Listing Courtesy of SANDCASTLE REALTY INC
Every now and again Forbes magazine assembles what it calls its “top financial brain power” to comment on a topic of interest. Late last week, the topic was real estate—more specifically, the answer to the question, “Is the Real Estate Market Still Healthy?” Speaking for our Delaware real estate market, I’d have to the answer “yes.”(It’s a cinch I’ll never be asked by Forbes to join the panel because a one-word answer doesn’t make for a very long article).
Their panelists did better at elaborating. They voiced a couple of blanket observations on homeownership in today’s market, then settled on some reassuring points on housing affordability. Their observations are aimed at the nation as a whole, but the conclusions are apt for Delaware buyers and sellers, too:
Point One: The inventory of existing homes for sale continues to be tight just about everywhere. It’s been trending that way for quite a while—and it results in the average days on market continuing to be shorter than usual. Ultimately, that should cause new housing construction to accelerate.
Point Two: The average age of homeowners is gradually increasing. Younger first-time buyers—who have spent their entire working lives during The Great Recession and its aftermath—have been having a harder time gathering the wherewithal to buy their first home. If the latest optimistic projections about the economy prove accurate, those demographics should reverse.
Point Three: Rising interest rates have not had much of an impact on the residential market because the overall level of rates “is low enough right now…The fact is that housing is affordable.” Delaware buyers should be reassured by one investment officer (he oversees $200 billion) who says that housing “still will be affordable even if rates go up another 50 basis points.”
Point Four: In a related point, fixed mortgages are growing in popularity. As we head into real estate’s peak season, that “speaks to housing affordability” because it reflects buyers’ satisfaction with today’s rates: they don’t have to stretch the family budget to handle the resulting monthly payments.
Delaware buyers and sellers benefit when the Housing Affordability Index—the measure that tracks payment amount as a percentage of income—indicates that typical families can qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home. That has much to do with the real estate market health the analysts were pointing to…and a sign that now is a good time to give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
Today’s Internet-savvy home seller knows that before potential Sussex County buyers even make their way to a home’s online listing they may already have been exposed to the property’s pictures posted elsewhere. Since first impressions can be decisive, it’s all the more reason to heed something that advertising professionals have always known: the viewer’s eye is automatically drawn directly to any visible flaws.
That’s why, if you want to entice more buyers by posting the most attractive teaser pics of your Sussex County home, you need to think in staging terms. Professional staging is the most foolproof way to create flawless images, of course — but there are also some easy and inexpensive approaches to creating eye-pleasing images of your home.
Get your Stuff Out
The first rule of staging a home in Sussex County is to make it as inviting as possible — and nobody feels at home when they are surrounded by a stranger’s stuff. Remove the blankets piled on the couch, and take down the Spiderman posters from Junior’s room. When a viewer’s eye goes to a personality-defining detail, it usually shapes the whole impression. Making your home a blank canvas will allow prospective buyers to picture their own belongings fitting nicely in place.
Call the Professional Cleaners
You need to get every inch of the home as clean as possible for it to be inviting (and worth the asking price). This means cleaning things you probably haven't even considered before, like the garage door and the sliding window tracks. Hiring a professional crew for even just a day can do wonders to create a ‘like new’ aura.
One of the things that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. A lot of us have gradually adopted minimal lighting at home — something that can be reversed with a few extra lamps and higher-wattage bulbs. As we approach the end of the winter season in a few weeks, that can make a stark difference.
Staging is just one element that goes into a successful Sussex County home sale. Contact me today to talk about all the other pieces!