With so much information available online how do you know what's true? You can find just about any side of an argument you want but you're the one that tells you what to believe. Right?
So, is a real estate investment right for you?
You don't really count your dwelling as a real estate return on investment but as a place to feel secure, put your head on the pillow at night and raise your family.
The money you invest for this is huge. Big decisions require knowledge and with the market always changing you need to keep ahead of the curve.
You will probably find this surprising but even with the economic downturn real estate return on investment exceeds the DOW, S&P and NASDAQ. The time period is this century, January 2000 - March 2013
Real Estate: 46
Why is real estate return on investment so good?
You have more control of the purchasing decision and local knowledge it takes to make a wise decision.
You are more in control than any other investment.
If you purchase a property correctly going in and hang on for a while you will succeed in real estate return on investment.
It sounds easy but it does take time to know real estate trends and and its ever changing twists and turns. Once you accomplish you goals and move in, just sit back and relax from a smart decision going in.
Every month you'll find new infographics on the state of the real estate market on this blog. If you'd like more current information involving the real estate market and your situation contact us for help.
If you answer "Yes" to these questions, then get approved for a mortgage.
Are you serious about buying a home?
If the right home came along would you write a contract to buy it?
Why get pre-approved first rather than pre-qualified, you might ask?
Because the real estate market has changed to a seller's market and home inventory is low, very low. So buyer competition is fierce. If you are pre-approved for a loan, meaning you've submitted all paperwork and the lender is waiting for a contract to process, you will be gold in the eyes of the seller. It will give you a one up on multiple offers and better negotiating power. Believe or not, some sellers will not even show a home unless you supply evidence of loan approval or at least pre qualification. Also, by getting approved you will know exactly what you can afford and the stress of the loan process will be alleviated.
Now you can concentrate on making your new place a home to love!
It's official! PlanoHomesandLand.com is totally in the cloud!
This doesn't happen overnight but it takes a while to get it right. Some apps work & some don't but you know that! There is nothing I can't do or information I can't get for you on the fly. And it doesn't matter if you're a buyer or seller. If you want your real estate fast, I got it. If you want to know everything about a property at a moments notice, write a contract, I got it covered. Want a real estate experience that will get you there quick? Contact us.
This really is just the basics: Supply & Demand. If the invenory of available homes for sale is low and demand is high then prices go up. Now, not anywhere near 2005 prices but much better nonetheless. So what's the months supply of homes in Plano? A paltry 1.8 months which puts us in the emerald green bracket. When there are no sale signs in the yards and you hear of the neighbors home going under contract in days then you know it's a sellers market and it's alive and well. You can get a jump on the spring market now with less competition if your thinking about moving on, up or down. Buyers are waiting for the inventory. Contact us for trustworthy advice.
Do you remember when you thought 6% was a good mortage rate? Then it went to 4.5% and now it's 3.4%, Remember....This is what's spurring buyer demand right now the cost of a home is cheaper than rent and you can buy more home for the money.
Take a look at the charts below.
Mortgage bankers are predicting rates to go up a whole point by year end. While that remains to be seen. A good piece of advice is if you can save 1% on your current mortgage you can refiance or you can consider moving up if you are qualified to buy. If rates do go up 1% by the end of the year it will cost you. How much?
The graph below shows the difference 1% makes in house payments, Principle and
interest included. You can do the math for any price home but $262. a month is a big difference. First time homebuyers and move up buyers are realizing this. Now we just need sellers to jump back in with needed inventory to continue the positive momentum in the housing market. Any questions? just ask.
One thing about real estate data is that it's almost always in the past and really doesn't consider what's happening right now. Take a look at this chart from Redfin taken last month. You might be sitting thinking is now the right time to buy? And many people like you obviously think the same way. Our website, phone, text and email requests can certainly verify this data. This is especially true in the Dallas Market where inventory is at a 10 year low, prices have risen slightly and mortgage rates as low 3% are projected to increase in 2013. If you've been thinking about buying or moving up and your qualified to do so, this year looks like it's time. Contact us if you'd like more information about the possibilities.
Heads Up to All Buyers, Read On....if you're in the real estate market you need to know this especially if you're interested in foreclosures.
Excessive Earnest Monies are now being asked by the banks in some of the new foreclosure listings. Why? Because they can and it's become a sellers market with lower inventory.
Let's start with what's the normal earnest money asked for on a property. In the Dallas Metro area, 1% of your offer price is the norm. What some of the banks are asking for are:
5% to 10% up front.
