Real Estate Success: How To Excel In 2015

You either rise to the challenge or you don’t.

HIGH PERFORMANCE success tips from Basketball to Business

Which will you do – rise and excel?

Will you do nothing or the same things you have always done and get what you have always received or get even less?

What will you become if you do act?

You need to make the decision to accept the challenge of achieving your goals. 

You have set them for yourself.  Act accordingly to make them happen.  Put the action items in your calendar, plan each day the night before, have a to do list of high priority activities in place to accomplish your goals and do them.  Get a routine in place and make it a habit.  If you want time, you need to make it – you won’t find it.  Your calendar is gateway to success.

Too often I hear excuses of why something cannot be done.  Stop with the excuses and start making things happen.  It is a choice.  It is easy to do nothing it is hard to make a change, accept the challenge and become better.  You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.

The critical thing you need to realize is you have to start.  Whatever you need to do to take the first step to success and achievement.  Put down the fork, go to the gym, make the call, go to the networking event, hold the open house, blog, do videos, visit with your past clients, just do the activity.  Whatever the goal you want to attain needs to start with “a first step”.  What is your first step?  Why?  What happens if you don’t take it?  More importantly, what happens if you do?  Life is full of choices – make the right ones to get you moving in a positive direction and get you out of your rut.

Important things to remember are to not overestimate the competition and do not underestimate yourself.  You are better than you think.  By doing the activities required for success, you will develop the skills, mental toughness and ability to forge ahead when things get difficult.  By taking action you gain confidence in your abilities, you stretch outside your comfort zone and you learn. 

Will you make mistakes?  Yes. 

Will it be difficult at times?  Yes.

Will it kill you? NO. 

So stop wasting time and move forward and grow from what you have learned.  Go out and make your own luck.

You have set your goals – do what it takes to make them happen.  You wouldn’t have written them out if you didn’t expect them to happen.  Life is changing rapidly, daily and you need to adjust to become better and make your dreams come true.  It is so important to increase your level of commitment so you can overcome the frustrations you have had with your previous results.  Doing nothing to change to improve yourself is actually regressing.  Regression is not an option.  Take the appropriate action required.  Now is the time.  Procrastination is over and 2015 is the time to start to make something more of yourself.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

 

With No True Spring-Selling Market, What Will It Take To Sell Your Home in 2014?

Housing Inventory Increase

Wow, it is hard to believe that we are almost half way through 2014 and summer is just about to get into full swing.  It is going to be interesting to see how we get through the real estate market this summer as we had no true spring selling season.  At our June Quarterly Meeting, I announced our numbers were up so far this year but we were expecting to have helped more families buy and sell homes up to this point.  Of course the weather got in the way early on and now that school is about to get out, people will be taking their vacations.  So it is important for sellers to be prepared for the upcoming situation.

Our inventory levels have continued to escalate since the warm weather broke in May.  It has resulted in us having more homes for sale than any time since October on 2011.  As we enter the summertime, the season generally slows down which will increase inventory as well, so sellers need to do all they can to attract the buyers that are out looking for a new home.  Sellers need to position their properties accordingly, as there is currently a 2 month supply of houses on the market.  The inside and the outside of the house needs to shine and show like a model home, as well as be priced to sell!  We are not able to “push” prices like we did earlier this year. What it takes to sell your house in 2014The sellers who overprice their properties, even just above what we recommend, sit on the market.  Additionally, we are having appraisal issues with properties in areas where there are no sales to support the higher values – even in multiple contract situations in arm’s length transactions.  The underwriting guidelines have made it tougher to get above market values approved, so please price your house accordingly.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to discuss your specific situation or the market, feel free to call me today (703) 652-5777.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Hyper-local Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Has Sellers and Realtors Nervous

Watch Scott’s Market Minute on YouTube:   Hyper-local Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Has Sellers and Realtors Nervous

 

Inventory of houses for sale in Northern Virginia increased again this week.  A hyper-local real estate market can be a challenge for buyers, sellers, and their REALTOR.

Watch and listen as Scott MacDonald of RE/MAX Gateway offers the insight and explains strategies necessary for success in the Northern Virginia real estate market.

