50th Anniversary of Fair Housing Act

 

 

Hi everyone.  Hope you are having a wonderful week.

Today is a significant day.  50 years ago the Fair Housing Act was enacted.

Most of my first time home buyers are so young, it would never occur to many of them that, when we happily go house hunting, there would have been a time that they could have been discriminated against in housing.  Could have been their race, their gender, their religious affiliation, the number of children they had, etc. ….and they would have had no legal recourse.

The National Association of Realtors has created a wonderful video about the history of this landmark legislation as well as how we must continually strive for inclusiveness.

Best regards,

Terry Jackson | Realtor at Domicile One Realty | www.DomicileOne.com | 913-488-5623

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2018 KC Metro Housing Forecast

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Hi there, everyone.  Thanks so much for taking the time to check out our post today.

I’m going to focus on the residential outlook for 2018 and the specific items that continue to drive our seller’s market.

Wichita State University’s Barton School of Business researched and published a concise overview of our KC Metro market.  This was through their Division of Real Estate.

Here are some takeaways from the report (Click to view the full 8 page report)

What drives buyers?  Good area employment opportunities and mortgage interest rates and both of these support the buyers right now.  Per their report, the employment growth in KC has outpaced the national rate over the last three years.  Couple that with 30 year fixed mortgage rates remaining attractive and we have lots of buyers interested in the housing market.

The buyer’s, however, run into a tight squeeze as home sales growth continues to decrease year over year.  This tight home inventory is the driving force behind that.    New home construction continues to increase and the report predicts an increase of 2% or 6005 units in 2018.  This is welcome news to be sure, but not nearly enough to neutralize this tight market.

To give you some perspective on how swift the market is right now, we are under 2 months of inventory in the KC Metro right now.  This means that it would take less than 2 months to sell all homes currently active based on rate of sales.  A neutral/balanced market would be at 6 months.

The WSU report has a wonderful graphic showing percentage of homes sold in the first 10 days.   From 2011-2015,  26.8% of homes were sold within the first 10 days of being listed.  In 2017, it was 46.9%.  This illustrates the competition that our buyers are facing when trying to get under contract.   This is particularly true of homes between 100K-250K per the report.

You can imagine what this does to home prices.  According to the report, home prices are up 23.8% since 2013 and are at their fastest pace since 2001.  The report predicts another 6.6% rise in prices in 2018.

If there is any additional info you need or questions we can help with, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Terry Jackson | Domicile One Realty | www.DomicileOne.com | 913-488-5623

 

 

 

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Tips on Negotiating your Home Sale or Purchase

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Today’s topic covers home sale negotiations, some common scenarios and tips for your transaction.

As Realtors, we would like you to be as enthusiastic and excited at the closing table as you were on the original consultation, however, there are many steps between the two.  The types of negotiating styles of the various parties can be effective or an obstacle to overcome.

Unless a home is being sold as is, there are two negotiations on a real estate purchase.

  1. The first is the initial offer and terms such as closing date, earnest money, seller paid closing costs, etc.
  2. The second is the repair request negotiations based on a qualified inspector’s report.

The first negotiation oftentimes has influence on the latter.  Too much back and forth on the initial negotiation of price and terms results in (what I like to call) “negotiation fatigue”.  This emotional drain sometimes carries over into the inspection related repair negotiations that will occur less than two weeks later.

Know what market you are in.  In a strong seller’s market, the seller might have a backup offer or 5 others they passed over to sign yours.  I’m not saying take something that is unacceptable to you, but buyers need to cognizant that they have competition.

Most times, we see people who want to feel respected and treated fairly and they do likewise.  Other times, and it is rare, we encounter people that not only want to win, they just as passionately want others to lose.  An unfortunate mindset to be sure.  If you enter into a real estate transaction thinking that you will be getting everything you want, you will be in for a difficult road ahead and you may not make it to the finish line.  This mindset views the other party as an adversary.  To what degree depends upon the individual.  We aren’t saying that all transactions are hearts and flowers, but if you believe you must prevail at every turn, you will be disappointed in the outcome.

Tips for negotiating in a real estate purchases and sales:

  • No home is perfect….not even a new one.  Show some flexibility and be realistic.
  • Be cognizant of what type of market you are in.  We are in a strong sellers market and buyers cannot expect to submit pages of minimal repair requests.  The buyer’s agent is instrumental on counseling their clients in this regard.
  • Be clear on what items are deal breakers for you.  Prioritize your wants and needs.
  • Just because we are in a seller’s market does not mean the seller has to do nothing regarding repairs.  Unless the property is sold as is, the buyer is expecting some reasonable consideration on their repair requests.

In the end, you make the decisions on what will and will not work regarding negotiations.  Your real estate agent, however, has a fiduciary responsibility to you….the client.  They are working for you and their experience in the market, knowledge of property condition and area pricing will provide you with a fact-based negotiating strategy.   Utilize their expertise and counsel.

Thanks for taking the time to read the post.  Reach out to us with anything you need.

Best regards,

Terry Jackson | Realtor at Domicile One Realty | www.DomicileOne.com | 913-488-5623

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5 Quick Tips for Beginner Homebuyers

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Hello everyone.  Our Real Estate Brokerage, Domicile One Realty, was founded to support first time buyers.  We want to make certain our clients receive professional representation that exceeds all others with a strong focus on cost savings.

We don’t expect our clients to know the process A to Z.  That’s our job.  We do, however, want our clients informed of the process and costs so that they don’t have any surprises along the way.

Here are some quick tips for those considering a purchase.

— Find out if you are eligible for down payment assistance programs in your area.

Missouri has  great programs for first time buyers offering lowered interest rates, cash for down payment or participation in Federal Tax Credit on 25% of your annual mortgage interest.   Give us a call to see if you are eligible.

— Get pre approved.

Speak with a few lenders and see which is a good fit for you.  Ask them about their current rates and what their APR is as well.  The APR will give you a good feel as to their charges and fees as compared with other lenders.  Head’s up if you are eligible for Missouri assistance programs.  Not all lenders participate in these programs so make certain you ask them.  You can also give us a ring and we will direct you to the resources to find out.

— Start making a list of things that are important to you in your home.  Examples would be school district, square footage, whether you want a basement, how many bedrooms and baths, garage, etc.  Just keep brainstorming so you will have that ready when you meet with your buyer’s agent.  Have your “Top 5” list ready.

— Interview more than one buyer’s agent.

Talk with a few Realtors about their service offering.  We think of this quite a bit on the listing side of things, but buyers need to find that good fit as well.  This Realtor will be undertaking an important role in your journey.  Ask for resume, references, experience in the industry.  Pay attention to the speed of their call backs and email responses.  In this market, you need answers quickly and you will need a full-time agent that is responsive.

— You don’t have to do this alone.

Even when buyers might be purchasing a home for themselves, always feel free to bring along parents, significant others, friends, etc.  If there is an individual(s) whose opinion you value, by all means, invite them along on the home showings.  I’ve been a full-time agent for almost eight years now and friends and family are always welcome.  This should never be discouraged.

This is a short list of items to consider as you start your homebuyer’s journey.  This time of year, we usually start to see the home sales pick up and we’d love to sit down with you and be one of the agents you interview.    We are the only brokerage in Kansas City that specializes in first time home buyers and we bring a lot of experience and cost savings to the table.

Best regards,

Terry Jackson | Realtor at Domicile One Realty | www.DomicileOne.com | 913-488-5623

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m not buying or selling so why do I need a Realtor in my life?

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Sometimes when I reach out to contacts to see if they’d like to be on a newsletter or ongoing market report, they decide to pass because they aren’t currently in the market.  I make certain they know that having a Realtor in your life is valuable even when you are not actively in the market.  There are many, many compelling reasons to stay on those monthly e-newsletters and hang on to that fridge magnet.

#1 — You might have a family member or friend that needs some advice or brokerage services and you will have a referral at the ready.

#2 — Refinancing, getting a home equity loan, or removing PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) from your monthly payment typically involve an appraisal from the lender.  If you aren’t happy about the number they come back with, we can help you with a detailed market valuation for your area.

#3 — County Tax appraisals come in each spring and, with the increase in home valuations, you might be considering appealing yours if you think it is too out of whack.  We can help arm you with relevant data to take to the county.

#4 — Your home is not just where you live, it is an asset and a big part of your net worth.  Stay current on this most important piggy bank.  If you are applying for other types of loans, you will want your current home valuation for your application.

#5 — First time buyers don’t always know what down payment programs are out there for them and, when it is time to look, you will be familiar with what is available to you.

#6 — We are a great resource for vendors!  Need an electrician, foundation bid, new driveway, roof, lender for refinance?  We can help.

#7 — If you are a business owner, consider inviting me to a staff meeting where I can share a quick 15 minute course for First-Time Home buyers.  Your employees will love you because, in many cases, you will save them thousands of dollars in down payment assistance money.

#8  — How methodical and predictable a Realtor reaches out to you is a glimpse into their professionalism and tenure.  Do you always know that you will get a card, calendar, sports schedule phone call or text on a regular basis?  That Realtor is organized and it is a good indicator as to how they will be in your transaction.  Also, if you’ve been seeing their notifications for years, it means that they have been an active Realtor for that many years.  We have quite a bit of turnover in this business and you are witnessing their longevity.

#9 —  Life changes and you never know when you will need one.  Unfortunately, not all change is positive we don’t always get to plan when we need to buy or sell.  Instead the decision has been made for us.  We help those going through divorce, death of a loved one, etc.

As always, we’d love to assist you with anything you need and if you’d like to be on our monthly e-newsletters, please contact us and we’d be happy to sign you up.

This will be our last blog post of 2017 and will pick it up again the first of January.  I hope you have been able to take some of the shared information and use it in your life or tuck it away for a time you might need it.  I so appreciate your taking the time out of your busy life to read these each week and feel free to share and forward to anyone you feel this might assist in their journey.

Wishing you all my best for a happy and safe holiday season.

Terry Jackson | Realtor at Domicile One Realty | www.DomicileOne.com | 913-488-5623

 

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KC Metro End-of-Year Housing Summary

Annual Sales by County

Hi there, everyone.  Another tremendous year for home valuations all across the KC Metro.  I’ve pulled sales data from 7 metro counties and compared the median sale prices and days on the market with 2016’s data.  Every single county exceeded the previous year’s sales prices and each saw reduced days on the market as well.  Click to view full report with all counties on my website.  In addition, I’ve got the city data broken out for Johnson and Jackson counties as well.

Johnson and Jackson Counties had about a 6% increase in sales prices, but Cass and Leavenworth brought in the highest gains with 11% and 9% respectively.

Top three Johnson County subdivisions in order by number of sales are as follows:

Havencroft in Olathe
South Hampton in Olathe
Leawood Estates in Leawood

Working with so many first-time buyer clients, I can tell you that this amazing seller’s market is not a favorable climate for them.  According to the National Association of Realtor’s forecast, we can see home valuations (nationwide) increase around 4.5% over the next two years then tapering off to 2.9% by year three.   Now a 4.5% increase is not going to have a go/no-go influence on a buyer on its own, however, other hurdles to buyers do exist such as student debt burdens increasing their debt-to-income percentages which reduce buying power.  In a market where home valuations increase in a manner that feels like bitcoin, you need the buying power to keep up.  In 2015, 15% of borrowers had an excess of $50,000 in student loan debt and this percentage has been steadily increasing since 2005.

A key factor in home sale prices increasing is the lack of supply.   Not enough homes for sale to meet the demand keeps those prices up and days on the market down.  If you are a regular reader, you know that I’m always searching for variables in our region as to why fewer homes are on the market and I stumbled upon an interesting topic. I recently read an article from the National Association of Realtors stating that homeowner’s “tenure” is higher.  The average amount of years a homeowner stayed in their home prior to resale used to be 7 years.  It is now at 10 years (and had been as high as 12).  So we can now add this to the “why so little supply?” list.  In addition, new home construction — although improving in our area — is lower than average (nationwide) and I still think we cannot rule out investment purchases for rental homes (in large scale) as a factor.

By no means are these the only variables to our KC Metro climate right now, but there are enough of them to paint a picture.  Increases to the home values coupled with the demands against a potential home buyers income (ex. student loan) will introduce an affordability issue with buyers.  Homes that were $135,000 in 2016 and jump to $150,000 in a single year push out potential home buyers.   This is why a neutral market is so much more beneficial for all.  Extreme sellers and buyers markets will correct, however, as neither is sustainable forever.

