A lot of home sellers make the fundamental mistake of assuming that all agents make roughly the same daily effort and carry out the same actions on their behalf.
The reality is that this is far from the truth.
For starters, a lot of agents are only part time. Then there's the gulf in performance between the average agent selling something like one home per month, compared with top producers - ourselves included - who routinely post monthly sales in double figures!
So what is the defining difference here? In a word, it's all about being intentional and having a specific plan every single day!
A truly effective and repeatedly successful agent does a huge amount more than simply placing your home on the multiple listing service and hoping for the best.
Top producers are marketing professionals who work to an agreed and detailed strategy with each client. This involves deploying a wide range of marketing tactics, including taking advantage of an ever increasing range of online opportunities.
The best agents are also great communicators, making dozens of key connections each day, including a network of past clients and others who can influence the sale of a home and, crucially, maintaining contact with the best buyer's agents in the area, who are an essential point of contact with current qualified buyers actively searching for a home.
This intense daily effort also means the agent is exceptionally well informed on current market trends, ensuring that your asking price attracts maximum interest and ultimately creates the best opportunities for an optimized return.
An agent's exceptional experience at the negotiating table means that you have the very best negotiator at your side, as well as an accomplished problem solver, ready to fire fight any issues that occur at any stage in the listing process.
Does your agent meet these standards or are you looking for one that does? Either way please get in touch with us for a more detailed explanation of the dedicated efforts that we make that result in high levels of client satisfaction that you can see for yourself in the testimonials here.
The end of summer is fast approaching. It's traditionally a time when many people determine whether to sell their home now, or wait until next year.
This year there are a range of extra dynamics that suggest putting off your sale until 2020 may be a bad idea.
Firstly, there is tremendous buyer sentiment in the market right now, thanks to mortgage rates that continue to fall to new multi-year lows.
Next year is an election year, which can sometimes create uncertainties. There is also a lot of press coverage at the moment, speculating on whether a recession is on the way or not. Usually, with a high degree of probability, a recession comes after a drop in interest rates, which just took place.
Real estate markets don't look any better than right now, so moving quickly on the decision to list means you'll be selling at an optimal moment, rather than risking something changing for the worst.
Ultimately the decision to sell is a personal one which revolves around a family's goals and objectives. If you have been considering making a move, now is presenting itself to be a good time to do so.
The recent news that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates for the first time in eight years has key implications for the real estate market.
If we think of the economic cycle, and the last recession representing winter, we have been through spring and most of summer already. Interest rate drops are a sign that the leaves are changing as fall approaches and a signal that the economy is finally slowing down.
This suggests that right now is an optimal moment to make the decision to sell, while the feel good factor is still fresh and buyers are keen to lock in a very low rate for the life of a home loan.
As ever, the best decisions in real estate can be made by assessing the current situation and not playing a waiting/guessing game.
If you're currently on the fence about whether or not to list, please get in touch with us for an informal discussion of the very best options for your individual circumstance.
Falling mortgage rates have been in the news again, having sunk to a near three year low.
With so much good news on rates in recent months, a lot of buyers are asking if they have much further to fall, some perhaps reasoning that playing a waiting game might yield even more attractive rates.
While rates have been trending progressively lower since last November, there are simply no guarantees that they will continue further south.
A wide range of economic, political and international factors all weigh on where mortgage rates sit at any specific point in time.
Simply put, hoping for further falls is a high risk strategy and a gamble.
Many wise buyers are currently recognizing the current time as presenting a wonderful opportunity to lock in a low rate for the entire life of the home loan.
Contact us to discuss your best strategies in the current very favorable situation.
If you've been thinking about home ownership, or contemplating a move, you owe it to yourself to seriously consider the fantastic opportunity right now.
Mortgage rates have been steadily falling since their multi-year peak of last November, when a 30 year fixed loan averaged 4.87%.
In recent weeks, average 30 year fixed rates have dipped below the psychological barrier of 4%, leading to a lot of extra market activity as buyers look to secure an ultra-low rate.
This really is a very rare chance. If we take a look at Freddie Mac's table of average 30 year fixed rates since 1971, going back in five year increments, we can see how well today's rates compare:
May 2014 - 4.19% May 2009 - 4.86% May 2004 - 6.27% May 1999 - 7.15% May 1994 - 8.60% May 1989 - 10.77% May 1984 - 13.94% May 1979 - 10.69% May 1974 - 8.97%
In fact, the annual rate for 30 year fixed has averaged 4% or below on just five occasions in the past 48 years! The highest rate in that time was an eye-watering 18.45% in October 1981...
So, even though last year's high in November of 4.87% was obviously unwelcome, even at that point we were still enjoying a comparatively favorable percentage, from an historic perspective.
Of course there are no guarantees that the recent falls will continue. Right now rates have moved sideways and, even though some experts are predicting further drops, there can never be certainty, especially as mortgage rates are subject to the volatilities of national and international financial markets and politics.
Sellers can also reap significant benefits from listing at this time of heightened positive buyer sentiment. Very simply, buyers are keen to purchase before anything changes.
We'd be happy to help you evaluate the current highly favorable situation from your individual perspective, including connecting you with the best mortgage professionals in the area, so please reach out to us.
If you have plans to sell a home later in the year, perhaps you're thinking it's much too early in the process to start talking to a top listing agent?
