Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Year after year the demand for single level living rises in Northern Virginia. This is particularly true in 55+/Active Adult communities. The population is aging and with age, many people find it difficult to get up and down stairs but they can do just fine on their own otherwise. There is also the population of 55+ people who simply like the resort style living (golf, indoor and outdoor pools, activities, exercise classes) offered in many of these communities. The problem is, rental housing that allows for single level living is hard to come by in Fairfax County and Prince William County. I know this because I'm a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and the number of calls I receive from people looking for rental housing in 55+ / active adult communities has skyrocketed. Communities such as Spring Hill in Lorton, River Ridge near Occoquan, Four Seasons in Dumfries and Regency at Dominion Valley in Haymarket are just a few of the spectacular 55+/Active Adult communities in which you could find a good investment property to buy, Rent Quickly and hold. 

To learn more about Northern Virginia's 55+/Active Adult Communities or to receive listings-by-email, you can contact me at SusanBorrelliHomes@gmail.com or go to: www.NorthernVirginiaSelectProperties.com   

Pocket Listing

by Ron and Susan

 

What is a “Pocket Listing”?

         In real estate, a seller who wants to sell their home will usually contact and hire an agent, the listing agent, to list and market to the home to the general market – normally through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Once a home is entered in the MLS, many real estate websites will pick-up and showcase those listings as well making a home visible to a very large number of potential buyers.

     A pocket listing is very different.  These listings are not technically “on the market”.  They are not entered into the MLS, but marketed independently and directly by the seller’s agent or broker, who has complete control over the listing, thus keeping the listing in their “pocket.”   Their advertising, if any, is normally very local in nature, and therefore the amount of exposure is limited.

 

Pros

Pocket listings are only permitted if the seller expressly agrees to it.  Those that are pro-pocket listings argue that they enable privacy.  Additionally, some sellers use them to “test the water” if they aren’t 100 percent serious about selling.

Cons

Some real estate professionals argue that pocket listings are harming the market by skewing the overall market image, limiting exposure, and making it harder to browse comparable homes and prices. Others are frustrated that pocket listings enable the listing agents to take in the full commission.

 

     We don’t think pocket listings are in the best interest of a seller.  There is the potential for a seller to receive less than market value if a deal is made since a listing agent may be interested in a higher commission rather than considering the best strategy for their clients.  A seller is better served if they expose their home to as many potential buyers as possible, thereby increasing the chances of receiving a top-dollar offer.  Additionally, with all of the marketing tools available to real estate professionals, why not utilize them all to your advantage?!

 

 

What You Need to Know to Prepare for a Home Appraisal

by Ron and Susan

Here are a few key items to take into consideration when know who you are working with on your appraisal:

 

Did you know there are two types of appraisers?
– Licensed and Certified
Do you know the difference?

  • Larger banks are paying less to appraisers through Appraisal Management Companies.  Almost all of the banks own them so they can make more money.  This is not always a “good thing”.  Often times you will get an appraiser with less experience or one that will rush through the process because they have to make up their income by doing more volume.  Appraisal companies are in place to put a buffer between the lender, Realtor and appraiser to perpetuate a more “arm’s length” transaction.  What has resulted is that the banks are using this as a profit center and not always employing best in class appraisers.
  • Check with the appraiser’s competency and local knowledge.  Ask where they are located and if they are familiar with your property/area.  Additionally, ask how long have they been appraising homes?  Lastly, check and see if they work from home or office?   Many small owner operators work from home and as a result, don’t get exposures to other appraisers.  This lack of networking, idea sharing and updates on the market can hurt appraisals.
  • Education for appraisers is getting tougher.  There is an apprenticeship for 2 years now.
  • There are two types of appraisers – licensed and certified.  Licensed Appraisers can only do values up to $1,000,000.  Certified Appraisers can do any property value.  Additionally, Certified Appraisers must take a test and have a Bachelor’s degree.  Lastly, only Certified Appraisers can appraise FHA loans.

What you need to be prepared for your appraisal:

  • Always bring your own comparable sales – make sure they are good comps so you can build creditability.  Even bring low sales and let them know what the issues were that resulted in their low sale – pet odors, back to power lines, short sale, foreclosure, etc.
  • If at all possible, provide plat/floor plan – proper measuring is critical because if its 100 square feet off the true square footage you will have issues
  • Bulls eye approach – first look in subdivision, then do a radius search of 1 mile, 2 miles, etc. to find the right comparable properties.
  • Use a couple of higher sales, couple of smaller home, the radius approach to finding properties and a couple within the timeframe of settling within 3 months or less
  • You now need to have 5 to 6 comps
  • Provide 1-2 under contract comps as part of your presentation
  • Find FSBO too!  They can help your cause
  • Pass on any and all information you know about your property – list all recent improvements and their cost/value to help support your price.
  • Provide details on other offers if you had multiple offers
  • Provide additional pricing details like the Home Pricing Wizard, RBIntel statistics, and articles relating to escalating prices.

Steps to overcome low appraisal

  • Get a “good” conversation going, kill them with kindness
  • Provide new info that the appraiser might not be aware of when you met initially at the property
  • Be there when the appraiser wants to meet at the property
  • Use their language
    • Beneficial
    • Neutral
    • Adverse

Appraisers need to be concerned with the following items:

  • Safety –  the house needs to be safe, easy to explain
  • Soundness – the house needs to have structural integrity including but not limited to the roof and foundation
  • Security – the house needs to have locks on windows and doors

Integral issues for appraising

  • You have to know the condition and the subsequent ratings of the properties condition.  The rating scale goes from C1-C6.  One is the best and 6 is the worst.  Speak with the appraiser in terms of the condition to get more value for your clients
  • You also have to know the quality of the construction in order to help get more value.  Was the home custom built or was it a cookie-cutter built in the late 70’s with 7.5 foot ceilings?  These rankings range from Q1-Q6

As you see, it is extremely important for you to be a professional agent, do you job thoroughly for you clients and get the results that everyone is looking for from the appraisal process.

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3