Real Estate Information Archive


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The Challenges of Pricing Your Home

by Samia S. Morgan

Why is it that some homes sit on the market for a year while others sell like hot cakes? Frustrated sellers will blame a bad market, while a good real estate professional will tell you that many times, a slow sale is often attributed to the listing price.

If a home is overpriced, buyers will stay away. But, if the price is competitive with similar homes in the area and “shows” better than the competition, it will have a better chance of being sold quickly.

The secret is perfecting a technique that’s as American as apple pie: comparative shopping.

Although comparing houses with different styles, square-footages and locations is challenging, real estate professionals still feel it’s one of the best methods to use when determining a home’s market value.

A responsible real estate agent will effectively evaluate a home’s worth through a process known as Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Taking a look at assets, such as a swimming pool, bigger than normal living spaces, a fantastic view, adjacent city parks and other attractions, the agent will begin to compare your home with similar properties, called “comparables,” that have sold in the area within the last six months. Typically, it is a realistic price range that will ensure you top dollar and a reasonably quick sale.

However, factors such as the amount of time needed to sell your home can affect the agent's price recommendation dramatically.

I can determine the typical duration that listings are on the market and can explain that the marketing “norms” vary with prices and properties. Based on this criteria, we will be able to sell your house for a price that both you and the buyer will be happy with. However, if you’re under time constraints because of unexpected job changes or moving agreements you’ve made on another property, this will narrow your chances of selling the home for top dollar in the market.

Assuming you have sufficient time to market the home, here are a few small steps you and your agent can take to finding the right price for your property.

The best comparisons can be made with similar homes that have been sold within the last 45 days as opposed to the standard six months. Any longer, and other factors, such as the economy, could cloud your view of how much your home is really worth.

Another good benchmark is to review the selling prices of homes that have just been sold and are pending closes. Most MLS services provide information on deals pending that most real estate agents should be able to share with you.

A good rule of thumb before setting a price is to make 20 comparisons of comparable properties within a one-mile radius of your house. Once completed you can feel comfortable that the price you’ve picked is a good gauge of the home’s worth and won’t discourage qualified buyers.

Being open and honest about what you see as the home’s greatest strengths and biggest weaknesses will also help your agent get a better feel for how to best evaluate (or assess) and market your home. Think of your home as if you were the buyer. If your home is listed at the right price, you’re well on your way to a speedy and fruitful sale.


The Nehemiah Program - The Gift for Your Down Payment

by Samia S. Morgan

If you are ready to buy a home, but the down payment is holding you back there is a program you may be interested in.  It is called The Nehemiah Program.

The Nehemiah Charitable Model uses funds from charitable sources for downpayment assistance for persons who qualify.  You can get more information on this  program at  There is a tutorial on how the program works.

Nehemiah is an FHA product in that all loans must comply with FHA/HUD rules, but there are many great points such as.....

  • Gift funds up to 6% of the final contract sales towards your downpayment and/or closing costs
  • Gift funds for both first time and repeat homebuyers
    (Nehemiah charges a nominal processing fee that may be paid by the seller, homebuyer, or lender.)
  • Gift funds for both new construction and resale homes
  • No repayment of gift money
  • No income or asset limits
  • No geographical restrictions

If you think you can use this program to purchase a house in our current market, which is a great time to buy, then give me a call.

Storage Option When Moving

by Samia S. Morgan
When it comes time to move you may find youself  in need of a temporary place to store your belongings. The good news is  you have several options, read more below to find one that will work best for your situation.

There are few things you’ll want to consider about your storage options:
• Will you need a large facility or just a small storage space?
• How long will you need storage, long or short term?
• If your items will be stored for an extended time frame, you will need to consider special needs before packing away your items. You may need temperature and moisture controlled facilities.

Different Options
Self Storage Facilities. These consist of mini-storage units where a monthly charge is incurred. Most have a variety of units in different sizes to accommodate your storage needs; if you are not sure of how big a unit you may need, use this estimator to help determine the best size you may need.

Depending on the facility, access can be granted at specific times but some do have 24 hour access. Find a self storage facility near you.

Container Storage or PODS. This option is ideal for long-term, portable storage. Pods can be stored at a storage center, and once you move to your new home, delivered at your doorstep for your convenience. This can be a time and money saving solution because you only have to pack once, you don’t have to move your items to the storage facility and then again to your final destination.

Moving Companies That Offer Storage Facilities. If you are using a moving company, check and see if they offer storage facilities as well. Many offer this service for an additional fee. This may be a convenient option to have the same company who is handling the moving, pick up, store your items and then delivery them to your final destination.

Before You Store Your Items
• It is a good idea to look into insurance for the items you will be storing. Check your homeowners or renters insurance policies to see if they will cover items kept in storage. Don’t assume the storage facility will cover your items if they are damaged or stolen.
• Make an inventory of the items you are storing and keep it in a safe, easy-to-find place. For highly valuable items, it is recommended that you take photos as well.
• Be sure the storage facility offers all that you need. A few things to consider may be location, 24 hour access, security features, climate control, whether you need mobile storage, etc.
• Before signing a contract, be sure to tour the facility so you can view the unit to make sure it is up to your standards and will accommodate your needs.

Opportunity Knocks For New Home Buyers

by Samia S. Morgan

If you are a first-time home buyer did you know that you are eligble for the $7,500 tax credit enacted by legislation this past April?

This tax credit is only good for those that are first-time home buyers and thhis tax credit expires July 1, 2009. 

For more information on this opportunity, please visit for more information.

Contact me today to receive the #1 Book for First Time Home Buyers. 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4