Number of Buyers Putting Down Less Than 10% Hits 7-Year High

Number of Buyers Putting Down Less Than 10% Hits 7-Year High | Simplifying The Market

According to Black Knight Financial Service’s Mortgage Monitor Report, 1.5 million Americans have purchased a home with down payments under than 10% over the last 12 months. This is great news for buyers as this marks a 7-year high.

Many mortgage programs offered by agencies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae allow buyers to put down as low as 3% to purchase their dream homes. The strength of the housing market has aided buyers who used low-down-payment programs to buy. As a recent CNBC article points out,

“Defaults on recent low down payment loans, so far, are slow, but that is as much a factor of the good credit quality as it is the strength of the housing market. Home prices are rising incredibly fast, meaning those borrowers are gaining equity in their homes quickly.”

Low down payments aren’t just great for first-time homebuyers. These programs have allowed homeowners who want to capitalize on the equity they have in their homes to use the profit from their sale to pay off high-interest credit cards, fund education or even start a business.

According to a new Census Report, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, home equity was used to start 7.3% of all businesses in the United States, which equates to over 284,000! The industries that saw the most growth from home equity are accommodation & food services, manufacturing and, retail trade.

Bottom Line

Gone are the days of ‘20% down or no mortgage.’ What could you build with the equity in your house? Let’s get together today to evaluate your ability to achieve your dreams today!

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Sponsor Webinar: Using Big Data to Create Effective Marketing Strategies

Business people at cafeThe following is promotional copy for a Quicken Loans webinar on how real estate professionals can use data mining in their marketing. REALTOR® Magazine is promoting the webinar because it believes the content might be useful to its readers, but it did not participate in creating the webinar.

Patrick Chism

Patrick Chism

In one of the most competitive industries in the world, real estate professionals can adapt to the times to find the right clients and reach them in the right way. It’s no longer just a matter of “trusting your gut.” If you’re looking for trends to push your business to the next level, you can pursue big data opportunities.

Patrick Chism,  a marketing lead on the Quicken Loans Social Media Team, will host a webinar on using data in your marketing on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 3 p.m., Eastern time.

Chism is a writer and conversion strategist for the Zing Blog. Specializing in personal finance and entrepreneurial content, he enjoys breaking down complicated concepts into bite-sized information. He has also spent the last two years testing pizza dough recipes, and he’s close to finding the perfect crust.

Using Big Data to Create Effective Marketing Strategies
Wednesday, Sept. 20
3 p.m., Eastern time

Sign up.

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Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | Simplifying The Market

The results of countless studies have shown that potential home buyers, and even current homeowners, have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage in today’s market.

One such study by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that many millennials have not yet considered purchasing homes simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

A recent article about millennials by Realtor.com explained that:

About 72% of aspiring millennial buyers said they’re waiting because they can’t afford to buy…

The article also explained that 29% of millennials believe their credit scores are too low to buy.The problem here is the fact that they think they will be denied a mortgage is keeping them from even attempting to apply.

Ellie Mae’s Vice President Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they won’t qualify for a mortgage:

“Many potential home buyers are ‘disqualifying’ themselves. You don’t need a 750 FICO® Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”

So, what credit score is necessary?

Below is a breakdown of the FICO® Score distribution of all closed (approved) loans in July from Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report.

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | Simplifying The Market

Over 52% of all approved loans had a FICO® Score under 750. Many potential home buyers believe that they need a score over 780 to qualify.

Bottom Line

If owning a home of your own has always been your dream and you are ready and willing to buy, or if you are a homeowner who wants to move up, find out if you are able to! Let’s get together to determine if your dreams can become a reality sooner than you thought!

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When Your Competition Has Lower Overhead Than You Do

Are you making much money even if you close a dozen transactions this year? Or, if you’re a broker, your sales associates close a lot of transactions? The answer depends on your overhead. If you’re not paying for office space, you have a much better chance of clearing a profit than if you are.

VRE stillThe issue of office space won’t matter much if you’re hanging your license with another broker and letting that brokerage manage this cost while you split your commissions with the company. But if you’re the owner of the brokerage, how much more money can you keep if you’re not spending on office space?

The question will take on increasing urgency in the years ahead because more of your competition have no office costs to manage. According to NAR research, between five and 10 percent of your competition today can be defined as virtual brokerages, meaning the agents work out of their home or remotely so brokers don’t have to absorb office costs. That percentage is expected to jump to 50 percent in coming years. That’s when your cost structure becomes particularly important, because you’ll be competing with brokers whose costs are structurally lower than yours by significant amounts.

The issue is touched on in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. In the video, the person who heads NAR’s survey operation talks about what the association found when it asked brokers about their business models.

