Barry J Newman
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February 2015  

Buying or Selling in 2015? Here's What You Need To Know
Local markets heating up but remain affordable
The peak spring market is just around the corner, which means we're likely to see the strongest transaction climate of the year. If you're buying or selling this spring, here are some keys to success in today's market.

Sellers

From the time-tested yard sign to cutting-edge content marketing, there is no shortage of tactics for marketing a home these days, but the most successful sellers (and their brokers) create and follow a strategy that is tailored to their specific listing. Having a comprehensive blueprint to a sale positions your home to achieve the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time, and makes the process a lot more seamless.

Sellers should also be aware that buyers today -- especially in the luxury market -- are paying for "move-in ready" but negotiating hard when it comes to "needs work." Be open to the idea of investing in your sale, i.e. spending some money to boost your home's salability. Recent @properties sellers have undertaken projects such as painting, staging and re-finishing floors to give their homes a more current look.



MARKET MINUTE: @properties stays on the leading edge by finding locally-developed real estate tech solutions.


Finally, the world of real estate can be unpredictable, so sellers need to be flexible -- and that goes beyond negotiating price. You might be asked to show your home at the last minute, close quickly, or satisfy an unusual request. Be prepared at all times, and don't reject an offer just because it requires more work than anticipated.

Buyers

The market is improving, and today's buyers need to be realistic when making an offer. Home prices have appreciated overall and have even returned to peak levels in some areas. In fact, Chicago-based consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors studied resales in 65 downtown condominium buildings in 2014 and found that the average sales price was only 4 percent below pre-crash levels. Talk to your broker about market conditions in your local neighborhood or town and prepare your offer based on the market right now.

It's also important to take a long-term view. Yes, you're paying more than you would have two or three years ago, but appreciating home values are a good thing for buyers too. Homeownership remains affordable in Chicagoland with 30-year mortgage rates at approximately 4 percent. And with apartment rents up by about 30 percent over the last 5 years, the rent-vs-own analysis favors buying. If you're on the fence about making a move, let's sit down and look at the numbers.

Whether you're ready to buy or sell this spring, or just looking for more information on your local market, feel free to contact me any time. Thank you for your business and referrals.


In the news:

Chicagoland Begins 2015 With Modest, Realistic Price Gains
Peter Thomas Ricci | February 10, 2015

Asking prices in Chicagoland began 2015 on a sobering note, according to the Trulia Price Monitor. Though prices were up a healthy 9.0 percent year-over-year in January, they rose a more modest 1.8 percent quarterly, which is a more current stat on where prices are trending; meanwhile, rents continued their ascent, climbing 7.0 percent from a year ago.
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Mortgage Rates Rise on Jobs Report
February 12, 2015

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week yet remained near historically low levels. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage jumped to 3.69 percent from 3.59 percent last week. The average rate is still at its lowest level since May 2013.
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REALTORS® See Uptick in Housing Markets
Daily Real Estate News | February 10, 2015

An improving job market, low mortgage rates, and recent moves by the government to loosen up mortgage credit is fueling increased optimism among REALTORS®. In particular, real estate professionals are growing more confident about the housing market's outlook for the next six months, according to the December 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index, a survey of more than 4,000 REALTORS® about local and market conditions that is released by the National Association of REALTORS®.
More





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