Check out My Recent Interview About the Current Market on 107.1

I recently was interviewed on the 107.1 radio show with Toth Team endorser Martin Bandyke. Here’s the first part of our conversation about the current real estate market.

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I recently made an appearance on the 107.1 radio show with Martin Bandyke that I wanted to share with you.

Martin has endorsed us for a few years now, and we’re proud to have him as a supporter.

We got to talk about the Ann Arbor market and how the number of home sales has gone up 4.3% year over year. When you compare that to past trends, it shows that we’re in a very healthy market. I think the most important number in our market right now is residential home sales prices, which are up 7% year to date, which is outstanding. Homes sales are down, which is driving up prices.

The good thing about that 7% increase is that it’s not too fast; we’re not going to be in a bubble. We have steady employment and we’re adding tech jobs, so the local economy is strong.

 

Martin has endorsed us for a few years now, and we’re proud to have him as a supporter.

 

Martin and I also touched on the shortage of inventory and how our team has a competitive edge thanks to hidden listings that haven’t even hit the market yet. As a homebuyer in this market with limited inventory, you’ve got to have an edge.

I also got to talk to Martin about the cutting-edge tech our team uses to help the home selling process, like virtual reality. Martin even gave the VR goggles a shot live on the air! I also got to break down our incredible home search website, which has a ton of great search criteria to help you find the perfect home.

You can see my full interview with Martin in the video above. If you have any questions about our services or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, just give me a call or send me an email soon. I’d love to tell you more!

How Overpricing Slows Down Your Listing

Right now we are seeing trends that put us in a strong seller’s market. But be careful not to overprice, because doing so could actually hurt your listing.

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Recently I went on air with Martin Bandyke from Ann Arbor’s 107.1 to discuss the current absorption rate in our market.

As I told Martin, my team and I study the market each week. The current absorption rate for single-family homes here in Ann Arbor totals to 4.5 months. This means if no other homes came on the market, it would only take 4.5 months to sell out of the current inventory at the going rate.

In cases where the absorption rate is under six months, as is the case currently, then it’s a seller’s market. So with fewer homes on the market and higher demand, you might wonder what this means.

These factors actually add pressure to home prices and cause them to rise. This is the reason why in the last month we saw that 7% increase in prices.

So how do absorption rates vary with price range? Well if you were selling between $600,000 and $700,000 we can see that right now there are 7.8 months of supply.

 

If you want to have access to this kind of information, you need to work with the people who are studying the market each week.

 

But real life circumstances tend to be more complicated than they sound on paper. For example, there is a 1.8-month difference in supply if a home were even $1,000 less than the lowest point in that range and was therefore in the $500,000 to $599,000 range.

In that range, the absorption rate is six months. As a seller, the smart thing to do here is actually to list your home for slightly less because it means the demand is higher in that lower-supply price range.

On top of that, we can also note that the list price to sale price ratio is 99%. Simply put: overpricing a home no longer works in today’s market.

If you want to know these helpful facts and have access to this kind of information, you need to work with the people who are studying the market each week.

So if you have any other questions or you’d like help with any of your real estate needs, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cutting Down Trees With Gary Mosher

Knowing how to spot and remove a dead tree from your property can improve your home’s overall saleability.

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Landscaping is very important to the value of your home. According to this HGTV article, “Several recent nationwide surveys show that mature trees in a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a house by 7 percent to 19 percent.” Part of landscaping sometimes involves removing dead trees.

To illustrate this point, we’re onsite at a property that is having some trees removed from its landscape. Joining us is Gary Mosher from A-1 Tree. Gary is an expert tree cutter, and he’s taking down a few pine trees that are dying. As a 45-year veteran of this business, he enjoys it because it allows him to be in a different spot every day, and it’s fun for him to be outside.

Many pine trees in Michigan are diseased, but a lot of them just need to be fed and fertilized. If you find the dead needles early enough, you can save the tree by driving a piece of pipe down around the root system of the tree and filling it with triple twelve fertilizer. Cutting down a dead tree can improve your landscaping, which in turn helps your property’s saleability.

