Categories
Selling

Think You Should For Sale By Owner? Think Again [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights

  • For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is the process of selling real estate without the representation of a real estate broker or real estate agent.
  • According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, 35% of homeowners who decided to FSBO last year did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. But, homes sold with an agent net 6% more than those sold as a FSBO according to Collateral Analytics.
  • Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house on your own, let’s connect to discuss your options.

Posted by Keeping Current Matters

Ready to sell? Don’t go it alone! Let us help you TODAY!

Categories
Selling

5 Secrets For Stand Out Virtual Showings

To stop the spread of COVID-19, the real estate industry is pivoting away from in-person events and embracing virtualization. But, renting is a big decision–how is a tenant supposed to choose the right apartment without stepping foot inside? Enter: virtual showings. Real estate agents are leading stand out virtual showings–either by FaceTiming their client or recording a comprehensive walk through–to keep real estate running as usual. Scroll down to see 5 secrets of virtual showings for real estate agents.

5 Secrets for Stand Out Virtual Showings

1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Good Lighting

As any good photographer knows–it’s all about light. So, make sure that you’re doing your apartment justice by filming your virtual showing with great lighting. Go during the day, and experiment with what looks best on camera. Got shadowy corners in the apartment? Could the living room use a couple of extra pieces of floor lighting? Bring your own gear. Purchase a small, handheld light and shine it in the dark areas of the apartment to get your client the best possible view.

2. Mind Your Windows

Be mindful of windows in your apartment. All the light that comes streaming through large windows can distort the visuals in your virtual tours. Windows can totally white out an image, or can make a room go very dark, so be careful. When you move your camera to show an area with lots of windows, go quickly and don’t linger on the light-source.

3. Practice Beforehand

Whether you’ve chose to send your client a pre-recorded video of an apartment or you’ve decided to live-stream a showing while your client is on FaceTime, do a dry-run. There, rehearse the key selling point, and features of the apartment. Even if you’ve been leading showings for years, using a phone to do the job might throw you for a loop. Don’t take any chances. Instead, show up twenty minutes before you’ve agreed to FaceTime your client and rehearse your main talking points and the path you’ll take through the apartment. If you’re opting for a pre-recorded showing, try filming a couple of takes before you select the one you’ll send to your client.

4. Keep Things Steady with a Stabilization Device

Ever been on FaceTime with someone taking a walk and felt yourself get seasick by the movement? Make sure your clients have a better experience (and are able to see the apartment in its best light!) by investing in a cheap stabilization device (a pop socket or another type of grip), or, if you want to spend a little bit money, purchase a dolly–a tripod with wheels. It’s possible that virtual showings will become the norm for a while, so adapt and make sure you can give your client a smooth ride as you explore potential homes.

5. Don’t Take Wi-Fi For Granted: How Will Your Service Be?

If you’re leading a live-showing (FaceTiming your client at a specified time), good Wi-Fi is a must. A bad reception can garble the images your apartment, and–worse– disconnect repeatedly and cause a stressful and frustrating experience for both you and your client. When you call ahead to the landlord or property manager to let them know that you’ll be conducting a virtual showing, ask them about their WiFi situation. If it’s not good, you might need to dip into your data, or let your client know that a pre-recorded showing might work better.

6. Go Beyond Descriptive Words:

This is great to keep in mind even if you’re leading in-personal showings–make sure to use very precise descriptions.

Instead of saying: “This open concept living-dining room is pretty big.”

Say: “This open concept living-dining room could comfortably fit a round table for four and two couches.”

It can be tough to really get a good sense of space using a screen, so help your client envision what these spaces look like in real life with your words.

