When it comes to competitive markets, these are mistakes buyers should avoid and beware of when submitting offers. To many times I have seen a buyer make one of these mistakes and miss out on their land or home purchase. It is important to be aware of these to not trip yourself during the buying process.
“Dragging your feet”, being undecided on whether you want to purchase a property or home could lead to you paying more money in the end. The old adage goes, if you like it then someone else likes it. You ended up in a bidding war and now are forced to pay more because you waited to get your documents inline or make a decision. Buyers need to have their pre-approval letters, bank documents, or supporting funds documents ready from day one. Having these documents gives the buyer strength in the negotiating process because they are not contingent on being approved for financing. Sellers are more willing to accept an offer that has the approval in place vs one that may be slightly higher but still has not yet been approved to purchase.
When you are home shopping or even looking for some recreational land, beware of this pitfall. If you qualify for a certain amount (say $100,000), you find a home that is listed around $110,000, and you offer a bid of $100,000. The seller may accept your offer but you have left yourself no wiggle room if they choose to counter. Without covering the additional costs yourself you will likely miss out on this home or property.
Having a general pre-approval letter is best as this does not show your hand to what you can afford, only that you are able to be approved for purchasing that real estate. Coming to the table with an approval letter stating you are pre-approved for the exact amount of your offer could make a listing agent and the seller uncertain about your ability to close the transaction.
Everyone wants a deal. Not all real estate is over priced. Make sure that your buyers agent is educating you on current market trends and values. Making a low ball offer could insult the seller and make them not want to work with you right out of the gate. Submitting a low offer is not bad as long as it is in the general area of the current market conditions. Use the data your agent provides you to justify your offer. Low ball offers more times than not backfire, as sellers will generally reject the offer outright or even counter at a higher than asking price just to show what they think of your offer.
This can be very dangerous for a buyer. If you choose to waive your home inspection or property inspection period be very careful. Those inspection periods are there to protect you the buyer from any undisclosed information that would be found during an inspection. Until your inspection period is complete you should never waive your right to these. Waiving your inspection periods could also cost you your earnest money deposit if you choose to back out of the deal.
In today’s market buyers need to be prepared for competing offers. Your agent and you need to present yourself as a strong and reliable buyer. The sellers agent is helping them make the decision on which party they think would be the easiest to work with and which is most likely to close. Avoid being nit picky, be confident in your offer, and don’t fret over items that can be changed such as paint color.
The best approach to take is listen to your agent. They have access to all of the data. Use that data to make your decision in the negotiating process and don’t wait to make your offer or you could miss out on your dream home or property.
How do Realtors sell your home? Short and sweet….MARKETING. Some do it well, others not so much. In the day of ever changing technology and ideas, you want a company that knows how to target the right audience for your real estate. Whether that be vacant land, lakefront homes, residential, or large private tracts of land. Our team of experts know how to find the buyers for your real estate. When you are looking for something on Google one of the first things that comes up is videos. There are some agents out there that make video slideshows of the images they took. Others go above and beyond and incorporate internal video of your home. If you had to choose, which would you want from your agent? I know I would my agent to do everything in their power to attract the most buyers to my home or land.
Talk to one of our agents about marketing your real estate with video today.
If you would like to see some samples of our work look below or check out our YouTube channels at the bottom.
Check out our new waterfront listing inventory that just hit the market! We have options on Lake Superior, Bass Lake, Peshekee River, Pike Lake, Lake Michigamme, Granite Lake, Nelligan Lake, Dam Lake, the Michigamme River, Thomas Lake, and Horseshoe Lake.
This Spring has been one of the best we’ve had for new waterfront listings. Our waterfront inventory spans great options on the Great Lakes, inland lakes, private lakes, and rivers throughout the Upper Peninsula. We have so many options, we invite you to explore our invetory but also welcome emails or calls for assistance in finding a property to suit your needs. Sometimes a wealth of options can be overwhelming and makes it difficult to locate the right property for a particular buyer. That is exactly what we are here for and we welcome the opportunity to help narrow the options for you.
U.P. wildlife is out and active as Spring comes upon us in the Upper Peninsula.
It is Spring in the U.P. and despite the weather, we are seeing all kinds of wildlife out in the field. On a particular Saturday in mid April, I saw a number of grouse, deer, woodcock, ducks, geese, turkeys, and a rooster pheasant! Game seems to be relocating, migrating, and moving about to find mates or fresh food sources.
We’ve been seeing a pleasantly surprising number of grouse and woodcock this spring. This one in the photo above jumped up into view when I slowed to look at a property line. Without that movement, I would have never spotted it. From what I’ve seen of mature birds this winter and Spring, we should have a strong population this coming fall if the hatching season has good conditions.