For example on a $300K property, a $3000 earnest money deposit would be acceptable. So now some banks will be asking for 15K to 30K, just to accept an offer.
That's excessive but seems quite acceptable for the banks. I guess....nothing surprises me anymore.
What's' a buyer to do? If there are multiple offers probably not too much, just make sure you want the house and take advantage of the 7 to 10 day option window they give you. Once you pass all contract contingencies including financing addendum and you decide to back out, expect your money to be tied up. Get pre-approved before you make an offer, that's the best advice I can give. With the banks you won't have a choice on this but if a owner seller asks for it, which I can see happening, that would be negotiable, maybe.
The market is always changing and it's good to know about having to have more money to buy a home. Happy Weekend! Lets us know if you need help navigating the real estate market with honest and truthful insights that won't waste your time or money.
Have you heard about the 3.8% real estate and other investments tax that was tacked on to the healthcare reform bill at the last minute? If not you can get a fast update from the National Association of Realtors link below.
Quick take: It begins in 2013 which means it'll be 2014 till you have to file your return. The most important thing to know is if your income is less than $200,000 for single or $250,000 for married couples you don't have to concern yourself with it.
The tax is about real estate and other investments when you go to sell it, not buy it.
To find out the truth about the bill read this link that will explain the top 10 things you need to know about the 3.8% tax. Pass it on if you want. I bet there will be some high end real estate changing hand before years end because of it.
Posted by: Terry Smith - Broker - Owner - 214.755.9895 AT 12:15 pm
Real Estate Loan Alert! I'll be the first to tell you that some lenders are in fact, charging fees to apply for a loan.
$325. to $495. depending what market and bank lender.
Do you have to pay it up front?
Yes, if you want to do business with that bank.
Is it refundable?
No, the fee is for working on your loan application which most mortgage brokers will do for free. They will do the same thing for nothing up front except hope they earn your business and close a loan through them.
I think the banks are tired of the ditch and run when consumers are in the hunt for the best deal and the banks are charging up front so you'll close the loan with them.
So don't be surprised if you come across an hefty application fee from a bank. Just remember there are plenty of mortgage lenders out there that won't. Just another nickel and dime tactic! As always Buyer beware!
Do you know what kind of real estate market it is? Does it matter?
It really depends on the home for sell and the seller.
Market conditions do matter and with low inventory, buyers need different strategies to work during the home buying process.
What helps to make your offer look better?
First, is get pre-approved for a mortgage. That means all your docs have been turned in and vetted by a bank or mortgage broker. You are ready to close. Get a pre approved letter to submit with offer.
Second, is always put in a back up offer if you're in a multiple offer situation.
Why? Behind the scenes deals are falling apart during the option period for various reasons. If you submit a back up your offer will become a contract as soon as the first contract is terminated. Believe me, it happens more than you think!
The real estate market has shifted dramatically in the last couple of months. This is due to the reduction of housing inventory across the board. It's very common to have multiple offers on well priced homes in excellent locations. You might know about the multiple offers or not, remember the listing agent is under no obligation to tell you or your buyers agent about them.
There are a few things you can do to sweeten your offer in today's market. These suggestions will help you get a home under contract quickly and closer to your dreams.
1. Get pre-approved by a lender with a letter to submit with your contract. That means turning in all the paperwork and ready for closing.
2. Offer fair value or full price if a home is price correctly. An agent can help you zero in on correct comps. You should not get this information from an AVM website such as Zillow. Zestimates are mostly very inaccurate and misleading.
3. Make sure you put down at least 20% for a strong offer and if you can let the seller pick the closing date.
These things will make your offer one to seriously consider and probably look more favorable then other offers. Of course, there are more things you can do but this is an excellent start. Need help finding your dream home? Contact us and we'll be glad to help you out.
Do you need to file your homestead exemption every year? I have been asked this several times lately and figured it would be a good post.
The answer is No, just once within a year of when you moved in, that will do it. In fact, any exemption like a senior exemption (65 and older) only need to be filed once. The senior exemption will lock in your school tax rate forever even if you move and purchased another property in Texas it will be good. Have a safe, long weekend and enjoy family and friends. Any questions on homes for sale let us know.
3.8% National Real Estate Sales Tax to Pay for Obama Care
Just when you thought you couldn't be taxed any more here comes another one. Congress passed this in 2010 and it is complicated. Below is a link from the National Association of Realtors on the ends and outs of the new tax. Just so you know it does not effect all real estate. Like I said it's complicated. Basically, if your income is 200K for single or 250K for dual you'll be considered a club member. This tax is to pay for Obama Care in case you asked. I don't like surprises so pass the link on to help others if you like. Hopefully, it will stay in the proposed category. The link below provides information on the 3.8% proposed tax on investment income and real estate scenarios.
