Real Estate Information Archive


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How to Fairly Price Your House to Sell

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sell

One of the most significant concerns clients have is whether they are pricing their homes correctly.

It makes sense that this would be an area of anxiety because most people want to get a fair price for their home. In addition, they don't want to have to wait for an unnecessarily long time for it to sell.

It can be a balancing act to find the right price, and it often involves trust between our clients and us.

The good news is that pricing a home isn't a shot in the dark. There are some tried-and-true methods to find out the best and most efficient possible price for your home. These methods are what your realtor will use to give you a recommendation.

Comparative Market Analysis

You have probably heard of the term Comparative Market Analysis or CMA. Any real estate agent will be able to provide you with a CMA. It is a compilation of:

  • The most recent sales in your area taking into account the size of the homes sold and other comparable details.
  • How many days the house spent on the market.
  • The final sale price.

Since this information is public record, you can usually obtain a CMA from several potential agents if you are still in the interview stage of your process.

If you want to do some preliminary research on your own, you can most likely find this information yourself. Or you can hire an independent appraiser and pay a few hundred dollars to get a fair market value.

For any of these methods, you need to look at comparable houses:

  • Within ½ mile from your house.
  • Listed in the last three months.
  • About the same square footage as your house.
  • About the same age.

Learn From the Competition

The next thing your realtor will do is to look at the details of the other listings in your area. Considerations include:

  • Of the homes that sold, what was their initial asking price?
  • How many price cuts did they make before selling?
  • Did they price their home too close to the asking price of a similar property?
  • Are their homes objectively nicer or less nice than your home?

In this way, you can learn from the mistakes of your competition. If there are already several homes for sale at a similar price point, it makes sense to choose something higher or lower that will bring in a different pool of searchers.

You can also avoid making several small price adjustments - which can be more detrimental to your sale than one significant correction, and you can see if your neighbors made the mistake of pricing their home too high to begin with.

Many sellers mistakenly believe they can wait for the "right" offer to come. However, the truth is if you aren't getting an offer fairly quickly, it may end up hurting your chances of ever receiving an offer at all.

We know your home is special to you, even if you want to move on. But it helps to look at the competition with a critical eye.

Is the competition showing something a little more beautiful than you are?

Then, it is time to be honest with yourself and price accordingly - to sell.

Price for Online Searches

A majority of all real estate transactions begin online. Next to first-rate pictures and descriptions, your price is the first thing attracting buyers to your house.

You want to avoid random pricing, no matter how significant a certain number is to you. Make it a number that is easy to understand at first sight, not $234,567.

Another tactic is to avoid century pricing, but price a bit below. So, don't list your home at $300,000, but rather something like $285,000 or even $299,000.

Keep in mind, as well, that if you price your home at $305,000 you will be cutting out a large portion of people searching in the $300,000-and-under range. Better to get more eyes on your house than to try to obtain an extra $5,000.

Bringing it Home

Home pricing isn't an exact science, even with the tools explained here. That's why you have to work with your realtor and not be afraid to make a change to get your house sold.

If you have any questions about pricing your house to sell, we would be honored to help!



5 Things Your Realtor Won't Tell You But Should

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House after snow storm

Successful real estate agents are the ones who always give advice based on their client's best interest over their own financial interests.

However, this success depends upon your agent's taking the long view of his or her business rather than in trying to make the biggest dollar on each project.

You may not know the difference between these two approaches as a client, because often you only meet an agent when the action is about to happen: you're about to buy or sell a home. In many cases, the interests of all parties are aligned, and there's no problem.

But what happens if you make a bad decision? Will your realtor stop you if it's not in his interest to do so?

If he's taking the long view and he wants what's best for you, he will tell you these things. He knows that keeping your good opinion after the deal is done is worth more than what he makes on your transaction.

Here are five things your realtor may not tell you if she's just in it for the money:

#1: Staying Put Is Often The Best Option

A good realtor will ask you why you are moving. Often, moving isn't the best option.

For one thing, it's expensive. There are transaction fees, the cost of moving itself, new furniture and all that goes along with maintaining a new house. It's a better strategy to move as few times as possible in your life.

For the first few years of a new mortgage, you are paying off interest, primarily. The longer you hold a mortgage, the more of your principle you pay. Not only does staying put save you money in the short-term, but it also saves you money in the long-term.

