“When you are in the zone, your intuition comes to the forefront, … Your intuition will guide you. It is your best friend. It has information your mind does not have. When you are a zone performer — no matter what it is you do — you are operating on intuition and you have an unfair advantage over the competition.”
— Jim Fannin: Nightingale-Conant author
5 QUICK TIPS FOR JANUARY 2012
1. Attack the Expired Listings
There will probably be more listings expiring this December 31st than any other single day in real estate history. We should not let this tremendous opportunity pass us by. These sellers may not have had an agent that was strong enough to price their home correctly. Prospect these sellers and explain what it will take to sell their home in this market and let them decide what is best for their families.
2. Prepare a Powerful Pricing Conversation
Whether working expired listings, FSBOs, new listings or your current listing inventory, it is crucial to have a well prepared conversation concerning pricing. Building a large inventory of salable listings in January will guarantee your success throughout the year – BUT THEY MUST BE SALABLE. Pricing will be the most crucial component of salability throughout the first quarter of 2012. For more on this subject you can read: House Prices: Where They Will Be in the Spring.
3. Be Seen As a Trusted Advisor
In the current economic climate, many consumers are losing confidence in both corporations and the individuals who represent those corporations. We must make sure that we know how to build trust with both our buyers and sellers. Once people realize that we are knowledgeable and truly care, they will more readily trust us and the information we share with them. To help with this you can listen to a recorded version of a webinar we recently did on this subject: How to Build Trust in Times of Doubt.
4. When Speaking With Buyers, Talk Affordability
The combination of falling prices and record low interest rates has made owning a home more affordable than almost any other time in history. Know what the affordability indices (ex. Price-to-Income, Mortgage Payment-to-Income) mean and be able to explain them simply and effectively. Dr. Ken Johnson of FIU has done great research on this issue. To download a copy of a PowerPoint presentation Dr. Johnson recently did on the subject, click here.
5. Become a Go-To-Agent
We must realize that it is not just the number of people we talk to but the depth of conversations we are capable of having with them. We need to position ourselves as the source of great information regarding the real estate market. We must develop and be able to communicate compelling messages for both buyers and sellers. For additional information, you can listen to a recorded version of a webinar we recently offered: How to Position Yourself as the Go-To-Agent.
5 REAL ESTATE TRENDS TO LOOK FOR IN 2012
Predicting trends during the most volatile housing market in American real estate history is no easy task. We strongly believe these are the five real estate items we should keep an eye on in 2012:
1. Buyers Will Return
In 2011, a lack of consumer confidence in the overall economy dramatically impacted the housing market. Buyers were afraid to make a purchasing decision on any big ticket item. By the end of 2011, consumer confidence began to return and sales increased. Economic conditions will continue to improve throughout 2012 and consumer sentiment will solidify. Once that happens, home buyers will realize that now is the time to buy.
2. Foreclosures Will Increase
The ‘shadow inventory’ of foreclosures which has been growing since the robo-signing challenges of late 2010 will finally be introduced to the market. Distressed properties sell at discounted prices. They will impact the housing values of the non-distressed homes in the area.
3. Prices Will Soften
As more and more foreclosures come to market, there will be greater downward pressure on the values of houses in the region. Foreclosures impact values of non-distressed properties in two ways:
• They will eat up some of the buyer demand in the market.
• They will impact the appraisal on ALL transactions in the area.
An increase in foreclosures will have a negative impact on values. This will cause more homes to be underwater.
4. Short Sales Will Increase
As mentioned above, we strongly believe that home prices will soften through at least the first half of 2012. Falling prices will force more homeowners into a position of negative equity. Negative equity is one of the triggers that cause people to strategically default on their mortgage obligations. If this happens, there could be an increase in the number of foreclosures. However, we predict that banks will take preventative measures which will help many of these homes avoid foreclosure by easing the requirements in the short sale process for both homeowners and real estate professionals.
5. Great Agents Will Be VERY Successful
Real Estate professionals who have invested the money, time and energy to truly understand what is happening and why it is happening will separate themselves from their competition and do very well this year.
Those who take that next step of learning how to simply and effectively communicate the market to their clients will be seen as industry leaders. These experts will dominate their markets.
BUYERS VS. SELLER ON HOME PRICES
Housing analysts are expecting home prices to stabilize in 2012, but that doesn’t mean that buyers and sellers won’t continue to be at odds over home prices in the new year.
While buyers are feeling good about the housing market and saying its a great time to buy, seller sentiment is falling to record low, a new report by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows. Sellers say they are unhappy because they’re unable to snag the prices for the home that they want.
