Whose market is it anyway?

Ah, the age old question in real estate from clients… is it a buyers’ market?  sellers’ market?   Economists define the state of our local real estate markets based on the amount of housing inventory available.   Inventory determines sellers or buyers market

In general, when there is less than a 6 month supply of housing inventory, we refer to that as a Sellers’ Market where home prices will tend to be increased.   When there is a 6-7 month supply of housing inventory,  this is a Neutral Market.  In a neutral market, home prices will follow the trend of inflation and not see significant price increases or decreases.  When there is more than a 7 month supply of inventory, this is referred to as a Buyer’s Market.  In a Buyer’s market, home prices will be decreased over time.

A key fact to remember … the type of market you fall into can vary based on your specific price point, your specific town, and even the specific area of town in which the property is located. 

So what does this mean when pricing your home or submitting an offer on a home to purchase?  These definitions merely provide a general guage of market activity.   It means you still must evaluate the active listing competition on the current market,  recent properties that have gone under agreeement, recent Sold property prices, AND how much selling or buying that specific property means to you.   Sometimes you only get one chance to make the sale or purchase a specific property.

Manorahan closing pictureThere is absolutely a business side to all real estate transactions, for investors, this is the critical piece to a transactions in purchasing and reselling properties.  For most consumers, though, buying and selling a Home also has a unique personal aspect.  Getting hung up on economic theory is not a reason to miss out on purchasing a new home or being able to sell to make a move that may be perfect for you and your personal situation.

Curious where your current property fits into the housing market?  Or are you looking for a property to finally call Home?  I’d love to help you gather the information needed to help you make the right real estate decisions for you… just give a call 508-930-5259, e-mail jen.mcmorran@gmail.com, or fill out the contact form below.

Always a pleasure to be of any assistance to you or anyone you know who is thinking about buying or selling a home. I love to work hard for my clients and your referrals throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Jen McMorran, Realtor

Jennifer McMorran, Realtor, SRES
New Construction & First Time Home Buyer Specialist
MA & RI Licensed Real Estate Sales Assocate
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage

real estate for real people.

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and the communities in between.

Pricing Your Home to Sell


Buyers determine the value of your home.
Buyers determine the value of your home.
Buyers determine the value of your home.

Buyers and SellersOK, there, I have said it.  Now, if you are planning on putting your home on the market this spring in the North Attleboro area, please repeat this three times to yourself – out loud 🙂  There is no getting away from this concept.  As a listing agent, I present an analysis of price for your home.  When you start thinking about your list price,  remember, almost everyone has access to this same information I am presenting – buyers, buyer’s agents, and appraisers working for the buyers’ banks.  Don’t think you can fool anyone into believing your property is worth more than it is.

First I  look at Sold prices for those homes with similar features that have Sold in your area recently.  Sold prices indicate what a buyer was willing to pay for that type of home in that location.  Yes, there are negotiations that go back and forth between buyers and sellers, but ultimately the buyer makes the final decision whether to proceed with the purchase of your home.   Simply put, you can’t sell your home without a buyer even in the best of sellers’ markets 🙂   As a listing agent, I have to consider “Sold” data first and foremost as those closed properties tell the story of the housing market you are about to enter as a seller.   Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssse listen and pay attention to those numbers.  When listing your home, it is important switch your thinking from a seller’s perspective  to that of as an educated buyer to make the best decisions.

At our listing appointment, I will also show you active sales to give an indication of your current competition – definitely something to consider especially if you are looking for a quick sale.  If you need a quick sale, you should price it slightly under the competition. If you have a little time and desirable features  that set your home above the rest (and not just make it unique and desirable to a smaller set of buyers!!), you should price it competitively or perhaps slightly higher  BUT you have to be reasonable or you will lose market time and buyers’ attention.  The activity you have on the first two weeks of your listing is great indicator of how buyers and agents feel about your property and the listing price.

Consider these thoughts when establishing your list price:

•What you paid for your property does not effect its value.

•The amount of money you need to get out of the sale of your property does not effect its value. Buyers aren’t just going to give you more money because you want it or need it.

•What you think it should be worth because your neighbor sold for “x” last year does not effect today’s value (typically we look back 2-3 months). And keep in mind, neighborhood “chat” is not often the best way to get accurate information.

•What another real estate agent “says” your property is worth does not affect its value. There must be data to back up any price opinion and a buyer willing to pay to confirm it.

•The value of your property is determined by what a ready willing and able buyer will pay for it in the open market, which will be based upon the value of other recent closed sales, the amount of available inventory, rates and other variable.   BUYERS DETERMINE VALUE!!

•DO NOT automatically list with the agent that suggests that you list for the highest price.  Look at the data used to determine that list price – would it seem reasonable to you if you were a buyer?

There are a lot of variables that go into pricing a home.  Unique properties can present a challenge but again, put yourself in a buyer’s shoes.  What would you consider a reasonable value if you were to purchase your house on the open market?  What kind of “deal” would you be looking for on this type of property?  What is the toll on your life if you list too high and your home lingers on the market for an extended period of time?  Can you afford this financially?  Can you afford this emotionally?  I do my best as a listing agent, to consider all of these variables when listing your home.   Together, we can combine the current housing market data and your honest situation to produce the best pricing strategy.

Jen McMorran, Realtor       508-930-5259           jen.mcmorran@verizon.net    North Attleboro Plainville Real Estate


Let me know how I can help you…



Remodeling Projects that Pay Off

As you begin your spring cleaning and compiling of your Home “to-d0” list, check out what the National Association of Realtors found regarding remodeling project pay-offs.  Also great information for buyers when looking at “fixer uppers” to determine where best to put your updating dollars.  And please, let me know if you need help figuring out where best to spend your upgrade budget, together we can formulate a plan to improves your quality of living along with adding value to your home for future pay offs.  I am always just a phone call, text, or e-mail away … jen.mcmorran@verizon.net or 508-930-5259.

2013-14 Cost vs. Value: Remodeling Pays Off Big Time

Home improvement projects across the board are giving home owners a greater return on their investment when it comes time to sell. Find out which projects “open the door” to buyers and where remodeling dollars stretch the furthest.

As existing-home sales and home prices make remarkable strides upward nationwide, remodeling projects are also continuing to make a comeback in a big way.This is the second year in a row that all 35 projects in Remodelingmagazine’s Cost vs. Value Report saw more home improvement dollars recouped upon resale of a home than the previous year.

Existing-home sales reached 5.02 million in 2013, a 9.1 percent increase from 2012, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Home prices also rose in 2013: Existing homes commanded a median price of $197,100, up 11.5 percent from the 2012 median price of $176,800. This is the largest price gain since 2005.

Also for 2013, the cost-value ratio of remodeling projects nationwide averaged 66.1 percent, up 5.5 points over the previous year — which is, like median price, the largest increase since 2005.

Remodels That Payoff

The fan favorite in the 16th annual Cost vs. Value Report, which was released this month, was again the steel door entryway. Topping the list last year as well, this project is ideal for clients considering a quick update to the curb appeal of a home. The survey shows that a new steel door, with an average cost of $1,162, will recoup 96.6 percent of the remodeling cost at resale.

Making the biggest gain in percentage of recouped costs was the addition of a backup power generator. This project, averaging $11,742, jumped 28 percent in estimated resale value, recouping 67.5 percent of its cost in 2013. Usually at the bottom of the list, this project now ranks 25th out of the 35 projects. The increase is attributed in the report to 2013’s “unpredictable weather and multiple large storms.”

Regional Trends

The report also shows where remodeling dollars go the furthest.

Topping the list for remodeling costs recouped upon resale were Honolulu and San Francisco, at 110.8 percent and 109.4 percent, respectively. San Jose, Calif., came in third, with just shy of 100 percent of remodeling costs recouped on average. San Diego came in fourth, with 89.8 percent of costs recouped at resale; and fifth was Bridgeport, Conn., bringing in 85.9 percent of remodel costs at resale.

Also signifying distinct improvements over last year, seven of the country’s nine regions outperformed the nationwide cost-value average of 66.1 percent.

Holding onto their positions as the top two regions for recouping remodeling costs were the Pacific (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington), with an 88 percent cost-value ratio, and West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas), with a 76.4 percent cost-value ratio.

The award for most improved region could go to New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), which moved from sixth to third this year with an overall cost-value ratio of 74.6 percent.

The two regions that held lower cost-value ratios than the national average were the Middle Atlantic (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), with cost-value ratios of 63.2 percent and 57.3 percent, respectively.

Top Projects

If your clients are considering a home improvement project to boost the quality and appeal of their home, pass on this list of top 10 midrange and upscale projects from the 2013-14 Cost vs. Value Report:

Top 10 Midrange Projects

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel)
Job Cost: $1,162
Resale Value: $1,122
Cost Recouped: 96.6%

2. Deck Addition (wood)
Job Cost: $9,539
Resale Value: $8,334
Cost Recouped: 87.4%

3. Attic Bedroom
Job Cost: $49,438
Resale Value: $41,656
Cost Recouped: 84.3%

4. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $1,534
Resale Value: $1,283
Cost Recouped: 83.7%

5. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $18,856
Resale Value: $15,585
Cost Recouped: 82.7%

6. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $10,926
Resale Value: $8,662
Cost Recouped: 79.3%

7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $9,978
Resale Value: $7,857
Cost Recouped: 78.7%

8. Siding Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $11,475
Resale Value: $8,975
Cost Recouped: 78.2%

9. Basement Remodel
Job Cost: $62,834
Resale Value: $48,777
Cost Recouped: 77.6%

10. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $15,437
Resale Value: $11,476
Cost Recouped: 74.3%

Top 10 Upscale Projects

1. Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
Job Cost: $13,378
Resale Value: $11,645
Cost Recouped: 87.0%

2. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $2,791
Resale Value: $2,315
Cost Recouped: 82.9%

3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)
Job Cost: $14,236
Resale Value: $11,124
Cost Recouped: 78.1%

4. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,385
Resale Value: $10,252
Cost Recouped: 76.6%

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $16,798
Resale Value: $12,438
Cost Recouped: 74.0%

6. Grand Entrance (fiberglass)
Job Cost: $7,305
Resale Value: $5,163
Cost Recouped: 70.7%

7. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $35,158
Resale Value: $22,881
Cost Recouped: 65.1%

8. (tie) Bathroom Remodel
Job Cost: $51,374
Resale Value: $32,660
Cost Recouped: 63.6%

(tie) Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $109,935
Resale Value: $69,973
Cost Recouped: 63.6%

9. Roofing Replacement
Job Cost: $34,495
Resale Value: $21,731
Cost Recouped: 63.0%

10. Bathroom Addition
Job Cost: $72,538
Resale Value: $43,936
Cost Recouped: 60.6%

The data used in the Cost vs. Value Report was collected with the help of REALTOR® Magazine in an online survey between August and October 2013. More than 4,500 NAR members participated from 101 U.S. cities, up from 81 cities included in last year’s survey.

Visit www.costvsvalue.com to find information from the 101 cities included in the survey and download free PDFs that include specific metro-area market data. (Site registration is required.) Also visit HouseLogic.com for a slide show of the report’s results.

Construction cost estimates were generated by RemodelMAX. Cost vs. Value is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood, LLC.