National News

The Dramatic Increase Of Bidding Wars

A REALTOR® facilitating a bidding war on a home amongst a large group of buyers.

Recently, a family in Brookhaven found their dream home. A four-bedroom, craftsman style house, listed at $599,000. Wanting to make sure they got it, the buyers submitted an offer: $20,000 over the listing price, no contingencies, and a letter detailing how their family would benefit from the sale of the home. The home buyers eventually beat out the nine other offers, and they closed on their new home for right around $620,000.

Common Place In Today’s Market

This dramatic bidding war is increasingly common nowadays in many U.S. cities – in fact, 84% of offers in Oakland became involved in a bidding war. Seattle and San Francisco, 77%. Los Angeles, 74% of offers, and 69% of offers in Denver. In Austin, 59% of offers faced a bidding war, and it’s not just entry-level homes, high-end properties are experiencing it too!

Is This The New Norm?

A far cry from the traditional days of home buying, bidding wars are becoming the new norm. And this trend isn’t likely to shift anytime soon – with the spring and summer markets approaching, more buyers will be flooding the market, which means an increase in competition vying for the available homes for sale.

In Metro Atlanta, a historically high percentage homes priced from $200 - $400k are receiving multiple offers, while an increasing share of properties priced between $400 - $600k also faced competition.

Caused By Low Inventory?

According to Trulia, the overall inventory of homes for sale throughout the US is down 38.6% from this time four years ago, with...

Realtor Magazine: A Must-Have For Today's Real Estate Pro

Four issues of Realtor Magazine in front of a luxury home.

About Realtor Magazine

If you’re a real estate professional, whether broker, agent, or builder, then Realtor Magazine is for you. Realtor Magazine is the official magazine of the National Association of REALTORS® and a convenient business aid for all those in the real estate world. Useful articles are featured every month, including real estate best practices, insight into trends, advice on navigating purchases, and strategies for advancing your business.

Articles are separated into different topics, making it easy to find what you’re searching for. Whether you’re interested in the latest updates on an historic court case, tips for staging a large house, or exactly how the increased interest rates will affect your business, Realtor Magazine has a well-researched, in depth article about it.

Print Editions

If you opt to subscribe to Realtor Magazine, you’ll receive plenty of useful information in every edition. Normally, the print edition includes practical articles on selling, law, and management, profiles of successful real estate professionals, interesting summaries of court cases, real estate news, new products, and informative interviews with those on the forefront of the real estate world.

Online/Digital Editions

Like most magazines in the 21st century, there is an online edition of Realtor Magazine. Subscriptions include everything you would get in the print edition, plus exclusive articles and viewpoints, as well as a fully illustrated architecture guide, extensive sales and marketing columns, news from the technology world, and both daily and weekly industry...

Flipping Houses Produces Record Profits

Renovated kitchen in a flipped home with new counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

Profits Hit New High, Flips At 5 Year Low

Despite the number of flipped homes hitting a five year low, the gross returns for investors hit a new high in the third quarter of 2014. According to RealtyTrac®, the average gross profit per flip was $75,990 in Q3 of 2014. So with record profits and home prices soaring the past two years, you would think all the home flippers would be back at it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Are they fearful of losing it all in another housing bubble, or is something else holding them back?

Why Profits Are At Record Levels

The nationwide home price appreciation that started in the beginning of 2013 appears to be the primary reason for record profits across the board. With home prices jumping 15% - 30% or more in many markets, it’s only logical that the profits for home flippers see the same spike, possibly even more pronounced. With the inventory of homes for sale remaining low, home flippers have the advantage of putting newly renovated houses in front of hungry buyers looking for a move-in-ready property, a definite recipe for bidding wars and higher selling prices.

Additional Thoughts On Home Flipping (Video)


Better Real Estate Listings Coming Soon?

Home search tool with sold listing data.

The Importance Of Accurate Listings

As an agent, I need access to listings that are updated immediately, and with accuracy. Whether it's a buyer, or seller's market, accessing listing data plays a key role in my success as a top Atlanta REALTOR®. The ability to view the newest listings, or one that just closed today, is an essential part of my ability to give clients a competitive advantage.

This is why I use the MLS when searching properties for clients or researching market trends. For consumers, direct access to all listing information from the MLS is usually not available as it is typically restricted to agents only, therefore consumers must visit broker sites or third-party portals to view property listings.