I believe that Domicile One Realty is looking at, and in many cases generating, these stats and trends much, much more than your typical agent.  I also believe that our pricing structure for listings and our commitment to finding as many cost savings for buyers is a unique mindset in the KC Metro Real Estate world not to mention a brokerage’s mission statement.   I strive to make our client costs savings a well-known fact in this area and this is not a gimmick.  Way too many first-time homebuyers do not know (because no Realtor has shared with them or didn’t know themselves) that they are eligible for down payment assistance programs.  That is thousands of dollars that they had to save or could have used somewhere else.   On the flip side, when a seller is charged thousands of dollars more using a commission model that is decades old, something is wrong there.  It is counter intuitive that some in the real estate community will tell clients that their home is the largest financial purchase they will ever make and then proceed to remove, in the way of commissions and fees, so much hard-won equity when it is time to sell.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, we want to help.  We would love to be one of the Realtors you interview so that we can review our services, marketing commitment and how we will help you with cost savings.   Using the Johnson County median price as an example, we would save the seller $5428 in commission in one home alone.  Think about how you could use that savings.  Check out our website for more info.

If you would like more specific information for your area, please feel free to reach out to us.

Take care,

Terry Jackson  |  Domicile One Realty |  www.DomicileOne.com  | 913-488-5623

Copyright © 2017  Domicile One Realty, LLC,  All rights reserved.

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How would you like to be part of adding $43M into the KC Metro economy in a single year?

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If you are a regular reader, you know that Domicile One Realty prices our listing sides a bit differently from the pack.  Where others might charge a seller a 6% commission on the sale price, we allocate 3% to the listing agent not to exceed $3950 plus 3% of sale to the buyer’s agent.  No fees at all.  It is the “not exceeding $3950” that makes such a huge difference. This means that if your home sells in excess of $133,000, you will be saving money by listing with us when compared to a 6% commission structure.

So what about the $43 million in the headline?  While preparing my year-end housing report, I wondered how much sellers would have saved if every single 2017 sale in Johnson County had been listed by Domicile One.  I compared our prices with those at a 3% listing side and I even reduced that percentage to 2% for properties over $500,000 just to be fair.  The comparison is dramatic to say the least.

      $78,131,980  versus $34,293,900 translates to a consumer savings of $43,838,080

What would it mean if that money was put into the KC Metro economy.  School tuition…  Goods and services…Business startups…Charities…College Funds…Savings Accounts and rainy day money.  The list could go on forever.

A 6% commission is so entrenched in the minds of most consumers, they don’t often think about where that money could be going and is it a sensible payment for services with today’s technology?  We hope you invite us to be one of the Realtors you interview when it is time to sell.  We will go over our services list, marketing plan and the very important net proceeds so you will have all the information put in front of you.  What will you do with your savings?

Take care,

Terry Jackson | 913-488-5623 | www.DomicileOne.com | Terry@DomicileOne.com

Copyright © 2017   Domicile One Realty, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

Posted in Domicile One Realty, KC Metro Home Selling, KC Metro Real Estate Report

Should I Sell my Home during the Holidays?

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Holiday decorations, the aroma of holiday baking….not a bad way to show off your home for family and friends, but what about potential home buyers?

There seems to be this idea that you shouldn’t try to sell your home during the holidays, but is this true?  I recently read an article by Mike Ferry, a well-known real estate coach, that highlights reasons to go ahead and do just that.

— He states that buyers are going to be more serious during this time and that is accurate.  Buyer’s requesting showing appointments aren’t doing so because it is part of their holiday tradition.  They are, more than likely, serious buyers and their agents (who also have holiday items to attend to) will see to that.

— Mike also mentions that the seller can control the showing schedule.  This is also a good point that sellers don’t always realize.  You don’t need to worry about people requesting showings when you don’t want them.  Just ask your listing agent to restrict those times and dates and you won’t even be bothered with the showing request.

— Holiday decorations really show off a home and yours will more than likely be “show ready” during this time due to friends and family gatherings.

So we know that buyers are serious during this time, you can control the schedule and your home will show beautifully, but what about the numbers?

If you are a regular reader, you know there are charts coming…

I pulled up sales for the past 5 years in Johnson County, KS comparing single family sales for the month of May (a reliably brisk month for sales) against December.  The number of closed sales is consistently smaller in December as opposed to May which probably does not surprise you, but read on….

