‘This is Our Moment. Own it.’

“Are you ready to own it with me?”  asked Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation REALTOR® and the sixth woman to become president of the National Association of REALTORS® in the past 110 years. “We absolutely have the power to make a difference.”

Mendenhall was sworn into office by her father Richard Mendenhall, who was 2001 NAR president. “There is nothing more powerful in this journey than sharing it with others,” she said addressing thousands of REALTORS® at the Inaugural gala during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago.

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Mendenhall ended her inaugural festivities with a group rendition of “REALTORS® Own It”—the vibrant tune that she co-wrote for her presidency. The song evokes the pride and power embodied in dedicated real estate pros who strive each day to meet the complex needs of their clients and keep the industry strong.

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Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Maintain Fast Growth

Low Inventory Causes Home Prices to Maintain Fast Growth | Simplifying The Market

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Quarterly Metro Home Price Report last week. The report revealed that severely lacking inventory across the country drained sales growth and kept home prices rising at a steady clip in nearly all metro areas. Home prices rose 5.3% over the last quarter across all metros.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, discussed the impact of low inventory on buyers in the report:

“Unfortunately, the pace of new listings were unable to replace what was quickly sold. Home shoppers had little to choose from, and many had to outbid others in order to close on a home. The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth and weakening affordability conditions.”

What this means to sellers

Rising prices are a homeowner’s best friend. As reported by the Washington Post in a recent article post:

“The rise in median sales prices has made current homeowners much more willing to sell their home, and that willingness is one of the main drivers behind the inventory that does make it on to the market. While it hasn’t been enough to meet demand, it has made the situation much better, compared with even three or four years ago.”

What this means to buyers

In a market where prices are rising, buyers should take into account the cost of waiting. Obviously, they will pay more for the same house later this year or next year. However, as Construction Dive reported, the amount of cash needed to purchase that home will also increase.

“These factors have created a situation where the market keeps moving the goalposts in terms of the down payment necessary for first-time homebuyers to get into a home.”

Bottom Line 

If you’re thinking of selling and moving down, waiting might make sense. If you are a first-time buyer or a seller thinking of moving up, waiting probably doesn’t make sense.

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Sal Giunta’s Strive for More

By Lauren Tussey

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Sal Giunta

To kick off the final day of the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago, Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta spoke about his journey from 18-year-old Subway employee to a service member earning the highest award available to members of the U.S. military.

“We are all in this world together. We all have opportunities. We all have the ability to do more,” Giunta said. As a soldier, he bravely ran into enemy fire to save American soldiers from the Taliban. His heroism earned him the Medal of Honor in 2010, making him the first living recipient of the award since the Vietnam War. He challenged those at the Sunday session to take his “100 percent challenge” every day.

“It’s taking advantage of the time we have and doing the best we can,” Giunta said. “And if you fail, don’t quit.”

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GOP Strategist: Tax Reform Won’t Pass

Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt

Congress isn’t going to approve the tax reform bill introduced in the House this week, Republican campaign strategist Steve Schmidt predicted during a federal legislative and political forum at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo on Saturday.

Only the country’s largest corporations—which already pay well below the statutory corporate tax rate of 35 percent—have reason to support the bill, said Schmidt, who was a top advisor to President George W. Bush during his administration. “This is a massive corporate tax cut for the biggest companies in the world,” he said. “It’s not a tax proposal that benefits small business. It adds a trillion and a half dollars to the debt, and it’s a massive tax increase if you live in a high-cost state.”

Schmidt said Republican lawmakers in the House are motivated to pass the bill only because they need a legislative victory going into the 2018 congressional elections. “There’s a panic in the House that they have zero achievements,” he said. Republicans hold a 24-seat majority in the House, but many of those districts are at risk because Hillary Clinton fared well in them during the 2016 presidential election.

Passage of the tax package would pit Republican lawmakers in high-cost states such as California, New York, and New Jersey against their voters’ interests. “It’s a massive tax increase on their constituents,” Schmidt said. “If it passes the House, it certainly won’t pass the Senate.”

NAR favors tax reform but opposes the GOP bill because it would eliminate the tax incentives for homeownership. Most homeowners would no longer find it financially advantageous to itemize, so they would see no benefit in the tax code for owning rather than renting. It would also make it harder for home sellers to exclude their sale proceeds from capital gains taxes. NAR estimates home values across the country could plummet more than 10 percent if the bill passes.

Schmidt said the tax bill is a product of lawmakers’ lack of incentive to find “commonsensical solutions” to the country’s problems. To get the country back on track, reforms are needed to the way congressional districts are drawn and to the campaign finance system, he said.

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So what is the deal with the old Hoffman La Roche Site in Nutley?

ON3 NutleyLooks Like They Have A New Name For The Campus and It Should Give An Idea Of What’s To Come!

With master planning underway, ON3 represents New Jersey’s largest contemplated redevelopment. In its heyday, this 116-acre former Hoffmann-LaRoche campus consisted of approximately 4 million square feet of general office, manufacturing and R&D facilities. And it employed nearly 9,000 people. Prism Capital Partners’ ambitious initiative will transform the former single-user complex that had gone dark into a multi-tenant, next-generation lifestyle hub.

The vision for ON3’s future includes an appropriate mix of office, R&D, residential and retail, along with potential lodging and entertainment concepts. Spanning the Township of Nutley and the City of Clifton, ON3 will serve as a showplace for the “new urbanist” philosophy that is driving the suburban municipalities to redesign their downtowns and commercial corridors for 24/7 convenience living.

