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Oct. 26, 2019

Analyzing the 2019 Housing Market

Realtor.com has released their 2019 Market Forecast.  Though it is expected that housing inventories will continue to increase in 2019 – don’t expect a buyer’s market for many years to come.  Rising interest rates, will make it more costly to buy a home in 2019, especially for entry level home buyers. 

Metro Area                                                    2019 Sales Growth %           2019 Price Growth %

San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas                   -1.0                                      2.1

Expectations for the San Antonio Metro area is as follows:  less overall sales, increased inventories (especially in the number of luxury listings) and slightly rising prices.

How does this effect buyers?  Both interest rates and prices will increase, so those buyers who are able to continue to be serious about buying a home will have less competition.  They will still have to decide between wants, needs, and budget.  Home inventory increases are generally good for buyers, but those inventory increases will come in the mid-to-high price ranges, not entry-level homes making it especially hard for first-time buyers.

How does this effect sellers?  Though it is expected to still be a seller’s market, sellers need to realize that they will have more competition – so don’t expect it to continue like in years past.  Don’t expect to get full price, multiple offers, or fast, “as-is” sales; and depending on the price level of a seller’s home, price cuts and selling incentives such as contribution towards closing costs may be the new norm.  Even with increased inventories, sellers who price competitively, and make necessary repairs, can still make a decent profit.

Call me to help you figure out what You need to do to buy or sell a home in 2019.

Jan. 4, 2019

Cost Effective Repairs Sellers Can Do To Get The Best Sales Price

You would be surprised how just the smallest things can help you get a great price for your home!  So, if everything in your home is important, where should you start when you only have so much time and money?  Here are some cost effective repairs to start with:

Paint:  It’s the cheapest and easiest way to make your home look clean and fresh!  Light and neutral colors appeal to most buyers, and make rooms look larger.  The whole house doesn’t necessarily need painting!  Only those areas with dark, dirty, or chipped paint would really need it.  Bonus!  You can do it yourself – but, if you don’t have a steady hand, hire someone who does! 

Lighting:  Good light makes spaces look larger.  Make sure that all of the light bulbs and light fixtures work properly.  Replace those that need replacing.

Bathrooms:  Super Clean them!  Make sure that everything works from the toilet to the faucets.  Sometimes a new toilet seat can do wonders for a toilet.  Bonus!  You don’t need a plumber to replace one.

Does it Work?  Go through your home and make sure that everything functions the way it is supposed to.  Doors, locks, garage door, windows…all of these items should be in good working order.  If it is super hard to get that front door open, the buyer will take note of it right away, and wonder what else doesn’t work.  Mechanical items such as HVAC and sprinkler systems should also be working correctly!

Call me to help you figure out what You need to do to get Your Home ready for selling season and to get the best price possible.

Gina M. Sohmer, is a veteran, a 2nd-Generation REALTOR®, a Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute, a Seller’s Representative Specialist, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and a member of the Phyllis Browning Company.  You can reach her at www.ginasohmerrealestate.com or (210) 608-0650.

Jan. 4, 2019

Why You Should Never Buy a Home Without a Realtor

Looking to buy a home?  Don’t mess it up, don’t overpay, and make the best deal possible – after all it is the biggest financial (and emotional) decision of your entire life!  You want to do it right?  Don’t work with someone who is not YOUR agent.  Get your own Realtor®.  Why?

Expertise.  Real Estate has its own language and she speaks that language:  fluently.  It requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents.  Her expertise will help You write a winning offer and dodge costly mistakes.

Her Exclusive Home Network.  You can find homes on the Internet.  But She has access to even more listings!  Like available quiet, upcoming and non-MLS homes.  SHE can help You find hidden gems!  She knows the neighborhoods, and can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.

She is a Negotiating Tiger!  Competition in our market is fierce!  There are more buyers than available homes, cutthroat tactics, all-cash offers, and multiple offers!  It can be stressful!  She is an experienced, professional negotiator whose only interest is getting You the best deal!  It's not just about how much you spend!  It’s also about inspections, contingencies, and Your particular needs.

