5 Reasons Why The Christmas Season Is A Great Time To Sell Your Home

5 Reasons

5 Reasons Why The Christmas Season Is A Great Time To Sell Your Home!

Isn’t there just too much to worry about during the holiday season to be focusing upon selling your home?  Seriously, who would even consider listing their property among family meals, partying planning, Hallmark Channel watching, shopping and decorating?  And that’s just the tip of the North Pole!

On the contrary, home buying and selling can be quite fascinating during the Christmas season and the early winter months.  Not everyone is looking at the season through “candy cane” color glasses.  There are many who, among their holiday priorities, place house hunting at the top of their list.  So who are these buyers?  Let’s take a closer look.

Here are 5 reasons why the Christmas season is a great time to sell your home:

  1. Home Buyer Motivation
  2. Dwindling Inventory
  3. “Spruced” Up Sellers
  4. Mobile Lifestyles
  5. Online Searches Increase

Look Who’s Motivated!

The dust of the 2014 real estate investment season has settled (errh, should I say snow?).  Some sellers thought an offer was coming, but it hasn’t yet.  They may need to revisit local market conditions with their REALTOR® and discuss pricing once again.  Nevertheless, whether they want to admit it or not, most sellers are waiting for an offer to be presented to them.  This might just be the time!

There are a higher percentage of motivated buyers in the market, actively searching for a property during the holiday season.  They’ve been just as active in their search in July, they may have lost a house or two in the shuffle of the summer selling months, but they’ve refined their search, they’ve honed their sights and they’re ready to make the move – literally!

Where Did All The Sellers Go?

Less inventory means less competition.  Repeat that again: Less inventory means less competition.  It’s as simple as that.  There’s always tons of talk about the prime time to sell (early spring/summer) in real estate.  And though I will say those times do account for big revenue, there’s something to be said for the sellers who priced their home accordingly and have it ready to show during the winter months.

A recent Forbes article titled, “Why November Is The Best Month To Sell Your Home,” emphasizes that many sellers take their homes off the market during these month because they don’t believe it’s worth their trouble, but their loss is your gain.  Quite frankly, I would have to agree.  Leaving your home on the market, in most situations doesn’t cost you much more financially, if anything.  It could actually cost you less in the long run, especially if you have a real estate professional who’s very motivated during these months – someone who’s keeping you informed of your neighborhood market conditions.

Showcase Your Home

Bring people home for the holidays!  Many homeowners love Christmas time because they can decorate, be festive and “unwrap” that childhood spirit, which disappeared at the stroke of the New Year.  The holiday season gives opportunities to sellers to showcase their property and make it pop to potential buyers.  Holiday décor and traditions can resonate with buyers, which could help them to make a connection to the home.

Like this…

Fabulous Outdoor Decorations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not like this…

Tacky Christmas Decor

Lifestyle Changes

Nowadays, there has been an increase in mobility throughout many aspects of our culture.  This includes certain industries where relocation has been paramount and can happen any time of the year.  At a second’s notice the employee needs to move himself/herself (and their family) to another area of the country.  These types of transitions provide great possibilities for sellers.

Many buyers also have more time off during the end of the year to look at homes and sellers need to be mindful of this when weighing the pros and cons of placing (or keeping) their home on the market.

I’m “Stuffed.” Now What?

Having more time off during the holidays creates chances for connecting buyers and sellers.  Many buyers who began the search process months ago are now ready – they want to buy now.  In many school districts throughout the country, children have one or more weeks off from school.  This creates an opportunity for families to get out there and seriously preview the available inventory, which matches their criteria and needs.

Motivated sellers need to be one of these homes on their list!

 

Sellers, keep these 5 reasons close to you over the next few days and carefully consider what your needs are this winter and spring.  Is it worth not having your home for sale during a time where prospective buyers will aggressively be searching?  If your home is currently on the market, are you and your REALTOR® actively communicating about pricing, staging, incentives, market conditions, among other things?  Is there a chance you can actually save money by keeping your home on the market, selling it earlier than the spring or summer?  These are questions and 5 reasons to ponder.  Contact your real estate professional today to discuss your options this Christmas season.

Home Lists – Northeastern PA Real Estate

Home Lists of NEPA

Sign Up For Our Home Lists

Check out our current lists of luxury homes and other homes in Northeastern Pennsylvania: Select from the lists below that you’d like to receive, then fill out that form and the rest is history. Thank you!

