1. What shape was the home in before it was renovated? Was it just outdated? Vacant? Trashed by squatters? Find out the state of the home when the flipper purchased it.
2. What deficiencies, damage, or other defects did the home have when the flipper bought it? Ask for a list of issues, if possible.
3. Who did the work on the house during the renovation? Contractors? Handymen? Did the flipper do the work personally? Are there invoices which detail the work completed and the money spent on the repairs? Were the appropriate permits secured?
4. Was anything left “as is”? What sort of issues were deemed too small or not vital to the renovation?
5. What was the legal history of the transfer of ownership? Short sales and foreclosures might have legal obligations on the flipper or other liens.
You shouldn’t shy away from a flipped home you love, but don’t go into the situation blind. We have experience working with buyers who have purchased flipped homes, and We’re be happy to help you navigate the questions. Let’s talk!
Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS – The Hanley Home Team – Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com