At Home in Davis

Davis, Woodland and Greater Sacramento housing market reports, new listings, community information, home buying and selling tips and more.

April 7, 2018

Could you be leaving money on the table by not selling your home now?

 

Has your home increased in value more than $250,000 since you purchased it?  If so you could be leaving money on the table by not selling it now as any future equity growth over $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) might be taxed.

I'm a Realtor and therefore am not qualified to provide tax advice.  This information should not be taken as tax or legal advice. With that said, I'd encourage you to read this article and contact your tax advisor for further advice.

IRS publication regarding capital gains tax on your primary residence

This market is moving fast and homes are appreciating at a rapid pace.  Many homeowners have quickly found themselves in a position where their equity has exceeded the allowable amount to claim as a capital gains exemption. Some homes have appreciated $50,000 or more in just the last few months.

Curious what your home is worth? Find out here

The Higgins Team at the GoodHome Group RE/MAX Gold has been successfully marketing and selling homes locally for over 10 years.  We have the experience necessary to guide you through the process of selling your home in this market and ensuring you do so with the least amount of hassle and for highest possible price.

It never hurts to know your options.  Reach out to us for a no obligation consultation.  I'm confident it will be a valuable experience for you.

Best regards,

 

Jeremy Higgins

GoodHome Group RE/MAX Gold

Ph: 530-574-3329

E-mail: Jeremy@HigginsHomeSearch.com

CaBRE #01484794

 

Feb. 2, 2017

When Is the Best Time of Year to Sell Your Home?

When is the best time of year to sell your home in order to maximize your profit? It’s a lot sooner than most people think. 

 

When is the best time of year to list and sell your home for the most money? That can vary from market to market but today, we’ll focus on Davis.

First, we’ll look at the number of pending sales in Davis over the past few years. In 2013, the low point for pending sales was November; that number peaked in May. In 2014, the low point for pending sales was in December. However, pending sales peaked in March. In 2015, January was the low point for pending sales and April was the high point. 

What does this tell us? Winter months are slow in general but they are especially slow in Davis. It’s all a matter of supply and demand, which then increases sale prices. 

If we look at the average price per square foot for Davis, the low point for 2014 was in March and prices peaked in July. In 2015, the low point was February and the high point was April. That means prices peaked in just two months! Last year, February was the low point and March was the high point—that’s how quickly things can change in Davis. 

Now, a lot of sellers make the mistake of waiting until the market increases to list their homes. While it’s true that March, April, May, June, and July are the best months to sell, you need to meet with your Realtor in January or February to prepare the house for the market. 

Ideally, you should list your home in mid-February or mid-March at the latest in order to take advantage of those quick price increases and maximize your profits. Values can change significantly in Davis; I’ve seen homes go up $100,000 in a few months!

In our next video, I’ll go over a few tips to prepare your home for the market. After all, now is the time to start getting ready. In the meantime, if you have any other real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you!

 

Nov. 28, 2016

How Can Home Sellers Maintain Leverage During a Transaction?

 

As a home sale progresses, negotiating leverage usually switches from the seller to the buyer. However, there is a way for the seller to maintain their leverage throughout the transaction.  

 

I believe that negotiations revolve around leverage—who has it, when they have it, and when they can take advantage of it.

 

At the end of the day, during a home sale, the seller has more leverage at the beginning of the transaction.

 

This is because this is the period when the buyer hasn’t been able to secure the home yet and may still be competing with other buyers. After buyers make an emotional connection to the home that they want, a certain fear inevitably arises that they might not be able to get it. This makes them more likely to be deferential and give concessions on certain things.

 

After a home goes into escrow, however, the leverage switches. Why? Because at that point, the seller can’t necessarily sell that home to other buyers anymore. The buyer knows this and takes advantage by asking for more repairs.

 

If you’re a seller, however, there are ways to keep the leverage in your corner for much longer. The best thing you can do is get as many inspections up front as possible. Find out everything about your home that you can and present that as a marketing tool for the buyer. That way, when the buyer gets ready to submit an offer on the home, they’re also going to see those inspection reports. When they write the offer, you can use those reports as leverage to demand an open, transparent negotiation and balk at any undue repair requests.