The Abingtons
Valley View
North Pocono
Glenmaura

 

Happy House Hunting,
Your Friends at Realty Network Group

 

 

Realty Network Group, a full service Brokerage, specializes in residential and commercial sales and appraisal services.  As a high touch, high-tech company, they operate the innovative Realty Network TV, which runs on its award-winning Website, www.realtynetwork.net, where viewers can tune into tours of featured homes and neighborhoods, 24/7.  From any smartphone or tablet device, their mobile-friendly site provides instant access to its network of real estate professionals, detailed information on a property (as soon as it is listed), luxury home lists, access to home evaluation reports and more.

Real Opportunities

A new era has taken shape at Realty Network Group, giving way to exciting changes that are to come for Northeastern Pennsylvania real estate.  Real opportunities are made present through the firm’s real asset, their REALTORS®, in addition to their superior brand recognition.

“Our strong network is growing. We’re beginning to build upon our solid foundation,” said Ann Cappellini, the President/Broker of Realty Network Group. “Working hard for our clients is paramount and thus adding the right pieces become critical to achieving our clients’ goals in the marketplace.”

Welcome Our New Agent

A recent new addition to the company’s network of agents is Mark DeStefano, the CEO of Realty Network Group.  Though not new to the company, he certainly has a different perspective on real estate in the twenty-first century here in NEPA.  With a background in accounting (Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University) and health administration (Master’s degree from King’s College), he understands what a difference customer service and valued investments can make to any buyer or seller.

Real Opportunities - Mark DeStefano

He is impressed with the service his brand, and most importantly – his team, delivers to the real estate consumer.  “Each piece of real estate is unique,” emphasizes DeStefano.  “It’s always exciting to connect the buyer and seller and execute a mutually beneficial deal for our clients.  We’ve come a long way since the very beginning of 2012: We’ve created a new brand that defines what we do – real estate professionals employed to serve clients by connecting buyers and sellers.”

Real opportunities are present – As an added bonus, because Realty Network Group is an independent firm, it sets its own destiny with respect to branding, marketing, technology and web applications.  DeStefano, who takes on a slightly different role as a REALTOR® in addition to one of three owners of the company, believes his firm is very competitive, however, equally concerned about quality, reputation and getting the job done for its clientele.

Real Opportunities: More About Our Firm

Realty Network Group, a full service Brokerage, specializes in residential and commercial sales and appraisal services.  As a high touch, high-tech company, they operate the innovative Realty Network TV, which runs on its award-winning Website, www.realtynetwork.net, where viewers can tune into tours of featured homes and neighborhoods, 24/7.  From any smartphone or tablet device, their mobile-friendly site provides instant access to its network of real estate professionals, detailed information on a property (as soon as it is listed), home property lists, access to home evaluation reports and more.

Please let us know what you thought about “Real Opportunities.” Comment and share, thank you!

Making Waves In Today’s Real Estate Market

Making waves in today’s real estate market: Realty Network Group’s newest REALTOR®, Master Sergeant Chad Remetta, has been serving our country for the past seventeen years in the United States Air Force.  Now he’ll also be serving the customers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, in meeting them where they are, in helping them achieve their real estate goals.

Chad Remetta“Real estate partly interests me, because of my recruiting background in the Air Force,” emphasizes MSgt. Remetta. “I take my tasks very seriously and look forward to assisting both home buyers and sellers in order for them reach their goals.  With the tools, the training and the network of professionals available at Realty Network Group, I’m eager for my clients and I to hit the ground running.”

He’s confident that he’ll be able to fulfill the needs of his clients, as customer service is his top priority.  He believes he offers his consumers advantages in the local market, such as great communication and flexibility.  His background as a police officer and recruiter as well as his current position as a production controller at Tobyhanna Army Depot lends itself to these strengths.

MSgt. Remetta lives in Clarks Summit with his wife, Jennifer and their two children.  He has fond memories of growing up in Throop.  He’s also very familiar with NEPA and enjoys what this area has to offer!

If you would like to solve your real estate problem of finding your dream home, please consider the services of MSgt. Remetta.  He’s anticipating your call at 570-614-6925 or can also be contacted via email at cremetta@realtynetwork.net.

The Winners Are – Readers’ Choice Awards 2014

The Winners Are

The readers have spoken! Or should I say the voters have spoken?! In any case, the people have voiced their opinion, the votes have been tallied and the winners are in…

…and it’s not Tinker Bell:

But in all seriousness, though REALTORS® don’t have pixie dust to get around, they do have their clients’ best interests in mind. Any good agent will tell you this is enough to keep him/her going. As real estate consumers, it’s okay to dream about that perfect fit, in an ideal neighborhood, with a school district that makes the grade and home you can call “home.” At Realty Network Group, we attract a qualified pool of buyers looking to take the plunge into the Northeastern PA real estate market. It’s our job to connect these buyers to sellers, preferably (and we make no secret about it) to our own sellers, if it’s the right fit.

