Jan. 26, 2017

Low-ball offers don’t work in today’s market

Low-ball offers don’t work in today’s market


NEW YORK – Jan. 25, 2017 – Anyone buying a property wants to get the best price, and smart offers often lead to deals.

For real estate agents, a smart offer can not only helps close a deal, it also earns them the gratitude and loyalty of clients, especially if they also save thousands of dollars, both upfront and over the life of a mortgage.

Tips to put homebuyers in a better negotiating position

1. Understand how to read the market
2017 is likely to remain a seller's market in most areas, but experts predict that buyers will have more choices in 2018 or 2019. Clients should understand this to help set their expectations, says Brad L'Engle, a real estate attorney and loan originator with the L'Engle team at Guild Mortgage in Folsom, California. If demand is hot and properties are scarce, he says, urge buyers who want to play hardball to think twice, or they may find their potential seller looking elsewhere.

2. Be realistic about price
In a seller's market, one of the toughest dilemmas an agent will face is finding a way to tell buyers that a house is beyond their means, especially when the buyer has already fallen in love with it.

"I had one buyer who wanted to see a house that had come on the market at $385,000, even though the highest price she had been planning to bid was $375,000," says Becky Lund, a real estate pro leading Team Lund at Lyon Real Estate in Fair Oaks, California. "The house was completely updated with great views, just amazing, and I could see right away that it was going to get multiple offers."

However, against Lund's advice, the buyer was so excited that she decided to pull money out of her 401(k) to bump her bid up to $394,000. In the end, the house ended up selling for $415,000.

"What I tell buyers is that if there's an incredible house and you're already at the top price you can handle, you'll almost certainly be outbid," says Lund. "And you can save a lot of time and emotion and frustration if you just move on."

3. Don't put in unworkable "lowball" offers
The housing market has heated up in many parts of the country, so agents should gently discourage buyers who want to get tough with the sellers.

"We're not in a market anymore where you can lowball somebody $20,000 below the list price," L'Engle says. "I tell clients to look at the listing and selling prices in a given area to help determine what's reasonable. If you're a buyer, don't lose your bid on a house to save $5,000."

Lund agrees: "If you've found your dream house, do you really want to let it go for a $5,000 difference? Help your buyers think through doing something they'll regret."

4. Do your homework
L'Engle advises buyers to check the MLS to find out how long the house has been listed. If it's been on the market longer than the average amount of time for your area, the seller may be ready to bargain. Any problems with the house? Disclosing this information is required by law.

5. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
Getting pre-approval on a mortgage means buyers will know their price range and have a better chance at a smooth closing.

"Any agent with experience and talent would not work with a borrower who has not been pre-approved by a lender, and preferably a lender the agent has worked with before," L'Engle says. "Otherwise, your deals are going to fall apart more often than not."

Source: Steve Evans is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter for SNL Financial, the Richmond-Times Dispatch and writes extensively about mortgages and home buying for MoneyGeek.com.


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Jan. 23, 2017

Orlando ranked #1 market in the USA

Buy your home today or risk being priced out of the market!

Justin Godfrey - 407-704-8354

Fla. has 4 of top 5 ‘hottest’ single-family markets

Jan. 10, 2017 – Among the 50 largest U.S. markets, the top five (in order) were Orlando, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Dallas, according to Ten-X, an online marketplace. Each metro area had "a vigorous combination of consistently strong demand, home price appreciation, and economic and demographic growth."

While Florida metros again dominated the rankings, Ten-X said there was movement within the top five slots: Orlando jumped from fourth to first to overtake Fort Lauderdale; Fort Lauderdale dropped to third; Palm Beach County remained unchanged in second; and Tampa slipped from third place to fourth.

"While most of the cities at the top of the list share common traits like job growth, population growth and economic expansion, many of the cities showing the greatest potential were among those hardest hit during the Great Recession," says Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. "The top 20 cities in our report include many that were devastated during the foreclosure crisis – especially in states like Florida – and as home prices continue to recover, they still represent buying opportunities for homeowners and investors alike."

Healthy economic and demographic trends are fueling demand throughout much of the Sunshine State, keeping sales elevated and enabling significant price growth. Dallas, for its part, is benefiting from a more diversified economy than most other Texas metros, allowing it to withstand pressures from low oil prices. Las Vegas, still a leader in terms of housing demand, sales and job growth, now ranks ninth.

"The recovery – and future outlook – continue to be very regional. Like Florida, the Southwest, Coastal California and Pacific Northwest are all showing great promise, while the Midwest and Northeast are still struggling," Sharga says.

Top five markets at a glance

Market – home price growth year over year – home sales growth year over year

  • Orlando – 11.2% – 0.2%
  • Palm Beach County – 12.1% – -0.6%
  • Fort Lauderdale – 8.8% – -0.9%
  • Tampa – 10.7% – -0.4%
  • Dallas – 9.9% – -0.3%

The Orlando housing market continues to make substantial strides in its recovery. Metro employment is up 4.1 percent year-over-year, supported in large part by its booming leisure/hospitality sector that comprises over 21 percent of local employment. Payrolls are at an all-time high, some 27 percent above their prior peak. Home prices jumped 4.4 percent this past quarter, eclipsing $200,000 for the first time since 2008. Up 11.2 percent year-over-year, home prices have outpaced US annual growth for 20 straight quarters, with room for additional growth as prices remain 17.3 percent below their prior peak. Population growth has exceeded two percent for four consecutive years, and Orlando's economic outlook is among the best in the nation.