7. Don’t Rush: Walk Slow and Leave Time for Comments

Don’t rush your good work! It can be tough to envision something from an iPhone screen, so take your time walking through the apartment and showing off its fantastic features. Ask your client if you are moving too slow or too fast, and be sure to course-correct your pace as per their recommendations

8. Luxury Apartment? Best to Leave it To the Professionals

Are you working with luxury apartments? If so, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.  Connect with real estate photographers and see if they would be willing to lead a virtual showing for your client. Yes, it’s an extra expense. However, professionals have long-range cameras that will be able to capture depth in a much more realistic and compelling way than your iPhone can, and will know best-practices to make your showings successful. It’s an expense well worth it if you’re working for clients seeking luxury apartments. And, the opportunity to network with another real estate professional can grow your sphere of influence, and maybe even generate referrals.

As the home sales cycle softens in response to COVID, the flexibility and affordability of rentals is starting to increase in popularity. With Rental Beast, real estate agents can connect with eager renters, search thousands of no co-broke apartment units with virtual showing capacity, and quickly process leasing applications. We’re the end-to-end leasing platform that makes rentals simple and profitable for real estate agents. Click here to learn more about the Rental Beast platform, and see how rentals can help you supercharge your business.

Posted on Rental Beast on RISMedia.com

Ready to sell? Let us help you get your home on the market and SOLD!

Categories
Market News

What Are the Experts Saying About Future Home Prices?

A worldwide pandemic and an economic recession have had a tremendous effect on the nation. The uncertainty brought about by both has made predicting consumer behavior nearly impossible. For that reason, forecasting home prices has become extremely difficult.

Normally, there’s a simple formula to determine the future price of any item: calculate the supply of that item in ratio to the demand for that item. In housing right now, demand far exceeds supply. Mortgage applications to buy a home just rose to the highest level in 11 years while inventory of homes for sale is at (or near) an all-time low. That would usually indicate strong appreciation for home values as we move throughout the year.

Some experts, however, are not convinced the current rush of purchasers is sustainable. Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Haus, explained in their June 2020 Hausing Market Forecast why there is concern:

“The upswing that we’ll see this summer is a result of pent-up demand from homebuyers and supply-in-progress from homebuilders that has simply been pushed off a few months. However, after this pent-up demand goes away, the true economic scarring due to the pandemic will begin to affect the housing market as the tide of pent-up demand goes out.”

The virus and other challenges currently impacting the industry have created a wide range of thoughts regarding the future of home prices. Here’s a list of analysts and their projections, from the lowest depreciation to the highest appreciation:

We can garner two important points from this list:

  1. There is no real consensus among the experts.
  2. No one projects prices to crash like they did in 2008.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re thinking of buying a home or selling your house, know that home prices will not change dramatically this year, even with all of the uncertainty we’ve faced in 2020.

Posted on Keeping Current Matters

Ready to Buy or Sell? Contact us TODAY to get started!

Categories
Buying

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 7th Year Running

Every year, Gallup conducts a survey of Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are asked to select real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.

For the seventh year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment. Gallup explained:

“Real estate remains the most favored investment to Americans, as has been the case since 2013, when the housing market was on the rebound. More than a third of Americans have named real estate as the top investment since 2016.”

This year’s results indicated 35% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 21%. The full results covering the last decade are shown in the chart below:

Bottom Line

The belief of the American people in the stability of housing as a long-term investment remains strong, even through the many challenges our economy faces today.

Posted by Keeping Current Matters

Ready to buy? Contact us TODAY to get started!

Categories
Buying

Three Reasons Homebuyers Are Ready to Purchase This Year

A recent survey by Lending Tree tapped into behaviors of over 1,000 prospective buyers. The results indicated 53% of all homebuyers are more likely to buy a home in the next year, even amid the current health crisis. The survey further revealed why, naming several reasons buyers are more likely to move this year (see graph below):

Let’s break down why these are a few of the key factors motivating buyers to actively engage in the home search process, and the corresponding wins for sellers as well.

1. Low Mortgage Rates

The biggest reason potential homebuyers indicated they’re eager to purchase this year is due to current mortgage rates, which are hovering near all-time lows. Today’s low rates are making it more affordable than ever to buy a home, which is a huge incentive for purchasers. In fact, 67% of respondents in the Lending Tree survey want to take advantage of low mortgage rates. This is no surprise when comparing historic mortgage rates by decade (see below):

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac recently said:

“As the economy is slowly rebounding, all signs continue to point to a solid recovery in home sales activity heading into the summer as prospective buyers jump back into the market. Low mortgage rates are a key factor in this recovery.”

2. Reduced Spending

Some people have also been able to save a little extra money over the past few months while sheltering in place. One of the upsides of staying home recently is that many have been able to work remotely and minimize extra spending on things like commuting expenses, social events, and more. For those who fall into this category, they may have a bit more saved up for down payments and closing costs, making purchasing a home more feasible today.

3. Re-Evaluating Their Space

Spending time at home has also given buyers a chance to really evaluate their living space, whether renting or as a current homeowner. With time available to craft a wish list of what they really need in their next home, from more square footage to a more spacious neighborhood, they’re ready to make it happen.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

With these three factors in play, the demand for housing will keep growing this year, especially over the summer as more communities continue their phased approach to reopening. Buyers can take advantage of additional savings and low mortgage rates. And if you’re thinking of selling, know that your home may be in high demand as buyer interest grows and the number of homes for sale continues to dwindle. This may be your moment to list your house and make a move into a new space as well.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to buy or sell – or maybe both – let’s connect to put your plans in motion. With low mortgage rates leading the way, it’s a great time to take advantage of your position in today’s market.

Posted by Keeping Current Matters

Ready to buy or sell? Contact us TODAY to get started!

Categories
Moving

5 Stress-Reducing Tips for Planning Your Long-Distance Move

Move-in day excitement shouldn’t be overshadowed by moving day anxiety. Some smart preparation can go a long way towards making moving a little more uplifting (and a little less heavy lifting). Here are 5 things you can do leading up to your move to make for less stress on moving day.

1. Consider Your Move Date

Like tomatoes and pumpkin spice lattes, there is a peak season for moving, which falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But unlike tomato sandwiches, moving is actually best done during the off season for the most options and the best prices. Considering that the first and last weeks of the month can be particularly popular as well, a mid-week, mid-month move during the months of October–April is recommendedas your best bet.

Having access to the widest array of dates and times means that you’ll be able to plan your move when it’s most convenient for you. Plus, you’ll save money by scheduling during a slower time of the year.

2. Have a Packing Plan

Less stuff equals less stress when it comes to packing. Instead of blindly beginning to box your belongings, take stock in what you actually want to bring with you when you move. To get started, consult this step-by-step guide to the pre-move purge for tips on what you should consider when deciding what stays and what goes.

This meticulous approach keeps you sane and helps you plan—knowing exactly what you’ll be moving and how unwieldy those items is key for deciding what kind of moving company you’ll need.

Compare quotes from long-distance moving companies.

3. Do Your Research

Options can be overwhelming, but having the right information will make you feel confident that you’re hiring the right team for your move. When it comes to moving companies, they generally fall into 3 major categories: full-service, self-service, and specialized. How much you have to move, what kind of items you’re moving, and your budget will determine which category of moving company makes the most sense. In broad terms, a full-service moving company handles every part of the move—from packing to transporting to unloading at your final destination. A self-service company generally handles only the transportation part of the move (meaning that packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading the truck are up to you) and specialized moving companies are trained in proper techniques for moving unique items like antiques, art, appliances, or pianos.

Once you have an idea of the type of moving company you’ll need, get 3-4 moving quotes from properly licensed and insured professional movers to thoroughly compare your options.

4. Budget Accordingly

Expenses can add up quickly when you’re moving long-distance, so keeping track of your budget is a crucial step in your pre-move plan. Your moving quote will be a powerful tool to help you budget. There are a few different types of estimates you can receive, but the most popular type is called a binding not-to-exceed or guaranteed not-to-exceed estimate. This type of estimate ensures that the most you’ll pay is the quoted price, but you’ll pay less if the actual weight of your belongings is less than the estimated weight. Once you have an idea of what you’ll pay for your moving service, remember to additionally budget for tipping your movers. $10 per person for a half-day move and $20 for a full day is a good place to start.

5. Think About Moving Insurance

When you’ve taken care to pack only your most meaningful belongings, the last thing you want is to worry about them being damaged on their way to your destination. Moving insurance can give you peace of mind. By law, all moving companies must provide 2 coverage options for out-of-state moves: Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection. Full Value Protection requires movers to replace items damaged during moving or reimburse the current value. Released Value Protection only requires reimbursement at $0.60 per pound. You can ask the moving companies giving you quotes what expanded coverage they may offer, or, if your items are particularly valuable, you may want to consider carrying your own third-party moving insurance policy as well.

Ready to get moving? Start by comparing your options with Moving.comto get quotes from their network of licensed and insured professional movers. You’ll be on your way to planning a happier move.

Posted on realtor.com

Ready to move? Let’s talk TODAY about Relocation and Buying your next home!

Categories
Selling

Summer is the New Spring for Real Estate [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights

  • The health crisis slowed the market this spring, so buyers are jumping back into the market to make their moves this summer.
  • Check these 10 items off your to-do list so your house is ready to sell while buying is hot!
  • Let’s connect today to prepare your house for the sizzling summer market.

Posted on Keeping Current Matters

Ready to get your home on the market? Contact us TODAY to help you get started!

Categories
Selling

Are You Ready for the Summer Housing Market?

As the health crisis started making its way throughout our country earlier this spring, sellers have been cautious about putting their homes on the market. This hesitation stemmed primarily from fear of the spread of the coronavirus, and understandably so. This abundant caution has greatly impacted the number of homes for sale and slowed the pace of a typically busy spring real estate season. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American notes:

“As more homeowners are reluctant to list their homes for sale amid the pandemic, the supply of homes available to potential home buyers continues to dwindle.”

With many states beginning a phased approach to reopening, virtual best practices and health and safety guidelines for the industry are in place to increase the comfort level of buyers and sellers. What we see today, though, is that sellers are still making a very calculated return to the market. In their latest Weekly Housing Trends Report, realtor.com indicates:

“New listings: On the slow path to recovery. Nationwide the size of declines held mostly steady this week, dropping 23 percent over last year, a slight increase over last week but still an improvement over the 30 percent declines in the first half of May.”

Although we’re starting to inch our way toward more homes for sale throughout the country, the number of homes on the market is still well below the demand from buyers. In the same report, Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research for realtor.com shares:

“Sellers have yet to come back in full force, limiting the availability of homes for sale. Total active listings are declining from a year ago at a faster rate than observed in previous weeks, and this trend could worsen as buyers regain confidence and come back to the market before sellers.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) seems to agree:

“In the coming months, buying activity will rise as states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about homebuying in the midst of the social distancing measures.”

What we can see today is that homebuyers are more confident than the sellers, and they’re ready to make up for lost time from the traditional spring market. Summer is gearing up to be the 2020 buying season, so including your house in the mix may be your best opportunity to sell yet. Interest in your house may be higher than you think with so few sellers on the market today. As Vivas says:

“More properties will have to enter the market in June to bring the number of options for buyers back to normal levels for this time of the year, nationwide and in all large markets.”

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to sell your house this summer, let’s connect today. Buyers are interested and they may be looking for a house just like yours.

Posted on Keeping Current Matters

Ready to sell? Contact us TODAY to get started!

Categories
For Homeowners

National Homeownership Month [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights

  • National Homeownership Month is a great time to reflect on how we can each promote stronger community growth.
  • Homeownership helps families build financial freedom, find greater happiness and satisfaction, and make a positive impact on our local communities.
  • Let’s connect today if homeownership is part of your future plans.

Posted on Keeping Current Matters

Are you ready to own, or move on to your next home? Talk with us TODAY to get started!

Categories
For Homeowners

Top Reasons to Own Your Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights

  • June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home.
  • If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year.
  • Let’s connect today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.

Posted on Keeping Current Matters

Ready to buy? Visit us today to get started!