Saturday, August 30, 2008

Loans and Mortgages - a primer

The FDIC has information on "Loans and Mortgages", under the heading of "Consumer Protection.

Some of you with IndyMac loans may want to check out information on the FDIC website here

It's your responsibility to be an informed borrower.

At least, that's our opinion.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Tax Credit for Home Buyers

Of course it's controversial, but the tax credit for first time homebuyers has been approved. There are "strings" attached, however. The money must be repaid, starting within two years.

Read more about it here: MSN Money

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Holidays and Real Estate

It's quiet out there.

A holiday has a way of slowing the real estate market to a halt.

Plus, we have the double-whammy of back-to-school.

Right now people are focusing on those two events, and leaving the real estate market on the back burner.

Sellers - buyers - don't be surprised. Real estate will be slower this weekend - agents out of town, clients not around, fewer open houses ... less real estate activity.

But, look for another "push" after everyone gets settled after back-to-school, and before the holiday season starts.

At least, that's our opinion.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Realtors on the Go

There have been numerous articles/studies/statistics indicating that many realtors are leaving the business. Another biproduct of the housing market. Others are taking on a second job (or maybe real estate is now their second job).

Today's MSN homepage had a link to a U.S. News & World Report article - "6 signs of a crummy real-estate agent" (note: there's no hyphen in the words real estate). And, the article lists the fourth "sign" as being that the agent works part time.

Sellers - Buyers - is your realtor working full time? Take note. The realtors who are in it as a business, are still working full time. If they aren't working with clients, then they are working on the business aspect of real estate.

At least, that's our opinion.

Read the article here: MSN real estate

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Did the Olympics affect Real Estate?

We were talking about that very topic in our office. Our conclusion? Yes, it did!

With the market doing it's typical August slowdown as people take their last opportunity for a summer vacation, realtors were watching the Olympic coverage. Many late nights were spent in front of the TV. With no "sense of urgency" to be in the office, realtors were also taking their last opportunity for a summer break --- from work.

And, with the kids going back to school, buyers, sellers, and realtors can all refocus on the business at hand --- real estate!

At least, that's our opinion.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bound for a Rebound?

The California Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes grew over 43% in July over last year's sales for the same month. Yes, that's 43%!

Of course, it's too early to call this a "trend", but for those sellers out there who are thinking that there's no market ... yes there is!

To read more: California Association of Realtors

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Home Staging

Home staging is not new. We've all done it to some degree to get a property sold.

But, now it's big business! Home stagers are busy helping to prepare homes to look their best. It's the "WOW" factor that a home seller wants so that their home stands out from the next.

If you are thinking of selling your home, consider a home stager as part of your team. You may need a house full of help, or just some ideas to make what you already have come together. That is to say, home stagers can help on a small or grand scale.

We found an excellent home staging blog - Home Staging. It has a lot of free advice including information you can print.

You can find a home stager in your area by asking your real estate professional for a reference, or searching various organizations for Home Stagers (this is not a complete list of home staging organizations, but it gives you a start):
International Association of Home Staging Professionals
Real Estate Staging Association



A consultation with a professional home stager can make the difference in your home selling!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Real Estate Networking Sites

We've joined some of the popular real estate networking websites.

Check us out!

ActiveRain

My Agent Book

RealtyWorld

LinkedIn

WannaNetwork