The winners are our clients! We hope they think so too. If they find what they were looking for, over a reason period of time and our company (their REALTOR®) can facilitate the sale with ease, beyond the settlement date; and our clients are happy, then we’ve reach our goal.

And The Winners Are

Recently, we’ve been awarded three honors through the Times-Tribune’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2014:

Best Real Estate Company – Realty Network Group

Best Real Estate Website – RealtyNetwork.net

Best Real Estate Agent – Jamie Hape, Realty Network Group

(you can read more about Jamie here)

We would like to take this opportunity to send heartfelt thanks for your support in helping us be one of the best real estate firms in NEPA!

All the winners for the Readers’ Choice Awards will be posted here as well as a special Sunday winners section in the Scranton Times on September 28, 2014.

Top Five NEPA Activities To Pursue Before The End Of Summer

Top five NEPA activities: There’s about four weeks left until we’re greeted by the unofficial end of summer.  What have you accomplished this summer?  Have you completed that spring cleaning yet?  I haven’t.  Maybe you’ve already been on vacation, but you’re looking to do a few smaller activities with family or friends.  Or perhaps you want to get out there to simply enjoy this wonderful little microcosm of New England, aka Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Here are five stops you should definitely consider before this summer comes to a close (These top five NEPA activities are in no particular order):

  • Sharks! Exhibit (Everhart Museum, Scranton) – This exhibit runs through September 8 and features your favorite friends from the sea.  The museum has had many good exhibits in the past, but this is perhaps one of their best.  Alessandro De Maddalena, an acclaimed shark scientist, photographed some of the earth’s most feared monsters (South African Great Whites to be exact).  To get the full effect, click here, close your eyes and listen.  You can find out more information about this daily event here.
  • “Flutterarium” (Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary, Jim Thorpe) – This hands-on educational center has a butterfly flight room, frog room, kid’s art space, nature-based gift shop and more.  Many people love butterflies and this sort of thing.  I get it, but let me just say locusts are only winged-insects that give me more of the willies than butterflies (thankfully spiders don’t have wings!)  You can visit the center Thursday through Monday from 11a-5p (6p on Friday) and Tuesday/Wednesday 2p-6p.  For more information, visit their site here.  If you live closer to Wyoming County, then the Butterfly House at Creekside Gardens in Tunkhannock might be more to your liking.  Click here for more information.
Top Five NEPA Activities

Countryside Conservancy

 

  • The Great Outdoors (Lackawanna State Park, North Abington Twp) – Don’t worry, nothing to fear in this activity (well, okay, maybe black bears)!  If you’re seeking something to satisfy your nature cravings, then the state park is for you.  Swimming, hiking, fishing, camping, cooking out, children’s play areas and more is offered at this state park approximately ten miles north of Scranton.  On the fringes of the Lackawanna State Park, the Countryside Conservancy features some hidden gems for you to enjoy.  They’re my favorite thing to do at the state park – hiking, walking and mountain bike trails.  Check out the site here, which also includes a map of the trails.

 

 

  • When You Wish Upon A Star (Thomas G. Cupillari ’60 Observatory at Keystone College, Fleetville) – This is hidden gem in NEPA!  Who doesn’t like to look at our universe?  The observatory is a short drive from Keystone College’s La Plume campus, just off Route 107.  Observatory lectures and observations of planets, stars, nebulae, etc. are available free of charge to the public.  For more information, go to the observatory’s site here.
  • Let’s Play Ball! (PNC Field, Moosic) – The summer is quickly coming to a close and we’ll get more of that white stuff soon.  (You know it’s coming!)  The new stadium is really a treat.  In my opinion, there’s not a bad seat in the house.  It has a new open feel to it and there are many activities for the family to do.  Did you know there’s a birthday room there too?  There are only six home series left.  Go out, catch a game and support your Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.  For more information about the team, stadium or their schedule, click here.

I hope you enjoyed these top five NEPA activities and recommendations.  Please let us know your thoughts and where you’ve gone this summer.

This is My Scranton

This is My Scranton.  Scranton has quite a history through its golden age in the 1950s to today.

Similar to my family roots, many came from various parts of Europe in the search of a better life in earlier part of the twentieth century.  Heck, my grandfather was even named Americo.  He left a world behind in Sassoferrato (le Marche region), Italy, which is about 145 miles north of Rome, Italy.  [Learn more about this tiny Italian town here.]  My grandfather comes to America with three of his four brothers in 1917, leaving much of his family behind for Scranton.  This is My Scranton.

