Negotiate

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Get Ready to Negotiate!

Now that the market has showed signs of recovery, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their home on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation. In most cases, the seller is not. The seller must realize their ability to negotiate will determine whether they can get the best deal for themselves and their family.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they 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 buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the COs permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges on the house your buyer is selling
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired a real estate agent to sell their home has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Meet with a professional in your local market to see the difference they can make in easing the process.

 

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 


 

 

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Red Rock Management & Real Estate Investment
www.RedRockManagementLV.com
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Nov-Sales

Why Did Home Sales Drop So Dramatically Last Month?

Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Existing Home Sales Report which covered sales in November. The report revealed that sales:

“…fell 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million in November (lowest since April 2014 at 4.75 million)…”

That revelation gave birth to a series of industry articles, some of which quoted pundits questioning whether the housing market was slowing. In actuality, there is one rather simple explanation to much of the falloff in sales last month. It is likely the implementation of the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule, commonly known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule, which went into effect on October 3. These regulations caused house closings to be delayed by an extra three days in November as shown in the graph below.

Average Days To Close | Keeping Current Matters

Three days might sound like a minimal difference. However, since there are only approximately 20 days in a month that a closing would normally take place (Mondays through Fridays), losing three days constitutes well over 10% of all closings. These sales are not lost. They are just moved into the next month’s numbers. In a DS Newsarticle on the subject yesterday, Auction.com EVP Rick Sharga explained:

“The most likely cause for the weak sales numbers is a delay in processing loans due to the new TRID mortgage requirements imposed by the CFPB. This is the biggest change in mortgage document processing in many years, and there have been numerous reports within the industry of problems implementing the process and the new documentation that comes with it.”

So how is the housing market actually doing?

A better way to look at how well the housing market is doing is to look at the Foot Traffic Report from NAR which quantifies the number of prospective buyers that are actively looking for a home at the current time:

Foot Traffic Growing | Keeping Current Matters

We can see immediately that demand to buy single family homes is increasing over the last few months – not decreasing.

Bottom Line

No matter what last month’s sales numbers show, the housing market is still doing well as demand remains strong.

 

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 

 


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How to Tackle To-Dos Like a President

How often do you find yourself failing to get through your to-do list?

And no, including “Write to-do list” just to give yourself something to cross off immediately doesn’t count as a win.

Of course, it’s not always your fault—every fire drill that pops up just keeps making your list longer and longer.

“We’re just too busy going through our lives, trying to keep the balls in the air and our heads above water, (so we don’t think)

Is there a better way to do this?” says Maura Thomas, founder of RegainYourTime.com and author of “Personal Productivity Secrets.”

Turns out, there is—if you take a tip from Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Popularized by Stephen Covey but based on the productivity principles of the former president, the Eisenhower Matrix helps you categorize your to-dos by their level of importance and urgency so you can decide where to focus your energy.

Why It’s Worthy of Being Called a Power Hack By sorting your tasks into one of four clearly defined categories, the Eisenhower Matrix forces you to evaluate what is really worthy of your time—and what can be delegated or even nixed altogether.

How to Get Hacking Below, we offer examples of the kinds of activities that fall into each category. See how you would divvy up your to-do list; then follow Thomas’ advice on how to tackle each type so you can accomplish more in less time.

Category #1: Important and Urgent

Your assistant gives her notice—and her last day is tomorrow. A rush client request throws a wrench in a project that was going smoothly. These tasks are considered a crisis or have critical deadlines that you have to meet.

How to Tackle Them Since you can’t predict when crises will pop up, assume they’ll happen and leave room for them in your schedule.

“Most people overschedule themselves, but if something goes wrong, all your plans fall like dominoes,” Thomas says. The solution? Don’t fill up more than 60% of your productive time.

For example, if you work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., leave about four hours on your calendar blank to allow for emergencies. If there are no emergencies that day, you’re in luck and can get ahead on the next day’s tasks.

Category #2: Important but Not Urgent

Scheduling a networking lunch with a hiring manager. Getting a leg up on planning your family vacation. Brainstorming long-term objectives for your team. These tasks influence your big-picture goals, but don’t necessarily have a burning deadline.

How to Tackle Them: Most of these items will be large projects rather than daily to-dos, so break down each into bite-size deadlines to help you get started, says Thomas.

For any items you can’t break down, determine a set amount of time you can work on them that feels short to you, so the task itself feels less overwhelming.

Thomas also suggests including only three important-but-not-urgent tasks on your daily to-do list so you leave time for e-mails, meetings and crises—and whenever possible, work on them during the times of the day you feel most energized.

Category #3: Not Important but Urgent

Emails, phone calls, questions from coworkers—these are the things you have to address immediately, even if they don’t help you with your larger goals.

How to Tackle Them “The easiest way to control your distractions is to control your technology,” Thomas says.

First, check your e-mail in batches only a few times a day—say, every three hours, or after you complete a more important task. To ensure you stick with it, quit out of your e-mail completely so you’re not tempted to check alerts.

The same goes for your phone: Silence it completely—then put it away in a drawer or face down on your desk so you don’t see the alerts.

And if you’re receiving too many calls or queries from coworkers outside of the period of time you’ve set aside for them, simply close your office door, put on headphones, or place a “do not disturb” sign on your chair or cubicle wall.

