“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh–at yourself. “ – Ethel Barrymore
NEWS & HEADLINES
Jobless Claims rose 27,000 to 412,000, the highest level in two months and more than expected. The increase in claims that is typical at the end of a quarter was larger than usual this year. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, rose to 395,750 from 390,250. Continuing claims declined by 58,000 to 3.68 million in the week ended April 2.
Producer-price index rose 0.7% in March, smaller than forecast as food prices unexpectedly dropped for the first time since August. Core rate, ex-food and energy, rose 0.3%. Core wholesale prices rose 1.9% in the 12 months ended in March, up from a 1.8% increase the prior month and the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2009. In March, fuel costs rose 2.6% as gasoline prices climbed 5.7%. consumer price index will be released tomorrow, and economists expect overall prices to rise a monthly 0.4% in March, including a 0.2% increase in core CPI.
Fed’s beige book: twelve Federal Reserve Districts said that economic activity generally continued to improve since the last report. While many Districts described the improvements as only moderate, most Districts stated that gains were widespread across sectors. Some companies have started raising prices in response to higher costs for raw materials, though their ability to pass on the higher prices to consumer varied.
Treasuries Pare Advance Before U.S. Auctions $13 Billion of 30-Year Bonds and as economic indicators pointed toward a slowing economy, tipping the balance of fear away from inflation.
Fed’s Bullard Says Exit Plan Should Start With Sale of Assets
Commodity Price Swings Seen Threatening World Recovery, Needing Regulation. The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa said excessively volatile commodity prices pose a threat to the global economy and called for greater regulation of derivatives markets.
Obama Stokes Deficit Fight. Obama asked Congress to adopt a mix of revenue increases and spending cuts to tame the nation’s long-term budget deficits.
FORECLOSURE FILINGS AT 2-YEAR LOW
Continued fallout from the “robo signing” controversy saw loan servicers throttle back foreclosure filings during the first quarter to their lowest level in two years, according to public records gathered by data aggregator RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac counted 681,153 foreclosure-related filings against U.S. properties during the first three months of the year, down 15 percent from fourth-quarter 2010 and down 27 percent from first-quarter 2010.
Housing markets face a dual threat: looming shadow inventory and the probability that foreclosure filings will pick up as loan servicers put the robo-signing controversy behind them, said RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio in a statement.
Federal regulators on Wednesday announced a partial settlement with the nation’s largest loan servicers that requires them to hire outside consultants to review foreclosures initiated in 2009 and 2010 and compensate homeowners who should not have been foreclosed on.
The biggest drop in first-quarter foreclosure-related filings was among homes hit with default notices for the first time. Loan servicers filed default notices on 197,112 homes during the first quarter, down 17 percent from the fourth quarter and 35 percent from a year ago.
Auction notices were down 19 percent from the fourth quarter and down 27 percent from a year ago, to 268,995. Bank repossessions, on the other hand, fell just 6 percent from the fourth quarter, to 215,046 — a 17 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2010.
Slowdowns were magnified in judicial foreclosure states like Florida, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, where courts oversee the foreclosure process and the robo-signing controversy has had the greatest impact. Compared to a year ago, foreclosure-related filings were down 62 percent in Florida and Massachusetts, and 44 percent in New Jersey.
Among the 20 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates, 19 were in nonjudicial foreclosure states. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. was the lone exception.
Top 50 metro foreclosure rates
Nevada posted the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate: there was a foreclosure filing for one in every 35 housing units in that state. That compares to the U.S. average of one filing for every 191 housing units.
Arizona had the next highest state foreclosure rate (1 in 60 housing units), followed by California (1 in 80 units), Utah (1 in 98 units), Georgia (1 in 108), Michigan (1 in 121), Florida (1 in 152), Colorado (1 in 157) and Illinois (1 in 160).
In terms of raw numbers, California led all states with 168,543 properties receiving some type of foreclosure-related filing, followed by Florida (58,322), Arizona (46,047), Georgia (37,509), Michigan (37,506), Texas (34,646), Illinois (33,092), Nevada (32,066), Ohio (24,697) and Colorado (13,847).
7 STEPS TO VISUALIZE, REALIZE REAL ESTATE SUCCESS
If you were to ask most agents if they would like to double or even triple their income this year, the answer would be a resounding, “Yes!”
