What to Look For in a Real Estate Agent
To start, not all real estate agents operate equally. An effective real estate agent must be passionate, persistent, knowledgeable and work full time. An agents #1 goal is to meet the seller’s expectation by taking the time to understand the seller’s needs. The agent must sell a home timely, at the right price and with little burden to the homeowner as possible. To this end the following qualities are universally demonstrated by successful real estate agents and demanded by home sellers.
According to a current survey by Qazoo.com and reported by the National Real Estate Post, the #1 complaint from consumers about a real estate agent is their lack of communication skills. A real estate agent must be balanced. They must be a good listener and a good teacher. As important, a real estate agent must be responsive. At your first meeting the real estate agent should inquire how you best like to communicate- by telephone, email, text or other.
HONEST & TRANSPARENT
Honesty is the best policy and it helps to keep life simple. The truth will always be revealed. Honesty is about being transparent sharing the truth no matter the cost. Sadly, at times the truth is stretched or not shared because a real estate agent hopes to protect their self- interest or the seller’s feelings. For example, a real estate agent will advise a seller their home is worth more than the market will bear. The agent does this to either secure the listing (self-interest) or to not upset the seller. Either way ultimately the seller loses as their home will linger on the market for too long and inevitably sell for a reduced price.
A real estate agent needs to have a strong understanding of market dynamics and people. Your real estate agent must help you identify your needs to successfully navigate the selling process for your advantage. It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise when selling a home, for example, how to work with a demanding buyer or the consequence of not disclosing known impediments.
Once you are confident a prospective real estate agent embodies the above qualities make sure to inquire about a sales and marketing system. Studies confirm home sellers want to work with real estate agents that apply a comprehensive system to sell a home.
Many home buyers in Carlisle, MA, Chelmsford, MA, Concord, MA, and Westford, MA are curious to learn more about the upcoming (October 3rd) mortgage lending changes proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Tila-Respa Integrated Disclosure rule or (TRID) is an effort to introduce more transparency and streamline the mortgage process for the benefit of the home buyer. It simplifies and consolidates loan disclosures and changes the timing of the mortgage process.
All Home Buyers CLICK HERE or the below picture to learn everything you need to know about successfully applying for a mortgage.
This booklet is a toolkit and provides guidance on how to obtain a mortgage and what to expect. It’s organized into 3 helpful topic areas:
I. Choosing the Right Mortgage
II. Your Closing
III. Congratulations you are a new homeowner
This a very exciting time for you and your family. If you have further questions please contact your lender or choose a lender from our Buyer Action Team.
In the 1990’s the business of real estate home buyer sales representation was developed.
The advent of the real estate Buyer Agent provided a home buyer with the option to contract for representation. A Buyer Agent is a real estate broker that represents and works solely for the buyer in a real estate transaction. The buyer agent owes his/her obedience, loyalty, disclosure, confidentiality, accounting and reasonable care to the home buyer. But does a home buyer really care or need a buyer agent?
In 2005 there was another major real estate shift with the launch of Zillow. Real estate listing portals like Zillow and Trulia have forever changed the influence of the Buyer Agent. By making listings public facing Zillow has essentially stripped the Buyer Agent of any value to the home buyer. No longer does the Buyer Agent control the listing information. Home buyers are now in control. Using Zillow a home buyer can conveniently search on the internet for a home, on their own time and terms. In fact, a Buyer Agent is not needed at all. Thanks to Zillow most home buyers can find a home on their own.
In 2015 all a home buyer simply needs is a competent lender, an attorney to review documents, and a good home inspector.
(Click below picture of home and check out the video)
Updated and well maintained Ranch home in Chelmsford, MA. Perfect Starter or Empty Nester Home. Great Location private and secure, but close to commercial amenities and highway access. Call Today 978.250.3726 and schedule your showing with Donald @ 2Way Realty.
Don’t give your home equity away. Save 1,000’s of dollars and never compromise service.
Use a FIXED FEE, FULL SERVICE real estate agent.
How long will my home be on the market before a willing and able home buyer makes an offer?
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) a home in Massachusetts can expect to be on the market between 45-60 days.
But if you live in Middlesex County- in these selected communities- Chelmsford, Westford, Concord, Carlisle, Lowell, and Billerica, you can expect your home to be on the market 98.73 days according to the MLS.
The secret to selling a home fast and maximizing profit is outlined in the 4 P’s of Selling a Home.
If you want to put even more money in your pocket, use a full service real estate agent that breaks the commission mold and charges a FIXED FEE (no commission) and passes the savings to you.
This spring when you interview a prospective listing real estate agent make sure to ask, “how much will you charge me to sell my home?”
Don’t give your home equity away. Save 1,000’s of dollars and never compromise service.
Use a FIXED FEE, FULL SERVICE real estate agent.
According to the statistics from the most current census, Florida is the hot GOTO state. In fact, from July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014 seven of the nation’s top 50 population gaining metro areas are in Florida. Number 2 on the list is Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, which encompasses The Villages, which now has a total population of 114,000. Overall Florida is the nation’s third most populous state.
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (with a one-year gain of about 66,000).
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (about 50,000).
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (about 41,000).
- Jacksonville (about 23,000).
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers (about 18,000).
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (about 16,000).
- Lakeland-Winter Haven (about 11,000).
Consistent over time Americans are migrating for similar reasons as existed prior to the housing crisis. People want a combination of good weather, affordable housing and job opportunities. If any place, like Florida, combines these factors, home buyers and renters will flock.
This spring if you’re thinking of selling your home don’t give your home equity away. Put more money in your pocket. Save 1000’s of dollars and never compromise service.
Use a FIXED FEE, FULL SERVICE real estate broker.
The National Association of Realtors reported yesterday February’s existing home sales increased modestly.
Home prices are up 7.5% YoY. Days on Market is down. Homes are selling faster and for more money. As expected the Northeast existing home sale numbers were blanched due to extreme weather conditions. However home sales still recorded a 3.6 percent rise compared to one year ago and the median sales price of $241,800 is 3.3 percent above a year ago.
If you are thinking of selling your home this Spring, NOW is the time to contact your local real estate broker. Be the first to market and capitalize on low inventory. If you want to put even more money in your pocket LIST your home with a FULL SERVICE, FIXED FEE real estate broker. Don’t needlessly give your hard earned home equity away.
Your Choice Your Way
Back in August of 2014, I wrote a blog highlighting the genius of Zillow and Spencer Rascoff. In that blog I described how Zillow had commandeered consumer eyeballs (website traffic) using their Zestimate tool and then pivoted to monetize the Zillow website with ad revenue from real estate brokers. As a business model catering to investors it is absolutely brilliant. However the consequence of this new model is that Zillow has forsaken the real estate home seller and home buyer. Zillow uses home buyers and sellers (eyeballs) to seduce real estate brokers to advertise and list on Zillow. Sadly, Zillow has morphed into a simple real estate listing website offering the very best consumer infotainment.
The internet is real estate’s amazing consumer tool. It is credited with unlocking the coveted information that home sellers and buyers demand- a public facing real estate listing service. In 2015 a home buyer will find any one home listed on multiple sites. Try it yourself— conduct a Google search and enter “homes for sale” and a zip code. For example, Homes For Sale 33138 returns organic results in ranking order from Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Redfin. The first three are listing services and Redfin is a real estate broker that seemingly scrapes listings from other brokers in hopes of engaging a home buyer to be their client.
Now Zillow, once again, is trying to rebalance their website as a more consumer friendly platform using a figuratively improved Zestimate. Last week I overheard a city building inspector sharing why he thought Zillow had reengineered their Zestimate and what it actually means to the consumer. According to the building inspector, Zillow’s number one goal is to attract and increase the number of unique visitors on their website. In this effort they have announced a new Zestimate tool. It is now possible for any homeowner to modify their Zillow home listing and instantly recalculate their homes value or Zestimate. What Fun!
He then shared another alarming Zillow fact. Zillow is in bed with the federal government too. Zillow’s Chief Economist Stan Humphries helps the federal government by “unleashing vast troves of Zillow data in hopes of promoting better decision making.” (Andrea Brambila, Inman News, March 6, 2015). The building inspector says BEWARE: Municipal governments may also take notice of Zillow’s data, especially the revamped Zestimate. Throughout many communities it’s the Board of Assessors responsibility to maintain residential and commercial property valuations at full and fair cash values. Now Zillow’s Zestimate could make this taxing authority easier.
WHEN CONSUMER FUN HURTS
Imagine on a Saturday night a homeowner innocently visits the Zillow website. For entertainment he modifies his housing data with updated information that significantly increases his Zestimate value. Many months later (January) the same homeowner receives his yearly recalculated property tax assessment and remarkably his property value has increased. The taxpayer is confused and frustrated and does not understand why his local taxing authority now expects the homeowner to pay more in real estate property tax- What changed? He did not pull a building permit or improve his house in any way. Clearly the homeowner does not recall that particular Saturday night, so many months ago, when he revised his Zestimate for fun. When he willfully told Zillow (and the government) he had an unreported extra ½ bath and a bedroom. Do you think the homeowner has a chance to win a tax abatement? No way.
So what do you think, will Zillow still be a market leader in 5 years? That remains to be seen but clearly a revamped Zestimate is not the balance home buyers, home sellers or the market needs.
January is always a tough month for real estate sales and this year is really no different.
But how bad is it? Are we worse off than last January 2014?
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) the real estate market is off to a slow start but only if you look at month to month numbers. Overall the market is chugging along year over year. What the market needs now is more inventory. Inventory is down (-1.58%), mainly due to weather considerations.
“Although sales cooled in January, home prices continued solid year-over-year growth”, says Larry Yun, the NAR chief economists, “the labor market and economy are markedly improved to a year ago, which supports stronger buyer demand.”
If you are thinking of selling your home, NOW is the time. Contact a Fix Fee, Full Service real estate professional today.
See below NAR chart: SUPPLY is down, and both DEMAND and PRICES are UP.
This week I read an article about the struggling relationship between the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Tesla. In some ways this conflict parallels the most recent friction in Denver, Colorado between REcolorado (Multiple Listing Service) and Trelora, a Denver residential real estate sales company. Both Tesla and Trelora are trying to disrupt the existing sales model in their respected industry and challenge the status quo. In Trelora’s case, the company on their website highlighted REcolorado’s proprietary information and noted the tremendous cost savings achieved using Trelora’s flat fee model versus a commission sales model.
Since 1850 the real estate market in the United States has recognized only one model for the conveyance of residential real estate- the traditional broker commission sales model. The real estate broker has controlled the monumental scepter- the home listing- which chiefly empowers the real estate broker to decide when, how and who can sell or buy real estate. Some industry pundits have noted the internet and listing portals like Zillow Group- (Zillow and Trulia), and others are breaking the real estate broker’s stronghold over the consumer.
Really? Or is it just smoke and mirrors?
The reality is these sites make home listings available to the public, but still everything remains controlled by the commissioned real estate broker. In fact even Zillow bowed down to the commissioned real estate broker. What started as a consumer real estate disruption is proving to be a great disappointment. Recently Zillow shifted gears and their revenue model is now dependent upon the advertising of commissioned real estate agents/brokers that are called premier agents.
Obviously public facing real estate listing platforms underwritten by commissioned brokers are not what they appear to be- a (real) real estate disruption.
A (real) real estate disruption is a market model permeation in the form of increased COMPETITION. Competition that demands real estate brokers to reduce the cost to transact real estate e.g. commission or fee based, without sacrificing the quality or quantity of service delivered to the consumer. Real estate consumers do not want less service they want to pay less for the service. They want full service real estate brokers to compete on service delivery costs. Consumers want to put more money in their pocket and not in the pocket of the real estate broker.
COMPETITION is the (real) real estate market disruption and the traditional commissioned real estate broker can’t compete. Just ask REcolorado.