Better Public Data From Broker Sites

Recently, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) took steps to give consumers a much better online experience on broker owned websites displaying properties from Multiple Listing Services (MLS) data feeds. Currently, MLS restrictions in many markets prevent broker sites from displaying sold listing data. They also have varying standards on how quickly listings must be updated by individual brokers.

Potential Changes To Public Data Feeds

NAR is working to change MLS policies to give individual brokers increased access to shared listing data. Specifically, NAR seeks to require each participating MLS allow sold listing data in public display feeds. This would open up massive amounts of market data and provide accurate sold search results on public facing sites. This could make listing data for properties that have sold, available...

Timing The Real Estate Market

Woman in front of graph of housing market trends.

How To Benefit From Market Timing

So you've probably heard the phrase "It's all about timing" right? Well, I think that phrase definitely applies to the real estate market. While not as pronounced as say the stock market, the housing market also has its ups and downs. These ups and downs occur not only over long periods of time, but are also seen throughout any given year, especially during changing seasons.

Knowing what market indicators to look for can help you identify the general direction the market is heading and capitalize on it; whether you're buying, or selling a property.

General Real Estate Trends Over The Years

Despite the bubbles and down markets over the years, the housing market has generally provided a consistent increase in home values across the board, with some areas of the country getting "hotter" at times than others. Until the country experienced one of the largest real estate crashes of all time in 2008, many people assumed the value of their home would continue to increase indefinitely.

Unfortunately, risky lending practices, overbuilding, extreme speculation, and an economic recession put an end to the streak of gains, but home prices have come back strong in most areas of the country since early 2013!

Keeping Up To Date With Current Trends

As a real estate professional that works with home buyers and sellers, I'm constantly keeping an eye on MLS listings and local market trends. Obviously there are tons of other factors that contribute to changes in the market, including: the condition of the overall economy,...

How Foreclosures Impact Home Values

For sale sign with foreclosure rider in neighborhood with distressed properties.

The Negative Impact Of Foreclosures

As most of us saw during the recent post-bubble housing market, foreclosures can negatively impact home prices in a huge way. Although the period from 2008-2012 was extreme, the general impact a distressed property has on a neighborhood can mean bad news for surrounding homeowners, especially those looking to sell.

Unfortunately, foreclosures can lower appraisal values, cause other distressed property sales, and generally tend to be an eyesore for the neighborhood. In this article, I'll discuss the many ways foreclosures impact your home's value and what you can do to minimize the damage.

One Distressed Property Leads To Another

Once one property in a neighborhood forecloses, it's possible others may soon follow. As fellow struggling homeowners see a neighbor walk away from an underwater property, they know their home's value is probably headed down with it. This can cause a chain reaction that spreads throughout a neighborhood. The results can be multiple unkempt properties being advertised as distressed property sales, which in turn, bring the appearance of the neighborhood and property values down even further.

Buyer Perception Of A Foreclosure Riddled Neighborhood

The presence of multiple bank owned properties in a neighborhood is typically a red flag for buyers. Your traditional buyer (an owner occupant) probably isn't looking for a home surrounded by vacant properties with overgrown lawns. In addition, vacant properties are a magnet for squatters and thieves... not exactly what your typical family...

The Benefits Of Hiring A REALTOR®

A happy couple meeting with their REALTOR®.

Why Work With A REALTOR®?

It’s a fact: buying or selling a home is one of the largest and most expensive transactions you’ll ever make. Some people attempt it without the help of a REALTOR®; of course, that’s their choice. But let’s think for a minute. Not only is the process expensive, but there are also legal contracts involved, as well as a laundry list of miscellaneous items that must be completed during the buying and selling process.

Would you enter a legal case without a lawyer? Would you attempt to treat cancer without a doctor? Repair your car without a qualified mechanic? Of course not. Because this particular transaction is too important to leave to chance.

A REALTOR® Knows The Buying & Selling Process Inside & Out

The benefits of using a REALTOR® are numerous and run the gamut, from filling out the required paperwork to shopping for a home to adequately pricing your home itself. To begin with, both the home buying and home selling processes are time consuming and complicated. Reality shows don’t come close to accurately portraying all the time and effort required.

Documents and contracts, marketing, offers, pending checklists, inspections, repairs, amendments – real estate is a whole new world, and it’s always better to have someone at the helm who knows what they’re doing. After all, the process of buying and selling is something done by a REALTOR® on a daily basis. That’s their job, and employing an agent will make a world of difference in both your experience...