The Real Estate Blog

This is such a strange time in real estate! There are SO many buyers in the market. But there are not NEARLY enough houses for sale. New construction is popping up everywhere, but the cost of new construction is going through the roof!! And a lot of buyers don't want new construction-- the smaller lots, or being on the outer skirts of town location, etc.  

Interest rates are lower than ever. You can get a 30 year fixed mortgage for 2.5%-- crazy!!!!  No wonder so many people are in the market to buy!!! But people just don't have their houses on the market right now. They will though.  The election uncertainty is over, and this happens, to some extent, every 4 years.  With this big of an imbalance of buyers and sellers, it's harder than ever to get that balance between listing your house and buying your new house in this market to occur  at the same time. That's where the right Realtor comes in.  I can help you with timing and directing you with listing, finding the right lender, offers,  and getting it all to fit together. 

Let's start with the lender. If you haven't been pre-approved, you need to be. John Restucci with Allen Tate Mortgage is great to work with! If you click on the link below, it will take you to John's page to apply for a mortgage. Relatively quick and painless.  

APPLY NOW SAFE AND SECURE!

As I mentioned, having the right Realtor means having someone who is willing to go the extra steps to find you that "perfect house", even when maybe it's not currently on the market.  My job is making sure I have happy, repeat clients! 

Bottom line... if you're thinking of selling in the near future, it's definitely a good time now! Values are up and houses are selling in record time!  If you're thinking of buying, just be ready to bring your A game-- bring your best possible offer, least amount of contingencies, because you'll most likely be up against other buyers.  And make sure you have a strong preapproval before you even begin to look at houses.  This will keep everything moving smoothly and keep your expectations in check throughout the process. And bring your patience.  It's worth it, but we're in a different type of market right now.

And of course, have a great Realtor-- that in itself can pull all of this together and make your process smooth and pleasant! That's my job, to help you find your home or sell your home and to do it as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.  I'm here and ready to go to work for you!

Posted by Wendy Thomas on February 11th, 2021 6:22 PM

Some Highlights

  • If you’re on the fence about selling your house, now is a great time to take advantage of sky-high demand, low supply, and fierce buyer competition.
  • With buyer demand rising and historically low inventory for sale, if you’re in a position to move, your house may really stand out from the crowd.
  • Let’s connect today to get your listing process underway.  Email me at wendy.thomas@allentate.com or send me a text or call at 803-984-4619.  Can't wait to hear from you! 


Posted by Wendy Thomas on February 5th, 2021 10:49 AM

Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn’t Call for a Foreclosure Crisis

Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn’t Call for a Foreclosure Crisis | MyKCM

As the current forbearance mortgage relief options come to an end, many are wondering if we’ll face a foreclosure crisis next year. This is understandable, especially for those who remember the housing crisis that began in 2008. The reality is, plans have been put in place through forbearance to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself.

This year, homeowners are able to request 180 days of mortgage relief through forbearance. Upon expiration of that timeframe, they’re also entitled to request 180 additional days, bringing the total to 360 days of deferred payment eligibility. As forbearance expires, homeowners should stay in touch with their lender, because creating a plan for the deferred payments is a critical next step to avoiding foreclosure. There are multiple options for homeowners to pursue at this point, and with the right planning and communication with the lender, foreclosure doesn’t have to be one of them.

Many homeowners are concerned that they’ll have to pay the deferred payments back in a lump sum payment at the end of forbearance. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Fannie Mae explains:

You don’t have to repay the forbearance amount all at once upon completion of your forbearance plan…Here’s the important thing to remember: If you receive a forbearance plan, you will have options when it comes to repaying the missed amount. You don’t have to pay the forbearance amount at once unless you are able to do so.”

When looking at the percentage of people in forbearance, we can also see that this number has been decreasing steadily throughout the year. Fewer people than initially expected are still in forbearance, so the number of homeowners who will need to work out alternative payment options is declining (See graph below):Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn’t Call for a Foreclosure Crisis | MyKCMThis means there are fewer and fewer homeowners at risk of foreclosure, and many who initially applied for forbearance didn’t end up needing it. Mike Fratantoni, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains:

"Nearly two-thirds of borrowers who exited forbearance remained current on their payments, repaid their forborne payments, or moved into a payment deferral plan. All of these borrowers have been able to resume - or continue - their pre-pandemic monthly payments."

For those who are still in forbearance and unable to make their payments, foreclosure isn’t the only option left. In their Homeowner Equity Insights Report, CoreLogic indicates:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity during the past year.”

Many homeowners have enough equity in their homes today to be able to sell their houses instead of foreclosing. Selling and protecting the overall financial investment may be a very solid option for many homeowners. As Ivy Zelman, Founder of Zelman & Associates, mentioned in a recent podcast:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

Bottom Line

If you’re currently in forbearance or think you should be because you’re concerned about being able to make your mortgage payments, reach out to your lender to discuss your options and next steps. Having a trusted and knowledgeable professional on your side to guide you is essential in this process and might be the driving factor that helps you stay in your home.


