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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

8 Reasons Why This is the Best Real Estate Market



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For months, years now most agents have been calling out loud and clear to all buyers saying that it has been a good market. In fact, we have been able to witness a lot of changes during the past several years – with ups and downs in home prices, interest rates, average DOM and inventory levels. Well, today the marketplace has begun an unprecedented shift for the better, amounting to it being a fantastic real estate environment for nearly everyone.

Here are eight reasons why we are currently in the best real estate market that we have seen in a long time and why you should consider getting involved:

1. Lowest interest rates in the history of our market. Right now, at the end of July 2012, we are seeing a typical interest rate of about 3.65% on a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage. Shorter terms can be even lower for qualified buyers.

2. Banks are eager to lend money. The stall we saw a couple years ago where banks were too cautious has now eased up, allowing most well qualified buyers the ease of a smooth financing process.

3. Very low home prices. This has been the case for a while now and it has helped buyers get great deals. But as buyers realize these interest rates may not stay low forever, the low prices work to help sellers too. Also when sellers do sell their properties they will oftentimes need to move elsewhere, making it a dollar for dollar trade up with the result of less taxes and lower borrowing costs.

4. Very low inventory. For the first time in a long time we are seeing inventory levels so low that it is encourage multiple offers and even bidding wars in some situations. Less competition is great for sellers and smoother transactions for buyers make everyone happy. Currently we are looking at a huge decline in active listings across the board.

5. More buyers have more buying power. For the first time, many potential homeowners are able to get into new homes with the availability of little to no down payment or other programs. With the expanded marketplace there is a lot more activity – a healthy indication of a recovering market.

6. Appraisers are being reasonable. Appraisers often hold the key to whether buyer and sellers can engage in a successful deal, especially since financing often depends on an accurate and acceptable appraisal. We are seeing more and more appraisers exercising less scrutiny in their process and working with agents plus lenders throughout their appraisal procedure.

7. The Presidential Election likely to strengthen the economy. One typical effect of a presidential election is the positive impact it has on the economy. This will of course generate further consumer confidence and of course increased real estate activity.

8. Rental rates are higher than ever before. Rents are probably as high as they have ever been, providing investors and secondary property purchases plenty of opportunity to embark on low cost purchases of property that will carry through rental income.

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If you know someone who could use this information right now,  do me a favor and forward this email, share the message with them. It helps get the word out there and I greatly appreciated it.
If I could ever do anything to help you with buying or selling or just making decisions on what you should do with you RE whether it be to hold & sit tight for a few years or just get the property sold now please give me a call and we can discuss your situation. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ten Questions Every Homeowner Should Ask an Agent



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As you embark upon what will be one of the most important transactions of your life – whether buying or selling a home – you should be absolutely certain that you are happy with the real estate agent you have hired to help you manage it. 

To help you with this all-important hiring process, here are ten important questions to ask an agent before you decide on whether or not to hire them:

Question #1
How Close Do You Get in Sale Price Related to Asking Price?
It is important to ask for this information as it relates to the past 60 days.  Given that many agents are not that active in the market, you would be best served to obtain the most recent information possible.  As a seller, your agent’s ability to come close to the asking price is a strong attribute and can mean a difference of thousands of dollars in your transaction.

Question #2
How Many Days on Average Does It Take You To Sell a Home?
What’s the average number of days on the market for properties listed by your prospective agent? Since this statistic can reach as high as six to nine months and in some cases and as much as a year, it is important to ask how your prospective agent ranks on the scale.

Question #3
What is the Rate of Homes Sold on a Monthly Basis?
Knowing the absorption rate of homes similar to yours that are on the market allows valuable insight as to how the market is performing for your particular needs.  Not only does it give sellers a glimpse into the system and how it would translate to their own sale but it also presents a broader view of the entire market in general.

Question #4
What Do You Do Differently To Get Homes Sold?
Especially with the current trying economic times, many agents have been faced with adversities trying to sell the homes on their list.  One of the best ways to learn whether your agent is a self-starter is to find out what they have done in the past when they were unable to successfully sell homes.  Ask why the agent feels the home(s) did not sell and then find out what they are doing differently to get them sold.

