1. “Listing agents, as the professionals who help prep a home for sale, are often tasked with telling home sellers why their house might not sell in its current condition. It’s a tough job, but it sure beats saying nothing and then watching a home sit indefinitely.” Here are Realtor.com’s 5 Strange Things That Can Stop a Home From Ever Selling. Just to be clear, houses with issues like the ones mentioned in this article will sell…it’s all about price.
2. THE SCRAMBLE
CNBC reports Weekly mortgage applications for homebuyers hit highest level in 9 years. “Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 1% last week and were 7% higher than a year ago. Purchase applications reached their highest level since April 2010.” Mortgage rates may be rising due to concerns regarding some overseas economies. Stay tuned here and I’ll keep sending you more interest rate information in my weekly news updates.
“Back in the Wild, Wild West era of mortgage lending before the housing crisis, NINJA loans (loans given to borrowers with no income, no job, and no assets required) became quite the rage. NINJA loans have disappeared from the market, likely never to be seen again, but one lender is about to bring back a similar ghost of the mortgage market’s past: the NINA loan.” Housing Wire just published an article telling the world No-income, no-asset mortgages are back (at one lender, at least). Many of us have seen this before. Do you have any predictions? Will other lenders follow suit?
4. LIVING LARGE
Bloomberg reports College Kids Are Living Like Kings in Vancouver’s Empty Mansions. “Globe-trotting landlords can avoid vacancy taxes by renting. It’s the latest twist for a housing market down 8.5% from its peak.” The current vacant property tax in Vancouver is currently one percent of the property’s assessed value. This new tax is motivating owners to lease their vacant properties. So, if you want to share a luxury home with a dozen or so of your best friends, this may be the way to go for the time being.
5. COACH LIGHT
“Being an agent can be a lonely job. Unless you’re part of a team or have an assistant, you are completely responsible for the success of your own business. While a career with no limits can be exciting, it can sometimes be as much of a blessing as a curse.” Forbes just posted Real Estate Agents, Here’s How To Spin Your Time Into Gold, Not Straw. Most new agents (I believe it’s more than 87%) don’t make it to the 5-year mark in the business. That’s why tracking your numbers is extremely important, and finding a good real estate coach can be hugely beneficial to your business growth.
Bloomberg says Rising minimum wages will allow many working-class Americans to buy a first home. “Costco raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour last month. Target just raised its minimum wage to $13 an hour, with a goal of getting it to $15 by next year. Many large banks raised their minimum wage to $15 in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but Bank of America is taking it a step further, going to $17 next month and $20 an hour by 2021.” In some parts of the country finding an affordable house on that income will still be a challenge, while in others it will be much easier. With these kinds of changes, the outlook is much brighter for many buyers.
7. DUAL AGENCY DUAL
“REALTORS® in Washington State helped kill a legislative proposal that would have prohibited commercial practitioners from engaging in dual agency transactions, even as the business practice comes under deeper scrutiny in the real estate industry.” Dual agency in the residential market is an acceptable practice in Washington State. Although some brokers frown upon it, while others support it, there will always be a heated debate regarding the ethics of dual agency. Read Realtor Magazine’s article about how Washington REALTORS® Fight Off Bill to Limit Dual Agency.
8. MIRROR MIRROR
“If you’re trying to zhush up your home to sell, you might be obsessively collecting staging ideas. Staging helps present your space as well-designed and ultra-livable, showing potential buyers that your home is an especially great place to live. However, not all tips are good ones.” Apartment Therapy reveals The Worst Home Staging Advice Real Estate Experts Have Ever Heard. A great stager can also help you avoid these and a few more mistatkes sellers make every day.
“As investors, when we hear about self-made millionaires making it all on their own, it’s important to understand the extent of the term “self-made.” Building wealth on a million or billion-dollar scale is typically not something any one person can accomplish by themselves.” Forbes outlines for us Using Other People’s Money Responsibly When Investing In Real Estate. It’s a quick read for those who are thinking about investing in real estate but need to leverage partnerships.
10. WHAT’S A FANTRY?
The Property Brothers Reveal One Thing That Makes a Home Seem So Outdated. Realtor.com suggests, “As the brothers race to meet everyone’s needs, they come up with some excellent tips that can help us all buy, sell, or freshen up our own homes.” It’s spring and the selling season is upon us. A few thoughtful, inexpensive updates to a property can capture more attention and more money.