The Importance of Using an Agent to Sell Your House

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When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), or to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots”. This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I’m a Realtor® with the Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to proved insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling, or renting process.

Contact Me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email: carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell: 224-523-2217

 

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know

KCM mortgage process

Some Highlights:

  • Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.
  • You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.

How much can you afford? Let me help you figure that out! Let’s chat!

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen:
I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago NW suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, renting or selling process.

Contact me:
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email: carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

 


Lack of Inventory Challenging Many Housing Markets

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Going into the 2016 spring market, the biggest challenge the real estate industry has is the lack of available housing inventory for sale. Here are a few experts and their thoughts on the subject:

David Crowe, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders:

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.”

Ralph McLaughin, Chief Economist with Trulia:

“We are in a time of short supply, which is great news for sellers because they will likely be faced with multiple offers due to the little inventory out there…Buyers will be up against a lot of other people and against a short supply of existing homes.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with NAR:

“First-time buyers in high demand areas continue to encounter instances where their offer is trumped by cash buyers and investors. Without a much-needed boost in new and existing-homes for sale in their price range, their path to homeownership will remain an uphill climb.”

Fitch Ratings:

“One important issue that has restrained sales and starts is inventory. On an absolute basis, inventory has not expanded as much as in past recoveries, leading to less selection for buyers. This is especially true for existing home sales but is evident for new home construction as well. When it comes to U.S. housing inventory, more is better.” 

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com:

“The increase in sales is resulting in continued tighter-than-tight supply—measured by NAR to be four months in January.  For you non-economists out there, that metric measures the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of available homes, at the current pace. Got it? Six to seven months’ worth of homes on the market is considered normal; four months is cray-cray.”

If you’re thinking about selling, NOW is a great time to list your house. Let’s discuss your options!

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen:
I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago NW suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide your through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Contact me:
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email: carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

 

The Main Reason to Use a Real Estate Professional When Selling Your House

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Every homeowner hopes to accomplish five goals when selling their home:

1.  Sell it for the best price

2.  Sell it within a predetermined time

3.  Sell it with the least amount of hassles

4.  Close on the sale the same day they move into their new home

The fifth reason is the most obvious and the most important:

5. They want to make sure it sells.

In order to dramatically increase the chances that the house sells, a homeowner should list with a real estate professional in their market. Why? Because agents have access to the vast majority of the available buyers!!

According to the National Association of Realtors(NAR) recently released 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 87% of all buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. And more that 8 out of 10 buyers in every age group used an agent (see chart below).

buyers-using-an-agent-KCM

Bottom Line

If you want your home sold, the best way is to go where the buyers are. The NAR study revealed that the vast majority of purchasers will use an agent when they buy.  Working with a local real estate professional gives you the best chance of selling.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals.

About Carol Juntunen:
I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago NW suburbs.
My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, renting or selling process.

Contact me:
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email: carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

Gap Between Homeowner’s & Appraiser’s Opinions Widen

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In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.

If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month, Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner believes their house is worth as compared to an appraiser’s evaluation in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). Here is a chart showing that difference for each of the last 12 months.

Appraisals-KCM

The gap between the homeowner vs. appraiser’s opinion had been heading in the right direction (closer to even), until this past month, when the gap widened again to -1.99%.

Bottom Line 

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, I can guide you through this, and any other, obstacle that may arise.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals this year?

About Carol Juntunen:
I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago NW suburbs.
My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, renting or selling process.

Contact me:
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email: carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

 

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home?

Time is money, american concept

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Let me explain.

There are many factors that influence the ‘cost’ of a home. Two of the major ones are the home’s appreciation over time, and the interest rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase their home. The rate at which these two factors can change is often referred to as “The Cost of Waiting”.

What will happen over the next 12 months?

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices are expected to rise by 5.5% by this time next year.

Additionally, Freddie Mac’s most recent Economic Commentary & Projections Tablepredicts that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will appreciate to 4.5% in that same time.

What Does This Mean to a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact these projected changes would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

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How can I help you with your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner.
My intention is to provide insights and information to empower to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Contact me:
Carol Juntunen
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.carol.juntunen.com

5 Things to Expect at an Open House

So you’re house hunting or maybe you’re out and about and see some open house signs and decide to check it out.

