4 Packing Basics Make Moving Less of a Drag
From your first thought that you might be selling your Georgetown, DE house until the day you accept the offer, most of us avoid dwelling too long on one less-than-delightful consequence of a successful sale: the dreaded move!
There may be rare individuals who see moving as a valuable opportunity to improve their household’s organization. That’s actually true, but hard to bear in mind as you think about dealing with all those items we’ve shoved into the back of closets and drawers. Even if you’ll be remaining in Georgetown, DE—or even here in Georgetown, DE—a short distance usually isn’t enough to have us relishing the prospect of packing and moving. It’s a lot of backbreaking work, and even if you hire one of Georgetown, DE’s thoroughly professional moving operations, you know you’ll still have to deal with a lot of unknowns. Where do things go in the new house? In fact, where the heck are they, now that everything is in cartons? (it’s the not-finding part that can drive anyone nuts).
But the pleasure of successfully selling your house needn’t be dampened by the dread of moving if you follow a few basics that are agreed upon by veterans of the moving experience. They’re easy to remember, too:
1. Pack rooms one at a time, labeling boxes with the name of the room and number of the box: Master Bedroom 1,2,3, etc. Even if your new home has a different collection of rooms, the key to finding everything is by recalling where they always used to be.
2. Use your smartphone to take quick snapshots of what’s inside the numbered boxes.
3. Make a “Me First” box with paper towels, cleaners, trash bags, and paper plates and picnic utensils.
4. Pack a suitcase with the items you’d need for an overnight trip.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Delaware Mortgage Rates and Fed Agree to Disagree...Perhaps
Last week, following the Fed’s hike in the rates they charge banks, you might expect a matching rise in mortgage rates for Delaware home buyers and refi applicants. If the experts are right, that’s far from a done deal.
The Washington Post headline said it all:
“Mortgage rates move slightly higher but could be headed back down again.”
Mortgage News Daily reported the same: a slight nudge upward, then back down:
“By holding flat, rates remain very close to the best levels seen in more than 8 months.”
The consensus was all but unanimous, with even Freddie Mac predicting that “mortgage rates are likely to follow” Treasury yields—that is, downward.
When the Fed raises the rates banks must pay, it’s only logical to expect the move to echo through the money markets, finally reaching home loan lenders. After all, they must raise rates to maintain the same profit level. But following the Fed announcement, investors drove Treasury rates sharply lower. The reason for the market’s seemingly reverse reaction wasn’t due to the Fed’s move: rather, it was because of “a surprisingly weak” Consumer Price Index report (which the Fed had chosen to ignore). In other words, investors believed the CPI instead of the Fed.
The likely effect on Delaware home buyers and sellers remains very good news. With Delaware mortgage rates holding at the “best levels seen in more than 8 months,” more families’ budgets allow moves to bigger and better homes. And for those who read the Fed rate news and feared it might be too late to take advantage of historically low interest rates, the Mortgage News Daily offered a further prediction about mortgage rates that even “stand a shot at going lower this summer.”
Delaware mortgage rates do rise and fall daily—and knowing for certain where they are headed is famously impossible. As Bloomberg.com noted by the end of the week, “it’s been an especially rough six months” for those charged with predicting trends. What needs no crystal ball to establish is that it now seems likely that this year’s spring-summer busy season will continue to produce real estate bargains that would have seemed almost inconceivable in earlier inflation-ridden decades.
- Written by Russell Stucki
The Art, not Science, of Pricing Your Delaware House
The science of pricing a house in Delaware isn’t really a science.
The thing about science that makes it reliable is that its findings can be confirmed experimentally. If Galileo drops a feather and a lead weight from the Tower of Pisa to prove something about gravity, anyone else can trot right up there and repeat the experiment. If the results are always the same, we’re in the realm of science.
Pricing Delaware houses may not be pure art, but it’s a cinch it’s not science, either. You can’t repeat a pricing experiment because no two Delaware houses are exactly alike (even the same models in a development are situated differently). And even if you sold the same house two times, the pool of possible buyers is changing all the time; the competitive landscape as represented in the moment’s Delaware listings, likewise; even the news of the day can affect the sales climate.
Further muddying the waters is the emotional component most of us feel for the places we call home. Even after the most dispassionate Delaware homeowner has shed any such baggage, there remain two distinct ways to value a home. There is the value it can be sold for, and there is what it is worth to your own family. Hopefully, they aren’t terribly different; but in any case, it’s the former that’s important when it comes to selling.
Once we accept that no pricing strategy can be confirmed experimentally, the best procedure is to follow some general guidelines that have wide acceptance. I advise my clients to approach the pricing of their Delaware house in several ways—
- Canvass the market the same way your future buyers will. See what comparable properties have sold for recently and the asking prices currently listed. Determine where yours belongs. This is one place where my research will be a major help.
- Once you’re satisfied that you know the range where your property fits, look for “holes” in that range. Many times there will be a noticeable gap in asking prices within your range—and one good strategy is to become the lone listing that fills it.
- Once you’ve arrived at a price that seems right, another strategy is to lower it to the next “99” number. If pricing your house led you to a $405,000 asking price, consider notching it down to $399,999. Everybody knows what you’re doing, but it’s such common practice that people don’t regard it as a ruse. It is worth doing because human beings can’t help but react to that second price as if it’s significantly lower!
- Written by Russell Stucki
Top 7 Home Selling Flubs ("Overs" and "Unders" Version)
The reason “Top 7” lists draw such universal attention is their value as time-savers: you can skim down the bold-faced items to spot topics of interest, needing to read further only for those that can use further explanation. When it comes to home selling in Delaware, common flubs would be of interest if you’ve just been through a sale or are beginning to entertain the idea. Knowing the most common missteps certainly can’t hurt.
It has to be noted that home selling blunders to avoid are compiled for the benefit of For Sale by Owner do-it-yourselfers. The target readership are those who for some reason have fallen prey to the undisputed flub #1: failing to hire a licensed Delaware real estate agent such as (to pick a name at random)…me!
Given that understanding, here are what appear to be the most often repeated home selling flubs—presented as overs and unders. They’re listing in no particular order:
- Over-improving. Because price is such a pivotal home selling element for any Delaware property, putting in a major upgrade prior to selling is bound to be a flub that either prevents a sale or costs a bundle.
- Under-researching. Knowing what is currently on the Delaware market is the only sure way to position your own offering. Failure can be counted on to lead to #3—
- Overpricing. Prospective buyers will be comparing your offering against homes in the area of similar age and size and comparable condition. Underpricing an offering is also a danger, but it’s hard to pin down and rarely mentioned.
- Under-marketing. A For Sale by Owner sign in the yard is effective only for potential buyers who are driving down your street—a tiny fraction of those who might otherwise be interested.
- Under-budgeting. Preparing sales materials, advertising insertions, and arranging for inclusion in the Multiple Listing Service are costs that need to be budgeted on an ongoing basis.
- Overlooking flaws. Being proud of your Delaware property is all well and fine, but your own pride of ownership is the opposite of most buyers who start from a skeptical perspective. IOW, be sure you’ve made your Delaware super-showable.
- Over-optimism. When a dream buyer is on the line, enthusiastic and cooperative, it’s wrenching to ultimately find that you’ve been wasting time with an unqualified buyer. If you aren’t represented by an experienced Realtor®, you’re the one who must qualify prospects before showings.
- Written by Russell Stucki