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The Reinhart Blog

Should You Sell Your Home Now or Wait Until Spring?

Spring isn’t the only time to sell your home. Here are five reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until spring:

  1. Real Estate IndustryLess Competition
    There is less competition right now which increases the probability for showings, but it also increases the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.Home Mortgage Rate Increase
  2. Mortgage Rates Are Low
    Mortage rates could increase while you’re waiting for spring, potentially costing you thousands of dollars and eliminating many buyers from the market. Less demand for your home will mean less money.
  3. African-American realtor woman with key. The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
    A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.
  4. Buyers working with RealtorSerious Buyers Are Out There
    Serious buyers are always out there. The fall and winter months are a good time for buyers to survey potential neighborhoods. Are there pumpkins on the stoop, light displays for the holidays? These items paint a picture of the neighborhood and if it’s right for them or not.
  5. Woman With Keys Standing Outside New HomeTransactions
    There aren’t as many real estate transactions now as there will be in the spring. This means there are fewer loans to process, and fewer closing and inspections to do; factors that should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved, and less stress for you!

Waiting until spring to tell sell could be costly. Contact a Reinhart Realtor today to discuss your real estate plan!

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Empty Nesters: Best to Remodel or Time to Sell?

Empty Nesters 2
Your children have finally moved out and you and your spouse now live alone in a house that goes beyond your needs. Do you:

  1. Remodel your house to fit your current needs
  2. Sell your house and purchase the perfect home

Based on the record of dollars spent on remodeling, it appears that many homeowners are deciding on number one. But, is that the best long-term solution?

It May Pay To Downsize
According to a recent study, you will recoup only 64.4% of a remodeling project’s investment dollars if you sell in the future. Your home is probably at its highest value today. Instead of remodeling, it may make better financial sense to sell your current home and purchase a home that meets your current lifestyle and desires.

For help creating a real estate plan, contact a Reinhart Realtor today.

Source: Keeping Current Matters

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Thinking of Selling? You May Want to Act NOW!

Inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand remains high.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, commented, “Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.” When inventory shrinks, available homes become more valuable. This defines today’s real estate market and is good news for sellers.

While multiple offers were common this spring, there are signs that the frenzy is slowing down. As we approach the end of summer, sellers still hold a significant negotiating advantage in many price ranges over factors such as price, inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies. If you‘ve been considering selling your house, you may not want to wait any longer.

For all of the facts about what is happening in your neighborhood, contact a Reinhart Realtor today.

Source: KCM, July 18, 2017

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Do You Know How Much Equity You Have in Your Home?

A house made of money,dollars

78.8% of homeowners have significant equity (more than 20%) in their homes today! But do they realize their equity position has changed?

“Homeowner equity increased by $766 billion over the last year, the largest increase since Q2 2014…” states CoreLogic, with their latest Equity Report revealing that 91,000 properties regained equity in the first quarter of 2017. This is great news for the country, as 48.2 million of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation, and great news for the 2017 market. This means risk will continue to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

According to the Fannie Mae, more homeowners are beginning to realize that they might have more equity than they first thought, with the majority thinking it’s a good time to sell rather than buy. With a sizable equity position, many homeowners with a mortgage have an opportunity to take advantage of today’s seller’s market and easily move into a housing situation that better meets their current needs.

Unsure of how much equity you have built in your home? Contact a Reinhart Associate today and find out why now could be a great time to sell!

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Pricing Your Home in a Seller’s Market

For Sale with ReinhartPrepare the home for sale.
Buyers are lined up looking for well-maintained homes and because there is a shortage of them, they are willing to compete and pay extra for move-in-ready homes. To get the best price, a home should be detailed the way a car dealer would detail a previously owned car to prepare it for market—everything should be maintained, clean and functional.preapproval

Price the home to get buyers excited.
In today’s fast-paced market, smart pricing typically brings high offers quickly. There is a backlog of anxious buyers in most price ranges who haven’t found a home they really like, or lost one or two of them to other bidders. The goal in pricing should be to get multiple buyers excited to the point of making motivated offers (so that they don’t lose out to other equally excited buyers).

It’s fine to push the pricing a little depending on the size and enthusiasm of the potential pool of buyers for the specific market and price range. Some sellers are even taking the opposite approach and finding success with intentionally pricing low so as to create an auction-type environment with buyers getting caught up in trying to outbid each other. This strategy requires careful planning to be sure the home will be exposed to enough excited buyers to get the optimum price.

