What’s your New Year’s Resolution for Selling Your Home? Part Two

For Sale - Ruth Bethem Yesterday, we talk about having a plan ready to implement to get that property SOLD.  If you missed it, click here to read Part One.
Next, think of your “nest” as an investment property, get rid of those sweet little feelings we call emotions and make sure you are making a sound business decision and not one based on the memorable moments you had in your home, or the special paint you paid extra for, or the expensive window treatments, or the Zoysia grass you put in rather than the run-of-the-mill sod.  Think of it this way, when a breeder sells his horse, he doesn’t look to get back the money he spent on the feed, he just wants the best market value price for his investment.  In other words, let it go.  You have brought your home up to today’s standard and that’s what a buyer is looking for.  Some people like surprises but this is one time, surprises from a home inspection resulting in many non-working items, is not one of them.  Hire a qualified home inspector to check out your home’s systems and roof.  If you have a pool, inspect that and the mechanicals that go along with it.  A clean inspection report is one of those inexpensive items that gives a buyer a huge amount of confidence and can propel them to submitting an offer.  It indicates pride of ownership which goes a long way for confidence with the buyer.  And last but not least, have a plan ready for the sale of your property and the logistics that will need to happen to make it a smooth transaction.  In other words, get yourself pre-qualified, start looking for alternative housing so you aren’t freaking out when you do get an offer.  And, if you have your plan and have conducted the above items, you will get an offer sooner rather than later.  Happy Selling!  For further information or any questions on Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero or Ft Myers real estate, please contact Ruth Bethem at Ruth@RuthBethem.com or direct at 239-777-7007 or toll free 877-777-7545.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution for Selling Your Home? Part One

For Sale - Ruth BethemOkay, you’ve done your homework, you’ve hired your Realtor® but are you really ready to make the commitment to make your home shine above the pack?  Have you made your New Year’s Resolution and what kind of plan have you come up with to follow through to your goal?  Remember the old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?”  Yup, it still holds true in every aspect of life.  But let’s concentrate on the sale of your home for now.  Weight loss can come later. It’s time for the Honey Do List, and that means you too ladies!  There’s always success when you work as a team.  Make your list, don’t panic when you have the ultra-expensive items that you’ve always wanted to do but now you know that credit card bill will be coming soon from those holiday purchases.  No matter, still, do the little things that make a difference.  Shine the outdoor to make it appealing for a buyer to want to come into your home.  Think of it as the big ole hook that’s going to wow them when they come over the threshold.  Next, please, please, please, clean out those closets and organize them.  Ladies, you know what that can possibly entail and as sad as it is to “thin the herd” now’s the time to do it.  Have a going away party for all those lovely shoes you haven’t worn in years.  If you don’t want to lose them forever, find someplace to store them and not in the view of the buyer.  Agree with your partner, if you have one, to price it for today’s market.  Not what you think it should sell for, not what your neighbors believe it should sell for, not what you think it would cost to build new, just listen to the professional you hired, conduct your own due diligence and price it correctly.  That is a huge commitment you must make, otherwise, you’ll be sitting there until you’re the last in your neighborhood to sell.  If you’re a single person, talk to a person of trust and have them be the one you are accountable to.  Success is so much more proficient when someone else is counting on you.   Check out tomorrow’s posting for Part II.  Happy Selling!  For further information or any questions on Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero or Ft Myers real estate, please contact Ruth Bethem at Ruth@RuthBethem.com or direct at 239-777-7007 or toll free 877-777-7545.

She’s back!!

Hello to everyone and Happy New Year!  I’M BACK!! Am I a bit late in my wish, oh yeah, but, no matter what time of year it is the wish is always heartfelt.  Between illness, the holidays, keeping up with business, and taking a bit of a break to rest up for an exciting year in Southwest Florida real estate, it’s been a few weeks since my last post.  However, if you’ve been following me since September, you’ll know I’m an active blogger that likes to keep my readers coming back for more.  Look out because I AM READY!  We’re expecting great things as our market has consistently improved and we’ve had double-digit increases in closed sales for at least the last 18 months.  Our inventory has depleted and there are rumors that we’ll be looking at a 3% property value increase by next year.  Can’t get down here to preview?  No problem, we can photograph your top three choices and surrounding areas to make your selection process a lot easier.  We believe in service and simply look for no more gratification that a satisfied client.  If you’re happy, we’re happy.  It may be an old-fashioned adage but when something works, why change it?

For further information or any questions on Naples, Ft Myers Beach, Estero or Bonita Springs real estate please contact Ruth Bethem at Ruth@RuthBethem.com or direct at 239-777-7007 or toll free 877-777-7545.

Downing-Frye Realty is on pace to exceed $1 billion in closed sales volume.

