It’s amazing! Our market continues to flourish despite the rest of the economy and other market segments in the real estate business. Year to date, our transactions are up 21% over last year numbers. Our belief is that we provide our agents with up-to-date, cutting edge, continuous training to keep them current which has helped us excel in today’s perceived “down” market. In addition to our success, nationally, June’s numbers of existing-home sales rose for the third consecutive month with inventory easing and home prices declining less sharply in June, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Our belief is that low rates, lower prices, and the $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers are fueling our business.
Some of the trends we are closely monitoring are the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act and the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act to educate our clients on how the appraisal and lending process will impact their sale from a valuation and timeframe standpoint. In addition, we are closely monitoring new loan programs, revisiting underutilized programs such as VHDA, buy downs, and FHA ARMS to find ways to finance our purchasers. And we are continuing to stay up-to-date on short sales and the short sale process. Our experience has been that the process is taking longer and we are having more difficulty in getting them through the banks. Nationally, only 23% of short sales are getting to settlement. Make sure to stay current on these changes and updates to give the right advice.
A few additional insights are that new home sales continue to flourish, there are more move up buyers entering our market and when we meet the appraiser we are having fewer value issues. By providing them with comparable sales and details on those sales (short sale, condition, foreclosure, etc.), information on activity, days on market comparisons, number of contracts received and current market conditions to provide the appraiser at the time of the inspection – we are experiencing fewer problems. We still are having appraisal issues but by meeting the appraiser at the house, we have experienced more appraisals coming in at value than we previously encountered.
By staying on top of industry trends, changes within our industry, and educating yourself and clients, you will gain more loyal clients and receive more referrals. Get it? Got it? Good!