Monthly Archives: November 2009

Selling A Home In Cleveland – The Myths Of Open Houses

Selling A Home In Cleveland – The Myths Of Open Houses

While many sellers expect open houses to be a big part of any marketing plan, this article will bring to light the many myths of open houses. Certainly, they do have their place, but putting too much emphasis on them may lead to disappointing results.

To begin, let’s look at this graph: ( statistics compiled by a survey by the National Association of Realtors® in 2008 )

 

WHERE BUYER FOUND OUT ABOUT HOME 

 where buyer found out about home

 

As you can see, open houses didn’t even make the list. Their effectiveness has waned over the years and we wanted to give you some facts so that you can decide if you want open houses to be a part of your marketing plan.

 

Here are some common “Myths” regarding open houses:

 

myths on open houses

1. OPEN HOUSES ARE A POPULAR WAY TO SELL A HOUSE – Based on the graph, the 3 main ways a buyer finds a home is through a real estate agent, through the Internet, or a yard sign, not though an open house.

2. OPEN HOUSES ARE BENEFICIAL TO SELLERS – Open houses are good for the listing agent, not necessarily the seller. Since the odds of a buyer actually buying a particular home at an open house are extremely low, the real benefit of an open house is for the listing agent to capture buyer leads. Anyone who comes to an open house not represented by another agent is a potential client to that agent but the seller benefits are marginal at best.

 

3. OPEN HOUSES BRING MOTIVATED BUYERS –  In many cases, people who attend an open house usually are just tire-kickers, those mulling around the possibility of buying and are most likely either not able or ready to buy right away. While some open house attendees will buy at some point, the real serious buyers typically have already hired a real estate agent, and won’t attend an open house.

4. OPEN HOUSES NEED TO LAST 3-4 HOURS – We see this mistake made often by those trying to sell their own home. Having an open house from Noon – 5PM, for exmaple, is a waste of time. If you are going to have an open house, 1 1/2-2 hours is a sufficient amount of time. If a home is that nice and priced competitively, people will come, and if they cannot attend, they will at least call to make an appointment to see it at another time. If a buyers perceives tremendous value, they will make an effort to see a home.

5. OPEN HOUSES PROVIDE NO RISK TO THE SELLER – Since an open house is “open” to the public, anyone can attend. This means that a seller will have strangers walking through their home and looking at their personal belongings. While most attendees probably have good intentions, thieves are known to attend open houses so they can either take things that day, or “case out the area” for a future robbery. We are by no means saying this will happen, as this is a rare occurrence, but opening up your home to the public does come with risks, however slight they may be. 

While we do feel, based on market statistics, that open houses are not the most effective means to secure a buyer, they still can work. The bottom line is that some buyers don’t like to work with an agent and prefer to attend open houses. Therefore it certainly may be worth at least considering the merits of including them as a small part of an overall marketing campaign. Today’s sellers simply need to clearly understand the expectations of having an open house so they can determine if it is important that their agent have them.

***********************************************************************************************

About The Authors:

This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty. The Schumans service both the East and West sides of Cleveland and have worked with numerous professional athletes, business owners, and executives who are relocating to Cleveland. They specialize in the Cleveland Ohio luxury home market and also enjoy working with first-time buyers as well.

If you are looking to buy or sell Cleveland real estate, including the surrounding suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

SEE ALL CLEVELAND AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW:

view all Cleveland luxury homes

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

 

Selling A Home In Cleveland – The Myths Of Open Houses is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov 2009   

8 Myths of Staging to Sell – Busted.

Here is a fantastic article written by a fellow home stager down in Australia, Donna Ross. These staging myths apply to all homes.

Via Donna Ross – Home Staging, Sydney, Australia (Great Impressions Real Estate Staging & Consulting – Sydney):

Home staging (or property styling as it’s commonly known as on the Australian property scene) is really an art, not a science. One of the many things a professional home stager understands is that it’s the house that’s up for sale, not the home owner’s bread baking ability or taste in music. So, from the sublime to the rediculous – here’s 8 myths of staging to sell – busted!

1. Buyers can see past my stuff
No – they can’t. 95% of house hunters shop with a ‘what you see is what you get’ eye. You’ll be maximising your chances of a better and quicker sale if you take the time to clean out, clean up and keep your look simple.brewing coffee

2. Baking bread, brewing fresh coffee and playing soft music will make a buyer fall in love with my house.
Maybe once upon a time this was true – but most would-be buyers are onto that old trick. It’s more likely to trigger alarm bells, with many wondering what it is you’re trying to hide. Your buyers will be happy with a place that looks and smells clean.

