Your "Local" Specialist Blog

March 25th, 2015 4:08 PM
5 Demands to Make on Your Listing Agent

Posted: 24 Mar 2015 04:00 AM PDT

5 Demands to Make on Your Listing Agent | Keeping Current Matters
The busy spring real estate season is here. Are you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge just like a great doctor or great accountant. You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one. Here are the top 5 demands to make of your Real Estate Agent when selling your house:

1. Tell the truth about the price

Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank. The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. A survey showed that there was a challenge with the appraisal on 24% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.

2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing

You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan. This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can, to make it work.

3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible

It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.
Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.

4. Help with the relocation

If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.

5. Get the house SOLD!

There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving. You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist they have the courage to inform you.

Good agents know how to deliver good news. Great agents know how to deliver tough news. In today’s market, YOU NEED A GREAT AGENT!


Posted in:General
Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on March 25th, 2015 4:08 PMLeave a Comment

March 23rd, 2015 11:09 AM
Freddie Mac’s New 3% Down Program

Posted: 23 Mar 2015 04:00 AM PDT

Freddie Mac's New 3% Down Program | Keeping Current Matters
Today, Freddie Mac is scheduled to start buying mortgages with down payments of only three percent – the first time down payments have been this low on Freddie Mac loans in nearly five years. The program is called Freddie Mac Home Possible AdvantageSM. In a recent Executive Perspectives, Dave Lowman EVP, Single-Family Business Freddie Mac, explained the potential impact this program will have on the housing market:
“There's a new reason Realtors and lenders may expect more qualified borrowers at the closing table during this spring's home buying season. In addition to low mortgage rates and rising job growth, the down payment hurdle is starting to shrink for creditworthy borrowers, including first-time homebuyers.”
And the mortgage industry agrees with Mr. Lowman. In a recent survey of mortgage originators by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it was revealed that most loan officers believe the move to a lower down payment will increase access to mortgage credit. Here are that survey’s findings: Down Payment Survey | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Many potential buyers are “ready and willing” to buy a home but have been afraid they may not be “able” because of a lack of adequate savings for a down payment. Check with a local real estate or mortgage professional to understand what the new rules may mean to you.

Posted in:General
Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on March 23rd, 2015 11:09 AMLeave a Comment

March 17th, 2015 3:52 PM

Is the Housing Market Back? Ask Lowes & Home Depot!


Is the Housing Market Back? Ask Lowes & Home Depot! | Keeping Current Matters

A recent Bloomberg Business article reports that both Lowes & Home Depot experienced fourth quarter profits that beat revenue projections by the most in six quarters. So what does that mean to the housing market?

Consumer Confidence

Lowe’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Niblock said,

“Consumers are feeling better about their jobs, their wages and certainly feeling better about the value of their home, they are re-engaging in projects that they have put off.”

Sales to professional contractors have increased significantly as well, and were a driving factor in the quarter. Home Depot’s Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome calls this a “sign of health. If they are putting more items in their basket, it means they have work coming at them.”

Home Values Rising

In a quarterly consumer survey conducted by Lowe’s since 2007, the percentage of respondents who said that the value of their home is rising increased to its highest value ever, at 50%.

Whether Americans are finally adding that man-cave they’ve always wanted, or renovating a master suite, an increased confidence in the value of one’s home often sparks homeowners to invest in big-ticket projects.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the median price of an existing home (for all housing types) rose year-over-year for the 35th consecutive month.

Not all who are renovating are planning on staying in their home. The Demand Institute reports that “nearly half of American households plan to move at some point in the future.”

For those who are planning on listing their home this spring, spending the time and money needed to update that 1950’s bathroom or kitchen can fetch higher prices in today’s market.

Bottom Line

Meeting with a local real estate professional can give you insight into the small (or big) improvements your home could use to draw the highest price and return on investment this spring.


Posted in:General
Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on March 17th, 2015 3:52 PMLeave a Comment

February 27th, 2015 9:20 PM

Home Sales are NOT Collapsing!


Home Sales Are NOT Collapsing! | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) just released their Existing Home Sales report and some have taken the results and ran with headlines like:

“Existing home sales collapse in January despite low mortgage rates”.

Let’s take a closer look at what the report really shows. There is a seasonality to home sales that happens every year, with a decline in January, (as shown in the graph below.) But in reality 200,000 more homes (3.2%) sold this January over last January.

Existing Home Sales Year-Over-Year | Keeping Current Matters

The demand for housing hasn’t been a challenge.

Current buyer demand, as shown in the graph below, is actually 3x greater than that of January 2014.

Buyer Activity | Keeping Current Matters

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun points to the real issue at hand:

“Realtors® are reporting that low rates are attracting potential buyers, but the lack of new and affordable listings is leading some to delay decisions.”

Months Inventory Homes For Sale | Keeping Current Matters

Even though buyers are out looking for their dream home, they cannot find it! Inventory levels increased slightly since December, but are still below historic norms and unable to keep up with the elevated demand.

Bottom Line

If your plan for 2015 includes selling your house, waiting till the Spring may not be in your best interest. Meet with a local real estate professional in your market who can explain the opportunities available now.


Posted in:General
Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on February 27th, 2015 9:20 PMLeave a Comment

February 17th, 2015 1:03 PM

Consumer Confidence at Highest Level in Over a Decade


Consumer Confidence at Highest Level in Over a Decade | Keeping Current Matters

Two recently released reports reveal that the American public is starting to feel much better about the U.S. economy. The University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers showed that:

“Consumer optimism reached the highest level in the past decade in the January 2015 survey…Consumers judged prospects for the national economy as the best in a decade, with half of all consumers expecting the economic expansion will continue for another five years. The anticipated strength in the overall economy has been accompanied by more favorable income and employment expectations.”

Here is a chart showing results over the last decade:

Consumer Optimism | Keeping Current Matters

As all consumers are feeling more optimistic, more young adults are moving out of their parents’ basements and into a residence of their own. The recent Census report shows that new household formations skyrocketed in 2014. Below is a chart showing the historical significance of the numbers:

Household Formations | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

The economy is definitely improving and, more importantly, the American consumer is beginning to feel much more confident. This should lead to a very robust real estate market in 2015.


Posted in:General
Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on February 17th, 2015 1:03 PMLeave a Comment

Header
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Listings Photo
$259,900.00
20258 Southampton Parkway

Courtland, VA 23837



Beds: 3 Rooms: 7
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 2150
Garage: 2 Built: 2006
 

A sportsman paradise awaits you here!! Enjoy over 9 acres of land with all the pleasures of having your "little piece of heaven" can offer. Any Horse Lovers in the family? We have nearly 1.75 acres of good open pasture for horses along with a 10 x 30 stable, 8 x 10 tack room just perfect for your four legged friends. When you wind down the days activities enjoy the 6 person hot tub with taking a dip in your 24 ft. above ground pool complete with deck for sitting in the sun. The home was built in 2006 having a large open floorplan overlooking your acreage along with a large deck for those quiet times to rest. The kitchen is H-U-G-E complete with a small desk area and a large breakfast nook. The utility room is just off the hall by the garage making it very convenient for bringing in groceries etc. The master suite will "knock your socks off" with a spacious master bath along with jetted tub, two sinks and separate shower. The homes has so much more......Come see why we have the keys for you!!! Enjoy the good life here!!
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR
Cheryl Talbot , ABR, GRI,e-PRO,SFR
7574781167
www.cheryltalbot.com



 
  Visit this listing here

Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on February 5th, 2015 5:58 PMLeave a Comment

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Listings Photo
$285,000.00
1940 Ashmont Drive

Virginia Beach, VA 23456



Beds: 4 Rooms: 8
Full Baths: 3 Sq. Ft.: 2414
Garage: 1 Built: 1989
 

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR
Cheryl Talbot , ABR, GRI,e-PRO,SFR
7574781167
www.cheryltalbot.com



 
  Visit this listing here

Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on February 5th, 2015 5:52 PMLeave a Comment

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Listings Photo
$1,050,000.00
130 Williamsdale Lane

Mathews, VA 23109



Beds: 4 Rooms: 10
Full Baths: 3 Sq. Ft.: 3400
Garage: 3 Built: 1971
 

Spectacular Riverfront Vistas along sought after East River. Only 10 Nautical miles from the Chesapeake Bay you'll enjoy everything this waterfront home has to offer. Nestled on 5 wooded acres down Historic Williams Wharf is a prime location. Only 8 minutes to Mathews Downtown corridor with the schools just minutes away. This is an ideal location for not only the water frontage but for this short distance to town. The Williams Wharf corridor in full of history with historical homes next door and down the street. The home is well maintained with over 3400 sq ft for you. The home also offers a quest cottage above the 3 car garage that's a short walk from the main home. It has it's own systems separate from the main house. Perfect for a weekend rental or for a live in nanny. The dock has running water along with electricity over 300 ft long. Enjoy boating, swimming and fishing year round. If you are looking for a good life away from the pressures of city living, we have it all for you. Come see why....We have the Keys!!
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR
Cheryl Talbot , ABR, GRI,e-PRO,SFR
7574781167
www.cheryltalbot.com



 
  Visit this listing here

Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on February 5th, 2015 5:51 PMLeave a Comment

Header
Header_2
Listings Photo
$324,900.00
1328 Abilene Lane

Virginia Beach, VA 23456



Beds: 3 Rooms: 5
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 2110
Garage: 2 Built: 2011
 

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR
Cheryl Talbot , ABR, GRI,e-PRO,SFR
7574781167
www.cheryltalbot.com



 
  Visit this listing here

Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on February 4th, 2015 10:01 PMLeave a Comment

The Two Things You Don’t Need to Hear from Your Listing Agent


The Two Things You Don’t Need to Hear from Your Listing Agent | Keeping Current Matters

You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

  1. Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
  2. Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
  3. Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case. 

Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:

  • Bragging about their success
  • Bragging about their company’s success

An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house. However, you first need to know they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home.

Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.


Posted in:General
Posted by Cheryl Talbot ABR,GRI,e-PRO,SFR on February 4th, 2015 4:07 PMLeave a Comment

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