Still Waiting on the Fence?

“I am going to wait until the market bottoms out to buy.”

Is there ever a perfect time to buy? Yes, when you need or want to move. I hear it quite often … “I am going to hold off until the market bottoms out.” But what you don’t realize is that when the market “bottoms out” it usually means its already starting to turn around and with that can come stiff competition when making an offer to buy the home of your dreams. Everyone tends to scramble to get the best deal at that point, leaving you contending with multiple offers on the home you want — and before you know it, poof … it’s a seller’s market again! Opportunity is lost.

“I am going to wait to see if the rates go any lower.”

Rates are currently hovering around 5% and under if you have a decent credit score! These rates are historically low! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying … “You snooze you lose.”  Rates are starting to go back up so any future price decreases in homes for sale may just be a wash … think about it … if the interest rates climb, you are spending thousands more over a long term mortgage … who out there likes giving the bank extra money? Not me!

Home prices do not necessarily coincide with interest rates. For example, even if the home drops in price and the interest rate goes up, you lost money in the long-term. Rates are low NOW and Spring is the busiest marketing time of the year … Why? Most people like to do their moving when their children are out of school and before the school year begins plus they have the additional cushion of their income tax refunds. If I my real estate crystal ball is correct, I predict a busy spring this year … so maybe it’s time to think about jumping off the fence?

Thinking about buying? Check out my BUYER’S TOOLKIT!

 “Sellers are desperate.”

I am really not seeing this in certain markets and locations. While some markets have been hit hard, Real Estate is still all about “location, location.”  Real Estate is VERY local; markets vary across the country and from town to town. Here in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs I am finding that most sellers are really NOT desperate at all. Unless there is some unforeseen disaster or the property is a distress sale, sellers are not as desperate as the media would have you believe. So as the old school 80’s song goes … “DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!” (Public Enemy)

In fact, Philadelphia and it’s surrounding suburbs have not been hit as hard as the rest of the country. Overall, we have only seen a slight decrease in home prices as compared to other states and now that Spring is around the corner and interest rates are still low (but on the rise), I am seeing a huge increase in activity, even multiple offers on properties again!

Sellers still need to do their best to make their home marketable and to keep it in tip-top shape to compete with the other properties for sale in their area. Pricing the property well is key and always take into consideration the way the home shows compared to other properties on the market if you cannot afford to fix up the home to show. 

For some tips please check out my SELLER’S TOOLKIT! Thinking of selling? Now may be the time to go for it! 

Ready to Make a Move? Contact Me Today!

Kim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
The #1 RE/MAX Office in the City of Philadelphia
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149

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My Hero!

I seem to write a lot about the programs on HGTV. Maybe because I am the ultimate HGTV addict and I eat, sleep and drink, all things Real Estate.  HGTV is on at my house until they turn off their light and say “Good Night” to me.  Yes, I am an official junkie and may need “intervention” myself.  HGTV recently gave us a wonderful new show and has introduced to me my new hero…  Mr. Mike Aubrey. I love this man.  He’s to the point, no B.S. … a man after my own heart.  Real Estate Intervention is a new series that focuses on overpriced real estate. His goal is to make the seller see that the market has changed and sometimes not in their favor. 

My Hero, Mr. Mike Aubrey

My Hero, Mr. Mike Aubrey

Mike … please come to my area and hold classes on how to properly price a listing. These classes should not only be for home sellers, but their listing agents. The Class on Brass, see I even named the course for you.

Note to home seller:  We as agents understand that you the home seller wants top dollar for your home. Who wouldn’t?  But when a listing is OVERPRICED for current market conditions, the home sits. Any good buyer’s agent is going to explain to their client the home’s real value based on comparable recent sales before making any offer, if the home even gets shown at all.  If you aren’t getting showings, you may have priced your home OUT of the market.

Today’s home buyers are not stupid, do not underestimate them. They have many tools available to them to that will help them understand today’s market, current comparable sales and property values and with the help of their agent can determine their offer, their “fair market value” offer.

