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February
9

Spring 2022 – Expect the Most Competitive in History

Homebuyers got crushed last year as home prices soared at their highest clip on record. Housing economists saw that price growth—which peaked at a year-over-year rate of 20% last year—as simply unsustainable. Their economic models agreed: Among the seven forecast models reviewed by Fortune heading into 2022, every single one predicted home price growth would slow significantly this year.

But over the past few weeks, that consensus is no longer so unified. Now, more industry insiders are throwing out their previous forecasts and replacing them with more bullish short-term outlooks. Indeed, some experts say the 2022 spring housing market might go down as one of the most competitive on record.

Look no further than Zillow. Back in December, the home listing site predicted that U.S. home values would climb 11% this year. Economists at Zillow now say that forecast is too conservative. Their latest forecast finds home prices are set to spike 16.4% between December 2021 and December 2022. If it comes to fruition, it would mark another brutal year for home shoppers.

  • Fortune, February 7, 2022
December
20

Appliance Upgrades to Make in 2022

Appliance Upgrades

Having a well-appointed kitchen is a must, especially if you plan on selling your house in the near future. Kitchen updates hold their value when you resell, plus it's just nice to enjoy cooking in a clean, modern kitchen with new appliances. Here are five updates our real estate agents promise you'll enjoy, and the boost in your home's appeal to buyers won't hurt either.

  • Smart Fridge
    You may have seen smart kitchen appliances before in Dallas homes for sale or glimpsed refrigerators with big screens on the front of them while shopping. While it may seem like overkill, it makes total sense for our kitchens to use the same smart technology that we use in the rest of our lives. For instance, a smart fridge can display a calendar on that screen with the entire family's schedules, or it can let you know when you're running low on something. It can even add to your shopping list! A smart fridge can also act as the communication hub in your upgraded kitchen and control other smart appliances. For instance, from an app on your phone, you could direct the smart fridge to start the dishwasher.

  • Smart Oven
    After the fridge, the next appliance that can benefit from a "smart" upgrade is your oven. With a smart oven, you never have to worry about having left it on, as you can check that from an app, even after you've left the house. Plus, you can preheat the oven or even start cooking remotely using the app.

  • Induction Stove
    Speaking of cooking, if you haven't cooked on an induction stove yet, you don't know what you're missing. An induction stove is the best of both worlds, electric versus gas. You get the easy-to-clean smooth service of a glass-top electric stove, but with a heat source that is as fast as gas, if not faster. Plus, since induction stoves use magnetic fields to generate heat, the stove's surfaces don't get hot, making this top-of-the-line type of stove a preferred option for professional-level chefs and parents alike.

  • Refrigerated Drawer
    A popular trend in kitchens is to install drawers instead of cabinets for easier access. Drawers aren't just for pots, pans, and pantries, either. A refrigerated drawer under the counter puts what you're looking for right at your fingertips. For instance, a drawer instead of a more traditional wine fridge makes it easier to see all of your options at once. Likewise, a produce drawer makes it easier to eat healthy, whether you're preparing dinner or grabbing a snack.

  • Second Sink
    While it's not strictly a kitchen appliance, having a prep sink or a butler's pantry with its own sink should be high on your list of kitchen upgrades. Having a second sink enables you to get more done in the kitchen when prepping for big meals, or even just a separate sink for the family to use for hand washing while you're cooking.

Just think, with a few carefully chosen kitchen upgrades in 2022, by this time next year, you'll be cooking for the holidays in a much different kitchen... or perhaps in an entirely different home if you're planning a move in 2022! If you're ready to start the search for your dream home or just want to get some information about upgrading your current home to sell, contact us today.

November
8

Don't Fall for These Real Estate Myths

Real Estate Myths

Today's real estate market remains hot, hot, hot, with sellers enjoying high prices, while buyers are facing a highly competitive market that has made it difficult for some to land the home they're longing for. This is especially true for those selling homes in Dallas/Fort Worth or shopping for Dallas homes for sale and Fort Worth homes for sale

It's easy to get distracted during the buying or selling process by certain widespread real estate myths. Our real estate agents help many families in the area find their dream home and advise them to not fall for misconceptions they might hear from well-meaning friends and family members.

Read on about some common real estate myths you should not fall for.

  • Myth 1: You don't need to do any prep work
    Many home shoppers think the process starts by rushing out and touring houses either in person or online before you've gotten yourself organized. The best course of action to ensure a smooth transaction is to plan your financing. Get either a preapproval letter or perhaps even a prequalification letter, from the lender you choose. This will help you be prepared when it's time to make an offer, but you'll also be able to focus on searching within the price range you're qualified for -- rather than wasting time looking at homes that are out of reach.

  • Myth 2: You can do it alone
    You'll be missing the expertise an agent brings to the process, including knowledge of market conditions, and above all, the ability to negotiate the best deal. A good agent will also help you get your paperwork ready. Organized, complete paperwork can make the process flow much more smoothly than when papers and forms are shoddily prepared and incomplete.

  • Myth 3: You can rely solely on online sources
    These resources can tell you a lot, such as an estimate of what your home is worth, or a calculation of your monthly mortgage payment. What's missing is a visit to a property by an agent, who can determine if the data is all correct.

  • Myth 4: You won't need to worry about repairs
    Modern builders are tending to build quickly at minimal expense. That means you need to exercise caution regarding lower-quality construction. Hire a home inspector who is well versed in new home construction to suss out potential problems. Talk to your real estate agent about what to look for in new home construction  -- or older homes if you're looking at an older model.

  • Myth 5: You should always offer less than the asking price for a home
    Low-balling the seller can be annoying to the point they may move on to a potential buyer who's easier to work with. Do you really want the home? Is the price reasonable? Then offer the list price or a price that's close to it. In really hot markets, you may need to offer over the list price to make sure you're in the competition. Your real estate agent should be able to help you strategize the best approach.

Need more help navigating today's real estate market? Contact us today.

September
20

7 Tips For Listing Your Home Specifically For Pet Owners

Texas Pet Owners

Pet ownership in the U.S. has never been so high, with 48 million dog-owning households and 32 million cat-owning households, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. But if you're one of them, and you're getting ready to list your home among Fort Worth homes for sale or Dallas homes for sale, it's important to remember that not everyone loves pets -- particularly when they're trying to look at a home and envision themselves in that setting. Someone else's pet can be a considerable distraction, whether it's the pet itself or just evidence that a pet is in residence.

Keep these seven tips in mind when getting your home ready for the market.

  1. Plan for Showings
    If possible, make sure your pet is gone when a potential buyer is being shown your home. Make arrangements with friends or relatives to keep your pet during showings, or arrange to board your animals. That goes for any kind of pet -- birds, hamsters, rabbits, or snakes in an aquarium. Some people have allergies to animals, so it's best they and your pets don't meet. Avoid sequestering pets in a closet, a room, the basement, or a kennel.

  2. Remove the Evidence
    Yes, it's a hassle every time your house is shown to have to remove all evidence of your pet, but for the sake of a potential sale, do so. Pick up bowls, toys, beds, kennels, cat climbing trees, etc. 

  3. Schedule a Deep Cleaning
    Not all pets are equal when it comes to the kind of mess they make. Some shed mighty amounts of hair or feathers, while others leave scarcely a trace. Regardless, you will want to schedule a professional cleaning to make sure rugs and carpets, flooring, baseboards, and upholstery are all spic and span before potential buyers arrive.

  4. Don't Try to Mask Odors
    Scented candles, incense, and chemical deodorizers won't mask urine, or other pet smells. What's more, some potential buyers won't care for fragrances from these sources.

