Archive for December, 2007

The Price Reduction

Everyone who sells a home wants the highest possible price. Sometimes, the only way to get the highest price is to reduce your present asking price. Most homeowners who have placed their homes on the market are hesitant to reduce the asking price prior to receiving an offer. This is understandable. There are, however, certain circumstances that dictate a price reduction may be necessary to get the house sold. Let’s look at some of the important considerations:

Was the original asking price for your home correct? Who set the original asking price? If you, the owner, set the price, were you realistic in your expectations? If the Realtor® set the price, was it based on a careful study of comparable properties? It has been my experience that the homeowner usually plays a major role in setting the price. Once the asking price is set, the owner may become very rigid when asked to consider a price reduction in order to make the home more competitive with surrounding homes. In order to sell your home at the highest possible price, it may be necessary for you to reevaluate your asking price from time to time.

If there are not many showings on your home, pricing may be the problem. When buyers are considering which homes to see, they may feel that your home does not offer enough features when compared with other homes in your price range. If there are many showings but no offers, price may be the problem. Your home may include the features and location that attract showings, but, upon closer inspection, buyers may feel the price is not justified.

Perhaps the marketplace has changed since your home first became available. Although the original asking price may have been correct at the time of listing, it may no longer be adequate to attract buyers away from competing homes. Real estate values do fluctuate. They respond to changes in the economy, interest rates, local taxing and zoning decisions.

Consider your Realtor’s advice regarding a possible price reduction as it may be a necessary means to an end.

According to the Pacific Business News this week Hawaii had 113 foreclosure filings in November, an increase of 53 percent over the 74 filings in November 2006. Hawaii ranks 44th in the country for its foreclosure rate of one filing for every 4,346 households, a slight improvement over October’s ranking of 43rd, according to the latest survey by California-based real estate research firm RealtyTrac.

Oahu Property Values Drop 1st Time In 6 Years

The Honolulu Advertiser reported today that the total assessed value of residential property on O’ahu has slightly decreased for the first time in six years, meaning many homeowners could see lower tax bills next year — unless tax rates are raised.

This chart provided courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser.


Should you rent or should you buy your home? It takes more than looking at your mortgage payment to answer this question. There are many different calculators out there in cyberspace that can shed some light on the subject…….but, I think this website has the best Rent vs. Buy calulator I have seen so far…….

Rent vs. Buy, – This calculator helps you weed through the fees, taxes, and monthly payments to help you make a good financial decision. Be sure to click the “View Report” button for a detailed look at the results…….Have fun…..Aloha, Jon.

Is Your Next Home Getting Out Of Reach?

If you are presently a homeowner and planning to buy a nicer home in the future, you may be falling behind in your quest to buy that next home. Or, you may be gaining on it without realizing that the time to buy is fast approaching. It all depends upon the constantly changing status of the value of your present home and of the home you want to purchase.

As you know, market knowledge is extremely important when buying stocks, bonds, or other commodities. It is also a necessity when making real estate buying and selling decisions.

What is happening to the market value of your existing home? Will it increase or decrease in value? How much of a change will occur in its value this year? If you bought one of the first homes in a new subdivision, as an example, your home’s value may not move up substantially until the builder has finished selling all the other homes in your subdivision. Typically, it is difficult for an existing homeowner to compete for buyers against the builder who can offer custom features and decorating to each customer. Perhaps your home has risen in value significantly over the past few years, but the rate of appreciation may be slowing down.

The home you want to acquire also has its own market dynamics that effect its present and future value. You must be able to determine if the gap is widening, narrowing, or remaining stable between the sale price of your present home and the expected purchase price of the next one. You might have been pleased that your home has increased in value each of the last six years, but discover that the next home has moved up, as well, in price during that same period of time.

If you are seriously considering upgrading your housing in the next few years, you must keep abreast of the trends in your local (neighborhood) real estate market. Ask your Realtor® to give you a current market appraisal of your present home and the price and availability of the next home you want to buy.

OUTSIDE: Trim all shrubs. Pull all weeds. Flowers planted. Leaves raked. Water
lawn to keep green. Pick up and discard or store all implements, materials and debris
that are not part of the lawn decor. All windows washed. Garage should be swept,
neat and tidy.

LIGHTING: Open all shades and draperies during the daylight hours. Replace all
burned out light bulbs with the maximum light producing bulbs. Turn on all lights
throughout the house prior to showing the house.

STORAGE: All clothing, shoes, hats, accessories, tools, papers, magazines, books
and personal items not contributing to the decor of the room should be stored in
closets or dressers. All closets should be tidy, neat and clean. Storage
areas should be neatly arranged. Kitchen counters should be clean and free of any
articles not contributing to the decor of the room. All magazines, books, ashtrays,
food, bottles, containers, boxes, cans, toys, hobby accessories, tools, dishes,
cookware, etc. should be stored in the proper cupboards or closets or storage areas.

CLOSETS: The interiors of all closets should present an organized, tidy and
uncluttered appearance. All unneeded or unused items should be discarded. Display
your storage and utility space by removing all unnecessary accumulations in closets and garage.

