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Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Importance of Seller Disclosures

 

      State and federal laws are strict in requiring sellers to tell what they know about the condition of their homes that isn't obvious or discernable to potential buyers. Buyers can't see behind walls or under houses, so they rely on truthful information from the seller about the operations, appliances and systems of the home.

      When you sell your home, your real estate agent will present you with a federal and/or state-mandated disclosure form called a Real Estate Disclosure Statement, Property Condition Disclosure, or Condition Report. You're required to disclose the presence of lead paint, radon, asbestos and other toxic products if you know your home has them.

      While the forms may ask you to disclose whether or not you know there is lead paint or radon present, you aren't required to do tests to determine the presence of toxic chemicals. But your buyer's lender can always require proof of tests and/or remediation for any problem that has been disclosed, such as fire and water damage.

      It's important to answer every question as truthfully as you can. You must answer the questions yourself - your real estate professional can not fill out the disclosure for you, but he or she can help you understand what's being asked of you. If you're in doubt about what to disclose, such as a repair, it's best to err on the side of too much information than not enough.

      While disclosure forms allow you to check the "I don't know" box, you should only do so if you truly don't know the condition of that item. If you answer that you don't know the condition of an appliance used daily, such as a sink or bathtub, you may raise suspicions in the buyer.

      The best way to feel confident about the condition of your home is to have it inspected by a licensed professional home inspector. Your real estate professional can recommend someone or provide you with a list. For a few hundred dollars and a few hours of your time, you'll either find that your home is market-ready, or the inspector will bring a problem to your attention that you can fix.

      When you disclose a problem to the buyer that has previously been fixed, be sure to provide a copy of work orders, receipts and invoices. If the problem hasn't been fixed, expect the buyer to either ask you to fix it, or to offer a little less for the home.

      Remember, the more that's left unrepaired, the more the buyer will discount the offer, if he makes one at all. Homes in the best condition sell the best.

      The seller's disclosure is designed to do one thing -- hold you and your real estate agent harmless if you've disclosed the truth about your property. You don't want to give the buyer any room for complaint or litigation after the closing.

      To get an idea of the types of questions you'll be asked in a disclosure, you can find legal forms at FindLegalForms.com.

      Don't be afraid of the seller's disclosure. It's not meant to be a deal-killer, but a deal-maker. Many agents provide a copy of the disclosure to interested buyers, so they can get an idea of the home's condition before they make an offer or have an inspection.

Courtesy of Realty Times
 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How Landscaping Increases Home Value - 6 Tips

 

      Whether you're looking to sell your home or simply improve its overall appearance, consider upgrading the landscape. These six tips will help you utilize landscaping to increase your home's curb appeal:

Freshen your mulch

      Mulch eventually dulls and blends in with the surrounding plants and shrubs. Adding new mulch doesn't cost very much and can greatly improve the appearance of your flowerbeds.

Add potted plants

      Container plants allow you to add mobile color to your home. Add attractive containers to your porch, driveway or any other place that company enters your home.

Plant shrubs

      Make sure to trim existing bushes for a well-manicured appearance. Adding additional shrubs in sparse areas gives your yard a lush look. Shrubs also add privacy to your home and property. For additional springtime appeal, invest in flowering shrubs.

Spruce up your porch

     Add a porch swing with comfortable, colorful cushions to create an inviting atmosphere. Rocking chairs are another way to add some old-world charm to your home and porch.

Plant trees

      Even smaller trees have a big impact on the beauty of your property. Plant a few trees that have interesting blooms and trunks, like dogwoods or Japanese maples. Trees also help with your home's energy efficiency by providing cover from the sun and storms.

Add landscape lighting

      Choose a style of landscape lighting that complements your home and its amenities. There are various types of outdoor lighting available, each priced to work within a certain budget. Some types of landscape lighting also double as security lights.

Conclusion

      Landscaping will enhance the value, enjoyment and appearance of your home. A few fundamental improvements to your yard will help your home entice prospective buyers or keep your family comfortable for years to come.

 

Courtesy of Realty Times

 

Monday, May 16, 2016

April 2016 Real Estate Market Conditions Report

 


Rapid City, South Dakota & Surrounding Area

The average price of a single family home sold in the Rapid City and surrounding area is $211,939 which is up from $211,433, with an average of 45 days on the market, down from 53 days this time last year. Sellers have been receiving 98.12% of current listing price which is down from 98.31% in April 2015. During the month of April 2016 there were 112 new residential listings in Rapid City. The total number of homes for sale was 304 as compared to 299 last month. 84 homes have sold compared to 71 in March.