  5. Keep Marketing Photographs Pet-Free
    When the photographer comes to take pictures of your home for marketing purposes, make sure you've removed all traces of pet toys, beds, litter boxes, and dishes. Evidence of pets won't enhance your chances of attracting a buyer.

  6. Repair Damages
    Go around your home and assess damages from pets, from urine spots on the carpet, furniture, or baseboards, to scratches on door frames and floors. Fix what you can with putty and paint; replace carpets if need be. You may have to cover up the scratched-up hardwood floors with laminate.

  7. Clean up the Yard
    Go over the backyard and make sure it's clear of any pet mess. Fill in Fido's prized holes that he's been digging in the yard. Repair any damage to the fencing and make sure to pick up any outdoor toys.

Are you and your pets ready for a new home in the DFW? Our real estate agents can advise pet owners on prepping a home for viewing and on how to find the perfect home your whole family will love. Contact us today. 

March
15

What You Need to Know Before Starting a Home Improvement Project

Home Improvement DFW

Renovating or updating your home is an exciting prospect. Whether you plan on living there a while longer or are fixing it up to sell soon, doing much-needed updates can be satisfying. Before you get too carried away, though, here are a few words of caution from our real estate agents.

  1. Choose your contractor carefully.
    Remember that a lot rides on your choice of contractor. This person will oversee your project, so it needs to be someone who is on board with your vision. It also should be someone who is good at what they do, so check online reviews. It's a good rule of thumb to interview several contractors and look for someone who will be a good fit for your project, understands your budget, and will be able to deliver as promised and on time.

  2. Expect the unexpected.
    That being said, always expect the unexpected, and build a little wiggle room into your budget and your timeline. You don't know what your contractor and his crew will find once they start work. The original plan may need to be changed or some issue could require attention before the work can continue. If you build a little extra into your overall plan, changes in cost or time frame won't hurt as much.

  3. Do the kitchen first.
    There are several reasons why you should do the kitchen first. First of all, it's likely to inconvenience you the most, since you won't have a kitchen to cook in. You can set up a temporary kitchen station in another room, where you can do simple food prep. But more importantly, kitchen updates have the biggest impact on your home's value. Dallas homes for sale that feature clean, modern kitchens show and sell the best. Plus, those updates feature the most functionality, so you'll likely enjoy them the most during whatever time you have left in the house.

  4. Be honest with yourself before DIYing.
    It can be tempting to save yourself the money and do the work yourself, but be honest with yourself as to whether you have the required knowledge, experience, and skill to DIY it. If you overestimate your ability to DIY your upgrades, you'll detract from your home's appeal and leave the buyer to clean up the mess. Be honest with yourself, and if you don't know enough to make the job look professional, then leave it to the professionals.

  5. Know whether you're selling or staying. 
    If you're designing updates to enjoy while you live in the home, your goals are going to be different than if you're updating a home in order to join the list of Fort Worth homes for sale. Renovations for yourself will of course be targeted to your personal preferences, whereas renovations prior to selling need to be more neutral so that they'll appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.

If you're looking to sell your home soon, home improvement projects are a great way to boost its appeal to buyers. For more information about what upgrades sell the best, or to speak to an agent, contact us today.

October
18

Forecasters – What to Expect Over Next 12 Months

Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. fears home sales might slow next year in the ramp up to presidential and congressional elections.  "We typically have much slower selling seasons right before an election," she said. "After that happens, the flood gates open and people come out. It's not a matter of who wins."   Worries about a recession may also impact the home market.  "We spent the better part of the last decade still looking over our shoulder," said George Ratiu, senior economist with Realtor.com.  "The last recession was so bad that we are still carrying some of the scars from that."   However, Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University states that Texas economy is still expanding.  "And we are extremely unlikely to be in a recession by the end of this calendar year," he said. "We are probably pretty safe through the first six months of next year."

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019

 

October
17

Too Few Moderate Homes; Too Many Upper-End Homes

The number of homes listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents has risen by about 15% this year. But they aren't in the price range most buyers want.  "The inventory is increasing at the upper end — $750,000 and above," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University said. "If you have a well-located $300,000 house, you can sell it tomorrow. We are seeing evidence of price fatigue in the market."  D-FW home prices are up only about 3% so far in 2019 — nothing like the double-digit percentage home price gains of a couple of years ago.  "The recent spike in mortgage rates did expose how price sensitive the market is," said Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. "Things are not quite as rosy as they seem in terms of what people can afford."  Many home sellers haven't gotten the message, she said. "They want to list their house for more than their neighbors sold for and sell it overnight."  D-FW has an undersupply of homes priced below $250.000.

  • Dallas Morning News, October 14, 2019
March
31

Dallas Home Price Hikes Are Turning Buyers Into Renters

 

Should you buy or rent?

Dallas is one of the U.S. metro areas where rising home prices have hurt homeownership the most. Dallas, Denver and Houston were identified as the markets where there is the most downward pressure on homeownership, according to a new report by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. The study ranked areas where the markets have tilted in favor of renting over buying homes. Researchers traced housing conditions in 23 markets for the report. Dallas was the most unfavorable for homeownership among the cities surveyed. "Of the metros in our index, Dallas is the highest and exhibiting the greatest downward pressure on the demand for homeownership," said Ken Johnson, real estate economist in FAU's College of Business. "The extraordinary appreciation in the area is a major driver of this score."  Dallas' housing market has taken off since the Great Recession, with soaring prices.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 20, 2019
March
27

Home Prices Fell in Dallas County in February

Home Prices Fell in Dallas CountyThe latest North Texas housing market numbers are not very encouraging, to say the least. Home sales were down in many Dallas-Fort Worth neighborhoods in February, and median home sales prices dropped for the first time since 2008-2009 in both Dallas and Rockwall counties.  Dallas County home sales prices fell 2.5 percent in February from a year ago, according to the latest figures from the MetroTex Association of Realtors. Median sales prices slid 4.5 percent in Rockwall County.  Collin and Denton counties eked out tiny year-over-year home price gains last month — less that 1 percent ahead of February 2018.  The only solid home price gain in the region came in Tarrant County, where houses are still relatively affordable.  Lower and moderate-priced house sales are still strong while purchases of expensive properties have lagged.

  • Dallas Morning News, March 22, 2019

 

March
6

Lawsuit: Bad Zillow Info 'Corrupted' Price on $150M Mansion

Lawsuit: Bad Zillow Info 'Corrupted' Price on $150M Mansion

Once the most expensive listing in the US, the Bel Air mega-mansion was incorrectly listed as sold multiple times. The seller of one of the nation's most expensive real estate listings is suing real estate giant Zillow Group for $60 million in damages, alleging the company was negligent when it allowed a "troll" to falsely claim they were the homeowner of the listing on Zillow and then posted inaccurate information about the property.

The listing, 924 Bel Air Road in Los Angeles, was first listed for $250 million in 2017 and cut to $188 million last year before coming back on the market at a $150 million price in January.

In a lawsuit filed on Feb. 24, the plaintiff, a company owned by Makowsky, alleged Zillow published false information about the property that was uploaded by someone claiming to be the listing's owner. This included claims that the home had sold on Feb. 9, 2019 for $110 million, that there was an open house for the property on Feb. 8, 2019 from 1-4 p.m., that the property sold on Feb. 9, 2019 for $90.54 million, and that the property sold on Feb. 9, 2019 for $93.4 million.

"Zillow is disseminating misleading, false, and inaccurate information that has a large prominence because of Zillow's market power," attorneys for the plaintiff wrote in the complaint.The plaintiff's attorneys alleged that it took Zillow more than a week to take down the false information and false claims of ownership, despite Zillow acknowledging it was "aware of the issue."

