St Louis Real Estate Blog | St Louis Real Estate Today

Nov. 9, 2017

Thinking About Buying? Know Your Credit Score

Know Credit Score Knowing your credit score or getting a recent copy of your credit report is one of the first steps that you can take toward knowing how ready you are to start the home buying process. Make sure all the information listed on your report is accurate and work to correct any mistakes. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be to receive a better interest rate for your mortgage, which will translate into more ‘home for your money.' Many potential buyers believe that they need a 750 FICO® Score or higher to be able to purchase a home. The truth is that according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Report, over 53% of loans were approved with a FICO® score under 750 last month!

Here are some tips for improving your credit score:

  • Make payments, including rent, credit cards, and car loans, on time.
  • Keep your spending to no more than 30% of your limit on credit cards.
  • Pay down high-balance credit cards to lower balances, and consider balance transfers to free up credit.
  • Check for errors on your credit report and work toward fixing them.
  • Shop for mortgage rates within a 30-day period — too many spread-out inquiries can lower your score.
  • Work with a credit counselor or a lender to improve your score.

Once you know your score, your next step will be finding a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this will ensure that you know your budget before you start looking for your dream home.

Nov. 7, 2017

Why Sell Now Instead of Later? The Buyers are Out Now

Spring Kids Playing Each year, most homeowners wait until the spring to sell their houses because they believe that they can get a better deal during the normal spring buyer’s market. However, recently released data suggests that a seller’s best deal may be available right now. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item will be realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high. Let’s see how this applies to the current residential real estate market.

SUPPLY

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed for over a year. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there is currently only a 4.2-month supply. Supply is currently very low!!

DEMAND

A report that was just released tells us that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report (which sheds light on the number of buyers out looking at homes) disclosed that there are more buyers right now than at any other time in the last twelve months. This includes more buyers looking at homes right now than at any time during last year’s spring market. Demand is currently very high!! 

Bottom Line

Waiting until the spring to list your house for sale made sense in the past. This year is different. The best deal is probably available right now.

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Oct. 31, 2017

Don't Let Fear Stop You from Applying for a Mortgage

Don't Let Fear Stop You from Applying for a Mortgage A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainty about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.

For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!

In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need to have saved for a down payment (73% of all buyers made a down payment of less than 20%, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income and good credit history. Throughout the entire home buying process, you will interact with many different professionals, all of whom perform necessary roles. These professionals are also valuable resources for you. Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps that Freddie Mac suggests you follow:

  1. Find out your current credit history & score – even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO® Score of all closed loans in September was 724, according to Ellie Mae.
  2. Start gathering all your documentation – income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
  3. Contact a professional – your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer that can help you develop a spending plan, as well as determine how much home you can afford.
  4. Consult with your lender – he or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
  5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval – a pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change), and demonstrates to home sellers that you are serious about buying!

Bottom Line

Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure that you are ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.

Oct. 30, 2017

JUST LISTED | 304 Blue Ridge Place Ct Ballwin, MO 63011 | 4 BD | 2.5 BA | SQ FT 2227 | Offered at $ 330,000 | MLS# 7085659

JUST LISTED | 304 Blue Ridge Place Ct Ballwin, MO 63011 | 4 BD | 2.5 BA | SQ FT 2227 | Offered at $ 330,000 | MLS# 7085659

304 Blue Ridge Place Ct Ballwin, MO

Well appointed two story home in a wonderful neighborhood that is sure to impress. Lots of tasteful updates throughout that will please everyone. Gorgeous wood flooring on the main level and a stylish eat in kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, custom cabinetry, and mosaic backsplash. A sizable master bedroom is a wonderful surprise and beautiful updated bathrooms. The full basement is a clean slate easily finished for extra living space. Prime location close to shopping, restaurants, businesses, schools and highways. Rockwood schools and many perks to make this your dream home. Come see it today!