Your thoughts on this topic? Post below!

Posted by Wendy Thomas on November 6th, 2020 2:43 PM

Real estate agents know what buyers want.

Just think about it, they’ve walked hundreds–if not thousands–of potential buyers through home after home. They’re quick to pin point the exact moment a buyer may become disillusioned with a home and they know exactly what home features help win a buyer over.

For the most part, homes that are reasonably updated, appropriately priced and in a good location will sell quickly–but what about the homes that sit stagnant on the market?

Most real estate pros can agree– if a home has a glaring flaw it’s likely to sit on the market for a while.

Getting ready to list your home for sale? Then you’ll wan to pay attention to the five most common real estate deal-breakers.

Deal breaker #1: Bad roof

Roofs are expensive and no buyer wants to move into a home only to turn around and spend thousands on a new roof. The most common roof seen on homes is an asphalt shingle roof, which can run homeowners upwards of $3-$4.25 a square foot, and typically last about 30 years.

If your roof is well past its prime or already showing signs of serious wear, either consider replacing your roof or lowering your asking price to reflect the investment buyers will have to make.

Deal breaker #2: A dark, dated kitchen

You’ve likely heard it before, and based on buyers’ preferences these days, it’s not likely to change any time soon: kitchens sell homes.

If your kitchen is dark and significantly dated it could be a deal breaker for some buyers. If you have concerns about your kitchen affecting your home’s value, talk to your Realtor first. If you price your home accordingly, some buyers might be delighted to make the kitchen their own if they feel like they’re getting a good value for your home.

On the other hand, homeowners not up for a major renovation might walk out the door when they notice the state of your kitchen. If your Realtor agrees, it might be time to set aside some funds and sweat equity to bring your kitchen up-to-date. You’d be surprised how painting old cabinets, adding a simple backsplash and replacing old countertops with inexpensive materials all work together to help buyers see the potential in a tired, old space.

Deal breaker #3: Pest issues

Got mice, roaches or even ants?  It only takes one dead roach in the corner to give buyers a sinking feeling– so make sure you call in pest control well before you put your home on the market.

If your pest issues are far worse than the occasional roach, like say, termites, you’ve really got your work cut out for you. Fix the problem by calling in the experts to get rid of the termites and then have someone come out to inspect and fix any structural damage. Trust us, you don’t want a home inspector calling out termite damage on an inspection report.

Deal breaker #4: Unappealing listing photos

Dark, grainy photos with un-staged rooms just aren’t going to cut it these days. Even if your home falls right in line with a buyer’s budget, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get them to tour your home in person if your listing photos are just plain awful.

Don’t skimp on professional photography–there’s a huge difference between low-quality phone pictures and high-quality professional snapshots with ample lighting and correct angles. Going the DIY route with your photography might save you some money on the front end, but bear in mind, you’ll lose on the back end.

Deal breaker #5: Moisture in the basement/crawlspace

Buyers really don’t like finding out about moisture in the basement, as typically, moisture is a breeding ground for mold. But unless you smell mold or mildew rising up from the basement, it can be difficult to identify a moisture-ridden basement. It’s worth examining your basement or crawlspace for any signs of moisture before you list.

Honorable mention: TV in the wrong place

Would you believe that placing your TV in a bad spot could turn off potential buyers? Believe it!

While not typically a true deal-breaker, real estate experts have seen many would be buyers struggle to accept a home that had the tv in the wrong spot.

The lesson from this almost deal breaker is to make sure your home is staged well. It’s worth having an unbiased friend and a Realtor give you some serious feedback about your home’s layout to ensure it flows and works well for the average buyer.

Get ahead of deal breakers by scheduling a pre-listing inspection

Be proactive and schedule a pre-listing inspection to identify and fix any trouble zones before you list. Typically costing homeowners between $200-$500, many sellers find this to be money well spent.

Keep reading: Does your home have what buyers want? 

------------------------------------------

*** This post was written by our Allen Tate Marketing Dept, but I thought it was great and worth sharing!! It has some great points, all of which I agree with. The TV point is questionable.... But I would also add a dated master bathroom to the list.  Buyers like to see updated kitchens and master bathrooms in houses-- they like to know that they have to do as little as possible.  In this market where there are less houses for sale than buyers (sellers' market), painting isn't as important, but having a good, neutral pallet will definitely go a long way to help your house be more attractive over another that's for sale.  

As a buyer, what else can YOU think of that should have made this list?

Posted in:real estatePosted in:selling and tagged: sellingwhat buyers want
Posted by Wendy Thomas on November 6th, 2020 2:43 PM

I know everyone loves watching all of the fun HGTV shows... I enjoy them too!  But there are some things on there that truly are NOT real!  Let's touch on some of them. 

1. Buyers look at only three properties then make a decision between those three.  That would be great, right?  But that's not realistic.  In this market, yes, maybe that's all that is available and maybe they DO find their home in one of those three houses.  It's definitely my job to make sure you find as many of your "must haves" in the first houses that we look at, but we may end up looking at 10 or 15 (hopefully not) before you make a decision, and that's ok! 