This whitetail doe gave us a chance to snap a few pics while browsing just off the Hilltop Kelso Road in Iron County. Spring in the U.P. brings fresh buds and green up that the deer seek out. This doe was feeding on regeneration in an old clearing just off the main road. We had several other deer sightings this day, but this was the only camera friendly encounter. The deer numbers in the U.P. seem to be higher this year than in recent memory. We’ve seen more live deer, highway kills, and sign in the woods than in recent years. Hopefully this will translate to a healthier herd going forward.
One of the great aspects of what we do is being outdoors throughout the seasons and enjoying the U.P. wildlife. While traveling to view new properties we cover much of the Upper Peninsula and are blessed with the opportunity to see the great variety of wildlife that the U.P. has to offer.
We receive requests from out-of-state buyers constantly who want to view property or homes in the Upper Peninsula. Buyers reach out because they may be feeling pressure from a family member or friend to use a specific agent in their area as a referring agent. They may have a friend or family member who is a REALTOR® that have said they would find an agent for them in the area they are looking. The buyers generally have no idea of who they are being referred to.
What is that agent really doing? The friend/family member (who was a REALTOR®) is looking for a local agent that is willing to pay a referral fee for sending them the buyer. Most referral fees tend to be on average 25% in the real estate market. The percentage is taken off of the buyers side of the commission in this example. Buyers tend to believe they are being referred to an gent that is personally known by the family member or friend. In all reality, they agent they are being referred by is just trying to make some extra money and didn’t know the agents here. This means that the buyer is being treated as a financial item, not a person trying to purchase their next dream home or recreational property.
This is a pretty common scenario. Many REALTORS® are trained to be ruthless in an effort to be part of any real estate transaction that involves someone they know. REALTORS® are encouraged to constantly be part of the conversation within their “internal circle”. If you are in that circle, you may be constantly bombarded with pitch lines and other marketing ploys so that you are mentioning those agents to anyone you know.
Now, I am not saying this is a bad thing if the REALTOR® you know is truly a professional and always looks out for their clients. But don’t assume that a REALTOR® is good just because they are great at networking. What makes a great REALTOR® is someone who will look out for their clients best interest regardless of what the commission is or who their friends are.
The competency of your agent has a huge impact your real estate transaction. Buyers nowadays feel like they know everything their is to know about real estate with all the information available online. The reality is that a real estate transaction is not always a one size fits all deal. Choosing the right REALTOR® can make all the difference in your transaction.
Some buyers, and even sellers, think that an agent is only there to open the doors for you to view homes on the market, write a contract, and collect a check at closing. If this is how you were serviced than you were poorly served by your agent. An agent should constantly be involved throughout the process, providing you with education, knowledge, and guidance.
It is crucial that you feel that your information will be kept secure and protected throughout your transaction. Working with an agent who is a close friend or family member, or close with those individuals, can be very awkward if you have details of your transaction you did not want out get released. Having an independent 3rd party separate from your personal life is a good way to eliminate that problem.
Your agent may be very talkative and this could lead to them inadvertently letting out details that would hurt you in a negotiation process. Professional REALTORS® know that personal information about their clients should never be exchanged to anyone without their clients written consent. Some agents feel they can speak on your behalf or even make decisions for you because they know you so well by being related or friends of a relative. This is a terrible mistake, but it happens all too often. Before hiring a REALTOR® who has been referred to you, make sure that they have a are professional and can assure you that they are not “loose lip talkers”.
If your agent ensures that you fully understand a situation, you are much more likely to get the results that you are looking for. Being properly informed is a major advantage when buying or selling a home. When you are working with an agent who is referred, there is a good probability that they make not be as experienced as one of the top local agents. They may not be as willing to be upfront and honest with you, as they may be concerned with offending you. Having an agent who is straightforward and tells you what needs to be told is vital to manage expectations.
There are a great deal of details and information to cover in a real estate transaction. Unfortunately, choosing an agent who is not able to communicate all of these details fully, may leave you confused and unsure about certain critical items. Being uncertain on any part of your deal can cause additional undue stress and potentially cause your deal to fall apart. Before you hire an agent that has been refereed to you, make contact with them. Make sure they communicate in a way that makes you feel comfortable about the working relationship you are getting into. Ensure they provide factual information and not just their opinions. Remember, a home purchase is probably the largest transaction you will have in your lifetime. Ensuring that your agent represents you in the way you want is important to avoiding a lifelong mistake.
When working with an agent who has been referred to you, ensure that they understand the common legal issues that can affect a real estate transaction. If your agent is related to you, you may need to disclose that with the other party, based on your State’s regulations. Some states require this disclosure because it has such a strong influence on a Realtors decision making process.
Find out if your agent has been or is involved in any lawsuits pertaining to there practice. Agents are not attorneys. Many times REALTORS® are asked legal questions that they should not be answering. When working with someone associated with your friends or family, they can be tempted to advise you out of personal opinion.
