Why you should not depend on Zillow, Trulia, and other similar sites…

This is a blog from last year. But it is well worth the repost to remind everyone of the value of using a Realtor for reliable information.

Chincoteague Island & Eastern Shore of Virginia Real Estate Blog

If you have ever searched the web for real estate…you have probably heard the names Zillow and Trulia.  These are independent (private) websites with no direct affiliation with a local Realtor, firm, or real estate board.  There are actually hundreds of these private sites.

First, here is how it works.  Like with most areas…the local Realtor adds a listing to the local Multiple List System or MLS.  The MLS is a database that all participating agents use to view their company’s listings as well as all other local or regional listings.  In our local area…the MLS covers Virginia’s Eastern Shore and is managed by the Eastern Shore Association of Realtors.  It is from this database that Zillow, Trulia, and others get the listing information.  They “data-mine” or upload this data from the MLS database to their data base.

The reason they do this is to make money…they will then reach…

View original post 548 more words

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House? Here’s a Reality Check

Show me the money! Admit it, that’s what you’re thinking when you consider selling your house. In fact, chances are good you’ve mentally spent much of the proceeds already—on a new house you’re buying, and maybe even a nice vacation this summer. Slow down there—while selling a home can indeed bring in some sweet profits, not every dollar goes into your pocket. You also have to pay the professionals who help you unload your property. So now the question in your mind is probably: How much does it cost to sell a house? Really?

On average, home sellers pay their listing agent a commission amounting to about 6% of the price of their home (although that percentage can vary). On a $250,000 house sale, this amounts to roughly $15,000.

That might seem like a huge chunk of change, but don’t go assuming you’re getting ripped off! Here’s where that money goes, and why it’s totally worth it.


The real estate agent commission, explained

If you’re picturing your real estate agent pocketing the whole sum, think again.

“Sellers are often confused by the often-quoted ‘6% commission fee,’ and it’s because many agents don’t explain clearly why it’s being collected,” says David Nelson, a real estate professional with Re/Max Advantage Plus in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

In fact, that commission is split between the buyer’s agent‘s brokerage and the seller’s. They might split it evenly, or the seller’s agent’s side might get a bit more. From those splits, the respective brokerages take their cut—which, again, varies—and the remaining amount goes to the agents.

Remember, most agents don’t receive a salary, so that fee pays for all that time the agent spent marketing your home. It also includes costs like photographs and signage, as well as the cost to list it on the multiple listings service. And if your house doesn’t sell, the agent doesn’t get reimbursed for those costs—or paid for her time.

How much sellers pay in closing costs

While buyers tend to pay more in closing costs, sellers aren’t completely off the hook. You can expect to spend an additional 2% of your home’s price on this expense, says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage information resource HSH.com.

Closing costs tend to be fixed, including transfer taxes, escrow expenses, and notary fees. You’ll also pay at closing any outstanding property taxes, a prorated share of the water and sewage bills, and the remainder of your mortgage.

Yet you may have control over a few closing costs, says Gumbinger. If you hire a real estate attorney to oversee your side of the transaction, it’s worth shopping around to compare rates. You might also be able to avoid a $100 to $200 reissue fee for the title search if you can provide a copy of your policy.

Should I just sell my house myself to save money?

In a hot market, many sellers may think they can sell their house themselves to avoid the commission fees.

However, most people don’t realize that if you sell your house on your own, you still have to pay for the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fee.

“Since over 93% of active buyers have a real estate agent representing them, it’s the only way to attract these agents—and thus their buyers—to even consider your home,” Nelson says.

What about that cash they would still be saving by selling their home as “For Sale by Owner,” or FSBO?

Consider what your agent brings to the party:

  • Marketing, signs, advertising support, and professional photography
  • The time and “hassle factor” savings of not having to be present for showings, manage calls, host an open house, set up legal representation for paperwork, and conduct the negotiations
  • The legal protection that comes with working with a licensed real estate agent
  • The professional market knowledge that can help you wisely price the house
  • Negotiating expertise that allows your agent to extract the best terms and price from the buyer
  • A wider pool of potential buyers that comes with listing your home on the MLS
  • Access to other agents, who have or know potential buyers. In fact, notes Nelson, many sales can happen before a home is even listed, because agents will reach out to one another.

“In the end, that ‘savings’ to list a home yourself doesn’t usually save you any money,” Nelson says. “In fact, it can cost you in terms of time, stress, and often a lower price for your home.”