Ann Arbor Residential

Higher end markets move slower.
Higher end markets are typically moving slower with higher supply levels and market times than moderate and entry level markets. While there is generally less demand for higher-end homes, there are still plenty of buyers waiting for the well maintained and detailed high-end listings.


Place more emphasis on active and pending comps.
As homes sell more quickly, more emphasis should be shifted toward active and pending comps. In strong buyers’ markets, sold comps matter and active and pending comparables ride “back seat.” When there’s a shortage of available homes, more emphasis should be placed on supply and how quickly it’s turning over. How many competitive active listings are there? How many competitive pending listings? What is the ratio of active listings to pendings? What was it a month ago? It’s not uncommon in this market to see pending comps outnumber active comps.

When pricing homes in a hot market, shift weight forward toward active and pending comparables. If a mortgage is likely, the house must appraise, but so long as the negotiated price is reasonable, worst case, there may be some adjustment needed for the appraisal.

If you are thinking about buying or listing a home forsale this year, contact us to meet with a local real estate professional who can help you take advantage of current market conditions.

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Low Inventory Leads to a Seller’s Market

The biggest real estate story throughout Washtenaw County and all of Southeast Michigan is that we have begun 2017 with extremely low inventory.
Year-to-Date Closed Sales Up

Despite limited and picked over inventories, closed sales activity for both single-family homes and condos is up and ahead of last year’s pace by 7% and 5% respectively. Considering the extremely low inventory levels, buyer activity and demand remains strong.

prices rising

Sale Prices Up Slightly for Single Family, but Level for Condos

Closed average sale price for single-family homes is up by 5% for single family homes, but about even for condos. Considering the limited inventory, this is good. Assuming buyer options will open up as spring inventory levels rise, values should rise.

House for Sale

Early Market Opportunities for Sellers

With early inventory levels so low, there are significant opportunities for sellers who get their properties on the market early. There is a large pool of buyers waiting in most price ranges for homes and condos that have been well maintained and are move-in ready. With inventories low and demand strong, those sellers who may be waiting to put their homes on the market should enter the market now.

If you are ready to learn more about selling your home, please contact us. We’d be happy to learn about your goals and how we can help you start living the life you desire. 

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Benefits of Investing in a Smart Home

smart-home-640While neutral walls and good curb appeal are still necessary, smart home technology is the latest way to increase the speed of your home sale. Studies have found that consumers want the addition of technology in their home to increase safety, comfort and efficiency.

security bolt in doorSafety
Safety is the number one reason people want smart home features. Consider adding mobile device-operated or computer-controlled home systems such as a doorbell camera, keyless entry, garage door opener, or indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras. These features allow users to monitor their home from anywhere in the world.

According to the National Fire Protection Association from 2007 to 2011, almost a quarter of home fire-related deaths in the US occurred in home with non-working smoke alarms. Smart devices can help prevent or detect a fire in your home. For example, a smart smoke detector will send an alarm to your smart phone when smoke is detected. Some smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, like the Nest Protect, offer the ability to flash smart bulbs to alert you and light your way when the alarm goes off. Additionally, they have the ability to shut off your HVAC unit in an emergency. Additionally, these devices won’t beep when the battery is low; instead they send an alert to your smart phone.

hand-1148981_640Comfort Appliances
Imagine waking up in the morning and turning on your espresso machine from your bed via your smartphone. Click another app on your phone and your blinds open. You get up go to the bathroom and look in your smart HiMirror. The smart device analyzes and assesses your skin conditions, and then recommends customized skincare routes to help improve those blemishes. From work, you can turn off the lights you accidentally left on. Envision being able to see what is in your in fridge from the convenience of work and providing the most up-to-date grocery list.

This type of comfort and convenience was unimaginable in the past, but with the new wave of smart home devices, these devices could be yours. While it is not cost prohibitive to invest in every smart home appliance, smart lighting, thermostats and built in speakers are worth looking into and considered a solid investment by many real estate professionals.
energy efficient light bultEnergy Efficiency
A study conducted through the company Under One found that 68% of respondents cited energy efficiency as a driving factor enticing them to add technology to their home. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for about 48% of the energy use in a typical U.S. house. Smart thermostats typically save 10% – 12% on heating and around 15% on cooling.