Category #4: Not Important and Not Urgent

Whether it’s logging expense reports, creating contracts or filing papers, ”these are the tasks that won’t have a big impact on our work once we do them, yet they don’t go away,” Thomas says.

How to Tackle Them Outsource as many of these tasks as possible by delegating them to a junior employee or, for personal chores, a virtual assistant, Thomas suggests.

Even if you have to pay for outside help, the hours you gain back to accomplish a more important goal—like finally making headway on that next big career move—could help you come out ahead financially in the long run.

Author Bio: Jane Bianchi, contributing writer at LearnVest


 

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House-Trap

Don’t Let Rising Rents Trap You!

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com recently reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis”. He warns that,

“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015 Report on Rental Housing, in which they reported that 49% of rental households are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, such as food and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent

In Smoke’s article, he went on to say,

“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.”

 “While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”

Know Your Options

Perhaps, you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWire reportedthat analysts at Nomura believe:

“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment.

It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream home. As we reported last week, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Have a professional help you determine if you are eligible to get a mortgage.

 

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 

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www.RedRockManagementLV.com
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How-Long

How Long Does It Take To Save A Down Payment?

In a recent study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.

Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage a renter spends on housing in each state and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save.

According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state:

Years Needed to Save 10% Down | Keeping Current Matters

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae 3% down programs? Suddenly saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in under two years in many states as shown in the map below.

Years Needed to Save 3% Down | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.

 

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 

 

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Red Rock Management & Real Estate Investment
www.RedRockManagementLV.com
Info@RedRockManagementLV.com
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Prices-Rising

Prices & Mortgage Rates Going Up in 2016

The monthly mortgage payment on a home is determined by two elements: the price of the house and the interest rate you pay on your mortgage. Recently released reports are revealing that the experts expect both elements to increase in 2016.

HOME PRICES

CoreLogic has projected a nationwide 5.2% home value appreciation for the next twelve months. Here is their breakdown by state:

Pricing Forecast | Keeping Current Matters

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES

All four of the entities that provide projections on mortgage interest rates agree: they’re going up in 2016. Here are the predictions over the next four quarters:

Interest Rates | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

With both home values and interest rates projected to increase over the next twelve months, buying (or moving-up), sooner rather than later, makes sense.

Article by Keeping Current matters


 

 

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Red Rock Management & Real Estate Investment
www.RedRockManagementLV.com
Info@RedRockManagementLV.com
FREE Property Management Consultation– CALL 702-622-8668

Millennials-Credit

Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home?

In a recent article by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, it was revealed that some Millennials are not looking to purchase a home simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

The article quoted Jessica Lautz, the National Association of RealtorsManaging Director of Survey Research, as saying that there is a significant population that does not think they will be approved for a mortgage and doesn’t even try. The article also quoted Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos :

“I do think that there’s a sense out there in the marketplace among borrowers that credit may not be available, especially for people with lower credit scores.”

So what credit score is necessary?

A recent survey reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780.

In actuality, the FICO score on closed loans (as reported by Ellie Mae) is much lower and has been dropping over the last several months.

FICO Score Requirements | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Millennials who are considering a home purchase should get advice from a local real estate or mortgage professional now. They may be surprised how much the requirements for a mortgage have eased.

 

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 

 

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Red Rock Management & Real Estate Investment
www.RedRockManagementLV.com
Info@RedRockManagementLV.com
FREE Property Management Consultation– CALL 702-622-8668

EitherWay

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s.

As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

The graph below shows the widening gap in net worth between a homeowner and a renter:

Increasing Gap in Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting with home values and interest rates projected to climb.

 

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 

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Red Rock Management & Real Estate Investment
www.RedRockManagementLV.com
Info@RedRockManagementLV.com
FREE Property Management Consultation– CALL 702-622-8668

Price

House Hasn’t Sold Yet? Take Another Look at the Price

The residential housing market has been hot. Home sales have bounced back solidly and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007. Demand remains strong going into the winter. Many real estate professionals are reporting that multiple offers are occurring regularly and listings are actually selling above listing price. What about your house?

If your house hasn’t sold, it is probably the price.

If your home is on the market and you are not receiving any offers, look at your price. Pricing your home just 10% above market value dramatically cuts the number of prospective buyers that will even see your house. (See Chart)

Proper Pricing Pyramid | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

The housing market is hot. If you are not seeing results you want, sit down with your agent and revisit the pricing conversation.

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 

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Red Rock Management & Real Estate Investment
www.RedRockManagementLV.com
Info@RedRockManagementLV.com
FREE Property Management Consultation– CALL 702-622-8668

Prices-It-Right

How to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your House

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize the financial reward when selling their home. But, how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to insuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house. (see chart)

Impact of Price on Visibility | Keeping Current Matters

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

In a recent article on realtor.com, they gave this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. Yet, studies have shown that typically homes sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Recent research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Median Selling Price FSBO vs Agent | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Price it at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

 

Article by Keeping Current Matters

 

 

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Red Rock Management & Real Estate Investment
www.RedRockManagementLV.com
Info@RedRockManagementLV.com
FREE Property Management Consultation– CALL 702-622-8668

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