Relocation Trends From 2015 and What to Expect in 2016

The happy family  at repair and relocation. The family planing  to accommodation on a background of boxes

2015 is behind us now, but there are trends we saw develop in the real estate industry, that certainly reflect key focus points for 2016. One of these key areas of conversation is relocation, where people moved within the united states. So who moved? Where did they move to? How much money did they pay to facilitate this moves and what motivated their decision to relocate? What were the general patterns in terms of distances covered?

Why Americans moved in 2015

People moved away from existing homes because they were looking for cheaper options, convenient locations and new environments. There were also those who moved because they wanted better quality housing even if it meant having to pay more. Reports also indicate that some Americans left rentals in the search of locations where they could buy their own homes. Thats one of the more significant trends to focus on now that we’re in 2016.

Some people chose to move in order to start their own households. This includes those who got married and young people who wanted to leave their parents’ homes in the pursuit of independence and privacy.

In other instances, people secured jobs away from their homes and chose to relocate to be closer to their new areas of work. The jobs included new challenges or transfers within the same line of work. Most of the movement in this category involved those taking new jobs altogether.

There were other less common reasons for relocation, and these included the search for new environments or better schools and colleges.

What were the patterns of movement?

The West and Southern areas of the country had more destinations than any other area, with an interesting 3 out of the 5 routes of movement ending in California. Florida and Texas rounded off the remaining available routes.

States to which most people moved

California topped this list, followed by Texas, Washington, North Carolina, with Colorado coming fifth. Others in the top 10 include Oregon, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and Nevada in that order.

Where did most moves emanate from?

New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania took a huge hit in terms of movements to the outside, with other states in the top 10 being Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia and Ohio.

Who moved within their own states?

Those who relocated within cities and towns in the same states did so out of a need to find better places without having to move too far away from home. Below is a look at the states affected, in descending order:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Ohio

Here is a look at the cities individuals moved to, from the ones that received the most people to the ones that took in the least:

  • Denver
  • Seattle
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Houston
  • San Francisco
  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles

And below is a ranking of the cities from which people moved, from the most affected to the least:

  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Pittsburgh
  • Milwaukee
  • Baltimore
  • Philadelphia
  • Arlington, Virginia
  • Minneapolis
  • Columbus, Ohio

Additional facts

  • Professionals in teaching, business, health and the military moved the most in 2015.
  • The average moving costs ranged from $2600 to $4400
  • June was by far the busiest month of the year in terms of movement.
  • A huge chunk of people (60.6%) moved out of state.
  • July 31 was the most packed day of the year, where people moved the most compared to any other date.
  • Only a paltry 9.6% of those who relocated made use of vehicles.
  • Most people chose to move either on Friday or Saturday.
  • Those living in units with one or two bedrooms moved most, some in search of bigger houses and compounds.
  • Among the areas from which people moved, the Midwest was the most affected as people sought better working places and cheaper residential areas.
  • While there was plenty of movement in many areas Across the US, the only significant increase in general population resulting from relocation was the south.

The statistics above show a growing pattern when it comes to movement in the population,with people choosing different parts of the country for general reasons like the cost of real estate and standards of living. Other decisions were made based purely on individual preferences among different age groups.

A Home Buyer’s Guide to Saving for a Down Payment


Home Mortgage Down Payment A gray house brown card and calculator on stone background with text Down Payment

According to, first time home buyers in the United States take nearly eight years to save for a down payment for their dream home. The time frame is derived by factoring in the amount a renter pays for housing in each state and the required 10% down payment. Under this approach, buyers in South Dakota state take around 3.5 years to save for a down payment, which is the shortest compared to other states.

Another study by Realty Trac shows that it takes an average of 12.5 years for a new buyer in the United State to save for a 20% down payment. The study is based on a personal saving rate of 5.6% and the current home median home prices. Given that most first time home buyers are young adults with earnings below the national median salary, they would have to wait until they are 42 to afford a home.

