Have you been on a job interview lately? or are you in the position of interviewing new applicants for a job? Either way you know what is expected and you know what makes a difference. Here is our thoughts: a. plan and be prepared b. look sharp c. be sharp d. expect the unexpected e. present your strength f. ask questions. This list could go on and on. Let’s look at these and compare them selling your property:
Plan and be prepared: job applicants research the company they have an interview with. Buyers do research (mainly online) of your house and neighborhood before actually contacting you. You need to do your own research to see what is online. Google your street address is a good start.
Look sharp: what to wear and how to look is the first item on most lists when going on an interview. You need to know what your house needs to look like prior to buyers coming by. We highly recommend going out to the street and taking a photo. Then get on the front porch and take a photo of the front door. Once in the house, take a photo of the first room you see. Study your photos. These make the first impression for the buyer and if they don’t look good, the buyer will turn around and walk out.
Be sharp: be ready to answer questions and be knowledgeable of the topics discussed. With your property, be ready to answer questions regarding schools, shopping, home repairs done recently, etc.
Expect the unexpected: When being interviewed and you are asked a question that you do not know the answer. What do you do? Obviously do not guess, be honest with a reply like: ‘I will surely learn the answer’ or ‘I can research and I will have the answer’. With home buyers they may ask about ’school bus information’ or ‘handicap questions’ or ‘mold, radon or termite items’. Same thing, assure them you can research and have the answer for them.
Present your strength: What is the number one reason you should be hired for the job? With your property, what is the number one reason to buy your house? For each buyer it may be different and you need to find out as quickly as possible. Is it the right school district? Is it the size of the master bedroom or formal dining room? Is it the flat backyard? Is the the price versus the others for sale in your neighborhood?
Ask questions: Interviewing is a two way street. Not only does the employee need to fit the job requirements, the employee must also fit the needs of the applicant. With the home buyer, you should be asking them about: financing ability, occupancy, motivation for buying in your area, etc.
Know what is needed and you can do it ‘FSBO’
Simple economics: ‘demand outweighs supply’. Bonds/mortgages pay interest to the owners. Investor demand to own these interest rate instruments is greater then the supply. I have blogged many times over the past few years about the purchasing of bonds/mortgages by the Federal Reserve, foreign investors, pension funds, etc. While the supply keeps increasing, the demand increases even more. Every time you see headlines in the news talking about weakening economies in Europe, China, Russia, etc, investors in those regions rush to buy US bonds/mortgages. Every time the headlines talk about fighting in many countries around the world, those people with money in those countries buy US bonds/mortgages. Even as our Federal Government, corporations, students and individuals keep borrowing more, the worlds investors have more interest in buying. When does this reverse? How does this trend end? You’ll know one year after it ends. You will not know the exact day or month. You will look in the rear view mirror and say ‘Hey, interest rates are much higher and the trend started a year ago’. So called experts can make their predictions, but like myself, they have been wrong for the past two years. All I know is that this is still a great time to look in those rates, in a year from now you may be looking in the rear view mirror.
Thinking of buying a new home with the help of a mortgage company. That’s the way most people buy. There is a cost involved with buying a new home. Doing some homework prior to buying will save you time and money. The closing cost you pay to the mortgage company is just one of the pieces to the puzzle of buying. The less your down payment is the more your closing costs are. A recent study done by Bankrate.com shows an average of $2500 in closing cost when putting 20% down and getting a $200,000 mortgage. This varies from state to state, see chart below. When putting less then 20% down, the closing costs go up plus the interest rate you pay goes up. If you are getting a no money down VA loan or a 3.5% down FHA loan, the closing cost jump as does the interest rate. This has not changed in 50 years. The fact that the more you have for down payment the less you pay. While your goal is to first buy a home, your next goal is to get the payment & costs as low as possible. The end goal is to pay it off prior to retirement.
|47||District of Columbia||$1,791||$612||$2,402|
Is your house worth 4 times the value of just two years ago? Has Zillow indicated your zestimate is 4 times what is was two years ago? Probably not. You are probably very happy if the value is back to it’s peak in 2007. Well, for some reason, investors think both Zillow.com and Trulia.com are worth 4 times as much as two years ago. In Zillows case, with sales of $300 million and zero profit, the company is now valued at $6 billion and Trulia never having a profit is valued at $2.4 billion. For Zillow to buy Trulia, it will just take paper, that is paper stock. No cash or other value. For revenues to increase they both count on real estate agents to spend more money advertising. As they both move towards agents helping with revenue and profit, they slowly move away from the ‘for sale by owners’. This should strengthen those that help FSBO’s, such as; FSBO.com. Zillow should look at itself and come up with a true ‘Zestimate’.
The real estate market has been improving yearly since the depths of the financial crisis six years ago. Sales and market values keep going up. Foreclosures keep going down. This weeks headline “Foreclosure activity hits lowest in eight years” with the number of new foreclosure filings dropping again. Remember just 24 months ago, most areas had foreclosed properties sitting on the market for sale, with the prices dropping, which held down your areas real estate market. Look around today, they are mostly gone or none existent. Mortgage rates are still below historical norms and banks are now getting more lenient. The only thing holding back future sales is lack of inventory. Many owners that have refinanced at very low interest rates are staying put. Why walk away from a really low mortgage payment? Many buyers still have a problem qualifying for a new mortgage because of credit score problems. Looking out the next 24 months, more of the same, except interest rates will move up.
Even more stressful than the ‘annual buying supplies before school starts’ is knowing which school your children are attending. Between August 4th to September 8th, most schools will begin classes. That means 4-6 weeks prior to those dates, home buyers will be stepping up their efforts to find the right home. Right now begins that seasonal period. For sellers, be ready. Don’t lose out on a potential, motivated buyer, because once school starts (after Labor Day), the amount of buyers in the market place falls off. I know it’s summer time and you have other recreational things to do, plus the summer heat tends to zap your energy, well, fire up. Don’t miss out. It’s easy to see the slowest five weeks of the year for buyer traffic is between Thanksgiving and January 1st. The busiest five weeks each year is the ‘Back to school home buyers’.
In honor of the USA Soccer team’s match today versus Belgium in the World Cup we will be closing our offices early. The FSBO.com Phone Support will be closed at 3PM. They will open again tomorrow morning at 9AM. Please feel free to use the Customer Service email link at the top of the website to submit any questions and we will get back to you after the game.
So far we have a pretty close race to see who has the best backyard for a BBQ for the upcoming Fourth of July Holiday. Visit our Facebook Page now to place your vote by “Liking” your favorite one.
The backyard with the most likes will receive a $100 Gift Card to Home Depot. Voting will end at Noon on July 5th.
Don’t forget, these homes are all for sale. If you see one you would like to buy simply click on the link to their listing next to the photo. You could be having your own BBQ in one of these backyards by Labor Day!!!
We are excited to announce that next week we will be hosting a photo contest in honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. We will be posting photos from many of our real estate listing’s on the FSBO.com Facebook Page to determine who has the best backyard for a Fourth of July BBQ.
The winner of the contest will receive a $100 gift card to Home Depot!!!
To enter you must have an active listing on FSBO.com and need to email us with your ID# and photo by Monday morning at 9AM.
Once the photos go live, “Likes” for your photo will be counted as votes. The photo with the most “Likes” by July 5th will be the winner.
Photo Courtesy of All Things G&D - http://www.allthingsgd.com/2013/07/our-8th-annual-4th-of-july-party/