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San Antonio Housing Bubble?

Mention the words “housing bubble,” and what might come to mind are Dallas or Austin. But a report released from National Mortgage News indicated that home prices in the San Antonio-New Braunfels Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) were at all-time highs, while wages are remaining flat. The combination of high home prices and non-moving wages can create a housing bubble.
National Mortgage News noted that the price-wage growth gap for the region was 14%, with an affordability index of 77. Meanwhile, data from the San Antonio Board of Realtors found the median home sales price was $214,300, a record high.
Economists paint another story. Lawrence Yun with the National Association of Realtors said San Antonio home sales are 30% below than when the market crashed in 2008, meaning no bubble. And Jim Gaines with the Texas A&M Real Estate Center indicated that the metro continued to gain jobs.

Per:  February 2018 Issue Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University

Virtual Staging

Photos are everything……since we are all looking online before we go out to see a house we might consider purchasing.

Lots of buyers can’t vision how or where to place their furniture…..and some sellers don’t want the drama or time involved in actually adding furniture to their empty homes they hope will sell quickly.

Virtual staging allows buyers to see where they will place their furniture and gives them ideas on how to decorate for their purchase.

I LOVE the before and after….what are your thoughts?

2017 Average Sales Price

Last year the average sales price was $249,000 for homes sold/listed with a  Realtor.

The average price was $210,000 for homes sold by an owner without a Realtor.

The average price was $151,900 if the buyer and seller knew each other and didn’t have a Realtor.

Let’s hope that the $151,900 folks at least were related.

 

Information for this blog is from Inside Sales Predictability 2.17.2018 Michael Reese.

 

 

 

Buyer Ready

Most buyers have to see your house in person to decide if they want to buy it.  You can have great photos, a great virtual tour and a great Realtor….but being prepared for the buyers visit can make or break the sale.

Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you are ready:

  1.  Make your house easy to show.  A buyer might be driving by your house to visit another house and decide they want to see your home before they make an offer on the house down the street…..if they have to wait until tomorrow or wait an hour or so to see your house….they might just decide it’s not worth waiting for.  Have your home set up for immediate access if possible…if you have dogs or kids and need a few minutes…make sure you are ready to jump in the car within minutes and wave bye at them as you drive off.  The easier it is to show your house…the more likely it will sell.
  2. Keep it clean and ready for a quick exit at all times….so you can jump in the car and leave.
  3. Try to never reschedule the appointment.  Some buyers fly into town to see houses for a day or two….which means they are looking at houses in one neighborhood and heading in another direction half an hour later.  Trying to reschedule the appointment means they have to reschedule all the other appointments that have been made…..which sometimes means they decide you might not be very motivated to sell and never return to view your house.  If they can’t get inside….they probably won’t buy your house.
  4. Make sure it smells clean.  If you have pets, hide all evidence that you have a pet if possible.  We have had buyers decide against a house because they realized a cat lived there.  Crazy…but true.
  5. If it isn’t possible for you to leave (you just sat down for dinner) and you realize that the agent is sitting outside the house…don’t be upset.  Be glad they decided at the last minute to show your home.  Remember….if the buyer doesn’t visit your house….they probably wont buy it.  Explain you are sitting down to dinner but you will happily allow them to show your house….open the door with a smile and explain you’re eating and that you’ll stay out of their way.  And stay out of their way.
  6. If you’re house bound….in a wheelchair…..leaving is probably not an option.  Do yourself a favor….say “hi” with a big smile and also add “I’ll be out of your way….if you have any questions, my agent asked me to tell you to give her/him a call since I’m paying them the big bucks to help me”.  That will usually avoid the buyer’s agent (remember….they represent the buyer) to question you if the refrigerator can remain with the sale, or if the washer and dryer can remain with the sale….and other questions about items you might not be willing to sell with the house and then feel obligated to sell because you want to sell your house and they asked you while visiting.   If they ask you questions like “Why are you moving” or “Where are you moving to”….very nicely respond with “My agent told me to make sure I asked you to call them (him/her) if you had any questions”.    It’s easy for you to give away furniture, appliances, curtains….lots of things you really didn’t want to leave….because you talked to the buyers agent or buyers.   That’s why your Realtor really doesn’t want you home if possible.  All negotiations should be done by the Realtors…that’s why you are paying them!

Today’s market makes some sellers feel they don’t have to clean their house….can only show it with a days notice….or even worse, don’t have to make any repairs to very obvious things that need repairing.  These sellers are the houses you drive by and wonder why they haven’t sold.  Don’t be one of those houses.