You know the saying “you get what you pay for”? Well, you also earn what you save. Think long and hard about your limitations in terms of time and expertise before heading down the home-selling path solo. After all, this home sale may be one of the largest financial transactions of your life, so it’s not exactly something you should cut corners on with the hopes of saving a few bucks.

credits: Realtor.com

If your ready to sell your home, give me a call!!!

Bob Faith
Dockside Properties


2017…the sweet spot???

For many buyers…the struggle is needing to sell a home before they can buy a home.  The struggle is that recent years has been a great time to buy.  But a bad time to sell.  The lower prices you want to see as a buyer are hurting you as a seller.

So what is the sweet spot and why could it be in 2017?  Our local market has been showing improvements over the last year or so.  And most Realtors are reporting improving sales.  Improved sales are defined by one or more improving trends.  It could be faster sales, higher sale prices, or less properties on the market.

Most agents are already seeing the faster sales and the lower number of properties on the market.  Which means most agents are seeing or at least predicting an increase sale prices.  So as this trend continues…that helps you as a seller.  But it has not yet switched to a seller’s market…so overall, prices are still fairly low, thus not yet hurting you as a buyer.

So 2017 may be the sweet spot where you can finally get enough for the home you want to sell…while not yet paying a much higher price for the home you are buying.  The sweet spot is just that…a short period of time where older listings on the market are still priced lower, while the newer listings on the market tend to be priced based on the improving trend.

Every town, community, and region is different.  And towns or communities very near each other, may hit the “sweet spot” at slightly different times.  So make sure you talk to your Realtor for specific information.

I would be happy to assist you with this.
I can be reached at 757-894-1479 or 757-336-3200.

An Improving Market…

As we start 2017, it is clear that the Virginia’s Eastern Shore is seeing an improving real estate market.  The number of sales are up and the amount of homes on the market is down.  This is great as we start a new year on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

In 2016, I personally brought clients to closing on 91 occasions.  That is an average of 1.8 closings a week.  Dockside Properties continues to be the number 1 sales office on Chincoteague Island and the Communites of Trails End and Corbin Hall.  And we remain in the top 5 in sales for all of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  Moving up from #5 in 2015 to #4 for 2016.  But it is important to keep in mind…most of those that rank in the top 3, did so by combining sales from multiples offices scattered throughout the region.  So our office ranking number 4 for the entire region with only one sales office is very impressive.  We have agents that are experts in different areas of the Eastern Shore.  Regardless if it is the towns of Wachapreague, Onancock, or Chincoteague or specifically the communities of Corbin Hall, Trails End, or Captain’s Cove…we have local experts to suit your needs.

Pretty much any active agent is showing improving sale numbers.  The key is consistency and closing rate.  Dockside Properties and I did not abandon sellers when the market was bad.  And now that the market is improving, we have an edge on all the other companies.  I notice that some of our competition is reporting that they sold a house here or there…maybe bragging that the home sold in a short time.  But any active agent can probably say that in recent months.  The difference is that Dockside Properties has been doing it consistently month after month, year after year.  Regardless if the market is good or bad.  We know what it takes to sell your property quickly and efficiently.

So I ask you to do this.  Don’t assume just because you see a random post online, showing a recent sale by an agent or office that they are they best choice for your property.  Or just because an office may be located closer to your property that their office can represent you better.  You owe to yourself to at least call me at Dockside Properties so I can specifically tell you why Dockside Properties and I can do better than any other company you are considering.

Dockside Properties had $17.6 million in sales in 2016.  That is more than any other Chincoteague Island based sales office.  Whether you are a buyer or a seller…give me a call so I can make your goals part of the successful goals for 2017!!

Thank you for your past, present, and future business.


Real Estate in the off season…

Well…it is that time of the year again.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and soon after, Christmas followed by New Years.  This is a joyous time of the year to give thanks, celebrate family, and to remember the reason for the season.  Soon after the holidays, local areas that Chincoteague Island and the Eastern Shore will be seeing it’s coldest temperatures of the year…and perhaps some snow.  That is why most consider mid November until around the end of March the slowest time of the year for real estate sales.

But whereas the market may be slower…that is not to say that there is no activity during this time period.  A few things to consider…

A home might be shown less frequent during the off season, as compared to the summer months, but during the off season, EVERY showing tends to be serious buyer.  This is because potential buyers looking in the off season have visited the area primarily to look at property.  This is compared to summer months when potential buyers split there time between not only viewing homes, but enjoying the beach, shopping, and seeing other sites in the area.

