Two Things You Don’t Need to Hear from Your Listing Agent

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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:

  1. Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
  2. Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
  3. Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order 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

An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house. However, you first need to know they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home. Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.

Keeping Current Matters, September 16, 2014


Nebraska Furniture Mart “Grandscape” – Restaurants/Hotels

Nebraska Furniture Mart

Nebraska Furniture Mart Inc. officially has made its foray into the development world, signing hotels and restaurants to its $1.5 billion, 433-acre Grandscape project — even as it stocks shelves with furniture, appliances and electronics.  This is the first time the 77-year-old Omaha, Nebraska-based furniture retailer has developed its 1.9 million-square-foot furniture showroom and distribution center as well as the entire “entertainment destination” surrounding the furniture store at the southeast corner of the Sam Rayburn Tollway and Plano Parkway in The Colony.  “We had a chance to be thoughtful in how we recruited tenants for that area and how we will continue to recruit tenants,” Jeff Lind, chief strategy and development officer with Nebraska Furniture Mart and president of Grandscape told the Dallas Business JournalLind and other city officials held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the new retail tenants of Grandscape, which include Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, Hard Eight BBQ, Mi Cocina and Rock & Brews.  The Nebraska Furniture Mart is expected to be one of the largest grossing retail stores on the planet, which is why the developer is being particular when selecting tenants for Grandscape.  Construction is underway on the infrastructure that will support Grandscape’s new tenants. Cheddar’s and Rock & Brews plans to open in summer of 2015, with Hampton Inn, Hard Eight and Mi Cocina following in the fall. Homewood Suites plans to open in late 2016The Nebraska Furniture Mart showroom and distribution center is on pace to open in spring 2015.

  • Dallas Business Journal, October 28, 2014

Think you should For Sale By Owner? THINK AGAIN… [INFOGRAPHIC]

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1st-quarter home resales have first drop in 3 years

In 2013, D-FW prices jumped by almost 12 percent. At the end of March, fewer than 19,500 houses were listed for sale with real estate agents in North Texas — a 12 percent drop in number of homes for sale from a year earlier. There’s only a 2.6-month supply of pre-owned houses on the market. One of the things we are hearing in the market is buyers are pushing back a little bit on pricing — it’s an affordability issue. This spring we are not seeing as strong a pricing power we should see appreciation this year well above our longer trend, but not as strong as last year. In other words, if you are thinking about selling now is a great time.

Check out the full article here:

Sales of pre-owned homes in North Texas fell slightly in the first quarter — the first such decline in three years.  Pre-owned home sales were down 2 percent in the first three months of the year, a turnabout from the 16 percent rise in 2013 single-family home purchases that were handled through real estate agents’ multiple listing service.

Real estate agents sold 7,116 homes in March – down 4 percent from year-earlier totals, according to data released Tuesday by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.  The Dallas-Fort Worth home market may have hit a ceiling after two years of sharply increasing sales and prices.

Real estate analysts credit the leveling in activity to a shortage of houses on the market and slightly higher mortgage rates, which have made financing a home purchase more expensive.  “With the inventory being so low, demand may not have really fallen that much — we just can’t satisfy the demand,” said Dr. James Gaines, economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M. “We’ll be very lucky to get a 5 or 10 percent increase in sales this year over last year.”  And that will not happen at all unless the supply of houses on the market improves, he said.

At the end of March, fewer than 19,500 houses were listed for sale with real estate agents in North Texas — a 12 percent drop from a year earlier. There’s only a 2.6-month supply of pre-owned houses on the market.

Gaines said investors have cut back on their purchases of properties, in part because of the shortage of houses for sale. That’s also reduced the volume of transactions.  And tougher mortgage lending standards are making it harder for first-time and moderate-income buyers.  “There were some minor weather issues in the first quarter, too,” he said.

Gaines said that in 2013, the D-FW area had the second-highest volume of home sales ever.  “This year if we can get enough inventory we’ll do better than that.”  The shortage of houses continues to drive up prices.

Median home sales prices in North Texas rose 9 percent in the first quarter and were up 8 percent in March from March 2013.  In 2013, D-FW prices jumped by almost 12 percent.  “The long-term average rate of increase is only about 4.5 percent,” said Gaines. “2014 is going to be another year of double-digit price increases.”

But sharp gains in residential prices over the last two years could become a drag on sales, analysts worry.

“One of the things we are hearing in the market is buyers are pushing back a little bit on pricing — it’s an affordability issue,” said David Brown with housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. “If you are not making more money, you can’t pay more money.  “This spring we are not seeing as strong a pricing power,” he said. “We will see appreciation this year well above our longer trend, but not as strong as last year.”  Brown said that the Dallas housing market has mostly recovered from the recession.  “Activity levels are back to where they were in 2008, but they are still below where they were at the peak of the market in 2006,” he said. “The demand from buyers is strong.

“But buyers are going out there and the product is not available or priced significantly higher than it has been.”


3 Reasons to Sell Your Home this Spring

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Many sellers are still hesitant about putting their house up for sale. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? These are all valid questions. However, there are several reasons to sell your home sooner rather than later. Here are three of those reasons.

1. Demand is about to skyrocket

Most people realize that the housing market is hottest from April through June. The most serious buyers are well aware of this and, for that reason, come out in early spring in order to beat the heavy competition. We also have a pent-up demand as many buyers pushed off their home search this winter because of extreme weather. Sellers in markets where seasonal weather is never an issue must realize that buyers relocating to their region will increase dramatically this spring as these purchasers finally decide to escape the freezing temperatures of the winters in the north.

These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

2. There Is Less Competition – For Now

Housing supply always grows from the spring through the early summer. Also, there has been a growing desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners have seen a return to positive equity as prices increased over the last eighteen months. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all the other potential sellers in your market put their homes up for sale.

3. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by approximately 4% this year and 8% by the end of 2015. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate at about 4.5% right now. Freddie Mac projects rates to be 5.1% by this time next year and 5.7% by the fourth quarter of 2015.

Moving up to a new home will be less expensive this spring than later this year or next year.


Moving-Up? Do it NOW not Later

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A recent study revealed that the number of existing home owners planning to buy a home this year is about to increase dramatically. Some are moving up, some are downsizing and others are making a lateral move. Another study shows that over 75% of these buyers will, in fact, be in that first category: a move-up buyer. We want to address this group of buyers in today’s blog post.

There is no way for us to predict the future but we can look at what happened over the last year. Let’s look at buyers that considered moving up last year but decided to wait instead.

Assume they had a home worth $300,000 and were looking at a home for $400,000 (putting 10% down they would get a mortgage of $360,000). By waiting, their house appreciated by 13.8% over the last year (national average based on the Case Shiller Pricing Index). Their home would now be worth $341,400. But, the $400,000 home would now be worth $455,200 (requiring a mortgage of $409,680).

Here is a table showing what additional monthly cost would be incurred by waiting:

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Area Home Sales

Home sales in the Dallas area rose about 9-10% in 2013. Are you curious about the statistics for your area of town? Click on the link below to see an interactive map of the North Texas area year over year home sales data for all four quarters of 2013. Some areas lost value and some gained value more than others.

Just click on your area for the data.

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/databases/20140122-area-home-sales.ece