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Friday, October 19, 2018

Why Do I Send These Videos?

Why do I make these videos every two weeks? Here’s my explanation. 

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Why do I send these videos out to you each month? The reason is twofold.

First, I want to bring you my knowledge about real estate. From letting you know how the market is doing right now, to showing how you can use tricks of the trade like a 1031 exchange to maximize your investments, there’s just so much information that we have to share. These videos are a great way to get the information from my brain to yours. 
I always want to make you look good.
Secondly, we’ve come to find that we haven’t always been top-of-mind with our clients. What that means is that we’re not always the first person our past clients have thought about when it comes to real estate. We want to change this. If you run across a real estate problem, or if someone you like, know, and trust has any real estate needs, I want you to know that I will do a great job for them. I want to make you look good.

We’re out here in the market every day and we hope you continue to like the videos. If you have any questions for me in the meantime or any suggestions on future topics, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Are Interest Rates Affecting the Real Estate Market?

The average mortgage rate is at a seven-year high. Is this what’s behind the shift we’re seeing in the market? 

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The 30-year fixed mortgage rate currently stands at around 4.77%. That's near a seven-year high, and almost 1% higher than just a year ago. This is the result of a steady rise starting last September and ending this May.

What impact is this having on the real estate market? It's certainly true that affordability is down. In fact, one estimate from June found that home affordability is at a 10-year low. This is translating into fewer home sales, fewer viewings, and fewer mortgage applications.

However, I don't believe that the shifts in the mortgage rate is the primary mover of the changes we're seeing in the real estate market. In fact, even at its current level, the mortgage rate is still historically low.

Instead, the big reason for the changes in the real estate market is the ongoing growth in prices. Over the past several years, home prices have gone up at close to twice the rate of inflation, and have far outstripped the growth of incomes. 
Over the past several years, home prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation.
The price increases, in turn, have been caused by a lack of inventory, which has been shrinking for the past three years. In my opinion, it’s this lack of inventory (and the resulting hike in prices) that explains most of the effects on the real estate market that I listed above.

If you're looking to sell, you should still have no trouble doing so. Demand continues to outstrip supply, and even with dropping affordability, it's very likely that you would find a buyer quickly and at a top price.

If you're looking to buy, the picture is more complex, because it's so hard to predict what the mortgage rate might do in the near term. One thing we do know is that the severe lack of inventory is unlikely to change any time soon.

As always, if you have questions about the Greater Phoenix real estate market, whether you're buying or selling, you can give me a call or send me an email. I'm here to help.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Is Greater Phoenix Entering a Buyer’s Market?

After being in a seller’s market for quite some time now, it looks like a shift is on the horizon. Here’s what you can expect. 

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After several years of continuous price gains, the real estate market seems to be reaching its price cap. In June, the last month for which we have complete numbers, 14% of all listings saw a price cut. That's up from a low of 11.7% at the end of 2016.

In the same month, housing demand fell 9.6%, the largest decline in over two years. Mortgage applications to purchase a home have decreased as well. 

A few things are at play here. One is rising mortgage rates, which have been steadily climbing for much of this year. Another is an overall decrease in affordability, resulting from a combination of the growth in home prices and mortgage rates. 

If this is the start of a buyer's market, it's unlikely to be just a momentary blip. One sign of this is that homebuilder sentiment has recently fallen to the lowest point in almost a year. In other words, homebuilders are losing confidence in their business due to the mentioned affordability concerns. 
This is certainly good news if you’re looking to buy a home.
So, what does this mean for you?

Well, it's certainly good news if you're looking to buy, because it means you will have more choice at more affordable prices.

On the other hand, if you've been thinking of selling, this might mean that it’s time to act. Listing your home now would give you the best odds of achieving a top price before the change in the market occurs. 

Remember that all real estate is local. There are big differences even within the Greater Phoenix area, and prices can change from block to block. 

If you want more specific information about the Greater Phoenix market, or you're mulling over the idea of buying or selling a home, give me a call or send me an email. I'm here to help.