According to the MBA report, a large gap is occurring between home buying and home selling that isn’t expected to narrow for at least the next five quarters.
From 1992 to 2005, seller sentiment remained high — between 40 percent and 60 percent, according to the report. However, since 2005, seller sentiment has decreased to 7.6 percent. Meanwhile, home buyer sentiment has remained high despite unemployment and economic conditions. Nearly 80 percent of American households say now is a good time to purchase a home.
As home values have dropped over the last few years, many sellers are refusing to budge on their prices to reflect current market traditions. One reason why: Some sellers are underwater on their homes. About 20 percent of home owners nationwide are considered “underwater,” owing more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. Also, some sellers are realizing there may be a benefit in waiting to sell or to keep the home on the market holding out for a higher price, notes the author of the report, Gary Engelhardt, a Syracuse economics professor. “This could hold prices high enough to drive a substantial wedge between the existing buyer and seller. And a poor jobs market with limited mobility, a key driver of housing-market transactions, may exacerbate this,” an article at HousingWire notes about the report.
MAKING IT HAPPEN! 5 SIMPLE STEPS FOR ACHIEVING YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Each new year is full of promise and potential. Perhaps that’s why so many of us choose this time of year to make positive changes in our lives.
And, believe it or not, achieving your goals can be easier than you think. The following 5 steps can help you get started and follow through!
1. Set realistic goals. The first step to your successful New Year’s resolutions is to set realistic goals for the coming weeks and months. You can start by focusing on the things you’re passionate about or the things you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe it’s a worthy cause you want to become involved in…or maybe you want to kick a habit that’s bothered you for years. If it’s something that you’re passionate about, you’ll have a better chance of being successful. Once you have the topic, make sure you write down a specific, attainable goal. It’s not enough to just think about doing something. Come up with a specific statement you want to achieve. For example, the most common resolution is to lose weight. But that’s not specific enough. Write down exactly how much weight you want to lose and by when. But make it realistic…and healthy at the same time.
2. Make a simple plan to achieve each goal. Once you have your goals written down, take the resolution a step further by figuring out how you’ll achieve it. That means breaking the goal down into simple steps that you can achieve over time. And, often, it means multiple little steps. So, for the weight loss resolution, you may write down a number of simple, daily or weekly steps – such as exercise 20 minutes three times a week, eat vegetables and fruit with each meal, switch to diet cola or better yet water during the day, and lose a certain number of pounds per month. Remember to consult a physician before starting any weight loss or exercise routine to make sure you’re approaching it in a healthy manner.
3. Announce your goals. One of the best ways to make sure you stick to your goals is to make them known to your friends, coworkers, and family members. The reality is, once you’ve told people you’ll do something, you’ll feel more accountability than if you just keep it to yourself. You’ll also have a cheering section to help you stay focused and positive as you work to achieve your goals. But don’t just share your goals; share the specific steps that you’re going to take each day or week to achieve those goals. If you use any social media websites to connect with friends and family, make your goals and steps part of your daily/weekly updates…it’s a great way to get the word out and hear feedback from people who want to help you stay on track.
4. Track and celebrate your progress. Small steps aren’t just about making your way to a goal; they’re also about building momentum, a positive attitude, and celebrating successes along the way. There are a number of ways to track and celebrate your success. For example, if your goal is to work out 20 minutes a day three times a week, you can use a marker and a calendar. Each day you work out, simply color that day in green (or another positive color that you like). As the month unfolds, you’ll see more and more green covering the calendar, which will help you see just how much work you’ve done and keep you motivated to keep going. In addition, you can also use social media to track and celebrate your success. Maybe you tweet or update your Facebook status every time you exercise. Or maybe you announce when you’ve lost a few pounds. The point is, you’ve already announced your goals to friends and family as a way to hold yourself accountable, now it’s time to celebrate with those same people every time you achieve a step along the way.
5. Don’t get discouraged. You’re bound to have good weeks and bad weeks. Just because you fall off track once or twice doesn’t mean you should give up. Instead, acknowledge that you had a bad day or week, figure out what happened to throw you off track (maybe it was a busy or stressful week), and then make a plan to overcome the problem if it happens again. For example, if you had a tough week at work that required you to work late and miss the trip to the gym, make a plan to be proactive the next time work gets busy. Perhaps you make a plan to walk during your lunch break or wake up early to do jumping jacks and push-ups before heading into the office. But…whatever you do…don’t give up on your goals or yourself. Review your plan and recommit yourself to those simple steps. You can even use social media to acknowledge a mistake and commit to overcoming that problem in the future. That way, you’ll have a new sense of accountability and support from your friends and family.