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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Melissa Thompson Team is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Top 4 Home Renovations for Max ROI

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most Return On Investment (ROI).
  • Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
  • Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door. These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th renovations for returns on investment.

Contact the professionals at The Melissa Thompson Team for all your Real Estate needs! 

By: KCM Crew

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (28.8%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (17.1%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!
Call Melissa Thompson at 901-729-9526 and start the search for your first home!  

By: KCM Crew

Top Reasons to Own Your Home

Some Highlights:

  • June is National Homeownership Month!
  • Now is a great time to reflect on the many benefits of homeownership that go way beyond the financial.
  • What reasons do you have to own your own home?
Call Melissa Thompson at 901-729-9526 and start the search for your first home!  

By: KCM Crew

Selling Your House on Your Own Could Cost You

In this extremely hot real estate market, some homeowners might consider selling their homes on their own which is known as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). They rationalize that they don’t need a real estate agent and believe that they can save the fee for the services a real estate agent offers.
However, a study by Collateral Analytics reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.
In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets. The data showed that:
“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)
Why would FSBOs net less money than if they had used an agent?
The study makes several suggestions:
  • “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
  • “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
  • “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.” If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property.
Conclusions from the study:
1. FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
2. The data suggests the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line
As Dave Ramsey, America’s trusted voice on money, explains:
“Research has shown that, between mistakes, lack of negotiating skills, pricing errors and general exposure on the market, you’ll cost yourself more than the real estate commission…You’ll come out slightly better and with a lot less hassle if you use a top-shelf agent.”
If you are ready to sell your home, let professional Realtor Melissa Thompson assist you. Give her a call at 901-729-9526 today!
By: KCM Crew

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?

Some Highlights:

  • According to the US Census Bureau, ‘millennials’ are defined as 18-36-year-olds.
  • According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32.
  • More and more ‘old millennials’ (25-36) are realizing that homeownership is within their grasp now!

Call Melissa Thompson at 901-729-9526 and start the search for your first home!  
 

By: KCM Crew

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Owning a Home a Reality

Some Highlights:

  • Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.
  • Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back.
  • What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality?

Call Melissa Thompson at 901-729-9526 and start your home search!

 By: KCM Crew

50% of Homes Sold in 30 Days in March

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of REALTORS® recently surveyed their members for their Confidence Index.
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.
  • Homes sold in less than 60 days in 35 out of 50 states and Washington D.C.
  • Homes typically went under contract in 30 days in March

Call Melissa Thompson at 901-729-9526 and let her help you sell your current home today! 

By: KCM Crew

Existing Home Sales Grow Despite Low Inventory

Some Highlights:
  • According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, sales grew 1.1% in March to an annual pace of 5.60 million.
  • This is the strongest pace since November of 2017.
  • Inventory levels dropped year-over-year for the 34th consecutive month and are now 7.2% lower than March 2017 levels, representing a 3.6-month supply.

Call Melissa Thompson at 901-729-9526 and let her help you find your dream home or sell your current home today!

By: KCM Crew

View our Video Blog

A Tale of Two Markets

Some Highlights:

  • A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices!
  • Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
  • Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise!

The Melissa Thompson Team can help you find your dream house or sell your current home. Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

By: KCM Crew

VA Loans by the Numbers

Some Highlights:

  • Since the creation of the VA Home Loans Program, 22 million veterans have been able to achieve the American Dream of homeownership.
  • In 2017, $188 billion was loaned to veterans and their families through the program.
  • VA Purchase Loans are on the rise in 46 out of 50 states and Washington, DC.