When legal issues become part of the real estate transaction a good real estate agent knows how to navigate these obstacles and provide you with the guidance and direction you need. The information an agent provides needs to remain objective and without personal opinion. Your REALTOR® should always recommend that you hire an attorney if you feel the need to. This should never discouraged. They should be more of an “advisory” role, rather than a salesperson or someone helping you shop for a home or property. A good real estate agent should follow your lead on every decision and keep you properly informed throughout the process.
It is unwise to plays roulette and go with first REALTOR® that is referred to you. Most importantly, determine what the motivation of the person referring the agent to you is. Find out if they have used that agent previously and had success with them. If they do not know that agent personally or are only referring them because of a referral fee, you may need to find another agent. Conduct your own due diligence and be cautious before partnering up with an agent.
Use the internet to your advantage and research any agent you find online. If they have no reviews and no web presence, ask them point blank why that is. If you feel that the agents answers are vague or misleading, use common sense to determine if you should find another realtor. REALTORS® have much more leverage over your success than you may realize. Don’t hire an agent who is questionable. There are plenty of great, hardworking, honest REALTORS® in your area. Find an agent who is highly reputable and offers you the best service that you can find. You will be extremely glad that you did!
The market for waterfront properties in the Upper Peninsula is on the move in a positive direction. This market might have seen the greatest increases in values of any market in the U.P. during the mid 2000s. Terms that applied to markets throughout the country such as “Real Estate bubble”, certainly applied to the Upper Peninsula’s waterfront market. Many buyers were purchasing properties on speculation that this market would continue to see large gains in value.
Much of the purchasing power for these waterfront properties came from home equity loans. As the national housing market ran high, many homeowners refinanced and took their equity out to make waterfront purchases. When the Real Estate “bubble” burst in 2008, the market for U.P. waterfront properties soon followed. As the finances of many investors and homeowners alike took a hit, the buyers for our waterfront parcels almost disappeared. Combined with the lack of buyers, a flood of sellers looking to get money out of the market pushed inventories high and values down.
It took a few years after 2008 for this market to really hit the bottom. It took even more time for much of the inventory to reduce and buyers to come back to this market so that values could stabilize. Well, we are now happy to say that this has definitely happened. In the past four years, we have seen steady increases in sales volumes. In the past two years, we have started to see an increase in market values. Real Estate markets in the U.P. vary greatly from location to location, but generally, things are positive.
While the bottom of the market may have passed, the time to buy has not. Some of our lakes, rivers, and other non-residential property types have just started to see this positive movement. A buyer can take comfort in this stabilization while also getting into the market at a good value point. The best news here may be for sellers. Sellers that may be thinking the market isn’t good enough to move their property, very well may be wrong.
If you have a waterfront property in the U.P. and you’ve been thinking that conditions are not good enough to sell, please reconsider. We have seen strong increases in sales within this market for several years in a row now. This winter, we have seen an increase in buyers in this marketplace. While pricing new inventory, we are also seeing increases in values over previous years.
So as we transition from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, there are good opportunities for both buyers and sellers. If you are either, please contact us to discuss your specific property type and location. Waterfront markets can literally vary from lake to lake, so let us know where you’d like to buy or sell and we can provide up to date accurate information on the current status of that market.
While we may not be back at the pre-crash levels of the 2006-2007 markets, we feel like this market has definitely turned the corner. As other similar markets have pressed to all time high levels, we feel like there is significant room to move in this market as well. The U.P. has so many great waterfront properties to offer and now is a great to buy, or sell one of these.
As we roll into the selling season this Spring, we have some incredible new listings that will hit the market in the next month. Riverfront properties, inland lake frontage, building acreage, timberland, and even an entire private lake!
We are currently pricing and prepping these properties for the market. Our newest listings always posts to our homepage
and follow on our weekly newsletter and facebook page. This time of year, the new properties tend to come in bunches, so make sure to check with us frequently. We don’t expect much of these new listings to last long, so don’t delay, contact us today!
If you have a particular need or desire, email or call us and we’ll set you up to directly receive options within your criteria. Don’t miss your opportunity at an amazing property this year. We understand that you’re busy, so let us do the work for you.
If you have not already, please subscribe to our newsletter and like us on facebook to keep up with our latest and greatest. Or, contact one of our great Agents today to set up your personalized search.
Today, a market study done by the National Association of Realtors was released on existing home sales in the month of February. There are many great points to be taken from this report. Our residential market in the Upper Peninsula tends to track a little behind the national market, so keeping an eye on these reports gives us somewhat of a glance into the future. We are already seeing this similar trend in our market, so much of this data is applicable to our local markets.
