The residential housing market has been hot. Home sales have bounced back solidly and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007. Demand remains strong going into the winter. Many real estate professionals are reporting that multiple offers are occurring regularly and listings are actually selling above listing price. What about your house?
If your home is on the market and you are not receiving any offers, look at your price. Pricing your home just 10% above market value dramatically cuts the number of prospective buyers that will even see your house. (See Chart)
The housing market is hot. If you are not seeing results you want, sit down with your agent and revisit the pricing conversation....
According to a joint study released by Google and the National Association of Realtors, 2 of 3 people searching for a prospective real estate professional research them “extensively online prior to working with them". And, that number is probably increasing every day.
Are social media channels such as Facebook really a good place to gather information about an agent before using them? If so, what should you look for?
There is a plethora of information on any subject available on social media sites such as Facebook. A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that 63% of Americans now even get their news from Facebook (up from 47% in 2013).
It is no different for both buyers and sellers of real estate. Yes, Facebook is a good place to gather information about the housing market and “checkout” an agent you are considering hiring to help buy or sell a home.
You want an agent that cares more about you and your family than they care about bragging about themselves. One way to determine this is to look at what they post on their Facebook page. Are they more interested in ‘hawking’ a listing or bragging about their accomplishments or are they trying to post insightful information that will help you make the best decision for you and your family?
At a recent real estate conference, Guy Kawasaki, an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, gave the following advice to the Realtors in attendance:
“Value comes in the form of information...
Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to go it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!
The field of real estate is loaded with land mines. You need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and ready for you to move in to can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift out the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home”.
A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home.
In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.
Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary; the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head; the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?
If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with...
Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).
In a recent Forbes article the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that in 2016 the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater.
The graph below demonstrates the results of the last two Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction:
Simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings’. Every time you pay your mortgage...
With residential real estate values rising quite substantially in most parts of the country over the last few years, many homeowners are seeing a major increase in their family’s wealth as equity continues to build in their house.
A recent study by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that home equity grew nicely last year and has grown dramatically over the last five years…...
We are often asked why there is so much paperwork mandated by the bank for a mortgage loan application when buying a home today. It seems that the bank needs to know everything about us and requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application form.
Many buyers are being told by friends and family that the process was a hundred times easier when they bought their home ten to twenty years ago.
There are two very good reasons that the loan process is much more onerous on today’s buyer than perhaps any time in history.
However, there is some good news in the situation. The housing crash that mandated that banks be extremely strict on paperwork requirements also allowed you to get a mortgage interest rate probably at or below 4%.
The friends and family who bought homes ten or twenty ago experienced a simpler mortgage application process...