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Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Benefits of Selling Your Home in the Fall

Did you know that fall is a great time to list your home for sale in the St. Louis real estate market? Our region has four distinct seasons and the weather is a huge help for getting folks out of their homes and in front of yours. But the weather isn’t the only reason.

Benefits of Selling Your St. Louis Area Home in the Fall

In the fall families have returned from their summer vacations. The kids are back in school and on a normal routine again. This creates windows of opportunity for parents to search for homes.

Demand is still strong for homes in the current St. Louis and St. Charles County real estate market. There are more buyers looking for a home to buy than homes on the market. This also makes the fall market in St. Louis a sellers market.

Selling a home in the fallThere is less competition in the fall real estate marketplace. While many are sitting around waiting for spring to come again to list their home for sale, a wonderful opportunity exists now. With fewer homes for sale, there is less competition, and more eyes on your listing.

Serious buyers come out in the non-summer months. Homebuyers looking in the fall and winter months aren’t messing around. These buyers need a home, no matter the season and are ready to purchase. This means that you’ll have less people who are “just looking” and more that are interested in buying.

Interest rates are still very low. According to Freddie Mac, average mortgage rates for a 30-year mortgage are only 3.5 percent.  With the knowledge that they could go up in the near future, those thinking of buying a home have an urgency to buy before the hike.

Why sell a home in the fall

Also there are some homeowners who are just getting back above water on their current mortgage. Since home values have risen, the amount of equity held by homeowners has risen. This means that these homeowners now have the opportunity to sell and buy a bigger or smaller home that meets their needs.   

Do you require more information on the real estate market in the St. Louis and St. Charles County areas of Missouri? Contact The Boehmer Team. We specialize in helping sellers, buyers and people who are relocating to our area. We offer staging and other advice to help you get the most money out of your home sale. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How Reliable is Zillow Really?

Maybe you’ve seen the commercials or done a quick Google search for real estate and found Zillow. They spend a lot of money on advertising and search engine optimization to be sure that you find them. But what you may not know is that beyond the hype, you can’t always trust buying or selling a St. Louis area home with help from Zillow.  

can you trust a zestimate

Home Sellers Using Zillow Should Look Closer 

Zillow offers a Zestimate, a free tool that gives you the approximate price your home is worth. However in testing the algorithm used to create these Zestimates nationally, even Zillow knows that they are not accurate. Zillow even points out that the Zestimate “is a starting point in determining a home’s value and is not an official appraisal.”

“Nationally, the Zestimate has a median error rate of 5.4%,” according to On a national scale that’s equal to an error of about $14,000 per home nationally.
According to Zillow, nationwide, Zestimates are currently within 5% of the final sale price 47.3% of the time. (Meaning 56.3% of the time they are off by more than 5% of a home’s’ actual value.)
In the U.S. as a whole, Zestimates are currently within 10% of the final sale price 69.6% of the time. (Meaning 30.4% of the time they are more than 10% off on a home’s value.)
Nationally, Zestimates are currently within 20% of the final sale price 86.4% of the time. (Meaning 13.6% of the time they are off by more than a whopping 20% on a home’s value.)
- Info not in italics is from

Zillow even recommends, “Getting a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a real estate agent. Getting an appraisal from a professional appraiser. Visiting the house (whenever possible).” In fact, Zillow’s own CEO recently sold his own home at price that was 40% off from the Zestimate it was given on Zillow.

The Rise of The Home Valuation Tool

Since Zillow’s rise in the marketplace many others have created and implemented online home valuation models. These use publicly submitted data from local tax records. However tax records often do not reflect updates to homes or special features that might make one home worth more than the next.

the truth about zestimatesThese tools cannot see that you’ve completely remodeled your bathrooms while your neighbor’s house with the same floor plan hasn’t been updated in thirty years. They may not take into account that you have a finished basement and a new roof, while the neighbor’s house doesn’t. Though some like Zillow offer features for homeowners to add some of these updates to adjust their home’s valuation, Zillow still recommends “homeowners to supplement Zillow's information by doing other research.”

