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Maria Morton's Blog

By Maria Morton | Agent in 64113
  • 5 Things A Real Estate Agent Cannot Do

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling  |  November 14, 2011 4:04 PM  |  385 views  |  No comments
    by Maria Morton

    1. I Cannot Sell Your House For More Than It Is Worth. Seriously, I do not set house values. A house is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay for it today. Home Buyers are not stupid. Most will have an agent to help them determine value of houses they are considering. They will not pay more for your house than what the recent comparables show it to be worth. They will not pay an extra $100,000 just because that's how much you'd like to get. If the number you want is unrealistic, I won't agree to list your house for sale. Another agent might but they will still not get you $100,000 more in price. Your house will just sit there. Sorry, but this is the truth.

    2. I Cannot Find A Perfect House For You To Buy. No house is perfect. We talk about this at our Initial Consultation. After Inspections, we can ask the Seller to repair some of the items on the Inspection Report but the house will still not be absolutely perfect - there's no such thing. We can find a house that looks sound and has most of what you want and need in a home but we will never find a perfect house. Even if you build a house to your specifications, that house will not be perfect.

    3. I Cannot Make The Banks & HUD Easy To Work With. If you are buying a HUD home, an REO, or a Short Sale, we will be dealing with the idiocy of bureaucracy. 'They ' will want everything from you yesterday but take eons to reply to your Offers and Counter Offers. They will insist on using their own documents which are written in their favor and try to take away as many of your Buyer rights as possible. They will not use the documents normally used in real estate transactions in our area; the documents which have Buyer rights incorporated within. They will refuse to conform to traditional practices and processes. We will have little control over the process and very little, if any, personal contact; they will be slow as molasses and awkward as a 3-legged horse on ice to work with. We can do it but you will need to be as patient as you would be with a toddler at potty training.

    4. I Cannot Compel A Buyer To Make An Offer To Buy Your House.
    If you listen to, and act on, all the suggestions I make about preparing the property to show, that will happen. If you decide it's too hard, too much trouble, or not really important to prepare the home, it will not receive as many showings and it will take longer to sell. I can market your house for sale as well, or better, than any agent in the Kansas City area but I cannot force someone to make an offer to buy it. They have to want it. I can show you how to make them want it but I can't force you to do anything.

    5. I Cannot Make The Seller Give You Another Chance. If you choose to make a low-ball offer against my advice and the Seller accepts another offer in lieu of yours, I cannot make the Seller listen to your better offer after the fact. Move on.
    I cannot make the Seller reconsider doing business with you if you alienate them beyond all reason. When a person gets this aggravated with another person, it may be that that person will never do business with you no matter how much money you offer them. Move on. If you decide to 'think about it' and another buyer makes an offer on the house and the Seller accepts that offer, I cannot turn back time and make that house for sale again. Move on.
  • Do You Know Jack?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Kansas City  |  November 12, 2011 3:31 PM  |  493 views  |  No comments

    From Kansas City - both sides of the State Line!

    jackThis is Jack. Jack lives in Kansas City. He listens to his realtor friends.

    indie  This is Indie. Indie is a happy, insecure, buffoon type. She's not the sharpest tool in the shed but at least she knows Jack. 

    indie's path  Without guidance, Indie tends to run back and forth, cutting a path without really going anywhere. She has a lot of energy but lacks focus and direction.

    jackstanding  Jack is observant, lean, and graceful. Jack does not flit back and forth aimlessly. He moves with precision. He knows where the bones are buried. When Jack goes after something, he does so with quiet planning and a minimum of calculated movement.

    gnome CA  Our California investors don't know Jack. Neither do the investors calling from Florida and Arizona. They seem like nice people but they tend to behave like Indie when choosing properties. We have tried to introduce them to Jack but there must be a language barrier because we are having trouble getting through to them. That may be the reason so many California investors lost their shirts in our market during the past two years. When they end up in foreclosure, it hurts our market too.

    We are all busy and there are a growing number of Kansas City realtors who will not even talk to the California investors. Educating takes time. The language barrier makes it more difficult. I understand the frustration. Honestly, it is disheartening to work with people who do not listen. 

    bamboo fntn  But I believe in balance. Although some realtors will not work with buyers; some will not work with CA investors; some will not work with REO's, I believe in embracing the whole real estate market, not just the easy parts that we like. Our whole team believes this way. We are holistic realtors with patience and hope for the future.