The Melissa Thompson Team can help you find your dream house! Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

By: KCM Crew

99% of Experts Agree: Home Prices Will Increase

Some believe that the combined effects of the new tax code and rising mortgage rates will have an adverse impact on residential real estate prices in 2018. However, the clear majority of recently surveyed housing experts believe that home values will continue to rise this year.
What is the Home Price Expectation Survey?
Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists. Those surveyed include experts such as:
·         Daniel Bachman, Senior Manager, U.S. Economics at Deloitte Services, LP
·         Kathy Bostjancic, Head of U.S. Macro Investors Service at Oxford Economics
·         David Downs, Real Estate Finance Professor at VCU
·         Edward Pinto, Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute
·         Albert Saiz, Director at MIT Center for Real Estate
Where do these experts see home values headed in 2018?
Here is a breakdown of where they see home values twelve months from now:
·         21.6% believe prices will appreciate by 6% or more
·         71.6% believe prices will appreciate between 3 and 5.99%
·         5.7% believe prices will appreciate between 0 and 2.99%
·         Only 1.1% believe prices will depreciate
Bottom Line
Almost ninety-nine percent of the top experts studying residential real estate believe that prices will appreciate this year, and over 93% believe home values will appreciate by at least 3%.

The Melissa Thompson Team can help you find your dream house or sell your current home. Give her a call today at 901-729-9526!

By: KCM Crew

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale This Spring

Highlights:

  • When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
  • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
  • Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!

Contact the expert's at The Melissa Thompson Team for all your home selling needs! 901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com. 

Get Your FREE Home Market Analysis Report Right Now! 

By: KCM Crew

View our Video Blog

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition

Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!

Let's get you into the home of your dreams901-729-9526 or Melissa@YourKeyTomemphis.com. 

By: KCM Crew

Improving Outdoor Spaces with Concrete Stamping



A plain slab of poured concrete for a patio may be common, but it is boring.  However, recently, there has been a newly gained respect for using concrete as a decorating element in floors, counters and other applications.  Landscapers are taking this age-old material and giving it a new look using a Stamping Process to create patios that look like natural slate or fieldstone at a fraction of the price these high-end materials would generally call for.
Stamped concrete has been around for a long time, but older methods used molds that were more like cookie cutters.  New methods use natural sources which create a more realistic finished product.  There have also been advances in the various coloring methods that are available. The prevailing one is a dry, powdered form, called a Dry Shake Floor Hardener, which also serves to firm up the poured concrete prior to stamping.  After applying the hardener, a release agent is applied which allows the latex molds to be pulled up without sticking to the concrete.  These agents come in an antique finish that when stamped into the joints and crevices of the concrete, create a realistic, three-dimensional appearance.  Once the concrete has hardened, a sealer is used to not only protect the porous concrete from possible staining, but also to enhance the color of the finished patio.  In wet areas, such as pool decks, an anti-slip ingredient can be added for safety.
There are so many patterns and colors available for stamped concrete that you can be creative and have fun designing your patio. Not only will it make outdoor entertaining more fun for you, but it is a home improvement that will give you a return on your investment when you sell. Here are five budget friendly stamped concrete ideas:
1.      Don’t be square!  Take advantage of the fact that concrete can be poured in any shape.  You can use stamped concrete in small spaces, but why not jazz it up?  Incorporate curves or go from a square to a half-circle.  You can even shape the concrete to flow with the landscaping.
2.      Add a border. If stamping all the square footage of your concrete is too expensive, then consider just stamping the border.  A patterned border frames the concrete, giving it a finished look.  Borders are an inexpensive way to embellish plain concrete.
3.      Keep color simple. Coloring your concrete with multiple colors can greatly add to the cost of the project. You can save a lot of money by using one color.  It will still be prettier and make a greater impact than a plain, gray slab.
4.      Sawcut and texture. A concrete contractor will be able to tell you if it’s feasible to cut a pattern and then use a texture skin for pattern.  Your contractor can create grooves in the concrete and then a texture skin can be applied to give a 3-dimensional look.
5.      Expand the area you’re stamping.  Extend unique, fun patterns beyond the patio onto the driveway, walkways and steps.  Get more for your money by stamping in multiple places to create a holistic look rather than just splurging on one single area.
If you are making home improvements in order to sell your home, contact Melissa Thompson at Your Key to Memphis. She and her team of professionals can help you decide what improvements will get the best return on your investment. Call them today at 901-756-8900!

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