Even offers a tool to estimate a home’s value. Our tool immediately notifies us when a home valuation is created so that we can follow up with the homeowner to professionally assist them in refining the valuation to be the most accurate home valuation possible, beyond just a computer algorithm.  So whatever online home valuation tool you use, follow up with an expert Realtor. 

Home Buyers Using Zillow Often Miss Out

why you shouldn't search for homes on zillow
“I’d like to see these three homes I found on Zillow,” said a recent homebuyer. 

We had to tell the buyer, “this one is sold, this one is already pending the sale and this one just had an offer so we have two hours to see the home, decide if you like it and put in a competing offer.”

How could that be the case? Zillow is not very accurate. They have so much national data to handle that their data updates are often slow. Meaning that the data on the homes you see on Zillow is often old. In the current competitive sellers market, this means that by the time you find a home you want to see on Zillow, there is a good chance it will already be under contract or sold.

What is the Alternative to Zillow?

zillow does not replace a realtor
When listing your home for sale, skip the Zestimate and talk to an experienced Realtor, like any of us on The Boehmer Team. We offer expert, local advice to home sellers in addition to home staging tips and other items that will help your home sell faster and for the most money. We look into recent sales and all the unique features of your home to price it accurately.

When searching for a home to buy, use a local home search website that gets multiple daily updates of housing data, like Our website contains all the homes listed publicly for sale that are on the St. Louis area multiple listing service, not just our company’s listings. Also our website gets multiple daily data updates, so the data is more accurate than the national data on Zillow.

Monday, August 29, 2016

We’ve Made THE LIST Again, Thanks To Our Clients

How do you know when you’ve become one of the top real estate teams in St. Louis? When the St. Louis Business Journal tells you that you’ve made “THE LIST” for the Highest-Selling St. Louis Real Estate Teams. How does it get even more exciting? When it is your fifth year in a row on THE LIST, and your second year as number one.
Top real estate agents in St. Louis
The Boehmer Team: Nancy, Pat, Linda, Jacob, Kelly, Joan & Sharon
Over the past five years The Boehmer Team has been fortunate to become a truly successful working partnership of team members at the same time that the housing market made a positive turn. But being a successful real estate team in the St. Louis and St. Charles County areas isn’t just about good timing. It is about making a commitment to excellent customer service, a commitment to state of the art marketing, a commitment to gaining client referrals and surrounding ourselves with an excellent support staff that allows us to stay in contact with our valued clients.
The Boehmer Team loves their clients
Abby Eich Photography

While the St. Louis Business Journal focuses on team founders like Linda and Kelly Boehmer, the entire team contributes to the team’s success.   Nancy Hitt, Joan DeSplinter, Jacob Gould, Sharon Henthorn and Pat Bastunas round out this top notch real estate team.  Their commitment and professionalism mirror those of their leadership team and allows the team to achieve monumental accomplishments.

The team has over 50 years experience in new home construction as well as experience in relocation, project management, remodeling, land acquisition, title company management and more.
Top selling st louis real estate team
Abby Eich Photography

As we reflect on the hard work and dedication it takes to be on the St. Louis Business Journal’s list of the Highest-Selling St. Louis Real Estate Teams for the fifth year in a row, we realize that it took a team to get here.  Most importantly, it is the dedication of our friends, family, business partners and clients that have trusted us with their business as well as referred us to their friends that we owe thanks to.