 

Cutting down a dead tree can improve your property’s saleability.

 

One particularly persistent problem in our area is Blue Spruce disease, which affects Colorado Blue Spruce trees and is easily recognizable by the branch dieback that occurs. According to the MSU website, “The rapid decline of many spruce trees in Michigan and surrounding states appears to be related to an increase of canker diseases coupled with other disease and insect problems that plague the species.”

According to Gary, the technology of tree cutting has improved over the years. Upgrades in equipment such as chainsaws, chains, and stump grinders allow them to do the job faster and easier. He does not, however, recommend that you try cutting down a dead tree yourself.

If you want to take care of some dead trees or make some improvements to your property, I highly recommend that you give A-1 Tree a call at (734) 426-8809.

If you have any questions about tree removal or you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be happy to help you.

What Are the Advantages of CPO?

How can you help your home stand out in the marketplace? One of the best strategies we use is getting the home “certified pre-owned.”

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A home purchase falls apart for one of two reasons. Do you know what they are? Either the home does not appraise or it does not inspect well.

When you have a house under contract, you want to ensure it closes. What if you could bulletproof your transaction from any hiccups? You can, by making your home a certified pre-owned home.

Let me ask you this, which is worth more: a car or a house? It’s not a trick question. Yes, obviously the house is worth more, probably twenty times more. So why would you treat it with less respect? You’d get your car looked at by a mechanic before you sold it, so it only makes sense to utilize the CPO program to get your home sold faster and for more money.

Whether it’s a resale or new home, you have a competitive advantage over other homes with a CPO home. It reduces stress, gives peace of mind, and gives you the contract to close security that your transaction will actually go through to the end.

The CPO program is a triple-pronged strategy. First is the inspection, then we have the appraisal, and finally the home warranty.

The idea of having your property or asset pre-inspected is widely accepted. Statistically, it’s proven that buyers and agents love CPO homes. Agents would much rather show a CPO home than one that isn’t. A CPO home is a win-win for buyers and sellers. Buyers pay more appropriately, and sellers make more money.

There’s much less stress with a CPO home. All the negotiation is done up front because there’s nothing you are hiding about the home and nothing for the buyer to uncover. Now let’s talk about step two, the appraisal.

 

Bulletproof transactions are the way to go.

 

The No. 1 fear of most sellers is that they are giving their property away. Having a CPO home prevents that from happening because an appraiser is going to give their honest and fair opinion of the home’s value, which you will then share with the buyer. Typical sellers don’t have hard evidence for their home’s market value like an appraisal, so it protects you from lowball offers as well.

Most agents and sellers use what’s called a CMA, a comparative market analysis. It’s a document that compares the home to other recent sales and helps explain why a home is priced where it is. However, the fact that the home’s value is still an opinion leaves the negotiation door wide open.

Appraisals are used by courts, banks, and lawyers as legal proof. Realtor CMAs, on the other hand, are informational and not defendable in a court of law. An appraisal always trumps a CMA because it is done by a state certified appraiser. This puts you in the driver’s seat and gives you the evidential advantage.

Finally, stage three in the CPO process is the home warranty. Now that your buyer has the appraised price and the inspection report, the home warranty ties up any loose ends in a nice little bow. In the first year the buyer owns the home, they will have peace of mind with a home warranty that covers the major systems in their house from any expensive repairs.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, is this the kind of sale you want? Bulletproof marketing and bulletproof transactions are the way to go, in our humble opinion. If you have any questions for us or want our help getting your home CPO before you sell, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

What Can Thermal Imaging Do for You?

Thermal imaging is a useful tool for homeowners of all ages. Here’s what it can do for you.

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Why should you look at your home through the lens of thermal imaging? There are a lot of reasons including; safety, being green, and detecting unwanted moisture. We recently received a question from one of our viewers, Charles from Bay City, about the different things you can do with thermal imaging. To thank him, we’re sending a gift card his way. If you’ve got any questions for us and we end up making a video about it, we’ll send you a gift card too.

I followed Pat Nolan around in the video above, and you can see that the thermal imaging camera is a powerful tool to have as a homeowner. Get with your Realtor to connect with a reputable, local inspection company that has this wonderful technology. We’d be happy to do this for you.