3. I’ll need to clear everything out to help buyers see themselves living here.
This is only partly true. Wall to wall family photos are distracting, as is your porcelain rooster collection. These things are best put away. But don’t go overboard, otherwise you’ll end up with a look that feels cold and sterile.

4. If it’s an original feature – it adds value.
Sometimes yes – but often no. Generally a property built less than 50 years ago without being updated is more likely to appear dated, rather than classic.

5. My place isn’t worth staging.
All homes are worth taking the time to present in a positive light to buyers. The trick to knowing where to start and what to do is in having a good idea of what buyers in your target market will expect, along with learning more about what competing properties in your area are offering.

6. Empty rooms look bigger.            empty room                                          

This is rarely the case. Buyers will always prefer to see how a room is used and what will fit in it, rather than be left to guess. Very large rooms can also be too intimidating for some. Even borrowed furniture can help buyers get an idea of scale and give the eye something of interest to focus on.

7. Converting a bedroom into a home gym won’t be a problem.
Bedrooms are one of the most valuable commodities of the ‘for sale’ property. Having a home gym set up in a bedroom will prompt buyers to wonder why that is. I remember once looking at a house where this was the case. When I came across the bedroom with the gym in it, I immediately began to question if a bed would even fit. Always give the rooms in your house a purpose.

8. No need to worry about wardrobes and cupboards.
Home storage is a big deal to most buyers and is surprisingly valuable. Prospective buyers will open storage cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms, so keep them tidy. Keep only what you’re using on a daily or weekly basis, and pack the rest away ready for the move.

Have you got a staging myth you’d like busted? Share them with me here.

 

Donna Ross

Great Impressions Real Estate Staging

“I love helping Sydney home owners and real estate agents catch the eye of choosy buyers with their ‘for sale’ listings, with fast, simple and inexpensive decorating fixes.”

Buying A Home In Cleveland: Tax Buyer Credit Frequently Asked Questions

 

As  many people are aware, President Obama has official signed off on the Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension. We wrote an article last week about the specifics of the new or updated guidelines which you can read by clicking here.

In an effort to educate consumers on the specifics of the extension, the National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division has put together an informative list of common questions and answers and we thought it would be helpful if we shared it with you.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the changes to the Home Buyer Tax Credit, provided by the National Association of REALTORS®. 

 

Question: Existing homeowner credit: Must the new house cost more than the old house?

Answer: No. Thus, for example, individuals who move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who

meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.

 

Question: I am an existing homeowner. On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a

new home. I have lived in my current home for more than 5 consecutive years and am within the new

 income limits. I will go to settlement on November 20. If President Obama has signed the bill by the time

 I go to settlement, will I qualify for the new $6500 tax credit?

Answer: Yes. The existing homeowner credit goes into effect for purchases after the date of enactment

(when the bill is signed). There is no reference to the date of contract for the new credit. The provision looks solely

 to the date of purchase, which is generally the date of settlement.

 

Question:I am a first time home buyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I entered into

 my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009. I will be covered, however, by the new income limits. If the

 new rules have been signed into law by the time I go to settlement, will I be eligible for a credit?

 Answer: Yes. The new income limitations go into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill.

The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase,

which is the settlement date. So if the new rules have been signed when you go to settlement,

you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you’re within the phaseout

range).

 

Question: I am an eligible existing homeowner. I have a fair amount of equity in my home. I have found

a home with a non-negotiable price of $825,000. Will I be able to use any of the $6500 tax credit?

Answer: No. The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000. Any

 amountabove $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit. The $800,000 is an

absolute ceiling.

Question: I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting

since. If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the

other eligibility tests?

Answer: Yes. Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you

will qualify for the $6500 credit. For example, Say John and his wife bought a home in 2000 and lived there until

2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in the interim, he WOULD INDEED be eligible

for the credit because he owned a home and occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the

last 8 years. The keyword here is “consecutive.” As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight what he

did since 3 years doesn’t impact eligibility.

Question: I am an eligible first time home buyer. I entered into a contract to purchase on November 1,

2009. Do I have to go to closing before December 1? How does the extension date affect me?

Answer: You do not have to close before December 1. Once the legislation has been signed, it will be as

if the Nov 30 date had never existed. Therefore, so long as the contract settles before April 30 (or July 1, worst

case), the purchaser will be eligible for the credit.