Downing Frye Realty, Naples, Florida
Downing Frye Realty, Naples, Florida

Mike Hughes, Vice- President of Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. has released the company newsletter for November. I’d like to share this update with you below.

The housing market is in the early stages of recovery, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors® (America’s largest trade association with 1.1 million members). “A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium. But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions,” he said.

Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 1.9 percent to 4.04 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 12.0-month supply in August. Raw unsold inventory is 11.7 percent below the record of 4.58 million in July 2008.

“Vacant homes and homes where mortgages have not been paid for an extended number of months need to be cleared from the market as quickly as possible, with a new set of buyers helping the recovery along a healthy path,” Yun said. “Inventory remains elevated and continues to favor buyers over sellers.

For properties priced under $300,000, the median closed sales price decreased by 3 percent in the third quarter 2010 compared to the previous year. Closed sales from $300,000 to $2 Million increased by an average of $48,000 each.
For the twelve months ending September 2010, overall closed sales of single family homes increased by 19 percent and condos by 45 percent compared to the previous twelve months.
The inventory of available homes and condos in September 2010 was 8,794 units compared to 9,209 units in September 2009, a decrease of five percent

Continuing the trend from the previous month, the under $300,000 market captured 75 percent of the closed sales during September 2010. The Bonita Springs–Estero Association of Realtors® reported 121 overall closed sales and only 30 of those were $300,000 or over. There continues to be a steady number of luxury properties ($1 million+) sold with the top five sales reported in The Brooks, Bonita Bay, Grandezza and Pelican Landing.
The number of single-family homes and condos coming on the market in September 2010 increased by 14 percent from the previous month, while closed sales of condos decreased by eight percent and single family closed sales decreased by 16 percent.

In September, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35 percent, significantly lower than the 5.06 percent average during the same month a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.

Closings were down this September compared to the same time last year,” said Mike Hughes, Vice- President of Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. “Keep in mind that last year in the second half of the year, we saw our closings go up quite a bit. Part of this was due to the first time home buyer credit. Anyway, we are still on pace to exceed $1 billion in closed sales volume for 2010.”

For further information or any questions on Naples real estate please contact Ruth Bethem at Ruth@RuthBethem.com or direct at 239-777-7007 or toll free 877-777-7545.

There’s a New Chick in Town

Ok, not to beat a dead horse, but how much can we possibly talk about ice cream? As far as Rick and I are concerned (and many others we’ve discovered) there’s just no end to it. We’ve tried to determine our favorite form but that’s like trying to nail jello to the proverbial wall. When we were in Italy, it was the gelato. We had to “sample” every color and every flavor of gelato if it was a kiosk in the middle of the town square or a small shop owner’s digs down a back alley (which there’s many in Venice, allys I mean!) Didn’t matter. Had to have it. Did you know there is actually a Gelato University in Bologna, Italy where 6,000 gelato-entrepreneur wannabes converge every year to learn the art of gelato making. Then, there’s the hand-dipped ice cream, one of our fav’s being Royal Scoop on Vanderbilt Dr in Bonita Springs, where, no matter if it’s summer or season, you’re going to wait in line, but folks, it’s so worth every calorie that lands on your lips & hips. Now we’re talking soft serve…and here’s where it gets a little sticky (no pun intended). The old reliable Dairy Queen usually runs #1 with us, but, there’s a great little place in the Ace Sunshine parking lot on Bonita Beach Rd that has given the DQ a run for the royal chair. You can’t miss it, it’s in the shape of a huge twist cone. But, when you talk about custard, ohhh, that’s a “whole ‘nutter ball park.” With memories of the Jersey shore as a kid and again as a young adult, memories of the boardwalk, the ferris wheel, the smell of the salt water wafting thru the evening breeze and the perpetual sound of the ding, ding, ding from the arcade, there’s only one thing that is better than ice cream, hand dipped or soft serve, and that’s the “custard twist.” Even chickens never dreamed their unborn offspring would taste so good as it does mixed up with all the goodies that go into a custard twist. Which brings me back to the New Chick in Town: Rita’s! Talk about your choices. Because I live by the adage of “why bother changing a good thing” I stick only to my custard, however, if you check out their link, http://www.ritasfranchises.com/stores/menu.cfm/Naples-34102/store/1706/ I’ll guarantee you there’s a place in your heart, as well as your tum-tum, for many of these great selections. Perhaps one night when I’m feeling particularly ready to take a risk, I’ll check out the Pretzel Blendini, or the Ritachino, or the Gelati, or the Italian Ice, or the…well, you get the drift. Shop all day at the Coastland Mall then hop across the street for a special treat. They’re located in the Naples Plaza and are open daily from noon to 10:00 PM. Enjoy!!!!