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5 Reasons to Sell Before Spring

Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now.

Only Serious Buyers Are Out

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

There Is Far Less Competition

Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.

The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers. <<MORE>>

Penny Kice Welles Bowen Realtors2460 N Reynolds Rd Toledo, OH43615

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Trudy Wachtmann Shared Home Prices Rise, Market Challenged by Tight Inventory

Home Prices Rise, Market Challenged by Tight Inventory

By: Dona DeZube Published: February 21, 2014

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.

Home prices are rising in many U.S. markets, but headwinds from winter storms, tight inventory, tough credit standards, and rising mortgage interest rates continue to hold back sales.

A lack of houses for sale continued to lift home prices in much of the country, but also pushed down the number of existing homes sold in January, data from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® shows.

The weather wasn’t helping either. “Disruptive and prolonged winter weather patterns across the country are impacting a wide range of economic activity, and housing is no exception,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Some housing activity will be delayed until spring.”

He also blamed slower home sales on headwinds created by tight credit, limited inventory, rising home prices, and higher mortgage interest rates. “These issues will hinder home sales activity until the positive factors of job growth and new supply from higher housing starts begin to make an impact,” Yun said.

The median existing-home price in January was $188,900, up 10.7% over the past year. The median home price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less.

The number of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops sold in January dropped 5.1% from a year ago. Last month’s level of activity was the slowest since July 2012.

Flood Insurance Woes

NAR President Steve Brown said that in addition to disruptive weather, higher flood insurance rates are affecting the market in areas designated as flood zones, which account for roughly 8%-9% of all markets.

“Thirty percent of transactions in flood zones were canceled or delayed in January as a result of sharply higher flood insurance rates,” he said. “Since going into effect on Oct. 1, 2013, about 40,000 home sales were either delayed or canceled because of increases and confusion over significantly higher flood insurance rates. The volume could accelerate as the market picks up this spring.”

Congress is considering legislation to halt new flood insurance rates so the FEMA can complete an affordability study and determine the full impact of the law.

Related:Should You Buy Flood Insurance?
Fewer Foreclosed Homes for Sale

One factor that’s helping boost prices is a decline in the number of distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales — on the market. Distressed homes typically sell at a discount.

  • In January, only 15% of sales were distressed. At this point last year, 24% of sales were distressed.
  • Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16% below market value in January, while short sales were discounted 13%.

Related:Foreclosure FAQs
How Long Does It Take to Sell?

Even though the number of homes for sale rose a slight 2.2% in January, there’s still only a 4.9-month supply of homes for sale nationally at the current sales pace. A supply of 6.0 to 6.5 months represents a rough balance between buyers and sellers.

Median time on market:

  • All homes: 67 days in January, down from 72 days in December, and 71 days on market in December 2013
  • Foreclosures:  58 days
  • Non-distressed homes: 66 days

Thirty-one percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.

Who’s Buying Homes?

NAR noted some important changes among the population of homebuyers:

1.  First-time buyers accounted for 26% of purchases in January. That’s the lowest market share for first-time buyers since NAR began monthly measurement in October 2008. In the past, about 40% of home sales involved first-time buyers.

2.  One-third of sales were to cash buyers.

3.  Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 20% of homes in January, compared with 21% in December and 19% in January 2013. Seven out of 10 investors paid cash in January.

Other data from the NAR’s existing home sales survey showed:


Up or Down


Jan. 2014 Median Price

Median Price Compared

with Jan. 2013

Single-family home sales Down 5.8% $188,900 Up 10.4%
Condo and co-op sales Up 1.8% $188,700 Up 13.0%
Northeast home sales Down 3.1% $241,100 Up 6.6%
Midwest home sales Down 7.1% $140,300 Up 7.6%
South home sales Down 3.5% $161,500 Up 9.4%
West home sales Down 7.3% $273,500 Up 14.6%
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Nancy and Tom Kabat Shared This Article Find the Best Agent to Sell Your House

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By: G. M. Filisko

Published: March 11, 2010

Ask detailed questions about their experience and skills to help you find the right agent for your home sale.

1. How long have you been selling homes?

Mastering real estate requires on-the-job experience. The more experience agents have, the more likely they’ll be able to handle any curveballs thrown during your home sale.

2. What designations do you hold?

Designations like GRI (Graduate REALTOR® Institute) and CRS® (Certified Residential Specialist), which require that agents complete additional real estate training, show they’re constantly learning. Ask if agents have designations and, if not, why not?