Just like other smart home appliances, the thermostat can be controlled through an app. This means if you are returning from vacation, you can tell your home to heat up or cool down from the airport. Research by the International Energy Agency (IEA), 19% of global electricity generation is used for lighting. Smart bulbs use less energy and last a lot longer than traditional bulbs. Smart bulbs can be put on a schedule or controlled remotely, which is great if you forgot to turn off the lights when leaving the house. Some bulbs even pair with other systems, like Amazon’s Alexa, enabling you to turn them on or off with your voice.

Now you can see how smart homes enhance quality of life. However, there are also security concerns that need to be addressed. As with any new technology security protocols are important. To help keep your smart home safe, you should: use multifactor authentication, perform security updates and install malware protection. And, don’t use public Wi-Fi.

In the past, home automation systems were high-tech curiosities that were not affordable or accessible to the majority of homeowners. Now just about anyone can take advantage of home automation to simplify their lives and increase their home’s market value.

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7 Steps to Prepare Your House for a Spring Sale


Spring is right around the corner. With the warming weather, home-buyers come out of hibernation making spring an ideal time to put your house on the market. If you are considering listing your home, you will need to start preparing now. Following these seven steps will speed the sale of your home this spring.

Cleaning supplies in washbasin standing on cleaned kitchen countertop. Hand of cleaning lady with rubber glove beside

1. Clean Everything
A clean home will allow buyers to picture themselves in the space. This is the chance to remove clutter from your house. The best way to start is to make a list of essential things that need to get done. Once you have a spring cleaning list, recruit your family to help tackle each task individually. Remember to have realistic expectations about the amount of time it will take to clean. It’s usually best to take your time with cleaning. Try spending one weekend doing the garage and the next weekend cleaning the storage unit. By breaking up each task, you won’t become overwhelmed or frustrated.

Hat Rack2. Organize
After cleaning it becomes clear to many homeowners that they are in need of increased organization. By adding a few hooks, shelves, and storage baskets organizing becomes a breeze. Organizational systems make closets and storage spaces appear larger.

Repair man3. Repair
Have you been meaning to tighten loose doorknobs, fix a leaky faucet, or replace old lighting fixtures? Now is the time to tackle these tasks. These small things can be a big turn-off to buyers and end up preventing you from getting top dollar for your home.

Welcome Mat4. Replace the Ragged
Replace items that may be worn out. Things like your welcome mat, street numbers and mailboxes often get overlooked. These small ticket items are easy to replace with a quick trip to Target or Home Depot.

Lawn ornaments5. Remove the Clutter
Personal touches make your house feel homey. They also make it hard for buyers to picture themselves living there. Remove any lawn ornaments, personal pictures, children’s artwork and personal effects that you plan to bring with you to your new home. Potential buyers will look through your home thoroughly so make sure to remove piles of shoes and coats from the entry and the mail from the kitchen table.

6. Paint
When living in a house, people decorate and paint in ways that are not always alluring to potential buyers. In order to get the most value out of your home, it is important that buyers can picture themselves living there. Painting a house in neutral shades with white ceilings will make it appear larger and more comforting to buyers. Remember to also repaint trim, molding and the front door if needed. New paint can help your house sell faster.
living-room-1952072_640 (1)
7. Let the Light Shine
Bright rooms feel warm and inviting whereas dark rooms feel smaller and gloomy. Removing heavy or dark curtains will allow more light to shine in. Also, consider adding mirrors to rooms. The bigger the mirror, the more light you capture. Adding a large mirror at the end of a short hallway will make the room look longer. Additionally, make sure your windows are clean and streak free to maximize the sunshine.

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Five Reasons to Sell Your Home this Winter

Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the snow melts to hammer in that For Sale sign.

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Why Fall is the Right Time to Sell Your Home

School has started. Leaves are changing colors. The holidays are coming. This is the perfect time to sell your house. With inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, don’t miss out on this opportunity to sell your home.

1. Demand Is Strong
The latest Realtors’ Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. With fewer homes for sale, buyers have fewer to choose from. This creates an increased demand for available homes. Buyers are ready and are looking for a home right now. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.


2. There Is Less Competition
If you have been waiting to sell your home, consider acting now. According to NAR, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

New construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Listing before the wave of new construction homes hits the market can put your home in a more favorable competitive position and result in a higher price.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.


3. The Process Will Be Quicker
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring. This means a quicker process for the loans to process, and the house to get inspected. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker and simpler.


4. Mortgage Rates are Still Low
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you thousands more in both down payment and mortgage payment if you wait.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.


5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market.  If you are on the fence about moving this fall, please contact us. We’d be happy to learn about your goals and how we can help you start living the life you desire. 

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