  • Inman News, March 1, 2019

 

February
27

2019: New Home Sales Up 2%, Preowned Sales Down 2-4% Nationwide

U.S. Home Starts

Homebuilders are starting off 2019 with hopes of another increase in U.S. sales, especially newly built houses. But the building industry also sees an upcoming drop nationally in purchases of preowned homes because of rising affordability issues. "2019 looks like a year of solid, if not spectacular, growth," said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders. "I think new-home sales will be up a tad and existing home sales down." The building industry forecasts a 2 percent rise in nationwide home starts in 2019, making it the best year since the Great Recession. That's the most positive sign in this year's outlook. "We actually have existing home sales declining year-over-year in 2019," Dietz said at the industry's annual meeting this week in Las Vegas. The drop in existing home sales is likely to be between 2 percent and 4 percent this year, according to the latest industry outlook. Preowned home sales in Dallas-Fort Worth fell slightly in 2018 after several years of increases. The decline continued into the new year. Higher mortgage rates and record prices are blamed for the slowdown.

  • Dallas Morning News, February 19, 2019

 

February
20

Home Sales Fall by 10-13% in January

DFW January Home Sales UpdateIn Dallas County, home sales by real estate agents fell more than 12 percent in January from the same month in 2018. Sales were down almost 13 percent in Denton County and down 10.5 percent year-over-year in Collin County. The smallest sales decline was in Tarrant County — 8.5 percent — where a larger inventory of more affordable houses on the market has made purchase activity stronger. Real estate agents are scrambling to adjust to the downshift in the local home market. "We are being realistic with our sellers, telling them you need to price your house at what it will sell for," said Cathy Mitchell, 2019 president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors. "I think this market correction is good for us." There was about a four-month supply of houses on the market in North Texas at the end of January.

  • Dallas Morning News, January 16, 2019
February
19

DFW Area Home Sales Listings Explode in January

An increase in Home Listings in JanuaryA flood of North Texas houses hitting the market in January means it will take longer to sell a Dallas-Fort Worth home. The number of houses up for sale in Dallas County rose more than 43 percent in January compared with a year earlier, according to the latest numbers from the MetroTex Association of Realtors. Home listings were also up by more than 42 percent in Denton County and were 37 percent higher than a year ago in Collin County.

The wave of properties hitting the market comes at a time when home sales in the area are declining and price increases have evaporated. At the end of last month, there were almost 22,000 houses listed for sale with North Texas real estate agents — the largest January inventory in six years. More than 10,000 additional home listings hit the market in January alone. Real estate agents are warning sellers not to expect a quick sale like the market was seeing few years ago. "You can't expect to get 30 offers in 30 minutes," said Cathy Mitchell, 2019 president of the MetroTex Association of Realtors. "It's a market correction — we couldn't be sustainable the way the market was."

  • Dallas Morning News, February 16,2019
February
4

How to Curb Anxiety When Selling Your Home

Curb Home-Selling Anxiety-RE/MAX DFW Associates

There's no doubt that selling a home can be an emotional experience, especially if you're doing it for the first time. The highs, lows, and unknowns of the sales process can be enough to put even experienced sellers on edge, so it's only natural to feel some anxiety as you work to sell your home.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can limit anxiety while you're selling your home, and limiting anxiety can have the side-effect of helping you maximize the value that you receive for your home. Our real estate agents are here to help, with our guide to curbing anxiety while you're selling a home.

How to Curb Anxiety and Maximize Value When Selling Your Home

  1. Remember Why You're Selling
    One of the easiest ways to limit anxiety is to always remember why you're selling your home. Whether you're looking to move to a new, exciting community, starting a new job, increasing the size of your family, or selling to move into a home that better fits your financial needs, remembering the why can help keep anxiety at bay.

  2. Pick the Right Price
    Watching your home sit on the market with few or zero offers coming in can make anyone start feeling anxious, so it's a good idea to price your home in a way that helps maximize interest from buyers. That means not going too high or low, and finding a price that's just right for current market conditions.

  3. Work with the Right Real Estate Agent
    Choosing the right price is much simpler when you have the right real estate agent to provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) and help you understand what buyers are willing to pay for a home like yours. The right agent can also limit anxiety throughout the process, by answering questions, helping accomplish your goals, and marketing your home effectively so that you attract competitive offers.

  4. Create a Plan of Action to Address Concerns
    Most buyers today have an excellent eye for detail, which means they'll be looking carefully for any maintenance issues or repairs when they visit your home. Making the necessary repairs and preparations can feel like a huge task, so it really helps to have an action plan. Create a to-do list, prioritize the most important tasks, and continue making progress to keep anxiety at bay.

  5. Take a Break
    Selling a house is the type of process that can dominate your thoughts, even when you're working or otherwise away from the home. So remember that it's okay to take a break! Keep enjoying your favorite hobbies, hit the town to have some fun, or even just take a break in a nice, quiet place where you can think about something other than selling your home.

  6. Be Prepared to Work
    There's no getting around the fact that selling your home and addressing the anxiety that comes with the process takes work, so it's important to be ready to roll up your sleeves. Whether you're tackling maintenance issues, working to find the right real estate agent, marketing your home, or negotiating with buyers, be prepared to invest the necessary effort will ultimately make it much easier to see the process through to the finish line.

Working with the right real estate team is one of the easiest ways to curb anxiety when selling your home, and we'd love to help you navigate the process with confidence. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Dallas-Fort Worth area.

January
30

Dallas, Texas Housing Market Forecast: One of the 'Hottest' in 2019?

 

Dallas, Texas Housing Market Forecast: One of the 'Hottest' in 2019?

 

By Brandon Cornett | January 18, 2019 | © HBI,

 

Recent forecasts for the real estate market in Dallas, Texas suggest that home prices in the area could rise faster than the national average in 2019. A separate forecast from Zillow ranked Dallas as one of the top ten "hottest" housing markets of 2019.

Bold Outlook for Dallas Housing Market in 2019

At the start of 2019, the median home value for Dallas, Texas was around $201,000. (The median for the broader DFW metro area was a bit higher.) That was a gain of more than 13% from a year earlier, according to data collected by Zillow.

Predictions from housing analysts point to continued home-price growth throughout 2019. In fact, the Dallas real estate market is expected to outperform the nation this year, in terms of annual home-value appreciation.  Given the current rate of appreciation, it would not be surprising to see the median house price in Dallas rise somewhere between 7% and 10% over the next year.

Zillow's research team recently predicted that the median value in Dallas would climb by 11.2% over the next 12 months. That was a much bolder forecast than the one they issued for the nation as a whole, which predicted 6.4% growth.

Housing Supply on the Rise

Inventory is another important trend that could shape the Dallas-area housing market in 2019. This year, home buyers across the metro area could have more properties to choose from.  At the end of 2018, the Dallas real estate market had more than a 4-month supply of homes for sale. That was a higher level of inventory than most metro areas across the U.S., and also higher than the national average during that same timeframe.

The key takeaway here is that housing inventory in Dallas (i.e., the number of homes listed for sale) increased during the latter part of 2018. As a result, buyers who enter the market this year should have more options when it comes to choosing a property.

Dallas Makes Zillow's "Hottest" List

In January, Zillow published a forecast that included what they felt would be the ten "hottest U.S. housing markets for 2019." Dallas was ranked at number seven on that list.  To create their "hot list," Zillow examined a number of factors for the nation's 50 largest metro areas. They then combined these variables to create a "hotness" score. They looked for metro areas with strong income growth, growing populations, and low unemployment — among other factors.

A Cooling Trend Could Prevent Affordability Issues

The Dallas real estate market is something of a paradox right now, as we move into 2019. Home prices in the area continue to rise faster than the national average. At the same, however, there is clearly a cooling trend taking place.