 

Not only does this tactic save thousands of dollars, but I’ve had sellers do this who have had buyers accept their house as-is. Every situation is different, but this core strategy has a knack for transcending the who, what, when, where, and why.

 

If you have any questions or you want to talk about your selling strategy in particular, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to helping you!

Nov. 2, 2016

How Do You Get More Money on Your Home Sale?

 

I’d like to let the cat out of the bag today and tell you exactly how it’s possible to get more money from your home sale. This is not intended to be a sales pitch; I simply want to show you how we have managed to break price records this year for our clients.

 

In real estate, there are essentially two very simple success principles: the first is aggressive marketing and the second is skillful negotiation. There are really only two reasons why a house doesn’t sell, and they are directly correlated to these principles—marketing and price. If people don’t know about your house, then obviously nobody will be able to make an offer on it. On the flip side, if your home is marketed well but is overpriced, then nobody will want to make an offer on it.

 

The more people that know about your home, the more showings you’ll get. More showings mean more offers, and more offers will allow you to negotiate up to the highest possible price on your home.

 

Let’s talk about marketing first. How do we ensure that everyone out there looking for a home in your neighborhood and in your price point knows about the home you’re selling? By now, we all know that at least 95% of buyers begin their home searches online before they even speak with a real estate agent. Clearly, it’s important to advertise your home all over the internet. However, there is another piece to the internet marketing puzzle: your home needs to be intriguing enough to catch those buyers’ eyes and make them want to click through and learn more about it. How do you accomplish this?

 

First, you must have professional photos taken of your house. Intriguing professional photos may use a twilight shot or a night shot to show your home in the best possible light and make it stand out from all of the other homes out there. Video is also a crucial part of marketing your home online. More buyers will watch videos than will look at pictures. Recently, we’ve even instituted new 3D technology for taking these photos that will allow the buyer to walk through the home online and see the entire house.

 

Another important element is targeting the right market online. We only have so many marketing dollars that we can use, so it’s important to spend that budget in the right places. There are many ways to target people who are likely to move, have sufficient income and good credit, and it’s crucial to be able to capitalize on that.

 

Staging your home is also a vital piece of the puzzle. Who wants to walk into a house that feels empty or like nobody wants to be in there? Making a home feel like it’s been cared for, loved, and lived-in will make a major difference in the kinds of offers you will receive on it. The problem with a lot of staging companies is that many of them use the same furniture kits for all types of homes, regardless of the way that the furniture fits into the home. This doesn’t work. The furniture needs to fit the home and represent its character as well as the type of buyer that wants to live there. We have a designer on our staff that helps us do exactly this.

 

Now let’s move onto the role that skillful negotiation plays in the sale of your home. Negotiation is more of a science than it is an art, but many people don’t treat it that way. There are massive amounts of data out there that will provide you with quality information to help you position your house correctly. Because the goal is to get you the highest price possible for your home, neither overpricing nor underpricing are the solution.

 

There is more to a negotiation than simply agreeing on a price. Most people typically get into negotiation on price and some terms, then get into escrow only to find out that there is a secondary negotiation. This negotiation usually pertains to repairs, and it’s where a lot of money can be lost or gained.

 

Here is what I recommend: rather than waiting for the buyer to make inspection appointments and put in requests for repairs based on those, consider having an open and transparent negotiation with the buyer in order to maximize your leverage. We will usually get all of the inspections performed before listing the property, then present all of that information to the buyer during the first negotiation so that we know all of the repairs they need up front. We have saved clients literally thousands of dollars this way. We’ve even had buyers remove their contingencies at the time that they write the offer.

 

These are just a few strategies that we employ and encourage you to use in order to sell your home for top dollar. If you have any other questions about selling your home for the most money possible in today’s market or anything else related to Northern California real estate, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you!

Sept. 29, 2016

The Importance of Marketing Your Home

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Looking to sell your home? Get a Home Value Report

 

There are really only two success principles to selling your home. The first is that you have to market your home to let everyone out there looking for a home in your price point in your neighborhood know that it’s available. The second is negotiation; once you have captured the buyers’ attention, you need a skilled negotiator to get the highest price possible for your home.

 

Today, we will focus on marketing. Keep an eye out for the second part of this video to learn more about negotiating.