However, the same savings can be made within two years in the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae 3% down payment plan. Under this program, it takes buyers in states such as North Dakota as little as one year to save for the down payment. The Freddie and Fannie plan is geared towards enabling first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers with little savings to afford the down payment.

To qualify for this program, you’ll need a credit rating of at least 620 and offer a full documentation of their assets, income, and job status. Also, the prospective first time home buyers must participate in borrower education programs and have a private mortgage insurance plan to qualify for the loan. A buyer can take advantage of the Home Possible Advantage plan provided that the co-borrower is a new buyer.

How a real estate agent can help 

With the assistance of a real estate agent, first time home buyers can negotiate having the seller fully or partly cover the closing costs. Given their years of experience in the market, the real estate agents can identify hidden costs and advise on the best options for home financing.

Here are some of the ways first time home buyers can boost their down payment savings.

Clear the credit card debt 

For home buyers with credit card debt, making monthly interest payments on the debt and setting aside some funds for the down payment can be a hassle. Clearing any credit card debts will enable you to increase your saving portion and reduce the amount of time it takes to make the down payment.

Squeeze your budget 

Keeping track of your spending habits will enable you minimize unnecessary spending and increase your savings. With a goal in your mind, you will be able to track your finances and increase the down payment savings.

Consider a tax free saving account 

A tax-free saving account will enable you to enjoy tax benefits on your down payment savings, you’ll then be able to make payments within the shortest time. A consultation with a financial advisor will enable you to identify the best saving account for your down payment plan.

Be aware of your priorities

Being aware of your priorities means being able to forego instant gratification for a more satisfying future reward. Saving for a down payment will require you to cut spending on your wants. If you are used to expensive vacations, you have them to let them go to be able to save for your down payment. Even under the Fannie and Freddie Home Possible Advantage plan, you will still need to make sacrifices to be able to service your loan.

Save automatically

Creating an automatic saving account will ensure that you do not spend your down payment savings on other things. With an automatic saving account, a portion of your direct deposits will automatically be transferred to your saving account without missing.

Final thoughts? 

With proper planning and consultation, first time home buyers will be able to maximize their opportunity and make down payments within the shortest time possible. Learning about the different the ways to boost your savings and getting professional help from a real estate agent, will enable you to attain your dream home within the shortest time possible. Before you jump into a home buying program, always ensure that you have enough information about the deal and other offers in the market.

A Home Insurance Checklist for the New Year

Businessman hand drawing an umbrella above a family concept for protection, security, finance and insurance

As the celebration of a new year has finally come and passed, right after the holidays, many homeowners tend to accidentally neglect various aspects of their home maintenance.

Although some of us may have enjoyed rather warm and pleasant weather this December, January and February will probably be a little different. That means, your home might be vulnerable to cold weather damage if not taken care of properly. Fortunately, with this home maintenance checklist, you’ll have the assurance that your humble abode will be able to combat the big chill ahead.

Test the Alarms

This should be done several times a year, but reminding our fellow homeowners probably won’t hurt. As much as possible, regularly test the carbon monoxide smoke detectors, and don’t forget to check if your security system is up and running the way it should be. The batteries should always be relatively fresh so you can avoid the painful sting of the alert that comes with dying batteries.

If there are kids around the house, there’s never a bad time to talk about an emergency evacuation plan. See to it that they know exactly what to do if fire, earthquake, or any other unforeseeable circumstances present themselves.

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Inspect the Foundation

The last thing you want to deal with during the cold winter months ahead is ice making its way into a crack in the foundation. This can cause significant structural problems for your home. That’s why it’s very important to take a walk around the house and check for any cracks frequently. Although small cracks are inevitable, they should not be taken for granted and should be sealed right away.

Check the Gutters and Roof

There are still certainly places where the leaves are falling from trees and covering lawns, it’s important to ensure however, that the gutters don’t get neglected. Don’t let the leaves pile up, always try to clear your gutters as soon as possible.