If you would like to discuss your specific real estate market, options or challenges, give Scott MacDonald of RE/MAX Gateway a call (703) 652-5777

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Video

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market UPDATE! What You Need To Know To Sell Your Home

House inventory has dramatically increased in Northern Virginia. Buyers have more options. Real Estate Agents & Sellers alike… You need to watch this video blog for tips and tricks to help sell the home. Want to talk about your property in specific? Call Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 or email scottmacdonald@remax.net read more… https://scottymacsblog.com/

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Scott’s Market Minute: Spring Real Estate Market Is Warming Up

Residential inventory of houses for sale in Northern Virginia is beginning to pick up and the Washington Wizards kicked off the playoffs with their first win! Get all the stats here and everything you need to know to set yourself up for success! Are you buying or selling? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 scottmacdonald@remax.net to find out the best strategies to put yourself ahead in this housing market.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Video

Northern Virginia Homes For Sale – The Inventory Is Climbing!

The inventory of homes for sale in Northern Virginia is growing quickly. You need to know how to set yourself up for success in this Spring real estate market! Are you buying or selling? Contact Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 or email scottmacdonald@remax.net for information and strategies to put yourself ahead in this housing market.

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway

Scotts Market Minute Prelude to Summer Real Estate Market in Northern Virginia

Scott’s Market Minute May 20, 2013

Scott MacDonald offers current market stats and information in his Market Minute for Northern Virginia. Inventory has increased slightly offering buyers a little more to look at. Home Buyers and Sellers will want to keep in mind that by closing before July 1, 2013 Grantor’s Tax increase you will save money. There’s still time to get your home listed for sale and sold! Call Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777

Coast to Coast “Buzz” – Market Rebound!

As we enter the 4thquarter of the year, we continue to see strong sales in real estate, low inventory levels of existing homes on the market and phenomenally low interest rates.  I just got back from the RE/MAX California-Hawaii Regional meetings and all the buzz was how the market is on the rebound and how there has never been a better time to buy a home.

It was funny, as I was headed to the airport back home yesterday, the taxi driver overheard my phone conversations.  When I was finally off the phone, he asked if I was in real estate.  When I confirmed his suspicion, even he commented – unsolicited – that more people should be buying a home today.  He had no real estate experience and he couldn’t understand why people were paying more in rent than if they were to buy under the current conditions.  He even made the comment that workers at 7-11 could really buy a house today because they could actually qualify for a mortgage -not like wat was happening in the past.

West Coast to East Coast – the “Buzz” is Market Rebound!

We are at historically high affordability rates for home ownership which makes today a great time to be a home owner or investor.  From the investor’s side of the equation, there are many people who cannot buy because of past history, some are only relocating temporarily to the area, and some are just plain old gun shy to buy because of the negative housing market over the last 5 years.  Therefore, with prices down from the all-time highs but making their way up the ladder, a good renter pool, great financing options for investors – now is the time to get in the game!  Home ownership is a long term investment strategy that can pay big dividends later.  To learn more about becoming an investor, call us today.  We would be happy to speak with you about your financial goals and objectives.

It’s going to be a long and busy summer!

As we head into the dog days of summer, I thought you may be interested in reading about the Northern Virginia real estate market as well as some national real estate news as well.  Let’s dive right in!  The Fox Gate development at the doorsteps of Loudoun County received its’ approval to begin development.  Fox Gate is located between Pleasant Valley Road and Tall Cedars Parkway, encompasses 27 acres which will offer 1.2 million square feet of office, retail, hotel and civic space along with 110 residential units. 

Apparently Bechtel, the country’s largest contractor – the contractor building the Silver Line – is secretly looking for up to 300,000 square feet in Loudoun County.  Obviously, this is a huge home run for the area as Loudoun boasts a 26% vacancy rate on commercial properties and Fairfax County has 16% in the areas where they are searching.  Forbes ranks Bechtel as the third largest privately held company with just under $28 Billion in revenue with 52,700 employees – not too shabby!  Here is a great opportunity if you know of anyone who works there to do some relocation business.

Also, locally our market is seeing the same market we were in last year as far as numbers are concerned.  For the first week of July, active resales were 7,379 this year versus 7,534 last year.  We have a 2.3 month’s supply of houses for properties that went under contract the previous 30 days both this year and last.  The rental market is virtually the same with a one month supply this year and a 1.2 month supply from last year.  I have to say it to remain consistent.  If you aren’t working with investors, holding investment seminars or obtaining a designation to help investors, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.  We will discuss more reasons why later.  Houses that settled the last 30 days have a 2.7 month’s supply of houses – last year it was a 2.5 month’s supply, a difference of 300+/- houses.  I think the difference here is short sales and the changes in the bank’s stance in regards to their handling of them.  We are seeing the banks counter the prices way above what is realistic based upon market conditions, asking for interest free loans and even the requirement for sellers to bring cash to the table.  Agents need to set the expectations for our sellers so they know that these options are serious possibilities and keep these deals together.  Obviously the pricing piece can’t be overcome easily but the other two options can be discussed upfront to help keep deals together.  Additionally, Chase recently announced that they are not in the short sale business, they are in the foreclosure business so be on top of your Chase owned loans.  Distressed properties make up 15.5% of the active inventory this year versus 19.9% this year.  Foreclosures are down this year versus last year as the foreclosure process is taking longer and inventory continues to be slow to get on the market.  Buyers continue to be price sensitive and are looking for the “perfect” house so continue to encourage proper pricing, staging and even prelisting inspections to get your listings in the best light for potential buyers otherwise, they will sit on the market.  Pricing properly is even more important in the outer counties and localities as new home prices are attractive in areas closer to the beltway.  Therefore, new home sales continue to post strong numbers as their pricing is competitive today and the buyers get to select how they want their houses to be decorated.  Our friends from Van Metre will share their success with us shortly.

There have been several good articles posted recently to help buyers realize now is a good time to buy along with the Housing Secretary Shaun Donavan stating it is unlikely housing prices will drop further and a noted now was a good time to buy.  He also mentioned officials must find ways to provide access to home ownership without requiring a 20% down payment.  Additionally, Warren Buffet posted his Five Real Estate Tips which include: 1) Housing prices increase in value over time especially as the dollar becomes worth less.  2)  Buy low, prices are down due to the housing bubble and appear to be at the bottom and you can never time a market.   Also, remember, you make money when you buy – not when you sell.  3)  Don’t wait too long to take advantage of low prices – if you wait for the robins, spring will be over.  4)  Smart home ownership has 3 elements – fixed rate mortgage, affordable payments and a long term hold.  5)  Buying a dream home can be a nightmare – don’t let your eyes be bigger than your wallet – go with the fundamentals previously discussed.  And lastly, pending home sales rose strongly in May which was the first time contract activity was up over the previous year since April of 2010 and we all know the reason for that was the expiration of the tax credits.  Let’s continue this trend into the second half of the year!

The things to look out for to carry us into the second half of the year are number one, jobs.  If jobs don’t get created then consumer confidence will stay low and housing sales will suffer. Number 2 is  underwriting guidelines for mortgages cannot get stricter, they need to be relaxed as the pendulum has swung a little too far.  In 2009, 23.5% of loans were rejected, in 2010, 26.8% of loans were rejected which is not a good trend.  If underwriting continues to become more difficult home sellers and buyers will be hurt and the ones who will benefit will be investors.  Investors typically pay cash plus, if buyers can’t get loans, they become renters and the rental market becomes stronger.  Remember, you need to be working with investors. Number 3 is distressed property numbers need to remain low which may be difficult.  CoreLogic estimates that 10.9 million or 22.7% of home owners with a mortgage are underwater at the end of the first quarter – 2.4 million home owners have less than 5% equity so this puts a total of 27% of the nation’s mortgage holders at risk.  The foreclosure process is now taking an average of 400 days which is twice as long as it took in 2007 so distressed properties will be in our market for the foreseeable future.  Number 4 is rates need to remain low allowing more buyers to be able to afford homes – Leslie Wish knows all too well how an increase of 1% in rates can knock down the potential number of buyers in the buyer pool.  And lastly, number 5 you!  You have to be active in the business, speaking with people – not just emailing, blogging, texting and attending trainings – you must physically speak with people on the phone, at networking events, open houses, at the pool, at your kids or grandkids sporting events anywhere you can get belly to belly with people.  You need to make it happen by spreading the word about how market is different from what they read in the papers or see on TV.  Get busy getting busy!

Now, quickly some fun stuff.  Zip Realty is no longer offering buyer rebates.  They have closed offices in 12 markets and have shed 700 agents.  They will continue to offer sellers a 1% listing credit in the 23 markets they are staying in but after posting losses of $12.9 million in ’09 and $15.5 million in ’10 they are finding it increasingly difficult to remain profitable – duh!  In addition to these losses, they will experience even more as their transactions are down 12.2% this year versus last…who could be next??  Perhaps it could be Redfin – we shall see!

Take this information and share it with your clients and demonstrate to them you are the expert in the business.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!