From the entire Boehmer Team, we are grateful for your business, your referrals and your continued support of our business.  We will never take your business for granted and will always remember that it is indeed the client that is number one. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

5 Things To Avoid When Buying a Home

In order to make your home sale go smoother, there are several things you should avoid when you buy a St. Louis or St. Charles area home. Most of the hurdles to clear regard mortgage financing. Even though you may be pre-approved for a mortgage loan, it does not mean the lender has legally committed to funding the loan. Buyers who don’t know any better can inadvertently add obstacles to their mortgage funding between writing a contract and closing day. Here are five things to avoid during the home buying process.

what to avoid when buying a home

Don’t Run Up Your Credit

Don’t max out your credit cards buying furniture for your new home. Wait until you close. This also goes for any other large purchases like a car, boat or vacation. Don’t open up new credit accounts. If you absolutely need to obtain new credit or accrue debt before closing, talk with your loan officer as soon as possible. New payments will affect your monthly debt-to-income ratio in a negative way. Here are ways to improve your credit.

Don’t Switch Up Your Banking

The Home Buying Process
Don’t switch financial institutions right before or during the home buying process or make a lot of unusual deposits or withdrawals. Your mortgage lender will be double checking your finances and require clear documentation and a recognizable paper trail of your finances. Money that will be your down payment should be sitting in your account for at least two months - what lenders call "seasoning" - so that the funds don't just appear out of thin air. Also, don’t co-sign anyone else’s loans during this time.

Don’t Get Behind

Home buying mistakes to avoid
Make sure you continue to pay your bills on time and don’t get behind. Payment history comprises about a third of your credit score. A single 30-day late payment can chop 60 to 110 points from your credit score. Many lenders require at least 12 consecutive months of on-time payments in order to qualify for a home loan.

“It is very important that the borrowers communicate with their loan officer if anything changes financially from the time they start the house hunting process to the time of closing.  Most times the loan officer will find out if something does change and if that happens at the last minute, your closing could be delayed.  In most cases if something does change and you alert your loan officer to help fix the issue, closing will go on as planned.” - Jeff Griege, VP, Paramount Mortgage

Don’t Change Employment

Obviously lenders want you to have steady employment in order to grant you a mortgage loan.  So don’t change jobs before applying for a home loan. It’s also not the right time to become self-employed or quit your job. If there are any changes in your employment, notify your lender. You don’t want to spend money on the home buying process if you won’t get the loan in the end.

Don’t Spend Your Savings

What is needed to buy a homePart of the price of financing a mortgage loan is the closing costs and you’ll likely have some responsibility for paying them. Make sure you have enough for your share of the obligation. Get an idea of  the price of your closing costs in advance by talking to your lender.


The Boehmer Team Knows How To Close

The Boehmer Team understands many of the hurdles homebuyers face in procuring the St. Louis or St. Charles, Missouri home of their dreams. We face any obstacles with our clients and do our best create a clearer path to home ownership. If you have questions about the home buying process contact The Boehmer Team.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Return to Retro… Vintage-Inspired Trends for Home Decorating

Are you preparing a home for sale in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri? Do you love to upcycle? Or has HGTV’s Fixer Upper made you want to try some of the latest vintage-inspired decorating trends? We’re seeing home décor return to retro even in newly built homes. So how are people integrating this trend into their home?

farmhouse inspired design
Picture: HGTV's Fixer Upper

White Tints and Neutral Paint Colors

White with tints of gray, beige, blue and green create a great backdrop for vintage-inspired décor.  Layer these colors with other neutral shades to create some depth.  Use chalk, flat or eggshell finishes to get the retro look. Now you can get creative with fun accessory finds of almost any color.


repurposed furniture
Wood Record Player Console with Modern Sinks
Cook Home - Photo by Jana Rice
Real wood, especially reclaimed or distressed, is a popular feature in vintage interior design. Try adding a wood wall as a focal point. If you don’t want all the work you can find textured wallpapers that give the appearance of a wood wall.

Wood flooring is especially on trend with this design style. So go ahead, pull up the carpets and expose the old hardwood floors underneath, even if they have some scratches.