    You, of course, recognize that believing and actually doing are two different animals. This is where we could use your help. If you are a realtor in CA, FL, AZ, NY, DC, or any market that has been hit hard during the recession, please do us a favor. Please introduce any investors from your state to Jack. It will only take a moment of your time and all realtors in Kansas City will be grateful for your assistance.

    jack profile  Jack thanks you. I thank you. Every realtor in KC thanks you.

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    All content, including photos, are the original creation of Maria Morton and may not be used without express written permission.

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    No animals have been harmed during the making of this blog post.

    I love California, Florida, Arizona, New York, DC, the people who live in all states, and investors in general.

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    Interpreter Needed:

    How do you say "You can't buy a house for half the list price in Kansas City!" in Californian?

    Also, "We have accepted, standardized contracts approved by all appropriate state and local authorities; we do not need your contracts; we will not use your contracts."

    Also, "Ask your realtor for their opinion, then LISTEN; that's what you're paying for."

  • Brookside Market Activity -Kansas City Real Estate 64113

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Kansas City, Home Selling in Kansas City  |  November 12, 2011 3:25 PM  |  550 views  |  1 comment

    by Maria Morton

    3 homes sold in Brookside during the last week. (10/27/2011 - 11/3/2011) The average sold price for a home in the 64113 zip code was $237,063. 

    6020 Brookside Blvd Sold for $194,640. List Price was $205,000. The 2 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bath house is in Wornall Homestead. Days On Market (DOM) from List to Close was 87.

    203 Dartmouth Rd Sold for $226,500. List Price was $239,000. The 3 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath house is in Armour Hills. DOM = 89.

    437 W 59th Terrace Sold for $260,000. List Price was $274,000. The 4 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath house is in Country Club Heights. DOM = 530.

    As you can see, the last house in the list skews the average DOM statistic. Why did this house take so long to sell? The original list price in 2009 was unrealistic for its' location and condition. Remember that the agent who encourages the home owner to list their house at an unrealistic price point is not doing the seller any favors. Learn how to choose the right real estate agent when selling. Can you imagine keeping your home in show condition for more than a year?

    Chart showing Median Days On Market for Brookside homes sold in zip code 64113 during the year 2011:

    Median Days On Market Homes sold in Brookside 64113

    Median differs from average in that median statistics discard the highest and lowest price in the batch being evaluated and then take the average.

    Call Maria Morton to find out about listing, pricing, marketing and selling your house. 816-560-3758

  • 64114 Waldo Area Real Estate Market Report Kansas City MO

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Kansas City, Home Selling in Kansas City  |  November 12, 2011 1:55 AM  |  593 views  |  No comments

    Looking at the Waldo Area and 64114 zip code in Kansas City for the last 7 days(11/9), we see that there are currently 222 Active Listings (Homes For Sale) at an average list price of $142,509.

    There are 18 homes with Contracts Pending;  20 Accepting Back UP Offers.

    5 homes SOLD in the last 7 days:homes around Waldo  

    7 W 108th Court Sold for $200,000

    9804 Holly Sold for $178,000

    814 W 75th Street Sold for $61,000

    8005 Washington Sold for $85,000

    102 W 98th Ter Sold for $33,000.

    So, how do you know what your home is worth? Why such a big variation in price?

    Well, thesse are established neighborhoods. There are many different styles and sizes of homes in these subdivisions. Lot sizes vary. Some homes are in excellent condition with granite counter tops and stainless stell appliances. Some are HUD or REO's that have been neglected and abused.

    A 2 Car Garage in Waldo commands a high price. A house with 2 bathrooms is more valuable than a house with only 1 bathroom  Home buyers are balancing price, condition, number of bathrooms, garage space and lot size.

    Buyers who are well qualified will often choose the house that's already updated while those who cannot afford the updated house will be more willling to consider a house that needs updatiing. They may even consider a house that has deferred maintenance issues.