This is My Scranton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the story of many of us.  Though we might not remember the minute details of our ancestors, our family tree or perhaps why they even settled where they did, the fact remains that our roots are theirs.  In many instances we became Scrantonians, because they were first.  We love Steamtown USA, because they loved it initially.  My grandfather lived in Scranton, close to Tripps Park, my father grew up in a funeral home, left for Pittsburgh for more post-secondary schooling, but eventually came back to… you guessed it, Scranton!  I grew up in North Scranton.  Some of my earliest memories are of this town.  This is My Scranton.

This is My Scranton

There’s a wonderful video contest happening, which you can take part in (about three weeks remain for entry submission).  For more information about the contest and to find out how you can enter before time runs out, go to MyScranton’s site.  Also like the campaign’s Facebook page today.

I also really encourage everyone to recapture your fondest memories of Scranton and more importantly how your family and friends have impacted this region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  For more information on what the area has to offer, you can VisitNEPA, area attractions or even call one of our professionals at Realty Network Group.  This is My Scranton.  Tell us why you love Scranton!

Realty Network Group Welcomes Jamie Hape

Realty Network Group Welcomes Jamie Hape: Realty Network Group, a premier real estate firm in Northeastern Pennsylvania, predicates itself on connecting buyers and sellers in the marketplace.  While this is one of their primary goals, it only can be achieved through consistency in matching their clients’ needs, in order for them to receive the best care possible.  Goals are reached through open communication and REALTORS® who foster a high touch, high tech approach to marketing and selling homes.

Jamie Hape, a life-long native of Northeastern PA, is devoted to such an approach.  Realty Network Group welcomes Jamie to their network of professional agents and believes she will complement their team, while fostering their mission of placing the clients’ goals paramount.

Realty Network Group Welcomes Jamie Hape

She is excited to start her new career path in real estate, hoping to exceed her clients’ expectations.  She recently earned her license to practice real estate.  Prior to that, her main focus was home staging and interior design, where she worked directly with clients to understand their desires and interests, creating a picture perfect result.  She’s well-qualified to consult and create in this arena – she graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh as well as the Haverhill Institute of Home Staging & Design.

Jamie prides herself on customer loyalty and satisfaction.  She has over four years of customer service experience working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (SWIF).  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at local animal shelters, spoiling her two Shih Tzu’s (Savannah and Marley), restoring/refinishing furniture, hiking and exercising.

She looks forward to new challenges and building valuable relationships.  Home buyers and sellers, Jamie is dedicated to fulfilling her clients’ needs through a high touch, high tech customer experience.  Contact me today with any questions you have about real estate, which are important to you.

Realty Network Group welcomes Jamie Hape!

Three Reasons Why Millennials Are The Key To Economic Growth

Here are three reasons why Millennials are the key to economic growth – Last year was a solid year for real estate in Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) in addition to numerous areas throughout our country, but there are multiple factors to look at in projecting future achievement.  And although, predicting real estate success is more accurate than weather forecasting (even with the use of Doppler radar and weather satellites), there are also several variables found in the winds of change in the real estate landscape.

Among homebuyers, the largest group for housing consumption is the Millennials.  This population is well versed in the use of new technologies, martial arts and is beginning to outnumber the baby boomer generation.*  Alright, I was joking about their martial arts abilities!  How is the largest age generation since the boomers impacting real estate growth?  Why could they hold the key for a brighter future in this industry?

Three Reasons Why Millennials Are The Key To Economic Growth

Millennials are directly impacting the real estate industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are three reasons why Millennials are the key to economic growth:

  • As national home sales continue to rebound, we’ll begin to see the National Association of REALTORS®’s (NAR) 2011 claim that for each home sold two jobs will be created within that local economy.  Millennials (aka Generation Y), who are those under the age of thirty-four, compose 31% of recent home purchases.**  This group can directly impact job-creation, and in effect, aid their our cause.  Many Millennials have post-secondary education, but no job where they’re able to support themselves living on their own.  It’s not uncommon that a significant portion of this generation still resides with one or both of their parents.  If this year is anything like last, many real estate markets will stabilize.  This stabilization will cause a decrease in unemployment and positively influence economic growth.  This generation is absolutely involved in this process, and again, a major player.
  • According to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, Gen Y is poised to invest further in real estate as they see worthy assets when purchasing property.  He stated that they’re aspiring to make long-term investments in home ownership and within this group there was “a potential for strong underlying demand.” **  I believe the influence of the law of supply and demand, as it pertains to real estate, is often underestimated.  Here in NEPA, we have a stable inventory, but one whose months’ supply of homes (absorption rate) is at its lowest since the end of 2008.  If absorption rates continue in this manner, markets throughout the country create good situations for themselves.  REALTOR.com reported that although inventory levels at the end of last year were approximately the same as compared to those at the end of 2012, homes were selling faster.  We’re seeing this in NEPA as well.  The combination of a high demand consumer (in the Millennial) with a shrinking inventory will produce positive economic growth.
  • Realistically, there are several factors that could negatively affect these upward trends: Mortgage rates that are beginning to creep up, declines in home affordability index and high debt loads just to name a few.  This generation fines themselves smack dab in the middle of it all and often is unable to cope with these challenges in comparision to the baby boomers or even Generation X (the age group typically identified as being born between the early 1960s and the late 1970s). If Millennials can overcome many of these hurdles, they’ll become huge factors to real estate markets nationwide.  I believe these potential obstacles mean the difference between short term success for the economy or long-term stability and growth.
Three Reasons Why Millennials Are The Key To Economic Growth

Generation Y will be major players in your real estate market.

 

All in all, it does look promising here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  We’ve seen a 5.7% year-over-year increase already in the number of properties that have gone under contract through March 14, 2014.  Sold properties are also on par with those from last year (year-over-year).***  Last year was the Greater Scranton Area’s strongest year in real estate growth since 2008.  All indications look positive and we believe the Millennial generation will play a significant part in boosting our local economy and we’re hoping our national economy as well.

 

 

We hope you enjoyed reading “Three Reasons Why Millennials Are The Key To Economic Growth.”  Please share your thoughts with us.

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* Over the next fifteen years, Millennials will outnumber baby boomers seventy-eight million to fifty-six million. (Better Homes and Gardens 2014 annual report/survey)

** 2014 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Home Buyer & Seller Generational Trends study (http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/03/12/generational-differences-drive-housing-preferences)

*** Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® (GSBR) FlexMLS statistics from 1-1-13 to 3-14-13 and 1-1-14 to 3-14-14

Do You Know How Technology Is Changing New Construction?

Do you know how technology is changing new construction? Technology is becoming more stream-lined nowadays, stripping away the peripherals and many add-on devices we’ve been accustomed to over the years.  Instead, there’s more collaboration and with that comes engagement.  Tech is finding its way into our minute-to-minute lives: Smart devices, automobiles that now brake for themselves, and from what I gather, Nike has just announced “self-tying” sneakers to be released in 2015 (reminiscent of Marty McFly’s shoes in Back To The Future IIhttp://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/16/back-to-the-future-marty-mcfly-power-laces-coming-2015).

Do You Know How Technology Is Changing New Construction?

Marty McFly’s “self-tying” sneakers

Houses are no exception.  The integration of technology systems into the home has shown its face in recent years.  What has begun to facilitate security and safety is now very much catering to a home owner’s entertainment and leisure desires.  What began as a toy for the wealthy is becoming a reality for everyone.  Today, more consumers are aware of the possibility that tech systems can be incorporated into their homes.  This is one of the factors driving the industry.  The demands are higher: People want to experience streaming media at a moment’s notice, wherever they are, but especially in their residence!  And it is more than only media.  The user wants to control their lighting, appliances, other devices, surveillance systems and the like.

Recently, I visited family in Maryland and surprisingly had my first experience with Apple TV.  The reason I say surprisingly is because I own numerous Apple products, but I had yet to see one of those boxes in action.  Rumors are now flooding cyberspace that Amazon is making a “smart home push” by early spring.  If these whispers are true, Amazon TV will be the response (and threat) to Apple TV.  Amazon is a beast when it comes to value.  They understand how to undercut all the competition and have a consistent, successful track record of delivering on their promises.  You can read more about their upcoming TV box here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelwolf/2014/02/21/could-amazon-be-preparing-smart-home-push-with-tv-box.

Do You Know How Technology Is Changing New Construction?

Smart Home Technology

This smart home technology is simplifying people’s lives.  Real estate buyers, who have the means, look to simplify their lives.  The smart home push, albeit a big one, is another step in the home comfort and efficiency process.  The evolution of TV boxes, such as Apple, Roku, Amazon, and perhaps soon Google too, will completely revolutionize the American home entertainment industry.  Do you know how technology is changing new construction? New home construction will certainly mimic and compliment this evolution.  What changes in real estate construction do you foresee being adapted?  Do you agree this technology is simplifying consumers’ lives?  Share your thoughts with us.