2.  Decisions are made after a brief conversation.  Yeah, no.  Although again, in this market, decisions are having to be made more quickly than before due to the lack of inventory and multiple offers on houses, most buyers will think about it longer than over a lunch break. 

3.  People in their 20's and 30's are buying expensive houses.  Again, when you see these buyers on tv, they are the exception and not the rule. So if you fall into this category, don't let them make you feel bad about your current situation.  Most people in this age range are buying their first house in a first time homebuyer range, and NOT in the $500,000 and up range.  Not in this area!! 

4. Sellers always get offers after open houses.  You'll see on "Million Dollar Listings" and some of the other shows that they always seem to get multiple offers after an open house.  The fact about an open house is that it typically helps gets the word out about your house a little more, but is usually not the most effective way to sell the house.  

5. Every property is perfectly staged.  Not even close.  Every seller does the very best that they can do with preparing their house for showings.  Some stage the house very well; some get it close to empty; some move out and have it completely empty. Some hire professional stagers.  Something I've recently started to use for vacant houses that need a little help is virtual staging.  It's amazing and helps buyers that may have a hard time visualizing where furniture will go in a large or small space.  But sometimes houses are cluttered and sellers are in a hurry to sell, and they just do the very best they can.  Not ideal. But that's how it is.  

6. The Realtor doesn't do much.  I'm just gonna leave this right here.  I work very hard for my clients, from helping them prepare their house to put it on the market, or showing houses to a buyer, to getting under contract and working all the way to closing.  Working FOR you is what I do and what I love.  I do a lot more in the background than you ever see. And that's how it's supposed to be.  I try to make this as seamless and easy a process as possible for you.  


There are so many more things I could list. These are just a few. Please comment if you'd like if you can think of any other "illusions" from real estate tv shows!!

Posted by Wendy Thomas on October 21st, 2020 9:15 PM

Don't miss out on my PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST!! This has been lots of fun in past years, so I can't wait to see your creativity this year! Pumpkins can be carved, or painted, decorated-- whatever you want!! Enter to win a $75 Amazon gift card. Entries needed by midnight on Halloween, and the winner will be announced on November 2nd. 

See the flyer below- and feel free to share it!  

Posted by Wendy Thomas on October 15th, 2020 7:13 PM

We can't send you to the Panthers Den this year, but we CAN give away $10,000 for you to redecorate YOUR den! Make sure you register for this year's contest!!  Click the link below.... 

https://contest.allentate.com/?aid=wendythomas


Posted by Wendy Thomas on October 15th, 2020 10:15 AM
Header
Header_2
Listings Photo
$304,900.00
692 Hicklin Drive

Rock Hill, SC 29732



Beds: 0 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 0 Sq. Ft.: 0
Garage: 0 Built: 0
 

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Wendy Thomas
Wendy Thomas, Allen Tate Realtors
8039844619
www.wendythomasrealtor.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted by Wendy Thomas on July 9th, 2018 6:23 PM
If you're ready to buy, the time is right for you, and you just need some direction, here it is! This is definitely a seller's market, which doesn't mean you shouldn't buy, it just means you need to know how to approach your offer.

Make sure before you begin looking for a house that you have a good, strong pre-approval in hand.  Use a lender that is able to tell you what price range you should look in so that your payment will be where you want to it be and you'll be able to afford it, and they should also be able to give you an estimate of how much your closing costs will be.

1.  The first step-- find a good, aggressive agent.  You need an agent who will watch the market and let you know as new houses come on the market that suit your needs.

2.  Be ready to go look as soon as a new listing that fits your needs come on the market.

3.  If you fall in love with a house, in this market, you have to be prepared to make an offer pretty quickly.  If you don't, someone else will, which will place you in a multiple offer situation or will make you miss out on the property.  There are so few houses on the market right now, buyers are waiting on houses to come on the market and are ready to make an offer as soon as the right house shows up!

4.  Be prepared to bid competitively.  Unless you're buying a house that may need some work, you will need to pay close to if not at or above asking price in this market!  This is not a market where you'll get a steal, but you're still going to get your perfect home, and it'll be worth it! 

The market is always changing! Buyers' motivation for buying is always changing.  You have to be ready to buy in the market you're in, and you can't always get a deal just because that's what you're looking for-- just like sellers can't always make a huge profit just because that's what they want.  Change is constant.  For now, to successfully find and make an offer on that perfect home, follow the steps above and they'll lead you there. 
Posted in:General and tagged: always changing market
Posted by Wendy Thomas on September 21st, 2016 11:15 AM
Header
Header_2
Listings Photo
$206,900.00
419 College Avenue

Rock Hill, SC 29730



Beds: 4 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 1950
Garage: 0 Built: 1940
 

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Wendy Thomas
Wendy Thomas, Allen Tate Realtors
8039844619
www.wendythomasrealtor.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted by Wendy Thomas on September 20th, 2015 11:29 AM

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1602 Ebenezer Road
Rock Hill, SC 29732