Real Estate News, Tips & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 28, 2020

Why Virtual Tours Are Winning in 2020

   

Virtual tours are changing the game for the real estate market this year. Let’s connect to make sure you’re ready to navigate the digital side of the homebuying process in 2020.

If you have any questions regarding real estate, kindly call at 909-529-1989

May 28, 2020

Economists Forecast Recovery to Begin in the Second Half of 2020

With the U.S. economy on everyone’s minds right now, questions about the country’s financial outlook continue to come up daily. The one that seems to keep rising to the top is: when will the economy begin to recoverWhile no one knows exactly how a rebound will play out, expert economists around the country are becoming more aligned on when the recovery will begin.

According to the latest Wall Street Journal Economic Forecasting Survey, which polls more than 60 economists on a monthly basis, 85.3% believe a recovery will begin in the second half of 2020 (see graph below):  

There seems to be a growing consensus among these experts that the second half of this year will be the start of a turnaround in this country.    

Chris Hyzy, Chief Investment Officer for Merrill notes:       

“We fully expect the economy could begin to pick up in late June and July with a strong recovery in the fourth quarter.”     

In addition, five of the major financial institutions are also forecasting positive GDP in the second half of the year. Today, four of the five expect a recovery to begin in the third quarter of 2020, and all five agree a recovery should start by the fourth quarter (see graph below):     


Bottom Line   

The vast majority of economists, analysts, and financial institutions are in unison, indicating an economic recovery should begin in the second half of 2020. Agreement among these leading experts is stronger than ever.

May 27, 2020

Why This Summer Is the 2020 Real Estate Season

With stay-at-home orders starting to gradually lift throughout parts of the country, data indicates homebuyers are jumping back into the market. After many families put their plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what we once called the busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate.  

Joel KanEconomist at The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) notes:   
 

“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks…Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5 percent higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months.”   

Additionally, according to Google Trends, which scores search terms online, searches for real estate increased from 68 points the week of March 15th to 92 points last week. As we can see, more potential homebuyers are looking for homes virtually.   

What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?     

Another reason buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders, is historically low mortgage rates. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac indicates:     

"For the fourth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.30 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic…As states reopen, we’re seeing purchase demand improve remarkably fast, now essentially flat relative to a year ago.”   

With mortgage rates at such low levels and states gradually beginning to reopen, there’s more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer.   


What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?   

Finding a home to buy, however, is still a challenge, as this spring sellers removed many listings from the market. Though more people are now putting their houses up for sale this month as compared to last month, current inventory is still well below last year’s level.     

According to last week’s Weekly Economic and Housing Market Update from realtor.com:     

“Weekly Housing Inventory showed continued tightening. New Listings declined 28% compared with a year ago, as sellers grappled with uncertainty and hesitated bringing homes to market. Total Listings dropped 20% YoY, a faster rate than in prior weeks, leaving very few homes available for sale. As Time on Market was 15 days slower YoY, asking prices moved up 1.5% YoY.”    

If you’re thinking of selling your house this summer, now may be your best opportunity. With so few homes on the market for buyers to purchase, this season may be the time for your house to stand out from the crowd. Trusted real estate professionals can help you list safely and effectively, keeping your family’s needs top of mind. Buyers are looking, and your house may be at the top of their list.     

Bottom Line    

If you’re thinking of selling, many buyers may be eager to find a home just like yours. Let’s connect today to make sure you can get your house in on the action this summer. 

May 26, 2020

Buying or Selling a Home? You Need an Expert Kind of Guide

In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate through the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price your home correctly right from the start. You need someone who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball offer.    

We are, however, in anything but a normal market right now. We are amid one of the greatest health crises our nation has ever seen. The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the journey consumers take to purchase or sell a home. To successfully navigate the landscape today, you need more than an experienced guide. You need a ‘Real Estate Sherpa.’   

According to Lexico, a Sherpa is a “member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.” Sherpas are skilled in leading their parties through the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region – some of the most treacherous trails in the world. They take pride in their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes.    

They are much more than just guides.   

This is much more than a normal real estate market.     

Today, the average guide just won’t do. You need a Sherpa. You need an expert who understands how COVID-19 is impacting the thoughts and actions of the consumer (ex: virtual showings, proper safety protocols, e-signing documents). You need someone who can simply and effectively explain the changes in today’s process to you and your family. You need an expert who will guarantee you make the right decision, especially in these challenging times.     

