June 27, 2017

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Stable Growth Expected for Commercial Real Estate in 2017

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - 4 hours 25 min ago

WASHINGTON (February 23, 2017) — Steered ahead by strengthening demand in smaller markets, the commercial real estate sector should remain on stable ground in 2017 and offer decent returns for investors, according to the latest National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

National office vacancy rates are forecast by Realtors® to retreat 1.1 percent to 12.1 percent over the coming year as job growth in business and professional services brings increased need for office space. The... Read More

2016 Q4 Commercial Real Estate Market Survey

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - 4 hours 25 min ago

Download (PDF 1.49MB)

The REALTORS® Commercial Real Estate Market Trends measures quarterly activity in the commercial real estate markets, as reported in a national survey. The survey collects data from REALTORS® engaged in commercial real estate transactions. The survey is designed to provide an overview of market performance, sales and leasing transactions, along with information on current economic challenges and future expectations.

... Read More

2016 Q3 Commercial Real Estate Market Survey

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - 4 hours 25 min ago

Download (PDF 841KB)

The REALTORS® Commercial Real Estate Market Trends measures quarterly activity in the commercial real estate markets, as reported in a national survey. The survey collects data from REALTORS® engaged in commercial real estate transactions. The survey is designed to provide an overview of market performance, sales and leasing transactions, along with information on current economic challenges and future expectations. 

Highlights... Read More

NAR at ICSC RECon 2017

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - 4 hours 25 min ago

Each year NAR hosts a booth space at ICSC RECon along with partner Xceligent™. Doing so is part of NAR’s strategy to provide our commercial real estate constituency with services and savings. NAR members are welcome to utilize the NAR booth as a “home base" to book individual table space for deal-making meetings with clients, get personalized demos of Xceligent™ data tools, and enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee, bottle of water, or light snack. 

... Read More

Commercial Real Estate Outlook

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - 4 hours 25 min ago

Download (PDF 1.8MB)

NAR's latest Commercial Real Estate Outlook offers overall projections for four major commercial sectors and analyzes quarterly data in the office, industrial, retail and multifamily markets.

  • Commercial fundamentals in large cap markets echoed the economic slowdown during the quarter.
  • Demand for office and apartment properties remained steady, while industrial and retail... Read More

Comment on Educate Sellers How Home Staging Pays Off by Lynne Bouchard/ Deamcastles Interiors

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 14:30

Thank you for this excellent article. The pictures are worth a thousand words! I recently staged two vacant homes, and they sold for more money than they would have had they been un-staged. One of the homes sold after just one day after it officially hit the market.

RE/MAX Founder Discusses Challenges Facing Housing Market

Speaking of Real Estate - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 22:07

As co-founder of a real estate organization that has grown over more than forty years from a single office in Denver into a global empire that today counts more than 100,000 agents, RE/MAX Chairman and Co-CEO Dave Liniger enjoys a unique view of the housing industry.

Among his observations is that despite the advances in technology that have swept the business world over the past half-century, the essence of the real estate industry has remained the same: It’s all about people.

RE/MAX co-founder Dave Liniger, left, speaks with TV host Wayne Brady, right, at the 2017 RE/MAX R4 convention in Las Vegas

“There’s nothing like being an old man in an old industry pontificating,” says Liniger. “But it’s fun to see it from my eyes … to have seen all the changes and all the people that said they were going to change your industry and all the things that were going to revolutionize the industry. The end result is it’s still a personal relationship between a real estate agent and a customer.”

But while the fundamental role agents play may not have changed, Liniger says the housing market is undergoing a shift unlike anything he has seen in his career because homeowners have become accustomed to rock-bottom mortgage rates and builders are not building enough homes to meet demand. These factors have caused many people to shy away from selling their homes and moving up, crimping the availability of less-expensive homes for other buyers, he says.

To deal with the inventory crunch, Liniger, who spoke during an interview in his office at RE/MAX’s headquarters in Denver, advises real estate professionals to find creative ways to find homes for clients to buy. Patience is also essential, he says.

“You can’t create new homes, but you can create resales, says Liniger, who founded RE/MAX in 1973 with his wife, Gail. “And so the agents have to work their previous customers, let them know that they can move up, let them know that it is a good market to sell. But most of it is just time … it’s going to be OK, and it will work its way out.”

Even if new construction picks up, people who are trying to enter the housing market are generally better off buying an existing property than a freshly built home, Liniger says.

“The problem with brand new is it’s shiny and it’s very pretty, but you’ve got to pay for the landscaping, and you’ve got to put in the plants, and you’ve got to put up the drapes, and you’ve got to do all this stuff that stretches a first-time buyer,” he says. “You know a first-time buyer is struggling to get the down payment, let alone come in and add $10,000 or $20,000 more to making the house livable. And so for first time buyers, resale is a much better deal.”

Educating Clients on HUD

YPN Lounge - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 17:38

Ryan Fitzgerald

By Ryan Fitzgerald

Given the large financial requirement of buying a home, it’s often out of reach for a large portion of the U.S. population. The economic recession, which was triggered by the collapse of real estate and mortgage lending markets, further decreased home buying accessibility. A number of lenders have returned to the 20 percent down requirement when purchasing a home. Since the median price of a U.S. home is currently $228,400, most Americans do not have access to the $45,680 which would be a 20 percent down payment. Certainly, the better credit score a consumer has tends to decrease the required down payment percentage.

Fast growing economies in cities like Austin, Texas and Raleigh, N.C., didn’t see as many home foreclosures as compared to cities like Las Vegas and Atlanta during the recession. When you have higher volatility in home prices, combined with a slower economic growth pattern, the result becomes more HUD foreclosures. So, what is a HUD home, and how do you explain this to your clients?

A Short History on HUD

@Unsplash, 2015. pixabay.com

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was established in 1965 via the HUD Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The primary goal of the HUD program was—and still is—to expand the availability of funds for housing programs and to reach larger segments of the U.S. population. Per HUD’s website, the department’s mission is to “create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.”

In terms of home buying, HUD homes are houses that have been purchased through the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) government insured loans. HUD assumes ownership of homes should a home buyer default on their loan and, subsequently, their home is foreclosed.

How to Help Clients Buy a HUD-owned Home

Buying a HUD-owned home is a bureaucratic process that requires specific steps—though HUD states that it’s often easier than performing a traditional real estate purchase transaction:

  1. First, you must be a HUD registered real estate agent to help your clients place a bid. However, you or your clients can also research the HUD home inventory independently at the HUD portal.
  2. You’ll then need to contact the Listing Broker indicated on the HUD home listing.
  3. Your client’s offer must be made during what’s known as a specific “listing period.”
  4. HUD emphasizes the importance of obtaining a home inspection—however, even if your clients aren’t buying a HUD home, home inspections are still recommended.
  5. If your clients are financing the purchase of a HUD home, they will need to obtain a mortgage loan through a traditional lender. If they’re  seeking an FHA loan, they must secure the loan through an FHA approved lender.
  6. Owner-occupant purchasers are priority bidders and HUD gives them a certain amount of time (10 days) in which to bid on the purchase of the home.
  7. HUD homes are maintained and inspected by a Field Service Manager (FSM), which is a third-party company or individual who contracts with HUD to perform any repairs or general maintenance as required. If your clients have specific questions about the home, you’ll be directed to contact the FSM.
  8. Asset Managers are also third party contractors who are responsible for marketing and selling the home. Therefore, questions about the selling process can be directed towards the company or individual who is the AM for the property of interest.
  9. If you’re not a registered HUD agent, your clients can still use you as a closing agent, however, they will be responsible for paying any fees involved in conducting the closing.
  10. The down payment, closing costs, and commissions are generally lower when buyers purchase a HUD home.

Buying a HUD home can take a fair amount of navigating through all of the bureaucracy. However, considering that HUD doesn’t necessarily want to maintain a large inventory of empty homes that are just sitting on the market, your clients may find a great deal on a brand new home. Another great website to check out for HUD homes is HomePath.com by Fannie Mae.

Ryan Fitzgerald is the owner of Raleigh Realty in Raleigh, N.C. Connect with him on Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Pinterest.





Commercial Leadership Development Day

realtor.org Commercial Headlines - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 13:00

Join us for Commercial Leadership Development Day, taking place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 13 at the Loews Chicago Hotel (Sullivan Ballroom).

RSVP today and gain the knowledge, tools and resources to strengthen your association’s commercial services. Learn how to set realistic goals specific to your association and walk away with an established network of colleagues and mentors that can help you even further.

All association executives, staff and incoming 2018 leadership who wish to develop or... Read More

Comment on New Years Resolutions for Home Renovations That Can Save Money by dave

Styled, Staged & Sold - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 19:46

Solar panels are a huge upfront expense but they have a lot of programs and tax advantages these days to make it more attractive. You can sell credits to the electric company as well.

Largest Source of Mortgage Funds in U.S. Tries to Help Homebuyers Struggling With Student Debt

Speaking of Real Estate - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 07:59

Fannie Mae has come to recognize the problem people are facing when they’d like to buy a house but they’re hemmed in by tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. First, in calculating loan applicant’s debt-to-income ratio, the company is no longer factoring in debt that’s being paid by someone else. That means, for home buyers whose parents are making payments on their student debt, those payments won’t count against their DTI calculation. Other debt payments are also being taken out of the calculation if someone else is making the payments. So, if loan applicants are getting their car payments taken care of by someone else, those payments are taken out of their DTI calculation, too.

Second, if borrowers are making student loan payments that are smaller than what their original repayment agreement calls for, those smaller payments are factored into DTI calculation rather than the original payment amount. That means if the borrower is paying $100 a month rather than the original $500 a month that the repayment agreement called for, only the $100 a month is factored into DTI. Why might  borrowers be paying less than the original amount? Because a number of public entities have created programs to help people who are faced with making student loan payments but aren’t making much money. They idea is, once they start making more money, they can start paying their original payment amount. Prior to this change, Fannie recognized only the original payment terms when calculating DTI.

Third, existing homeowners can get improved repayment terms on cash-out refinancing if the loan is for paying down student debt. This change is really for parents who want to help their kids retire their debt or for people who already own a home and want to get rid of their student debt.

All three of the changes are already in effect, so if you have homebuyers who tried to get a home mortgage loan a few months ago and couldn’t because their DTI was too high, there’s a real chance they can reapply and get different results. That’s something to let your customers know about.

But there is more change coming, too. At the end of July, Fannie Mae’s maximum allowable DTI will rise to 50 percent from 45 percent. Once that change takes effect, loan applicants who have really struggled to meet DTI requirements now have an even better chance of  getting a loan approved.

The changes are detailed in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. Also covered: Efforts by NAR and the federal government to increase the national homeownership rate, which has been stuck at a 50-year low since the downturn, and the increasing interest among foreign investors in smaller commercial properties in markets outside the big metro areas.

Access and share the video.





Comment on Insider Tips on Staging a Living Room by Brett Cairns (RE/MAX)

Styled, Staged & Sold - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 11:04

Most living rooms are being turned into great rooms in newer homes and they are a central focal point of the home so staging is very important

Comment on 5 Ways to Avoid a Plumbing Disaster by Joe The Plumber

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 23:03

I can vouch for the water heater replacement advice. I replace at least 5 a week because they are not maintained properly.

Comment on Insider Tips on Staging a Living Room by Diana Lopes

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 16:14

These are such great tips. Thank you so much for sharing them! I’m new to home staging an your blog has been helping me tons. Thanks!!

3 Reasons Cold Calling Isn’t Dead

YPN Lounge - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 13:29

Alexis Craig

By Alexis Craig

For a long time, I couldn’t make a cold call. I have a stutter and it’s noticeable when I’m nervous or talking to strangers. But I wanted to see if I could use cold calling as a lead acquisition and growth strategy.

I initially expected cold calling to be a large waste of my time. I believed all of the “anti-calling” messages: “cold calling is obsolete,” “cold calling is dead,” and “never make a cold call again.”

My results were quite the opposite. I realized, if done right, cold calling can be effective. Here are three reasons cold calling is still alive and well.

Fastest Way to Get Started

I love building email marketing campaigns and an SEO strategy as much as the next gal, but it takes time. A lot of time. SEO experts believe it takes a new website about 12 months to rank with competitive keywords.

If you’re not generating leads organically, then how else will you grow your business? Cold calling allows any agent to get started immediately while they wait for their SEO to take off.

Since I started cold calling, I’ve been able to add about 120 people to my database and take four listing appointments over eight weeks. It’s been one of the fastest and cheapest ways to add more people into my sales pipeline.

Marketing is Not Selling

Things like content marketing are just that — marketing. Any agent who spends time creating blog articles, drafting emails, and completing administrative work is avoiding their most important task: talking with potential customers. For some, “marketing” becomes an avoidance strategy.

Listen, I still hate cold calling. Even after placing more than 600 calls, my palms still sweat, my heart races, and I stutter on the phone. I’ve been made fun of a few times by rude people who think I stutter out of fear. But I get over it because I prefer winning. I’d rather win than chase some shiny object.

@FirmBee, 2015. Pixabay.com

You can use cold calling to build your pipeline while you wait for your marketing platforms to replace your prospecting efforts. But that should only be done when you’re generating enough leads to reach your income goals. And many of us aren’t.

Enter a Buying Process Already in Progress

How long does it take for you to get an email address and turn it into a sales conversation? If you target FSBO, expired listings, or neighborhoods with high turnovers, you could enter a sales conversation today.

Ever been in that situation where you’re months into a sales discussion? You probably sat down with the client, filled out a CMA, then suddenly, another agent swoops in and lists your client. It’s fair game. Why not be that guy or gal? Cold calling can allow you to benefit from the months someone else spent nurturing a lead.

Final Note on Pure Cold Calling

Okay, I agree. Pure cold calling is dead. Picking a random number, knowing nothing about them, and then calling is a terrible way to prospect. The market is too competitive and you’ll just make people angry. Here’s what I’m doing that has had some good success; I call it my 1-2-3 punch.

First, send them a sales letter with an offer. This increases the probability that they heard about you before you ever call, making the call less “cold.” Plus, it gives you something to talk about, other than listing their home. Sending a sales letter improved my results nearly 800 percent. Without a sales letter, I was like the nerdy kid looking for a prom date — all I got was rejection.

Second, find out as much about your prospect as possible. In a world of social media, calling blind is lazy. Here’s what I do for FSBOs: I look at their Zillow listing. I write about three or four things I noticed about the home that potential prospects would want to talk about. The observations I pick vary based on who I think I going to talking to. For women, I try to focus on interior topics. For men, I’ll focus on the garage or other features.

One last note, it’s important to be sincere. If you aren’t interested in talking about their garage, don’t try to do it. Prospects can tell. Instead of building rapport, they’ll see you as rude.

Well, there you have it. Pure cold calling is dead, but smart sales calling can be one of the fastest and cheapest ways to fill up your pipeline. If your business is looking anemic, consider adding cold calling.

Alexis Craig, founder of Mocha Homes, leads a team of real estate rebels in Lansing, Mich. Connect with her at mochahomes.com or facebook.com/MochaHomes.





Comment on How to Select the Right Sheen to Your Paint by Expresskitchens

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 02:28

Paints are important factors to give your homes an amazing look, the perfect color combinations adds more beauty and selecting the right sheen to the paint is also important for the long term performance. Thanks for sharing the blog and helping us out with the importance of adding up sheen to the paint.

Comment on The Wood Paneling Trend Is Back With a Twist by ExpressKitchens

Styled, Staged & Sold - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 02:11

This is really a great article about how we can use vintage wooding style in a modern way and make them look better and attractive. Please add some more tips and pictures so that we can get a better idea and implement this at our own place. Thanks for sharing the article.

Comment on The Essentials to Styling Your Home to Sell Quickly by Donato Te Esparrago II

Styled, Staged & Sold - Wed, 06/14/2017 - 10:04

You have an artists’ eye, love your post. Thank you.