The accumulation of leaves can lead to drainage problems, which means whenever it rains, it will be difficult for the water to go down the sprout and away from the building. Once this happens, the water could force its way into the walls and ceilings of your home.

While checking the gutter, don’t forget to check the roof as well. See to it that the shingles are in good condition and there aren’t any leaks. The roof should be strong and functional so that it would be able to withstand the weight of snow during a storm.

Seal Windows and Doors

Perhaps, the reason why your electric bill is rather high, is because of the air escaping through the gaps around the door frames and windows. As you seal the cracks in the foundation, don’t forget to seal the spaces around the doors and windows too. This will help keep the house warm when it’s cool while saving you money.

The Heating and Cooling Systems Should Be Maintained

While we’re talking about your heating and cooling bills, then you should also know, that it’s highly advisable to inspect and maintain these respective systems as well.

Make it a habit to check if your heating and cooling systems are working the way they should be. Also, it’s better to tackle the repairs while they’re still small, instead of waiting for them to worsen. This should be done by a professional, he should make sure that the vents are clean, and the spaces aren’t obstructed by dirt, or any other types of buildup.

Have a Home Inventory and Review Your Policy

Every new year, brings with it resolutions with hopes that we can be a better person for the coming year. Some may want to be a little more responsible, but how exactly do you go about accomplishing that?

Having a home inventory could help a homeowner prepare for the unknown. If a disaster of some kind occurs, there’s always the risk that you’ll be too distressed to remember how much each of your items costs. So, a complete list of everything you own and the value of each item will definitely come in handy.

Do yourself a huge favor and create this list for the new year. This should be stored in a safe place, and you’ll be thankful that you did.

Aside from that, understanding your insurance policy and being aware of it can greatly benefit you. Insurance can certainly be quite tricky, so the best move would be to hire an agent who will guide you through all the important components if your policy.

So Your House Hasn’t Sold? Advice for 2016

Investment risk and uncertainty in the real estate housing market

The year has drawn to a close, and the property you were trying to sell in 2015 just hasn’t budged. What now? You may naturally be a little disappointed or frustrated, but don’t despair; you still have multiple options. In this article we’ll cover some expert advice on what your next step should be. We will clearly outline your options to help you make the right decision moving into 2016.

Taking your House off the Market

You can easily justify this decision, sometimes its important to understand that the market just isn’t quite right at the moment. Of course in most instances at the right price, any property will sell. So if you are serious about moving you and your family may benefit from re-evaluating your current list price before you consider taking your house off the market. However, if you are considering making some improvements to your home in order to increase its desirability, then taking it off the market for a few months can be a good idea.

Put the money you would be paying for your listing into minor repairs or design improvements that will really boost the appeal of your house. Sometimes just one more unique feature is enough to sell a property, so use your imagination (or the internet) to come up with an idea that will set your property apart. It could be a clever storage concept or a feature wall. Be aware however, that making improvements doesn’t mean you can suddenly bump up the price. There was a reason your house didn’t sell previously, so keep that in mind.

Re-listing your Home

If you are considering re-listing your home with your existing real estate agent, it is worth asking for their advice. They may have a good idea why the home didn’t sell. Again, this may be going back to pricing, which is always a tricky aspect of the home selling process. Your agent will work with you to improve your campaign and bring buyers along.

You need to convince your buyers that your home is worth having. Make sure the pictures on your listing are clear and good quality, really showing the home at its best. If you don’t have the resources it is worth paying a professional photographer to come in and photograph your house. Choose someone with experience in the field who knows how to use light and composition to make rooms appear big and inviting. Make sure the description of your home is detailed and tells the potential buyer all the great features of the property. Describe the advantages of the location and mention the things that drew you to the house in the first place. In your listing, you are not just selling a house but the lifestyle that comes with it as well.

Sell it Yourself?