WASHINGTON (March 22, 2017) — After starting the year at the fastest pace in almost a decade, existing-home sales slid in February but remained above year ago levels both nationally and in all major regions, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Total existing-home sales 1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, retreated 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in February from 5.69 million in January. Despite last month’s decline, February’s sales pace is still 5.4 percent above a year ago.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings retreated in February as too few properties for sale and weakening affordability conditions stifled buyers in most of the country. “Realtors® are reporting stronger foot traffic from a year ago, but low supply in the affordable price range continues to be the pest that’s pushing up price growth and pressuring the budgets of prospective buyers,” he said. “Newly listed properties are being snatched up quickly so far this year and leaving behind minimal choices for buyers trying to reach the market.”
Added Yun, “A growing share of homeowners in NAR’s first quarter HOME survey said now is a good time to sell, but until an increase in listings actually occurs, home prices will continue to move hastily.”
The median existing-home price 2 for all housing types in February was $228,400, up 7.7 percent from February 2016 ($212,100). February’s price increase was the fastest since last January (8.1 percent) and marks the 60th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory 3 at the end of February increased 4.2 percent to 1.75 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.4 percent lower than a year ago (1.87 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 21 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace (3.5 months in January).
All-cash sales were 27 percent of transactions in February (matching the highest since November 2015), up from 23 percent in January and 25 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in February, up from 15 percent in January but down from 18 percent a year ago. Seventy-one percent of investors paid in cash in February (matching highest since April 2015).
First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in February, which is down from 33 percent in January but up from 30 percent a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers — released in late 2016 4 — revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.
“The affordability constraints holding back renters from buying is a signal to many investors that rental demand will remain solid for the foreseeable future,” said Yun. “Investors are still making up an above average share of the market right now despite steadily rising home prices and few distressed properties on the market, and their financial wherewithal to pay in cash gives them a leg-up on the competition against first-time buyers.”
According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage inched up in February to 4.17 percent from 4.15 percent in January. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.
Properties typically stayed on the market for 45 days in February, down from 50 days in January and considerably more than a year ago (59 days). Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 214 days in February, while foreclosures sold in 49 days and non-distressed homes took 45 days. Forty-two percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month.
Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in February were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 23 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 27 days; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., 33 days; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 36 days; and Boulder, Colo., at 37 days.
NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, says being fully prepared is the right strategy for prospective buyers this spring. “Seek a preapproval from a lender, know what your budget is and begin discussions with a Realtor® early on about your housing wants and needs,” he said. “Homes in many areas are selling faster than they were last spring. A buyer’s idea of a dream home in a popular neighborhood is probably the same as many others. That’s why they’ll likely have to decide quickly if they see something they like and can afford.”
Distressed sales 5 — foreclosures and short sales — were 7 percent of sales for the third straight month in February, and are down from 10 percent a year ago. Six percent of February sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in February (14 percent in January), while short sales were discounted 17 percent (10 percent in January).
Single-family home sales declined 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million in February from 5.04 million in January, and are now 5.8 percent above the 4.62 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $229,900 in February, up 7.6 percent from February 2016.
Existing condominium and co-op sales descended 9.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000 units in February, but are still 1.7 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $216,100 in February, which is 8.2 percent above a year ago.
February existing-home sales in the Northeast slumped 13.8 percent to an annual rate of 690,000, but are still 1.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $250,200, which is 4.1 percent above February 2016.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 7.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.20 million in February, but are still 2.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $171,700, up 6.1 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the South in January rose 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 2.34 million, and are now 5.9 percent above February 2016. The median price in the South was $205,300, up 9.6 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West decreased 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million in February, but are 9.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $339,900, up 9.6 percent from February 2016.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.
1 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.
Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample — about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month — and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.
The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.
Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.
2 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.
The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.
3 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).
4 Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.
5 Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.
NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for February is scheduled for release on March 29, and Existing-Home Sales for March will be released April 21; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.
Technology is constantly evolving and changing the Real Estate industry. One of the latest and most exiting pieces of technology is the “drone”. These units are capable of shooting high quality video from high above a property providing perspective we’ve never had before. While virtual tours have been the rage recently, we see the “view from above” concept to be a great leap forward for all properties, but particularly large acreage and waterfront parcels.
There was a time when we actually took photos from low flying air planes as a way to get good photography of larger tracts or special properties. Now this drone technology puts that capability at our fingertips. With a little practice, these units can be directed over a parcel while capturing a video and photos. We can use them to inspect locations or areas that are difficult to access. Even a closer look at a roof or chimney of a building can come in very handy at times.
In 2016, we started to use this technology and we will integrate that into our marketing on a broad scale in 2017 and beyond. As we continue to look for an edge in the marketplace and lead the Upper Peninsula region in marketing and sales of unique and special properties, drones will be a key tool for us and our clients. Not only do these provide a great perspective on a property, but the quality of the video and attention that it can bring to a listing will really set our properties apart. While we are sure many others will begin to utilize this platform, we are ahead of competition on this and plan to stay there.