#2: A Bigger House Almost Always Creates More Problems

A family looking to upgrade to a bigger, more expensive home does look like a good client to most realtors. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to upgrade.

However, your realtor should tell you to find the most modest house that will fit your needs and advise you to try to adjust your expectations accordingly rather than to buy the most house your budget will allow.

Homeowners find out the hard way after they buy that big, expensive house: the more money you spend on a big house, the more you will continue to spend on upkeep.

It's especially unwise to spend money on space you won't use. If your realtor has your best interest in mind, he or she won't steer you toward more home than you can use.

#3: A Great Deal and a Great House Are Mutually Exclusive

The truth is, the better a house is the less room you have to negotiate. And if you are considering whether to buy a house based on getting a good deal, you may be stuck with something much harder to sell in the long-run.

Your realtor should not play up his or her ability to negotiate to your disadvantage. He or she should be honest and tell you that if you want that great house, you probably won't get a good deal.

He or she will also tell you that what you paid for a house is public record. If you got a good deal, your prospective buyer down the road would also expect to receive that same "good deal.” It doesn't matter why you got it, whether your seller was motivated, or your realtor was skilled.

#4: Buying a House Won't Fix Your Life

Of course, it isn't the job of your real estate agent to get into your personal business or to be your counselor. But he or she should be advising you that when you purchase a new house, it's a long-term investment.

All real estate appreciates in value given enough time. Your chances of getting caught trying to sell in a down market increase significantly the fewer years you own the house.

If you aren't thinking long-term - in other words, if you're making a big decision about a new home thinking it's going to solve all your problems. Your agent should be the person letting you know the risks.

#5: Buying a House Isn't an Investment

Clients want to know whether the particular home they are considering is a good investment. Your agent should be able to tell you how well it will sell when it comes time to sell it, but it's best not to think of a new home as an investment at all.

Investments generate cash flow, whereas a house will be a constant source of expense for as long as you own it. The larger or more desirable your home is, the more of an expense it will be. It doesn't mean your house isn't the right purchase for your family; it just means you shouldn't consider it an investment.

Bringing it Home

There are many unpopular truths about real estate. A trustworthy agent will be able to be transparent about all of them, and about any potential conflicts, he or she has between your needs and financial gain. This is what makes for a long-lasting business.

If your agent won't tell you these things, it's time to think about finding someone who will. As always, we are honored to help you with any part of the process. Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions and we can serve your needs in Southeast Michigan!



Why It's Not Too Soon to List Your Home in February

by The Jamey Kramer Group

House for sale

There seems to be a consensus that the spring market is the best time to sell your house. Most real estate agents will tell you this. But why is that?

Problems Leftover From The Recession

The real estate market is still trying to work out the problems it has had since 2008. Homeowners who wanted to sell in 2008 or subsequent years were stuck. Either their homes were worth less than what they paid, and they couldn't sell, or they didn't want to sell in a recession.

So many owners waited until the market started to creep back to normal to sell. And when they did, they all listed their homes in the spring. As that season wore on, more and more houses were stuck on the market, not selling, and owners were forced to lower their asking prices.

As a result, one of the trends we have seen is that the spring market has been pushed back to start earlier and earlier in the year.

What often happens is that owners who come late to the market have to lower their prices to meet a moving deadline. Or, they do so to avoid being on the market in July or August - which can be a dead time for selling a house. This causes everyone else to have to lower their prices as well as more and more homes come on the market in May and June.

What You Need To Sell In Peak Season

Spring does bring out lots of buyers. However, the truth is that spring often brings out many more sellers than buyers.

In the last several years in Southeast Michigan, competition has been high, and inventory has been low. However, we're about to see a change in this pattern.

When more homes like yours - either in your neighborhood or your city - hit the market, buyers can afford to be choosy. This makes it hard on homes that aren't in tip-top shape.

If you're planning to try to list in April or May, you could be in for a big surprise when many other homes in your neighborhood are being listed as well.

Does your home have fresh carpet and paint? Is it completely clutter-free and clean like new? If not, you are in for an uphill battle.

Start Your Listing Early

This is why you may want to consider getting your house ready to list now if you're going to plan to sell by spring. It does sound very early. After all, the winter holidays have just ended.

But I'm here to tell you that it's not too early to put your house on the market in February for the spring market.


There aren't as many hard-and-fast rules in real estate anymore. Buyers start searching when they are ready. They can often begin this process from the comfort of their couches. Thus, the season doesn't matter quite as much as you might think.

