White & Associates Blog

Things Homebuyers Look for When Looking at Your House

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When you sell your home, what do buyers look for when they come see it?

When a buyer pulls up to the curb, they will look for three things: fresh paint, a well-groomed lawn, and an inviting entryway. Take a step outside and examine the exterior of your home. Do you need to change anything that will make your home look more appealing?

Once inside, buyers will look for any updates you may have done. Updates to your kitchen and bathroom will go a long way to getting top dollar for your home.

Buyers are looking for space.

 

Lastly, buyers are looking for space. If you look around and see only you in your house, then it’s time to declutter. Taking your things out of the space allows the buyer to be able to see their things in your home.

If you have any questions about this topic or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to help!

Great Events Coming to the Kansas City Area

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EVENTS FREE TO DO WHERE TO EAT
Between a brisk morning hike and an afternoon on the patio with a cold drink in-hand, KC spring days are meant for enjoying one adventure after another. Discover the season, a time for a renewed appreciation of everything that makes the city amazing.
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Spaces large and small, intimate and incredible—there’s always a concert to be seen in town that, years later, you’ll be telling people, “I was there.” Get to know Kansas City’s vibrant music scene.
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Make a weekend of it at Kansas Speedway. Sunup to sundown, tailgate parties to checkered flag finishes, experience NASCAR action at every turn during race weekend, one of the most thrilling events on KC’s calendar.
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First time in Kansas City or looking to try something new? From maps and visitor guides to driving directions and restaurant suggestions, the experts in our Visitor Center will help you find the best there is to do and see while in KC.
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Raise a glass for Kansas City’s dive bars: establishments as eclectic as they are beloved, each one with a story to tell and a drink to serve. And it goes without saying that they’re the places where everyone knows your name.
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FOLLOW US AT @VisitKC
#HowWeDoKC
UPCOMING EVENTS
GARTH BROOKS
Sprint Center
May 5-13
FIELDS OF BATTLE, LANDS OF PEACE: THE DOUGHBOYS 1917-1918
National World War I Museum and Memorial
Through Aug. 20
KANSAS CITY ROYALS VS. CLEVELAND INDIANS
Kauffman Stadium
May 5-7
THE DERBY PARTY
Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall
May 6

How Pre-Inspections Can Help Your Home Sale

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If you are thinking about selling your home, there are several great reasons to order a home inspection before you put it on the market.

Pre-inspections help you play offense instead of defense during your home sale. If issues arise during the pre-inspection, we can address those issues before you put your home on the market.

 

Pre-inspections allow you to play offense
instead of defense.

 

We can send you a list of inspectors that we have worked with in the past. They are incredibly professional and can even help you add value to your home.

If you have any other questions about pre-inspections or if you are interested in our list of recommended home inspectors, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

What Improvements Should You Make Before Selling?

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We are here to answer a great question from one of our viewers today. They want to know, “Should I make major improvements to my home prior to putting it on the market this spring?”

My first thought goes to what your budget is. We see sellers have a tendency to over-improve their properties. We don’t want you to overspend because you likely won’t see all that money back in your home sale. We want you to make improvements that will add value, not take away from it.

My second thought is to consider design aesthetics. We want to make sure you keep in mind the next person buying your property. We want them to see themselves living in the home, so painting in neutral colors is a good idea.

 

Sticking to a schedule is important.

 

My last point is this: let’s set a schedule and stick to it. We’ve all had weekend projects that end up taking a month’s worth of weekends. We want to stick to a schedule so we can get your home sold and you can be in your new one before the end of spring.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

10 Reasons to Sell This Holiday Season

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If your house is listed for sale, there are 10 reasons why you should keep it listed during the holiday season.

  1. People who look for homes during the holidays are more serious buyers. I'm currently working with two relocation clients who want to get their kids enrolled in school before the new year's semester, so they really want to get a deal done.
  2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the holidays. This means less competition and more money for sellers currently on the market.
  3. Since inventory will increase dramatically in January, there will be less demand for your home, meaning less money. You want to get sold before the new year starts.
  4. Houses show better when they're decorated for the holidays. Make the house look nice, but don't go overboard. You want buyers to be able to see themselves living in your house.
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays, so they're more likely to pay your price. Seeing a crackling fire and a beautiful Christmas tree lets buyers envision having a holiday or their own in the house.
  6. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.
  7. January is traditionally the month for employees to start new jobs. Since transferees can't wait until spring to buy, your house must be listed now to capture that market.
  8. You can restrict showings during the holidays. You can stay on the market during the holidays, you just won't have to bring in buyers during the six or seven holiday days. We can guide you to the best times to temporarily suspend showings.
  9. You can sell now for more money and we'll provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year. We can get the house under contract and then work with the buyer to see if we can close later in December and move in right after the new year starts. You'll have the opportunity to enjoy the holidays and do all the moving right after.
  10. By selling now, you may have the opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring when there are more homes on the market for less money. This will let you sell high now and buy low in the spring.

If you have any more questions about selling a home this winter, give us a call or send us an email. We'd love to work with you!

The Latest Trends in Kansas City Real Estate

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Today I want to share a report on the latest trends in our real estate market from the KC Regional Association of Realtors.