Bottom Line   

Hiring an agent who understands how the pandemic is reshaping the real estate processes is crucial right now. Let’s connect today to guarantee your journey is a safe and successful one.

May 21, 2020

Summer Is the New Spring Market


Summer is gearing up to be the new spring for home buying and selling! Let's connect so you're ready to make your move this season.  

If you have any questions regarding real estate, kindly call at 909-529-1989

May 21, 2020

Experts Predict Economic Recovery Should Begin in the Second Half of the Year

One of the biggest questions we all seem to be asking these days is: When are we going to start to see an economic recovery? As the country begins to slowly reopen, moving forward in strategic phases, business activity will help bring our nation back to life. Many economists indicate a recovery should begin to happen in the second half of this year. Here’s a look at what some of the experts have to say. Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman    

“I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be positive growth in the third quarter. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that there’ll be growth in the second half of the year… So, in the long run, I would say the U.S. economy will recover. We’ll get back to the place we were in February; we’ll get to an even better place than that. I’m highly confident of that. And it won’t take that long to get there.”  

Nonpartisan Analysis for the U.S Congress     

“The economy is expected to begin recovering during the second half of 2020 as concerns about the pandemic diminish and as state and local governments ease stay-at-home orders, bans on public gatherings, and other measures. The labor market is projected to materially improve after the third quarter; hiring will rebound and job losses will drop significantly as the degree of social distancing diminishes.”   

Neel Kashkari, President, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank    

“I think we need to prepare for a more gradual recovery while we hope for that quicker rebound.”    

We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, but clearly many experts anticipate we’ll see a recovery starting this year. It may be a bumpy ride for the next few months, but most agree that a turnaround will begin sooner rather than later. During the planned shutdown, as the economic slowdown pressed pause on the nation, many potential buyers and sellers put their real estate plans on hold. That time coincided with the traditionally busy spring real estate season. As we look ahead at this economic recovery and we begin to emerge back into our communities over the coming weeks and months, perhaps it’s time to think about putting your real estate plans back into play.    

Bottom Line    

The experts note a turnaround is on the horizon, starting as early as later this year. If you paused your 2020 real estate plans, let’s connect today to determine how you can re-engage in the process as the country reopens and the economy begins a much-anticipated rebound.
 

May 20, 2020

6 Reasons Why Selling Your House on Your Own Is a Mistake

There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times like the one we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner or FSBO, please consider the following: 

1. Your Safety Is a Priority

During this pandemic, your family’s safety comes first. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings, but your family’s health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, agents are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your family.    

2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer   

Recent studies have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 44% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumped to 93%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house. Have you?  
 
3. There Are Too Many Negotiations    

Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:   

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.     

4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage    

Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As a FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress that’s being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment. Further complicating the situation is how the current mortgage market is rapidly evolving because of the number of families out of work and in mortgage forbearance. A loan program that was there yesterday could be gone tomorrow. You need someone who is working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.    

5. FSBOing Has Become More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint     

The documentation involved in the selling process has increased dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.      

6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent      

Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:   

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”   

The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place.     

Bottom Line    

Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, let’s connect to discuss your options.

May 19, 2020

It's a V!

The economy was firing on all cylinders prior to the COIVD-19 pandemic.  With shelter in place in effect in the last 2 months,  the impacts were seen crossed the board:  consumer confidence,  consumption, unemployment, housing, stock, and every indicator. The biggest debate has been that once the virus situation eases,  how will the market recovery going to look like.    

Some called for a V-shaped recovery where their recovery will be as fast as the decline.  Some call for a U-shaped recovery which the market will take sometime after it hit rock bottom before we see signs of recovering.  

As we see the easing of the shelter in place order and see businesses start to open up with restriction,  we are seeing a V-shaped recovery in the housing market.   

The demand or number of pending sales soar 38% in Los Angeles County and Orange County.  The sleeping giant has awakened!         

All the measures taken by the government have successfully flattened the Coronavirus curve and slowly but surely the economy is coming back online.  Many buyers that were on the fence int taking advantage of the historic low 3.25% interest rate are now back in the market - with face masks, gloves, and previewing via 3D tours. 
  


Some thought the housing market would take a major hit because of the coronavirus but that could not be further from the truth.  The low mortgage interest rate has kept demand afloat during the pandemic despite all the furlough and job loss.  Where did all the demands come from?  Well...yes the unemployment rate has been the highest in years but there are still a lot of people employed and willing to lock down a rate that is a historic low for the next 15 or 30 years.   

On the side of the supply,  we are seeing the active inventory climb by about 5% in the past 2 weeks a little higher than the 5-year average during this time.  BUT it is still the lowest we had seen since 2013.  Surging demand had outpaced supply again and the expected market time has dropped from 114 days to 86 days, a slight seller's market.

May 19, 2020

How to get Homes Sold in Any Market

 

Why do some home sell and some don't?  

Selling real estate can be competitive.  In most areas, you have to compete with hundreds of other homeowners that are trying to get their home sold.  How do you stand out in the crowd and get the most money possible?  It comes down to having the most exposure and being the best value.  

Getting more people to see your listing translates to more buyers coming through your homes.  The more buyers you have,  the more offers you are likely to get.  Multiple offers are good.  It bids your price up!     

To get buyers to decide to put in an offer.  You have to show value.  Buyers will buy the home they deemed better value.  Yes.  lower price can show better value.  At the same time,  a house that's higher price but with more features and benefits can also be a better value.  
 
Knowing Your Number    

The real estate market is not only is cyclical but it is also constantly changing.  Any new listings or sales in your neighborhood can drastically change the value of your home.   

Did you know what is going on in your local marketplace on a weekly basis when your property was on the market? Were you updated with how many homes came onto the market, how many homes were sold, or how many homes are for sale?    

You need to know the supply and demand of the market.  If you or your agent didn't know about these numbers,  this could be one of the reasons.   

Love at First Sight    

The first impression often goes a long way.  If the first impression for a buyer is negative when they walk through your home, it's hard to change their opinion.    

Make sure your homes are decluttered,  cleaned, and if at all possible consider making upgrades to today's standard.   An upgrade can increase the value of your home in the eyes of a buyer.  At the same time, it has to make sense,  you obviously don't want to spend $20,000 for a new kitchen but didn't get back more than $20,000.    

Often time, a fresh coat of paint is the most cost-effective upgrades.  It gives the house a refreshed look and it doesn't cost a lot.  With any upgrades,  make sure they are neutral and are appealing to the majority of the buyers. 

Time is of the Essence    

Many people often overlooked this but how easily a buyer can schedule a showing CAN affect the sale of your home.    

In the world we live in today,  most people have busy schedules. If you do not have a flexible showing schedule,  your house may be skipped or buyers may end up buying another home before making it back to see your home!  

Consider using a lockbox to allow agents to access the house and time or be prepared to leave the home for a little bit on short notices. These will all improve the chance of your home getting sold.    

It's A Numbers Game

Selling real estate is a numbers game.  The more people that know about your listing,  the more offers you are likely to receive.  According to the National Association of Realtors,  50% of the buyers found their home on the internet.  Did you have a strong and balanced digital marketing plan when it was on the market or was it just uploaded onto some real estate websites? 

Another 28% of the buyers found their home through a real estate agent.  Was your real estate agent a passive agent or an active agent?  Was your agent a passive agent that did not have a plan of action?  Did he or she just put up a sign in the yard, put it on the MLS, and waiting for the buyer to come?  Or did your agent have a step by step proven marketing plan that utilizes both the traditional and digital channel to market your home to make sure more people know about it? 

If you have any questions regarding real estate, kindly call at 909-529-1989

 

May 19, 2020

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy

All eyes are on the American economy. As it goes, so does the world economy. With states beginning to reopen, the question becomes: which sectors of the economy will drive its recovery? There seems to be a growing consensus that the housing market is positioned to be that driving force, the tailwind that is necessary. Some may question that assertion as they look back on the last recession in 2008 when housing was the anchor to the economy – holding it back from sailing forward. But even then, the overall economy did not begin to recover until the real estate market started to regain its strength. This time, the housing market was in great shape when the virus hit. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First American recently explained:   

“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”     

Fleming is not the only economist who believes this. Last week, Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, (@DrFrankNothaft) tweeted:     

“For the first 6 decades after WWII, the housing sector led the rest of the economy out of each recession. Expect it to do so this time as well.”      

And, Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an economic update last week explained:   

“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt…Based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”     

Bottom Line     

Every time a home is sold it has a tremendous financial impact on local economies. As the real estate market continues its recovery, it will act as a strong tailwind to the overall national economy.