    A brick bungalow or tudor style home built in the 20's with all the architectural details and craftsmanship from that period will attract more buyers than a split level built in the 50's. Some buyers want one-level ranch style homes with no stairs to navigate. Houses with basements are more valuable to buyers than houses on slab or those with only a crawlspace.

    Two homes which are comparable in size, style and condition will be evaluated for specific location. The ones nearest to Waldo Pizza, The Well, Tanners, Governor Stumpy's, The Gaf and other Waldo restaurants and bars will get a higher price than those further away. Houses right on Wornall Road will get less in price than those homes not on that busy street. People want to be close but not ON the busy streets. People want to be able to zip onto I-435 but don't want the highway noise when they're having a BBQ in their back yard.

    house values Kansas City - Waldo 

    People often choose a home in Waldo when they find the Brookside home prices too much for their budget. It's still close in to downtown and the Plaza, close to the Trolley Track Trail, has shops that people like to go to and more affordably priced homes. If you're selling your house in Waldo, you are marketing to first time home buyers, people who are downsizing, people who enjoy the close-in lifestyle, and those whose budget is under $250,000. Likely buyers are recent college graduates, graduate students at UMKC and Rockhurst, bicycle enthusiasts, retirees from the suburbs, people with children in private schools, dog lovers, artists, musicians, chefs, doctors in their residency program, attorneys in their first job, and widows who are selling their large family home in Brookside. You'll also be attracting employees at Cerner, Hallmark, the Stowers Institute and businesses within a 3 mile radius. You will also be marketing to people who currently own a condo downtown and are now wanting a house in which to raise children.

    Waldo has been a popular Kansas City neighborhood for about 100 years. The location is still preferred by many home buyers today. Days on market for a well priced Waldo area house in show ready condition should be less than 90.

    . Here's a report for Waldo from March 2010.  ♫ Brookside Market Report 64113  ♫ Neighborhoods in Kansas City  ♪  Selling Your House for the Best Price  ♫

  • Kansas City Real Estate - Brookside Area - Armour Hills

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Kansas City  |  September 14, 2011 6:00 PM  |  471 views  |  2 comments

    Looking at the Brookside area subdivisions from 1/1/2011 through 9/11/2011:

    ARMOUR HILLS days on market Armour Hills 2011 by month  

      31Active Listings NOW

    0 Contingent

    4 Pending

    3 Back Up

    39 SOLD so far this year at an Average Price of $211,356.

    Market Report from last year


    The top graph shows the days on market by month in 2011.


    The second graph shows the sales price of homes sold in Armour Hills over the last 10 years.


    Armour Hills Median Sales Price 10 years 

    Although we are still in a buyer's market, the price went up slightly and the days on market have decreased. Sellers will like this; buyers will regret they didn't move faster when the pendulum swings.

    When will it flip back to a Seller's Market? Nobody knows. The pundits are saying 'next year' but they've been saying that for 3 years.

    Here's what we know:

    1. Many people do not feel secure in their jobs.

    2. Many people have no, or inadequate, health insurance.

    3. The Census Bureau predicts that Kansas City will have a housing shortage by the year 2028.


    What does this mean?

    Well, as long as people are unsure of income and unable to obtain adequate health care coverage, they will be hesitant to make large purchases. A house is a large purchase. The 'real estate market' is not like the stock market. People live in homes.

    Everybody's gotta' live somewhere. Most of us want a house, condo or apartment to live in rather than under a bridge. Those who are able to do so will buy what they can afford. I'm seeing couples buy on one person's salary. They are playing it safe. If one person loses their job, they can still make their mortgage payment from the other one's paycheck.

    Can you sell your house now? Sure. Can you sell your house for as much as you could have sold it for in 2006? Probably not. Can you get a bigger house at a really good price? Oh yeah.

    If you want to sell your house, call to request a complimentary professional analysis and opniion.

    .....  Kansas City Neighborhoods .....

  • Kansas City Real Estate Market Report-Mission Hills, KS

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Mission Hills, Home Buying in Mission Hills, Home Selling in Mission Hills  |  August 21, 2011 8:32 PM  |  564 views  |  No comments
    This Kansas City Real Estate Market Report includes Mission Hills, Indian Hills and Sagamore Hills in Kansas. These three subdivisions are known for their large lot sizes, impeccable grounds, and the interesting architectural details displayed in each house. Many homes feature gardens designed and cared for by Master Gardeners.Elegant statues, fountains and topiary grace private and public land. Majestic oaks, maples and cottonwoods line the streets and sidewalks. The neighborhood is perfect for strolling, biking, and jogging.

