The Move-Up Buyer: Educating Your Clients About Home Equity

The stars are aligned for a good year for move-up buyers. They are playing a major role in the cash sales that dominated real estate transactions in the second half of 2013 and now account for more than half of all sales. High demand for entry-level homes and relatively low prices for mid- to upper-level properties are creating a positive climate for this segment, which is so critical to the health of the real estate economy.

As a real estate professional, it is important that you know how to market to your clients who happen to be move-up buyers. Continue reading

Mortgage Rates Reach Highest Level in 7 Weeks

At the beginning of February, mortgage rates had been lower than expected four weeks in a row. However, as of last week, mortgage rates are now at their highest levels in seven weeks. These higher rates may make clients or prospects question whether it’s a good time to buy a home. With that said, these rates are still lower than where we were at the start of 2014.

Here are more details about these rising mortgage rates, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey: Continue reading

Top 100 Markets See Annual Gains for Tenth Consecutive Month

The most recent Homes.com Local Market Index and Rebound Reports are in, bringing with them some very familiar news. For the tenth consecutive month, all of the top 100 local markets witnessed annual gains! Furthermore, eighty-three markets saw month-to-month gains. This is further evidence of an improving housing market, which means things are really starting to look up for real estate professionals!

Although 29 out of the top 100 markets continued to show a complete price recovery for the second month in a row, markets like Salt Lake City, UT, Madison, WI, and Chattanooga, TN posted considerable gains in January and are close to full recovery. Continue reading

“New Rule” Could Make Obtaining Mortgage Loans More Complicated for Borrowers

The Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule is part of implementing the Dodd-Frank Act. Also known as the Ability to Repay (ATR) Rule, it serves as the first ever attempt by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to establish a basic standard for qualifying borrowers for mortgage loans. Unfortunately, it will make borrowing money a bit more complicated for homeowners and homebuyers. Don’t worry, though, because Homes.com has highlighted a few details of this new rule so that you can help your clients and prospects overcome this additional obstacle for financing for their next home. Continue reading

5 Reasons Why Clients Should Always Know the Value of Their Home

Do your clients know the value of their home? As a real estate professional, you’ve seen firsthand the impact an appraisal can have on the value of a property when it’s brought to market. Unfortunately, many homeowners, especially first-time buyers, do not understand how much an essentially “educated guess” can either increase or decrease the expected value of their home.

From unpredictable activity in the local housing market to an unforeseen foundation problem, the fluctuation of a property’s value can become quite confusing for the average homeowner. The good news is that they have you! You’re the local expert, so it’s your job to emphasize how important an appraisal is and to provide them with suggestions on how they can get the most “bang for their buck” when it comes to their home. Whether they’re buying or selling, here are 5 reasons your clients should always know the value of their home. Continue reading