I see it over and over, a home seller lists with the agent who told them what they wanted to hear. The agent gave them the highest list price of all the agents they interviewed only to have their home sit on the market much longer than it should have and usually they end up getting much less.

The newest obstacle I am coming across is the agent that does this, knows they overpriced the property and when an offer comes in, that is near asking price or at asking price, the agent says, “Oh, I don’t want to sell that high because I am afraid of appraisal issues.”   …Huh? … What?!!??  Agents … please tell me I am not the only one who has heard this recently? Is it enough to make you want to …. oh nevermind, I won’t go there.

Believe it or not, I have come across this several times in the last month alone.  Not only is this a disservice to their client, the seller, but very unfair to the buyer who looks at you to explain the listing agent’s tactics because they offered asking price (to maybe) get full seller’s assist (up to 6% of purchase price towards closing costs).  Their offer is countered because it is “too high” … again … huh?

Buy Me .... List Price 1,000,000.00

Buy Me .... List Price 1,000,000.00

And so now the appraisal … it comes in too LOW. Now what do you do? Buyer doesn’t want to over pay for the home, would you? And the  seller doesn’t want to reduce the price because the seller thinks their home is worth more. Both sides are understandable. Your options at this point are to renegotiate the price or the buyer must come up with the difference in cash between appraised value and sales price, if the lender agrees to give the buyer a loan for the overpriced property…. or the deal dies and everyone is unhappy. The buyer lost money for inspections and appraisals and the seller lost a qualified buyer and the home goes back on the market … overpriced and sits. And sits.

The moral of the story is whether you are a home-seller or a listing agent .. please do the market and yourself a favor … please list according to the current market conditions. Current market conditions determine the value of a property. Today’s appraisals are predominantly based on sales (closed, settled transactions) within the past 6 months.  Because so many people today are upside down in their homes, because there are so many short sales and foreclosures, all of this takes its toll on property value.

It’s not something a home seller likes to hear, but thank you Mr. Aubrey for bringing it to the public! My hero!

Contact Kim Schreiner:
Kimberly Schreiner, ePRO, Realtor® PA License RS291767
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
Kim’s Official Website
Cell 215-510-2149 Office 215-992-1726
Serving Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties

Agents Making a Move .. Switching Brokerages in Real Estate Pt. 1

What's Out There?

What's Out There?

Searching hi and low on the Internet for some advice on what it’s like for an established real estate agent to switch brokerages, I found that I was not coming across anything helpful. Hopefully, you’ve come across this series of blogs looking for the same answers and have found me.

”What’s

My real estate career began in 2005 at the height of a seller’s market but also the beginning of one of the worst real estate markets this country has ever seen. I had already had a very successful career in accounting and office management, but the daily grind and “same ole, same ole …” I just knew I needed something more.

Boy did I get it!

Big Change #1 – I met my husband in the early 2000’s and in 2004 we had our son. Dropping my 4 month old son off at a daycare center at 8:30AM and not picking him up until some time after 5PM was enough to make me consider a serious overhaul and to reevaluate what was important to me.

Big Change #2 – I left a very secure job working for people who were like family to me. I cannot thank my husband enough for his never ending support! I decided to pursue a career in real estate, something I have always had a strong curiosity about but rumor had it real estate was a tough career! Luckily for me, I don’t listen very well when people tell me I cannot do something or that something is hard. I am always up for a new challenge and by all means a career in real estate is very challenging and VERY rewarding in ways more than in monetary value.

Big Change #3I earned my real estate license! Now what do I do? You know the old saying, about how school is nothing like the real world? Yes, this most certainly holds true for the real estate industry. I began my career with a brokerage that held my hand with every transaction – this is something I strongly recommend for any rookie. My manager took the time to answer every question that came about no matter when I called or emailed. I was told that I was “a natural” —

With dedication, persistence and self-discipline (working from home the majority of the time AND being an Independent Contractor – you had better have self-discipline or find another career) — my business grew. I had a strong grasp of what it takes to be a successful real estate agent. I had built a nice-sized client base and achieved a hard-earned, good reputation in the industry.

