All You Need to Know Regarding Renting Versus Buying a Home

What do you charge for an Appraisal?

As the Residential Real Estate season begins, we’d like to provide this public service post regarding the most common question we get as Appraisers: What do you charge for an Appraisal?

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Five Outdated Seller Beliefs Debunked

Rose Colored Glasses Are Out-Dated Too

Any seller who has not sold a home in the past five years is in for a shock, everything they thought they knew about selling a home has changed.

Home Sellers, here are the new rules of engagement which you could easily make a few costly mistakes and jeopardize our chances of a timely sale.

Three Major Changes that have altered the homebuying and selling landscape forever.

Change 1: HGTV. Buyers spend countless hours watching HGTV and have developed extremely refined tastes. They know what they want, and what (in their minds when they look at homes for sale…”As Seen On TV”.

Change 2: Mobile Devices and HIDEF, Highspeed Internet. Expect No Mercy. Today’s sellers have between seven and 10 seconds to sell their home, and those seconds are on a mobile device anywhere on the planet — not in any home for sale. If a buyer does not like your online listing, they’ll move on to the next, in a heartbeat, never to return or review.

Change 3: Internet Real Estate Web Sites. Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Opendoor and a host of broker-owned sites have populated the internet with user-friendly websites that provide property data, historical facts, HD pictures, automated valuations, neighborhood and school info, and more. All the above has completely removed the need for buyers to visit in person to determine if they like a home.

These three changes have not only revolutionized the way buyers search for homes, they have transformed what they buy as well.

Historically, there were three groups of buyers:

Top-tier buyers: Buy move-in ready homes that had all the amenities they were looking for.

Middle-tier buyers: Buy homes in “original” condition, for a decent price and then improve the home over time with sweat equity.

Bottom-tier buyers: Are contractors and flippers looking for distressed properties they could buy for 60 percent to 70 percent of retail value.

The middle tier, which historically represented a significant percentage of market sales, is disappearing. Todays group is paying more to obtain move-in-ready homes that look like the finished properties they have seen on HGTV.

In the past few years, we’ve seen sweeping societal shifts as homebuyer wannabes, for many reasons, are less willing or even capable of fixing up a home they’ve purchased.

With buyers moving away from “original condition” properties they perceive as needing upgrades, homes that appear in the middle tier are being forced down into the bottom tier and need to be priced accordingly. Sellers who do not understand this new reality stand to end up with far less than they imagined.

Seven Reasons iBuyer Direct Offers Are A Bad Deal for Home Sellers.

IBuyers (a moniker for platforms using new technology to make offers on homes and close quickly). Those IBuyer purchase offers aren’t designed to benefit the home seller; they are intended to benefit Corporate Shareholders. The Sellers are conditioned to get low offers and will pay equal or higher fees than from a typical Real Estate Broker and Agent.

1) Inaccurate valuations.  Zillow’s “Zestimate” is like all the other “Valuation”(Non-Appraisal) web sites. They simply exist to get eyeballs and personal information from their website for advertising or transaction purposes. 

2. Low Offers. No person, especially a Corporation that wants to purchase your home directly (With No Market Exposure) will not be offering you “Market Value.”

3. Serious Fees add up quickly. Most folks wince at the average 6% Fee Real Estate Agents Charge. Some Sellers have associated the iBuyer low offer to the average 6% Realtor fee.

Here’s the math: Not only will you, the seller, get a less than real market offer, there are Fees on top of that, like “Experience” Fees, Service Fees combined, exceeding what the Real Estate Agents would have charged you.

Still not convinced? When you sell your home, would you rather pay an agent who represents your interests or a company that serves their interests?

4. A majority of markets don’t need this ‘Service”. In many residential communities across the country, currently have tight Inventory, homeowners don’t even have to put money into updates or upgrades. Too many individuals want to buy homes.

5. Reducing Inventory will Raises Prices. Housing inventory continues to set record lows. Buyers are frustrated, bidding wars and home values escalate.

6. Home Buyers are Competing with Flippers. Investors don’t always flip houses for buyers. They often rent them out. Although not all renters are poor caretakers, there isn’t much incentive to put effort and care into a property.

Get enough renters on the street, and the curb appeal drops significantly. Renters come and go.

7. The negative effect of low offers. Imagine if two or three homes on your street are taking an instant offer. If this becomes a trend, appraisers may not be able to disregard the data.

Moreover, if you, the seller, make an immediate offer, you are messing with your neighbors’ home values.

That might not be your problem today, but it could be in the future.

Who benefits from instant home purchase offers? 

Instant home purchases are designed to benefit the IBuyer or investor under the guise of convenience to the seller.

How Can Sellers Protect Themselves?

 Contact a State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser. Their core mandate is to protect the Public Trust in Real Estate Transactions. The Average Fee for an independent Market Appraisal is 500.00, which is pennies on the dollar compared to paying the IBuyer Fees.

And, at the very least, interview a Licensed Real Estate Agent for a Comparative Marketing Analysis before accepting an instant offer.