Her People Network.  She knows everybody!  Mortgage lenders, attorneys, inspectors, stagers, repairmen, and on and on.

Ethics.  She is held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.  She works for YOU!

She’s a Multitasker!  Parent/market researcher/therapist—all rolled into one!  She does a lot to earn her commission, working long hours and every day of the week, all to make sure You're getting the best deal and a house that you love!

Get yourself a Realtor® today!

Gina M. Sohmer, is a veteran, a 2nd-Generation REALTOR®, a Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute, a Seller’s Representative Specialist, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and a member of the Phyllis Browning Company.  You can reach her at www.ginasohmerrealestate.com or (210) 608-0650.

Jan. 4, 2019

Save the Date:  November 9, 2018 – Casino Night at The Dominion Country Club

If you have ever visited my website and read my bio, you know that one of my passions is keeping our communities great!  So with the holidays approaching, instead of giving you pointers about the different parts of closing costs and real estate contracts, I thought I would share with you something that makes a difference in all of our lives – community service and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.  Community service goes hand-in-hand with Real Estate, because great communities equate to great places to live!

The Leon Springs Business Association (LSBA), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is hosting its annual Casino Night at The Dominion Country Club this year on Friday, November 9th

Tickets to this worthwhile event are $50 and include great food, live music, entry for raffle prizes, cash bar and Casino FUN – which everyone loves!!!  Complimentary $1000 in Casino Chips ($1500 if you purchase your ticket in advance)! 

But, most importantly, the purpose of Casino Night is for the area community to come together as one and gather donations to provide Christmas Gifts for children in the Methodist Children’s Hospital and the University Hospital who are unfortunately too ill to be at home over the holidays.  Any additional funds beyond this goal are provided to other worthwhile organizations like the Hill Country Daily Bread, and are used to purchase equipment for our volunteer fire department, and provide school supplies to elementary schools. 

This year I am sponsoring the Texas Hold ‘Em table and would love to see you there!  Find out how to get your advance tickets at www.leonspringstx.com.

Gina M. Sohmer, is a veteran, a 2nd-Generation REALTOR®, a Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute, a Seller’s Representative Specialist, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and a member of the Phyllis Browning Company.  You can reach her at www.ginasohmerrealestate.com or (210) 608-0650.

Jan. 4, 2019

General Closing Costs and Who Typically Pays What

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, you will hear either your Realtor or your Lender mention the phrase “Closing Costs”.  Closing Costs are fees associated with a real estate transaction.  Both buyers and sellers pay closing costs in Texas.  If you are a Buyer, it means money you will need in addition to your down payment, and if you are a Seller typically your costs will be paid for out of the proceeds of the sale.

Though “Who Pays What” can be negotiated during the contract phase, the following are some of the general closing costs that a seller and buyer can expect:

Seller                                                               Buyer

Real Estate Commission                                 Lender’s Title Insurance Premium

Tax Certificate                                                Escrow Fee

Escrow Fee                                                     Document Preparation (if applicable)

Deed Preparation                                            Notary Fees

Seller’s Loan Payoff                                       Deed Recording Charges

Owner’s Title Insurance                                  Prorated HOA dues and Transfer Fees

Judgments, Tax Liens against the Seller         All New Loan Charges (with exceptions)

Pro-rated Taxes                                               Inspection Fees (property, roof, termite etc.)

Delinquent Taxes                                            Homeowner’s Insurance Premium for First Year

Notary Fees                                                     Interest on New Loan

Home Owners Warranty                                 Fees to set up the New Loan Escrow Account

Loan Fees required by Buyer’s Lender

Texas Title Insurance Premium Rates are the same, because they are set by the Department of Insurance and are based on the sales price of the property.  Lender fees are different by lender – and can be negotiated!  Buyers should ALWAYS shop their home loans to compare fees to get the best deal!

Contact me for a free sales market analysis, or if you are interested in buying a home.

Gina M. Sohmer, is a veteran, a 2nd-Generation REALTOR®, a Graduate of the REALTOR® Institute, a Seller’s Representative Specialist, an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and a member of the Phyllis Browning Company.  You can reach her at www.ginasohmerrealestate.com or (210) 608-0650..