3. How many homes did you sell last year?

Agents may tout their company’s success. An equally important question is how many homes they’ve personally sold in the past year; it’s an indicator of how active and aggressive they are.

4. How many days on average did it take you to sell homes?

Ask agents to show you this data along with stats from their local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so you can see how many days, on average, their listings were on the market compared to the average for all properties in the MLS.

5. How close were the asking and sales prices of the homes you sold?

Sometimes sellers choose their agent because the agent’s suggested listing price is higher than those suggested by other agents. A better factor is the difference between listing prices and the amount homes actually sold for. That can help you judge agents’ skill at accurately pricing homes and marketing to the right buyers. It can also help you weed out agents trying to dazzle you with a lofty sales price just to get your listing.

6. How will you market my home?

The days of agents putting a For Sale sign in the yard and hoping for the best are long gone. Look for an agent who does aggressive and innovative marketing, especially on the Internet.

7. Will you represent me exclusively?

In most states, agents can represent the seller, the buyer, or both in a home sale. If your agent will also represent buyers, understand and consent to that dual representation.

8. How will you keep me informed?

If you want weekly updates by email, don’t choose an agent who plans to contact you only if there’s an offer.

9. Can you provide references?

Ask to talk to the last three customers the agent assisted. Call and ask if they’d work with the agent again and if the agent did anything that didn’t sit well with them.

10. Are you a REALTOR®?

Ask whether agents are REALTORS®, which means they’re members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). NAR has been an advocate of agent professionalism and a champion of homeownership rights for more than a century.

Other web resources

More on choosing an agent

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who’s worked with many real estate agents in the past 20 years. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.


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Welles Bowen Welcomes Lyn Casye O’Shea

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Office: 419-698-5370
Cell: 419-450-5068
Fax: 419 754-1408
VM: 419-698-8506

Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Toledo Board of Realtors®
  • Ohio Association of Realtors®
  • National Association of Realtors®
  • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
  • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
  • Representing Buyers and Sellers
  • Graduate of The University of Toledo-B.A. Communication
  • Member of Toledo Broadcast Media since 1985
  • Lifelong Greater Toledo Resident

    My Pledge To You…

    In keeping with Welles Bowen’s “Tradition of Excellence” I pledge to partner with you to accomplish your unique real estate goals. I’ll put my marketing expertise and extensive personal, community, and corporate connections, from 25+ years in the local broadcasting industry, to work for you. I’ll be dilegent and communicative in my efforts to ensure that you are 100% satisfied with your buying and selling transaction(s). Call me for a free consultation!


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    Welcome Deana Deen to Welles Bowen

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    Office: 419-891-0888
    Cell: 419-283-8504
    Fax: 419 891-1092
    VM: 419-897-2700 x214

    Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Toledo Board of Realtors®
    • Ohio Association of Realtors®
    • National Association of Realtors®
    • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
    • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
    • Specializing in Residential Real Estate Sales


    My Pledge To You…

    I pride myself with providing my clients with the utmost attention to their real estate needs. From selling your home to finding your dream home, I promise to assist my clients from start to finish!


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    Welles Bowen Welcome New Agent Nathan Kerber

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    Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Toledo Board of Realtors®
    • Ohio Association of Realtors®
    • National Association of Realtors®
    • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
    • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
    • Full-time Realtor providing professional dedication and commitment to seeing you achieve your goals
    • Masters of Business Administration (Bowling Green State University)
    • Bachelor Degree (University of Toledo)
    • Proven Experience in Home Design & Renovations
    • Investment Property Management Experience
    • Perrysburg Resident
    • Blessed John XXIII Parisher
    • Member, Toledo Area Metroparks, Toledo Zoo, and Imagination Station


    My Pledge To You…

    Do you need a Professional Team working for you? Whether you are searching for your first home, looking to upgrade/downsize, or diving into investment properties, the Kerber Team will bring professional experience, dedication, knowledge, skilled negotiating, and full time commitment to meet your Real Estate needs.


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    Welles Bowen Welcomes Carol Botek

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    Office: 419-782-8216
    Cell: 419-439-3498
    Fax: 419 782-0989
    VM: 419439-3498

    Professional and Personal Qualifications

    • Toledo Board of Realtors®
    • Ohio Association of Realtors®
    • National Association of Realtors®
    • Member of The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™
    • Member of the Multiple Listing Service
    • Graduate of the University of Toledo


    My Pledge To You…

    I will act on your behalf to see that you get the best price and terms on your Real Estate transaction. I will maintain constant contact with you so that you are well informed throughout the transaction. I promise you excellent service with a written guarantee!