Paige Shipp, regional director at MetroStudy, recently told The Dallas Morning News: "Dallas-Fort Worth, the nation's top new home market, is slowing from a frenzied, overheated pace to a more stable, normalized market. Builders and developers are hard at work delivering product to meet the strong demand for affordable new homes."

Dallas currently leads the nation in terms of new-home construction, according to MetroStudy and other sources. There were nearly 35,000 housing starts in the DFW area during the third quarter of 2018, more than any other metro. (A "housing start" is the beginning of construction for a house.)

If inventory continues to grow in this market — as expected — it will likely lead to smaller home-price gains in the future. And that's probably a good thing. When house prices rise at a much faster pace than local wages and income, it can create affordability problems. So a cooling trend could actually be beneficial at this point.

Disclaimer: This article includes housing market predictions for the Dallas-Forth Worth metro area in 2019. They were provided by third parties not associated with the Home Buying Institute. Real estate forecasts are the equivalent of an educated and are far from certain.

 

January
22

And Another Reason to Own a Home in Texas

2019 Real Estate Transfer Tax

No Real Estate Transfer Tax

Texas is one of a handful of states that does not have a transfer tax when a seller sells their home. Dallas is one of the few cities in the nation that does not have a city transfer tax. Several years ago the voters in the state of Texas passed a constitutional amendment that disallowed any such taxes in the future. So not only do some 40 states have a transfer tax, the cities as well have an additional transfer tax. Another reason so many are moving to Texas. See below the city and state transfer tax on a home sale of $500,000 in selected northern cities.

2019 - Real Estate Transfer Tax

Based on a $500,000 Sales Price

CITY

 

STATE TRANSFER TAX

 

CITY TRANSFER TAX

 

TOTAL TAX

                 

Boston, MA

$2,280.00

   

$0.00

   

$2,280.00

Chicago, IL

$750.00

   

$3,750.00

   

$4,500.00

Los Angeles, CA

$550.00

   

$550.00

   

$1,100.00

New York City, NY

$2,000.00

   

$7,125.00

   

$9,125.00

Philadelphia, PA

$5,000.00

   

$15,000.00

   

$20,000.00

San Francisco, CA

$550.00

   

$3,400.00

   

$3,950.00

Seattle, WA

$6,400.00

   

$2,500.00

   

$8,900.00

 

January
10

North Texas Home Prices Stumbled in December

Home Prices Stumbled in December

Local real estate agents sold 9 percent fewer homes in December than they did a year earlier — the fifth month in a row of year-over-year declines in home purchases.  Last month 7,786 homes were sold through the agents' multiple listing service, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information System. Last year's slight decline in home purchases in the area followed almost eight years of increases.  "It's still the second-best year ever," said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center. "The whole state is reverting to a more normal market.  "We've been going really, really strong for years, and ultimately that slows down." Higher mortgage rates and record home prices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have caused some prospective buyers to pull back from the market.

 

The number of homes for sale in the almost two dozen North Texas counties included in the report was 22 percent higher than a year earlier, with more than 21,000 preowned single-family homes listed for sale with real estate agents. On average it took 57 days to sell a property -- 8 percent longer than a year earlier. Even with the increase in inventory, there was only about a 2.4-month supply of houses listed for sale in the area at the end of December.

  • Dallas Morning News, January 8, 2019

 

December
14

Dallas – One of Top 10 Cities With Market Change

It's no secret that Dallas' home market has a winter chill.Home sales have slowed, along with the rate of home price increase in North Texas.The market changes have put Dallas on Realtor.com's list of the 10 cities hit hardest by a housing slowdown."In the last few months, the real estate market has actually begun slowing down. including in some of the big cities that have been leading the go-go post-recession housing boom," according to a report on the website. "To be clear, prices aren't always dropping in these places, which are predominantly located on the West Coast."Mostly, they're decelerating, coming back down to earth."

Realtor.com based its rankings on a year-over-year rise in home price markdowns, increases in listings and changes in overall list prices."There's a rebalancing that needs to happen," Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, told Realtor.com. "Prices have risen so high in some of these markets that it's very tough from an affordability perspective [for buyers]. ... It's not surprising to me that we're seeing a little bit of a leveling off."

Median home prices in North Texas are still up about 5 percent compared with 2017 levels. But that's a much smaller number than the double-digit annual gains seen in recent years. Home list prices in the Dallas area are down 1.4 percent from a year ago, and the number of listings has grown 15 percent year over year, according to Realtor.com

  • Dallas Morning News, December 11, 2018
December
13

Buyer Perceptions in this Changing Market

Buyer Perceptions in this Changing MarketThe declines in D-FW home sales and slower price appreciation are having a bigger impact on consumers' attitudes than their pocketbooks, analysts said.  "I am more concerned about the psychological impact of not-so-rosy housing news than I am about the actual underlying fundamentals of the housing market in the Dallas-Fort Worth market," said Daren Blomquist, top economist with Attom Data Solutions. "Certainly the data shows that the market has gotten somewhat overheated and is due for a slowdown, but that slowdown should just be a chance for the market to catch its breath rather than a trigger a panic attack.  "Jobs and people are still moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in large numbers, which ultimately should keep demand for housing solid," Blomquist said. "But the psychology of the market is more of a wild card and could result in a bigger slowdown or correction."

North Texas home sales would be higher if there were more moderately priced properties up for grabs, Paige Shipp of housing analyst Metrostudy Inc. said. "I believe the 1 percent decrease in sales this year is due to the lack of homes on the market below $200,000, not a lack of buyers," Shipp said. "D-FW has strong job and population growth, which equates to demand for homes.  "However, the increasing interest rates have exposed the fact that D-FW buyers cannot all afford homes priced above $400,000, she said.

  • Dallas Morning News, December 11, 2018
November
20

Why the Housing Market Is Slumping Despite a Booming Economy

Home prices are out of reach relative to incomes and mortgage rates. The big question for the economy is how the imbalance adjusts.

These should be happy times for the housing sector. The economy is booming, with more people working at higher pay, and with the sizable millennial generation reaching prime home buying age.  Instead, the housing market has gone soft, acting as a drag on the overall economy rather than as a force propelling it forward.

Sales of new single-family homes were down 22 percent in September from their recent high in November 2017, and existing home sales in September were down 10 percent. This tepid residential investment subtracted from G.D.P. growth in each of the first three quarters of 2018.

Home prices have not declined nationally, at least according to the most widely followed indexes. But their rate of increase has declined, and more and more home sellers are finding they must reduce asking prices to find a buyer.  Given how central housing is to the broader economy — it is the biggest driver of both wealth and indebtedness for most families, and its fluctuations have frequently been major factors in past booms and busts — this slump isn't something to be taken lightly for anyone hoping the good times will last.

So what's going on?

When you look closely at the data, it appears this paradox of a strong economy and a weak housing market is, at its core, an illustration of a fundamental rule in economics: If something can't go on forever, it won't.  Home prices in a given location are ultimately tethered to the incomes of the people who either live there or want to. But for much of the last six years, that relationship has come undone.  Nationally, personal income per capita has risen 25 percent since the end of 2011, while the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index is up 48 percent (neither figure is adjusted for inflation).

The gap is even larger in the big coastal cities with high wages and booming job markets, but where legal and other barriers make it hard for builders to add to the supply of homes. In the San Francisco metro area, per capita personal income rose 40 percent from 2011 to 2017, while home prices rose 96 percent. Similar patterns are evident in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, New York and Washington.  In less high-flying markets, there was still a disconnect. In the Minneapolis area, for example, incomes rose 22 percent while home prices rose 46 percent.