This is a common thought process and yet the reality is that there's simply no such thing as “too soon” when it comes to making plans to sell your home.
Having a great agent by your side at the earliest opportunity enables the agent to create interest in the property even before any formal marketing has begun.
Top producers have excellent connections with the best buyers' agents, meaning that they can be briefed about your home in advance and identify possible qualified buyers, for whom your home ticks many, or even all, of their boxes. It's therefore quite possible to receive offers prior to the formal listing process getting under way!
Your agent will be very closely monitoring market trends and possibly suggest to you that it would be wise to push forward early with the listing, or indeed to delay it slightly.
Your agent can also offer great advice on staging your home, so that it is presented in the best possible way to maximize the return in the time frame you require. Clearly the more time you have to make those adjustments, the easier it all becomes.
Most sellers will be looking to move to another home, so working with an agent asap means that ideal properties can be identified well in advance, increasing the possibilities of a seamless transition into your next residence. And even if you're moving to a new part of the country, the best agents have excellent nationwide connections with other leading real estate professionals.
Perhaps above all, however, your agent can act as your real estate adviser from the very earliest stages, helping to you to make all the right decisions throughout your home selling journey.
We are very used to working with clients in this way and would be delighted to hear from you about your plans for the rest of this year, and beyond. Feel free to reach out to us.
Many home buyers make the mistake of believing that being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a home loan are the same.
In fact, there are vital distinctions between them and it's important to understand why pre-approval is so preferable.
Pre-qualification is nothing more than a lender's estimate of an amount you might reasonably be approved for, using some information you've supplied.
Pre-approval, on the other hand, is a lender's confirmation that, unless your situation changes, you are able to borrow a certain amount for a mortgage.
Naturally, pre-approval involves a far more forensic look at your finances and you will have to provide the lender with detailed information, including recent tax returns, income, investments, and savings. There will also be a full credit check.
It makes sense to think of pre-qualification as a quick means of establishing what you might be able to borrow. Pre-approval, on the other hand, is much more useful to you.
Sellers inevitably take offers from pre-approved buyers more seriously because they have confirmation of someone being able to afford their home. This can be especially vital when competitive bids are placed.
Having a pre-approval in hand also means that your entire home buying process becomes more streamlined, as there are no detailed mortgage application procedures to go through, once you have decided on the right home.
We hope this helps to explain an important difference. We have excellent connections with top local home loan professionals, so please don't hesitate to contact us for more details.
The prospect of not having to pay an agent's commission when selling a home can be very attractive to some people.
Have you ever noticed, though, how often those "For Sale By Owner" signs get replaced by one representing a local agent? This is because, almost always, there are far more minuses than pluses to this idea. Unfortunately some sellers learn this lesson the really hard way...
It isn't very long before the shine starts to wear off any notions of "DIY" home selling.
Only a professional agent can be truly on the pulse of local market conditions and have the right level of experience and knowledge to price your home so that it achieves the goal of attracting maximum interest at the same time as optimizing the potential for your very best return on the sale.
And don't think that referring to the various generic home price estimating websites is a great barometer of accurate pricing either. They are notoriously wide of the actual market value, both above and below...
Great agents work closely with a hard earned network of people who can positively influence a home sale, not least the best buyer's agents in the area. Unless you sell real estate, and are successful at doing it, you simply won't have access to these vital contacts.
Market exposure for DIY sellers is very, very limited. The goal in marketing a property is to expose the property to all the prospective buyers who are looking in the specific geographic area of the home in question and their agent. Sellers attempting to sell on their own are extremely limited in their capacity to accomplish this. 100% market exposure equals top market price. Limited market exposure ultimately equals less money in the seller's pocket.
Even if a DIY seller somehow gets an offer, how is he/she going to know if it's the best possible one? Maybe the offer has come in simply because the asking price is way below the true market value. Top producing agents will be able to negotiate to get the very best outcome.
And even when an offer is accepted, there's still a lot of closing admin to do. If you haven't been trained in this, where do you even start? The worst case scenario is that something could go very wrong in this process, due to inexperience, that might end up costing you a lot of money at some stage.
If you've been considering selling your home by yourself, we hope that these important points help to convince you that an agent's commission actually pays for itself, in terms of maximizing potential returns and peace of mind. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us for a more in-depth discussion.
With almost perfect timing, the beginning of the busy spring buying season has seen the lowest mortgage rates for over a year.
Just three weeks ago, 30 year fixed rate home loans saw the biggest single week decline in over a decade!
The positive results of this are already being documented. Fannie Mae has reported that housing sentiment surged last month, with more consumers believing that now is a good time to buy and sell a home.
This chain of events has led to something of a reassessment of prospects for the homes market this year. Buyers are already out in force, looking to lock in a low rate while they still can. Wise sellers are listing right now to make sure they can capitalize on the new wave of buyer enthusiasm.
Even though there are many predictions that the generally downward trend in rates will continue for some time, as ever there can be no guarantees that this will be the case. The pattern of national and international events and economics will largely dictate where we go from here and we have all seen many times how unpredictable those can be.
So the best advice is to recognize the very positive current market conditions as representing the best opportunity to sell and/or buy for some time and to take full advantage.
We are, of course, here to help you throughout the process. Call us for an informal discussion on the strongest options in your individual circumstances.