 

This is a powerful tool to have.

 

If you or someone you know has any questions about real estate for future videos, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help add value to our relationship. Even years from now, if you have any questions we would be happy to answer them. We can also connect you with a top agent anywhere in the world where you are looking to move. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

How Can a Pre-Listing Inspection Enhance Your Home Sale?

If you’re selling your home, there are a myriad of benefits to ordering a pre-listing inspection. Today we’re joined by an expert to help explain them all.

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Why should sellers get a home inspection before selling their home? Today we’re joined by HouseMaster marketing representative Melissa Berends to give you the lowdown. Melissa will go over the benefits of a pre-listing inspection, but for more information about home inspections and questions you should as as a buyer, download our free e-book by clicking the image below.

 

In case you don’t know, a home inspection is an unbiased, objective evaluation of the home’s major components which notes any potential defects or areas of concern. HouseMaster refers to these as pre-listing inspections.

The first major benefit you get from a pre-listing inspection is that you know what repairs are needed and can decide to either make them or negotiate an adjustment to the selling price. Seller-made repairs can normally be made for less than the negotiated repair cost, so it’s probably in your best interest to make the repairs that are revealed during the pre-listing inspection.

 

A pre-listing inspection greatly enhances your home’s marketability.

 

Another benefit is that the original selling price is more often obtained when a pre-listing inspection has been performed because either the noted repairs have been made or the original selling price has been adjusted to reflect the home’s condition. Therefore, a realistic price is established based on factual data prior to the home being listed. You could also lose more money off your initial asking price if a buyer performs their own inspection and find undisclosed flaws. In fact, for every flaw a buyer finds in a home that would cost $1,000 to fix, you stand to lose $3,000- $5,000 off your asking price. In truth, the average buyer doesn’t really know what it would cost to fix a given issue, and flaws are seen as far more egregious than those disclosed beforehand.

A pre-listing inspection also greatly enhances your home’s marketability. If you have an excellent home inspection report, you can show it to potential buyers. For example, HouseMaster provides a link to their electronic pre-listing inspection report for any digital media advertising. There are many other creative ways to use the inspection report to help sell your property, as well.

Lastly, your potential liability will be reduced with an independent report of the home’s condition from a professional home inspection company. You may not know the true condition or any possible defects when completing the seller’s disclosure statement, which can cause legal and goodwill issues. If both you and the buyer are aware of the home’s conditions, you can proceed forward with a good-faith negotiation.

For a more in-depth look at the scope and purpose of a home inspection, click here to see one of HouseMaster’s own reports.

If you would like more information from Melissa about home inspections, you can call her at (888) 848-0202.

A special thanks to Brandy from Toronto for inquiring about this topic. She will receive a $25 gift card for her question being chosen. If you have any questions or are interested in buying or selling a house, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We’d be glad to assist you.

 

Who Does Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts Trust to Sell His Home?

 

Recently, we were fortunate enough to be endorsed by Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts. Here’s what he had to say.

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We were fortunate enough to recently land an endorsement from one of our favorite musicians, Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts. You can check out the full endorsement in the video above, but here’s a snippet of what he had to say.

“When ‘I’m Moving On’ won the award for ACM song of the year, it struck a chord with folks who understand the challenges that come with life’s big changes. For many, that happens when it comes time to sell their home. If you’re moving on, you want a real estate agent that will make selling your home easy and stress-free. That’s why in the Ann Arbor area and in southeastern Michigan, I can tell you that the Kathy Toth Team of Keller Williams Realty will market your home on a whole different level. ” – Gary LeVox

 

It’s always our goal to make things as stress-free as possible.

 

If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

 

 

We Promise to Deliver the Same Level of Service to Your Friends & Loved Ones

 

Thank you for being a client of the Toth Team Worldwide Network. We hope you can help us help your friends and family members, and in return, we promise to give them the same level of service we give you.

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On behalf of our team, we’d like to thank you for working with the Toth Team Worldwide Network. Our promise to you is simple—communicate with you to ensure you have the best experience possible with your real estate transaction. Thank you for being a client!

