Housing Market is Healthiest in Years!

nana smith, stamford selling agent

According to Nationwide’s recently unveiled, Health of Housing Market (HoHM) Report, the US housing market is at it’s healthiest levels since the index’s creation in 2001.

The index analyzes the health of the housing market across the country and in 373 metro areas every quarter. Using the data that they have collected over the past 15 years, Nationwide will look to give a “data-driven view of the near-term performance of housing markets based upon current health indicators.”

The fourth quarter of 2014 ended with the highest indicator score in over 15 years of data analyzed by the study at 109.8. The report explains:

“An index value over 100 suggests that the national housing market is healthy, with lower chances of a housing downturn over the next year as the index moves increasingly above the 100 breakeven value.”

Employment, demographics, the mortgage market, and housing prices are all used to evaluate the health of each market. The top 10 healthiest housing markets according to the index are:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Cleveland-Elyria, OH
  3. Philadelphia, PA
  4. Rockford, Ill.
  5. Burlington, NC
  6. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, PA
  7. Fayetteville-Springdale, AR
  8. Idaho Falls, ID
  9. Tulsa, OK
  10. Kennewick-Richland, WA

The two ‘least healthy’ markets were Bismark, ND and Atlantic City, NJ who received“just slightly negative performance rankings”.

David Berson, Nationwide’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, says “the quarterly report should serve as a resource to gauge how healthy housing markets are today but, perhaps more important, what to expect in the future and why.”

Bottom Line:

The housing market continues to recover and surpass recent history. Meet with an agent in your local market to determine if you are able to take advantage of the opportunities available in real estate today.

Industry Experts Agree: Housing Supply Too Low

Compete REA, Nana Smith selling agent, Nana Smith Stamford real estate

Last week, we reported on the lack of housing supply and how that was impacting the real estate market. Today, we want to let you know what other industry experts are saying.

Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac Vice President:

“It’s kind of a seesaw right now between supply and demand. One of the reasons for fewer sales is not so much a lack of demand but a lack of supply, especially in the price range the majority of buyers were looking for.”

Diana Olick, CNBC’s Realty Check:

“Total sales are still running below expectations for the year. Don’t blame winter weather, though. Blame the lack of supply.”

Bill McBride, Founder of Calculated Risk:

“Inventory is still very low (down 0.5% year-over-year in February). This will be important to watch over the next month at the start of the spring buying season.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors:

“Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsuitable levels. Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity.”

Realtor.com

“The National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory has decreased 10.9 percent year over year.”

And some experts are actually calling it a “seller’s market”

Forbes.com

“Tight inventory is a main reason the ball is still in the sellers’ court.”

Bill Banfield, VP of Quicken Loans:

“We’re a bit low on the supply-side which could force prices up for buyers, further hammering home that we’re in a seller’s market.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating putting your home on the market this year, now may be the time. The number of buyers ready and willing to make a purchase is at the highest level in years. Contact a local professional in your area to get the process started.

Path to Success

nana smith, nana smith listing agent, stamford ct real estate

Yes, the real estate industry is changing dramatically. It’s no longer about information; it’s about your ability to analyze that information so well that you can teach it to others. That’s your job now. That’s what the real estate industry is about now. The agents that embrace this New Market Reality are going to be the dominant agents moving forward. They are ones who will win the race! As you move forward into your real estate career, remember to plot out these three steps along the way:

• Step 1 – Continually educate yourself. Whether you use the KCM membership or some other educational means, know what’s going on and why it’s happening. As Albert Einstein said, “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the life-long attempt to acquire it.”

• Step 2 – Be able to communicate what you learn. Think of it as the ability to sing versus being on iTunes. If you can sing, but deliver your message on the equivalent of 8-track tapes, no one will listen to you. If, however, you can sing and you publish your music digitally (the modern format), you’ll have a much higher likelihood of reaching your audience. In real estate, this means making sure your client presentations are filled with impactful, relevant information that will help them gain clarity from the confusion in the market. Make your presentations overly visual and so simple that anyone—even a child—can understand what is happening in the current market. Graphs, charts, and infographics are great formats to use.

• Step 3 – Keeping current matters! You can have a tremendous understanding of key factors and wonderful visual materials to help make it easy for your clients, but if you’re not updating these things on a constant basis, you’re lost. How valuable would a physician be if she didn’t update her advice and recommendations based on the newest medical research? Don’t be caught with outdated information in your presentations and conversations. Do your homework and be on top of all the major news that will impact the current real estate market. For most families, buying or selling a home is the most important personal decision and possibly the largest financial decision they’ll ever make. They are looking for a true professional to help them through this process. Make sure they get one when you walk into their lives.

 

The Difference A Year Can Make

Payment-Difference-KCM

Some Important Points To Consider:

  • The latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey reports the 30-year fixed rate at 3.7%.
  • Freddie Mac’s projection for Q2 2016 is that the rate will be 4.7% (a full percentage point higher)
  • The Home Price Expectation Survey predicts that home prices will appreciate by 4.4% during this same time

The impact waiting a year to purchase your dream home can make on your monthly payment is significant. Contact a local real estate professional today to discuss your options before the experts’ predictions become reality!