Maybe you feel like you’re done with real estate agencies altogether. They didn’t sell your house, so you don’t want to pay them more money for another year of failure. Perhaps you think you can do a better job yourself. For sale by owner’ (FSBO) is an option for you.

However, although this option may seem appealing, the time, effort and money that go into planning a marketing strategy to sell a home are actually pretty hefty. You will need to construct the whole campaign yourself and find all the places to list your house. In order to get wide enough coverage to find a buyer you will need to put a lot of effort into running your home selling campaign efficiently.

If you have the time to spare and the expertise to carry this out, then it certainly is feasible. But remember that you are paying an agent to put all the time and effort in for you, as well as dealing with the negotiations with the buyer.

Find a New Agent

Your best bet for selling your home may be to find a new agency to help you. A good agent will be able to review the aspects of your old campaign and make it better this time around. They will work with you to improve the listing and give their expert advice on how to increase chances of a sale. Even if you have been disappointed by a real estate agency in the past, using an agent is always the wisest course of action.

As a Buyer, Should you Write a Letter to the Seller?

businessman is writing a letter or signing a agreement

Your cash payment and non-contingent offer may not be cutting it in a competitive market. Is it a good idea to reach out to the seller via letter? Is it going to help with the ten additional offers they have already received on the property in question? If you are a buyer wondering if this non-conventional means of  outreach to the seller will help, the answer is maybe. However, you have to really consider the context before sending such a letter. When it does work this can be a great way of setting yourself apart as a potential buyer. That being said, there are plenty of situations where it really won’t make too much of a difference.

If you do choose to write the letter, let’s discuss some key points of emphasis to consider.

Who is your audience?

Who exactly is the seller in this situation? If you truly love the home and want to put your best offer forward, you really have to learn as much as possible about the seller. How do you learn about the seller? Your agent will be the best possible bridge you have to the them and their personal life. They speak to the seller’s agent to find out who they are, where they’re from, why they are selling, what their situation is, and so on. In some cases you may consider the use of social media and Google searches to gain some additional insight. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to properly reach out and write a compelling letter to them.

Make an appeal to longer term owners

Sellers that have a family are typically a better audience when it comes to writing a letter. Those who have lived in a home for years, have built memories with their kids and have emotional ties to the house you’re interested in. By eliciting any emotion (obviously positive ones) you will find the letter can help in many situations. These sellers typically want to know who you are as a buyer. Who will be living in their home, making new memories there, and how long do you plan on living in that property. Make an emotional appeal by writing a compelling and heartfelt letter. Let them know you don’t plan on demolishing the home, but rather, living there for years and making new memories while you’re there. All of these positive emotions will help build a tie with the seller.

Don’t waste your time if you’re dealing with investors  

If the owner of the home has simply used it as a rental property for years, a letter typically won’t do much good, as they aren’t very emotionally attached to the house. The bottom line is what investors typically care about. So, it won’t do you much good to tell them how you plan on building a future with your family, these investors simply want to know how much of a profit they can turn when selling the home . If you’re dealing with investors, bypass the letter and simply submit your best offer possible. Since the letter is going to fall on deaf ears, you might as well try and make the best offer you can.

Build a connection  

Do what you can to connect with the seller. When going to an open house look at the art or decor that adorns the walls and furniture. Any connection or tie you can make between yourself and the seller will help and work in your favor. When you connect, you learn who they are and what they like. If you notice trophies or memorabilia in the home, take a moment to discuss it. Discuss your mutual love of sports if you’ve played in the past for example. These ties might help make you a more memorable buyer, and will allow the seller to connect with you on a deeper level when considering offers on the home.

In competitive situations you have to sell yourself as a buyer. So, take note, learn who the seller is, and do your research. With the right seller in a competitive situation, a well written and direct letter to the seller can make a world of difference. In fact, it may be what pushes you over the top when the seller is trying to decide which offer to accept on the home.