 

An important thing to note about the Home Buyer Tax Credit is that first time buyers are eligible to receive UP TO$8000, depending on the price of the home they buy. While most buyers assume they get an $8000 credit automatically, the actual credit is  “the lessor of 10% of the purchase price or $8000”. Therefore, if someone buys a home for $60,000, they will only be eligible for a $6000 credit.

*******************************************************************************************

About The Authors:

This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty. The Schumans service both the East and West sides of Cleveland and have worked with numerous professional athletes, business owners, and executives who are relocating to Cleveland. They specialize in the Cleveland Ohio luxury home market and also enjoy working with first-time buyers as well.

If you are looking to buy or sell Cleveland real estate, including the surrounding suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

SEE ALL CLEVELAND AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW:

view all Cleveland luxury homes

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

 

Buying A Home In Cleveland: Tax Buyer Credit Frequently Asked Questions is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov 2009   

Buying A Home In Cleveland : Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension Soon To Be Approved

Buying A Home In Cleveland : Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension Soon To Be Approved

first time buyer tax credit

In a follow-up to a post we wrote last week, the senate has recently voted, 98-0, to pass the legislation allowing the home buyer tax credit to be extended. The measure is now expected to pass in the House and will soon be brought to the President, where his signature will be merely a formality.

With the current home buyer tax credit about to expire on November 30, 2009, this new measure will continue benefits to first-time buyers and also add a provision to move-up buyers as well.

Here are highlights of the new legislation:

*     Extend the $8000 home buyers tax credit until April 30, 2010

*     Provide a $6500 tax credit to qualified move-up buyers, with a purchase price on a new home not to exceed $800,000

*     Raise qualifying income levels to $125,000 for individual income tax filers to and $225,000 for joint filers

SUMMARY

Overall, the current home buyer tax credit is estimated to have created an additional 200,000 new sales in 2009, although some sources, such as Moodys.com report this figure to be closer to 400,000. Regardless, the tax credit has shown to be effective in helping more first-time buyers buy homes which has been positive for the economy.

Here in Cleveland, the credit has certainly been well received by local area buyers. With continued low interest rates and a large inventory of lower-priced homes, the market should continue to see a rush of buyers through the spring. The winter months, which are typically popular for bargain hunters, should see even more activity thanks in part to the home buyer tax credit extension.

A major part of the extension is the inclusion of current home owners, specifically those who have lived in their home for at least 5 years. Whether or not move-up buyers will be rushing to buy a home over the next few months is yet to be determined. However, those who currently have their homes on the market, or who are on the sidelines waiting for the right time to sell, may be able to greatly benefit from the new legislation. The thought of an extra $6500 may help a current seller feel more comfortable lowering the price on their existing home so they can now sell it. In addition, getting more move-up buyers involved in buying real estate will eventually lead to more money being spent on things such as furniture, landscaping, home improvements, and possibly even automobiles.

The passing of this legislation is a strong signal from the government that they view the housing sector to be a critical part of the overall recovery. If you are a first-time buyer or move-up buyer, now is a great opportunity to move forward as an extension beyond April 30th is probably unlikely as the economy has shown recent signs of life.

In addition, many experts believe that the current extension will be just long enough to prop up the real estate sector until the rest of the economy enters full recover mode. With 2010 being a major election year, many legistlators will probably be reluctant to extend the credit beyond April 30, 2010. Justifying the costs of this type of legislation is becoming more difficult to do as Americans are becoming tired of much of the spending on Capital Hill.

****************************************************************************************

About The Authors:

This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty. The Schumans service both the East and West sides of Cleveland and have worked with numerous professional athletes, business owners, and executives who are relocating to Cleveland. They specialize in the Cleveland Ohio luxury home market and also enjoy working with first-time buyers as well.

If you are looking to buy or sell Cleveland real estate, including the surrounding suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

SEE ALL CLEVELAND AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW:

view all Cleveland luxury homes

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

 

Buying A Home In Cleveland : Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension Soon To Be Approved is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov 2009   

Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland To Open Downtown Office

Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland To Open Downtown Office

Cleveland Ohio

Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland plans to increase their market presence by opening up in downtown Cleveland. Plans call for Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland to open before the end of the year, possibly as early as December 1, 2009.