PB Nutclif I, LLC, a Prism affiliate, purchased the campus in October 2016. Even prior to the sale, Hackensack Meridian Health and Seton Hall University committed to leasing two major buildings totaling 477,000-square-foot and 16 acres on the campus. Improvements to convert those facilities to accommodate the needs of the new Seton Hall-Hackensack Meridian Graduate School of Medicine are underway. Seton Hall will co-locate its College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences at the site, and Hackensack Meridian plans to create a National Health Institute-designated Clinical Research Center there as well.

ON3 also includes two immediately available office buildings: the site’s iconic, 15-story, 300,000-square-foot LEED Gold-certified headquarters tower at 200 Metro Boulevard and a seven-story, 255,000-square-foot, Class A facility at 100 Metro Boulevard. A five-story 155,000-square-foot state-of-the-art R&D/Lab building is almost totally leased to 3 new tenants. A variety of build-to-suit development sites are also being offered on the campus.

Strategically located on Route 3, between the Garden State Parkway and the NJ Turnpike just nine miles from the Lincoln Tunnel, ON3 is queued up to be the most highly sought-after business address in NJ. The future population will support retail and service businesses throughout the community. The build-out will likely take several years, ensuring a substantial number of construction jobs during this process.

Here is a link to the actual article from PRISM

Where Do You and Your Clients Fit on the Culture Map?

Erin Meyer2

Erin Meyer told attendees that people from cultures who communicate in “high-context” ways tend to have the most trouble understanding each other when working in a business relationship.

You’re used to working with American home buyers and sellers who, for the most part, expect straightforward answers and quick, hassle-free customer service. But when you’re working with foreign clients from Asia or the Middle East, you’ll need to build a more personal relationship and learn how to “read the air” when they speak rather than rely on the literal meaning of their words.

There’s a wide difference in the expectations of a business relationship across cultures, Erin Meyer, global business communications expert and author of The Culture Map, told attendees at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago on Friday. During her session, “How Cultural Differences Affect Your Business,” Meyer presented her research on the distinguishing characteristics of customers across the world.

“Low-context” societies—of which the U.S. is the most extreme example—focus on clarity, simplicity, and explicitness in communication. That may make it difficult for you to interact with clients from “high-context” societies—of which Japan is a prime example—which rely more on implicit and nuanced communication. People who communicate in high-context ways likely don’t want you to concentrate on the particular words they use; instead it’s best to try and understand the meaning behind their words, according to Meyer.

Because the verbal word is more open to interpretation in high-context societies such as Asian cultures, you may have a tendency to consider clients from those regions as uncooperative or less forthcoming with their true opinions, Meyer warned. On the other hand, they may perceive your straightforwardness as condescending or arrogant. “Think carefully about your intuition and how to use cultural bridges to communicate more effectively,” Meyer said. “Ask clarifying questions and consider whether you really need to repeat yourself. … Most times, silence is better than filling the space with repetitive communication.”

It’s also important to understand how people from different cultures process negative feedback. In the United States, we tend to use “downgraders,” or terms that soften negative feedback, such as “kind of” or “a little bit.” That may clash with the habits of clients from Russia, for example, who tend to punctuate direct negative feedback with “upgraders” such as “absolutely” or “definitely.”

“We’re taught in the U.S. to give three positives for every negative,” Meyer said. “But with downgraders, by the time you get to the real message you want to send, the customer won’t hear it.” Take a look at where certain countries fall on the scale of direct to indirect negative feedback.

Negative Feedback

There are also different methods for building trust across cultures. In the U.S., we tend to favor a task-oriented approach. “When you show up on time and do what you say you will, then you’re considered trustworthy,” Meyer said. But people from Brazil, for example, favor “cognitive trust” based on building a genuine relationship and revealing your true self. In such a case, a two-hour lunch to talk family and personal background may be more important than punctuality and follow-through.

“How friendly you are with clients is not the same as being relationship-oriented,” Meyer said. “You have to get personal to show your respect to them.” See where different cultures fall on the spectrum of trust-building.

Trust

Take Meyer’s Culture Map quiz to find out how your communication preferences match up with other cultures.

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The Difference an Hour Makes in Real Estate [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Difference an Hour Makes This Fall in Real Estate [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Every Hour in the US Housing Market: 

  • 624 Homes Sell
  • 347 Homes Regain Positive Equity
  • Median Home Values Go Up $1.13

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REALTORS® and Habitat for the Win

This Wednesday and Thursday, the REALTORS® Volunteer Build returned to Chicago, where it began in 2001. Learn how NAR members partnered with Habitat for Humanity and other volunteers to create more homeownership opportunities in West Pullman in REALTOR® Magazine’s Daily News.

For a tour of the site, check out this playback of our Facebook Live broadcast Wednesday:

Here’s a slideshow featuring many of the volunteers in action:

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Why Sell Now Instead of Later? The Buyers are Out Now

Why Sell Now instead of Later? The Buyers are Out Now | Simplifying The Market

Each year, most homeowners wait until the spring to sell their houses because they believe that they can get a better deal during the normal spring buyer’s market. However, recently released data suggests that a seller’s best deal may be available right now. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item will be realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high. Let’s see how this applies to the current residential real estate market.

SUPPLY

It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed for over a year. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there is currently only a 4.2-month supply.

Supply is currently very low!!

DEMAND

A report that was just released tells us that demand is very strong. The most recent Foot Traffic Report (which sheds light on the number of buyers out looking at homes) disclosed that there are more buyers right now than at any other time in the last twelve months. This includes more buyers looking at homes right now than at any time during last year’s spring market.

Demand is currently very high!! 

Bottom Line

Waiting until the spring to list your house for sale made sense in the past. This year is different. The best deal is probably available right now.

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How to Improve Your Credit Score in 7 Simple Steps

Improve Your Credit Score in 7 Simple Steps

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