This means that selling a home often requires a strategy, and it requires an expert set of eyes to watch the market and react accordingly. This, in turn, means that you as a homeowner have to be able to be flexible - as much as you can.

Listing your home in February gives you the advantage of entering the market before it starts to ramp up. There will be fewer homes for buyers to compare.

A good rule of thumb is to watch your neighborhood to see how many homes are for sale. National and regional sales statistics can tell you some important things, but it's your neighborhood that will determine when and for how much you sell.

Bringing it Home

Although the spring market for real estate is still a good time to sell, this may not be the rule to follow every time, especially as the market starts to slow down a little bit.

If you are thinking about selling this spring, now may be a good time to start getting your house ready to list. Call the Jamey Kramer Group RE/MAX Classic in Novi, Michigan today!



Top Blog Real Estate Articles in 2018 - Jamey Kramer Group

by The Jamey Kramer Group

Top 20 Real Estate Articles 2018

Happy New Year from the Jamey Kramer Group! We hope you are having a great 2019 so far: staying warm and enjoying some of the warmer, sunnier days of this winter so far.

As we do every year around this time, we are enjoying the process of looking back at what made 2018 so special and what our valuable clients and readers have meant to us.

We are always so grateful to say that we serve the beautiful communities of Novi, Northville, and South Lyon in Oakland County, Michigan. It's a beautiful place to live and serve - and you all are what make it that way. We are honored to have your support and your trust.

Because we value this community so dearly, and also because we see what a fantastic job it does serving its citizens at every level, we always want to partner with these cities and promote all of their best aspects. One way we do this is through this blog, as we highlight community events and activities for each month.

This past year, 2018, has been another hopeful one of those of us in the real estate market. The economy and real estate trends have continued to stay strong, and we've been able to see many people buy and sell their dream homes.

We find it to be a unique privilege to be in the lives of the many singles, couples, and families as they are buying and selling, and 2018 was no exception. It's often one of the most exciting and momentous processes in anyone's life, and we get to walk alongside you! We are committed to doing our best to be there for you in this time of your life to make sure you're as supported as possible.

To that end, we try to offer the most helpful tips and information for the current real estate market in the current season. We make sure when we write that our information is up to date and that it's helpful for our readers as they make decisions about their homes.

As exciting as it can be to go on a new adventure - to buy or sell your home - we know that it's often stressful and exhausting. We want to be there to help you through it, either with the knowledge and expertise we've gained from our many years of working in this business, or with the simple, personal touch of having one of us by your side.

After all - we do this all the time! Hopefully, you will only have to do it once or twice in your life. And we're just a phone call away.

Every year we assess what you wanted to read by rounding up our top most popular articles from the year before using Google Analytics. We get to see what you liked most and found most helpful - both in our real estate section and in the community section of our blog.

At the beginning of the next year, we put them all in one place, so you have a handy recap. Without further adieu, here are the top most popular articles from 2018! Happy New Year and happy reading!

Top 10 Real Estate Articles in 2018

1. Is Novi, Michigan a Safe Place to Live?

2. Is Northville, Michigan a Good Place to Live?

3. Novi, Michigan - The Origin of Its Mysterious Name

4. 3 Manageable Strategies to De-clutter Your House Before Selling

5. Top Kitchen Fixes For Mass Appeal
6. Deep Cleaning Checklist to Sell Your Home Fast

7. What Matters When Applying for a Mortgage
8. Hottest Design Trends to Help Sell Your House Quickly

9. Cheap Fixes To Sell Your House Quickly

10. 4 Reasons Your House is Sitting on the Market     

Top 10 Northville, Novi, & South Lyon Community Event Articles 2018

1. Easter Brunches in Novi and Northville, MI

2. How Many Snow Days Are Michigan Schools Allowed

3. Easter Egg Hunts in Novi Northville and South Lyon, MI 2018

4. Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

5. Best Local Places to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner in Northville and Novi Michigan

6. Restaurants Open Christmas Eve and Day in Northville and Novi, Michigan

7. 4th of July Events for Novi and Northville, Michigan 2018

8. Easter Brunches in Northville and Novi, MI 2015

9. Christmas Events in Northville, Michigan - November 2018

10. Thanksgiving in Northville and Novi, Michigan



We appreciate your input and requests! Please feel free to let us know if there is any subject you would like us to cover. And please remember, we are here whenever you need us!

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4