Real Estate Agent Personality

real estate agent personality
Working with a real estate agent (infographic from keepingcurrentmatters.com)

Many home buyers and sellers don’t give much thought in choosing their real estate agent. They may decide to work with an agent after meeting once or a phone call.  But having the right agent by your side can mean the difference in having an event-free home buying or selling experience, or one that is full of pitfalls and non-communication.  Besides professional expertise and experience, is there a real estate agent personality trait that gives you an advantage?

Lee Davenport conducted a groundbreaking study comparing real estate agent personality differences (Home Sales Success and Personality Types: Is There a Connection?; Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education; 2018; Vol 21, No 1; p29-57.)  The study investigated the question whether there is a connection between successful real estate agents and their personality type.  Success was measured through lead generation (e.g., meeting new clients).  Although you might think there is a personality that is better suited for real estate, the study concluded that there wasn’t one specific personality type that correlated to real estate success.  However, he suggested that there should be further research to understand why there is no difference in the success among real estate personality types.

Back in 2014, Graham Wood wrote an article for NAR that also questioned if there was a perfect agent personality (Are You Sure Your Agents Have the Right Personality for the Job? nar.realtor; April 11, 2014).  Although the article was not a study published in a peer reviewed journal like Lee Davenport’s, it does provide food for thought and an obvious conclusion. 

Wood, like Davenport, questioned which personality dimension on the DISC test was better suited for real estate.  After testing himself, Wood believed his personality traits were not suited for a people-skills intensive field (such as real estate sales).  However, after interviewing several brokers, he learned that there is place in real estate for pretty much any personality type.  The DISC (discprofile.com) is a behavioral assessment tool that helps people be more self-aware, and increase productivity. 

What should you look for when choosing your agent?  First, make sure they are licensed in the area you intend to buy and/or sell.  I can tell you that there are agents who try to do business over state lines where they are not licensed.  It happens more than you think. 

Second, what’s their experience and expertise?  In today’s market, most agents don’t confine themselves to specific neighborhoods.  The idea of “neighborhood specialists” is antiquated.  Information is abundant to agents and consumers, and can easily be applied to any neighborhood.  You can learn more about an agent by how they handle adversity. Instead of asking about how many sales they have or neighborhood experience, ask about specific transactions where they overcame obstacles.

Other considerations include getting a referral from a friend or relative. But referrals should be vetted.  Just because your friend had a good experience with their agent, doesn’t guarantee success for you.  Sometimes agents and clients connect and work well together, and sometimes they don’t. Just in case, make sure you can walk away from your agent by ensuring your buyer or listing agreement provides for termination without a penalty.

Also, it doesn’t hurt asking the agent for a couple of references from recent clients.  You can get insight into the agent’s business by calling the references and asking about their experience with the agent. 

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2020

Original located at https://dankrell.com/blog/2020/11/28/real-estate-agent-personality/

If you like this post, do not copy; instead please:
link to the article
like it on facebook
or re-tweet.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector

Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Home Selling Magic

home sale magic
Home staging

Your home selling magic is grounded in four principles: condition, preparation, price, and marketing.  I know that it doesn’t sound thrilling or magical. But if you focus on these four concepts, you’ll see how your home sale plan magically comes together.

The first principle of home selling magic is “condition.”  It’s a fact that home buyers want a turn-key home, meaning they want to move into a new or updated home.  If you’re like many home owners who has lived in their homes for many years, chances are that there is some deferred maintenance or systems needing updates.  You can decide to forego repairs and updates and sell “as-is.” However, if you want to get top-dollar for your home or not, you will likely have to some make repairs.  You’ll should calculate your return on the investment of repairs and updates to help decide which items to repair. 

The next principle is “preparation.”  After deciding on your home’s condition, you’ll have to prepare for the sale.  The preparation includes the repairs and updates you decided on, as well as decluttering and home staging.  Decluttering our homes is something we all put off because it can be monotonous.  But when you’re selling a home, it’s absolutely necessary (regardless of the home’s condition).  Planning the time spent each day to declutter will make it easier. 

What about home staging?  Home staging is more than just rearranging furniture and pictures.  It’s actually a broad topic that includes repairs and decluttering.  Since you’ve already decided on repairs and planned decluttering, your home staging focus should focus on the interior and exterior spaces.  Consulting with a home stager or interior designer can give you insight on how to create a vision to attract home buyers.  Home staging can be expensive if you’re doing a whole home makeover.  But it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can keep costs in check by focusing on a few rooms.

Pricing” is probably the most important of the four principles of home selling magic.  Pricing your home correctly means the difference of selling your home quickly and having it languish on the MLS.  Avoid the biggest mistake home sellers tend to make, which is over-pricing your home. Over-pricing makes it difficult to attract home buyers, as well as soliciting offers from agents.  Make sure you get a detailed market analysis (CMA) of similar neighborhood homes.  Be wary of agents who mislead by comparing your home to larger higher priced homes.

The final principle is “Marketing.” Marketing your home is making home selling magic work through promotion.  The truth is that most home buyers start their home search online.  Buyers will decide on the homes they want to visit through the photos and descriptions.  To get high quality HD photos, make sure you hire an agent that works with a professional.  Ensure your agent enters detailed and accurate information.  Although the MLS syndicates information and photos across the internet, it’s not always presented completely.  Have your agent rectify all errors that appear on home listing aggregate sites.

Open houses are an additional marketing tool that your agent should use. Although many agents will say that open houses aren’t effective, the truth is that it’s usually how home buyers first see your home.  A final thought is to be wary of gimmicks and new technology, as many such devices are designed as a marketing pieces for real estate agents instead of selling your home.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2020

Original located at https://dankrell.com/blog/2020/11/20/home-selling-magic

If you like this post, do not copy; instead please:
link to the article
like it on facebook
or re-tweet.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector

Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Home Buying Persistence

home buying persistence
How to prepare for the bidding war.

Before the health lockdowns, home sale inventory was already well below the volume to maintain a healthy housing market.  Many home owners decided to put off their spring and summer home sales this year as a result of health concerns, further reducing the available home sale inventory.  The result was that the number of home buyers competing for one home increased. Low home sale inventory continues to be an issue, and there is still a high probability of competing with other buyer offers on a home.  As a home buyer, you are probably wondering how to win the multiple offer scenario. It comes down to home buying persistence.

The obvious way to win a bidding war is to make the most attractive offer to the seller.  But that’s easier said than done.  The reality is that beating out multiple home buyer offers means you need to be organized, and go in with your best offer.  And if you lose out on the home, don’t give up. 

Get organized.

First, talk to a mortgage lender before looking at homes.  Have the loan officer review your credit and income to determine what mortgage program is best for you, and get pre-approved.  Once you’re pre-approved, you can be confident about making an offer on a home.  Your mortgage application should also be easier because you’ve already given documents to the loan officer.  But the most important reason for a pre-approval is for the seller to feel confident with your offer.

When the seller reviews multiple offers, they usually rank offers with contingencies lower than the non-contingent offers.  Rather than foregoing the home inspection, consider having a pre-offer home inspection.  The pre-offer inspection will allow you to determine the condition of the home so your offer will be more attractive to the seller. 

As a home buyer, you should try to gain some insight into what the seller wants .  You may think that the seller just wants the highest price.  But that’s not always true. In multiple offer situations, the home seller looks at all factors, including price AND terms (including deposit, closing date, contingencies, etc.). 

Should you use an escalation clause?  Maybe.  In a multiple offer situation, a clean offer is usually best.  This means making your best offer.  But if you decide to use an escalation clause, make sure you are aware of the cap (limit to price), and your escalation factor.  Make your escalation factor is worthwhile for the seller; meaning if you’re the highest price by $500 or $1,000, the seller may consider other factors in their decision.  Also make sure that your escalation is in line with the estimated appraised value.

Don’t get discouraged if you lose out in multiple offer scenarios. Stick with it and have home buying persistence. Sometimes, reassessing your home buying strategy may be warranted. And your home buying persistence may mean that you look at alternative sales.

If you’re feeling a little skittish about encountering a multiple offer scenario, or already have lost a bidding war, look for homes that have little or no home buyer competition. Besides looking at “ugly” or fixer-upper homes, you may also consider FSBO (sale by owner), bank owned homes, and auctions.  Ask your agent to canvas the neighborhood asking homeowners if they want to sell, as well as calling expired listings.

Fixer-upper homes have potential and the price can usually be negotiated. If you’re worried about the cost of renovations on fixer-uppers, talk to your loan officer about renovation loans, such as the FHA 203k.  Renovation loans provide you the funding to acquire the property, and the funds to rehab the property.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2020

Original located at https://dankrell.com/blog/2020/11/13/home-buying-persistence/

If you like this post, do not copy; instead please:
link to the article
like it on facebook
or re-tweet.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector

Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Housing and Elections

housing and elections
Pending home sales September 2020 (infographic from nar.realtor)

In the past, I have commented on the housing debate during the presidential election cycle.  I deliberated on writing about it this year because of the uncommon circumstances the economy and housing market has been enduring since the beginning of pandemic-economics.  Looking back, housing and elections is about the economic response to the policy implementation during a president’s tenure.

During the 2012 election cycle, David Cross, writing for the Movoto.com blog, analyzed housing data from the California Association of Realtors and concluded that the housing market did not fare well during the election year of a president (David Cross; Election Years Are Bad for Home Prices; movoto.com; May 12, 2012).  There is typically election uncertainty and stress that affect the decisions of home buyers and sellers.  The analysis looked at home sale prices the three years prior to the 2012 election and concluded that home sale prices did indeed recede significantly (average of 5 percent appreciation the three years prior to 2012 election, while only 1.5 percent appreciation during 2012). 

Unfortunately, Cross’ assessment was flawed for many reasons.  First the time period that the analysis occurred was during a time when home prices fluctuated because housing was still emerging from the Great Recession.  Second, the data is limited to California.  Third, the data was limited to a three-year period.  Fourth and most important, economic cycles were atypical during that time period because of the continued recovery from the Great Recession.

Even the NAR was said to have commented on this analysis, stating that the housing market responds to many factors.  Economic factors typically include employment, interest rates, and consumer confidence.  Rather than the elections having an impact on the housing market, it’s more likely that economic and social policy effects real estate at any given time. 

Additionally, other factors that we have seen play out over the last decade is the shift in lifestyle.  Notwithstanding this year’s pandemic, people are increasingly working from home.  Prior to the pandemic, there was an abundant of research pointing to telecommuting’s effect on the commercial real estate market.  The analysis of increased office space vacancies points to telecommuting.  As more employees are working from their home office spaces, companies are reducing their office footprint.

A major factor that has impacted home re-sale inventory is “aging in place.”  After the Great Recession, many Boomers have decided to stay in their homes.  The post-recession attitude about housing changed.  Many seniors decided not to downsize, but rathe stay in their family homes much longer.  Additionally, multi-generational households increased and remain popular. 

Also during the 2012 presidential election cycle, the Mortgage Interest Deduction was scrutinized.  It wasn’t only on a national level, but the debate also occurred at the state level.  The MID debate continues to today.  Some argue that the MID artificially inflates home prices, because the MID is somewhat of a home owner subsidy.  Others argue that the MID is necessary to make housing affordable. 

Housing and elections during 2016 was front and center. At least for its fifteen minutes of fame.  The Housing Party threw its hat in the ring to “Make Housing Great Again” (As President, I’ll Make American Housing Great Again—Really; realtor.com; October 21, 2015).  The Housing Party’s platform had a focus on middle-class America and affordable housing by working toward getting a home for every family.

How will the housing market react to this year’s election?  As the idiom states, “the proof is in the pudding.”  Which means that we’ll only see the effect after policy implementation and economic response.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2020

Original located at https://dankrell.com/blog/2020/11/06/housing-and-elections/

If you like this post, do not copy; instead please:
link to the article
like it on facebook
or re-tweet.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector

Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Housing Pandemic Special

pandemic housing market
Existing-Home Sales Housing Snapshot (infographic from nar.realtor)

Who would have thought that housing and real estate would flourish when the economy went into a pandemic lockdown?  Back in April, a NAR news release prepared the industry for a devastating spring.  NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun stated: “Home sales will decline this spring season because of unique economic and social consequences resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, but much of the activity looks to reappear later in the year…Home prices will remain stable because of a pandemic-induced reduction in inventory coupled with less immediate concerns over foreclosures.”

A NAR Economic Pulse Flash Survey, that was conducted April 5-6, indicated that agents were expecting the housing market to all but grind to a halt.  The survey asked NAR members their views about the effects of the outbreak on the real estate market.   members questions about how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the residential and commercial real estate markets.  90 percent of respondents indicated a decline in buyer interest, while 80 percent of respondents described a decrease in homes listed for sale.  Of course, you probably would have achieved the same result by asking anyone during the beginning of the lockdown. 

And the stats confirmed what people were reporting when the economy began to shut down.  Montgomery County housing stats for April indicated decreases across the board compared to the previous year: new listings decreased about 46 percent, new contracts decreased about 45 percent, and closed sales decreased about 11 percent. 

But the housing market is resilient. The pandemic and lockdown would not keep away determined home buyers and renters, as activity could be seen to increase just one month later (during May).  Although significantly down from the previous year, Montgomery County May stats compared to April indicated a 15 percent increase in home listings, and a 44 percent increase in new contracts!

Fast forward to September, when one month’s activity seemed to blow away anything that occurred in the past saw a 44 percent increase in home sales compared to last September!  Except for new home listings, year-to-date home sales and new contracts (pending sales) stats are about par compared to last year for the same period. 

Home sale inventory continues to be an issue for the housing market.  Home sale inventory has been significantly low and lagging behind buyer demand since 2013.  Unfortunately, the low home sale inventory is becoming political fodder, as some are blaming zoning without evidence.  However, the real reason for low home sale inventory is likely due to seniors aging in place, an increasing number of people telecommuting, and changes in cultural housing norms (e.g., staying in a home for longer periods).

pandemic housing market
Home buyer traffic jumped 60 percent during July

Even though home sale inventory continues to be a drag on the housing market, home buyers are motivated, making the housing market very competitive.  Historically low mortgage rates is one catalyst for the overwhelming home buyer demand. Consider that during the go-go market of 2005-2006, mortgage rates bounced between 6 to 7 percent.  However, Freddie Mac reported on October 22nd that the average US mortgage rate for a 30 year-fixed-rate-was 2.8 percent! 

What can should you take away from these stats? There is likely no better time to sell a home, while housing affordability is high.  The low home sale inventory has reduced seller competition, resulting in bidding wars for many properties.  And those who are buying homes are taking advantage of low mortgage rates, making their housing payments more affordable than renting.

By Dan Krell
Copyright © 2020

Original located at https://dankrell.com/blog/2020/10/27/housing-pandemic-special/

If you like this post, do not copy; instead please:
link to the article
like it on facebook
or re-tweet.

Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detector

Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.