Do you know what to expect or the etiquette involved when you attend an open house?

Who is hosting the open house?

Open houses are part of the real estate marketing process; they are a great vehicle for creating excitement and “buzz” when introducing a new listing to the market.

Keep in mind that the agent/broker hosting the open house may be the agent representing the seller (the listing agent) or another agent who may be trying to meet new buyers or obtain new clients. The easiest way to make that determination is to note the name of the agent on the sign in the yard and then check the name of the host. If the listing agent is hosting the open house and you’re a serious buyer and very interested in this particular house, you might want to watch what you say and not divulge too much information about your situation. Remember the listing agent works for the seller – you don’t want to compromise your negotiating position if you end up making an offer on the house.

Either way, the person holding the open house is most likely an expert on the market and the neighborhood.  Some buyers actually find an agent to work with and represent them at an open house, especially if the agent seems knowledgeable and you connect with them. Once you get serious about buying or selling, you’ll want and need an advocate on your side so use the open house as a way to interview agents.

Take off your shoes

It’s basic common courtesy, so take off your shoes or put on a pair of booties (usually provided at the door). Also to avoid the risk of spills, stains or crumbs, avoid bringing food or drink into the house.

For Safety Purposes — Sign in

Yes, there will be a sign-in sheet or an electronic device with an open house sign-in app. You might not want to share your information but remember you are in someone else’s home.  If it were your home wouldn’t you want to know who was coming through it?

Brokers have a responsibility to know who was in the house for the security of the seller’s property. Signing in also allows brokers to keep track of the number of people who attend the open house and where they come from.  Then they share the number of people and any feedback about the house with the owner so as to help gauge the amount of interest in the home. Also agents typically send a follow-up thank you note or email (sent automatically with a sign-in app) for attending their open house but they won’t continue to contact you if you ask them not to.

Consider too that agents are in a vulnerable position. You never know if someone nefarious could use the open house to case the home or even possibly attack the agent; knowing who has been through the house adds an extra layer of security. In some markets, people might even be asked for their photo ID before touring the home.

If you are already working with an real estate agent, ask your agent to give you some of their business cards. That way you can present their card to the agent hosting the open house; they’ll just ask for your name and won’t ask for the rest of your information. Agent relationships are very important and we wouldn’t want to offend another agent by contacting their client.

Keep an Eye on the Kids and Stay Together

Agents are responsible for the home during the open house and do their best to make sure the homeowner’s possessions don’t get broken or stolen. So stay together and keep an eye on the kids and don’t let them run around or touch anything. Feel free to open cabinets and closets but don’t go through the homeowner’s things. If you want to take photos or video, ask the broker’s permission.

Agents don’t bite!

Yes, the hosting agent will ask you for your sign-in information–keep in mind it is someone else’s property–but we’re just there to help. We typically know all about the house, the market, the neighborhood, and the schools, so feel free to ask questions.

Of course, not all homes on the market have an open house. To expand your touring options, you might consider working with a buyer’s agent. I’d be happy to represent you as your buyer’s agent. Just call or text me!

About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago area. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make confident, informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying and selling process.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

Ready to buy or sell? Call or text me today:
Cell:    224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

Designations: 
Certified Probate Real Estate Expert (CPRES)
Seniors (50+) Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)
Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA)
Certified Staging Consultant (CSC)
Internet Marketing Expert (e-PRO)

Do you understand “agency”?

real estate word cloudAgency” is a term used in real estate to determine what legal responsibilities your realtor owes to you and other parties in the transaction.

The seller’s representative (also known as the “listing agent” or seller’s agent) is hired by and represents the seller through a signed exclusive listing contract.

The buyer’s representative or buyer’s agent is hired by and represents the buyer through a signed exclusive buyer representation agreement.

There are also rental listing representatives or agents who are hired by and represent a landlord through a signed rental listing agreement and renter’s agents who are hired by and represent renters through a signed exclusive tenant representation agreement.

In Illinois, both buyers and tenants sign the “Exclusive Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement”.

A “duel agent” represents both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction.  Duel agency requires written consent from all parties due to the potential for conflicts of interest.