The most important thing in selling your home in this market is price, without a doubt! Small kitchen redo's also help but what are they? Here's a few to try that are cost effective and can make a big difference for buyer's in selecting a property for purchase. Listed below are recommendations most listing agents will suggest to sellers.
Organization: This is of course after you have removed the clutter. Be practical with hooks, pantry baskets and drawer organizers, and stackable shelves for cabinets. All probably under $100.
Hardware: Adding or replacing cabinets hardware is a quick fix and really enhances the kitchen with style. Don't go overboard on price. Knobs and pulls can go up to the $20. plus range...
Faucet: This is a favorite, it's like jewelry for the kitchen. Better to spend a little more here and get all brass so it lasts more than 2 years, $200. or so would be a quality faucet. Look for height and pull out hoses.
Under Cabinet Lightening: LED lights are the way to go and can create a custom look in the kitchen for task lighting. Around $40 bucks.
Countertops: Laminates have come a long wayand can look like granite, marble and other precious stones. About half the cost of granite. Can give a contemporary look without the high price of granite, durable too.
Obviously, the best time is only when you're ready. However, it's good to know certain market conditions which change daily to know your chances of actually selling and moving on. I once had a client tell me she was going to wait till June to list. To be honest the spring market starts now and there is pent up demand.
Buyers are out there especially below 350K price point. The chart below shows an opportunity for selling in 75093, Plano, TX. Homes for sale are 18% below last year. When inventory shrinks there's not as much competition on the market and really pristine homes will sell for top dollar. And median sale price is up over 8% from last year in 75093. Days on market is around 100 days but could be much shorter, some properties are going under contract in less than a week.
Sounds like the perfect storm to test the market, competition is not as fierce now as it will be in a couple of months. Multiple contracts are seen quite frequently now on excellent properties and yes there are still low ball offers but you don't have to sell unless they really want the house and it does work that way. Buyers will play hard ball just to see and some will pay the price but your home has to be on the market to play. The tide right now is turning for sellers with the low inventory in West Plano. Enjoy the weekend and any questions, let us know.
Home Selling 101- 2 misunderstood facts about real estate...
You have to admit there's alot to do and know about selling and buying a home. The process can be overwhelming if you don't know how to do it or get expert advice. Once you've been through the process once or twice you'll feel more comfortable with your decisions. However, no real estate transactions are ever the same, ever. All present different case scenarios and human behavior decision and emotions. There are many factors in a real estate transaction that are common but you may not understand the process. Two factors that are often overlooked are the difference between a listing agent and a selling agent.
1. The selling agent (buyers agent) actually brings the buyer to the home 99% of the time The agent who lists the home and has the sign in the yard does not actually bring a buyer most of the time unless on rare occasion they have a buyer. It's the buyers agent and buyer that find and selll the home. Most sellers think the listing agent sells the home and that's not true, they list it on the MLS.
2. The internet does not sell your home, buyers are able to find and contact an agent to view or just take a look-see. The MLS is a home search tool for buyers and a proprietary tool for the agent with tons of accurate data and statistics. The MLS is actually a cooperative between brokers to market listings and determine how everyone is paid. Real estate is 100% commission driven so the MLS is much more than a search tool, it's the backbone of the real estate business.
The Value of Zip Code 75093 - West Plano Real Estate Update for 2011
Well now that we're officially in the New Year, I bet your wondering what happened in West Plano for 2011? Right? Even if there's no interest you still might want to stay abreast of the current real estate: Hint: It's not even close to what's spewed out by the media! All real estate is local and this is one thing that should be micro managed if your going to sell or buy a home.
Below is a chart from the MLS supplied by 10K research, which takes actual sales data - not just erroneous public data, like ALOT of sites out there. What you get is accurate trends for a particular market....
For 2011 - 75093 has held steady, as far a pricing goes, the chart will show you the bottom hit May 2010. Goes to show you how valuable a zip code is. Are there still great deals? YES! Are there still foreclosures? YES! About 50% more than this time last year. So if you can make a steal in this zip code you'll really know it was a BUY! Other things to note are: New Listing and inventory are down around 18%, pretty hefty. If you're thinking about selling or buying, remember it has to be the right time for you. And the market is made up of thousands of factors to compile for your individual situation. If you're looking to have a real estate conversation by all means don't be shy. We know stuff! Don't hesitate to contact us to see if now is a good time for you. We'll tell the truth and give viable options that you probably don't know existed.
If You Bought a Home this Year - you need to read this now...
Just as many things are changing in the real estate arena daily there is one thing that will affect new home owners who have purchased a home this year.
What is it? Glad you asked....
Beginning Jan. 1st 2012 you must change your drivers license to match your new property address in order to file and get your Texas homestead exemption. No exceptions, this was passed during the legislature session back in September. So make sure your drivers license reflects your new address, you'll need to photo copy your license and send in with your homestead exemption form. Just another step and another fee to pay our government.
Pass this post on if you know someone that needs to update their drivers license, it will save some time and aggravation in dealing with your property taxes.
I know most of you really don't think of the value of real estate unless you're in the market to buy or sell. It's better that way, since value is really a moving target. What's comforting about this is the value of Plano real estate is solid unless you were one of the crazy people that bought and sold real estate without a clue to value. Even though volume is down the median sold price is something anyone can live with. As far as For Sale pricing, even in a down market, sellers still think there property is worth more than it is...The one thing about buying real estate is you don't have to get the rock bottom price, if you understand value you will have an acceptable range for location, condition and price and reap the rewards in a timely fashion. Just saying...have a great Sunday and GO Cowboys!
Posted by: Terry Smith - Broker Owner Smith & Smith Realty - 214.755.9895 AT 12:20 pm
| 1 Comment | Email
Did you know that according to a Realty Times article, many county building inspectors are seeing over 30 homes a day? That's less than 15 minutes at each site. That's simply a lot to see in a very short amount of time. It's just one of the reasons why home inspections on new homes can be so beneficial.
With over two million inspections performed to date, U.S. Inspect has compiled a list of the most common defects found in new construction:
No insulation installed in the attic: A well-insulated attic will make your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, saving you money and keeping you comfortable.
Missing proper roof vents, or vent holes cut, but roofed over: Good attic ventilation reduces heat build-up in the summer, cutting cooling costs and prolonging shingle life. In the winter, proper ventilation allows the heat and moisture to escape, keeping your attic dry and reducing ice dams.
Windows installed improperly: Improperly installed windows can result
in moister and leakage problems as well as reduced energy efficiency.
Hot and Cold water reversed at faucets, tubs, and showers: This defect is not only a nusance, but a safety hazard for individuals expecting one thing, and getting another!
Other Pluming issues: Toilets that overflow, run constantly, or leak due to incorrect installation, or tubs that don't drain properly due to drains clogged with debris during the construction process.
Inoperable or missing GFCI's in required areas: GFCIs are designed to protect people from severe or fatal electrical shocks, missing or inoperable GFCIs are a safety concern.
Heat vents missing, not connected: The home will certainly not heat efficiently if heat vents are missing or disconnected.
Cut trusses in roof or floor trusses: Cut trusses can compromise the integrity of the structure.
Tempered glass missing in required areas: Safety glass is installed in certain areas to protect those in and around your home from injury.
Improperly installed roofing, flashing, or roof jacks: Correctly installed roofing materials avoids moisture penetration into the home or siding materials. Following the manufacturers recommended installation instructions is crucial to ensure that these materials perform as intended and that their lifespan is prolonged.
U.S. Inspect has a popular "Top 10 Defects of New Construction" handout that was designed based on this article.
How can investors avoid mistakes by educating themselves?
Investment in real estate properties can be really lucrative. But you have to know the market position and other property related news to make money instead of incurring loss. Investment is considered very safe investment but even seasoned and experienced investors incur losses and fall in heavy debts. Get to know the mistakes an investor can avoid and where to get the investing tips.
Mistakes to avoid in real estate investment
When you're investing in a real estate property, you must take out a mortgage that you can pay back in the stipulated time. Since you have to take out a mortgage, whether you're buying the property for staying or for the purpose of selling, you need to take out the exact mortgage amount that is affordable to you as well as repayable. For that purpose, you can take help of "how much can I afford for a house payment" calculator. Check out further mistakes to avoid:
1. Too much land to handle
This is the situation when you have a lot of land and real estate properties but getting no profit out of it. Experienced real estate investors make this blunder. Few is better as you'll be able to keep count of the gains you're getting as well as make use of them. If you have a property in a dilapidated area with no people around, it'll have no price, but if you have bought property in a good neighborhood, you'll get better returns.
2. Underestimating the local market
Even if you're a seasoned investor, try to keep a check on the local market as the price of your local land won't be published in the magazines or shown in the news. You've to know the real stuff that's going on in the market so that it helps in your further investment. Successful investors keep knowledge about the local demographic graphs and that takes them ahead.
3. Doing things alone
When you're buying a real estate property for the first time and you're a novice, you must take help of an agent or a professional investor. Taking everything in your own hands is not always advisable. Agents have better insight and knowledge about land and property and they can guide you well. They'll give you additional information about the land and the neighborhood.
4. Skipping home inspection
Inspection is not only mandatory but also very important. Get your property inspected well by an inspector who's an expert and have successfully inspected around 250 houses before. What cannot be seen by the naked eye must be well inspected. They are supposed to give you a complete written report along with the photos.
How investors can educate themselves
Whether you're a seasoned or a novice investor, you must take help of the investing books that will help you get more knowledge. All the books are different. The main criteria to read these books are that you know about the market and also analysis done on the past investment and careful insight on the future undertakings.
If you avoid the mistakes given, you'll be able to invest in real estate investment very well. The books by famous investors will also help you learn from their mistakes.
Samantha Taylor is the Community Mentor of MortgageFit and has been contributing her suggestions to the Community since 2005. Not just that, she has also made notable contributions through the various articles written on different subjects related to the mortgage industry. Few of her popular articles would include names like 'Mortgage that you can afford', 'Mobile Home Loan with Bad Credit', and How much mortgage can I borrow?'
Your home has been on the market for almost 6 months and it hasn't sold. You're not too happy with your agent and quite frankly you don't hear from them or don't think they doing anything to sell it. You signed a listing agreement but don't know what to do.
This is probably one of the most misunderstood facts about taking your home off the market. Yes, you can fire your agent even with a listing agreement in force. Most professional Realtors or agents will let you out of a listing agreement if you're not happy. If you can't get your agent to respond call the broker to release you from the contractual obligation. You're listing agreement is through them not the individual agent.
You and the broker will have to sign a termination form and make sure the listing is cancelled on the MLS so you can move on to your next step. If an agreement is withdrawn instead of cancelled you will still owe the original agent and broker a fee if you sell your home. Something you should be aware of but probably aren't.
Posted by: Terry Smith - Broker-Helping you make better real estate decisions - 214.755.9895 AT 02:50 pm
| 1 Comment | Email
If you're house hunting you might have run across the phrase "Motivated Seller" in the property description. So, how motivated? Well, you just don't know. It can have a lot of different meanings but the most important is to get your attention. And it probably did.
What it can mean are several different scenarios, most likely:
seller moving scenario - job loss
family event - baby
owns other properties or cannot afford any more
unfortunate circumstances - death
If you're interested in a property that the seller is motivated, it's best to inquire about the motivation than to assume. Because the seller's motivation might not be motivating for you at all! If a property is still priced too high then the seller probably really isn't motivated at all, so don't waste your time with a low ball offer.
Posted by: Terry Smith - Broker-Helping you make better real estate decisions - 214.755.9895 AT 03:38 pm
| 0 Comments | Email
I personally have done seller financing. I didn't have a great experience with it but I did get paid and made 8% interest on the note. I was lucky! That's what my real estate attorney said after my buyer would not pay late charges that accrued for years. I had him draw the docs and we were helping someone who couldn't get traditional financing.
Fast forward 9 years and today in a difficult market this is a good option for some seller's that have money and or equity in a property. You see a lot of this on the MLS and it certainly can make a transaction go smoother especially on higher end properties. It's a great alternative for some buyers. So it can be a win-win if you have a well qualified and honest buyer. Let me say that again, An Honest Buyer.
However, everything is about to change. A provision in the federal secure and fair enforcement act (SAFE) Act - (wonder who gets to name the new laws?) now requires the property owner who wish to do seller financing to be licensed as a residential mortgage loan originators (RMLO)!!! The deadline was extended from May 31, 2010 to August 31, 2010. So you have less then 2 months to comply.
I think this is just another way to give all the business to the banks but if you want to do seller financing in the near future you'll have to become a mortgage broker first! That's unbelievable when a real estate attorney will write the note and deed anyway and is very well versed in seller financing. It's just another real estate hurdle to cross. Would you get your brokers license to do seller financing? What do you think?
[75093,Plano,Texas, seller financing]
Posted by: Terry Smith - Broker-Helping you make better real estate decisions - 214.755.9895 AT 12:05 am
| 0 Comments | Email
Showing Activity for 75093 - $250K to 500K - March - May to date...
You probably know how many showings you get and feedback from selling agents (buyers). But how do you know if it's good enough? Does your agent give you the big picture. The chart below is from CSS (Centralized Showing Service) that schedules all real estate showings or almost all. This is from March 11th through today May 20th.
Price point is from 250K to 500K with 20K increments. This gives you an overall picture of how you stack up and what you may need to do to get your home sold. Overall, it shows consistency even after the tax credit expired on 4/30. What you can see is the activity of different price points or where the buyers are...320K to 420K is where the bulk of the activity is broken down by week.
Take a look at the next chart:
This is just since the start of May in 75093, you can see percentage of showings by price point, monthly & weekly average plus showings per listing. 320K to 340K seems to be a magic number here. You can use this as a tactic to drill down and really know what and where buyers are looking! It's another tool to get your home sold quickly! Knowing where the buyers are is another piece of the puzzle.
You know we love new technology and the home search is number one for everyone especially on your cell. That's what makes us different and we use all of it for efficiency and better service and because well, we're geeks at heart. Totally mobile. so here you go...
Long story short - the app was written by some students who wanted to find a rental and didn't like just lists of properties so he wrote an app for mapping the property. How cool! And it works great! It's fast and accurate. Realtor.com app is really good too...but if you know the area and want to see things on google maps - get it. You can also see photos of area (which some are weird) and stats for zillow (not so accurate) and it will have all the listings. Yay! Detail info is kinda sparse but gives you the basic intel. The part I like best is to watch the pins rain down like a video game...they are color coded by price range. Best and fastest apps for iphone is NearBuy and Realtor.com and for my blackberry it's the whole MLS that's now available. So, I can answer any question on the fly. Love that! NearBuy is a free app.
Texas requires all home owners, even for sale by owners (FSBO) to provide a seller's disclosure. The only seller exempt are foreclosures and possible estates because they have never been in the property. Some investors who flip houses are still required to provide this but can answer most of the questions by checking unknown if they have never been in the property.
The form is filled out by the seller to let the buyer know of the current property condition, to the best of their knowledge. And that's the key point. Seller's can forget or not know all the answers and get dates or repairs wrong. The best solution is to ask for any prior inspections be provided. And that would include foundation work, roof, appraisals or warranties. Sometimes it's already uploaded on the MLS but not always.
The disclosure is a good starting point to review a property prior to submitting a contract. But it's not reliable and your own inspection is the best way to determine the condition. If you're a seller and wondering what you need to disclose, a good rule of thumb is everything you know of. The form is very complete but any other information you impart is better for all parties involved. And any liability issues that could occur after the sale. We do live in a litigious world, don't we? So, dot the i's and cross the t's on property disclosures. You can find a blank copy on the right sidebar for your review.
[75093,Plano,TX, seller disclosures, inspections]
I took a call this week from someone inquiring about a house. She was driving by and said she had called 12 agents during the day and I was the only one to call her back....
Don't take it personally but I don't even get return phone calls from agents, especially when the voice message is:
"Your call is very important to me and I will get back to you just as soon as I can, however I only check my messages twice a day because I am very busy! Please repeat your number twice and have a nice day!" It's amazing to me how many agents have the same message.
I mean with all the technology, text , email and chat - it's pretty easy to answer all inquiries via your smart phone. Isn't it? Of course, if your with a client we certainly understand you want no interruption but an hour or two to respond is not too much to ask rather than no return call at all, don't you think?
I received a "Just Listed" postcard yesterday, first in a while...however the property has been listed on and off since 2006, so "Just Listed Again" is more appropriate. What's interesting though is the price has really come down, way down. At one time, 3 years ago it "just listed" for the upper $600's. Then sold in 2008 for upper $500's. Now, on market in upper $400's. Think prices haven't come down? think again... Just because a seller lists a home for a certain price doesn't make it worth it or what it'll sell for, a buyer will determine that. No matter what the market value is some will list homes to sell and some will still overprice just to see. And that fact never changes in real estate.
The Appraisal Game?
The more things change the more they remain the same, that's soooo not true in any real estate transaction today. This post is for anyone that's had a hard time getting an appraisal done to close on a property.
Know your lender on a personal basis
It depends on your lender (very important) on who does the appraisal. If you go with a mass lender it is almost guaranteed that you will get shuffled into auto appraisal system so don't count on closing on time because they simply don't care.
Run if you get an auto email especially if one has been forwarded to you...
What's an auto appraisal system? Here's an example: A big lender sources out their appraisals to a middle man corporation, compliments of our government invading the home buying process. The middle man in this instant is located in Florida and sources out to appraisal firms and takes half of the appraiser's fee. They are so large that you're are plugged into an auto email system for status updates with a do not reply to their email because no one is home, meaning no one is willing to speak with you...which is typical responses of large corporations today, you don't even get a scripted customer service person to take your call.
Who's on first?
There are so many people involved in the process that you need a separate database for one home loan. Just so you know if you use a local lender and appraiser the appraisal should not take any more than 2-3 days. This is a signal that you're getting close to closing. Maybe, except this appraiser came back to act like an inspector and says he wants boxes removed and painting done before he will complete the appraisal and deliver to the lender. This appraisal was done on Nov 16th. CRAZY! We are representing the seller and a new agent is trying to help the buyer, so we all help each other, that's the only way to get it done.
Help everyone get it closed
That is just part of the reality in dealing with the ever changing role of control from our government, tightening the appraisal process and the lending process, next month new GFE (good faith estimates) are being revised for more disclosure to consumers about loan transparency. That's a good thing! What the consumer needs to know is who's the lender and if they source there appraisals locally or from another world. It will make a huge difference on getting your home closed in a timely manner and much much less stressful.
Forget the CMA, Absorption Rates are more accurate or how to figure out days on market to sell your home quick...
This time of year many sellers will take there home off the market thinking there are no buyers based on the holidays. That's a common assumption but it's just not true. One way to figure out how long it will take your home to sell is by the absorption rates of a particular area or neighborhood.
What's absorption rate?
Absorption rates are a calculation of how long it will take for all the homes on the market to be sold, or absorbed, at the current rate of sales.
Let's take zip code 75093. There are 282 active properties and 320 sold the last 6 months, that's 53 a month and yes, it's better than last year. Dividing 53 into the 282 active properties gives us a 5 month supply. You can break this down farther by neighborhood and/or price point. It's fair to say if your home is under 500K a 2 to 3 month market time is an acceptable range. And that's not too long and it could be shorter because inventory is lower however, if your home is over 700K you're in for a longer wait, a year or much longer unless you price aggressively.
The pricing strategy should be homes priced lower with a defined market segment will sell first.
It's not unusual to take your home off the market for a specific holiday day but don't take it off for a month. In my opinion there are more serious qualified buyers now that have cash and are taking advantage of the low rates and you don't want to miss them.
How do you know if the List price is the Right Price?
You know that searching for homes online as well as physically touring homes can be exhausting! It's a lot of work. You want to be efficient and save time so most assume that the list price is the correct price of a given home, or let's say within an acceptable range. If your home price is 400K, you would look between 375K to 425K, usually a 25K difference either way. And if your in the 800K range you might be 50K to 100K range depending on your goals.
Even in this market I see some properties totally overpriced. I recently found one 250K over priced. Why?
Because that's what a seller wanted. If you toured this home you would soon realize it did not even compare to other homes by quality and location.
So, how do you know if a home is way overpriced? You won't unless you know the area but you can check the tax roles (appraised value) if you think something doesn't look right. The values should be close, give or take a little depending on neighborhood. The values are becoming more inline these days. Also, do a map search so you can edit bad locations, that's a real time saver.
If you have access to sales or dollar per sq ft, that's a way to tell too. Look at sales on a particular street, if homes are selling for 550K on the golf course and a home listed for sale not on the course course is 800K, well then, that's a sign. You might think everyone would be more realistic in a softer real estate market but that's just not the case. It happens in all price ranges and it works the opposite too, if a home is priced, say 10% below market, it won't last long. Enjoy the weekend, looks like great weather ahead and don't forget to check the open house link on the right sidebar.
[where:75093, Plano, TX, real estate]
Posted by: Terry Smith - TX Broker, Owner, Dallas Real Estate Gal - 214.755.9895 AT 02:30 pm
| 0 Comments | Email
If you live in West Plano you, no doubt, have been to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Recent updates include wildlife signage, new trash receptacles and of course modern conveniences for our 4 legged friends....Before the signs, other patrons would warn you of snakes ahead on the path and perhaps a dashing coyote in the meadows. I couldn't help thinking of real estate and how this sign applies to some of the Big Banks as far as securing a loan for your property. They will want blood and your first born if they can get it and then still might not close or fund the loan. These days you can actually close and the bank might not fund. Beware of the bank lenders and it might behoove you to go with private banking, local brokers or lenders that are vertical and can fund the loan, plus being available for a phone conversation as well as email. It's gotten much tighter in the real estate last 6 months - so buyer beware of the wildlife.