Posted in Ballwin MO
Oct. 30, 2017

SOLD | 312 Northmoor Dr Ballwin, MO 63011 | 4 BD | 2 BA | 2201 SQ FT | Offered at $340,000 | MLS# 17084107

SOLD | 312 Northmoor Dr Ballwin, MO 63011 | 4 BD | 2 BA | 2201 SQ FT | Offered at $340,000 | MLS# 17084107

312 Northmoor Drive Ballwin, MO

Come see the best value in the area! This gorgeous 4 bedroom, 2 bath ranch home is a must see. Vaulted ceilings and stunning hardwood floors; remodeled kitchen and bathrooms have granite countertops and high end cabinetry. Incredibly large basement with room for a workbench, living area, play area... the opportunities are endless. Highly desirable Claymont subdivision in the Parkway school district. It has everything you want in a home. See it before it's gone!

Posted in Ballwin MO
Oct. 6, 2017

JUST LISTED | 1448 Lyndale Avenue | University City, MO 63130 | 3 BD | 1 BA | 1123 SQ FT | Offered at $100,000 | MLS# 17079854

JUST LISTED | 1448 Lyndale Avenue | University City, MO 63130

3 BD | 1 BA | 1123 SQ FT | Offered at $100,000 | MLS# 17079854

Don't miss the sweet 3 bedroom, 1 bath home in University City. Gleaming wood floors, fresh paint, one car garage, fenced in level yard, and quiet cul de sac. No showings until first open house on Sunday from 1-4pm. Contact Rosalyn at 314-877-8506 for more information.

Posted in Listings
Oct. 3, 2017

Thinking of Selling your Home? Competition is Coming

The number of building permits issued for single-family homes is the best indicator of how many newly built homes will rise over the next few months. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Sales Report, the number of these permits were up 7.7% over last year.

How will this impact buyers?

More inventory means more options. Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s Chief Economistexplained this is good news for the housing market - especially for those looking to buy:

"It's not spectacular construction growth, but it's slow and steady in the right direction. Eventually, the pickup in single-family home construction will mean [buyers] will have more options. Especially with the limited number of sales right now, more options are really needed."

How will this impact sellers?

More inventory means more competition. Today, because of the tremendous lack of inventory, a seller can expect:

  1. A great price on their home as buyers outbid each other for it
  2. A quick sale as buyers have so little to choose from
  3. Fewer hassles as buyers don’t want to “rock the boat” on the deal

With an increase in competition, the seller may not enjoy these same benefits. As Hale said:

"As new construction continues to increase, home shoppers will eventually have more [choices] and a bit more time to make purchase decisions compared to today's quick-moving housing market."

So what does this mean for you? If you are considering the sale of your home, it might make sense to beat this new construction competition to the market.

Oct. 3, 2017

How to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your Home

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

A new study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”

The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

Oct. 3, 2017

8 Things Hurricane Harvey Taught Me

If you went to MegaRelief, then I don't have to tell you just how inspirational it was. It truly was an amazing experience and I wanted to share a few of my takeaways.

8 Things Hurricane Harvey Taught Me 

1. Leadership is essential, especially in a crisis. If you have leadership abilities, use them. There are not enough strong leaders in the world!

2. Having the right tools makes hard work faster and easier. Spending a few minutes to pick out good tools and learning how to use them is invaluable.

3. Filling trash bags full of water-logged stuff gives you perspective. Most of us own too many things. Use what you have a little longer and give the money you would have spent away.

4. The company you work for matters. I admire the way Keller Williams has stepped up to help, not only their agents, but whole neighborhoods.

5. Everyone should aspire to make more money. You were not born to pay bills and die. Money is good for the good it can do. You need to make more so you can give away more.

6. Realtors are the keepers of communities. We help people with an essential need - shelter! When your home disappears overnight, you are reminded how important that is.

7. Follow your heart. Passion makes hard, smelly work feel joyful and rewarding.

8. People are at the heart of it all - my relationships with God, Realtors in my company, and my neighbors in Texas have never been more powerful and for that I am grateful!

Thank you Harvey for the wisdom. ??

COMMENT with your lessons learned, I'd love to hear them! 

Onward,

Wendy Papasan
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Posted in Press Release
Oct. 3, 2017

How Supply and Demand Impacts Real Estate Home Values [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

    • The concept of supply & demand is a simple one. The best time to sell something is when the supply of that item is low & the demand for that item is high!
    • Anything under a 6-month supply is a seller’s market!
    • Nationally, there has not been a 6-months inventory supply since August 2012!
    • Inventory levels differ depending on the area of the country and price range, so let’s get together to discuss the exact market conditions in our area.

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Posted in Uncategorized