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    Here’s the Latest Article found for you by Brian Carroll

    6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

    By: G. M. Filisko Published: March 19, 2010

    While you’d like to get the best price for your home, consider our six reasons to reduce your home price.

    These six signs may be telling you it’s time to lower your price.

    1. You’re drawing few lookers

    You get the most interest in your home right after you put it on the market because buyers want to catch a great new home before anybody else takes it. If your real estate agent reports there have been fewer buyers calling about and asking to tour your home than there have been for other homes in your area, that may be a sign buyers think it’s overpriced and are waiting for the price to fall before viewing it.

    2. You’re drawing lots of lookers but have no offers

    If you’ve had 30 sets of potential buyers come through your home and not a single one has made an offer, something is off. What are other agents telling your agent about your home? An overly high price may be discouraging buyers from making an offer.

    3. Your home’s been on the market longer than similar homes

    Ask your real estate agent about the average number of days it takes to sell a home in your market. If the answer is 30 and you’re pushing 45, your price may be affecting buyer interest. When a home sits on the market, buyers can begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with it, which can delay a sale even further. At least consider lowering your asking price.

    4. You have a deadline

    If you’ve got to sell soon because of a job transfer or you’ve already purchased another home, it may be necessary to generate buyer interest by dropping your price so your home is a little lower priced than comparable homes in your area. Remember: It’s not how much money you need that determines the sale price of your home, it’s how much money a buyer is willing to spend.

    5. You can’t make upgrades

    Maybe you’re plum out of cash and don’t have the funds to put fresh paint on the walls, clean the carpets, and add curb appeal. But the feedback your agent is reporting from buyers is that your home isn’t as well-appointed as similarly priced homes. When your home has been on the market longer than comparable homes in better condition, it’s time to accept that buyers expect to pay less for a home that doesn’t show as well as others.

    6. The competition has changed

    If weeks go by with no offers, continue to check out the competition. What have comparable homes sold for and what’s still on the market? What new listings have been added since you listed your home for sale? If comparable home sales or new listings show your price is too steep, consider a price reduction.

    More from HouseLogic

    How to ready your home for sale at little cost

    How to review offers on your home

    Other web resources

    More on setting the right price

    G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who made strategic price reductions that led to the sale of a Wisconsin property. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

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    Fax: 419 891-1092
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    Kay McArdle’s Toledo Real Estate Looking More Positive in 2013!

    The real estate market in Toledo, Ohio may be looking more positive in 2013 than in other areas of the country. The National Association of Realtors’ chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted recently that home values could rise 15% and number of homes sold 20% this year. And he said the Toledo area should be leading the numbers because it has been a bit behind in the general national recovery.

    Some other developments that point towards a healtier market are…

    Local City of Toledo and suburban areas housing inventory is down making for more competition, multiple offers, quicker sales and putting some upward pressure on prices. We’re especially seeing some shortages of high end homes in Sylvania and Perrysburg.

    We are finally seeing more 1st time buyers enter the market creating the snowball effect of helping current home owners move to other more desired homes.

    Federal regulators have reached yet another agreement with 10 large banks who wronged homeowners in the foreclosure process and will make modest payments to those people. How much help this will have for the housing market is debateable. But, $5.2 million of that settlement will be available for banks to do loan modifications for people at risk of foreclosure and keeping families in their homes will certainly help the housing market.

    New rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take effect in 2014 are going to require that lenders only make loans that borrowers can afford. Banks and Mortgage Brokers will have to verify and inspect borrowers financial records (odd that hasn’t been regular practice) and lend only an amount that keeps the borrowers’ total debt including credit cards, student debt and car payments to 43% of their total income. And finally “interest only” loans and “no doc” loans are being banned.

    There was an extension of the Mortgage Cancellation Relief through January 1, 2014 as part of the fiscal cliff deal just reached. This has to do with the amount forgiven by mortgage holders in short sales not being taxed as income to the poor people losing their homes. It is good for the housing market because short sale homes are generally in better condition and sell for more than foreclosed homes.