 

Black Hawk, South Dakota Area

During the month of April 2016 there were 31 new residential listings in and around the Black Hawk area. The total number of homes for sale was 76 compared to 74 last month. 16 homes have sold compared to 11 in March.

 

Box Elder, South Dakota and Ellsworth Air Force Base Area

During the month of April 2016 there were 23 new residential listings in and around the Box Elder and EAFB area. The total number of homes for sale was 68 compared to 65 last month. 12 homes have sold compared to 18 in March.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

3 Housing Trends Emerging This Spring

     The spring tends to be real estate's most active season of buying and selling. So what housing trends are emerging right now that you should be aware of? The Street recently took a look at three trends it sees as getting bigger this spring:


     1. Inventories are favoring the seller. With a limited number of homes for sale across the country, home sellers have the upper hand as home buyers are forced to compete for limited inventories. Inventories of less expensive "starter homes," in particular have dropped, which is making it difficult for first-time buyers to break into the market. Home buyers need to be ready to take action fast when they see a home they want.

     2. More buyers may consider a new home. Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist with Trulia, says there's a 10-year high for homes being bought off of a plan alone. "Why? The inventory of existing homes continues to fall," he notes. "Low existing inventory likely pushes prospective buyers away from existing homes toward new homes."


     3. Buying is cheaper than renting. Seven in 10 respondents of a recent Freddie Mac survey believe it's cheaper to pay rent than a monthly mortgage on a home. Saving for a down payment may a big hurdle for many. However, studies show that buying trumps renting in 98 of the 100 largest metros in the nation.

 

Courtesy of Realty Times

Thursday, May 5, 2016

This Causes The Most Damage To A Home

    A new study shows why home owners need to be more concerned about wind damage. According to data released by the insurance company Travelers, wind damage nudged ahead of hail, water, theft, fire, and others to be the top homeowner's insurance claim. But it's the one thing that home owners are least likely to protect their homes against, says Scott Humphrey, the second vice president of risk control at Travelers.

     Wind can cause tree branches to detach and hit the home, lift up roof shingles, or damage windows and doors, Humphrey says.

     To protect a home during a strong storm with high winds, home owners should ensure dangling branches are removed, secure windows with plywood, and secure a garage with vertical braces.

Courtesy of Realty Times

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

March 2016 Real Estate Market Condition Report

Rapid City, South Dakota & Surrounding Area

The average price of a single family home sold in the Rapid City and surrounding area is $204,862 which is down from $222,827, with an average of 47 days on the market, down from 61 days this time last year. Sellers have been receiving 98.26% of current listing price which is up from 97.8% in March 2015. During the month of March 2016 there were 104 new residential listings in Rapid City. The total number of homes for sale was 299 as compared to 299 last month. 71 homes have sold compared to 85 in February.

Black Hawk, South Dakota Area

During the month of March 2016 there were 24 new residential listings in and around the Black Hawk area. The total number of homes for sale was 74 compared to 69 last month. 11 homes have sold compared to 7 in February.

Box Elder, South Dakota & Ellsworth Air Force Base Area

During the month of March 2016 there were 29 new residential listings in and around the Box Elder and EAFB area. The total number of homes for sale was 65 compared to 54 last month. 18 homes have sold compared to 8 in February.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Humane Society Of The Black Hills: Pet Of The Week

6 Year old, Retriever/Shepherd Mix, Gertrude.  Need a cuddle buddy? Then Gertrude is the gal for you! She can be timid at first but loves affection and really enjoys spending time with people once she's more comfortable. She does have a history of escaping when given the chance so outdoor supervision would be required. She gets along well with other dogs but needs more socialization to become more comfortable when meeting them! She will need a committed adopter to build her confidence and give her the training she needs. The cost of her adoption fee does not include the cost of her spay surgery. Once adopted, she will be transported to a local veterinarian where she will be released to her adopters once payment to the clinic is complete. Her adoption fee is $85.00.

 

 

Contact the Humane Society of the Black Hills
1820 E. St. Patrick Street, Rapid City, SD  57703
(605) 394-4170

www.hsbh.org

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Remove Road Blocks To Sell Your Home

 

      Every seller has a common goal in mind: sell the home quickly and for the most money. Yet when it comes time to sell the home not every seller will be prepared.