The Best Saving Strategies for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials

Happy multi-generation family portrait in the countryside

Regardless of what stage you’re at in your life, it’s wise to consider setting money aside for your future. If you are planning on saving more funds in the coming New Year, then you need to develop a structured plan. At the various stages of your life you’ll be faced with different financial responsibilities and those responsibilities will influence the decisions you need make.

Below are a few age-specific saving tips to consider as we move towards the coming new year.

Ages 51-69 (baby boomers)

If you were born between 1946 & 1964, then you are part of the baby boomer generation that makes up more than one-fourth of America’s population. Your financial situation may be better than that of your younger counterparts in some aspects. Your retirement account however, may not be exactly what you had hoped it would be at this point. In fact, only 60% of individuals within this age group confirm having any retirement funds at all. Most baby boomers also don’t have a pension and are they’re often faced with Medicare and Social Security challenges.

So you may find yourself feeling a little anxious at this critical time in your life. This is why you have to be a little more serious about saving, which may even involve having to adjust to a simpler lifestyle so you can pocket more money. Here’s a few ideas that can help you do just that.

· Start working again – many people in this age bracket consider going back to work and for good reason. There are always basic jobs available to you that can help add a little extra income, as well as help keep preoccupied now that you’ve presumable retired.

· Try to live on a minimum budget – you may even want to consider downsizing. At this stage in life especially its always easier to consider a smaller house with less up keep.

· Increase your post retirement investments – accelerating your retirement investments is always a plausible decision to make. Always consider consulting a brokerage firm for this type of decision.

· Ensure that all your investments are properly allocated – typically more than half of baby boomers are uncertain about the allocation of their investments. Again its important to do some research on your own and consult a brokerage firm.

· Consider long-term care insurance – this will help cover the costs of long term care beyond a predetermined period of time.

A Majority of baby boomer parents often take care of their children but doing so at the expense of their own financial security. According to a research done by Ameriprise Financial, 93% of these parents confirmed that they support their adult children financially, 71% helped them with college tuition & loans and 53% helped them purchase a car.

Ages 36-50 (Gen Xers)

A Majority of Gen Xers (born between 1965 &1979) are often occupied with things like raising families, advancing their careers or even caring for their elderly parents. Usually these are some of the most expensive years of one’s life, which can often bring about the challenge of managing your own cash flow. Raising kids can be quite expensive, as you probably know. Money management is very critical at this point in your life, every time you get paid set aside a fraction of that income before you spend it. Also give yourself some time to analyze your expenses and plan accordingly.

It’s also advisable to let someone else save for you – for instance, you can have your bank or employer take money off out of your pay and have it deposited into another account with ease. This can significantly help you achieve you savings goals or build your retirement account.

Remember, a big purchase that characterizes this stage of life is your home purchase. Its important to set yourself up for the future as much as possible when tacking on a mortgage.

Millennials (19-35)

Millennials tend to be doing much better than those of Gen X, especially when it comes to their daily finance management. However, when it comes to making financial decisions, they live in the moment and long term financial plans (e.g. retirement) can often be forgotten.

· Most people spend 30% of their monthly income on their rent. You can reduce this cost by living at home or even sharing an apartment.

· At this point in your life you might also find your self in debt with student loans. The best strategy is to go for an income based repayment plan.

· For your discretionary spending, allocate yourself a monthly or weekly allowance so that you do not spend more than you should.

The introduction of budgeting apps like Mint has also made setting goals as well as tracking your spending more manageable. It is also very important to monitor your credit score. This becomes significantly relevant if you are planning on buying a home in the near future. Your credit score will play a big role in determining the mortgage rate that you qualify for and therefore how much you can afford.

No matter what stage of life you’re in, take time to carefully save and manage your finances. Regardless of your current economic status you can always benefit from efficient planning and quality advice.

