Individual buyers in the investment market have largely been squeezed out by institutional money in recent years – a trend that is not in the best interest of the industry in the long run. The number of first-time homebuyers is also way down, as an overall percentage of the market. Yet owner-occupied deals are more stable – and less likely to result in default, all other things being equal – than investment deals.
Owner-occupants are an important stabilizing element in the real estate market, and first-time buyers are a critical part of that demographic. But while the historical percentage of first-time buyers should normally be around 40 percent, that number has plummeted to 29 percent.
And so, despite the market traumas of 2008 to 2012, much of the real estate industry is now eager to restore individual owner-occupants as the backbone of the real estate market. Here’s some information to help new buyers take the plunge. continue reading
Sometimes, even the most well-intentioned sellers forget that the point of marketing and staging their home is to impress as many potential buyers as possible. One wrong move can lower the sale price, or even worse, prevent a sale at all. Make sure your sellers are serious contenders by helping them steer clear of these somewhat surprising buyer turnoffs this fall.
Buyers stalk properties online and off, checking obsessively for price reductions and the like. But buyer-side home stalking is unobtrusive to sellers. On the other hand, buyers can feel stifled in their ability to fully explore or verbally process their impressions of a ƒhome when the seller hangs out inside the home while it’s being shown.
What Sellers Need to Know:
Prospective buyers may not feel comfortable talking openly with their co-buyers or agents with the homeowner there, and may not open doors and drawers in front of the seller—potentially missing some of the home’s best features. Sure, a homeowner knows what makes the home shine and can answer questions, but so can a great agent. Trust him or her to communicate what makes the home special.
Sometimes it’s the little things that sellers think won’t matter that can block an offer. Of course, when inventory is low, sellers may have a better chance of snagging an offer despite design snafus, but when the home buying season slows, it’s in a seller’s best interest to heed the advice of their agent and get their home in tip-top shape. And nothing—nothing!—is a more hated design choice than weird, wacky wallpaper.
We’ve all had them. You might have one now. That seller who takes your comps, cross-references them on Trulia, adds in seven more, and builds out a spreadsheet—complete with formulas—then wants you to get them into each of the properties so she can point out the comps’ outdated paint colors, inferior appliance brands or other reasons she thinks she should get double the price for her home. The buyer who sees 45 houses before deciding they want a condo, then sees 50 of those before revealing that his palm-reader and rabbit jointly hold final decision-making power.
Okay, I might be exaggerating the factual scenarios (a tad). But in the life of an agent, three things are inevitable: death, taxes and high maintenance clients. Some are both high maintenance and unreasonable, and these folks can become a massive hemorrhage of time, gas and energy. It’s also demotivating and frustrating to work with high maintenance clients who are beyond pleasing.
Real estate agents by nature don’t deal well with change. When it comes to teaching our clients about how to do an online search for real estate, we feel like crawling under a rock and getting in the fetal position because it’s scary to think they could look up a house on their own.
You mean they don’t need us to see what’s on the market any more? It’s 2014, folks. Let’s teach our clients the right way to search for homes online and it might actually make our job easier. Don’t worry; they’ll still need you for many other things like, oh, I don’t know, unlocking the front door so they can actually see it.
One of the biggest hurdles companies are trying to figure out, no matter what they sell, is how to appeal to Gen Y. Gen Y, also referred to as Millennials, is defined as anyone born between 1982 and 1993. According to a recent article on Inc.com, “Gen Y’s annual spending will amount to approximately $2.45 trillion, escalating to $3.39 trillion by 2018—significantly eclipsing Baby Boomers in spending power.”
Now do you understand why companies are competing for their attention? Millennials understand the power of computers and they don’t want/need to rely on a business or, in this case, a real estate agent, for everything. This is why they often look on their own at first, and when it’s convenient for them, we step in. Should we cater to this as agents? Hint: The answer is YES.
A housing transaction, at the most fundamental level, includes one person who wants to sell and one person who wants to buy. Once the terms are agreed upon, voilà! . . . win-win.
However, if the seller is miserable with the final terms or feels like they had to settle for a lowball offer, the deal is likely to unravel or turn ugly. And if it does fall through, that causes aggravation and costs valuable time and money for everyone involved. continue reading
Most real estate agents are affable and chatty. Sometimes too chatty, especially when it comes to “taboo” topics that really shouldn’t be discussed. But our clients come to us because of our expertise and guidance. We’re their “go-to” person for information and advice. So what happens when we can’t be?
How do you stay on the right side of Fair Housing and Agency Laws without giving your client (or other agents in your market) the impression you’re blowing them off?
Here’s the answer: With a lot of practice and preparation. continue reading
Homes create the context for so many of the happiest moments of our lives. But for consumers, sometimes, the process of buying or selling a home gives rise to some pretty fright-filled experiences. A few years ago, we all went through the nightmarish moments that are part of a down market. But now that the market is back, there are still some scary moments can freak out buyers and sellers and which agents need to know how to handle.
Here are a few of the more common hot market horror stories we hear about here at Trulia, along with some tricks for helping to calm your clients and make those situations go away for good.
When buyers are constantly running into rising prices and multiple offers, it’s critical that they be reminded to be flexible with their house hunt wish list. But that flexibility sometime results in so many changes to their original wish list that you’ll see some clients end up feeling aimless, directionless, and like they are letting the market dictate what sort of home they can buy. And that’s not a great feeling, when what every buyer wants is to approach their house hunt with intention, direction and clarity on their wants and needs.
That feeling of directionlessness is very discouraging, and sometimes even results in near-immediate buyer’s remorse.
As an agent, you need to remind buyers that there’s a fine line to walk between wisely conforming a house hunt to the reality of the market and being aimless. One way to help them manage the emotional discomfort and potential for post-purchase regret is to invest some time helping them to document their intentions and vision for their next home and the life they’ll lead in it, in writing. continue reading
At the beginning of the recession, homes were selling like hotcakes and there were great deals to be found. Since we are working off of the back end of this economic downturn, you may still find a few homebuyers who believe that those smokin’ hot deals of 2008 are still rampant across the United States.
Unfortunately, those deals are now few and far between. So, if you want to actually make some money and write some “good” offers that will get to the closing table in 2014, you’ve got to set homebuyer expectations accordingly.
Here are six ways to get buyers off the fence and writing offers that will actually get accepted in 2014 and not 2008.
Before you tour properties with your clients, sit down and make a list. Have them tell you what they must have in the home they desire, and what might be an additional bonus. Note everything, and carry around those notes so that you can refer back to them as you tour local properties that meet your clients’ specifications. continue reading
If you’ve shown many homes, you might have noticed that some home buyers have a love-hate relationships with the properties they see. They either fall madly in love with a place, finding no faults, or are totally disgusted, even outraged that you would dare show them something so terrible. Quelle horreur! continue reading
This is pretty much the peak of real estate high season. Buyers are scoring homes. Sellers are finally moving out. And, many agents are spending the summer frenzy working themselves into a fall depression because they are off focus.
In just a few months too many real estate professionals will be grumbling about how bad the market is and others lamenting about better days gone by. Why? Because they didn’t invest during these high times to make sure they would avoid the typical low season syndrome.
Here are 5 reasons the unprepared agents will get overlooked by customers in need of an agent this fall (and a few ways to avoid a slow commission tragedy):
Those that are successful at lead generation in real estate know that there is never an off-season to recruiting new clients. New data from the National Association of Realtors shows that the actual home purchase or sale process can take up to 27 months.
Most agents spend the high season marketing and putting out content that will get them the client looking to close tomorrow. However, if your pipeline only has a month or two worth of business in it, it’s not a pipeline at all. continue reading