So, you ask .. why change? I wrestled with that decision for over a year. It takes so much time to become established in the real estate world, it simply makes it hard to move! I was attending a GRI course with many other agents from all different companies… of course we talk… we’re Realtors®! I heard about the many different types of office models… and my interest grew. I needed to see if it would work for me. Then one day someone put it in a little different perspective for me, it was suggested that I needed to be loyal to myself first.

Some brokerages are geared towards newer agents, with plenty of education, training and “hand-holding.” Some offices take an agent, give them a desk and you are left alone in the crazy and often chaotic world of real estate. Some offer agents a little bit of both. There are many different types of pay structures. Obviously, where you are in your career will help you decide what is right for you, what YOU need. No model is perfect, none is right or wrong. Education? More Independence? That decision is not always easy!

So here I am, about to “take the leap” — To describe the feeling, it’s like trying to climb a set of stairs that you cannot see the top of … wondering where this move will go? It seems there is no ceiling in a real estate career. You are what you work for; it’s all up to YOU and that in itself is exciting!

I hope you will follow me on a series of blogs as I make my move. And by the way … if you or anyone you know is also thinking about making a “move” I am sure that I can help!

Big Change #4 … Hello RE/MAX Affiliates, N.E.!

… To Be Continued!

For detailed information on a career in real estate check out:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-09 Edition
Real Estate Brokers & Sales Agents

More blogs in this series:
The First Week
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Contact Kim Schreiner:
Kimberly Schreiner, ePRO, Realtor® PA License RS291767
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
Kim’s Official Website
Cell 215-510-2149 Direct 215-992-1726 Office 215-335-6900
Serving Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties

Today’s Real Estate Myths Challenged

“I am going to wait until the market bottoms out to buy.”
Is there ever a perfect time to buy? Yes, when you need or want to move. I hear it quite often … “I am going to hold off until the market bottoms out.” But what you don’t realize is that when the market “bottoms out” that means it is quite possibly already starting to turn around and with that can come stiff competition when making an offer to buy the home of your dreams. Everyone tends to scramble to get the best deal at that point, leaving you contending with multiple offers on the home you want — and before you know it, poof … it’s a seller’s market!

“I am going to wait to see if the rates go any lower.”
Rates are currently under 6% if you have a decent credit score! They haven’t been this low in years. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying … “You snooze you lose.”  No one can predict when the rates are going to bottom out, just the same as no one can predict when home prices are going to bottom out, if they could there would be a lot of millionaires in the world and most of us aren’t millionaires. Home prices do not necessarily coincide with interest rates. For example, even if the home drops in price and the interest rate goes up, you lost money in the long term. Rates are low NOW and Spring is the busiest marketing time of the year … Why? Most people like to do their moving when their children are out of school and before the school year begins plus they have the additional cushion of their income tax refunds. If I had a crystal ball, I would see a busy spring this year even if the rates do not go any lower.

“Sellers are desperate.”
Real Estate is VERY local; markets vary across the country and from town to town. Here in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs I am finding that most sellers are NOT desperate. Unless there is some unforeseen disaster or the property is a distress sale, sellers are not as desperate as the media would have you believe. In fact, Philadelphia and it’s surrounding suburbs have not been hit as hard as the rest of the country. Overall, we have only seen a slight decrease in home prices and now that Spring is around the corner and interest rates are super low, I am seeing a huge increase in activity, even multiple offers on properties again! Sellers need to do their best to make their home marketable and to keep it in tip top shape to compete with the other properties for sale in their area. Price the property well always taking into consideration the way the home shows compared to other properties on the market if you cannot afford to fix up the home to show; for some tips please visit my For Home Seller’s Page! My best guess would say that the Spring market is going to be booming if the rates remain at all time lows.