    The three neighborhoods are known collectively as 'the three sisters' and, for convenience, people often refer to all three as 'Mission Hills.' 

    Most homes in Mission Hills, Indian Hills and Sagamore subdivisions were built in the 1920's and 30's although fill-in construction is ongoing in all three subdivision. The homes are generally larger than what one would consider average. The original vision for the neighborhood was another rmarkcabe idea from J. C. Nichols.

    Building of these luxury neighborhoods coincided with the development of the Country Club Plaza and Sunset Hill, on the Missouri side. Now within the urban core of Kansas City, in the 20's there were horse trails leading from the neighborhoods into the Country Club Plaza.

    Situated between three country clubs, the winding streets of Mission Hills and her two sister neighborhoods are a sanctuary within the city limits of Kansas City. Each country club offers golf, fine dining and all the amenities one would expect.The Kansas City Country Club,  The Mission Hills Country Club, and  Indian Hills Country Club.

    Sales of homes in Mission Hills has picked up during the last 6 months. As you know, our luxury real estate market in Kansas City has been a bit on the slow side during the recession.

    The average price of homes sold in Mission Hills, KS during the last 365 days was $816,339. Average square footage is 4,089 sq. ft.

    The lowest price for a home sold in Mission Hills during the last 365 days was $260,000. This was a 4 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath, 2,500 square foot, 'Fixer-Upper' on State Line Road in Sagamore Hills. It was built in 1945, was in an undesirable condition, poorly situated with no outstanding architectural appeal.

    The highest price paid for a home in Mission Hills was $2,535,000. This magnificent Edward Tanner built English Tudor is located in the heart of Mission Hills, one block south of the Kansas City Country Club on the desirable Verona Road. The 5,787 square foot Tudor was built in 1926 and possessed the remarkable architectural detail expected in a Tanner built home. It is a 4 bedroom, 4 and 1/2 bath home in superb condition on a 35,000 square foot, impeccably groomed, lot.

    Breakdown by neighborhood for residential, single family home, real estate sold in the last 365 days:

    Sagamore Hills:

    Average Sold Price = $863,133

    Highest Price paid = $1,625,000

    Lowest Price paid = $260,000.

    There was one short sale, the fixer-upper mentioned previously and two homes which had not been updated in about forty years. Naturally, these aberrancies lowered the average home value statistically.

    Indian Hills:

    Average Sold Price = $881,453

    Highest Sold Price = $1,625,000

    Lowest Sold Price = $365,000

    Mission Hills:

    Average Sold Price = $1,180,000

    Highest Sold Price = $2,535,000

    Lowest Sold Price = $390,000

    The Mission Hills home which sold for $390,000 was an REO. If we remove it from our calculations, the lowest sold price becomes $610,000, moving our average to $1,278,750.

    If you are considering selling your home in Mission Hills, please call to schedule a consultation. To see this post with photos, please visit the original:

    http://activerain.com/blogsview/2394009/kansas-city-real-estate-market-report-mission-hills-kansas-side

  • Surefire Way to NOT Sell Your Home

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Kansas City  |  August 21, 2011 7:52 PM  |  467 views  |  No comments

    The buyers and I all had busy schedules. We found an hour when we could meet to see the house. I made the showing appointment the day before so the sellers had plenty of notice. 

    On this particular property, the sellers had elected NOT to use an iBox. They preferred to have someone let the buyers in. No problem! 

    Unfortunately, the seller's representative did not show up at the appointed time. The cash buyers were not impressed. We discussed the situation on the sidewalk in front of the house for sale. We agreed that if the seller and his agent could not manage to show the property as arranged, the seller was not serious about selling and the agent was not one we would want to engage in a real estate transaction. 

    We went back to my office, looked at some more properties online and scheduled another day next week to go out and look at homes for sale.   

    Originally posted in Active Rain by Maria Morton, licensed in KS & MO. 

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