 

Now, there are two reasons why a house won’t sell: the marketing or the price. If people don’t know about your house, how are they supposed to buy it? If people do know about the house but feel that it’s overpriced, they won’t write an offer. Either way, your home won’t sell.

 

Marketing is important because the more people know about your home, the more showings you will get. The more showings you get, the more offers you will get. The more offers you get, the easier it is to negotiate for the highest price.

 

As you know, 95% of all buyers start their home search online. Buyers start looking at homes online before they even start talking to a real estate agent. Your home needs to be all over the Internet in order to sell. However, don’t just post pictures of your home that you took with your iPhone. Your home needs to capture buyer’s attention so that they click on your listing.

 

Professional photos are absolutely crucial in today’s market. The professional photographer has to know how to photograph a house; they have to pick the right angles and lighting to make eye-catching and intriguing photos. The photos don’t always have to be of the front of the home, either. If you have a beautiful backyard, take a twilight photo. If your kitchen is amazing, feature the kitchen prominently in photos.

 

You also have to have video. People love video; YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world right now, just behind Google. Over 2 million minutes of YouTube videos are uploaded each minute. Again, don’t just work with any videographer; work with one who knows how to film a home.

 

Target marketing is really important. We only have so many dollars to spend on marketing your home, so it’s really important that we market to the right target audience. Facebook and Google are amazing at this—these sites can even let you know when people are likely to move. Every dollar needs to ensure that the marketing goes to the right person who will want to buy your home.

 

The final leg of marketing is staging. We don’t see a lot of home staging around Sacramento; I don’t know why because staging is incredibly important. You need to hire the right stager who will draw the character out of your house by focusing on its most appealing aspects, like your beautiful kitchen or spacious backyard. If you have a Mid-century modern home, the stager should bring in Mid-century modern furniture. If you have a luxury home situated on a golf course, the stager should bring in some luxury furniture pieces.


If you have any questions about marketing your home, give me a call or send me an email. Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we will focus on negotiating to get the most money out of your home sale. I look forward to speaking with you!

Sept. 14, 2016

Throwing It Back: Some Timeless Advice for Buyers

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Looking to sell your home? Get a Home Value Report

 



There is nothing worse than finding the perfect home after months of grueling searches, countless home views and many disappointments only to learn that someone else won the bid and the home went to another buyer.

 

One of the things we do with our clients to help them get the home they want is to get creative. By “get creative” I mean using methods other than the standard “raise the price on offer to try and woo the sellers." Why must price always be a factor?

Here are just a few of the things we can do to get creative and GET the home of your dreams:

1. Get to Know the Sellers and Cater To Their Needs

It is fairly easy most of the time to get an idea of a seller’s personality from seeing their home. By using the inherent knowledge and intuition that comes from seeing the home, as well as meetings we have with the seller’s agent, we can learn quite a bit about their needs, personality and more. We want to use that information and knowledge creatively. Leveraging this information and providing unique offers such as allowing a rent back situation for sellers that may need extra time to clear the home is a great way to impact sellers.

2. Be Flexible With Contingency Periods

Everyone knows there is a certain amount of time allotted in order to do a home inspection or financing to be carried through. For sellers, that is usually a difficult time since they have to hold their breath and wait for everything to check out. By reducing the length of your contingency, whether for inspection, financing, or otherwise, sellers will feel relaxed and comfortable; one more thing that can make your offer look like the best offer to them.

3. Present a Personal Connection to the Property

Most of the time sellers are emotionally attached to their property and have a hard time letting go of it. We encourage our buyers to write a letter letting them know how much they appreciate how well the home was taken care of, and mentioning something like how they look forward to raising their family in the well-loved home. Nothing will make a seller feel better than knowing the new owner will cherish the home as much as they did.

 

There are other creative strategies that we use too and it all depends on each individual situation. Once we sit down to discuss your options we can evaluate the situation, figure out what’s best for you and come up with some things we can do to make sure your offer is the one the seller accepts.

If you have more questions or you'd like to talk more about making an offer stand out, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Nov. 19, 2015

Sellers | Why Home Inspections Make Good Cents

Nov. 19, 2015

Sellers | The Value of a Blank Canvas

Nov. 19, 2015

Buyers | Get Creative and Get Your Dream Home