Use These Websites and Apps to Research Potential Neighborhoods

Couple at home looking at bank account on internet

One of the most significant investments you’ll make in your life, will be the home you choose to purchase. The whole process can be quite daunting, especially because there’s a lot of information to sift through. Apart from the fact that you will have to look for a means of financing the investment, you will also have to do a lot of research on the various cities & neighborhoods you’re considering before arriving at a final decision. At every stage of the process you’ll find yourself looking for more information, and while your realtor will certainly have a lot of helpful answers for you, it never hurts to use other online resources as well.

Sometimes, you can get valuable word of mouth information from your family members or even friends. However, this should not be the only way in which you conduct primary research on your prospective neighborhoods.

Technology has greatly advanced and is currently being applied in almost all aspects of life. The real estate industry is no exception when it come to these advances in technology. Currently, you can find useful information on prospective real estate properties not only from websites, but also apps. If you are planning on relocating to a new neighborhood or city, the following websites and apps will provide you with relevant information as you conduct preliminary research. is a great website that provides resourceful information to individuals who are planning on relocating to another city. The website has active forums comprising of locals who reside in the different cities you’re considering. These locals will provide you with exact answers on questions you’ve probably been mulling over. With the answers you get, you can narrow down your selection depending on your preferences.

After you’ve narrowed down your selection, and decided on a city, you can visit where you will receive even more insight on the different communities you’re considering. This website has been designed specifically to give visitors the opportunity to review a neighborhood in its entirety. The rankings of all the communities in any given city is dependent upon ratings given by the local users.

After going through the several neighborhood reviews, you have definitely encountered the answers to some of your questions and the next place to visit is Here, you can take a look at the statistics that define and characterize those communities that peaked your interest. There is some information that may require you to subscribe to the site. This will certainly be the case if you are interested in more detailed information such as, appreciation rates and crime rates. All you need to do is set up and account if you’re looking to find some more in-depth answers.

Rating Apps (e.g. Foursquare and Yelp)

There are also several mobile applications that can also provide you with more information. These apps can be easily downloaded onto your tablet or mobile phone. Traditional rating apps can give you access to a significant amount of local ratings on the various businesses that reside within the city you want to relocate to. The most popular apps of course being Foursquare & Yelp which will provide you with information on community events as well as give you access to monthly forums. You can also get useful insight on the quality of services locally provided by a wide range of vendors in the community. These apps can even help provide you with some useful info on the parks that are located in your local area.

It is always possible to do plenty of preliminary research on your own, but sometimes it is advisable to contact a real estate professional. They will be able to provide you with the exact information you need concerning the neighborhoods you’re considering. they will also be able give you insight and answers to other specific questions you may have, such as. Which areas are best suited for your interests as well as those that you should avoid? In the process, you will be able to narrow down your choices and as a result make the best decision possible. Paring these online resources and mobile apps with the local knowledge of a real estate agent will help ensure that you are prepared to make the best purchase you can make.

What To Consider Before Investing in Real Estate

Gorgeous American home with blue exterior and white trim.

Making a real estate investment is always a great choice, however, people are usually faced with so many questions that they might be potentially deterred from making such an investment. So let’s discuss several factors that you should consider before making such a major decision.

The Market You’re Buying In

Carefully analyzing the neighborhood your potential property is located in is pivotal. What does the future hold for this city or region and how will it affect your property’s price/value should you decide to sell it? It is also important to keep a close eye on developing area’s nearby, trendy upcoming neighborhoods can significantly affect a potential buyers interest in your property.

Return On Investment

It’s only wise to invest in a property that will give you a high return on your investment. Do not avoid properties simply because they are need of some renovations, as the flaws will help you buy cheap and sell high after renovating. In fact most seasoned real estate experts will suggest that you had better buy a structure that needs renovations to help maximize potential profits.

