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6 Reasons Why Homeowners Need a Realtor

Everyone wants to save money. It’s why we look for the best prices at the grocery store, when we’re buying something online and especially on big ticket items. And there’s no bigger ticket than your house.

Many homeowners, especially those in a hot market, think it can be easy to go the For Sale By Owner route and save paying at least a portion of a commission, thereby pocketing thousands of dollars in the process. Under other selling conditions, it is hard to gain the momentum you need to go FSBO.

The idea that you can do it yourself can really end up costing you in the long run.

Here are 6 reasons that you should never consider selling without a member of the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors® on your side.

Evaluating the data: The market changes daily by region, neighborhood and house. Your Realtor® will be in tune and in step with what is happening and where the trends are headed. You could be missing key information that sets the asking price for your home. Online home sites can be great for providing a value range, but the data is dated so only a Realtor® has the necessary expertise how to list your home effectively.

Assessing the residence: Homeowners often overlook areas of their home, either on the exterior or the interior, that need some TLC to not be flaws for potential buyers. A little time and effort spent cleaning, making repairs or trying to stage your home makes a big difference.

Marketing and name recognition: Your Realtor® will have a plan to market your home and appeal to the right segment of buyers. Sure, you can place a for sale sign up, but a savvy Realtor® has more to offer than a simple listing. They have past clients who could be looking for a home like yours, word-of-mouth among their colleagues and some are instantly recognizable with a following because of the type of properties they frequently list.

Controlling the process: This is where another area where a Realtor® saves you a massive amount of time and multiple headaches. Someone must field the calls, arrange showings, hold open houses, gather feedback from agents and the list goes on and on. It’s the behind the scenes moments that make the transaction happen and your Realtor® will take care of it all.

Understanding the offers: Offers can look alike, but a Realtor® will evaluate and point out their nuances and help sellers understand which deals are most attractive for them. There are contingencies, questions of possession, differences in buyer financing and more that can separate offers. The biggest offer isn’t necessarily the best, and your Realtor® will be there to assist you while taking emotion out of the equation.

Negotiating the deal: After guiding you through the offers, your Realtor® can bring expertise on how to craft a counter-offer or solve a potential problem. Agents are always looking one step ahead to make sure a deal puts you in position to achieve your goals. They’ll point out where it may help you to be flexible but also have your back when you stand firm.

A Realtor® will pull everything together to make the sale of your home as efficiently and as stress-free as possible. Your agent will alleviate the pressure that sellers can feel and serve as a wealth of knowledge and leadership during the process.

Author:  Julie Rietberg, Executive Director, Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors

 

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February 2019 Real Estate Market Update

Recently, the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors (GRAR) released the market report for February 2019 the greater Grand Rapids area.*  Both listings and sales remained sluggish, perhaps due in part to the rough winter weather.

New listings were down 9% in February, compared to February 2018. (809 versus 889), while sales were off 1% for the month in comparison to last February (606 versus 612).

The number of days on market in February averaged 38 days compared to 45 days in February 2018.

Despite relatively low sales, the average sale price of a single family home was up 15% from a year ago to $229,159.   The supply of inventory remained at 1.8 months, still in seller-market territory.

We had noted a slight increase in new listings over the last 6 months of 2018, but that trend changed in the first two months of this year.  It is possible that the unusually cold and snowy weather kept would-be sellers from listing their properties.  March is typically the beginning of the “spring market” for local real estate, so we will be watching to see if listings increase.

At Patriot Realty, we have had a very strong start to the year in comparison to the overall market.  Patriot listings were up in both January and February, along with our sales.  Year-to-date, our number of listings is up by 50% over 2018 and our number of sales is up by 24%.  Volume-wise, our sales were up 47%.  This compares of GRAR overall where listings are down 4.8% YTD and sales are down 4.3% YTD.

Interested in knowing what these reports mean for you and your property? Contact the Patriots at info@patriot-realty.net or 616-956-7676 to schedule a visit.

* Kent County, Georgetown and Jamestown Townships in southeastern Ottawa County, Ionia County, six townships in northeastern Allegan County, and the northern half of Barry County (including all of Gun Lake).

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January 2019 Real Estate Market Update

Recently, the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors (GRAR) released the first set of market statistics for the year for the greater Grand Rapids metropolitan area.*  Based on the January numbers, indications are that 2019 will likely be a repeat of the “seller’s market” we’ve experienced the last couple of years, although not such a frenzied pace.

The number of new listings that hit the market in January (833 homes and condos) was almost identical to the number of new listings in 2018 and 2017.   (Compare that to January 2010 when over 1800 properties were listed!)

Sales slowed in January, with only 580 homes and condos sold – the lowest number since January 2012, when 549 were sold.  The decline in monthly sales continues a trend that we first saw developing in the latter half of 2018. Most of the decline in sales has occurred with higher-priced homes, particularly those in excess of $500,000; “affordable” homes (those priced at $200,000 and less) remain in high demand.

There are several of reasons behind the decrease in sales – satisfaction of pent-up buyer demand after several years of economic recovery; higher prices and interest rates that push some buyers out of the market; “buyer fatigue” among those who tire of bidding wars and opt to stop looking), and a lack of the type of inventory that buyers want.  Sales will increase as we head into the traditionally busy spring market, but we expect that sales will be a little softer than the last two years.

The number of days on market in January 2019 averaged 38 days compared to 34 days in January 2018.

The average sale price in January made an increase of just over 2% to $230,545, while the amount of available inventory remained in “seller’s market” territory with only 1.8 month’s supply. In the depths of the recession in 2008, we saw an amazing 13.3 month supply of inventory.   The available inventory is calculated on the number of properties sold in a month compared to the number of listings on the market. Under 4 month’s supply is a “seller’s market;” over 6 month’s supply is a “buyer’s market.”

At Patriot Realty, January was a very busy month, with 12 new listings – 10 of which have already sold.

Interested in knowing what these reports mean for you and your property? Contact the Patriots at info@patriot-realty.net or 616-956-7676 to schedule a visit.

* Kent County, Georgetown and Jamestown Townships in southeastern Ottawa County, Ionia County, six townships in northeastern Allegan County, and the northern half of Barry County (including all of Gun Lake).