Having your house on the market during the holidays has a few perks exclusive to this time of year. Here are five things to remember if you're planning on selling during the holiday season:
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Nationally and here in Northeast Florida, the overall residential real estate market continued to be strong through the end of October 2017. The national unemployment was 4.1% in October, which is great news! The joblessness rate has not been this low since Dec. 2000. Throughout 2017, mortgage rates held steady, at or near 3.9%, despite fears early in the year that increases in the Federal Reserve's interest rate might push mortgages into the mid to high 4% range. Across Northeast Florida, median sales prices are at historic highs, while inventory and days on the market are lower than last year, despite an uptick in listings. Our local real estate market appears poised for another good year.
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The Jacksonville Business Journal just published a great article about how using a home staging company can help a home for sale sell faster (and for more money). According to the the National Association of Realtors, buyers and sellers have different perspectives about home staging. For example:
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First impressions are important… That translates to initially meeting someone, or the first time seeing a home. It is very common for homeowners to begin overlooking exterior flaws. However, to a third party viewer, those blemishes are often viewed as more pronounced. Whether you are looking to sell your property or simply brighten the place up, follow these simple fixes that will take your home from unmemorable to unforgettable. Give your home a few touches that send the message, “Come on in! We’re happy you’re here”.
Work from the outside in:
Take a look at your home from the road and try to see it with new eyes. Pinpoint the things you have gotten used to. The sagging gutters, dingy walkway, and dead spots in the lawn can be eyesores to a potential buyer, and also to you (even though you have turned a blind eye for months). Fixing these imperfections will go a long way.
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Today during our weekly sales meeting, Onsite Environmental Consulting, LLC (OEC) stopped in to educate us with valuable information on what exactly the company has to offer, which had us all very intrigued. Based in Jacksonville, Onsite Environmental Consulting, LLC (OEC) is a privately held DBE / JSEB certified environmental consulting firm. OEC has provided quality environmental consulting services for 13 years, not only in Jacksonville but throughout the entire southeast, with experience across the entire United State.
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Northeast Florida was founded on a misguided quest to find the Fountain of Youth. Even though Juan Ponce de León never found exactly what he was looking for – he did discover one of the most beautiful areas in the country, an area that many retirees flock to in order to relax and rediscover their youth. Here are six of the many reasons why people love retiring in Northeast Florida, aside from the beautiful weather and the abundance of sunshine.
6. Northeast Florida is a Vacation Destination
Thankfully there are many airports in the area, both domestic and international, so that your friends and family can visit at any time. There are so many things to do in Florida, which makes it a popular travel spot – especially if there is family to stay with. During the cold and snowy months back in other parts of the country, expect lots of visitors.
5. An Active Adult Community
If you’re looking to settle down in an Active Adult Community, Northeast Florida has a range of options for every taste and every budget. After managing your own home for so many years, it’s relaxing to live in a social community that is managed by others, and has all the amenities and services you would need to live a comfortable and happy life.
4. The Healthcare Options in Northeast Florida are Vast
Thanks to many other retirees moving to the area, most health services are geared towards that age group. Having top-notch health care providers available all over Northeast Florida, there’s a sense of safety and reassurance that you don’t get everywhere in the country.
3. No Income Tax
In all of Florida, there is no estate tax, no state income tax, and no inheritance tax. This is important, especially if you’re on a fixed income. You want to live someplace where your money is worth more, and luckily Florida has a very low cost of living. It pays to be able to save for more important things, like traveling and visiting family.
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The real estate market in Northeast Florida is sizzling and shows no signs of slowing down. Earlier this year, Jacksonville earned the No. 1 spot on Trulia’s list of the top 10 real estate markets poised for growth in 2017. Home values, prices and sales have shown some of the strongest numbers since before the economic downturn a few years ago.
Take a look at the latest data from the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. In the January 2017 monthly report, the Median Sales Price increased more than 6 percent. While prices continued to gain traction, the continued decline in the number of homes available for sale, with inventory levels falling by more than 18 percent, remains one of the biggest challenges in today’s market.
“Home prices continue to post steady gains and are nearly back to pre-recession levels in most of our markets,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty Founder, President and CEO Linda Sherrer. “The pace of growth remains strong and, for home pricing, represents an above-average level of appreciation. The shortage of available properties should continue to drive prices higher. There is a significant demand for moderately priced homes that appeal to both first-time buyers and Baby Boomers wishing to downsize.”
Berkshire Hathaway HomeService's statistics are remarkable in the homes priced at $250,000 and under category. The inventory of homes available for sale is down 26 percent with the months’ supply of inventory down to 2.9 months. The time it took to sell a home was only 73 days with a list-to-sell price ratio at nearly 95 percent.
Statistics in higher price points are similarly dramatic. The months’ supply of inventory of homes for sale in the $250,000 to $500,000 price range is 4.5 months with only 85 days on the market to complete the sale. In the luxury home category, homes prices $500,000 and up, the months’ supply is less than 10 months with 114 days on the market or homes selling in less than four months.
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Preparing for the sale of your home is one thing — finding and working with a real estate agent, finding all necessary paperwork, working on your search for new living quarters, etc. But preparing for your open house is a whole other process, and it can be time consuming if you aren’t sure where to start. You want to make a good, lasting impression, but you also want to be sure to showcase the house itself — not your family photos or interior decorating skills. Here are a few tips on what to tend to before your doors open.
Maintain the Exterior
The interior might be the logical focus when you’re opening your doors to let people freely tour your home, but before they walk up the front steps, they need to be attracted to the exterior. Clean up the windows, siding, and sidewalks the best you can (a pressure washer can be your best friend), and make sure your house numbers and mailbox look clean and well-maintained. If they are looking a bit worse for wear, they’re quick and cheap to replace. Also consider putting potted plants on the porch or adding window boxes for a splash of green.
When you’re cleaning, start with the obvious stuff: Pack up the clutter, like mail, magazines, extra blankets, your collection of cookie jars, etc. Basically, make sure that in every room, the house — not your personal belongings — is what is on display. With all of the surfaces cleared of unnecessary items, it’s time to turn to the nitty-gritty details. If your carpets are showing their age, have them shampooed. If the bathroom grout is less than white, give them a solid scrub. A potential homeowner doesn’t want to keep track of the move-in chores they’ll have to do. Also, pay attention to the way every room smells. If it’s a bit stale, spray some air neutralizer or use a wax melter to infuse pleasant smells, but stay away from heavy or flowery scents.
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