Your Budget

Real estate comes in various shapes and sizes which can easily translate into different prices. As a buyer this can result in serious temptation to spend beyond your means but that shouldn’t be the case if you’ve prepared a budget. By consciously planning the money you can afford to spend on property you will be able to make a successful investment and avoid future losses. As you plan the budget remember that most expensive does not always equal to the best quality. In light of this, you should prepare your budget around other factors that would make the property appealing to you.

What Type Of Loans Do You Need?

As you prepare the budget, you may discover that your funds are not sufficient to cater to the investment. This calls for loans that enable you buy the property you’re attracted to. Before approaching the bank however, pause to consider which type of loan is ideal for you. There is the option of zero down payment, adjustable floating rate, and fixed rate mortgages, among others. Make sure to look around for the best deal to avoid paying unnecessarily high interest rates, premiums or processing fees.

Established Or Under Construction

As a new investor there is always the choice of buying a property that seasoned or established as well as one that is still being built. The latter provides options to customize, attractive pricing as well as clear titles. The downsides to such an investment is that you might experience delays in possession or minimal knowledge of the area. Established buildings may also be quite expensive but you’ll often find comfort in the neighborhood their located in. Remember, you will still need to look a little deeper into ownership and legal affairs.

Real estate agents

Finally, you should consider the assistance of a real estate agent to help guide you through this process. This is the best decision that you can make if you want to make the best possible investment. Agents understand the property market, are familiar with various neighborhoods and have close connections with financial institutions that you might need for lines of credit. The biggest advantage of having a real estate agent in your corner is that they understand all the legal jargon involved in the delicate investment property process as well. This will only help you make the ideal choice without the risk of buying a property that’s entangled in legal tussles.

Real estate is a great way to invest and protect your wealth but that is only possible if you make careful considerations before appending your signature to the sales document. This keeps you safe from unscrupulous dealers while ensuring that you get the highest returns in the long term. It might take some time to analyze all the factors involved in a successful purchase but that is a small price to pay if you want to land the best piece of real estate available. You must get a clear understanding of the landscape to gain more confidence in the property you want to buy and hope to sell in future.

5 Buyer Incentives That Can Help You Close Faster

Happy Mixed Race Couple in Front of Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House.

Your home is finally on the market and its time to begin the selling process. Now thats its listed, attracting the attention of genuine buyers should be your next important focus. Closing this deal in the least amount of time possible will give you a greater ability to coordinate the purchase of a new home. Allowing you to consider optimal tax benefits or make other important financial decisions. Fortunately, there are a number of buyer incentives that you can supply to help make buyers take immediate action.

Tack On A Few Extras

Sellers are commonly advised to depersonalize their spaces as much as possible before showing them. Staging a home correctly however, requires a few decorative elements. Take note when prospective buyers show a special interest in any window treatments, furnishings or outdoor features that you have no intention of taking with you. Add-ons like these will “sweeten the deal”, irrespective of their actual value. People like feeling as though they’re getting something of value for free.

Offer An Incentive For Closing Quickly

In a buyer’s market, consider offering your prospects an incentive, such as a closing credit for meeting your expected “close by date” along with an additional commission to the buyer’s agent. The costs of these incentives are often far lower than the losses that might occur if the sales process lags. In a seller’s market, let people know what your goals are upfront so that the offers you receive all come from people who are willing to be flexible with their closing dates.

Credits Towards Upgrades

If you have a home that lacks the cutting edge-features that are found in surrounding homes, consider setting yourself apart from the competition by offering credits towards upgrades. This will capture the attention of buyers who are shopping at your price point, but who are also looking for the latest features and amenities. Best of all, when investors get ready to make these upgrades, they can make them according to their own needs and preferences rather than having to make do with what’s already in place. This makes these credits infinitely more appealing.

Boost The Commission For The Buyer’s Broker

It is important to consider all angles of the equation when attempting to attract attention to your home. Not only do you want to appeal to the buyer, but you also want to give his or her agent a good reason to promote your property. Although the best agents advocate equally for all the homes in accordance with their clients’ purchasing goals, a heftier commission could significantly improve the awareness for your listing.