[where:75093, real estate, Plano, Texas]
Posted by: Terry Smith - TX Broker, Owner, Dallas Real Estate Gal - 214.755.9895 AT 01:07 pm
| 0 Comments | Email
I've had this poll on the left side bar for a month now, go ahead and vote and see the results. 80% of 118 votes, so far... say YES! Home Sale Prices should be public information. Steve Brown wrote a juicy article about this today, so my question to the Dallas Morning News is: Why not do a poll for the almighty consumer? Your client...
Dallas Dirt has put in their 2 cents. Texas is only one of 5 states that don't disclose sale prices of a home. Why? cause it's law. But, loan amounts can be disclosed, go figure. In today's climate that makes as much sense to me as other things.
When working with relocation clients this is one of the first things we discuss. To be honest, with all the available public information and research available you can pretty much decide on what you want to offer on a property. It doesn't matter what someone bought a home for it's a value a buyer puts on a property in a particular time and place. The assessed property value place on your home is different from actual sold (market value) anyway, just to make it more complicated, I guess.
The reason that home sale prices aren't always accurate in the MLS is because each individual agent must enter the information and sometimes it just doesn't get entered. For example, I ran across a home that has been pending since Jan 2008. The MLS has just started to police this so maybe that will help clean up some of the problem. There are almost always plenty of comps to research and history of a particular property to find a true value at any given point in time.
Another option for a home buyer is to request not to have the price disclosed. This must be agreed by the seller and when that happens a Z appears next to a sale price. You know it sold for less. How much less, probably never know unless you were involved in the transaction. You are seeing this more and more in higher end properties so as not to skew the neighborhood comps. Good for sellers but any buyer will research and know what to offer on a property, no matter what it is listed for and believe me they'll expect a low ball offer, right wrong or indifferent that may be.
As far as whether home sale prices will ever be disclosed in Texas that remains to be seen. What I think from the answers on the poll is the response is generational, if you're older you want the privacy and if you're younger you want the transparency. Especially in this economic client.
[where:75093,75024,75025, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Texas, disclosure home sale prices]
Posted by: Terry Smith - TX Broker, Owner, Dallas Real Estate Gal - 214.755.9895 AT 03:00 pm
| 0 Comments | Email
Before you even put an offer on a property you or your agent should verify all MLS information. It is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. A reader called this out earlier in the week and I thought it deserved a post. This has to do with what schools your children go to. Here's the quote:
"BTW, I noticed on a lot of property details for houses south of 121 they may list the Frisco HS as Centennial. After talking to the rep at Centennial and seeing their map on the wall we now know that all of Plano south of 121 in the Frisco ISD goes to Liberty. No one goes to Centennial and she said she gets a lot of angry parents coming to sign their children up after moving. You might of known this but I figured I'd let you know just in case."
I can imagine parents who thought they were going to certain schools and got blindsided by this. And that's an expensive lesson to learn the hard way! When things are entered on the MLS they might be entered by an administrative person and there can be mistakes. It is the listing agents responsibility to make sure the info is accurate. Schools can change their mapping yearly, even by a street or two, so it's a good idea to call the school directly to confirm. And if you are working with a buyers agent they are just as responsible for verifying information for you. As always, buyers beware. Thanks again for the shout out!
[where:75093,75024,75025, Plano, Texas, buyers advice]
Posted by: Terry Smith - TX Broker, Owner, Dallas Real Estate Gal - 214.755.9895 AT 10:44 am
| 0 Comments | Email
Take a look at the monthly housing breakdown for Feb. 2013 for insight into the current real estate market. Every month new information will be posted as a trusted souce for excellent advice. Any questions about local real estate in Plano? Just ask us for expert advice.
YourNeighbor@PlanoHomesAndLand.com Smith & Smith Realty
Jerold and Terry Smith
Common name, Uncommon service Licensed Texas Real Estate Broker - Owner
Copyright - 2004 - 2013
Jerold and Terry Smith is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. Jerold and Terry Smith nor the team associates will sell, share, or rent this confidential information to others. Your privacy is the primary issue for Jerold and Terry Smith.
By submitting information such as name, address, phone number, email address and/or additional data, the real estate client or prospect consents that Jerold and Terry Smith or their authorized representative may contact client/prospect by phone, U.S. postal system or email whether or not client/prospect is in a local or federal or "do not call" program of any type.
Jerold & Terry Smith, Common name, Uncommon service