As your needs change over the coming years, we want to make sure that you, your friends, and your family members have the same wonderful real estate experience.

When we spoke about our team’s promise before the transaction, you said you’d help us meet more people that we can help. We’d be extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with anyone you know who is looking to buy or sell a home. Just give us call or send us an email or text if you know a friend, family member, or co-worker who is looking to buy or sell a home.

 

Our promise to you is simple.

 

We’ll reach out to them and with your permission, we’ll share your story with them, as well as offer to educate them on the process of the real estate transaction so they can receive the same great experience.

Thank you again for being a client!

 

 

Talking Tech With Brian Welch of 102.9 FM

One thing we take pride in is our technology. We use the latest and greatest to make every transaction a breeze.

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We’re here today with Brian Welch of 102.9 FM to talk a little bit about the technology we have at our office and how it makes the real estate process better and simpler.One thing that stood out to him was our automated chat feature, which saves chat conversations so you can come back to them later. When you combine that with our advanced home search tool, we put the power in the hands of the consumer. You can search for homes that match your criteria, pick out your favorites, and ask us questions all on your own time. 

We put the power in the hands of the consumer.

 

Another thing Brian loved was our use of virtual reality. It’s an entirely new way to browse homes online. All you do is slip on the headset and you’re transported inside the home. Everything is in clear high-definition and puts you inside the home, just like you’re walking through it.

Thanks to Brian for joining us today. We are proud to have his endorsement as one of the best teams in the area. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Fire Extinguisher Safety Tips

Fire safety is a huge part of homeownership, so today I’m here with Doug Armstrong from the Scio Township Fire Department to go over fire extinguisher safety.

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Today I’m here at the Scio Township Fire Department with our expert, Doug Armstrong, to talk about fire extinguisher safety.

Where should you place a fire extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers should be placed throughout the house in areas where a fire is likely to occur or where they can be readily accessible as you’re exiting your residence. The kitchen, bedroom, hallways, and the garage near a doorway are the best spots. You want to make sure you can safely get out of the house if the fire extinguisher doesn’t take care of the problem.

Is it true that fire extinguishers have a certain lifespan of usefulness?

Fire extinguishers in department stores or office buildings usually have a metal top and get inspected every year by a fire and safety company to make sure they are still usable. Residential fire extinguishers have a plastic top and a gauge to tell you whether it’s fully charged or not. You want to check to make sure the the needle on the gauge is in the green, which means it’s in service and ready to go. The recommended life on a fire extinguisher is about 10 to 12 years, and you want to shake it once or twice a year to make sure the power inside expels when you go to use it. Once you break the seal, the propellent will leak out, and that fire extinguisher will no longer work.

 

You want to make sure you can safely get out of the house if the fire extinguisher doesn’t take care of the problem.

 

How does a fire extinguisher work?

There are actually four steps to operating a fire extinguisher, and the acronym P.A.S.S. makes those steps easy to remember.

  1. Pull the pin.
  2. Aim.
  3. Squeeze the handle. This gets the power moving.
  4. Sweep. Aim at the base of the fire.

Again, once you have broken the seal and used the fire extinguisher, it can’t be used again, so you might as well use the remaining contents to ensure the fire is out.

Also, make sure you dispose of the fire extinguisher properly by bringing it to a fire and safety company. Here in Scio Township, that would be Spears Fire & Safety, 287 Jackson Plaza Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Their phone number is (734-663-4133). They will recycle fire extinguishers for $6, but they will waive that charge if you purchase a new one when bringing in your old one.

We see a lot of fires where people have gone right past a fire extinguisher to exit the building, which causes a small fire to grow. That’s why it’s so important to practice using a fire extinguisher so they are comfortable with one should a fire occur.

As a residential homeowner, the best kind of fire extinguisher you can buy is one that is rated for A, B, and C type fires. The fire extinguisher should have both those letters and pictures of those types of fires on it.

If you have any questions for Doug, you can reach him at 734-665-6001.

As always, if you have any real estate-related questions, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!