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Friday, November 15, 2013
I’ve been telling you and showing you stats of how strong of a market we had the whole year. We’ve experienced high buyer demand, and low inventory of sellers willing to list.
So the big question comes, has the market changed? Yes and no. It really depends on your location and what your price point is.
As a whole – yes, we have noticed a trend in the market slow down just prior to the government shutdown (about 60 days ago). Earlier in the year first time homebuyers accounted for 40 percent of the home sales, while now they make up only 28 percent.
So what does this mean for you as a seller? Didn’t you tell me in your last blog now is a great time to sell? Yes and it still is. We are entering more of a balanced market. What it really comes down to is your location, price, and level of condition – with great pictures and staging (as I mentioned in my home ready tips blog).
And if you were one of the buyers who walked away from the market – whether you were frustrated of getting out bid or the lack of inventory, we have the tools to find you the right home because it may not even be on the market yet.
But don’t take our promises, our numbers prove it. So if you’re thinking of buying or selling, I would be happy to set up an appointment to discuss the market in your specific area of Northern VA, DC, or MD.
If you are looking for more information about the real estate market you can click here to view a great article I found that describes the top 10 issues affecting real estate.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Welcome back to my video blog. With the holiday season here, everyone wants to know whether now is the time to list their home or wait until the spring. The right time really depends on your situation. What are your needs?
Selling during the winter months is a great idea. In fact, I have 10 reasons why you can be confident that your home will sell if you list now.
1. People looking for a home during the Holiday season are usually serious buyers.
2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays. Less competition means more bargaining power for you!
3. Since the supply of listings will increase dramatically in January, your home will face more competition after the holidays which means less money for you!
4. Houses often show better when tastefully decorated for the Holidays.
5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays. They are more likely to pay your price!
6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during the typical working time of year.
7. For tax reasons, some people must buy before the end of the year.
8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since they would prefer to buy now rather than wait until the spring, your home has first shot at these new buyers.
9. If your home sells during the Holidays we can provide a delayed closing and/or a post-settlement occupancy agreement to give you more time in the home if you need it.
10. By selling during the Holidays you are perfectly positioned to be a fully qualified buyer in Spring, when many more homes are on the market for less money. You actually can sell higher and buy lower by selling over the Holidays and buying in the Spring.
These are just few good reasons to list your home during the holidays. You can download the 10 Reason to List During the Holidays here.
So if you are ready to sell or know anyone else looking to put their home on the market, give me a call. We’d love to help you sell your home this holiday season!
Thanks for watching!
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Welcome back to my video blog!
Homeowners ask me all the time how they should get their home ready for the market. Well, I have a list for you! This list tells you how to prepare your home for showings, photographs and appraisals!
So, let’s start on the outside. You want your home to have curb appeal. This means fresh cut grass, hedges are trimmed, seasonal flowers are planted, etc. Make sure everything is fresh!
Now, once you’re inside, the two main focal points are the kitchen and master bedroom. Clean off all counters and put away the dirty dishrag! For the bedroom, make the bed and put away all clutter.
In your dining room, set a simple place setting. It helps the buyer imagine living in the home. Open the drapes in your entire house to make it feel airy and spacious.
Your main goal is to make your home appeal to as many buyers as possible. Clean the home, inside and out!
These are just a few things you can do to get your home ready for market. Click here to view our full list of tips you can do to prepare your home for the market. If you have specific questions about your home, please give me a call!
Friday, October 4, 2013
By: Morgan Brennan, Forbes Staff
The government shutdown is here. Whether it’s not being able to get a new Social Security card or visit a national park, Americans will immediately feel the effects. But there’s one bright spot of the economy that stands to be affected as well: housing.
One of the biggest questions regarding the shutdown and how it will affect housing has revolved around the mortgage market, specifically prospective buyers’ access to new home loans. After all, more than 90% of all loan activity is underwritten, insured, or owned by the government and its affiliated entities.
Initially at least, the mortgage market is likely to be only minimally impacted. New loans will continue to push through most government agency pipelines. What will change is how long the process takes, as many agencies expect to experience delays.
