Real Estate Agent vs. Dentist


Real Estate Agent vs. Dentist

 As a real estate agent, I get a ridicules amount of emails telling me that if I advertise with their company I will have a boat-load of clients.  That’s a good thing.  However, as we all know, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

As an agent, I can sign up with a company that will enable me to advertise myself as one of the top ten agents in the state of Maryland.  Sounds great – and all I have to do is pay the $295 annual fee and I instantly become one of the top ten agents in the State of Maryland.

Another company will advertise you as a “premier” real estate agent.  You may have never sold a single property but if you pay the required annual fee you are instantly a “premier” agent.

The email I received yesterday, and has prompted this blog posting, was the one that said that “working with a real estate agent is like going to the dentist”,  unless of course you contract with the agents that advertise with their company.

First and foremost, I want to apologize to all the dentist out there.  I’m sure there are folks who have had bad experiences with dental appointments just as there have been buyers and sellers who have had bad experiences with real estate agents. But the criteria to identify the good ones and the bad ones should not, and does not, depend on whom you advertise with.

Quite often, when I talk with people about real estate, they express their frustration with a real estate agent they had worked with.  When we get to the reason why it almost always boils down to communication.  “We signed a contract with the agent, and never heard from them again.”  Communication between real estate agents and clients is the number one complaint that buyers and sellers have with agents.

When you are looking to hire an agent, ignore the fluff and the labels and see how well you communicate with them.  Agents should understand the market conditions and be able to discuss the current trends in real estate, but they should also be able to sit down and talk with you as a client.  If they are not able to communicate effectively with you, how will they ever be able to communicate with buyers or other agents.

I also believe it is important that clients and agents discuss the best way to communicate with each other.  I had some clients that were selling their house and buying another.  The wife wanted emails and the husband wanted text messages.  Without fail, when I sent each of them a communication, the husband would immediately contact the wife to discuss the topic and the wife would get back to me.  It worked for them and it worked for me.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

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What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About – Preparing for an Appraisal


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About –

Preparing for an Appraisal

An appraisal is an important part of home buying or selling.  Most appraisals come within the price that the REALTOR® determined the property, including the house, to be worth. But it is still an important step in the process.

If you are the seller, undoubtedly the listing agent conducted a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine the likely selling amount of your property.  If I am representing the buyer, I too, will conduct a CMA to ensure that my buyer is getting a property at a fair price.

The appraisal is conducted by a state licensed individual who has no connection with either the buyer or the seller side of the transaction.  Their ‘client’ is the mortgage company who also wants to be sure that any mortgage they write will be backed up by a property that is worth at least the amount of the mortgage.

If you are the seller here are some tips that you and your REALTOR® can and should do to facilitate the appraisal process.

  • If you have a current survey of the property, have it available to the appraiser when he arrives. He may already have a copy, but it may help with any questions that may come up.
  • If you have any written agreements between other home owners for such things as a shared driveway, have a copy of that available.
  • Any personal items that will be sold with the home should be clearly identified. They should not be negotiated into the price of the home, but should be identified as included.
  • Any title policy that indicates encroachments or easements.
  • A recent copy of the real estate tax bill.
  • If a home inspection was done, provide a copy of that, especially if it indicates that items are in good condition.
  • List of any home improvements that you did while you lived there. Be sure to have certain items done or inspected by a licensed contractor, such as electrical items.
  • A copy of the Home Owners Associate covenants and fees should also be available.
  • Make sure all areas of the home are accessible.
  • Prior to the appraisal (in fact I would suggest before listing) check with local codes, including fire codes to make sure the property is compliant with smoke / carbon monoxide detectors, etc.
  • Minor repairs, such as leaky faucets, missing or loose door knobs should be repaired as needed.
  • Although appraisers in large part can and will overlook some clutter, try to make the house as clean and organized as possible.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

 

Real Estate Market Conditions – March 2017


Real Estate Market Conditions – March 2017

Market conditions for real estate in Maryland continues to improve for March 2017.  However, it really depends if you are a buyer or seller.

Homes that settled in Maryland for March of this year increased by 18.8%.  That is good news for sellers, not so good for buyers.  In March 2017, there were a total of 6,850 homes sold compared to March 2016 where 5,768 homes sold.

The good news for sellers’ is that in March 2017 there were a total of 21,094 homes listed for sale compared to last year a total of 25,088 homes for sale.  This decrease in inventory has resulted in an increase of the average home price of 6.2%.

Months of Inventory is a measurement of how many months it would take to sell all the homes on the market at the rate homes are currently being sold.  For example:  If there are 1,000 homes for sale in a given location, and the market is selling 300 homes a month, the Months of Inventory would be 3.3 months.

Generally speaking, if there are 6 months or more of inventory it is considered a buyers’ market; 3-6 months is considered a neutral market; and less than 3 months is a sellers’ market.

In March of this year, Maryland remained in a neutral market, meaning it neither favored sellers or buyers.  However, in 2016 there were 4.3 months of inventory compared to 2017 that had 3.1 months of inventory. Maryland is very close to transitioning into a sellers’ market.

Because of the lower inventory this year, home prices have crept up, although not dramatically.  The average home price closed in March 2017 was $309,102; up from $291,071 in 2016.  This represents a 6.2% increase.

Individual county statistics should be coming out next week.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the near future, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

 

 

Millennials’ and the Spring 2017 Real Estate Market


Millennials’ and the Spring 2017 Real Estate Market 

The real estate market has made a steady, albeit slow, overall improvement since the housing crash of 2008.  As is often the case, there are many factors affecting the market, some good and some not so good.

One of the major factors affecting the housing market up to this point is the reluctance or inability of Millennials’ from entering the home-buying market.

Millennials’ are those individuals who were born between 1980 to the mid 1990’s – early 2000’s.  They are the first-time homebuyers who are coming into the market and buying existing homes to enable those home owners to move up in their home.

Millennials’ have been hesitant to enter the home buying market for many reasons: jobs in short supply; mortgage credit has not been easy to obtain; availability of homes on the market; student loans; and uncertainty in the political and economic scene here in the United States.  But that may be changing now.

The first part of 2017, Millennials’ accounted for 45% of all mortgages and this trend is expected to continue.  This is due in large part to the continued low interest rates on mortgages.  Mortgage interest rates are still very low but are expected to climb in the future.  This alone should be a significant reason for Millennials’ to enter the housing market.

But many of these home buyers are also facing obstacles: Tight mortgage credit requirements; high student loans; minimal savings for down payments. To add to that mix, home prices are suddenly climbing due in large part to too few homes on the market.  Yet these challenges are easing.  Most homes are purchased with as little as 3.5% down – not the 20% you hear about.  The USDA has a program in many parts of the country where you can buy a house for zero down.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com

Roland