      Many forget or don't know how to remove road blocks that can stall the sales process or kill it completely. If you're getting ready to list your home for sale, pay close attention. What you do before you list it can help or hurt the process.

      Remove or limit the areas where your home is lacking. Study your neighborhood and the homes that are for sale. If your home is consistently coming up short in comparison, maybe it's not landscaped enough or it hasn't had any upgrades in 20 years, and it's overdue for some renovations or, at the very least, repairs to clean it up.

      Get your home "show-ready" so that it isn't lacking or appearing deficient compared to other homes in your neighborhood. Placing a home on the market that isn't ready (needs repairs) can cause the home to receive very little foot traffic and it can end up being on the market for a long time.

      If, for instance, you have vinyl flooring that's peeling, consider replacing it with a flooring that matches the style of your home and is comparable to the neighborhood so that it is consistent with the quality of floors in other homes in the area.

      Remove YOU from the home. Yes, it's tricky to remove your personality from the home, especially when you're still living it. But it's very necessary. This doesn't just mean taking down personal photos and putting away private items like medicines. This means that if you've turned a room into a particular "you" room - your style, your personality, and your unique use of the room - consider re-doing the room to make it more neutral, versatile, and appealing to buyers.

       For instance, if one of the bedrooms in a two-bedroom house was converted into a meditation room, it's wise, when listing the home for sale, to show it with both rooms as bedrooms rather than one bedroom and one room that is uniquely decorated for a specific use other than sleeping. Buyers can sometimes imagine how else they'd use a room but if it looks like too much work to make changes, they'll keep hunting for a house that is better suited to their needs.

      If you've converted the garage into a den, office, or kids play area to fit your particular lifestyle, consider making it a garage again. Find a way to show your home with the garage as clean, useful, and as an extended-living space but also with the option to park cars in it. Not everyone wants to park on the street just to have a few extra hundred square feet of living space. An appraiser can actually knock thousands of dollars off your appraisal if the garage can't be used to park cars in because it's considered a loss of covered parking.

      Remove strong odors from your home. Of course, I'm talking about foul smelling odors but sometimes too much of a good thing can also be a turn off. Gather up pet toys, pet beds, pet food, and make sure the house is pristine. If you're using fragrances in your home from sprays, candles, potpourri or even real flowers, make sure that the odor isn't overwhelming. Subtle is good... overbearing can make people think you're trying to cover up something bad in the home.

      Ultimately, the goal is to make the home have mass appeal with as few road blocks as possible to sell it. Think like a buyer and see your home the way you'll be looking at your own next home purchase. Then maybe you'll understand the importance of making some changes before you list your home for sale.

 

Written By Phoebe Chongchua

Courtesy of Realty Times

 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Humane Society Of The Black Hills Pet Of The Week

Meet Sunshine!  This 6 Month Old, Retriever/Alaskan Husky is sweet young pup. She needs committed loving owners that will show her all the things she needs to know! She loves toys and to chew. The cost of her adoption does not include the cost of her spay surgery. Once adopted, she will transported to a local veterinarian where she will be released to her adopters once payment to the clinic is complete. Her adoption fee is $125.00

Contact the Humane Society of the Black Hills, 1820 E. St. Patrick Street, Rapid City, SD  57703
(605) 394-4170
www.hsbh.org

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

February 2016 Real Estate Market Conditions Report For Rapid City & Surrounding Area

 

Rapid City, South Dakota & Surrounding Area

 

The average price of a single family home sold in the Rapid City and surrounding area is $202,901 which is up from $198,082, with an average of 67 days on the market, up from 57 days this time last year. Sellers have been receiving 98.45% of current listing price which is up from 97.92% in February 2015. During the month of February 2016 there were 93 new residential listings in Rapid City. The total number of homes for sale was 299 as compared to 277 last month. 58 homes have sold compared to 45 in January.

 

Box Elder, South Dakota & Ellsworth Air Force Base Area

 

During the month of February 2016 there were 18 new residential listings in and around the Box Elder and EAFB area. The total number of homes for sale was 54 compared to 56 last month. 8 homes have sold compared to 6 in January.

 

Black Hawk, South Dakota Area

 

During the month of February 2016 there were 23 new residential listings in and around the Black Hawk area. The total number of homes for sale was 69 compared to 57 last month. 7 homes have sold compared to 11 in January.

 

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