When the first spring day comes along (as opposed to the first day of spring), a goodly proportion of residents feel the annual pull, toward the garden store aisles. Even those who’ve stoutly resisted ordering seeds, gardening tools, or any of the other back yard paraphernalia the catalogs kept hawking all winter can succumb to this particular Call of Nature.

Burpee, Scotts and Miracle-Gro shareholders can relax: spring has sprung.

The North Bethany spring real estate selling season starts stirring, too, pretty much in lockstep with the appearance of the tulips. Whether or not the tulips have succeeded in poking up out of the ground, it’s a cinch that by this time they will have made colorful appearances on store shelves everywhere, just like the Peeps and chocolate bunnies. Unlike the rest of the early spring’s trappings, though, the spring real estate phenomenon doesn’t disappear from sight once Easter Sunday is a memory. In fact, it picks up steam.

There are any number of explanations why spring real estate in North Bethany is always expected to ramp up. Part of the reason is the calendar. For families with children, if a move is going to involve a change in school districts, summer vacation is the least disruptive time of year for it to happen, so spring is the time to start house hunting. Part of the reason is due to the comparative difficulty of selling a home in wintertime: not only can foul weather make it harder to keep a home at its showy best, it also can throw a monkey wrench into property maintenance and the few cosmetic fixes that almost every home could use before it hits the North Bethany listings. The result is a certain amount of bottled-up inventory that bursts onto the scene all at once—and springtime is the single time of the year when that happens.

Then there is the automatic momentum effect. When you sell a North Bethany home, most families need to turn around and buy the next. The National Association of Realtors® tells us that the spring real estate selling season may actually be stronger than the numbers indicate, because many sales that really did begin “in season” don’t actually close until summer begins. Spring real estate as a phenomenon is “real” enough that you can’t blame them for lines like “Spring brings rain and flowers—and possibly extra green in the final sales price of your home.”

The spring real estate selling season is indeed underway, so if you are planning on listing your own North Bethany home anytime soon, now is a great time to give me a call. It’s the best way to take advantage of the traditional boom in prospective buyers!  

In North Bethany real estate as in many other businesses, successfully drawing the public’s attention, then communicating value, are what separate can-do practitioners from the pack. It’s pigeonholed under "marketing" instead of "selling" because the latter sounds more like a one-on-one activity, whereas "marketing" depicts the kind of effort that goes out to the world at large.

The past couple of decades have produced sea changes in the way Sussex County real estate brokers and agents need to approach their marketing approach. It’s not just the way all the advertising and communications media have been transformed; it’s also the expectations of the people they are intended to reach—the buyers. When a homeowner intends to put his home up for sale, one way to insure success is to be aware of the elements that make up any marketing plan designed to take advantage of today’s 2015 North Bethany real estate marketplace.

Technology is at the forefront of good marketing, and today’s Realtors® can choose to put it to their clients’ advantage. A responsive website, striking visuals, good content, and specific details to accompany their business cards, brochures, and other traditional marketing materials build more than their own brand—they launch every client’s North Bethany real estate listing across the virtual Universe!

Today’s real estate market rewards creativity more than was hitherto the norm. Because the web has made so much information so accessible, having a knack for standing apart from the crowd is more important than ever. Using techniques to attract attention is the first step in guaranteeing marketing success, so understanding search engine optimization (and using that knowledge regularly) is vital. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I make sure to post this blog regularly!

A social media presence is a must for anyone conducting real estate in North Bethany—and it just so happens that it’s the perfect venue for Realtors® to shine. It’s a very personal (well, not quite an in-the-flesh handshake—but as personal as electronics allow!) way to expand networks and engage people in a diverse cross section of prospective audiences.

Using electronic and social media is part of the story, but monitoring their effectiveness ("the metrics") is a necessity to track how well they are working. By tracking this information and using the results to take advantage of what works best, every North Bethany real estate client shares in maximizing their listing’s exposure.

Effective real estate marketing uses ongoing research—and the strategy and energetic tactics that reach out to take advantage of the whole spectrum of today’s communication resources. If you are thinking of listing your own home, I hope you’ll give me a call to see all that I can do for you!

