NAR’s latest existing home sales report [Infographic]

Should I pay a mortgage interest rate over 4 percent?

Shocked-KCM

Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Along with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.

This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact they may no longer be able to get a rate less than 4 percent. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.

Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades.

rates-KCM

Bottom Line

Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago; a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

NAR’s latest existing home sales report [Infographic]

Why did home sales drop so dramatically last month?

Nov-Sales-KCM

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report which covered sales in November. The report revealed that sales:

“…fell 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million in November (lowest since April 2014 at 4.75 million)…”

That revelation gave birth to a series of industry articles, some of which quoted pundits questioning whether the housing market was slowing. In actuality, there is one rather simple explanation to much of the falloff in sales last month. It is likely the implementation of the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule, commonly known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule, which went into effect on Oct. 3. These regulations caused house closings to be delayed by an extra three days in November as shown in the graph below.

Days-to-Close-KCM

Three days might sound like a minimal difference. However, since there are only approximately 20 days in a month that a closing would normally take place (Mondays through Fridays), losing three days constitutes well over 10% of all closings. These sales are not lost. They are just moved into the next month’s numbers. In a DS News article on the subject, Auction.com EVP Rick Sharga explained:

“The most likely cause for the weak sales numbers is a delay in processing loans due to the new TRID mortgage requirements imposed by the CFPB. This is the biggest change in mortgage document processing in many years, and there have been numerous reports within the industry of problems implementing the process and the new documentation that comes with it.”

So how is the housing market actually doing?

A better way to look at how well the housing market is doing is to look at the Foot Traffic Report from NAR which quantifies the number of prospective buyers that are actively looking for a home at the current time:

Foot-Traffic-KCM

We can see immediately that demand to buy single family homes is increasing over the last few months – not decreasing.

Bottom Line

No matter what last month’s sales numbers show, the housing market is still doing well as demand remains strong. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

NAR’s latest existing home sales report [Infographic]

How to get the most money from the sale of your house

Prices-It-Right-KCM

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize the financial reward when selling their home. But, how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to insuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart).

Price-Pyramid

Instead of the seller trying to “win” the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

In a recent article on realtor.com, they gave this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. Yet, studies have shown that typically homes sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Recent research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

FSBO

Bottom Line

Price it at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!

NAR’s latest existing home sales report [Infographic]

Selling your home? The importance of using a real estate professional

Importance-Pro-KCM

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92 percent of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that 95 percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2 percent purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53 percent) or negotiate the terms of the sale and price (48 percent) or understand the process (60 percent).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!