One of the most effective ways to maximize your chances of achieving the best residential real estate deal possible lies in your ability to partner effectively with your choice of Sussex County real estate agent. Your agent is your local guide through the complexities of Sussex County's market—your assistant, tutor, and trusted right arm in the enterprise of buying and selling a residence. It’s your agent’s job to make the team an effective one—but for all parts to truly work as a unit, some basic elements should be in place…and clearly understood by everyone:

For prospective buyers, when your real estate agent fully understands your search criteria, the end product is a more focused search that yields the intended results most efficiently. It will conserve an under-appreciated asset (your patience)—and free your schedule by eliminating properties that aren’t right for you. Shopping for a home can lead to a bewildering jumble of options. Simply searching online for properties, or driving around likely neighborhood choices looking for "For Sale" signs is an inefficient and time-consuming stratagem. What’s more, tapping into an agent’s comprehensive understanding of the market—past and present—makes you much more likely to unearth the best value/price offerings as they become available.

For those who are selling a Sussex Countyhome, an experienced agent wades through less-than-serious inquisitors, keeping you from getting bogged down with fruitless showings or unreasonable offers.

A move into an unfamiliar area comes with a certain level of risk. A trusted agent equips you with the insights you would otherwise be missing. It can mean the difference between landing your dream property and buying into a subpar situation—one you might regret for years. You only need imagine buying a home in the warmer months only to be blind-sided when access becomes iffy during the rainy season. An agent will have a more complete understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of all of Sussex County neighborhoods—as well as the ability to help you make an informed choice, irrespective of when you are available or ready to buy.

Establishing a candid relationship with your Sussex County real estate agent will not only afford you a buying or selling experience that’s as untroubled as possible, it will also provide you with a resident’s comprehensive knowledge of all the local factors long-time residents take for granted. Buying or selling, I hope you will consider giving me a call for a no-obligation chat about the current market!

Moving to Selbyville (or moving to anywhere) is adventure enough without including one of the moving company scams that are all too common. It seems hard to believe that unscrupulous carriers can continue to operate, but the fact is, there are a lot of them out there. If you will be moving to Selbyville anytime soon, you don’t have to worry about any of the rip-off artists if you follow some straightforward guidelines:

  1. Check the FMCSA: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration runs a household goods program designed to aid consumers. Their website includes a search feature that records past complaints for known companies…but be aware that only interstate movers are listed. Along with complaint information, it lists company contact details so you will know you’re dealing with the people they say they are.
  2. Check Online Reviews: A search engine search of the company can be helpful: just enter the company name plus ‘reviews’ or ‘ratings.’ You’ll often find Yelp entries, and with luck, recent experiences by customers moving to Selbyville.  
  3. Get A Written Estimate: You should be skeptical of any moving company that is willing to provide a quote over the phone or internet. This may not be evidence of a scam, but often means that you are dealing with a broker rather than the company itself. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation red flags any over who doesn’t offer or agree to an on-site inspection of our household goods “or gives an estimate over the phone or internet”…the too-good-to-be-true estimates, demands for large upfront deposits, or failure to hand you the “Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” pamphlet (Federal regulations require Interstate movers do so during the planning stages) are all signs of trouble ahead!
  4. Insurance Issues: Before you hand over your belongings, it is a good idea to check that you’ll be moving to Selbyville with the proper insurance. Ask the movers about their insurance policy and note the policy number. If you have any concerns, you can check with the insurance provider to confirm that they are properly covered.
  5. Use A Mover With A Physical Address: Another sign to watch out for are moving companies that don’t list a physical business address. With a brick-and-mortar base of operations, you know where to head should anything go wrong.  

Moving scams can cost a lot of money—not to mention the stress that results when unscrupulous operators have all your stuff!  If you’re planning on moving to Selbyville soon, please consider me your local guide to our area. I’m here to offer professional real estate representation—as well as a ton of information about all things Selbyville!

On January 6, the Senate confirmed Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, making it the first time ever that a woman has led the nation’s most important financial institution. In some respects, it makes her the most powerful woman in the United States.

As with every personnel change in the Fed, Yellen’s rise has fostered plenty of concerns about the direction the Federal Reserve will take under her leadership. Since it’s the institution that determines the federal funds rate—which in turn dictates how much businesses and individuals pay for their loans—any change in Federal Reserve policy has a significant impact on our Selbyville home loan rates. Sooner or later, those rates affect just about all of us. 

So, what clues do we have about the direction Ms. Yellen is likely to lean? One came just before the financial crisis. Before the financial meltdown, Yellen expressed concerned. In 2005 she is quoted as saying, “Analyses do indicate that house prices are abnormally high, that there is a “bubble\" element, even accounting for factors that would support high house prices.\"

Last year was an excellent one for Selbyville real estate, yet according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index, national housing prices are still 20% off the peaks set in 2006. Research from real estate website Trulia shows that U.S. housing is still 4% undervalued (compared with a 39% overvaluation reached at the 2006 peak). Happily, Yellen, an early identifier of the previous housing bubble, has not expressed similar concerns about today’s real estate market. 

In 2012, the Federal Reserve’s previous leadership announced an unemployment threshold of 6.5% as the point at which it would consider raising interest rates. During Yellen’s first testimony as Chairman, she stated that the Federal open market committee would likely keep interest rates near zero well past that mark. In Yellen’s view, the recovery in the labor market is far from complete. As evidence, Yellen pointed to 7.1 million people who are mired in part time work but who would prefer full time jobs—and to the 3.6 million people who have been unemployed longer than six months.

For Selbyville home loan rate watchers concerned that a rise in rates might dent real estate values, the new Chairman has sounded some reassuring notes. In her recent address to the Committee on Financial Services, Yellen explicitly stated that she expects “a great deal of continuity in the FOMC’s approach to monetary policy.”  That could mean that interest rates for local home loans might gradually rise, it’s not likely to be precipitous.

The bottom line: dramatic rises in interest rates are unlikely under Yellen’s watch, but those considering getting a home loan who have not yet taken advantage of still low interest rates might do well to consider doing so.

Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

Part of the recovery in Selbyville’s real estate scene is the increasing likelihood of multiple offers on a listed property. This is every seller’s dream— but if you are one of the bidders, it’s important that you don’t allow it to become your nightmare.

There is one way— the only sure way—to keep the specter of competing Selbyville multiple offers from upsetting your home buying prospects. Summed up in one word, it’s “preparation.”

Preparation starts with assembling a strong financial package. If your target property attracts multiple offers, you want yours to stand out. By the time you learn that other offers are at hand, it’s probably already too late to begin putting together documents—they should be in hand before you even identify a property. Getting pre-approval for your loan, having a letter that says so, and being able to show you have funds available can be persuasive.

When it comes to making the offer itself, although including “Subject to” clauses will protect you from unforeseen problems with the property, when multiple offers are on the table, the fewer contingencies the better. Again, only preparation will make this reasonable. If you’ve had an advance home inspection, and also made sure that there isn’t any right-of-way or easement issues, your offer can be significantly more attractive.

Personal preparation can be another positive. Visiting the property on several occasions at different times of the day should give you added confidence for what the home is truly worth to you…and when the listing agent and owner can put a face to your offer, it tends to strengthen its validity.

When multiple offers on a Selbyville property occur, it’s possible that someone is going to bid more than the home is really worth. If you’ve done thorough research and know precisely what its value is in today’s market, that won’t be you. Having your bottom line number unshakably in mind, means that in any bidding war, you’ll be able to sweeten your offer without hesitation. You can be creative, perhaps by offering to reduce the seller’s costs by picking up escrow fees, transfer fees or title policies; perhaps by offering the seller a few additional days to move without seeking financial compensation in return; perhaps by increasing the down payment or earnest money. When you know your bottom line, the arithmetic is uncomplicated (and your less-prepared competitors are more likely to throw up their hands!)

And then…should the bidding go over what you know it’s worth, you’ll be ready to walk away. There will be other properties to bid for – and I’m always here to help keep all your options open!  Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.