Selling Your House? Price it Right Up Front

Price-It-Right (1)

In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.

There is no “later.”

Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.

John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered the their price. In his article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Pricepublished in Real Estate Economics revealed:

“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”

Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.

Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.

Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.

Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!

A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.

Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?

The Price is Right

Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Look for an agent that will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home. You need an agent that will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.

15 Words That Could Add Value to Your Listing

 

crea real estate, nana smith real estate, exprealty

When it comes to writing an effective listing description,

don’t hold back. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

If one of the following words accurately describes your home, you might want to consider adding it to your listing.

1. Luxurious

As mentioned above, lower-priced listings with the word “luxurious” sold for 8.2 percent more on average than expected. “Luxurious” signals that a home’s finishes and amenities are high-end. This is a huge selling point, particularly in this price range.

2. Captivating

Top-tier listings described as “captivating” sold for 6.5 percent more on average than expected. Unlike the word “nice,” “captivating” provides a richer, more enticing description for buyers. Plus, it’s less open to interpretation. Anything can be seen as “nice,” but “captivating” sets a high bar.

3. Impeccable

On average, listings in the bottom tier with the word “impeccable” sold for 5.9 percent more than expected. Like “captivating,” “impeccable” is a rich adjective. It also implies something about the quality of a home: The features are desirable and the home is move-in ready.

4. Stainless

“Stainless” is typically used to describe kitchens with “stainless steel appliances.” It’s in your favor to talk up these features in your listing — especially if your home is in the bottom price tier. In our analysis, lower-priced homes with the word “stainless” sold for 5 percent more on average than expected.

5. Basketball

On average, lower-priced homes with the word “basketball” sold for 4.5 percent more than expected. This may seem like an odd word to include in this list, but when you consider the context it makes sense. Among lower-priced homes, a basketball court — or even better, an indoor basketball court — is a huge selling point. While it may not stand out as much among higher-priced homes, it’s definitely worth mentioning in this price range.

6. Landscaped

It’s just as valuable to describe your yard as your house. In all price tiers, listings with the word “landscaped” sold for more than expected on average. The biggest premium was seen among lower-priced listings, which on average sold for 4.2 percent more than expected.

7. Granite

In the same vein as “stainless,” “granite” is typically used to describe countertops or another high-end home feature. Listings with the word “granite” sold, on average, for 1 to 4 percent more than expected across all price tiers.

8. Pergola

Not only should you include high-end home features in your listing description, you should also mention features not found in every home. They’ll help your listing stand out, especially if buyers are searching for homes online by keyword. The data shows mid-priced listings with the word “pergola” sold for 4 percent more on average than expected.

9. Remodel

Was your home recently remodeled? It may be worth mentioning. On average, bottom-tier listings with the word “remodel” sold for 2.9 percent more, middle-tier homes for 1.8 percent more and top-tier homes for 1.7 percent more than expected.

10. Beautiful

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a beautiful feature like a view may be worth noting. Lower-priced listings with the word “beautiful” sold for 2.3 percent more on average than expected.

11. Gentle

“Gentle” may seem like a weird adjective to have in a listing description. It’s typically used to describe “gentle rolling hills” or something about a home’s location. Top-tier listings with the word “gentle” sold for 2.3 percent more, on average, than expected.

12. Spotless

You may think all homes are spotless when a buyer moves in, so it’s not worth mentioning in a listing. But when it comes to lower-priced homes, cleanliness isn’t always a given. In this price range, listings described as “spotless” sold for 2 percent more on average than expected.

13. Tile

Much like “stainless” and “granite,” “tile” is a great word when it comes to describing the features of your home. A newly tiled backsplash or updated bathroom tile not only indicates a home’s aesthetic value but also sends a message to buyers that the home’s been well cared for by the current owners. Bottom-tier homes with the word “tile” in the listing sold for 2 percent more on average than expected.

14. Upgraded

On average, lower-priced listings with the word “upgraded” sold for 1.8 percent more than expected. Most buyers will agree that upgrades are a selling point. They indicate a home not only looks nice but also functions well. Spelling out which features have been updated is a good approach, so buyers have the right expectations when they see your home.

15. Updated

“Updated” sends a similar message to “upgraded.” But in addition to speaking to the quality of a home, it signals that something old has been replaced with something new. This is a great fact to communicate to potential buyers, as evidenced by the data. Mid-priced homes with “updated” in the listing sold for 0.8 percent more on average than expected.

Original Post is Here:

Housing Market to “Spring Forward”

Spring-Forward

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward”! Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong and is currently three times stronger than last year at this time.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2014 all fell in April, May or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2015, meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate the opportunities in your market.

Invest your Money: The Smart Way

nana smith sells real estate in stamford ct

So you have decided to invest your hard earned money into real estate – smart move! Thousands of people are doing it and it is working! Buying a property and renting it out can take work but it can also have many benefits. Before you start investing your money there are a few things that you should know.

