For many people who had substantial down payments to bring to the table, the credit itself was a nice bonus, but by no means a deal breaker. As one looks at the math and calculates the final monthly mortgage payments, it becomes apparent that the net effect of an $8K tax c redit may have meant nothing more than $8K more in down-pay- ment funds, and thus a monthly mortgage payment savings of under $40. On the other hand, mortgage rates have dropped precipitously and are now hovering under 5percent again, so it may very well be that having waited until the credit expired was not of any detrimental effect at all.
In terms of the overall market, the experience out there on the streets has been mixed. If you ask my homeowners who had bidding wars on their home within days of hitting the market last week, what the “real estate market” was like, they would say that it was phenomenal. At the same time, however, other amazing homes are sitting without offers, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to understand why some are having a different experience than others.
I’ve spoken in previous articles about the need for creative marketing and proper preparation, but I have seen that in action again and again this past week, so it most definitely bears repeating. The most critical time in the marketing of your home, is the weeks before it ever hits the market itself. I would have to say that the biggest piece of advice I have for my clients is not to “rush” the home onto the market, instead of taking the time to prepare a property. By bringing in my team of painters, handymen, stagers, and other top professionals I work with all the time, we can get a house to its absolute best state, so that it hits the market as near to perfect as it can. The better job we can do in preparation, the higher price you’ll ultimately command for the property, and that’s a win-win for everyone.
We all are aware that these are challenging times in the market, but they are not unique. After 25 years in the business, I’ve been through this type of market three times, and know very well just how to navigate it for maximum results. Just the other day a homeowner and I were chatting about that, and talking about how when the market is hot, everyone is a hero, but it’s at times like this that the true professionals show their colors.
As I do each year, I’ve opened up the Homeowners Blend program again, in the hope that we can get 10 or 12 new listings on that program this month. That’s always been a huge hit with the local home sellers, in that it provides real estate fees as low as 2.5 percent, which is a huge difference when your equity position is low to begin with. We already have seven people signed up, but still have room for about three more – so if you’re looking for a solution that will put a bit more money in your pocket, just give me a buzz at (508) 735-4663 or email me at [email protected] com and I’ll save you a place in the program. Until then I hope you have a happy and healthy 2010.
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX First Choice. He has been ranked as the top REMAX Agent in the 6 state New England region, and can be reached online at www.stevelevine. com or by phone at 508 735-4663.