Monday, June 11, 2018

These 8 Questions Will Determine Whether Your Realtor Is Right for You

As a home seller, there are eight key questions you should ask a Realtor before hiring them.

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If you’re selling your home and you’re interviewing a Realtor to represent you, here are eight questions you need to ask them before hiring them:

1. “How much experience do you have?” By “experience,” I mean how many transactions they’ve worked from beginning to end—not how many years they’ve been in the business. I’ve met plenty of agents who brag about being in the business for 30 years but only sell two or three homes a year. That’s not the same as someone who’s relatively new to the business but still sells 90 homes per year. 

2. “What do your sales numbers look like?” The key here is not to ask about their list-to-sale price ratio, as that can be skewed in a market like ours where multiple offer situations are common. Rather, you should ask about how many homes they’ve listed and how many of those homes sold. 

3. “What specifically are you going to do for me?” Other than putting a sign in your yard and entering your home into the MLS, what else will they do for you? What’s their monthly marketing budget? What does their buyer acquisition plan look like? The answers to these questions are a tell-tale sign of what your agent has in store for you. 
These questions will help you when you interview your next Realtor.
4. “Do you have references?” It doesn’t hurt to ask about an agent’s previous clients and how they fared working with them. 

5. “What is your cancellation guarantee?” Do they even have a cancellation guarantee that allows you to cancel your contract if you want? This is another tell-tale sign of whether an agent is confident in their ability to get your home sold and put their money where their mouth is. 

6. “How much do you charge?” This is very important for obvious reasons. 

7. “Are you part of a team or are you an individual agent?” Some sellers prefer to work with the same person from the beginning of the transaction all the way to the end, while others just want to work with the best person for each situation. This question will help you understand what will happen during the process so you can set your expectations accordingly. 

8. “How did you arrive at the suggested listed price?” An agent will suggest a list price for your home, and they should have an explanation as to how they came up with that price. 

If you have any more questions about what to ask an agent before hiring them or you have any other real estate needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

We are so grateful for YOU! 😍

You all have made my Valentine’s Day! We recently sent out a small token of appreciation, and the outpouring of love and thanks in return has been incredible.

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You should have all received your Valentine’s Day card from Riddle Realty, along with your delicious brownies. 

I am just so grateful to all of you because we have received a huge outpouring of love back. We sent these out to our family, friends, and clients that have supported us over the years as a little token to say hello, and you all have made it bigger than anything. 
You all have made my Valentine’s Day!
We are getting messages on Facebook and our email is blowing up with thank yous, and it is such a wonderful feeling. You all have made my Valentine’s Day—thank you so much! I hope you have a wonderful day as well.

Friday, January 26, 2018

What Happens to Your Contact Info on Real Estate Sites?

You are searching for homes on a Realtor’s website when a box pops up asking for your contact information. What happens after you enter it?

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When you search for real estate information, you will come across many websites that ask you for your contact information. 

My website will ask you for your contact information, which then simply goes to our team. I don’t sell that information or do anything else with it other than call you back to see how we can better serve you. 

I get comments on our website all of the time from people who say, “I would like to look at homes without entering my contact information.”

In the spirit of transparency, we are only getting your contact information to see if you need further help. 

On the other hand, there are other websites that promise great things only to sell your information down the road. 

For example, there is a down payment assistance website that looks very official. It looks like a government website, and it talks about all of this grant money it can get you so that you can purchase a home without a down payment. 
We will never sell your information to anyone.
That program does exist, we have helped many buyers get into a home like that. 

However, if you enter your contact information into that website, they will sell it to any Realtor who wants to pay for it. 

When you enter your contact information on our home search website, we will call you to help you find a home. This other website does not connect you with a lender or financial institution to help you get this grant. Instead, they send your information to Realtors across the country who may or may not understand how this program works. 

Ultimately, it’s important to find out what will happen to your contact information before you enter it in any website. 

If you are looking to buy or sell in any area, go to a Realtor’s website. Find the best of the best. Look for a Realtor who has tons of experience and can answer your questions. 

We are here to help you. If you have any questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!