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Author Archives: RAP Marketing

August Housing Report

In the July 2018 report, 37 of the report’s 54 metro areas posted sales increases over July 2017—April was the first month of 2018 where more homes were sold than the same month in 2017. The report also marks the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

The Median Sales Price of $250,575 was up 4.4% from July 2017, and represents the third-highest price in report history—topped only by May and June of this year. Months Supply of Inventory was at 2.9 – the smallest total ever recorded for July.

Forty-two of the 54 metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. The Days on Market dropped to 41 – four days less than July 2017 and one day under the previous nine-year low set in June 2018.

“Because we’ve faced challenging inventories and increasing home prices for some time now, a seasonal slowdown that rebalances the market a bit might actually be a positive in the months ahead,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “It could level affordability to some extent and create more opportunity for buyers who’ve been priced out of hot markets.”

Find the complete report here

Top tips to help first-timers navigate the fast-paced housing market

Top Tips to help first-timers navigate the fast-paced housing market

If you’re ready to stop renting and start enjoying the benefits of home ownership, finding the perfect house within your price range can seem daunting, especially in a seller’s market. Keep these things in mind when you are shopping for your first home.

Keep an eye on your credit score
The interest rate of your mortgage matters a great deal. Even a fraction of a percentage can add (or subtract) thousands of dollars over the life of a 30-year loan. One thing that can influence your interest rate is your credit score – it’s just one way for the lender to determine how likely you are to repay the loan. Well before you begin browsing properties online, take steps to get your credit score in the strongest possible position. Review your credit report and report errors immediately. Make on-time payments and put off opening new credit accounts until after the mortgage is finalized.

Work with a full-time, experienced real estate agent
Plenty of online services claim you can save money by completing the process without a real estate agent. But as many buyers discover, the savings don’t always come through as promised. In fact, going through this complex process without professional guidance can lead to costly problems later. If you work with an agent, you’ll get to work with a pro who’s in touch with the local market and can lend a helping hand every step of the way. Their expertise can help you find that perfect house and help you craft the right strategy for your offer.

Play to your strengths
When you find the right house, you may not be the only one making an offer on the property. That can be intimidating. But keep in mind it’s not always about coming in with the highest dollar amount. Buyers have different motivations to sell. Some may be in a situation where they want to close and move out as soon as possible. They’ll be less likely to work with buyers who have their own houses to sell, making first-time buyers more attractive candidates.

Buying a house is a big step, and in the heat of a seller’s market, it takes extra patience and perseverance. Find the right real estate agent to help you through the process, and moving day may arrive sooner than you expected.

July Housing Report

June sales were 5.5% lower than June 2017 in the 54 metro areas surveyed, marking the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year declines.

Headed in the opposite direction, the June Median Sales Price of $258,500 was an all-time high in the nine-year history of the report. It was 5.1% higher than the $245,000 recorded last June, bringing the consecutive months of year-over-year price increases to 27. In each of the previous five years – going back to June 2013’s $193,750 – June has posted the highest Median Sales Price of the year.

“Year-over-year prices have been climbing for more than two years now, which is great news for homeowners and sellers,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “In the hottest markets, demand is especially high because there simply aren’t that many homes for sale. The slower sales figures we’re seeing are tied to inventory more than anything else.”

Forty-two of the 54 metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. That years-long trend is reflected in Months Supply of Inventory dropping to 2.7 – down 8.8% year-over-year and the smallest figure ever recorded for June. Fewer houses for sale generally results in a faster process: Homes sold in June averaged just 42 Days on Market – five days less than June 2017 and three days under the previous nine-year low of 45 days (July 2017).

“Lack of inventory has become a theme for the year,” Contos said. “Having fewer homes to choose from poses a challenge for buyers, who need to be ready to act decisively and quickly. Working with a full-time, professional RE/MAX agent can prepare them for that.”

Find the complete report here

5 Tips for Purchasing a Home in a Seller’s Market

5 Tips for Purchasing a Home in a Seller’s Market
Purchasing a home in a seller’s market doesn’t have to be challenging. Some preparation and a strategy may give you an advantage over other potential buyers and increase your chances of having your offer accepted by a seller.

1. Get lender preapproval or prequalification. Determine your loan options and obtain a pre-approval letter from a lender prior to beginning the home search. Some homes are going under contract within days, if not hours, so being able to move quickly with financing is often a plus. The letter gives you an idea of how much home you can afford – so you can easily eliminate homes not in your price range – and lets sellers know you have been vetted financially. Remember, being pre-approved does not guarantee a mortgage – be prepared to shop around with different lenders or work with a mortgage broker.

2. Be available to close as quickly as the seller requires. A seller wanting to close within 30 days may not be interested in an offer from a buyer who also has a home to sell prior to closing on a new one.

3. Offer more earnest money. Earnest money, typically 1% to 5% of a purchase price that eventually goes towards a down payment, is held in escrow until a sale closes. By offering more earnest money, you’re letting the seller know that you’re a committed buyer.

4. Make your best offer. In a seller’s market, you probably won’t be able to present an offer that’s below the asking price. If you love the property, present the seller with your best offer price.

5. Include an escalation clause. If you want your offer to compete with multiple offers, consider having your real estate agent include an escalation clause. The clause details how much you’re willing to pay over competing offers. Including an escalation clause in your offer is another way to show a seller that you’re a serious buyer.

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June Housing Report

In May, homes sold faster than at virtually any other time in the past decade, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. Low inventory and high demand in May cut Days on Market to 46, the second-lowest monthly number in the nearly 10-year history of the report.

May home sales topped April sales by 14.5%, and were down by 2.8% from May 2017. The median sales price of $251,673 was up 7.8%. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT.

By comparison, homes averaged five more days on the market (51) in May 2017, 12 more days (58) in May 2016 and 18 more days (64) in 2015.

“Even with low inventory and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, homes are going from ‘for sale’ to sold 28 percent faster than three years ago,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos.

With 11 metro areas increasing the median sales price year-over-year by double digits, May is still a seller’s market, and homebuyers should expect to compete with other buyers when they are ready to make an offer on a home.

“Be prepared — that’s my message to potential homebuyers in this summer selling season,” added Contos. “Make sure you are pre-approved with a lender, try to make a clean offer with no contingencies and, if possible, consider offering favorable concessions to the seller such as a flexible closing date. Pairing today’s real estate technology with the guidance of a professional RE/MAX agent, can help you find the right home.”

Find the complete report here