Another item that needs to be considered is the unpredictable weather on the Eastern Shore.  A typical winter is an average temperature of 35 degrees (give or take) and only a random inch or so of snow here or there…which often melts in less than 24 hours.  But some years have seen extreme cold with lots of snow, whereas, other years have seen warmer temperatures with little or no snow.  So we as Realtors, as well as sellers, need to be prepared for both options.  I, like most Realtors in this area, tend to get our Spring busy time in April and May.  But I often refer to Winter 2013, which was a very warm winter. In that year the month of February was personally my busiest month for that entire year.  That was completely unpredicted, but was clearly earlier than normal due to the warm weather.

So how does a current or future seller prepare for this unpredictability?  Each situation is different.  Some sellers say…I am going to list in April.  Or I am going to take the house off the market from November until April.  As a seller you need to understand that it could very well be April or May before you see increased activity and more showings, but you still need to be prepared for a warmer winter, like 2013, and should have your house on the market ready for buyers.  If we do have a warmer winter…with lots of activity, by the time a house is put on the market in April…you may have missed those early bird buyers we tend to get each year.  Especially 2017, which is expected to be an improving year with lots of activity.

So in summary, what do you do?  For starters, you call me, your local Realtor.  Each situation is different.  But chances are waiting 4-5 months to call to get your house on the market may not be the best option for you.  That is why Dockside Properties, and I, continue to advertise houses and promote our seller’s homes as much as any other time of the year.  There is definitely a difference in the market during different times of the year.  But with an improving market like ours, taking your home off the market during the off season or waiting until late Spring or Summer may not be the best action to take.

Give me a call at 757-894-1479 so we can evaluate your situation.
Also online at http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net


All agents are not Realtors…

Many people incorrectly use the term REALTOR® in a generic way to refer to all real estate agents. However, all agents are not REALTORS®. The term “real estate agent” is a generic term and refers to a sales agent who is responsible to a real estate broker and who is licensed by his or her state real estate commission to assist the broker in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, appraising, and managing property. A REALTOR® is a real estate agent who meets all these requirements, and more.

The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics contains rules of fairness and honesty that govern conduct and provide access to arbitration and dispute resolution. It provides a guide for long-term business success by helping to operate a real estate business smoothly and without obstacles.

You can’t afford to go it alone. Consult with a REALTOR®—a real estate agent who is a member of the Eastern Shore Association of REALTORS®. Only REALTORS® can earn the professional designations that keep them better informed in a changing market. Only REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. Only REALTORS® have made that extra investment in their own careers so that they can better serve you.

I am a REALTOR!!

-Bob Faith
Dockside Properties
Partner/Assoc. Broker

2016 Eastern Shore Association of Realtors PRESIDENT


NEW Real Estate App for your Smartphone

As times change…Realtors such as myself must keep up with the times.  I am happy to introduce a new app for your smartphone.

This app will allow you to have direct access to listings on Virginia’s Eastern Shore…including, but not limited to, Chincoteague Island, the Community of Trails End, and Captain’s Cove.

Click or type this link https://mls-client.com/637AF742 to download the new app.

If you have the Zillow app or any other app on your phone…you need to try this app instead if your interested in property on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  If you follow my blog…you know that Zillow is usually inaccurate and out of date.  This app is up to the second current and directly connected to our local MLS!!!

You can still visit my website at http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net for use with your personal computer.


Why rent your campsite…when you can own it!?!

In 2015 and now again in 2016 some folks who were renting their yearly campsite were giving some unsettling news.  Have your camping property move out by the end of the year.  YIKES!

Now for some folks, that may be easy…just hook up to your camper and take it home.  But for a lot of other folks…it is not so easy.  They may have a permanent set up that can’t be moved.  That means they will lose this property and the money invested into it.

So if your in a rental campground and your in this situation now, or afraid it might happen to you in the future…I have an option for you.  Consider Trails End Campground!  In Trails End, you own your site.  And usually, it is just for the cost of a couple of years worth of rent.  On average, the lot you own is larger than the lot you can rent.  And in most cases…there are as many, if not more amenities to enjoy.

Trails End offers an Olympic sized pool, playground, clubhouse, marina dock and boat ramps, crabbing pier, 24hr security, Ocean Deli II Restaurant, general store, pavilion, basketball court, volleyball court, Laundromat, miniature golf, and lots more.  All for a modest HOA fee.

Trails End is located in Horntown, Va.  And whereas it will slightly increase your commute to the beach…many who have taken advantage of what Trails End has to offer feel it is well worth it.

Take a minute and visit http://www.trailsendforsale.com or http://www.chincoteaguehomes.net and see a current price list of lots in Trails End.  Camper sites and even sites with cabins built on them are also available.

Email or call today to find out more about Trails End what it has to offer.  Make sure you ask for Robert “Bob” Faith when you call.