WINDOWS: All windows should be spotlessly clean inside and out. All window sills,
as well as any space between the window and storm window should be spotlessly
clean and free of any flaking or loose paint. All windows should be in good repair
with no cracks. Screens should be clean and in good condition, free of rust and holes.
Any paint on glass should be removed with a razor blade prior to cleaning.

FIXTURES: All bathroom and kitchen fixtures and counters should be sparkling
clean. Polish chrome faucets and handles in the tub and sinks. All sinks, tubs, toilets
and counters should be clean.

FLOORS: All flooring should be clean and waxed if necessary. All carpeting should be
very clean regardless of its age. If the carpeting has not been steam cleaned for
more than two years, now is the time to do it.

DOORS: All doors should be free of scotch tape, posters, decals, or stickers. All door
handles should be clean and in good repair.

CERAMIC TILE: All joints between tiles should be clean and white. Use DAP
bathroom tile sealer to reseal the joint between bathtub and wall and floor.

WALLS: All walls should be clean and free of gouges, scratches, smudges, scotch
tape, posters, thumbtacks, etc. Walls should only have decorative items. Posters and
paper pictures taped to walls should be removed and all evidence of the tape
markings removed.

ODOR: Nothing smells better than fresh air. On warm days, have your windows
open and shades up. Make your home feel and smell bright, fresh and clean and you
will have a faster sale. KEY POINT: Make very sure that there are absolutely no pet

How to Sell Your Home Quickly & For The Most Money

To sell your home for the highest possible price, you need to avoid common mistakes! Small mistakes can cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Avoiding these mistakes is easy. Just follow the simple guidelines in this report and you should be able to get the maximum return on your investment.

1. Distress Selling:
At times, selling quickly is unavoidable. That’s when knowing the right techniques to sell your home, without looking desperate and making yourself a target for low bidders, really pays off. Know all there is to know about your market before listing and work hand-in-hand with the right real estate professional. Ensure you are not settling for the first offer through the door.

The right agent can save you hundreds even thousands of dollars.

2. Best Home in the Neighborhood:
Your home is one of your most personal possessions. Don’t be blind to flaws and needed cosmetic improvements. This will cause overvaluing of the home, hurting its chances to be sold. Listing with the right agent gives you a well-informed third eye that will help you price your home at a fair market price.

3. Limited Home Viewing:
Buyers want to view a home on their own time schedule. Unfortunately their time schedule does not always coincide with your time schedule. Leave a lockbox or key with your agent so your home can be shown when you are not around. You never know if the one who got away was your next home buyer.

4. Restrain Emotional Decisions:
Don’t allow a few hundred dollars, which would mean very little to you in the long run, ruin a sale. Take a look at the big picture and react rationally. Use sound business judgment!

5. Make Cosmetic Improvements:
Prospects make up their minds within the first few minutes. First impressions can make all the difference in selling your home. Spending $1,200 on new carpet might add another $4,000 to the price of your home. Get an objective point of view from your real estate professional. They can provide you with a list of items that will maximize the profitability of your home sale.

6. Disclose Property Flaws:
Property disclosure laws require sellers to list any flaws required by your state. If you are unaware of flaws or worse, attempt to cover them up, you risk losing the sale and finding yourself in court. Get professional assistance from your agent, who can introduce you to qualified inspectors and ensure the smooth sale of your home.

7. For Sale By Owner:
Most homeowners who decide to sell their own home, do so because they believe they can save the commission paid to the real estate agent. Everything has a price, and selling a home carries a high one. The amount of time and effort required to sell a home often surprises the For Sale By Owner. Furthermore, many costly mistakes can be avoided with the right guidance.

8. Refusing to Trust Your Agent:
Would you tell a physician that you’ve decided to run your own tests and come to your own diagnosis? By choosing the right Realtor®, you can relax and trust their judgment. The right agent is a valuable team member, who will protect your best interests and make your sale as profitable as possible.

9. Know Your Market:
Most homes that do not sell in their first listing period are priced too high. Consequently, most homes that sell quickly are priced too low and cheat the homeowner out of profits. You need to understand your market and evaluate the value of your home based on fact, not gut instinct or conventional wisdom. A professional agent will know and understand your market.

10. Choosing a Realtor Based on Personal Relationships:
Home sellers often pick a friend or family member as their agent. Choose an agent with a strong track record and aggressive marketing plan. A strategic marketer knows their business well and can generate many buyers. Selling your home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make! Base it on good, sound business sense and the rewards will add up.

Before you make one of your most important decisions (whom to list your home with) shouldn’t you become as informed as possible? By aligning yourself with a quality agent you ensure that all the significant and seemingly insignificant, (but very important), details are handled professionally. Your home sale should not be a grueling ordeal. And the more informed you are, the better chance you have of making a good sound business decision.

My hope is to educate you and help you avoid the pitfalls many home sellers go through. I hope you found the ideas valuable and if there is ever any way I can be of service to you or anyone you care about, please contact my office. I’d love to hear from you!

Here is a nice chart put together by the Honolulu Advertiser…….Highlighting November 2007 Oahu Home Sales: