Browsing: national association of realtors

Market Trends, News & Commentary

As everyone knows, the real estate market is in the tank – at least that is the overall perception. On the other hand, we all have heard that there are people who are still making money in real estate. At least they say they are.

If it is true that people are making money, here is a quiz that should be a no brainer. By the way, this quiz won’t be graded. Not by me at least. You may decide to give yourself a grade just for grins.

The Setting

Lets say you live in a housing market that has been described by a national real estate forecast service as the country’s “weakest housing market.” It is projected to have the biggest decline in value in the next 12 months among all housing markets in the nation with a 12 percent median price dip for both new and existing single-family homes.

In making its determination, the forecast service looked at 260 metro areas using more than 50 variables, including housing supply, population trends, unemployment and inflation. And, speaking of unemployment, your area has just seen a full one percent spike upward.

Market Trends, News & Commentary

For many real estate investors, these past several months have brought a welcome sigh of relief as homeowners have come into the market in truly satisfying numbers. In many parts of the country the steady downward slide in prices has tapered off and we have been seeing what may be the bottom in terms of further price declines… or NOT!

Are Some Hyping Up the Real Estate Market Too Soon?

The numbers throughout the Summer have been promoted with great fanfare… the Schiller-Case Index and National Board of Realtors proclaiming that prices may have bottomed out and the worst is over. Great news if you can believe it!

While I am delighted that prices have stabilized and even increased in some markets and that home sales over these past several months have been solid and even matching sales volumes from 2005…I have been troubled and what I haven’t been able to put my finger on is this…

With all of the homes going into foreclosure, when will this inventory start to pull this “current” housing recovery down? This Bloomberg article is not good news… and suggests that we have a long way to go before all of the current and projected foreclosed inventory can be absorbed.

So the million dollar question is this… How long can lenders continue to hold their REO inventory?

Market Trends, News & Commentary

Real Estate
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

After you read this post you will realize the “new” is really the “old” but, in the end, who cares. At least according to me.

We’ve all seen headlines that read: Existing home sales dip in August or words to that effect. Truth is, those headlines aren’t news anymore. They used to be but used to be has become the norm or maybe I should say the numb.

To add more numb to this post, we all have read articles telling us real estate practitioners and investors are expressing frustration with what they consider slow action from banks. That is, banks aren’t releasing inventory fast to satisfy the demand.

My question boils down to what do they really expect from institutions that have moved, on a historical basis, extremely slow. It is merely business as usual.

On the other hand, given a red-hot market has poked its head out of the ground we should expect business not to be usual. We should demand those institutions with a home inventory to get off their duffs and start moving the product. A home is no different than any other retail product, other than the sales price. When demand flares up, release the inventory and satisfy the demand.

Flipping Houses & Rehabbing

appraiser HVCCAfter the financial meltdown last year lawmakers and regulators were determined to discover who was responsible for the debacle. Yes, the very people who drafted the laws governing mortgages and yes were also responsible for oversight of them went out to determine who was responsible for the melt down. The first culprit, of course, was the lenders. I think we all know how that played out. The next group on the chopping block was the appraisers. If they wouldn’t have appraised the homes then the lenders would not have lent on them, so goes the finger pointing. From that came sordid tales of realtors and mortgage professionals pressuring and even bribing appraisers to up the value of a property.

Home Valuation Code of Conduct – HVCC

After the scapegoats were identified the legislation followed. One prime piece of legislation aimed at appraisers was the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (PDF). The intent of the HVCC was to achieve more appraiser independence to reduce the amount of pressure placed on appraisers by lenders and Realtors. Well, if their had once been undue pressure on appraisers to inflate values it now pails in comparison to looming threat hanging over appraisers and it’s compelling them to keep prices down.

Real Estate Investing Basics

It is no secret that real estate agents, as a profession, have had a tough time of it over the last several years.  The recent real estate bubble created a feast or famine situation and many agents have not survived the famine.  Meanwhile, over the last 5 years, I have sold over 500 single family homes, condos, or lots to my clients…including closing on 30 deals last month alone.  This volume places me in the top 5% of all Realtors in the country (in both transactions and commissions.)  I am not telling you this in order to boast or brag about my sales (as I know other realtors who have done far more business than I have) but merely to propose that my success has not been due to luck but rather due to a particular mindset that has worked very well for me over the last several years.

The Realtor’s Success Mindset

This mindset has entailed thinking as an investor instead of as a Realtor.  I have never really considered myself a Realtor, in fact, but rather an investor who helps other investors.  It doesn’t hurt that I own 20 investment properties of my own and have a lot of experience in searching for and closing my own purchases.  But this is not a prerequisite to thinking like an investor.  In order to position yourself as an  investor Realtor you don’t have to own a lot of properties yourself, but you do have to develop a reputation with your clients for being more interested in their bottom line than you are in your commission.  I have been able to do this, and in so doing grow a large investor database by using the following strategies that I would like to share with you: