Another Christmas season is upon us and millions of us are asking where another year went! We love this truly magical time of year and oddly enough, homes continue to sell at a great pace even in December. There continues to be a listing shortage which has driven this Seller’s market for a few years now. All indicators tell us that 2018 will be another strong year for our local real estate market and it should be another Seller’s market with strong buyer competition. If you are a home Seller that is considering selling, there are lots of qualified Buyers out there looking for homes. Some of my peers will disagree, but we love Christmas decor to make a home feel warm and festive. If you’re a Buyer looking for homes, you can often get the jump on other Buyers who are busy with holiday events or travel. December and January have been our 2 strongest months for a few years now oddly enough. Make it a fantastic December weekend!
Everyone is asking this question! In the geographic areas I work in (Oakland and Macomb counties especially) we have seen three consecutive “seller’s markets” over the past 3 years and I believe we will see one more. Interest rates are edging up but they will likely remain very palatable for 2017. However as they inch up, that will continue to motivate Buyers to find that perfect home before rates climb higher. Available homes for sale remain low and has for the past 3 years, which continues to push values up and I don’t see that changing. Many potential Sellers have been apprehensive about putting their home on the market with fears of not finding their next home, which has created a double edged sword. It has been tough for Buyers because of this listing shortage but if we move quickly, we can find you that dream home. For the “snowbirds” moving to their already existing southern home it has been fantastic since we can usually sell their homes very quickly and they don’t have to worry about finding another. In a nutshell, we should see another great year of increasing values which is great news for everyone.
Happy New Year and make it your best year ever!
We are witnessing what always happens in a recovering real estate market. New Realtors, new real estate offices, contractors, etc. pop up everywhere to try and make some fast money. Then when the market cools they will disappear, close and go out of business just as quickly, moving on to make fast money somewhere else. When choosing a real estate or construction professional, do your research! No matter who you choose, trust your assets to those that represent the industry through good times and bad. Those of us that work even harder in bad times to maintain as much of our values as possible, then to help them recover. These are the professionals that work for our local values, not to make some fast cash and move on. It baffles me how someone will trust their most valuable asset to a nephew that “does real estate on the side.” Would you trust a surgeon who dabbles in his trade to do your major surgery?
While homebuyers are as individual as the homes they plan on purchasing, one thing they share is a desire to ensure that the home they will call their own is as good beneath the surface as it appears to be. Will the roof end up leaking? Is the wiring safe? What about the plumbing? These, and others, are the questions that the buyers looking at your home will seek professional help to answer.
According to industry experts, there are at least 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection. We’ve identified the 11 most common of these and, if not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair.
In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you’re looking for. Knowing what you’re looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones.
See the link below for a printout (double sided, 3 fold brochure) of the 11 Things You Need to Know to Pass a Home Inspection. Not only do you need to know but you, more importantly, need to fix, repair, install or replace!
Many people think a recovering real estate market is all positive news. However a recovering market creates more opportunity for unethical contractors. Contractors with good reputations are booked for weeks and even months, so this is the time when tradespeople come out of the woodwork and we see an increase in poor workmanship and even homeowners being scammed. Try to use contractors who have strong track records and are referred from friends and Realtors. It’s the contractors (and Realtors) that make it through the bad times that are usually your best choices! I see lots of contractors and Realtors resurface when the market recovers, having left to do something else when times get tough. We also see a lot of people get their real estate license when the market is hot because it’s easier to sell homes then, and those same people normally disappear just as fast when things slow down and you have to work harder for your clients. My suggestion is to go with the experienced when selling your home. Would you trust your stocks and investments to a first year financial advisor? Your home may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars so why trust that investment to someone with no experience?
In my opinion, real estate transactions should be a win/win for both parties. In most instances, the sale of a home and the purchase of that same home have intertwined emotions. Possible years of family memories of a growing family with the promise of a new family hoping to do the same. Sadly so many agents see the transaction as a “sell it as fast as I can and move to the next one.” Honest and ethical negotiation processes are becoming a thing of the past and that, my friends, is very sad. There is nothing more rewarding that leaving the closing table with Sellers and Buyers exchanging phone numbers, giving each other gifts, smiling and laughing. That is what makes my career rewarding. Making a living in this industry is easy. Changing lives is the true reward.
As 2014 ends, my thoughts are naturally on an upcoming and exciting 2015. My number one goal every year on my goal list is always the same – professionalism. Every year should be exciting from a business perspective because it gives us a clean canvas to re-paint our business goals but most importantly, how we do and grow our business.
Let me take this a step further….. I see the biggest mistake companies in EVERY industry are making is putting less emphasis on professionalism aka, customer service. Customer service (overall) is getting absolutely horrible in every industry I can think of. Are there exceptions? ABSOLUTELY! So don’t come through your laptop, tablet or phone screen to strangle me. And we could go into incredible detail regarding companies that outsource their customer service departments but we don’t have the time here.
My favorite company for customer service? Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare and Gaylord (Michigan). Their customer service is off the charts! And my opinion is it is almost impossible to “teach” great customer service. You “hire” people with the heart, attitude and personality to support your goals of customer service. Jay’s does it better than anyone.
How does that relate to real estate? It really doesn’t but every time I stop at Jay’s, it reminds me that no matter how good we are, we can always do better in servicing our clients.