Friday, December 20, 2013

Fed: By End of 2014, Stimulus Will Be Over

The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it would begin gradually winding down its bond-buying stimulus program next month. 
The Fed has been purchasing $85 billion per month in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. In January, it will reduce its purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion, and then curtail purchases each month afterward. By the end of next year, the Fed plans to end the monthly purchases completely. 
In the last year, the Fed has purchased more than $1 trillion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. Fed officials have said the purchases have helped to reduce borrowing costs, and it credits the program for helping to contribute to an improving housing market. 
The Fed said that it plans to hold short-term interest rates near zero, and any rises likely would not come until the the end of 2015. 
Both policies are aimed at holding down borrowing costs. 
Previously, the Fed had said it would keep short-term interest rates near zero until the unemployment rate fell to a certain level. But the Fed announced Wednesday that short-term interest rates would stay near zero “well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6.5 percent.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4 Staging Tips for Sellers During Winter

Winter is here! Be prepared to put a bit more effort in selling your home given the unpredictable weather. Good news is that most buyers looking in the winter are serious enough about finding a new home at a time most people would rather stay inside. And anyway, you can heat up the chances of selling your home in winter with smart staging strategies. Here are a few tips to make your home sparkle in the snow:

1) Start with the exterior and clear a path
This will be the first tip an agent can give you. As with any time of the year, make sure that your home looks well maintained and cared for. Just like trimming the lawn in the summer, you should keep the snow and ice at bay in the winter. If a potential buyer can’t get easily (or if he even falls), then expect that the house won’t sell. Always, always make sure that the walkways are safe. Curb appeal is very important, first impressions last!

2) Take advantage of the holiday season – DECORATE!
Make it festive but don’t go overboard! Elegant holiday decorations can add festivity to your home. A simple wreath, twinkling lights, or lightly scented holiday candles can make buyers feel welcome and lift up their spirits. Your home should be as inviting as possible so buyers can envision living in your home.

3) Warm it up
Warm and cozy is the key! Before the buyer sees your home, adjust the thermostat to a comfortable level – between 67 and 70 degrees. Do not light candles and start the fireplace for obvious safety reasons. Instead, you can highlight a functional fireplace. If possible, turn on all the lights.  Even during the day – winter days can provide dim lighting.  Pull back the drapes to let as much natural light as possible.  Let’s face it – nice natural light and warmth will help your home make a better presentation.  

4) Make it festive
Lastly, winter is the prime time for festive parties. Showcase the entertaining possibilities of your home by setting the dinner table with good china and silver. You would want to reflect the possibilities your home has for entertaining guests. Have a plate of cookies ready for your guests, or even some warm cider and hot coffee if the weather is cold.
There’s no reason to wait until spring before you sell your home.  As an expert, I can help you sell your home even on the grayest days. Call me so I can discuss my marketing strategies and how we can take advantage of the holiday season to get you a premium price for your house.