Those rising home prices got help from years of very low mortgage rates, which put more expensive homes within reach for people at a given income level. Activity was also probably boosted by some bounce-back effect after the housing market crash of 2007-09, a result of pent-up demand for homes that were not bought while the market was collapsing.

Rates bottomed out in late 2012 at 3.31 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. They have been moving upward in fits and starts since, including a full percentage point in the last year alone to nearly 5 percent — still low by historical standards, but high compared with the ultralow levels that had enabled these huge price gains.

There's no doubt that demographics are favorable for housing demand. The peak birth year for millennials was 1990; it's a group that is turning 28 this year and thus entering prime years for home buying. As it happens, 28 is exactly the median response in a Bankrate survey that asked adults for the ideal age to buy a home.

But that doesn't matter if prices are out of reach relative to incomes. Moreover, lending standards have remained more rigorous than they were during the last housing boom, so it has been harder for people to stretch to buy a home. The inability of people to buy homes they can't really afford is great news in terms of avoiding another crisis, but not so great for the near-term outlook for housing.

"Buyers can only stomach so many price increases until it gets unsustainable," said Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist at the online brokerage Redfin. "Prices reached a breaking point where buyers were fed up and started to consider other options," she said, including renting and moving away from the expensive coastal markets where prices are most out of whack with incomes. 

As Economics 101 teaches, price movements are the way that supply and demand match up with each other. But in the housing sector especially, that adjustment can take a while.  In contrast with the stock market, where relatively unemotional traders are buying and selling shares every day and the market stays liquid, home purchase and sales decisions can take months and are deeply emotional for the participants.

What seems to be happening is that sellers are trying to cling to the spring 2018 prices that their neighbors received, while there aren't enough buyers in late 2018 willing or able to pay those prices.  In a Fannie Mae survey of home purchase sentiment, the proportion of people who think it is a good time to buy a home has decreased significantly since the spring, to a net 21 percent from 29 percent. But so has the proportion who think it is a good time to sell, which has dropped to 35 percent from 45 percent.

You would expect, in a zero-sum transaction like a home sale, for those numbers to move in opposite directions. Instead, it seems that sellers are unhappily realizing that they aren't going to get what they thought their house was worth six months ago, and buyers still think homes are too expensive.  That helps explain why transaction volume, especially for new houses, has fallen substantially while prices haven't (at least yet). It's a standoff. And the outcome of the standoff will, in the aggregate, play a role in shaping the future of the economy.

There is precedent for this, and it isn't a happy one. In the last housing boom, new home sales peaked in July 2005, and home prices didn't start declining until May 2006. It didn't start to hurt the overall economy until December 2007, when the damage had spread through an overleveraged global financial system.

But that doesn't mean this episode has to end in tears. Home prices are not nearly as out of line with incomes as they were then; speculative activity hasn't been nearly as frothy; and consumer debt levels are considerably more measured.   "I think income growth will help us get out of this period," said Robert Dietz, the chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. "We're probably looking at a period where existing home sales volume is flat to declining, and it now looks like 2017 was the peak year for transaction volume."

A strong (nonhousing) economy makes it more likely that this housing slump will end without a steep 2008-style downturn. So does the basic reality that young adults are forming families and need a place to house them.

But in the meantime, it could be a soft few months or even years of standoffs between buyers and sellers, with the big question of which comes first: sellers who settle for less after recognizing that the price they thought they would get is beyond the reach of buyers, or incomes that catch up with a housing market that got a little ahead of itself.

 

  • Neil Irwin, New York Times, November 15, 2018
November
6

Dallas is Top U.S. Homebuilder Market

Top U.S. Homebuilding Markets

No place builds more new houses than Dallas-Fort Worth.  As of the third quarter of this year, D-FW was the solid leader in U.S. homebuilding with almost 35,000 single-family annual home starts, according to a new report by housing market analysts at Metrostudy Inc.  Houston was second nationally with 29,370 home starts in the 12-month period ending in September. D-FW and Houston have topped the country in home construction for several years.  And the two Texas titan building markets show no sign of a slowdown. D-FW starts were up 8.7 percent and Houston starts were 6 percent higher than a year ago, Transwestern found.

 

While D-FW builders are still busy, what they are building has changed, according to Metrostudy's Paige Shipp. "Over the past 12 months, builders and developers have been addressing the need for affordable new homes by developing in previously overlooked submarkets and building smaller, less amenitized homes," said Shipp, regional director of Metrostudy's D-FW market. "As such, the median price has dropped since last year.The decrease in price is not devaluation, rather it's an indication that buyers are purchasing smaller, more affordable homes."

 

Shipp said that homebuyer traffic has slowed in North Texas in recent months. "While this cooling may worry some, it should be viewed as a positive stabilization of an overheated, frenzied market," she said. "Builders and developers should use this opportunity to catch their breaths and return to the fundamentals of homebuilding including land acquisition and selling." Shipp said the inventory of vacant new homes in the D-FW has increased to the highest level since 2012.

 

November
5

Dallas Area Home Prices Grew By Less Than 5%

Case Chart

Dallas-area home prices grew less than 5 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the latest nationwide comparison.  It was the first time in almost six years that Dallas-area home appreciation has been at such a low level in the closely-watched Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index.  "Following reports that home sales are flat to down, price gains are beginning to moderate," S&P's David M. Blitzer said in the report. "The seasonally adjusted monthly data show that 10 cities experienced declining prices.  Other housing data tell a similar story: prices and sales of new single family homes are weakening, housing starts are mixed and residential fixed investment is down in the last three quarters."

 

Home prices in North Texas have cooled in 2018 after years of double-digit percentage annual gains. Still, Dallas-area prices are about 45 percent higher than a decade ago, before the economic downturn and housing crash.  "There are no signs that the current weakness will become a repeat of the crisis," Blitzer said. "Without a collapse in housing finance like the one seen 12 years ago, a crash in home prices is unlikely." 

 

The slowdown in home price growth may be good news for potential buyers who have struggled to find homes they can afford.  "It's more welcome news for would-be homebuyers, who must be breathing a collective sigh of relief that home price growth finally has slowed," Skylar Olsen, Zillow's director of economic research, said in a statement. "Softening appreciation after the rapid growth of just a few months earlier is a sign that fierce competition is dying down.  Potential buyers who were intimidated during the heat of the market may find the breathing space now to make a calm, considered decision about whether to lock in a mortgage before rates rise further."

  • Dallas Morning News October 31, 2018

 

October
25

Selling Your Texas Home This Fall? Get It Ready With These Tips

Prepare Home Fall Sale

Dallas homes for sale enjoy some of the most beautiful autumn conditions anywhere in Texas. Our real estate agents love every minute of it – and we also love helping people get homes ready to put on the market during one of the best times of the year.

No matter whether you're considering selling your home or want to spruce things up, there are several things you can do to be prepared. With a little effort at the start of the season, you can keep your property clean and neat.

A little work today can save you on repair bills and other troubles later! Plus, the weather couldn't be better for it.

Let's look at things every Texas homeowner should do to get ready for fall.

Getting Your Yard and Property Ready for Fall

  • Winterize Your Sprinkler System
    Drain all the water from your sprinklers. This is done by turning off the water supply through closing the main valve to the sprinkler system, then opening each one of the manual drain valves until all the water drains out. This prevents water from freezing and cracking your pipes.

  • Clean Out Your Gutters
    When gutters are full of leaves, it can lead to lasting problems for your roof. Improper drainage of fall rains may cause water to seep into the ground at the foot of your home and damage your foundation. A complete cleaning before leaves start falling makes life easier.

