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Almost any source you looki at will tel you that between 80% and 90% of For Sale By Owners will eventually list their home with a real estate agent. There are a myriad of reasons why this happens but it all boils down to this: agents have the inside track on attracting buyer traffic to the home. They also do it full time so that even when the seller is gone to work, the house is still “for sale” and can be shown.

So, if you find yourself thinking of hiring an agent, which one should you hire?

First of all, consider paying the highest price for a good agent. Interview several of them and then ask them to cut their fee. The one that refuses to is probably your best bet. Why? When it comes to selling your home and getting your proce, you want an agent who is NOT a noodle…someone with a little back bone. If they won’t cut their fee and they promise a higher level of service and service quality, then they will also negotiate the hardest in the trenches when people are trying to cut your price on your home.

Second: if the agent you call doesn’t answer their phone or call back within a half hour – stop trying to get them. If they don’t answer or call back when you try to call them for an interview, what makes you think they will answer calls from buyers for your home?

Lastly, when you are doing the interview and listening to the agent’s marketing plan, look for the things that are different. If you talk to 2 agents and they pretty much do the same things… a sign, MLS, and a few ads… keep talking to more agents. What you are looking for is the agent who has a unique approach or ads value by adding unique tools. Agents that use the talking house transmitter or a 24 hour hotline system are some examples. If the agent you hire isn’t doing extra things to make your home stand out in the marketplace, you are just going to get the same ole, same ole. Look for something different.


Is it a Buyer’s Market?

Times have definitely changed in the last year in most parts of the country. I’m in Birmingham, Alabama and we are lucky to have 3 new automoblie maufacturing plants located in a triangle around our city.

But – if you are in an area that doesn’t have commodities or heavy industry (two sectors that are doing well right now), what is your market like?

Chances are – you’re in a “Buyer’s Market”.

What does that mean exactly? It means that there is more inventory than there are potential customers for that inventory. just like in the stock market – when almost everyone is selling and few are buying – the stock price will go down.

Many seller’s think that because they paid a certain amount for a property, they can get at least that amount when they sell. Sadly, this leads to overpricing and a long, long wait until they sell much later at a lower price. My best advice is to find a real estate agent who will tell you the truth about market conditions and back it up with recent sales prices of similar home.

Last week, I was driving around Destin, Florida. Every third home was for sale. Auctions were common. Prices escalated in the area for 5 years and then they reached a top. What’s happening now? The seller’s are “holding out” for their price as more and more homes come on the market at significant discounts to what they are asking. The bottom line is that the sellers who put their homes on the market first are going to take a big hit.

As time goes on and the market is flooded with inventory, prices will go down and down and down. A smart seller would realize this and take the loss now before any further reduction in prices happened.

Is there anything you can do if you are trying to sell into a buyer’s market?

Yes – make sure your home is:

#1) Priced very competitively with TODAYS prices (not what you paid 2 years ago)
#2) Make sure that your home looks like NEW (and I mean new – not just “touched up”)
#3) make sure you get PLENTY of exposure.

The rpice, the condition, and the exposure are everything when it comes to selling into a down market. Good Luck!

by Mike Carraway Access1000.com, 7steps2freedom.com


Top 3 Dangers of Overpricing Your Home

by Mike Carraway, Access Realty, Birmingham, AL

A LOT of sellers want to price their home above the market value and they do it for a variety of reasons…

Some say they want to have “negotiating room”. Some say, “we can always come down later”. And others say, “we just want to see what we can get – you know – test the market.”

Theses are all good reasons from a seller’s point of view. They aren’t, however, from a property marketing standpoint. When you put a property on the market, you want to generate the highest traffic and demand in the shortest time possible and all of these so called reasons to overprice just hinder and impede the marketing process.

Danger #1

Pricing a home above the market value usually results in people going elsewhere and buying. They may love your home but if you have a similar product in your market for a lower price, they’ll buy it – not yours. In effect, you have missed your buyer and now you will have to wait and attract another one at a later date.

Danger #2

Traffic and lots of it is what sells a home. Without human bodies walking through your home, it doesn’t matter if it’s the best deal around or the most beautiful in your neighborhood – it still won’t sell. In order to get the most traffic possible in the shortest time, the price must be right from the very beginning. If the home is priced very near what you actually think it will sell for, you will get the most traffic – and offers.

Danger #3

Your home will sit on the market while YOUR buyers go buy other homes. You will have lower traffic due to the higher price and fewer people will be exposed to it. What happens when you finally decide to lower the price? People see the price reduction and it causes a couple of thoughts…

1) I wonder how much further down they will come?
2) I wonder if something is wrong with it?
3) I wonder how long it’s been for sale?

Just these three will cause you more suffering from low offers and constant questions about whether you will carry part of the financing or not. You will soon grow tired of it.

The best way to avoid ALL of these problems, especially in a buyers market as we are in right now, is to price your home AT the market. Not a little over but right at the market value.

Want a secret? Price your home slightly UNDER the market value. You will have people fighting over it and will probably receive multiple offers. When you do – you can actually start a bidding war of sorts over your home and may even realize MORE than the market value.

by Mike Carraway, Broker, Access Realty, Birmingham, AL 800-840-0165


Lenders Now Hampered by Mortgage Insurance Companies

(Birmingham, AL) The most recent fallout from the mortgage crisis that began last summer is now rearing it’s ugly head in the form of Fannie Mae approved loans that cannot get insured by Mortgage Insurance companies.

Mortgage insurance companies, spurred on by recent recommendations in congress, are tightening their credit standards for providing insurance. Without mortgage insurance, borrowers are forced to provide a down payment equal to 20% of the purchase price of a home – something very few home buyers can afford to do. Just this past week, mortgage insurance companies raised their credit score requirement to 620, effectively cutting out 50% of home buyers from the home buying market. The move came unnanounced and without any notice to lenders or to Fannie Mae.

In fact, lenders are still approving loans that meet Fannie Mae guidelines for purchase in the secondary market, but then find, just before closing, that there is no mortgage insurance available to insure the loan. Without insurance on money loaned that is over 80% of the value of the property, the loan is declined. Buyers that have a “loan approval” from a lender should immediately ask their lender if the lender can get their loan insured. Otherwise, homebuyers could spend hundreds and even thousands in the days leading up to the closing only to find, at the last minute, that loan insurance is not available to them.

This move by the Mortgage Insurance companies will only add fuel to the fire that is the current US Housing market. By effectively eliminating more home buyers from the market, at a time when the housing market needs more buyers, not fewer, the mortgage insurance companies have put another nail in the coffin of the housing market. The resulting effect on the market will be an even bigger drop in home prices. The immediate impact of this new policy will be felt quickly in the market, not over time as has been the case with loan defaults, adjusting loan interest rates, and foreclosures.

Be forewarned: if you are a seller, drop your price now before the market itself forces an even larger price reduction. If you are a home buyer, your credit score must be above 620 or you cannot get a loan.


Post License Class

We are in our LAST DAY!  We take the test at 2pm and then we are done!
Mike Carraway
Broker/Owner
 
WEICHERT, REALTORS – Access Realty
1100 East Park Drive, Suite 104
Birmingham, AL 35235
1-800-840-0165
WEICHERT, REALTORS – Access Realty
Valleydale Branch
4500 Valleydale Road, Suite 160
Birmingham, AL  35242
205-995-3939
24/hr Info:  800-634-0511
24/hr Fax:  800-634-0511
www.Access1000.com
www.Weichert.com
www.AlabamaWebPage.com
www.TakeOurTest.com
www.BirminghamRealEstateSchool.com

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