Negative Equity: How You Should Address It with Your Clients

When working with clients who plan to purchase a home while attempting to sell their current one, it is imperative to educate them on how to be freed from negative equity. As a real estate professional, it is your job to guide your clients in the direction that would serve to be the most beneficial and rewarding in the long run. According to Steve Cook, managing editor of Real Estate Economy Watch, the year began with inventories only 2% above where they were a year ago; the stage could be set for a repeat of last year’s dramatic inventory shortages if sellers don’t feel that this is a good time to sell.

If your client is unsure of the equity they have in their current home, direct them to a Home Equity Calculator, which will determine an amount based on factors, such as market value of the home, current mortgage balance, and marketability. Continue reading

Keeping Up with Consumer Trends: YOUniverse

Homes.com has been keeping an eye on consumer trends that may affect what your clients and prospects look for in a home. We’ve already discussed how status seekers are looking for guilt-free products that reduce their impact on the environment, and this time around, we want to shed some light on another trend called “YOUniverse.”

The key thing to remember about society’s YOUniverse trend is that everything’s about them! These types of consumers expect a high level of customization, involvement, personalization, and instant gratification, more than any other type of consumer.  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