A Realtor’s Job

What’s this Realtor really doing all day?

30 years ago most real estate agents were woman, over 50, with husbands that had great jobs…. as long as they made enough money to pay for their lunches and real estate expenses…and were home with dinner prepared most evenings….things went fine.  The office kept half their commission…but in exchange for half their commission the office did all of the marketing for homes for sale, paid for all the business cards, paid for any folders and flyers that went with the agent when the agent was being interviewed for a possible new house listing….the Realtors expense was:  gas, a nice car, lunch money in case they had to pay for lunch while showing homes and their real estate dues to the local board of Realtors.

Today it’s a lot different.  But a few agents still think the above is still happening and it’s hurting the industry…..as the old saying goes….”One bad apple spoils them all”.

I meet a lot of people who tell me when they retire they are going to become an agent and housewives who tell me they love to look at pretty homes so once the littlest is in school they are going to become a Realtor….and sometimes I have time to tell them what I really do…and sometimes I just move on….let them learn the hard way.

A Realtor that makes enough money to pay for the expenses of their job works somewhere between 50 and 60 hours a week.  I’ve had many years of working 70 to 80 hours a week.  2017 finds me somewhere between 50 and 60 hours a week.  I sometimes feel guilty……I am not used to having any free time….which is why I have several blogs and am constantly researching new ways to advertise the homes I have for sale.D&L4

If you’re used to working 50 plus hours….this is the job for you.

A Realtor can’t commit to picking the kids up from school or watching every baseball game your son is in…..some say they can….but let’s discuss this.  If you have buyers in from out of town to look for a house….count on being with them from 9 in the morning to sometimes 9 at night.  Your commitment to your family can’t be while a buyer flew in town for their home search…..they will find another agent if it is.

Dinner every night ready for your family?  Don’t count on it.  The phone call you get a 4:30 asking to see the house you just listed means you go open that house.  Sometimes you don’t even have time to put up what you got out to cook.

Weekends off?  Ha, ha, ha.  That’s when sellers are off work and can meet with you to discuss what they need to do to get their home on the market.  Weekends are also when buyers are off work and can go see that home.

So… based on that….you think you can be a Realtor working just nights and weekends?   Ha, ha, ha.  Monday through Friday I am at my computer placing my ads, researching the next place to drop an ad, analyzing the different programs I pay for to make sure everything is working properly, negotiating offers, calling sellers to tell them what I am doing for them, calling buyers to tell them what I have found for them, picking up signs, getting keys, putting out signs, designing ads, talking to title companies, checking to see that the settlement statement is correct, going to closings, calling lenders for updates, calling agents for updates, cleaning my yard signs, making sure I have enough yard signs, designing new marketing material….and more.

If you want to be a great agent (meaning; make enough money to justify working 50 and 60 hours a week) you need the following;

  1. You have to be internet savvy and like to learn new programs on your computer…not games…software.  The internet has changed this game and I am constantly changing with it.
  2. You have to be available Monday through Friday 8 to 5 and after 5 and on the weekends…..and be happy about it.
  3. You should have good grammar and great writing skills so you can write ads for yourself and homes you are selling.
  4. You have to know how to take great photos and have a great camera.   Sellers want to see their homes on the market and may not want to wait for your photographer to show up a few days later and then send over photos a few days after that.  And you can’t put a house in the computer for sale without great photos…shame on you if you use your cell phone.
  5. You have to be willing to spend hours researching neighborhoods, viewing homes to see what the competition is for your sellers and learning everything you can about the area you sell in…on a weekly basis.  Things change quickly….and you need to know what the latest change is.
  6. You have to be a great negotiator….or you will never get the SOLD sign in the ground or through inspections and appraisals so you get a paycheck.
  7. You have to be able to pay for all the expenses the broker used to pay for….you still need a nice car with a big enough trunk for several signs, money for lunch or dinner if you are caught away from your desk or have buyers in from out of town, money for your board dues, your Realtor.com dues, your website expenses, your FACEBOOK ads, your camera, your printer, ink for your printer, folders for buyers and sellers, business cards, name badges, signs, sign riders, ………..Count on spending $50,000 a year before you make a dime.  And that doesn’t include self employment taxes or the additional expense I pay to have private health insurance.

If you’re willing to do all the above…..I welcome you to our field.

 

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