Neighborhood social network Nextdoor launches real estate listing service 

Lake Highlands Property has joined, and we would like you to join too! Next Door has had it’s next major boost in the market, and it is a great way to get to know your neighbors, get updates from local public services, increase safety in your neighborhood, and find excellent recommendations for local services.

Join Us on Next Door!

This article from HousingWire outlines some of the great new benefits coming to you from Next Door… Time to join the next wave!

An Exciting New, Alternate Interface for Real Estate!

 

Source: Neighborhood social network Nextdoor launches real estate listing service | 2017-07-13 | HousingWire

The driving forces behind home purchase deal fallouts in DFW:

Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor for Dallas News, recently wrote an article examining where D-FW starter home sales failed in 2016. It is certainly an important topic to consider as we trek into the Spring in 2017, and there may be more to it than Brown suggests:

View Full Article: Why are more D-FW home purchase deals falling through?

Source: Trulia

Homes selling in 3 days is the driving force behind the fallout. The article mentions what used to be the predominant drivers, and I believe those are still occurring at “normal levels”. What the article failed to address is the speed of the current market. It used to be that a Buyer would see a house, like it, go home and sleep on it, come back in the next day or two and see it a second time, and then make a well considered offer. Take that much time making a decision now, and the opportunity will be gone. So, now, Buyer will spend 30 minutes to an hour in the house, and decide to make an offer. At lower price points, they may make several offers, just trying to get to contract. Once the contract is executed, the real decision gets made. And more frequently than in the past, the Buyer decides there is just something they don’t like about the house. Or they execute the contract on their 2nd or 3rd choice home because they could, and then their 1st choice also offers them a contract. They drop the contract done in haste to execute the one they *really* want.

Rising interest rates may quell this a bit. The higher interest rates go, the more impact will be made on affordability. In turn, the ability of Buyers to offer higher and higher prices will diminish. Forecasts I am hearing for mortgage rate in 2017 is perhaps a rise over the past couple years, but likely not higher than 5%.

So I see another year of increasing prices in the DFW market. Perhaps not in the double digit range we have seen for the past 3 years, but likely in the 4-6% range, maybe as much as 8%.

 

Housing Outlook, 2014: Home Prices Head Higher

HousingPrices
Home prices will rise in 2014, but at a slower, more steady pace compared with historical trends.

By: Pat Mertz Esswein
From: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, January 2014
Full Article

The housing recovery has pushed up home prices nearly everywhere. Over the past year, home prices rose in 225 of the 276 cities tracked by Clear Capital, a provider of real estate data and analysis. (See how home prices are shifting in 276 metro areas.) Prices nationwide rose by 10.9%, pushing the median price for existing homes up by $30,000, to $215,000. For people who have waited to sell their home or refinance their mortgage, that’s good news.

SEE ALSO: The Outlook for Mortgages

Rising home prices in Seattle enabled Mike and Kristin Litke to refinance their first mortgage last summer and pay off a second mortgage that had an 8.2% interest rate. The Litkes, who bought their three-bedroom, 1.5-bath home for $512,500 in 2007 at the peak of Seattle’s housing market, had used the second mortgage to avoid paying private mortgage insurance. In 2010, just as home prices in the area hit a trough, they refinanced their first mortgage to a 30-year fixed rate of 4.375% but were stuck with the second mortgage because they didn’t have enough equity to do a “cash-out” refi.

This time, however, their home appraised for $521,000, allowing them to refinance into one 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage of $416,800 at 4.25%. They have reduced their monthly payment by $360, giving them some wiggle room in their budget and providing an infusion of college-savings funds for their kids: Stephen, 3½, and Stella, 10 months.

What’s Ahead

In 2013, a sense of urgency drove traditional buyers hoping to take advantage of still-affordable home prices and historically low mortgage rates. Buyers found selection limited, and were often forced into bidding wars with investors and other buyers who paid cash. Sellers reaped the rewards in terms of quick sales, often above the asking price. Almost half of the cities tracked by Clear Capital experienced double-digit increases in home prices, led by Las Vegas, with a gain of 32%. Such spikes reflected a continuing “correction to the overcorrection,” says Alex Villacorta, vice-president of research and analytics for Clear Capital. Buyers and investors rushed in to snap up homes with prices that had fallen too far. Homes continue to be affordable, despite recent run-ups—on average, prices are still 31.5% below their 2006 peak. The percentage of monthly family income consumed by a mortgage payment (assuming a mortgage rate of 4.1%) is just 15.6%, on average, compared with 23.5% in mid 2006. “Houses are very cheap,” says David Stiff, principal economist at CoreLogic, a property and mortgage data analytics company.

Right Size Your Life – The Time is NOW!!

Another home SOLD by Keller Williams

It has been a banner year for real estate sales in the DFW market. We are experiencing activity levels not seen in many years, and events with which many agents are not familiar. In Collin County, homes priced in the typical range for first time home buyers are receiving multiple offers, frequently on the day which they are listed. During a recent search in which I represented the Buyer, I had conversations with several listing agents indicating they were unfamiliar with how to handle the influx of offers they were receiving. It has been many years since homes attracted multiple offers, and quite frankly, agents who have only been in the market for 3-5 years have never experienced this phenomena.

In east Dallas, the activity levels are also similar. I had the pleasure of representing a Seller who was able to convey their existing home at the highest $/square foot seen in over 5 years. This allowed them to purchase a much larger home, and they got a great deal on the mortgage. For while sales prices are high, interest rates are still at historical lows. This combination makes today the perfect time to right size your life!

Whether you need to increase the size of your living space, or step down into a smaller home and save a little money, there has never been a better time to act.

How To Best Determine The Value of Your Home

The best tool I have for determining the value of your home is called the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). When performing a CMA, there are three big questions that I attempt to answer: a) At what price are homes actually selling?; b) What is the competition seeking in terms of price?; and c) How much is too much? The answers to these questions come from three different types of data.

Homes recently sold will give you an answer to the first question. You normally will find a range of sold prices. At the low end are homes that were not in very good condition, and in a neighborhood that is rejuvenating, this may in deed be the value of the lot. At the middle of the range are homes that are structurally sound but still need cosmetic updating. At the high end of the range are the homes that have been remodelled.

The answer to the second question comes from active properties. Here you can see where the competition is priced. In a neighborhood undergoing rennovation, it is very important to at least see pictures of these homes to determine the improvements that have been done.

The final question is answered by homes that have expired. Generally, these homes expired because the seller was asking more in price than the market would bear for a home in that condition. They were asking too much.

The art is to now place your home in the spectrum described. If your home is fully updated with new kitchen, baths, flooring, etc and is great structural shape then you belong at the top of the price list. In older neighborhoods I have heard these homes referred to as 1958 on the outside, 2011 on the inside.

If your home is in average condition, meaning that it has been very well maintained, is clean, and may have a few updates then the value of your home is at or just above the average home value in the neighborhood.

A final clarification on this process. It is vitally important to start with the right set of comparable homes. I generally define a neighborhood by looking at the boundaries formed by large roads, creeks, train tracks, utility easements or other barriers that suggest the edge of the neighborhood. In terms of the actual homes, I try to select homes that are within about 500sf of the target with a similar bed/bath count.

What is the Difference Between Broker and Agent?

A real estate BROKER is licensed to conduct a real estate transaction between a Buyer and a Seller and must be present in every transaction where real estate agents are involved. Most frequently, this person is the head of the real estate office where the agents work.

A real estate AGENT is a professional with a license that must be sponsored by a real estate broker. They are the people that you as a consumer will encounter in the transaction. They work for the real estate broker, and can not complete a real estate transaction without the broker’s oversight.

This creates an apprenticeship in the industry. In most states, a newly licensed professional must work for a broker for a certain number of years before they can qualify to become a broker themselves.

There are also many very experienced agents who have never chosen to pursue a broker’s license. They like working “in the field” as real estate agents, rather than running an office as a broker. They can be very experienced and may have amassed as much or more real estate knowledge than the broker that they work for, but prefer the job of working directly with Buyers and Sellers to that of an office administrator.

So to make a long story short, the broker is the person that runs the real estate office. The agents are the people who work directly with the consumers in the transaction.

Finally, there are some people who are licensed as Brokers, but still perform the role of an agent. This is usually the result of a preference for field vs. office work – at least that is the case with me.

Multiple Offers Vs. Multiple Contracts

Who will win the contract race?

I have encountered this question a few times recently, so I thought I would write a brief explanation.

First, let me clearly say that in the great State of Texas, there can only be one fully executed contract on a property at a time.

Now for the part that seems to create confusion. When dealing with residential real estate, an offer is generally submitted on a contract form and the agents have a habit of referring to offers as contracts. So you may hear that “we have received multiple contracts on this property”. What is really being said is that there are multiplte offers. An offer, even though it is submitted on a contract form, does not become a contract until both Buyer and Seller agree to every term and fully execute the document. Then, to remain a valid contract, the terms specified in the contract must be executed. On of the first of these terms is the deposit of earnest money.

So, when I represent a Buyer and I hear that “there is a contract on the property”, I always ask if it has been fully executed. If the answer is “no”, then it is only an offer, and there may still be a chance for my Buyer to get into the mix.

Now for the multiple offer scenario. As a listing agent, it is always my objective to attract multiple offers on a property. This creates a bidding war environment. When I receive the first offer, I will call other agents who have expressed interest in the property and let them know that we have received an offer. My hope is that it will move their client to action to also submit an offer. If we can get two or more in play at the same time, the outcome is usually better for the Seller.

As a Buyer’s agent, I extend offers that ask for a very quick response to keep the above scenario from happening. If my Buyer’s offer is the only offer in play, that tends to make the negotiation go better for the Buyer.

But at the end of the negotiations, there is only one contract that will get fully executed. The other party may wish to enter into a back-up position. If the first contract does not close, the back-up contract immediately moves into first place without the property going back to market. Finally, there can be only one back-up contract.

After a back-up contract has been executed, any other offers received remain “in limbo” until something happens to the first contract. If the first contract fails to close, the back-up contract moves into first place. If there are still other offers that have come forward, one of these can be selected to go into the back-up position. This continues until the property sale closes.

It is rare to have this much interest in a property, but occasionally it does happen. I have had success in closing back-up contracts from both the Listing and the Buying position.

I hope this provides some clarity on the issue. There can be only one fully executed contract at a time, and the rules for forming a queue behind this contract are very clear – one at a time.

Wild Lease Scam – Can the Market Get Any Crazier?

I love the real estate market – there’s always a great story to be told, and a new experience to be had. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any crazier, they did. Here’s the story…

I recently represented a young lady in the purchase of her first home. Being a first time home buyer, we were looking at small homes that were financially distressed – we were bargain hunting. We found the perfect home in east Dallas, a 1950’s era 3/2 that was in short sale for about 60% of the value it had appraised for just two years ago. As we toured the home, we could not access the garage – it was locked and the key did not fit. When I later inquired about accessing the garage, I heard the craziest story ever:

After the owner vacated the property, a person we’ll call Joe ConMan noticed that it was vacant. He proceeded to pose on the internet as the owner of the property. He entered into a lease agreement with a unsuspecting young couple, newly married with a small child. He collected the first month’s rent and the damage deposit. On move-in day, the Tenant could not get access to the house. Joe Conman has the Tenant call a locksmith, and then meets them at the property. He cons the locksmith into believing that he is the property owner, gets him to open the house, and then leaves – vanishing to never be seen again.

The Tenant begins moving into the house when a neighbor comes over to investigate. Having not seen either the owner or the owners agent, he calls the listing agent to confirm that the house had been leased. A very surprised listing agent then called the police. The Tenant was forced to vacate the property, and lost the damage deposit and rent they had paid to Joe ConMan.

I learned a couple of lessons from this story. First, get to know the neighbors around your listings, especially if they are vacant. The actions of a consciencious neighbor kept this situation from getting any worse. Second, keep a close eye on your vacant property listings – you never know when something crazy like this might happen to them.

Dallas County Taxable Home Values Decrease

Here’s a Spring present for all you homeowners. As usual, the Dallas Central Appraisal District (DCAD) is lagging the market. Just as real estate values and activity are increasing, The Dallas Central Appraisal District has announced that sixty percent (60%) of homeowners will see a decrease in their taxable property value this year – YEAH! That means that most of us will be receiving a decrease in our property tax bill for 2010. Enjoy the break – I believe it will reverse next year!!

The Dallas Central Appraisal District also stated that approximately twenty percent (20%) of home values will rise. I suspect a number of these are homes which had permitted improvements accomplished over the last year, or are recent sales of previously undervalued real estate. The final twenty percent (20%) of values will remain constant.

That’s a fairly substantial move for the Appraisal Distict to have made, adjusting the values of about eighty percent (80%) of the homes in Dallas County.

For a complete report on this issue, please see the Dallas Morning News article.

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