Picking a real estate agent through Facebook

Picking a real estate agent through Facebook

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According to a joint study released by Google and the National Association of Realtors, two of three people searching for a prospective real estate professional research them “extensively online prior to working with them.” And, that number is probably increasing every day.

Are social media channels such as Facebook really a good place to gather information about an agent before using them? If so, what should you look for?

There is a plethora of information on any subject available on social media sites such as Facebook. A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that 63 percent of Americans now even get their news from Facebook (up from 47 percent in 2013).

It is no different for both buyers and sellers of real estate. Yes, Facebook is a good place to gather information about the housing market and “checkout” an agent you are considering hiring to help buy or sell a home.

What should you be looking for in an agent’s Facebook presence?

You want an agent that cares more about you and your family than they care about bragging about themselves. One way to determine this is to look at what they post on their Facebook page. Are they more interested in “hawking” a listing or bragging about their accomplishments, or are they trying to post insightful information that will help you make the best decision for you and your family?

At a recent real estate conference, Guy Kawasaki, an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, gave the following advice to the realtors in attendance:

“Value comes in the form of information and assistance. You want to establish a position where people see – through your social media efforts – that you know what you’re doing and are helpful … The point is to make yourself useful and valuable. To build credibility; to build trust…”

You should look for an agent that follows that advice!

For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Picking a real estate agent through Facebook

Why you should hire a professional when buying a home

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Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to go it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional!

You Need an Expert Guide if you are Traveling a Dangerous Path

The field of real estate is loaded with land mines. You need a true expert to guide you through the dangerous pitfalls that currently exist. Finding a home that is priced appropriately and ready for you to move in to can be tricky. An agent listens to your wants and needs, and can sift out the homes that do not fit within the parameters of your “dream home.”

A great agent will also have relationships with mortgage professionals and other experts that you will need in securing your dream home.

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

Realize that when an agent is negotiating their commission with you, they are negotiating their own salary – the salary that keeps a roof over their family’s head, the salary that puts food on their family’s table. If they are quick to take less when negotiating for themselves and their families, what makes you think they will not act the same way when negotiating for you and your family?

If they were Clark Kent when negotiating with you, they will not turn into Superman when negotiating with the buyer or seller in your deal.

Bottom Line

Famous sayings become famous because they are true. You get what you pay for. Just like a good accountant or a good attorney, a good agent will save you money … not cost you money. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Picking a real estate agent through Facebook

2016: Homeowner’s net worth will be 45 times greater than a renter

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Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-13, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

In a recent Forbes article the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that in 2016 the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater.

The graph below demonstrates the results of the last two Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction:

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Put Your Housing Cost to Work For You

Simply put, homeownership is a form of “forced savings.” Every time you pay your mortgage you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth.

The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 80 percent of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments:

“Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Bottom Line

If you are interested in finding out if you could put your housing cost to work for you through homeownership, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can guide you through the process. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Picking a real estate agent through Facebook

Buying a home can be scary … until you know the facts! [Infographic]

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Some Highlights:

  • 36 percent of Americans think they need a 20 percent down payment to buy a home. 44 percent of Millennials who purchased a home this year have put down less than 10 percent.
  • 71 percent of loan applications were approved last month.
  • The average credit score of approved loans was 723 in September (the lowest recorded score since Ellie Mae began tracking in August 2011).

For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Picking a real estate agent through Facebook

Family wealth grows as home equity builds

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With residential real estate values rising quite substantially in most parts of the country over the last few years, many homeowners are seeing a major increase in their family’s wealth as equity continues to build in their house.

recent study by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed that home equity grew nicely last year and has grown dramatically over the last five years…

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Buyers looking today may not see the same build-up in equity but could still do quite well.

Let’s assume you went into contract in the next six weeks and closed on a $250,000 home in January. If we take the house value projections from the last Home Price Expectation Survey, here is how your equity would grow over the next four years:

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Bottom Line

Homeownership has historically been a great way for the average American family to build wealth over time. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!