The new office, located in the historic Warehouse District in the Cloak Factory building at 635 W. Lakeside Ave, will open with over $30,000,000 in inventory and 17 agents, many of whom are some of the areas top producers. The office interior will have a look consistent to many historic offices in downtown Cleveland complete with hardwood floors and exposed beams.

While most local real estate agents don’t service the downtown area, deciding to focus on the surrounding suburbs instead, the agents in this new office will be highly experienced with urban dwellings and be able to help consumers who are looking to buy and sell within the city of Cleveland in addition to outside of the area. The downtown Cleveland residential real estate market has relatively few agents and Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland is positioned to greatly increase their market share here.

While Keller Williams Realty International has over 80,000 agents and is the third largest real estate franchise operation in the nation, they have only been in the Cleveland area market for 7 years. However, during this time, they have grown from 9 agents in one office, to approximately 500 agents in 5 offices. In addition to the downtown office, 5 additional offices are planned in the near future.

*******************************************************************************

About The Authors:

This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty. The Schumans have worked with numerous professional athletes, business owners, and executives who are relocating to Cleveland. They specialize in the Cleveland Ohio luxury home market and also enjoy working with first-time buyers as well.

If you are looking to buy or sell Cleveland real estate, including the surrounding suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

SEE ALL CLEVELAND AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW:

view all Cleveland luxury homes

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

 

Keller Williams Realty Greater Cleveland To Open Downtown Office is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov 2009

Bainbridge Home Statistics

Bainbridge Home Statistics

bainbrdige home statistics

Here are all home sales last month in Bainbridge:

 

SOLDS October 2009 SALE PRICE
   
17682 Eastbrook Trl $90,000
18900 Geauga Lake Rd $177,500
17096 Eastview Dr  $215,000
7682 Country Ln $336,000
7860 Bainbrook $417,500
17340 Red Fox Trl $530,000
18770 Brewster $710,000

SUMMARY

Overall, there were a total of 7 homes sales in Bainbridge in October at an average sales price of $353,714. Last October saw 13 sales at an average of $338,808. Year to date, there have been a total of 81 homes sales with an average sales price of $325,850. There were 94 home sales through the first 10 months of 2008 with an average sales price of $332,555.

While homes sales are down in terms of number of sales, these Bainbridge home statistics show that the average sales price is fairly close to what is was last year. A possible sign of the bottom of the market. The good news is that the Bainbridge luxury home market, homes that sell for over $500,000, is about in line with last years figures. This is significant because many surrounding areas, including Solon, have seen a drastic decrease in luxury home sales.

There are currently 21 homes under contract, making it a possibility that we will have as many sales in 2009 as we had in 2008. The average sales price will also be close to what it was last year.

What does this all mean? To begin, it may mean that things won’t get worse and perhaps 2009 will be the bottom in terms of Bainbridge real estate values. This could be the sign many buyers have been waiting for as the economy slowly improves and their decision to buy will be made easier knowing homes prices are no longer depreciating. 

There are still a lot of homes on the market in Bainbridge, especially in the luxury home market, and it should continue to be a buyers market here for quite a while.

***************************************************************************************

 

About The Authors:

This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty.The Schumans are experts in the Cleveland Ohio real estate market and specialize in luxury homes, home staging, and working with buyers relocating to Cleveland.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Bainbridge or the surrounding Eastern suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

VIEW ALL BAINBRIDGE HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW:

search all orange homes here

 

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

 

Bainbridge Home Statistics is is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov,2009   

Beachwood Home Statistics October 2009

 

Beachwood Home Statistics October 2009

 Beachwood Home Statistics

 

Here is a list of all single family homes that sold here in Beachwood in October. A market summary will follow.

SOLDS October 2009 SALE PRICE
   
24561 S Woodland Rd $145,000
2577 Elmhurst Dr $222,500
23608 Ranch Rd $222,500
24875 Shaker Blvd $235,000
23258 Fernwood Dr $252,000
2630 Buckhurst Dr $340,000
24602 Hawthorne Dr $358,000
2257 Orchard Way $568,500

 

MARKET SUMMARY

Last month’s Beachwood home statistics look much better than those from October 2008.

Overall, we had 9 homes sell last month compared to only 7 sales in October 2008. The average sales price last month of $295,944 was also higher than in 2008, which was $174,857.

