Choosing the Right Realtor®You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:
- Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
- Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
- Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset
So How Do You Choose The Right Realtor®An agent must be concerned first and foremost with you and your family to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case. Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:
- Bragging about their success
- Bragging about their company’s success
You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.
Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today!
1. Prices Will Continue to RiseCoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.0% over the next year. The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.
2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to IncreaseFreddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have hovered around 4%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year. An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.
3. Either Way, You Are Paying a MortgageThere are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity. Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?
4. It’s Time to Move on With Your LifeThe ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But what if they weren’t? Would you wait? Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.
If purchasing a home for you and your family is the right thing for you to do this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.
Top Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Professional
- Hiring a real estate professional to buy your dream home, or sell your current house, is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make!
- A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process.
- Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions & can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family!
3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy A HomeAsk yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.
1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money. For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say, “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.” This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:
- A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
- A place where you and your family feel safe
- More space for you and your family
- Control of that space
2. Where are home values headed?According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in May (the latest data available) was $252,800, which is up 5.8% from last year. This increase also marks the 63rd consecutive month with year-over-year gains. If we look at home prices year over year, CoreLogic is forecasting an increase of 5.3% over the next twelve months. In other words, a home that costs you $250,000 today will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait until next year to buy it.
What does that mean to you?Simply put, with prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.
3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), NAR, and Fannie Mae have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:
Bottom LineOnly you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.
Now Is A Great Time To Sell!We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.
REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEXEvery month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that home-buying demand continued to outpace supply in May. The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger the demand is there). In addition to revealing high demand, the index also mentioned that “compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 24 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in D.C and West Virginia.” Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong throughout 2017, but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue into 2018.
THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORTThe most important data revealed in the report was not sales, but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:
- Total housing inventory rose 2.1% to 1.96 million homes available for sale
- That represents a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace
- Unsold inventory is 8.4% lower than a year ago, marking the 24th consecutive month with year-over-year declines
“Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values. See below: As we mentioned before, there is currently a 4.2- month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Confidence Index shows that 55% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold. In May, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 27 days. As Yun notes, this will continue, unless more listings come to the market.
“With new and existing supply failing to catch up with demand, several markets this summer will continue to see homes going under contract at this remarkably fast pace of under a month.”Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. And the supply will continue to ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.
Bottom LineIf you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house. If you would like to know the market statistics in YOUR town, feel free to contact me.
1. Prices Will Continue to RiseCoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.1% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.9% over the next year. The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.
2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to IncreaseFreddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year. An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.
3. Either Way, You are Paying a MortgageThere are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity. Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?
4. It’s Time to Move on with Your LifeThe ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But what if they weren’t? Would you still wait? Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations: now is the time to buy.
If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.
1. What do you do with all this paperwork?Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional is an expert in his or her market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.
2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?There are over 180 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you achieve your dream?
3. Are you a good negotiator?So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. After looking at the list of parties that you will need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll soon realize the value in selecting a real estate professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people who you will need to be knowledgeable of, and answer to, during the process.
4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the amount of time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $245,000 among agent-assisted home sales.” Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.
5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively, and correctly, price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer? Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.
Bottom LineYou wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a real estate professional?
So you just lost out on a bidding war on the 3rd house you have put bids in on. You offered full price, but was then asked to provide your final and best offer. So you increased your offer by another $2,000 and still lost out on the home you fell in love with. Situations like this are not unique in this super-strong seller’s market we’re in.
Some short time ago, I received a frustrated buyer’s voicemail message indicating he was going to put off his search for a while. Looking at houses that had better photos than in reality and getting beat out on his last 3 offers, he and his wife were going to put their home search on the back burner.
I responded with the following email that contains good advice for all frustrated home buyers currently out there looking to buy a home in a very hot home seller’s market:
I received your message and have no problem with your decision to wait as buying a house is always a personal decision one (sometimes two) must make.
I would just remind you that Johns mortgage rate this past summer was around 3.6% and rates are currently hovering between 4.25% and 4.5%. Historically, over the past 30 years, the average rate has been just above 8%.
I bought my first home at 16% mortgage rate in 1980, but I needed a home and that was the current rate. Mortgage rates currently remain near historical lows.
Bottom line: Would you wait and feel good about purchasing a year from now at a mortgage rate above 5% with the likelihood of home prices up 5% from current levels? This is the prospect many are facing and why you are seeing such high activity levels this early in March.
I wish you the best and will be happy to help whenever you are ready.
After the buyer read my response, he and his wife went out the very next day, found a house they loved, called me to show it to them again and we placed a full price offer. Although the offer was full price, they increased their offer above full price since there were several other offers and they didn’t want to lose this house. I’m happy to report that they placed the winning bid on a house they will just love for years to come.
Moral: Don’t Put Off Your Home Purchase – Just realize competition is stiff and when you see a house you like, you need to respond quickly and firmly with a substantial offer. This isn’t the market to think you can get a house by offering 5 or 10% less than full ask and an offer above full ask is required when the home you seek is priced accurately!
“I am a true believer that you save every penny and you buy your first house… and that is still the fastest path to wealth in this country.”Conlon went on to suggest that first-time buyers put down 10-20% “if they can make it work,” and to remain in their home at least 4-5 years to see a return on their investment.
Who is Sean Conlon, why should you listen to his advice and why you should buy now?Within a few years of working in the real estate industry, Conlon had established himself as one of the leading agents in the United States and has founded 3 billion-dollar brokerages dealing in residential, commercial and investment sales. Since immigrating to America from the United Kingdom in 1990, he believes very strongly in the American Dream and the role that homeownership plays in achieving it. Conlon is quoted on his website as saying:
“I treat people the way I would like to be treated if I went in to buy a house and I work harder than anybody I know. I think if you do that in America, you will always succeed.”