Home Buying Traffic Continues to Stampede

“Strong” is the word for recent buyer traffic, according to the January 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey. This report measured buyer traffic conditions from November 2017 to January 2018. Compared to conditions exactly one year ago, Realtors® responded that conditions ran from “stable” (unchanged) to “very strong.” The states with the strongest buyer traffic: Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Even the states hit by hurricanes — Texas and Florida — reported “strong” buying activity compared to a year ago. Two states reported weaker traffic than a year ago: Alaska and West Virginia. This may be related to the decrease in oil prices ...

The Fair Housing Act — What it Includes (And What to Never Exclude)

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 into law (it’s now known as the Fair Housing Act). It was not an easy bill for Congress to pass; it took a few attempts and a lot of political bickering. What turned the tide: the tragic murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April of that year, which caused rioting across the country and the need for federal troops to be called. Congress then had a change of heart, and the bill was rushed into law. Shortly before the law was passed, the Kerner Commission stated ...

Use Virtual Reality to Your Clients’ Advantage

Many real estate agents may feel intimidated or threatened by the advent of virtual reality (VR), but this awesome new technology can be used as a very effective (and dazzling) tool to help and sell to clients. VR may look like a game, but it’s a very serious marketing strategy. VR is a technology that allows clients to see a property through headphones and specialized goggles. Some VR can also be seen through phone apps, laptops and other devices. VR allows the ability to show a client a property — even in other cities and states — without having to physically be ...

Millennials are Skipping Starter Homes

For the last decade or so, the conventional wisdom on Millennials has been that they prefer to rent and, because of the Great Recession, they are living longer in their parents’ homes. However, those standbys are becoming old news as Millennials begin buying homes and start careers and families. In fact, Millennials are now a large part of the homebuying demographic. The catch, however, is that once again they are bucking tradition; they’re passing on the traditional starter (entry-level) home and going instead for larger, more expensive houses. The reason for this trend: older Millennials who are in their mid-30s have simultaneously saved ...

The 10 Worst Home Showing Offenses

You could be the best real estate agent in the world, but if your sellers are not doing what they can to bring quality to the home showing, all may be lost. REALTOR® magazine polled 50 buyer agents, revealing the biggest deal breakers when it comes to home showings. After 20 years of showings, Elke W. McMenemy, ABR, CIPS, broker-owner at St. Augustine Real Estate Inc. in St. Augustine, Fla., told the magazine that she has  practically seen it all, from the “fully loaded litter boxes” to the “roach-infested ovens.” “These situations have proven to be frustrating and embarrassing to my ...

When Selling a House with Mold

Mold doesn’t discriminate; it can attack even the best and most beautiful properties. It loves warm, damp, humid conditions (think bathrooms and basements), and it lives and reproduces by creating spores. Mold is never okay with potential buyers or with the bank. Needless to say, if you’re helping your client sell a house, the mold problem should be resolved before any further steps are taken. Otherwise, you’ll need to disclose the issue or open yourself up to a lawsuit by the new owner. To avoid this: have the mold removed, and then test for any remaining or lingering presence. Mold testing kits ...

How to Best Serve Real Estate Clients with Disabilities

A majority of homebuyers with disabilities desire real estate agents who are trained and knowledgeable about accessible housing options. According to a 2015 survey by Century 21 and the Harris Poll, one in five homebuyers who have a disability claim they do not get the proper assistance. There are 40 million Americans living with disabilities.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed into law in 1990, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. This includes the processes and transactions related to the real estate industry. Here are a few tips on how to best serve a client with ...

Seven Worthy Real Estate Reads

Most of us simply don’t have the time to read, but reading these recommended books can strengthen your skills and focus your outlook. A career in real estate is intensely challenging, but also uniquely rewarding; if you open yourself up to advice from experts and apply it to your own journey, you can raise your prospects higher. Here are a few books we recommend: The HyperLocal, HyperFast Real Estate Agent: How to Dominate Your Real Estate Market in Under a Year, I Did it and so Can You! By Daniel Lesniak and foreword from Keri Shull The author claims to have sold ...

5 Ways to Educate a FSBO Seller

About 89 percent of home sellers in the real estate market sold their home using a real estate agent or broker, according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Home sellers offering their home For Sale By Owner (FSBO) remained at 8 percent for the third year in a row. And 3 percent of home sellers used a different method to sell their homes, such as company-provided relocation. The FSBO rate continues to decline since the NAR first kept track of it in 1981. In that year, 15 percent of home sellers took the ...

7 Secrets from the Most Successful Real Estate Industry Leaders

Like in any other business, real estate can often be challenging and discouraging. It’s okay to occasionally lick your wounds and feel sorry for yourself, but don’t give up — there are ways of staying positive, inspired, and on your way to future success. What helps: bonding with other agents, and learning new tips, tricks and strategies that help get you back on the horse and back in the race. While conversing with fellow agents, it may teach you something that could change the course of your own career. A good way to start: listen to the wise words of some of ...