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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (Excerpt) by Stephen Meyers (CEO) and Chris Meyers (President)

Softening. At the end of Q2, we discussed the likelihood of prices leveling off and, in some markets, edging back. At the end of Q3, we are starting to see prices doing just that. When you look at the overall picture, inventory is on the rise in nearly every market, pending sales are declining, and sales are either flat or declining. What we are seeing is a market that is softening.

In Westchester, home sales were down 4.1%. Although overall inventory was up in Westchester, it’s important to note that inventory continues to be low at the most affordable prices, homes priced below $500,000. A troubling sign was the decrease in showing activity by 11% through the end of the quarter. Some of that decline could be attributed to lower inventory at affordable price points, however, overall showings were down for homes priced up to $1,500,000. As showings are a leading indicator of pending sales, it’s no surprise that pending sales are down across the board.

Here are some trends we are seeing as we move towards the end of 2018. The early fall market conditions are pointing to a chilly winter ahead. Despite inventory rising at an even faster pace than Q3, showings continue to be down more than 11.5%. More supply and less demand places potential home buyers in the driver’s seat. It remains to be seen however if they are going to take the wheel. With listing prices remaining nearly flat at all-time highs, interest rates on the rise and wage growth nearly stagnant, buyers may not be interested in making a move anytime soon.
For sellers, we mentioned it last quarter and we are reiterating it again. If you want to sell, you will need to price competitively. The luxury of low inventory is gone. In this market, setting a high price and then gradually reducing will result in chasing the market down. In Westchester, homes priced correctly out of the gate sell, on average, in 49 days and at 99.8% of the asking price. Homes priced too high, that experience one or more price reductions spend an average of 344 days on the market and sell for 82.4% of the original list price.

To read the complete executive summary and to see the comprehensive report CLICK HERE.

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Third Quarter 2018 Executive Summary – Luxury Market Report (Excerpt)
by Anthony Cutugno (Senior Vice President/Director of Private Brokerage):

Luxury homes sales north of NYC through the third quarter showed mixed results. In Westchester, luxury sales (sales over $2M) were down slightly. Recent reports indicate the housing sales nationwide are slowing because wage growth is not keeping pace with the increase in real estate prices. Our luxury markets do indeed appear to be slowing down, but lack of wage growth is not a factor for luxury buyers. In fact, the ten-year bull market created $18 trillion in wealth since the Standard & Poor’s 500 bottomed on March 9, 2009. Despite these record-setting gains in the stock market and net worth, the luxury buyer north of NYC is defined by a cautious and restrained approach to real estate. They are reminded that real estate can decline in value, and the fear of overpaying is a primary concern. Luxury rentals have increased since last year and offer an easy wait-and-see solution. The pursuit of value drives the purchase decisions of today’s buyer. They want a fair price that can be justified by comparable sales, and confidence in the property’s marketability should the need to sell arise. A surplus of luxury inventory justifies their caution: At the close of the third quarter, there were 467 luxury homes ($2M and higher) for sale in Westchester County and 57 homes in contract. Motivated sellers are paying attention to the importance of pricing and its out sized ability to attract the attention of buyers with a value-driven offering. Sellers who priced their homes ambitiously are reducing or withdrawing them from the market.

To view the complete summary and the full report CLICK HERE.

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HL’s marketing objectives are focused on driving inquiries for your property. HL refines its marketing tactics every month by using proprietary sales data to power advertising. By participating in nearly half the homes sales in Rye, HL has substantial amounts of real time data to inform their advertising strategy.

31% of recent home sales were buyers relocating from Manhattan and Brooklyn. HL uses the proprietary information from those transactions to target specific zip-codes through online and print advertising.

For questions or more information how this can benefit you, when selling your home, please feel free to email Joan at jomeara@houlihanlawrence.com.

 

Where Buyers Come Fromjpg

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GRIEVING PROPERTY TAXES…Everything you need to know.

Grieving property taxes can yield a cost savings for local taxpayers. All municipalities in Westchester County, including Rye and Harrison, have a Grievance Day – a specific day to hear property tax appeals.  In 2018, that day is Tuesday, June 19th. The tax grievance period this year is is June 1st-June 19th. To do the math homeowners need their total assessed property value and the current Residential Area Ratio (RAR).

ASSESSMENTS
Before pursuing formal review of your assessment, you should first determine if you are assessed fairly. Click HERE to read about the steps in this process.
In Rye you can find your assessed value by going to joanomeara.com – Click Rye City/Online Services/Property Tax Search. Enter your address and you will see the Total Assessed Value. For Harrison go to joanomeara.com – Click on Town of Harrison/Departments/Assessor/Final Assessment Roll.