Question #5
What Percentage of Deals Do You Represent the Buyer Versus Seller? 
Some agents work primarily with sellers while others work mostly with buyers and still others are experienced with dual-agency deals.  Depending on your needs, you will benefit from an agent that specializes in one of the two.  It is important to ask which side of the fence your prospective agent tends to represent. 

Questions #6
How Many Homes Did You Sell Last Year?
Nothing speaks louder than numbers.  A very important statistic, ask what the total number of homes sold last year was and if possible try to get a more long-term picture of the agent’s performance in this regard. You can also ask for a month-to-month breakdown to see if there are certain stronger months.

Questions #7
Can You Provide a List of the Ten Most Current Clients You Have Worked With?
Rather than rely on the given list of referrals that many agents have handpicked, it’s a good idea to obtain a list of clients that are currently working with this Realtor.  It will provide a much-needed glimpse into the agent’s performance on various stages of real estate transactions.

Question #8
How Much of Your Work Day Do You Dedicate to the Real Estate Industry?
You want an agent that is 100% committed to their  job and if they are focusing more on a day job with real estate being a secondary thing, you run the risk of inaccessibility, lack of knowledge and experience plus lackluster motivation.  Find out how they feel about the real estate industry and whether they are passionate about their work.

Question #9
What is Your Style of Marketing – Proactive or Reactive?
What is your potential agent’s style of working?  Does he or she speak to a large number of people each day? Are they proactive or reactive in nature when it comes to marketing? See how this lines up with your real estate needs.  Are you in a hurry to buy or sell?  Does a laid back agent hinder your efforts? Or does slow and steady work better for you?

Question #10
What Does Your Daily Schedule Look Like?
The typical schedule of a real estate professional can be very telling.  By asking for a copy or general idea of how they conduct their day in terms of their work, you can get a good idea of how much time is devoted to the profession and what kind of business they are running.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Major Shift in Local Real Estate Market



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For the first time in eight years, we are seeing a tremendous shift in selling trends across the board. Our existing inventory of homes on the market available for sale is now forty percent lower!  What does this mean to you as a player in the game of real estate?  It means that now, as a seller, you finally have some leverage. A lot of leverage, in fact. Here are some of the things we are seeing as a result of this huge change toward the sellers’ favor:

Low Competition

Fewer homes on the market translate to fewer competitors to contend with. Wouldn’t you like to be the only house on the street that is for sale?  Often times a buyer will home in on a certain area and then seek to find the property of their liking within that vicinity. If your house is available for sale then imagine the type of interest you will receive if yours is among the very few listed in that neighborhood?

Multiple Offers

When you do factor in that many buyers are out there still trying to take advantage of the phenomenally low interest rates, sellers are clearly in a win-win situation. Buyers have no idea how long these interest rates will remain so low, so naturally they are scrambling to get theirs now. Sellers are being met with multiple offers now, with the leverage to be able to be choosy with the offers that come in.

Bidding Wars

Along with multiple offers comes another aspect of selling in a sellers’ market – bidding wars. Some buyers are so dead set on the home they want that they make an offer the seller can’t refuse. Usually all the buyers that are interested tend to make various offers within the fair market value range to start but then move up slowly in competition with one another.

Near or At 100% of Asking Price

The bidding wars almost always end up in the seller receiving top dollar. Whether this means achieving a number very close to the asking price or even above, the bottom line is that when there are more buyers vying for you property, you (the seller) have the edge.

Many Trading Up

A lot of sellers have more than just selling in mind; they are planning to buy in these phenomenal market conditions. Keeping in mind that it is currently a “dollar for dollar” market, what you receive in the sale of your home will also be translated into what you afford to get in a new home. That means that this is the perfect time to trade up while locking in very low interest rates in the process. The low cost of borrowing right now is ample incentive for many sellers to trade up nowadays.
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So here is the question I ask you: Would you like to drop your house into a growing pool of buyers or would you rather sit the market out and wait for it to change again?

Contact me today so we can get started on getting you a fantastic deal on your home!