  • Check Up on Your Weather Stripping
    Weather stripping will naturally develop some gaps around doors and windows. It's essential to fix these; resolving them improves your home's energy efficiency both in cool and warm weather. This only takes a few minutes per window and is a great DIY project.

  • Inspect Your Window Caulking
    While you're looking at weather stripping, check out caulking around windows, too. Remember, windows don't last forever: They warp over time by expanding and contracting when the weather changes. Windows older than ten years should usually be replaced.

  • Inspect Your Roof
    Your roof doesn't require quite as much attention as the rest of your exterior, but it's still a good idea to have someone take a look at it every two to three years. No matter the time of year, you should get a roof inspection after every major storm system.

Getting Your Home's Interior Ready for Fall

  • Clean the Carpets
    A professional carpet cleaning is a great way to evict any sand that's gotten into your carpets as a result of summer gatherings.

  • Deep Clean Everything
    If you have the time and energy, now's the perfect chance to start over with everything clean in the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Check the Furnace
    It's probably time to change the furnace filter. Ideally, you should also get an expert to give your system a maintenance check.

At RE/MAX DFW Associates, we're proud to be one of the largest RE/MAX companies in the United States. We're not just the largest in Texas, but #1 in the US Southwest. We've gotten there with a combination of expert advice and stellar service.

If you've been thinking about making your move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we can help you. We'll work with you every step of the way to answer your questions, help you avoid setbacks, and get you to closing fast. 

Contact us today to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

October
19

DFW Homes Sales Stumbled in 3rd Quarter

Texas Quarterly Report

Dallas Morning News, October 18, 2018

Dallas-Fort Worth was the only major Texas market that saw a decline in third quarter home sales. D-FW preowned homes sales fell 2.3 percent from third quarter 2017, according to a new report by the Texas Association of Realtors. Statewide sales were 4.4 percent higher than in the previous year. Among the big metro areas, the largest sales increase was in Houston were real estate agents sold 11.6 percent more houses than they did in third quarter 2017. 

"Our market remains extremely strong but is still slowly moving toward normalization," Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, said in the report. "Median home prices and home sales are up, but the rate of increase statewide is beginning to slow compared to prior years."

Even with the year-over-year sales decline, D-FW had the largest number of preowned property sales in the state with 27,660 properties changing hands, according to the Realtors association. The Houston-area was second with 24,028 home sales. Median home sales prices rose 4.4 percent in the third quarter from the previous year to $235,000. In D-FW, prices were up 3.9 percent to a median of $265,034.

Residential appreciation in North Texas has slowed this year after median home values grew by more than 40 percent during the last five years. D-FW had the largest inventory increase of any of the major metros - up 14.5 percent from third quarter 2017. "At the current rate that home sales and active listings are increasing, we are trending towards another record-breaking year in Texas real estate," Kaki Lybbert, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, said.

October
11

DFW Area Has One of the Biggest Gain in Home Listings

The number of "For Sale" signs is growing in North Texas' housing market.  The Dallas-Fort Worth area has had one of the biggest increases in the country in the number of homes listed for sale, according to Realtor.com. D-FW ranked eighth among the 10 major U.S. markets with the greatest increase in home listings in September, up 14 percent from the same period a year ago, according to Realtor.com.  Local real estate market numbers show that almost 26,000 preowned single-family homes were listed for sale in August with North Texas real estate agents. That's the highest volume in six years.  Nationwide, home inventories are at a 5-year high, according to Realtor.com.  "After years of record-breaking inventory declines, September's almost flat inventory signals a big change in the real estate market," Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, said in the report. "Would-be buyers who had been waiting for a bigger selection of homes for sale may finally see more listings materialize.

  • Dallas Morning News, October 3, 2018
September
20

Selling Your Home? Help with Making a Confident Counteroffer

Home Seller Counteroffers
A smart home seller is one who does their homework before listing their house, and plans for a range of possibilities in regards to potential buyers and their offers. One of the least desirable situations that you may encounter after you list your home is getting an offer that is considerably lower than what you're asking for your home. Years of experience and genuine interest in meeting your goals are what set our real estate agents apart from others, and we want you to be prepared to make a confident counteroffer should the need arise.

Have Your Strategy in Place

You may receive an offer on your home that's at or above your asking price, but if offers aren't coming in or those offers seem too low, it's best to know how you'll respond beforehand. Preparing yourself for the possible lowball offer means doing your homework before you list your home. Make sure your listing price is in line so that you'll know you're not asking too much. Property tax value, a home inspection and/or appraisal, and a comparative market analysis are great tools to use to determine what your home is worth.

Understanding current real estate market trends is also important, as they can affect how much you'll ultimately be offered for your home. A buyer's market means that there are plenty of homes to choose from, so under these conditions, getting a lower than expected offer for your house is more likely. Our real estate agents always have a firm grasp on what's happening with real estate trends, and we'll be there to offer advice and insight.

Once you have set your asking price, your agent will market your home, and those offers should start coming in soon. If you only receive a few offers, and they are disappointing, remember that you are still in control of the situation.  How flexible are you with your listing price? If your list price is reasonable for the current market, you may choose to refuse a lowball offer unless you are pressured to move quickly. Otherwise, it's time to make a counteroffer.


Counter With Confidence

Potential buyers may present you with a lowball offer to see if they can snag a real bargain in your home. If the buyer is serious, however, they will probably be expecting a counteroffer. You already know the lowest amount you're willing to accept, but you shouldn't necessarily counter with that figure. Take some time to consider all aspects of the offer and make your counter accordingly.

A give-and-take approach is common in real estate negotiations, so you might opt to lower your asking price a few thousand dollars to see if the buyer will accept or at least increase their offer by the same amount. You may have to counteroffer more than once in this case until a satisfactory proposal is presented.

You may be able to negotiate parts of the offer other than the selling price such as closing date and closing costs. If a buyer sees that you're willing to accommodate part of their terms, they may agree to your asking price or close to it than their original offer.


Making a counteroffer doesn't have to be counterproductive. As an informed, confident seller, you can make the negotiation process easier, and we're always here to guide you through the process. If you're ready to sell or would like more information about homes in our area, contact us today. We're excited to discuss your real estate needs.

September
20

Sales Slow in North Dallas Suburbs

"I would expect this somewhat disappointing spring selling season will be a bit of a wake-up call for (North Dallas suburban) home sellers, and they will eventually consider lowering asking prices, which in turn will bring some buyers back to the table," Attom Data economist Daren Blomquist said.

 

Sales Slow in North Dallas Suburbs

 

The slowdown in Dallas-Fort Worth's housing market may be worse than at first glance. Sales of preowned single-family homes dropped 1 percent annually in August in all of North Texas, according to the latest numbers from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. Those numbers include data on more than two dozen counties stretching from the Red River to Waco. When you drill down in the numbers to just the immediate D-FW area, August's dip in home purchase activity was much larger. In the Dallas area, sales of preowned homes by real estate agents fell by about 4 percent in August from a year earlier. Fort Worth-area sales managed to eke out a 1 percent year-over-year rise in home purchases made through real estate agents. But some Dallas-area residential districts saw marked declines in home buying last month.

Real estate agents say the overall numbers understate the housing sector cooldown. A look at individual neighborhoods gives clearer insight into the state of the market.  Sales last month were down almost 31 percent in Far North Dallas. They dropped 24 percent from August 2017 totals in Allen, and were off 21 percent in Coppell. Plano had a 16 percent year-over-year sales decline and sales were down more than 11 percent in Richardson and about 9 percent lower in Frisco. Not all of North Texas' markets saw the housing market hit the brakes. Sales soared 40 percent in Prosper, for instance, and were 37 percent higher in DeSoto. The pricey Park Cities market had a 29 percent jump in August sales from the previous year.