Mortgages purchased and securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be unaffected because their operations are paid for by fees charged to lenders. And the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to guarantee mortgages for Americans that have served in the military since these loans are funded by user fees as well.
But if the government shutdown of 1995-1996 is any indicator, the process will take longer than usual. “Loan Guaranty certificates of eligibility and certificates of reasonable value were delayed,” the VA warned in its September 25th contingency plan.
Where there has been mounting concern is the Federal Housing Administration, which currently endorses about 15% of the entire single-family mortgage market. Several media outlets recently reported that the FHA would be unable to endorse any single-family loans and that no staff would be available underwrite and approve new loans.
That prospect would be somewhat worrisome – if it were actually true. The FHA’s Office of Single Family Housing will indeed remain open for business, albeit with a smaller staff. “FHA will be able to endorse single family loans during the shutdown. A limited number of FHA staff will be available to underwrite and approve new loans,” the report now states. In other words, other lenders’ loans will continue to be insured and some in-house lending will continue to take place at a reduced rate.
The reason for that mix-up: the initial draft of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s contingency plan mistakenly stated that single-family loan operations would cease. The report was amended over the weekend.
The FHA’s single-family loan operations are funded through multi-year appropriations, meaning their budget is not tied to the government’s standoff over funding for the new fiscal year that starts in October. On the other hand, what will be more affected is the agency’s Multifamily Housing Office, which is funded through yearly appropriations.
“Because we are able to endorse loans, we don’t expect the impact on the housing market to be significant, as long as the shutdown is brief,” continues the HUD report. “If the shutdown lasts and our commitment authority runs out, we do expect that potential homeowners will be impacted, as well as home sellers and the entire housing market.”
One government lender that will indeed suspend its home loan activity, however, is the Department of Agriculture. The USDA says that no new housing loans or guarantees will be issued through its Rural Development programs in a shutdown. The department also warns that such a scenario could cause “a setback in construction start-up,” and if the shutdown lasts for an extended period, “a substantial reduction in housing available in rural areas relative to population.”
“The government doesn’t generally approve loans, they basically just insure them,” says Don Frommeyer, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and a vice president at Amtrust Mortgage Funding. “For the most part you aren’t going to see much of a hit in the mortgage market unless it goes for a long period of time.”
If it does stretch on, he adds, the worry will be what mortgage rates do in a market shrouded in fiscal uncertainty and how that will affect the home buying, especially in light of recent rate spikes.
Home lending aside, many economists and real estate experts are keeping a close watch on how Americans will react to this shutdown. “Administratively everything should keep moving along, but it’s more about the confidence of consumers and whether they perceive that the government shutdown could lead to a recession,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.
Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi recently told the Senate Budget Committee that a partial shutdown could shave as much as 1.4 percentage points off of fourth quarter economic growth if it drags on for several weeks.
Americans’ confidence in their ability to buy and sell homes hit a record high in May, according to a Fannie Mae survey. Since then, as mortgage rates jumped more than a percentage point, that confidence level has plateaued. If prospective homebuyers fear that the country’s economic recovery will stall, or worse slip back into recession, they will pull back on purchases, worries Yun.
“Home sales is always the first housing variable that changes so one would see sales declining and that would naturally lead to more inventory on the market and eventually put pressure on prices,” he says. But that would be a worst-case scenario based on a long-term shutdown.
Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia TRLA +6.43%, notes that if the shutdown lasts longer than a few days, the first places to feel the impact will be local economies with large concentrations of federal government workers. Metro areas like Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Md., where 19% and 13% respectively of total local wages go to federal employees, would be the feel the negative effects of unpaid furloughs and with them, tightened consumer spending and weakening local economic growth. Though not all will be equally affected, other metro areas like Virginia Beach, Va., Honolulu, Hawaii, and Dayton, Ohio are areas that Kolko is keeping an eye on: “Whether there is a big effect depends on how long the shutdown lasts, how long people think the shutdown lasts, and whether people get back-pay. All those things matter for the impact.”
Still others are worrying even more about the next fiscal standoff, in mid-October, surrounding the debt ceiling debate and its accompanying threat of debt default by the U.S. ”With the threat of an impending partial government shutdown and yet another battle over the nation’s debt ceiling, in particular, we are really messing with fire right now—even if it doesn’t seem to bother some legislators,” says Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.
“But the effects of a government default associated with the impending debt-ceiling deadline would be more pronounced because of its greater impact on domestic and international markets. This will rattle consumers and investors alike, slow down the overall economic recovery and further slow the housing recovery, which is already undergoing a moderation in the pace of home value gains due to rising mortgage rates,” he warns.
Posted by Frank Klesitz at 10:43 AM
Friday, September 13, 2013
Hello, everyone. When you decide to sell your home, you want an agent with a proven track record of getting the job done. In the last part of this two part video series I talk about the last four questions you should ask a listing agent before hiring them.
Are you an area specialist? Is my house in the area you specialize in?
I often find many agents specialize in a specific area. At The Gresh Group, we don’t believe in specializing in a specific area. We want to help everyone and we need to know our entire market.
Do you have an assistant or team?
Many agents are solo agents. Any agent you hire should have at least one assistant. You need an agent who can focus all their time on getting your home sold, not on paperwork.
The Gresh Group has an experienced, trained staff to handle paperwork, office duties and other background noise while the agents focus on getting your home sold.
Are you an active or passive agent?
There are two types of agents. Some agents just put your home on the MLS and wait for buyers to show up. This is a passive agent.
Others, like The Gresh Group, are active. We execute a first class multi-media marketing plan; we actively seek buyers from our own client base and from a large pool of like-minded active agents. We don’t wait for it to happen, we make it happen!
What is your Broker’s share of the market?
Some agents will tell you this doesn’t matter. The truth is the larger the Broker’s market share, the more in-house agents and their buyers will be directly exposed to your property even BEFORE you go on the market!
The Gresh Group is part of Keller Williams Realty, the #1 brokerage in the WORLD!
Thank you so much for watching. These are eight important questions you need to ask your listing agent before you hire. If you’re ready to sell, give us a call!
Click here to view the full list of eight questions!
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Hello, everyone. When you decide to sell your home, you want an agent with a proven track record of getting the job done. I have a list of eight questions you should ask a listing agent before hiring them.
How many homes did you sell last year?
Most people are unaware that the average realtor in our area only sells about 3-4 homes per year. The Gresh Group sold 50 homes last year! Over the past 10 years, we’ve sold 450 homes and we can provide a list to prove it!
In how many of those transactions did you represent the buyer? In how many did you represent the seller?
The average agent represents buyers 80 percent of the time and sellers only 20 percent of the time.
Because we represent sellers 50 percent of the time and buyers 50 percent of the time, we have the experience and knowledge of how to sell your home more than most agents out there.
Plus we have a rental assistant if you are looking to rent a property!
Can you give me references for the last 10 clients whose properties you successfully listed and sold? Specifically contact information such as name, location, phone number and date closed?
It’s important for you to check references. Keep in mind that that the average real estate agent has only been in the business for 11 months.
Do you currently hold any other occupation(s) besides selling real estate? What other activities are you involved in outside of selling real estate?
Selling your home is a huge decision; you want someone who is committed 100% to marketing your home and getting it sold.
Most agents are part time and sell real estate as a way to supplement their income. You don’t want an agent who fits selling your home into their schedule. Rather, get the agent whose entire schedule is based on you!
At The Gresh Group we are all full-time realtors.
The Gresh Group is part of Keller Williams Realty, the #1 brokerage in the WORLD!
Thank you so much for watching! These are eight important questions you need to ask your listing agent before you hire. If you’re ready to sell, give us a call!
Friday, June 28, 2013
Watch on your mobile device >>
The housing market in the Washington D.C. area and Northern Virginia has been booming!
According to an article published by the Real Estate Business Intelligence, the median sale price today is over $30,000 higher than it was in May of 2012. Low inventory and a demand for homes have continued to put pressure on prices raising the median sales price in most of the DC metro area.
Inventory is very low despite the ‘recent surge in new listings.’ This is good news for sellers. A properly priced home in good condition will fly off the market. In fact, the median-days-on market is just nine days.
Click here to read the full article >>
So if you are looking to sell your home or have any real estate questions, please call me at 703.963.5500.