5 Reasons to Sell your Home in the Fall

 Fall pictureWhile it is generally thought that spring & summer are the best seasons to put a home on the market, fall – particularly this year – has its definite benefits when it comes to selling a home quickly and at or above asking price. Here’s why:

1. Less competition

Because there won’t be as many homes on the market as there would be at other times of the year, you won’t have to worry as much about what your neighbor is asking for their home, competing for open house visitors, or making unnecessary concessions for your buyers.

2. Faster transactions

There will be fewer homes on the market, which means that mortgage lenders, attorneys, and home inspectors will have less on their plates, and more time to focus on your home sale.

3. Timing is perfect

Vacations are over, kids are back in school, the weather is still nice, and people want to be in their new homes before the holidays, making for a true sense of urgency on the buyers’ part.

4. Inventory is low, but demand is high

This puts you – the seller – at an advantage. You will be less likely to have to “settle for less” than your asking price, as buyers’ options will be more limited than they would be during the spring & summer seasons.

5. Enhanced curb appeal

Fall is a gorgeous time of year – take advantage of it. Add some pumpkins, a fall wreath, and some colorful mums to your doorstep to play up the curb appeal and to get inside the buyers’ minds about the potential for their own seasonal, cozy fall décor in their potential new home. Further, vibrant fall foliage makes for beautiful, appealing photos of your home.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market this fall but are having reservations, feel free to give me a call – I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

How Airbnb can affect the way you refinance, sale or insure your home.

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Airbnb has been around since 2008, it provides home-sharing service and has grown tremendously. According to the company’s website, its offerings currently include more than 2 million listings in 191 countries. And according to a June New York Times article, the company is raising funds at terms that would place its current valuation at around $30 billion, placing it ahead of conventional hotel giants like Marriott and Hilton.

Little wonder, then, that some home builders are devising new offerings with the home-sharing industry in mind. For instance, as The Home Story reported in January, at this year’s International Builder’s Show, several firms showcased designs optimized for generating some rental income on the side. California builder Pardee Homes, for example, showed a model house with guest suites for renting out.

Apartment developers could likewise dip their toes into this market, Dean Wehrli and Aaron Stubblefield, consultants with real estate firm John Burns Consulting, wrote last year in a post on the Bay Area real estate website The Registry. An apartment feasibility study they conducted for a developer that considered setting aside space for Airbnb rentals found these units were likely to generate more revenue than those used for conventional long-term leases.

“We sense a trend developing, especially if the apartment markets soften,” Wehrli and Stubblefield write. “Apartment developers — even those building large rental complexes — could set aside a portion of their units as a kind of Airbnb rental pool to maximize revenue and market flexibility.”

Legal & Insurance considerations

 

Going the Airbnb route isn’t always so straightforward though.

As demand has risen, many municipalities have sought to either regulate or limit short-term rentals within their borders.

And it’s not just local ordinances. In addition to checking out relevant city limitations, homeowners looking to rent their property using sites like Airbnb should also make sure they aren’t leaving themselves open to liability should an accident happen.

“Normally, if somebody visits your home and gets hurt and sues you, that is precisely the kind of thing your homeowner’s liability insurance is designed to cover,” says Ralph Holmen, associate general counsel at the National Association of Realtors®.

However, your policy might not cover such incidents in a short-term rental situation, Holmen says.

“Whether or not there is an exclusion because you are offering the property for rent and collecting compensation is an important issue a homeowner would want to speak with their insurer about,” he says.

Owners should also look into whether their insurance policies cover property damage caused by a guest or, conversely, damage that occurred to a guest’s property while they are staying at your place, notes Holmen.

Renting out with a Mortgage 

 

It’s also possible that using a property purchased as a residential dwelling for short-term rentals could violate your mortgage agreement, Holmen adds. And, if the lender concludes that regular use as a short-term rental might cause the property’s value to decline, they could call the loan due, meaning the owner would need to pay off the balance or lose their house.

This possibility highlights the fact that homeowners venturing into the home-sharing market should do their due diligence.