What most agents don’t realize is that unless they are brand new, they already have virtually all the tools they need to achieve this goal.
The first segment in this series delineated the difference between training, mentoring and coaching. The following case study illustrates how coaching works to create top production (brought to you by a CEO of a real estate coaching site and work as a real estate trainer).
Several years ago, I worked with 12 experienced agents who were about to be fired if they didn’t improve their production. The “Up or Out” program met once per week for three months. The first two sessions were primarily coaching-based.
Part 1: Create space. In order to do more business, you must first create room in your schedule for that business to appear.
Part 2: Have clarity about who you want to attract. The second week, we worked with the law of attraction. We spent the better part of an hour working on what constituted an ideal client. As part of that exercise, the agents were asked to identify how they attracted their three best clients, and to identify what activity generated their worst client.
Part 3: Visualize success. The next step was for the agents to identify something special they would like to do for themselves if they were closing plenty of transactions. Many of them wanted a new car. For this group, the fieldwork was to visit a dealership and drive their dream car. They were also to have someone take their picture sitting behind the wheel and to post it next to their computer.
Part 4: Accountability. Each week the group shared at least one win for the week, as well as their biggest challenge. In terms of coaching, it’s important that the coach endorses their clients for their wins and makes it safe for them to raise challenges they are facing.
Part 5: Do what generated leads in the past. A common block for virtually all agents is that the moment they become busy, they often stop doing the activities that generated leads for their business.
Part 6: Let the agent do the work. When someone else tells you what to do, most agents push back or refuse to do it. A well-trained coach will brainstorm ideas about what the agent can do, but ultimately will close the session by asking, “What is the one action step that you will take this week to improve your business, and how will I know when you have completed it?”
Part 7: Skills do matter. Coaching works best when agents also work on improving their skills at the same time. Once an agent receives training, coaching is what assists the agent in implementing what they have learned.
One woman chose not to finish the program and left the company. For the remaining 11 agents, they all placed at least $1 million dollars of property under contract.
The top-performing agent sold a whopping $12 million dollars of property during this program. He attributed his success to having “clarity about what he wanted to attract.”
NEWSFLASH: There is NO Inventory!!!
I was in a conversation with one of the most productive agents in our area recently and he told me that there were “no homes for him to sell”. I thought he had a brain cramp. Look at all the “For Sale” signs, all the homes on MLS, all the short sales and foreclosures plus all the shadow inventory on its way. Had this respected agent lost his mind?
As he saw the puzzled expression on my face (which was his intent), he began to explain that every home that is priced correctly is being gobbled up by buyers right away. The only homes that remain on the market for more than 30 days are the ones where the price doesn’t COMPEL a buyer (even multiple buyers) to make an offer.
I pondered his assertion for a while and his premise began to make more and more sense because I am witnessing:
1. Increased attendance at Open Houses. Buyers are coming out to look because they know now is the time to buy(great interest rates with higher rates around the bend, huge inventory available, etc.)
2. Realistic sellers (in terms of asking price) are getting significantly more traffic. This results in an increase in interested buyers; more interested buyers push prices higher. By adjusting prices, many sellers are getting higher offers. By remaining overpriced (and hoping to negotiate down), other sellers are seeing no traffic and no offers.
Why are there record numbers of homes on the market when the properly priced homes are being gobbled up (some at even higher than the listing price)? Because there is a huge difference between a home “being on the market” and a home that is seriously “for sale”. Sellers who are serious about selling are aggressive with pricing because that is how you gain the highest price. A little counter-intuitive maybe; but, it’s very true.
Pricing is the centerpiece of your real estate agents marketing plan (although not the only component). The marketing plan should be designed to drive as many qualified buyers to see your home because THAT is the single most important factor in getting the most money – the number of people bidding. My advice is to give yourself the best chance for highest bids by pricing the home at a compelling number.
FANNIE OFFERS CLOSING COST HELP FOR REO’s
Fannie Mae is trying to lure more buyers to its foreclosure properties by offering to cover 3.5 percent in closing costs for home owners who close by June 30 on its HomePath properties.
Fannie’s HomePath program provides low down payment financing on REO property sales and has no requirements for mortgage insurance or appraisals.
During the fourth quarter of last year, Fannie offered closing cost assistance and was able to recoup 55 percent of unpaid principal balance on defaulted mortgages through the sales.