  • Dallas Morning News, September 17, 2018
August
9

Homes for Sale by Owner Can Cost You More

FSBOs Can Cost More

Questions to Ask Before Trying a FSBO

As a DIY person, you get a two-part thrill from doing things yourself.

  1. It's satisfying to complete a project with your own two hands.
  2. The money you save is an exciting bonus.

If you're a DIY kind of homeowner, you may think selling your home is the ultimate do-it-yourself project.  However, when it comes to selling your home, our REALTORS® know using the For Sale By Owner method is not necessarily the best choice. Marketing a home is exciting indeed, but experience tells us, your FSBO strategy will likely cost you more money than you save on sales commissions. Ask yourself these questions.

Do you know how to prepare your home to get the best price?

When you prepare your home correctly, you get more lookers and a better price. When you're selling a house you've lived in for a long time, it's easy to become oblivious to faded paint, broken tiles, and other conditions in need of attention. Little problems make your home less attractive to buyers. Any offers you receive will likely reflect anticipated repair and upgrade costs.

A real estate professional would walk through your home and recommend pre-listing adjustments such as repairs, decluttering, depersonalization, staging and curb appeal enhancements. 

Are you sure about your listing price?

If your price is too high, buyers may quickly scan your listing then move on to more reasonably priced homes. The "2017 NAR Profile of Home Sellers and Buyers" revealed that 15 percent of FSBO sellers had difficulty pricing their homes. REALTORS® recommend comparative market analyses of similar homes sold and pre-listing appraisals to resolve difficult listing price issues.

Do you know how to market your home?

The NAR study found that many DIY sellers relied on yard signs and relatives to get the word out. Twenty-eight percent didn't market their homes at all. While some listed via MLS and Facebook, most FSBO online marketing stats were surprisingly low. This approach can be problematic since 51 percent of buyers found their homes online. 

If real estate professionals make marketing look easy, it's because they have experience and professional resources. Real estate professionals list on MLS sites, Agency websites, and social media, and they have a built-in client base. They also have an agency budget to market homes via print media, direct mail, online videos and other sources.

Do you know how to qualify a buyer?

Unless a potential buyer has a pre-approval letter (not a pre-qualification), you shouldn't get too excited when they come to tour your home. Pre-approval means a lender has reviewed their financial and credit data and decided they are mortgage-worthy. While that letter won't guarantee a mortgage approval, it lets you know they're a serious buyer.

Do you know how to seal the deal?

Each element of your negotiation/sales process--offers, counter-offers, sales agreements, closing documents--require written contracts. Each contract outlines seller and buyer duties, responsibilities, and the steps you must take to make the sale a reality. When you do it all DIY, you might end up hoping for the best as you sign off on a contract written by the buyer's attorney. 

Are you willing to accept less?

NAR's 2017 study determined that professionals negotiated better sale prices. The average home price for an FSBO sale was $190,000 while homes listed and sold by real estate professionals went for an average of $249.000. 

Selling Your Home in the DFW

Selling a house can be far more complicated than you imagine, but our professionals are ready to assist you. Contact us at RE/MAX DFW Associates when you're ready to list your home for sale in the Dallas - Fort Worth real estate area.

July
26

Benefits of Professional Photos to Sell Your Home

Sell Your Home Professional Photos
Every seller wants their home to look its best. With all the visual marketing prospective buyers are exposed to today, getting professional photos of your home can be a real game changer. Using a real estate photographer will help your home get sold faster and for top dollar.

The Role Photos Play When Selling

Thanks to the internet and social media, most buyers now start their home searches online. They scout neighborhoods, pick a price range, and see what kinds of amenities are available. Potential buyers even use it to passively shop and help them make the decision to call a real estate agent in the first place. According to The National Association of REALTORS®, over half of buyers found the home they purchased on the internet. And The Wall Street Journal says buyers only spend 20% of that time online reading descriptions of a property, while 60% is spent viewing the photos.

You can't disregard that kind of impact. Selling a home requires as many potential buyers as possible. The internet is where those buyers are. And the internet is extremely visual. If the photos aren't great, buyers will move on without seeing the home in person.

We've all heard the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". Often word counts and character number restrictions just won't allow a written description to do a home justice. Sure, it's helpful. But "four bedrooms, two bathrooms" leaves a lot to the imagination. Great photos will fill in that gap and guide buyers that are a good fit right to your home.

Why Professional Photos

Not all photos are created equal. We've all seen photos taken with poor equipment, bad lighting, unnatural colors, and questionable editing, just to name a few. While most pros know how to avoid those problems, one that specializes in real estate photography offers additional advantages.

  • Superior shot composition. The photographer will be able to make sure photos are creative, staged correctly, and attract the interest of the buyer.
  • Getting the right photos. The photos of your home should appeal to all buyers and provide the essential information they need. Finding out afterward that you don't have a photo of the outside or the kitchen isn't going to help sell your house.
  • Knowing how the photos will be used. Real estate photos are used to sell, and an experienced real estate photographer will keep that in mind. They'll also understand how the agent will use the photos. MLS, social media, and email all have different requirements and a real estate photographer will likely be familiar with the most of them.

A Note About Luxury Homes

Luxury homes are a bigger investment and you need to make sure you're getting what your home is really worth. You'll need to highlight all those amazing features and high-end amenities. When buyers look at these homes, they're really thinking about the lifestyle a home purchase of this kind implies. A real estate photographer will make sure buyers have no problem imagining the lifestyle they're looking for. While it may seem expensive, homes with professional photos sell for more money. That increase is usually much more than the cost of the photos.

Amazing photos help buyers associate positive feelings specifically with your home. That gives you a real advantage when they see it in person. Our REALTORS® at RE/MAX DFW Associates will make sure you have all the resources you need to get your home sold. Contact us today to speak with an agent to find out what we can do for you.

May
30

The Real Estate Slowdown is Real: Don't Panic as Buyers Bring Balance

by Seth Fowler

 

(This article appeared in Candy's Dirt.  It is specific to the Ft Worth side of the Metroplex, but the facts are the same for all of North Texas.)

 

Real Estate Slowdown

Some will agree, and some won't,  but data doesn't lie — we are heading into a real estate slowdown.

 

First of all…R-E-L-A-X.  No, we are not heading toward a recession.  No, the housing market isn't crumbling.  No, it's not time to sell your home, stock up on canned beans, ammo, and get off the grid.  But the real estate market is changing … dare we call it a slowdown?

How Can You Say It's a Slowdown?

How can I say this? We are in the midst of an historical real estate boom like we've never seen before and everything we hear and read says the market is hot, hotter, hottest!  Please hear me: the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is still by far the absolute best place in the world to live, work, play, and own real estate.  The daily, weekly, monthly growth that is happening to this part of the state is still out of this world.

But the market is experiencing a slowdown.  Interest rates are rising .  Municipalities are getting more and more greedy with property taxes.  Home values are increasing at a rapid pace.  New home construction is increasingly expensive and not meeting demand.  Wages aren't increasing as quickly as prices and that's causing a slowdown in the real estate market.

 

In Part One we will look at those factors and how they combine to cause this slowdown.  In Part Two next week, we will discuss whether or not an actual slowdown in the real estate market is a good thing, a precursor to doom-and-gloom (again, R-E-L-A-X), and what it means for buyers and sellers in this brave new world.

Just The Facts Ma'am

According to the Fort Worth Housing Report distributed by the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors, the median sales price of homes is going up, up, and up.  Up 9.7 percent from February 2017 to 2018 at $214,000.  Up 9.3 percent from March 2017 to 2018 at $219,750.  Up 7.3 percent from April 2017 to 2018 at $220,000.  We see that the overall price continues to increase, but the percentage from year-to-year is falling a little bit.  Across the country home prices increased 8.7 percent over the past year according to a recent Zillow report.  Increases like this simply are not sustainable in the long run for a stable economy.  While sellers enjoy their large return on their investment, fewer and fewer buyers are able or willing to pay these steep increases.