Holiday Sales

What about the prices though?  With the same location and time interval, I compared average sale prices.  Many would think the sale prices would be lower, but are they?   Ho-Ho-NO!  As you can see below, December sale prices more than held their own against those in the summer.  This is a point to underscore as the perception/fear of many is lower proceeds when selling during the holidays.

Number of Sales

I hope this provides some insight to sellers contempating a sale in December.  You can see that this does not have to be a negative in pricing or flexibility.  In fact, there might even be some advantages in this seller’s market where new inventory is sorely needed.

If you would like to talk more about this topic, we’d love to hear from you.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season,

Terry Jackson  |  Domicile One Realty  |  913-488-5623  |  www.DomicileOne.com

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Natalie Rowe of North American Savings Bank awarded 2017 Employer-Assisted Housing Award.

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Domicile One Realty is pleased to announce this year’s KC Metro Employer-Assisted Housing award winner — Natalie Rowe of North American Savings Bank (NASB). This annual acknowledgement recognizes KC Metro professionals that take a leadership role in bringing awareness to the vital need of home buyer education.

Throughout the entire year, Natalie has tirelessly demonstrated her strong commitment and continued focus on employer outreach.  She consistently shares how employers have opportunities to play a significant role in their staff’s path to homeownership by offering home buyer education.

Terry Jackson, founder of Domicile One Realty said, “Education is a tremendous benefit to a first time home buyer and area professionals that actively support these endeavors should be recognized.  We applaud Natalie Rowe for her diligence in taking this message to the business community and hope that this recognition will complement her continued efforts.”

Almost 40,000 real estate transactions were closed in the KC Metro this year.  According to a National Association of Realtor’s Buyer Survey, four of every 10 real estate transactions involve a first time home buyer.

Click to read full press release.

 

Copyright © 2017   Domicile One Realty, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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Examining the Stigma of the “Discount” Brokerage

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I never heard the word discount used in such a disparaging way until I became a Realtor.  Who doesn’t love a discount?  In our industry, however, a discount broker is sometimes looked at sideways by a good many in the industry nationwide.  Too often, the perception of a discount or flat-fee brokerage is one of neglecting the clients or disrupting the industry itself by offering lower rates or commissions.

Not a winning endorsement is it?  Well, as a broker owner that does have pricing on the lower end, I wanted to spend some time on this topic and provide some guidance that might help clear the fog for today’s consumers.  With the right research, this could be an opportunity to examine.

Speaking of consumers, I apologize that all this confusion might impact your decision making and, potentially, your bottom line.  Assuming that all brokerages that charge less must offer less is incorrect.  When uttered by real estate professionals as a knee-jerk response to a lower-priced competitor, that simply makes folks suspicious of us all.

I won’t make the same mistake and tell you all agencies that have lower pricing are wonderful.  On the flip side, I won’t tell you firms that charge more are wrong to do so because I don’t know all of the service lists of the 1000 plus brokerages in the KC Metro.

As in everything in life, we must do our own homework.  I want to encourage you to do your own research when interviewing your listing agent.  No matter how many brokerages you interview, ask for a marketing plan, a services list, a list of client testimonials or references, the Realtor’s resume, plus their track record on sales.  This way you can see if you are comparing apples to apples because these are the differentiators….the value/experience/professionalism being provided.  You then can move forward with an educated decision based on facts no matter which brokerage gets your business.  For further assurance, arrange for a concession in the listing agreement that you can cancel your agreement if these promises are not being kept.

As for Domicile One Realty, we didn’t just throw a dart and pick our price.  We know our bottom line, costs per transaction and our monthly overhead is kept low.  It’s not a discount.  Our price is just our price.  We really do care about our clients getting as much in seller proceeds as possible and we can still do that and offer a full service experience at the same time.  If a client can even retain an additional $1,000 that doesn’t go to commissions and fees….well, that’s real money folks.  That’s a local moving truck, or books for a semester of college, a new refrigerator, or maybe a car repair….you get the idea.

Our listing service fee?  3% not to exceed $3,950 on listing side + 3% for Buyer’s Agent.  No office or transaction fees…not ever.

As usual, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have and we’d love to be one of the brokerages you interview if you are contemplating a sale.

Thanks for visiting the blog today and I hope you have a great week!

Terry Jackson |  Domicile One Realty  |  http://www.DomicileOne.com  |  913-488-5623

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