Year to date figures also indicate that 2009 is going to be better statistically than 2008.  So far this year, we have had 93 sales in Beachwood at an average price of $261,557. Last year at this time, we has 83 home sales at an average price of $257,288.

While the number of sales don’t seem to be a lot, Beachwood is a fairly small city with a limited housing stock. Usually, there are no more than 40-60 homes on the market in Beachwood at any given time. With a solid tax base, excellent rated schools, and an active Chamber of Commerce, Beachwood real estate is usually in demand. Beachwood offers its residents great location with easy access to I271, superb amenities, and access to some of the best shopping in all of Ohio. The large depreciation seen in other areas has not hit Beachwood, according to our Beachwood home statistics.

With 22 homes currently under contract, 2009 should end up being statistically better than last year, a good sign for the local Beachwood real estate market

Check out other articles of interest on Beachwood Ohio:

Beachwood Market Report Third Quarter of 2009

Beachwood Ohio Monthly Market Report April 2009

Beachwood Ohio First Quarter Market Report 2009

*********************************************************************************************

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Dan Schuman is a proud member of the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce and has served on the Board of Directors for the past 7 years.

The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan Schuman, specialize in luxury homes and work extensively with buyers and sellers who are relocating to Beachwood.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Beachwood or surrounding suburbs you can contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235.

 

VIEW ALL BEACHWOOD AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW:

view all Beachwood area homes

 

CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

 

Beachwood Home Statistics October 2009 is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov,2009   

Solon Real Estate: Monthly Home Statistics

 

 SOLON MONTHLY HOME STATISTICS

Solon Community Center

Here is a list of all homes that officially transferred in October. We will provide a summary after the list.

 

 

SOLDS October 2009 SALE PRICE
   
37805 Pettibone Rd 108,000
35650 Bainbridge Rd 113,000
6631 Solon Blvd  135,500
6620 Edgemoor Ave 150,000
5175 Parkside Trl 169,400
36145 Bainbridge Rd 183,000
5855 Liberty Rd 190,500
5950 Hansom Dr 195,700
32255 Tracy Ln 218,000
28661 Naylor 219,000
33640 Outley Park Dr 305,000
33900 Country View Ln 307,000
32370 Seneca Dr 319,000
5894 Briarhill Dr 330,000
5894 Briarhill Dr 420,000
39106 Glenlivet Ct 500,000

 

There were 16 total homes that sold in October in Solon at an average sales price of $241,444. This is almost the same exact average sales price as last month. Last September saw 22 sales at an average price of $314,682 . These Solon home statistics indicate a trend continuing of lower and moderate priced homes selling and higher priced homes sitting on the market.

SUMMARY

Overall, sales and average sales price remain lower than in 2008 and unless we end the year strong, we will not surpass last years numbers. We have had 202 sales here in Solon so far in 2009 with an average sales price of $289,351. Last year at this time we had 213 sales at an average price of $342,578. 

Here is the interesting part of the numbers. In 2008, through the first 10 months of the year, there were 66 sales of homes priced under $200,000. So far this year, we have had 78 sales of homes priced under $200,000. Furthermore, there have been only 28 sales of solon luxury homes, those priced over $500,000, this year compared with 44 sales through the same period of time in 2008.

The overall numbers indicate that almost the same number of homes have sold in Solon this year, but that the types of homes people are buying and selling are predominantly below $500,000, with concentrations in the $150,000-$350,000 range. While the decline of the Solon luxury home market has had an affect on the overall average sales price, the market is still just as active as it was last year.

Check out previous Solon Ohio market reports:

July and August 2009 Market Report Solon Ohio

May 2009 Market Report Solon Ohio

April 2009 Market Report Solon Ohio

Solon 2009 First Quarter Luxury Home Market Report

Solon 2009 First Quarter Market Report All Homes

February 2009 Market Report Solon Ohio

January 2009 Market Report Solon Ohio 

2008 Year End Housing Summary Solon Ohio

2008 Luxury Market Report Solon Ohio

 

***************************************************************************** 

About The Authors:

Dan and Amy Schuman are Solon residents. They specialize in luxury homes, working with buyers relocating to Solon, and first-time buyers.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Solon or the surrounding Eastern suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team.

For a personal consultation or to speak directly to The Schuman Team, call 216-346-3235.

VIEW ALL SOLON HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW

 

search all solon homes for sale

 

CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

 

 

 

Solon Real Estate: Monthly Home Statistics is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Nov,2009