As we anticipated at the beginning of the year, demand has remained high for the first three quarters of the year, propping up sales and prices despite heavy reductions in housing inventory across the nation. Rental prices and employment opportunities have climbed consistently year over year, so further housing price increases are probable, but not guaranteed.

Since 2015, pending sales have increased by 4% to 9,800 pending sales in 2016. Closed sales also increased, jumping 2.7% from 10,482 in 2015 to 10,770 for 2016.

Although sales increased, the number of homes for sale actually decreased by 28.4%. There are only 8,089 units available on the market, so we definitely need more inventory.

Sellers will be glad to hear that the median sales price is up 7.6%. In 2015, the median sales price was $172,000; this year, the median sales price is $185,000. These high prices are driven by strong demand and low inventory. The month's supply of inventory is down 31.6%. In fact, this year, there are only 2.6 months of inventory on the market.

  Home sales and prices are up despite the shortage in inventory.

The list-to-sales-price ratio went up 1.3% since 2015, so not only can sellers expect higher sales prices, they can also expect to net 96.7% of their asking price.

So, why is demand so high? Generally speaking, today’s demand is driven by three factors:

  • Millennials are reaching prime home-buying age.
  • Growing families are looking for larger homes.
  • Empty-nesters are downsizing.

If you’re a buyer, you can take advantage of the historically low interest rates out there right now. However, those low interest rates cause homeowners to refinance rather than sell, which keeps inventory low. Short-term rentals are also keeping homes on the market, so there is not much out there for buyers to choose from.

If you have any specific questions about buying or selling in today’s very competitive market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

3 Tips for Staging Your Home During the Holidays

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When you get ready to put your house on the market during the holidays, it can be a little bit challenging. Here are three helpful tips, as advised by professional stager Barbara Banks, on how to stage your home for the holidays:

Keep all decorations simple.

  1. Decorate, but keep it simple. On the exterior of the house, you want to keep all decorations simple. Just a simple wreath on the door and a few lights out front in the bushes will do. Use only white lights—no colored ones. You want to keep it simple on the interior as well; now is not the time to display your collections. A specialty of Barbara’s is decorating the Christmas tree with the same color palate that you use to decorate the surrounding interior of the home.
  2. Keep the religious symbols simple, too. Many people celebrate Christmas for religious reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s a good idea to keep the religious symbols neutral.
  3. Absolutely no inflatables on the outside. This means no giant Santa bouncing around in the front yard—that might turn off any buyers from wanting to come up to your home. In maintaining curb appeal, you want to keep things simple and classy.

For more information about staging, you can reach Barbara at (933) 244-7920. If you have any other real estate-related questions, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to helping you in any way I can.

Home Staging Tips from Angie Herself

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If you’re on a budget when selling your home and don’t want to make a bunch of expensive fixes and renovations, you’re in luck. We have got some great tips to share with you today, courtesy of Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks.

Here are some great ways to make your home look clean and simplified:

  1. Make your front door look great. It’s the very first and very last thing buyers will see when they visit your house. You want it to look clean and free of distractions.
  1. Get your yard green and weed-free. It’s not hard to do with a little fertilizer.
  1. Don’t forget to caulk and trim any driveway or sidewalk cracks
  1. Make sure the street number is visible from the curb.
  1. Appeal to the neighbors. If the neighbors like the home, the new owners will too.

Appealing to the neighbors is important.

These are five simple things you can do to help your home stand out in this market. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

How to Win in the Kansas City Market

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I wanted to give you three tips for navigating the Kansas City market, which has high demand and low inventory.

Buyers today are still experiencing the frenzy of trying to work through this market. Because we only have 2.5 months of supply, the question I’m asked most often by buyers is, “How can we be sure we get the house?" Here’s how:

 

Buyers today are experiencing a frenzy.

 

  1. Hire an experienced buyer’s agent, and work with a great lender. Putting these together will help you present a strong offer that shows you as a buyer in the best light.
  2. Put your best foot forward right from the start. Make your best offer at the beginning, and let it be one you’re comfortable with no matter what. People ask about waiving appraisals and inspections, so it’s important to speak with your agent about how it will affect the transaction. Check with the lender to find out if they’re comfortable with those things as well.
  3. Be patient. Sometimes listing agents will continue to market a home even if offers are flowing in. If you made your best offer, relax and be patient knowing what you’ve presented.

We may not have a crystal ball, but what we can tell you is that even if you don’t get the house you put an offer in on, your agent is constantly working to find you a great home.

If you have any more questions about our market, give me a call or send me an email. I hope to hear from you soon!

Now’s the Time to Sell in Kansas City

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I wanted to point out three reasons why now is a great time of year to sell your home:

  1. Back to school: Now that school has started, all the summer responsibilities and vacations are over, and you’ll have lots of people coming to take a look.
  2. Relocation clients: This time of year, corporations are looking at bringing in new people to the area, and this time of year is always busy for us in Kansas City. The shortage of inventory will help you here, as well.
  3. Weather: It’s the best weather of the year with temperatures in the 70s and flowers blooming. It’s not 100 degrees out, so people won’t mind walking around seeing homes - they’ll actually enjoy the weather.

With temperatures in the 70s, people love
looking at homes.

If you have any more questions, or you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in Kansas City this time of year give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to help you out!