Offer A Credit For Home Repairs

In addition to or as an alternative to credits for property upgrades, you can offer a credit for home repairs. This credit can be used to address any minor issues that are recorded in the inspection report and to give investors a greater sense of assurance. Opting to handle repairs on your own can hold things up and could lead to problems further down the road if the buyer is dissatisfied with the results. Choosing to offer a credit instead will give buyers cash in hand at closing that they can use how and when they see fit. It will also relieve you of the responsibility of ensuring that buyers are happy with the quality of the repairs performed.

Choosing The Right Incentives

Choosing the best incentives for expediting your sale can be challenging. You shouldn’t run out and invest in high-end window treatments just for the sake of having something extra special to offer. Throwing in some of the decorative items that you’ve used to stage your home is best done when buyers are already showing an interest in these things. More commonly, you’ll find that credits towards closing costs are capable of generating the greatest amount of interest. This is due in part to the fact that they represent something that you can easily offer upfront, without buyers first having to outright express a desire for them. It also limits the amount of money that people have to bring to the closing table, which can be a huge relief for those who are finding themselves increasingly cash-strapped as new purchasing costs get factored in. These are direct savings that people like knowing exist. The right credits can actually reduce closing costs by as much as three to six percent, which can be very enticing to even the most comfortable buyer.

Five ways prospective home buyers can benefit from an open house visit


A young family looks up at their new home.

For home buyers, an open house visit is probably the best opportunity to review the property for sale before embarking on journey of purchasing your home. Don’t commit to a home without attending an open house, this is your chance to evaluate some very important factors prior to signing any paper work. As a home buyer, you should take advantage of as many open house visits as possible. This allows you to ensure that the property you choose meets all of your needs. Below are some of the ways you can best take advantage of on open house visits to get the best deal in the market.

Learn the market first before making commitments

One of the most common mistakes that home buyers often make at an open house is entering into deal on their first visit. Before you start making commitments with agents, always ensure that you are well informed about the pricing of the property and its market value. Also, ensure that you have reviewed other homes for sale to ensure that you make the best possible choice. Making as many open house visits as you can will help you get a feel for the market and compare actual home values with their listed prices. You can extend your search online as well to ensure that you gather as much information as possible.

Learn from the behavior other buyers

You can learn if a home is the best deal by observing and talking to other interested buyers. If everyone seems to lose interest on an open house visit, then there is a likelihood that something is wrong with the property. On the other hand, if everyone seems interested in what the agent have to say, then there is a possibility that the property is worth reviewing carefully. Observing the behavior of other buyers will give you insight on the level of competition on the property which allows you to make calculated moves.

Gather as much information from the agent as possible

Use the open house visit as an opportunity to ask as many questions concerning the house as possible. Even when you are not interested in the property in question, there is always something you can learn that will help you at another open house. Typically a house is on the market because the owner is moving but there will always e cases where you might find something wrong with the house. Thats the type of information you should attempt to discover now as opposed to a home inspection down the line. A genuine agent should be open to answering all issues relating to the sale.

Identify talented agents and create a relationship with them

If you are going to be entering into the home selling process in the near future, use the open house visit to identify talented agents. Discussing the home your inspecting with them will help provide with some insight into their experience and understanding of the housing market. If you happen to like them, ask open-ended questions such as, their general view on the market and their general success as an agent. This is essentially an informal setting to interview the potential agent you might work with in the near future. So by all means introduce yourself to them and express your interest in working with them.

Even if you’re not ready to buy a home just yet, open house visits will open up your prospective options on the current housing market. This can only help you plan for your future purchase as efficiently as possible. Even when the agents primary interest is to sell the house for the owner, you can still benefit from their insight without having to commit yourself. Make as many open house visits as possible before you start making commitments. Feel free to ask all the questions you might have as well, this is a no pressure opportunity to learn as much as you can before moving forward.