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    Deanna Miller’s Suggested Reading

    How to Use Comparable Sales to Price Your Home

    By: Carl Vogel Published: August 5, 2010

    Before you put your home up for sale, use the right comparable sales to find the perfect price.

    Knowing how much homes similar to yours, called comparable sales (or in real estate lingo, comps), sold for gives you the best idea of the current estimated value of your home. The trick is finding sales that closely match yours.

    What makes a good comparable sale?

    Your best comparable sale is the same model as your house in the same subdivision—and it closed escrow last week. If you can’t find that, here are other factors that count:

    Location: The closer to your house the better, but don’t just use any comparable sale within a mile radius. A good comparable sale is a house in your neighborhood, your subdivision, on the same type of street as your house, and in your school district.

    Home type: Try to find comparable sales that are like your home in style, construction material, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, basement (having one and whether it’s finished), finishes, and yard size.

    Amenities and upgrades: Is the kitchen new? Does the comparable sale house have full A/C? Is there crown molding, a deck, or a pool? Does your community have the same amenities (pool, workout room, walking trails, etc.) and homeowners association fees?

    Date of sale: You may want to use a comparable sale from two years ago when the market was high, but that won’t fly. Most buyers use government-guaranteed mortgages, and those lending programs say comparable sales can be no older than 90 days.

    Sales sweeteners: Did the comparable-sale sellers give the buyers downpayment assistance, closing costs, or a free television? You have to reduce the value of any comparable sale to account for any deal sweeteners.

    Agents can help adjust price based on insider insights

    Even if you live in a subdivision, your home will always be different from your neighbors’. Evaluating those differences—like the fact that your home has one more bedroom than the comparables or a basement office—is one of the ways real estate agents add value.

    An active agent has been inside a lot of homes in your neighborhood and knows all sorts of details about comparable sales. She has read the comments the selling agent put into the MLS, seen the ugly wallpaper, and heard what other REALTORS®, lenders, closing agents, and appraisers said about the comparable sale.

    More ways to pick a home listing price

    If you’re still having trouble picking out a listing price for your home, look at the current competition. Ask your real estate agent to be honest about your home and the other homes on the market (and then listen to her without taking the criticism personally).

    Next, put your comparable sales into two piles: more expensive and less expensive. What makes your home more valuable than the cheaper comparable sales and less valuable than the pricier comparable sales?

    Are foreclosures and short sales comparables?

    If one or more of your comparable sales was a foreclosed home or a short sale (a home that sold for less money than the owners owed on the mortgage), ask your real estate agent how to treat those comps.

    A foreclosed home is usually in poor condition because owners who can’t pay their mortgage can’t afford to pay for upkeep. Your home is in great shape, so the foreclosure should be priced lower than your home.

    Short sales are typically in good condition, although they are still distressed sales. The owners usually have to sell because they’re divorcing, or their employer is moving them to Kansas.

    How much short sales are discounted from their market value varies among local markets. The average short-sale home in Omaha in recent years was discounted by 8.5%, according to a University of Nebraska at Omaha study. In suburban Washington, D.C., sellers typically discount short-sale homes by 3% to 5% to get them quickly sold, real estate agents report. In other markets, sellers price short sales the same as other homes in the neighborhood.

    So you have to rely on your REALTOR’s® knowledge of the local market to use a short sale as a comparable sale.

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    Other web resources

    What’s the Value of a View? Research from Texas Christian University

    Carl Vogel, a freelance writer and former editor of The Neighborhood Works magazine, lives in a home in Chicago that is not typical of those nearby, so he appreciates a savvy comp.

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    ABOUT WELLES BOWEN REALTORS For over 100 years, Welles Bowen Realtors has been consistent in its ability to recruit and retain many of Toledo and NW Ohio’s top agents. While much of our agents’ success can be attributed to individual initiative, an equally large measure is due to the strength and support Welles Bowen provides. From educational opportunities to the latest in marketing technology, ...
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    The IDX Data on this site was last updated on Feb 22 2015 6:00AM Eastern Standard Time. All Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. The data is updated on a daily basis. Some properties which appear for sale on this website may subsequently have sold and may no longer be available. For the most current information, contact Welles Bowen Realtors at 1-800-533-7692 or email us at mail@wellesbowen.com. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program of the NORIS MLS. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Welles Bowen Realtors are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. © Copyright 2015 NORIS. All rights reserved. Broker Reciprocity information is provided exclusively for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

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