Staging

Eubank Staging

Barbara Cocoran put it rather well: “Why wouldn’t someone stage if they want to sell a house, and if they want to get more money for the house? I don’t get it.”

You probably know Corcoran from her regular appearances on Shark Tank. What you might not know is she built a real estate empire, the Corcoran Group, into a powerhouse and sold it for $66 million in 2001. She is, and always has been, a huge proponent of staging. So why isn’t everyone?

It’s a mystery to me. As a stager, educator, and writer I continually talk and write about the advantages of home staging. It’s a no brainer. In a recent staging class, I teach for Realtors, a hand shot up.

“Isn’t staging always cheaper than the first price reduction?”

Yes. Yes, it is.

Realtors and sellers seem to be getting the message. The National Association of Realtors released their 2019 Profile on Home Staging recently and a whopping 83 percent of buyers’ agents say staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as their future home. This figure was up from 77 percent in 2017. The profile is only released every two years, and this is just the third time it’s ever been done.

(more…)

It was the shot heard round the real estate world, but if you’re not a Realtor, you may not have heard about it — a group of home sellers has filed suit against the National Association of REALTORS® and four major real estate broker franchisors.

Why? Because of buyer broker commissions and the requirement to use the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS.

The suit, filed last week in Chicago, claims that the NAR and top brokerages Realogy, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX, and Keller Williams Realty violated federal antitrust laws by requiring home sellers to pay a broker to represent the buyer of their homes and to pay for this service to the tune of at least a three percent commission. (more…)

median home prices

From staff reports

While Dallas County’s median home value was lower than the national average, two other North Texas counties had median home prices that were much higher, new data visualizations from the National Association of Realtors revealed.

The report applied data from the American Community Survey and the FHFA’s House Price Index growth to calculate the median home prices for 3,119 counties in the United States.

“Nationwide, we estimated that the price of a typical home was $235,000 in the third quarter of 2018,” the NAR report said. “Based on our estimates, 87 percent of counties had a lower median home value than the national level.” (more…)

homebuyer

From staff reports

Single female buyers made up 18 percent of all homebuyers, National Association of Realtors®’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed recently.

That statistic means that for the second consecutive year, single female buyers were the second most common household buyer group, behind married couples, which account for 63 percent of homes sold.

(more…)

garage doors

Steel carriage garage door. Photo: NTX Garage Doors

This is the second installment of a new occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re looking at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects. You can read the last one about hardwood floors here.

Generally speaking, homeowners remodel to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials; to add features and improve livability; because it is time for a change; and because they’re selling.

Garage door replacements may not sound like a big deal, but in fact, they are one of the easiest ways to quickly boost a home’s curb appeal if the garage faces the street (a front-facing garage door can be almost 20 percent of your home’s front facade). They are also ranked among the top five most profitable projects nationwide, and in Dallas, according to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine.

Midrange garage door replacements recoup 100.7 percent ($1,544) of the total project cost in Dallas. Upscale garage door replacements are quickly gaining, too — in 2015, they increased 19 percentage points year-over-year to recoup 82.2 percent ($2,550) of the total project cost.

“I think we often forget to consider that a garage door is not only a functional feature but can be a design feature as well,” said Robin Moss Norcross with Nathan Grace Real Estate. “A garage door update, especially if front facing, can certainly continue the exterior design scheme.”

(more…)

hardwood floors

Antique wormy chestnut reclaimed hardwood floors by Olde Wood Ltd.

Today, we’re starting a new occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re going to look at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects.  

Americans can’t get enough about home improvements, from reality TV shows to demand for renovations in properties on the market at all price points. In the first ten months of October 2015 alone, Americans spent $326.1 billion on remodeling their homes, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report.

Many homeowners wonder which will bring them the most happiness and get the best return on investment (ROI) should they sell in the future (or if they’re flipping a property!).

We’re starting this series by looking at hardwood floors in all their forms: engineered, solid wood, and reclaimed wood floors, as well as refinishing existing floors.

So are they worth the investment? In a word, absolutely.

(more…)

Remodeling Impact Report

The new Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors looks at renovation “joy scores,” as well as reasons for doing remodeling jobs and which ones Realtors say get the biggest ROI. Photo: Ebby Halliday Realtors

Americans are crazy about renovations. Entire entertainment mediums are dedicated to our love of home improvement, like DIY Network and HGTV Magazine.

In the first ten months of October 2015 alone, Americans spent $326.1 billion on remodeling their homes. The big goals were to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials; add features and improve livability; and just because it was time for a change.

That’s according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors, the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report. It examined reasons homeowners tackle renovations, as well calculating a “joy score” from each project. The report also details Realtors’ opinions of home renos, how they add value to a property, and what projects are most likely to attract a buyer.

This report is the first of its kind from NAR, surveying Realtors, consumers, and members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

“Realtors know that certain home upgrades and remodels can be beneficial to get more buyer eyes on a property, potentially bring in more offers or gain more equity from a home,” said NAR President Tom Salomone. “But remodeling projects are just as valuable to homeowners who simply want to get more joy out of their dwellings. Regardless of the situation, Realtors know what remodeling projects bring the biggest bang for the buck and what projects are most likely to improve a homeowner’s impression of their current place.”

(more…)

millennials real estate

Millennials use their smart phones extensively in the homebuying process and use apps for research. Photo: Garry Knight

For years, millennials have largely been thought of as renters, not buyers, but that has changed. Millennials, born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s, now represent the largest group of homebuyers in the U.S. at 32 percent, taking over from Generation X, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

This matters because the way millennials buy real estate is markedly more technology-driven than older generations, and Realtors need to adapt to their style if they want to keep up, says David Maez, Broker and Co-Owner at VIVO Realty.

“There’s lots of frustration among older agents in working with the millennials, but they’re not going away and agents need to learn to adapt,” Maez said. “It’s exciting because of all of the technology that’s available to us to make it easier to buy and sell properties. How people buy properties is going to continue to evolve on the technology level.”

millennials real estate

Take, for instance, the telephone. Many Realtors are used to speaking with clients, but millennials are much more into texting.

“With millennials, you have to communicate how they want to—they are big on texting and many don’t even answer their phones,” Maez said. “Some agents have had success using Facebook messaging because [their millennial clients] are not checking their email, either.”

The smartphone is key to a lot of the differences in millennial real estate patterns. More than half of them search for homes on their mobile phones and 26 percent of those buy a house they found that way, according to research from NAR.

(more…)