Refurbished wood furniture used creatively makes an elegant statement. Meanwhile farmhouse tables have become the go-to dining table for this design style.

unusual home design materials
Copper Countertop
Cook Home - Photo by Jana Rice


A combination of wood, metal and painted surfaces create casual and beautiful interiors. These surfaces don’t have to be in perfect condition, as distressed versions are on trend with vintage-inspired style.
Here’s a quick guide to metal finishes in your home:
  • Chrome, polished nickle, brass, or brushed brass for added glam and opulence
  • Choose black or bronze for a more rustic feel
  • Choose brushed nickle or stainless steel for ease to match up with everything

Reinvented Items

reinvented items for your home
With the rise of sites like Pinterest, Houzz and Hometalk, you can easily find wonderful ideas to reinvent pieces you find in your attic, garage, or thrift stores. Turn an old dresser into an amazing TV stand, create framed art out of an old door, or repurpose a wood pallet into about anything with the added function of storage.

Unusual Accessories

Boat oars, black and white photos or vintage coffee cans? Sure! Accessories that reflect the past, your local area and the outdoors are perfect for vintage-inspired design. If you are using small items, display them in groups of odd numbers. Better yet, go big with unexpected large-scale art that creates a focal point and becomes a conversation piece.

vintage accessories for your st louis home
Picture: HGTV's Fixer Upper

The Boehmer Team

If you are currently fixing up your home to put it on the market and need some staging tips, The Boehmer Team can help. Or if you are looking to buy a modern home, mid-century home or brand new construction, The Boehmer Team can help you find the home you desire. Then you can integrate all of your vintage-inspired design ideas into making your home the house of your dreams. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Understanding The Home Appraisal Process

What is a Home Appraisal?

what is a home appraisalA home appraisal is an estimate of a home’s value. To find out a home’s value the appraiser is looking at the key characteristics of the property including location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, condition of the home, current recently sold comparables that are close in proximity and health and safety issues.

Why Do I Need a Home Appraisal?

Home Appraisals for buyers: When buying a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County areas and throughout the U.S., mortgage borrowers will be required by their financial institution to complete a home appraisal in order to be qualified for a mortgage loan on the property. 

Home Appraisals for Sellers: Sometimes an appraisal before listing your home for sale can provide valuable insight as to the pricing.

When Do I Get a Home Appraisal?

What can make a home appraisal a tense time for all parties in a sales transaction is when they are performed. The buyer’s financial institution orders the appraisal from an independent party after you've negotiated a price, agreed to buy or sell the house and signed the contract. So it's in everyone's best interest that the appraisal is close to the price that both seller and buyer have agreed on.

What is the Cost of a Home Appraisal?

cost of home appraisal in missouriIn Missouri a home appraisal can cost $300-$400. The cost usually falls on the buyer but can sometimes be negotiated when closing on the home.

How Long Does The Appraisal Process Take?

An appraisal should be requested soon after all parties sign the home sale contract. Once an appraisal is performed, underwriters can request additional information about the house than they could in past years, and gathering that data and photos can take up to a few weeks.

What Can I Do To Improve a Home Appraisal?

As a homebuyer, there is nothing you can do to help a home appraisal. As a seller, there are a few things that can help:

    how to improve a home appraisal
  • Make the property as pleasing as possible by cleaning the home and trimming the yard.
  • Make any necessary fixes to the property.
  • Make a list of repairs and improvements that have been done to the house over the past several years. Note anything you can think of and give the list to the appraiser. The appraiser will decide what is important to the value.

How Do I Order a Home Appraisal?

When you buy a home with The Boehmer Team, we work with your lender to get them the information needed to order the home appraisal for you. This is just one more way we make your sales transaction smoother.

The Boehmer Team is Here to Help

The Boehmer Team is a team of experienced agents working to assist homebuyers and sellers in the St. Louis and St. Charles County areas of Missouri. We know how to make a daunting home buying process a great experience. We are always available for your questions about the home buying and selling process. You can find more great information online at

Additional References: