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Pending Sales Are Up, Up, Up!

by Rob Zwemmer

The National Association of Realtors reports its Pending Home Sales Index jumped 6.7 percent in May from a month earlier, and is 12.1 percent higher over the year. The Index represents contracts that are signed, but not yet closed. New contracts for homes rose to their highest level in more than six years last month, a positive sign as the housing market continues to rebound and interest rates begin to rise.  

A tight inventory of homes offered for sale and low interest rates have helped to instill buyer enthusiasm and renewed confidence. Homebuilders are also springing into action. A sense of urgency seems to be developing as homebuyers search for the dream home before rates rise even further. Freddie Mac said, "the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage this week hit 4.46 percent, a rise from 3.93 percent last week, although still low by historic standards". The Realtor group said its pending home sale index reached 112.3 in May, the highest since December 2006. A reading of 100 is equal to average contract activity in 2001, which is considered a year with a normal level of homes sales.    

It is a great time to buy before mortgage rates inch up even higher. Call Zwemmer and Associates to discuss buying or selling. I'll be happy to help you realize your dreams.

Rising Mortgage Rates - Biggest Jump in 26 Years!

by Rob Zwemmer

 

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac stated this week that rates on 30-year, fixed-rate home loans spiked 0.53 percentage points to an average of 4.46% -- the largest weekly increase in more than 26 years
The 30-year loan, which stood at 3.35% as recently as early May, is at its highest level since July 2011. Rates for 15-year loans, popular with homeowners refinancing their mortgages, jumped 0.46 percentage points to 3.5%. An extra percentage point will cost homebuyers with 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages $56 more a month for every $100,000 they borrow.
"If sustained, the rate increase will take some of the steam out of the housing market," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.
The sudden jump in rates is driven by uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus program, called quantitative easing, will continue, according to Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage information provider.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac stated this week that rates on 30-year, fixed-rate home loans spiked 0.53 percentage points to an average of 4.46% -- the largest weekly increase in more than 26 years

The 30-year loan, which stood at 3.35% as recently as early May, is at its highest level since July 2011. Rates for 15-year loans, popular with homeowners refinancing their mortgages, jumped 0.46 percentage points to 3.5%. An extra percentage point will cost homebuyers with 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages $56 more a month for every $100,000 they borrow.

"If sustained, the rate increase will take some of the steam out of the housing market," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

 

The sudden jump in rates is driven by uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve's economic stimulus program, called quantitative easing, will continue, according to Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage information provider.

Mistakes that Can Derail a Home Sale

by Rob Zwemmer

Avoid the following mistakes that can keep you from obtaining a quick and successful home sale: 

Mistake No. 1: Not preparing your home for sale. Repairs, updates and minor quick fixes can make a big difference when it comes to that first impression. Take the time to fix, paint, clean and declutter. It takes 60 seconds for potential buyers to form an opinion when they walk into your home. 

Mistake No. 2: Overpricing your house. Keep in mind you need to set a realistic asking price for your home that’s based on its condition, the prices of recent comparable property sales in your neighborhood, and pricing in the local market. Remember, your home needs to appraise at the sales price.

Mistake No. 3: Dishonesty about home flaws. Failure to disclose everything that you know is wrong with your house can kill a deal faster than anything. When a home inspector uncovers problems, buyers tend to wonder what else the seller may be hiding. 
 

Mistake No. 4: Limiting property showings. Never turn a prospective buyer with an agent away or let them know you are unhappy, because that will influence what the buyers think of your home. Event if it’s an inconvenient time, buyers should always be accommodated. sellers should leave during the showing because buyers are known to shorten their tour, and be less comfortable thoroughly inspecting the home when they are present.

Mistake No. 5: Personalizing price negotiations. While negotiating, sellers should always look at the sale as a business transaction. Sellers often assume the highest price is the one they should accept, or they may become insulted and walk away from a low offer. Remain realistic during this process, and look at the whole package presented, not just the price offered. You don’t want to choose a buyer who may be unable to finalize the deal. 

Mistake No. 6: Arguing over minor post-inspection requests. One of the biggest mistake sellers make is getting upset over requests made after an inspection. Sellers should never get emotional and they should be willing to concede that their home isn't perfect. They can negotiate, but need to have supporting evidence if they choose to reject responsibility. Failure to repair items as required by the contract could delay or derail a settlement and could end up costing sellers far more than the initial repair bill.

Mistake No. 7: Not quickly providing post-offer documents. You must provide 
association documents if you live in a neighborhood/community governed by a homeowners association. Failure to produce these documents within a certain time period can allow the buyer to break the contract. 

Mistake No. 8: Not prepping for an appraisal. Remember, when the appraiser arrives, you need to make sure your home reflects the same condition as the day it went under contract. Even with an offer in hand, you need to keep your home tidy and in top condition. 

 

Open House Sat & Sun 12-3p

by Rob Zwemmer

79175 Rancho La Quinta, La Quinta, CA
-Price Reduction – Incredible price for a Rancho La Quinta Luxury Home! Former south-facing model home on one of the largest lots in Rancho La Quinta! Surrounded by fairway, lake and mountain views; designed with contemporary architectural flair and tastefully updated with eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional furnishings.

Visit www.desertonline.com for more information on this property, and other distinctive homes for sale in Palm Springs, CA... DRE#01704275

The Home With the Million-Dollar View

by Rob Zwemmer
View the Tour

Open House Today 11a-2p

by Rob Zwemmer

771536 Calle Mazatlan, La Quinta – Reduced Price! Ready for a vacation day every day at your own Santa Rosa Cove retreat adjacent to the world-renowned La Quinta Resort? A lush courtyard entry welcomes you...

Visit www.desertonline.com for more information on this property, and other distinctive homes for sale in Palm Springs, CA - DRE#01704275

Open House Today - Mtn View Country Club

by Rob Zwemmer

Log on for more details! Open House Today 11a-3p - Tues, June 18th!

50941 El Dorado Dr., La Quinta, CA - Breathtaking Golf Estate Home with captivating views of Santa Rosa Mountains overlooking 2nd Green of the Arnold Palmer Signature Course at Mountain View Country Club, La Quinta, CA.

Visit www.desertonline.com for more information on this property, and other distinctive homes for sale in Palm Springs, CA... DRE#01704275

Local Home Prices On the Rise

by Rob Zwemmer

The median price of a home in Riverside County rose 32.5 percent in May, compared to the same month a year ago, reflecting a statewide jump that gave California the biggest year-over-year price increase in 33 years, according to figures released today by the California Association of Realtors.


The median price of a Riverside County home was $282,560 in May, up from $213,240 in May 2012, according to Los Angeles-based CAR. May's median price was 3 percent higher than April, when the median was $274,420. Home sales in the county increased by 5.4 percent between April and May, but were down 14.9 percent from May 2012.

Statewide, the median price of a single-family home was $417,350 in May, up 31.9 percent from $316,460 in May 2012, according to CAR. It was the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year increases, and 11th straight month of double-digit jumps.

According to CAR, the 31.9 percent increase was the largest annual jump since at least 1980, when the association began tracking the statistic.

``More home buyers are putting down larger down payments, and many of them are opting for more stable loan products,'' CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said. ``Additionally, historically low mortgage rates have reduced monthly mortgage payments substantially, making owning a house more affordable, even with rising home prices.''

The number of homes sold in California increased by 1.9 percent between April and May, but fell 3.6 percent from May 2012, according to CAR.

Social Media – New Tools of the Trade

by Rob Zwemmer

With 92 percent of homebuyers beginning their Home Search on the internet, it is crucial that Real Estate agents pick up and use the tools of Social Media to help market real estate:  the property for sale and the real estate services they provide. Acquiring a base of “friends” and “followers” through social engagement via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube Google+, Pinterest and other up-and-coming portals of interactive communication is simple. Post regularly and include content that engages and stimulates interest and furthers conversation. Homebuyers, sellers and agents alike can utilize these new tools as an introduction to a property. Posting a listing and syndicating it throughout the web maximizes exposure of a home. Of course, nothing beats actually walking through a home, but now buyers are able to preview homes of interest beforehand and eliminate the wasted time of traveling and touring sight unseen. 

It is imperative for an agent to stay current and in-touch by setting up an informative Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account. It proves the realtor is tech-savvy, a forward thinker, socially aware, and actively engaged in the business. Staying current and in-touch by setting up an informative Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account can set you apart from the pack. It is estimated that only 56 percent of realtors use social media and only 12 percent of realtors maintain a blog.
Not only does tapping into the strength of Social Media assist in promoting business and current home listings, but it helps to acquire listings. An agent’s online presence serves as an online resume, offering several means for potential clients to pre-screen the person that was referred to them. Today, a website or friend’s referral may not be enough to convince a buyer or seller to work with that realtor. 
An online property listing with just a few images of the home, just a tidbit of information and a simple video used to be enough for buyers, but today’s modern buyers—especially the younger ones—want more information such as what is accessed from a YouTube channel. People today want to peruse multiple videos and even a Facebook page that was created for just that home listing. More exposure can help generate more interest in a home, but only if it’s the right kind of publicity. Ensure the home has been captured with excellent professional-quality photography and videography to showcase it in the best light. Bad content makes for a bad listing. 
Informative content, such as tweets on Twitter from local agents commenting on a home or its area, the current mortgage rates, etc. are perfect to pass along to the buyer or seller. Pinterest is a great Real Estate industry asset, where photos of the listings can be uploaded into albums the buyer or seller can examine easily. Even posting pictures of interesting home interiors that exhibit various colors and styles can peak the imagination of a buyer and help them decide what type of home they are looking for—and what you can select for them to consider. Social Media is a great tool, but of course, does not replace the one-on-one relationship established between the in-person contact of agent and a buyer or seller. At some point the computer, cell phone or tablet must be turned off so the home tours can begin. 

With 92 percent of homebuyers beginning their Home Search on the internet, it is crucial that Real Estate agents pick up and use the tools of Social Media to help market real estate:  the property for sale and the real estate services they provide. Acquiring a base of “friends” and “followers” through social engagement via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube Google+, Pinterest and other up-and-coming portals of interactive communication is simple. Post regularly and include content that engages and stimulates interest and furthers conversation. Homebuyers, sellers and agents alike can utilize these new tools as an introduction to a property. Posting a listing and syndicating it throughout the web maximizes exposure of a home. Of course, nothing beats actually walking through a home, but now buyers are able to preview homes of interest beforehand and eliminate the wasted time of traveling and touring sight unseen. 


It is imperative for an agent to stay current and in-touch by setting up an informative Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account. It proves the realtor is tech-savvy, a forward thinker, socially aware, and actively engaged in the business. Staying current and in-touch by setting up an informative Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest account can set you apart from the pack. It is estimated that only 56 percent of realtors use social media and only 12 percent of realtors maintain a blog.


Not only does tapping into the strength of Social Media assist in promoting business and current home listings, but it helps to acquire listings. An agent’s online presence serves as an online resume, offering several means for potential clients to pre-screen the person that was referred to them. Today, a website or friend’s referral may not be enough to convince a buyer or seller to work with that realtor. An online property listing with just a few images of the home, just a tidbit of information and a simple video used to be enough for buyers, but today’s modern buyers—especially the younger ones—want more information such as what is accessed from a YouTube channel. People today want to peruse multiple videos and even a Facebook page that was created for just that home listing. More exposure can help generate more interest in a home, but only if it’s the right kind of publicity. Ensure the home has been captured with excellent professional-quality photography and videography to showcase it in the best light. Bad content makes for a bad listing. 


Informative content, such as tweets on Twitter from local agents commenting on a home or its area, the current mortgage rates, etc. are perfect to pass along to the buyer or seller. Pinterest is a great Real Estate industry asset, where photos of the listings can be uploaded into albums the buyer or seller can examine easily. Even posting pictures of interesting home interiors that exhibit various colors and styles can peak the imagination of a buyer and help them decide what type of home they are looking for—and what you can select for them to consider. Social Media is a great tool, but of course, does not replace the one-on-one relationship established between the in-person contact of agent and a buyer or seller. At some point the computer, cell phone or tablet must be turned off so the home tours can begin. 

Affordable Bath Renovations That Help Sell a Home

by Rob Zwemmer

Just a few affordable updates, repairs and renovations can help you get top dollar for your home. Potential buyers are looking for certain features that best match their tastes and lifestyle needs. Every choice, from paint to fixtures, impacts a buyer’s interest and can bring you to a quick sale for your price.

As one of the most used rooms in the home, it only makes sense to have a fully functional and stylish décor to entice the home seeker to make an offer.
Transform your bath without breaking your pre-sale budget: 
1. It’s important when showing your house to present a neutral space that will suit the majority of buyers that are considering your home. Bright and vibrant paint and wallpaper colors that you might like may turn-off most buyers. Esoteric colors should be toned down with a more pale and soothing color. A nice white trim on the door and cabinets will give the room a fresh and clean appearance.
2.  If your fixtures are more than 15 years old, consider upgrading with more water-efficient faucets and toilets. You can reduce water flow by at least 30 percent without downgrading performance. Equipping your bath with high-efficiency plumbing products can be a major selling point. “Green” upgrades can be highlighted as a call-out on the listing; the ability to lower utility bills is a great selling point.
3. Upgrade lighting fixtures and create a scheme with stylish flair. Just replacing a few fixtures with energy-efficient styles can completely transform the look of your bath. Focus on lighting that provides even illumination over the vanity and overhead in the shower and tub. 
4. Replace flooring and transform the look and feel of your bath. This can be a fairly affordable update since this is one of the smallest rooms in your home. Stick with materials that will stand up to the rigors of everyday use. Avoid wood, bamboo or laminate that can react adversely to moisture. 
A little imagination can make a big difference when you want your home to stand out from the pack. 

Just a few affordable updates, repairs and renovations can help you get top dollar for your home. Potential buyers are looking for certain features that best match their tastes and lifestyle needs. Every choice, from paint to fixtures, impacts a buyer’s interest and can bring you to a quick sale for your price. As one of the most used rooms in the home, it only makes sense to have a fully functional and stylish décor to entice the home seeker to make an offer.


Transform your bath without breaking your pre-sale budget: 


1. It’s important when showing your house to present a neutral space that will suit the majority of buyers that are considering your home. Bright and vibrant paint and wallpaper colors that you might like may turn-off most buyers. Esoteric colors should be toned down with a more pale and soothing color. A nice white trim on the door and cabinets will give the room a fresh and clean appearance.


2.  If your fixtures are more than 15 years old, consider upgrading with more water-efficient faucets and toilets. You can reduce water flow by at least 30 percent without downgrading performance. Equipping your bath with high-efficiency plumbing products can be a major selling point. “Green” upgrades can be highlighted as a call-out on the listing; the ability to lower utility bills is a great selling point.

3. Upgrade lighting fixtures and create a scheme with stylish flair. Just replacing a few fixtures with energy-efficient styles can completely transform the look of your bath. Focus on lighting that provides even illumination over the vanity and overhead in the shower and tub. 

4. Replace flooring and transform the look and feel of your bath. This can be a fairly affordable update since this is one of the smallest rooms in your home. Stick with materials that will stand up to the rigors of everyday use. Avoid wood, bamboo or laminate that can react adversely to moisture. 


A little imagination can make a big difference when you want your home to stand out from the pack. Check out the video below for more inspiration.


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

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