What are you looking for?

Every single house is not a good investment. In fact, many properties could actually lose you money. Find out approximate mortgage payment amounts and comparable rents in the same area before you make your final decision on any property.

 Is it a Good Deal?

Unfortunately, the perfect property to invest in will not fall into your lap. Find out what type of property you are looking for and start doing your research. Once you know what type of property you are looking for as well as the price, you are now able to start your search!

 Can A Realtor Help?

Being in touch with a realtor that knows what you are looking for can also help! The realtor will know exactly what you are looking for and can forward you over any properties in these criteria.

exp, exprealty, crea, completreREA, Nana Smith listing agent

Are they a Good Tenant?

What is the point in renting out the home if the tenants increase your amount of grey hair? Your goal is to make money, so make sure that your tenants are trustworthy. Call their references and make sure that everything is in writing. A little bit of extra work here can save you a lot of time in the future!

 Can it Save Me Money in Other Ways?

Did you know that your cash flow should be tax-free? That’s right! Rarely will an investor pay taxes on this! On top of that, owning property is a tax deduction. This can help you when filing taxes once a year against your other income.

nana smith, listing agent, stamford CT listing agent

 

Did you know that your cash flow should be tax-free? That’s right! Rarely will an investor pay taxes on this! On top of that, owning property is a tax deduction. This can help you when filing taxes once a year against your other income.

Great article on The Cash Flow Statement

Agent Can & Should Avoid

real-estate-email-marketing-600wMore and more real estate marketing activities are rightly focused on the most important aspect of the agent-client relationship: effective communication. As a result, email continues to be an extremely important tool in every agent’s arsenal. After all, there’s really no other method for efficientlycommunicating with so many leads and clients at such a low cost. As the real estate email marketing landscape continues to expand, it becomes that much more important to focus on differentiating yourself as a top-tier agent. Part of that process is to ensure that you’re not making any ‘rookie’ mistakes that are sure to paint you as a ‘rookie agent’.

At Zurple, we encourage our agents to get the most out of their email strategy. Still, there are a number of mistakes that are both avoidable yet stubbornly persistent across the industry. So, the next time you compose an email to your prospective or current client, be cognizant to avoid the all-too-common mistakes below.

1. Typos -It’s funny how some would suggest purposely sending typos in an email to make it seem less robotic or automated. A better way to avoid coming across like a robot is to make your emails personal with relevant information your recipient would appreciate. Take the 30 seconds to review an important email before it’s sent!

2. Poor grammar – Make sure your sentences are coherent and in the proper tense. Although not everyone notices grammatical errors, glaring issues with your grammar may put off a prospective client – calling into question your professionalism in the process.

3. Wrong property link – When sending out a link, make sure you send the right link. Sending clients, whose price range is $500k – $700k, a link to a $1.5 million home may be enough to have your future emails flagged as spam.

4. Links don’t work – If you send an email with a link, make sure it works. Sometimes email editors will do some funky things with your URL – like add in an extra ‘http://’ so always be wary. Take the 10 seconds to click on your own link – there’s no excuse not to!

5. Wrong property address – This is another easy one, but a big one. Always double-check addresses in emails targeting a specific property.

6. Personalization is incorrect – Email tags can be dangerous, because they can be wrong. Go the extra mile by keeping your data clean to ensure that personalization tags are accurate (and don’t contain typos). After all, “Dear Johhn” doesn’t look so good…

dear_johhn,

7. Date and/or time mix up – When sending out emails with dates and times, such as an open house announcement, be sure to triple check this information. A mistake here can result in some very frustrated people or even a loss of business. Remember, there’s no guarantee that someone will read your follow-up email correcting your prior mistake.

                           8.Misleading ‘from name’ – If you’re using an email service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, take extra care to ensure that the ‘from’ field uses a description that would be recognized by your audience (like, your name!). Otherwise, you can really hurt your open rates because people don’t know that it’s you who is sending the emails. Your personal brand is being used whenever people see the ‘from-name’ so make sure to get it right every time.

9.Sending to the wrong recipients – Sending information to the wrong person or group of people is a great way to ask people to unsubscribe from your list. So, it goes without saying that your recipient list needs to be accurate, every time.

10.Incomplete text – There are going to be instances when you’re writing an email, are interrupted, then finish composing that email at some later time. Except, you sent the email without realizing that you had a sentence that was just hanging or disjointed. As with typo avoidance, take an extra 30 seconds for a re-read, especially after an interruption.

11.Correct pronouns based on context – If you’re sending an email blast – aimed at the individual – make sure your email references the individual as an individual. The same rule applies if you’re writing to a plural audience. Here’s an example:
‘I was thinking you might really like this property’…
instead of ‘I was thinking you all might like this property…’

12.Missing intro – This may depend on your style & relationship with the recipient, but typically a greeting like hello, hey, or hi {first_name} is a nice thing to have at the very beginning of an email. While not a hard-and-fast rule, a missing intro can decrease the personal feel of an email.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE IS HERE:

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