Home buyers direct a series of major decisions when it comes down to finalizing their

North Bethany property purchase. Among the most important are two with decisive ownership and financial consequences: who will be the primary borrower for the mortgage; and who will be named on the deed?

The answers to these questions are the opposite of the fine print details that few of owners ever need to concern themselves about. These cast defining roles in determining the eventual ownership

of the North Bethany property and in assigning financial responsibility for loan repayment. 

Whose Name Goes On the Loan?

Determining who is to be the

primary borrower may not be as simple as you would think. After all, one person might have the excellent credit needed to insure the best interest rate, while the other person currently brings in a higher annual income—providing the cash flow boost that enables a sufficient mortgage. It is often necessary for both members of a couple to sign on the dotted line to get an North Bethany property financed. A loan officer will walk buyers through the process, explaining which combination will offer the greatest loan amount at the most favorable terms.

Whose Name Goes on the Deed?

It’s important to keep in mind that the deed is almost completely separate from the loan. Even if only one person signs for the loan, several people can

be listed on the deed. Placing a name on the deed shares ownership of the property. That can be helpful in the event of an untimely death or to avoid probate during an estate settlement, but there can also be drawbacks. 

Since those named on the deed share in title rights to the property, that can empower them to prevent a sale—and also leave the property vulnerable to their debts. That’s why it’s important to be clear about all outstanding obligations before adding people to a deed, lest a pre-existing debt result in a lien being filed against the property. It's also good to remember that until the loan is paid in full, the bank or lender also has an ownership interest, which is why the bank can take possession for non-payment. 

Making the Decision

Making the most of

your North Bethany property is a continuing planning exercise that begins with these first ownership decisions. For individuals as well as couples, the multiple issues that come into play have financial and tax ramifications that merit careful consideration. Before buttoning up those final decisions, I always advise clients to consult with their accountant and lawyer to get the whole story—it’s a story which begins with your first call to my office!

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we seemed locked into a classic home buyer’s market in Bethany? Bad economy, bad job numbers, tanked real estate values were all we heard about…until it eventually shifted. Over the past year or so, it’s become a very different landscape. If you’ve been out looking to become a Bethany Beach home buyer, it’s possible that you’ve found yourself putting in offers on multiple houses…and also possibly watching from the sidelines as another Bethany Beach home buyer walked away with a deal. If this isn’t a true seller’s market, to you the difference may not be apparent.

In any case, when a prospective home buyer in Bethany Beach finds themselves vying for one of the plum homes that are now appearing in this season’s Bethany listings, there’s no need to passively watch as others get the nod. If you are sure of the value of the property you are going for, there are straightforward tactics for improving your chances of winning the day:

-  Offering at or above list price is the time-tested way to give you the best shot of getting your contract accepted over bidders who offer less than list. Real estate prices are again on the rise, increasing your likelihood of being able to recoup the extra money if you decide to sell several years down the road. Look at the comps with your agent to determine what an aggressive—yet realistic price—will be.

-  Ask your real estate agent what the recommended earnest money amount would be; then double or triple that deposit amount. It’s a sure way to signal that you’re a serious and financially able home buyer. This tactic has the advantage that it doesn’t really cost you anything in the long run, assuming you hold up your end of the contract. It is a way to stand out from other Bethany Beach home buyers without actually spending more.

-  In a buyer’s market, it’s almost expected to ask for add-ons like fixing a staircase or leaving the swing set. But in a seller’s market, you can beat the competition by not asking for extras beyond what is offered in the listing. Home sellers may be fully occupied with many outside details (like looking for their own next home!) and often assign high value to an offer that looks uncomplicated.

-  Along the same lines, another way to set yourself apart from every other home buyer is to offer to give the seller more than the usual time to move out of their house. Many other bidders won’t think of this—but it can make the deal if the sellers are having to cope with difficult deadlines for their own move.

Above all, don’t let yourself get discouraged. The right house is out there, and you will get an offer accepted! Particularly in a seller’s market, any Bethany Beach home buyer will be rewarded by just remaining patient and cool-headed. First step if you will be looking to buy this year: call me today to get started!