RESIDENTIAL ASSESSMENT RATIO (RAR)
The RAR is an indication of the level of assessment for residential real property in a municipality. It is a measurement of the overall ratio of the total assessed value of residential property in the municipality compared to the full market value of that residential property. The RAR can be used by homeowners in a Board of Assessment Review (BAR) grievance and in a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) hearing. Bottom line is your assessed value divided by the RAR will tell you what the city/town has your house valued at for tax purposes. The state issues updated RARs annually around this time of year.  The new RARs were just issued in April. Rye = 1.53% and Harrison = 1.57%

Examples to Calculate your House Value for Tax Purposes:
Rye City RAR of 1.53% for 2018
Total Assessed Value of $30,500/1.53% = $1,993,464

Town/Village of Harrison RAR is 1.54% for 2018
Total Assessed Value of $30,500/1.54% = $1,980,519

Helpful Links and Forms to Grieve your Taxes:

Rye: To download the form and the instructions on the City of Rye Website then look under Permit & Forms/Tax.
In Harrison: Applications are available in the Assessor’s Office in Town Hall (1 Heineman Place).

For more information on RAR click HERE. For more information on property assessments click HERE.

If you have any questions about this process please feel free to reach out to Joan at jomeara@houlihanlawrence.com or 914.329.5329

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GRIEVING PROPERTY TAXES…Everything you need to know.

Now that you have filed your taxes, it is time to think about your home assessment and the taxes you are paying on your property. Grieving property taxes can yield a cost savings for local taxpayers. All municipalities in Westchester County, including Rye and Harrison, have a Grievance Day – a specific day to hear property tax appeals.  In 2018, that day is Tuesday, June 19th. The tax grievance period this year is is June 1st-June 19th. To do the math homeowners need their total assessed property value and the current Residential Area Ratio (RAR).

ASSESSMENTS
Before pursuing formal review of your assessment, you should first determine if you are assessed fairly. Click HERE to read about the steps in this process.
In Rye you can find your assessed value by going to joanomeara.com – Click Rye City/Online Services/Property Tax Search. Enter your address and you will see the Total Assessed Value. For Harrison go to joanomeara.com – Click on Town of Harrison/Departments/Assessor/Final Assessment Roll.

RESIDENTIAL ASSESSMENT RATIO (RAR)
The RAR is an indication of the level of assessment for residential real property in a municipality. It is a measurement of the overall ratio of the total assessed value of residential property in the municipality compared to the full market value of that residential property. The RAR can be used by homeowners in a Board of Assessment Review (BAR) grievance and in a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) hearing. Bottom line is your assessed value divided by the RAR will tell you what the city/town has your house valued at for tax purposes. The state issues updated RARs annually around this time of year.  The new RARs were just issued in April. Rye = 1.53% and Harrison = 1.57%

Examples to Calculate your House Value for Tax Purposes:
Rye City RAR of 1.53% for 2018
Total Assessed Value of $30,500/1.53% = $1,993,464

Town/Village of Harrison RAR is 1.54% for 2018
Total Assessed Value of $30,500/1.54% = $1,980,519

Helpful Links and Forms to Grieve your Taxes:

Rye: To download the form and the instructions on the City of Rye Website then look under Permit & Forms/Tax.
In Harrison: Applications are available in the Assessor’s Office in Town Hall (1 Heineman Place).

For more information on RAR click HERE. For more information on property assessments click HERE.

If you have any questions about this process please feel free to reach out to Joan at jomeara@houlihanlawrence.com or 914.329.5329

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If you are thinking of listing your home in the near future, you should consider the benefits of staging. It is a proven fact that staged homes are more likely to sell faster and for a higher value then non-staged homes. According to the 2017 National Association of Realtors:

  • 40% of buyers are more willing to walk thru a staged home that they viewed online
  • 77% of buyers find it easier to visualize the property as their future home when it is staged
  • 38% of sellers agents believe the staging increased the value of the sale
  • 97% of buyers agents says that staging has an effect on the buyers view of the home

A Home Gain report states that typical staging costs yield 196% return to the seller, with basic staging improvements such as brightening and de-cluttering, yielding up to 702%.

Here is an example of a home we staged in Rye. This staging brightened the room and gave it a more modern look.

 

Dining Room Before Staging

Dining Room After Staging

Feel free to contact us today to discuss staging your home….jomeara@houlihanlawrence.com or 914.329.5329

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Mark your calendar! Real Estate Q&A hosted by Joan O’Meara & Team at Nest Inspired Home in downtown Rye on Thursday February 1st. Hope to see you there!

RSVP’s to jomeara@houlihanlawrence.com are appreciated.

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