Active Listings And Days on Market

From same reports active listings were up 3.4 percent from February 2017 to 2018 at 1,668 homes.  Up 6.4 percent from March 2017 to 2018 at 1,851. Up 17.1 percent from April 2017 to 2018 at 2,105.  The more listings the better right?  Well, yes and no is the answer.  Yes more listings on the market the better for buyers.  But that's only if they are good listings that are priced correctly.  Days on market has also increased.  Homes sat for one day longer in February 2018 than 2017 at 43 days.  Seven days longer in March 2018 than 2017 at 44 days.  Seven days longer in April 2018 than 2017 at 37 days.

No — not time to panic — but numbers don't lie.  Buyers are gaining some control.

Word on The Street

While considering this article over the past month or more, I have talked to many agents, lenders, and title company officers in the D/FW area and 100 percent of them have mentioned how it appears that the buyers are finally pushing back at the skyrocketing prices.  Sellers have been in control for a number of years when it comes to asking price.  Depending on the range, sellers have tended toward higher asking prices and buyers have very little recourse.  If a buyer wants a house then they'll meet asking price … or go higher.  As inventory increases (albeit slightly) we are seeing buyers be a little pickier and price conscious.  It's not as if buyers are offering 50 cents on the dollar, but more than ever in the past year we are seeing lower offers as homes sit longer on the market.  Of course there are variables like price range and location and condition of homes — I know that — so these stats might not apply for all homes universally.

In Summary

We have been living in the longest real estate boom in the history of ever.  It's not going away, it's just not booming like it was, and I contest that it will not boom like that again.  A slowdown is happening and will continue to happen.  While this might cause panic for some, it could also be just what our overall economy needs — balance.  Come back next week and see what else I have to say.  If you disagree with this article — or if you agree — hit me up, let me know, I'd love to hear YOUR perspective.

Well that's all from Tarrant County this week Dirty Readers.  Thanks for reading and following and sharing!  As always, if you have questions, comments or great ideas for a blog … hit me up!

Seth Fowler is a licensed Real Estate Sales Professional for Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth, TX.  Statements and opinions are his and his alone.  Seth has been involved with the home sales and real estate industry in the Fort Worth area since 2004.  He and his family have lived in the area for over 15  years.  Seth also loves bowties!  You can reach Seth at: 817.980.6636 or seth.fowler@williamstrew.com.

 

April
19

3 Reasons Why a CMA Sells Your Home

Why a CMA Sells Your Home
Real estate transactions don't happen in a vacuum, and understanding the conditions of your local market will play a key role in setting the right price to get your home sold. A comparative market analysis (CMA) is one of the most important tools that your real estate agent has for analyzing the market, and it's something that every seller should look for before putting a home on the market. A CMA looks at what similar homes on the market have listed for and sold for, along with listings that have expired (usually) due to a lack of offers. Our REALTORS® rely on CMAs as part of the process of finding the right price for your home, and we've put together three reasons why a CMA will help sell your home.

CMA Basics

1.  A CMA Helps Take Emotion Out of the Equation 

Even if you're excited about moving on to your next home, there may be some sentimental attachments to your old one that influence your asking price in negative ways. A CMA is a great tool for seeing your home as buyers will see it, in comparison to similar homes in your area. With a CMA, you can set a price based on the realities of the market, and where your home fits into it. It doesn't mean you'll have to list the home for a bargain, but it does give you a better chance of making a competitive listing to maximize your return on investment while minimizing the time that your home spends on the market.

2.  A CMA Will Make You a More Informed Seller

Selling a house can feel a little overwhelming at times, even if you've done it before with success. There's so much information to sort through, and it's not always easy to figure out on your own which market factors are most important. A CMA gets directly to the heart of the issue, by looking at what other similar homes have sold for in the area, how long they similar homes have spent on the market, and how the sale price of homes in the area compares to their list price. So if you're competing with other Dallas homes for sale, a CMA will help give you an idea of exactly what you're up against, and how you can best approach the market. And you don't have to figure out all of the data alone! Your real estate agent should be a great source of help when making sense of your CMA.

3.  A CMA Is Focused on Your Needs

While it's true that you can learn plenty about real estate prices and demographics by researching online, most of the time you'll be getting very general information. If you're selling Fort Worth homes, then you're not really worried about what houses in Houston are selling for, and you may not even be too worried about homes in Fort Worth that are outside of your neighborhood. A CMA is focused on similar "comps" for your home, which removes some of the noise from the equation by getting rid of homes that aren't comparable to yours. Since a CMA tells you about the homes that don't sell in your area, you'll also have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of other sellers and set a competitive price.

Are you searching for a real estate team who uses all of the latest tools and tactics to get your home sold?

Contact us at RE/MAX DFW Associates to buy and sell homes throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area

March
13

3 Tips for Sellers to Prevent Home Inspection Disasters

Tips for Sellers Home Inspections

When you're selling a house, few moments are more nerve-wracking than the home inspection. No matter how much you've prepared for the big day and how well you've maintained your home over the years, there will always be some anxiety until the inspector gives your home a clean bill of health. Avoiding unpleasant surprises during a home inspection starts with preparation and education. It is important to prepare your home for the inspection, and educate yourself on what to expect from each step in the inspection process. We're here to help, by highlighting three big mistakes that you definitely don't want to make on inspection day.

Home Inspection Disasters: Three Big Mistakes to Avoid on Inspection Day

  1. Not Researching Your Inspector – Settling for a substandard home inspector is one of the easiest mistakes to make when selling your home, and only invites problems in the future. A good home inspector is not necessarily hard to find, but you will definitely want to do some research before choosing who will inspect your home. The best home inspectors take their work seriously, and understand what it takes to create a comprehensive picture of the home's health.

    Word of mouth referrals remain one of the best ways to identify a good home inspector. Start by finding a REALTOR® that you trust, and asking them for feedback on inspectors in your area. If a friend, family member, or colleague recently had an inspection, they might have good advice as well. Even if you do get a referral from a trusted source, take the time to research the inspector on your own to be sure.

  2. Not Prepping Your Home – Let's say you're selling a house in Dallas and it's the heart of summer. Your inspector arrives, already sweating from the summer heat and finds a home with obstructions around every corner. The basement is locked, the closets are full to the brim with stuff and kids' toys are strewn on the floor. Not a great way to encourage a careful, thorough home inspection.

    A messy, cluttered home will make life much more difficult for you, and your home inspector. Prepare for inspection day by cleaning the home, clearing space around attic/crawlspace access points, and gathering keys for any doors that the inspector will need to open.

  3. Depending on DIY – This is one of the most common home inspection mistakes, but also one of the easiest to avoid. Whether you're addressing potential problems before inspection or making repairs afterward, only attempt DIY repairs if you have extensive experience with the work required. There is little more frustrating than sinking hours and dollars into a major DIY repair project only to find out from your home inspector that professional repairs will still be needed.

So if you're selling a house in Fort Worth and have some structural issues to deal with, contacting a contractor you trust is a great way to avoid potential headaches. This is another situation where it really pays to get feedback from your REALTOR® and others you trust because finding the right contractor will make your life much easier. There are many merits to DIY projects when the pressure is lower, but home inspection just isn't the right time to show off your handy side.

Need a hand preparing to sell your home? Our team at RE/MAX DFW Associates is here to help. Contact us for everything you need to buy and sell homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

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