The video also looks at NAR’s Call for Action on flood insurance. For many real estate professionals, flood insurance is someone else’s problem because they don’t have to worry about floods. But far more areas are in designated flood zones than you might expect. The number will change as new flood maps are drawn, but right now about 22,000 communities throughout the country—in every state, in fact—are in flood zones. That means lenders can’t close loans unless the buyer has flood insurance. And that’s where the federal flood insurance program comes in. The number will vary based on area, but in many markets, there are essentially no private insurers, and those that are in the market are expensive. As a result, federal insurance is the main source of coverage. If that goes away, thousands of transactions each day won’t be able to close.

How close are we to losing that insurance? About five weeks. The National Flood Insurance Program has to be reauthorized by the last day of September.

The good news is, the House has a widely supported bill that’s been reported out of the House Financial Services Committee. It awaits consideration on the House floor. NAR supports the bill and is encouraging its members to take a few minutes to send a letter to their member of Congress. The letter’s already written. It’s just a matter of going to RealtorActionCenter.com and clicking a few buttons.

The video also looks at the potential impact big technology companies could have in real estate in the years ahead. When we think of tech companies in real estate, we might think of realtor.com or other listing portals like that, but now really big companies are ready to make money in real estate. Amazon and Facebook are two of them. The way they want to make money differs from the way listing portals do, but their presence will be felt. The question is, does organized real estate cooperate with them or try to compete with them?

No answer will be straight forward, but it’s the kind of thing NAR’s leadership is grappling with. NAR President-elect Elizabeth Mendenhall and NAR CEO Bob Goldberg talk about the challenges and opportunity these new players in real estate pose to the industry.

The video also looks at a scam that’s hitting real estate, although it might be subsiding by now. Under this scam, the perpetrator poses as NAR and sends a text saying you owe a fine for an ethics violation or you just won a prize and you need to pay some taxes on it.

If you read the texts carefully you can’t help but see they’re frauds. They’re riddled with errors and say things that no professional organization would say. But sometimes you’re in  hurry and you just skim the text or you go to delete it and you accidentally hit reply, potentially giving them information you didn’t mean to.

This scam will likely disappear soon, if it hasn’t already, but you can be sure more scams are in your future. They’ve simply become a fixture of digital communications. You just need to be  aware of them, and while these latest text scams are riddled with errors, the next ones might not be. They might look quite real. All you can do is get in the habit of taking a second look at communications you didn’t expect to receive and do some checking before you act on them. That’s the case whether the communication comes as a text or an email.

Watch and share the video.

 

 

 

 

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Home Prices Up 6.64% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Home Prices Up 6.64% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Home Prices Up 6.64% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest Quarterly Home Price Index report.
  • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
  • Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more!
  • Alaska & West Virginia were the only states where home prices are lower than they were last year.

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Study: FSBOs Don’t Save Real Estate Commission

Study: FSBOs Don’t Save Real Estate Commission | Simplifying The Market

One of the main reasons why For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) don’t use a real estate agent is because they believe they will save the commission an agent charges for getting their house on the market and selling it. A new study by Collateral Analytics, however, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.

In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:

“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.” (emphasis added)

Why would FSBOs net less money than if they used an agent?

The study makes several suggestions:

  • “There could be systematic bias on the buyer side as well. FSBO sales might attract more strategic buyers than MLS sales, particularly buyers who rationalize lower-priced bids on with the logic that the seller is “saving” a traditional commission. Such buyers might specifically search for and target sellers who are not getting representational assistance from agents.” In other words, ‘bargain lookers’ might shop FSBOs more often.
  • “Experienced agents are experts at ‘staging’ homes for sale” which could bring more money for the home.
  • “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.” If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property.

Three conclusions from the study:

  1. FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than those from similar properties sold by Realtors using the MLS.
  2. The differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%.
  3. The sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, FSBOing may end up costing you money instead of saving you money.

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Want to Keep Up with the Joneses? Now’s the Time

Want to Keep Up with the Joneses? Now’s the Time | Simplifying The Market

Does your current house fit your needs? Does it seem like everyone else is moving up and moving on to more luxurious surroundings? Are you wondering what it would take to start living your dream life?

Market conditions around the country have presented an opportunity like no other for those who are looking to make the jump to a premium or luxury home.

The National Association of Realtors reports that national inventory levels are now at a 4.3-month supply. A normal market, where prices appreciate with inflation, has 6-7-months inventory. The national market has echoed the conditions felt in the starter and trade-up markets as inventory has declined year-over-year for 25 consecutive months.

The chart below shows the relationship between the inventory of homes for sale and prices.

Want to Keep Up with the Joneses? Now’s the Time | Simplifying The Market

According to Trulia’s latest Inventory Report, the inventory of homes for sale in the two lower priced markets has dropped by double digit percentages over the last 12 months (16% for starter and 13% for trade-up homes). While the inventory of homes in the premium home category has dropped by only 4%.

This has created a seller’s market in the lower-priced markets, as 54% of homes were on the market for less than a month in the last Realtors Confidence Index, and a buyer’s market in the luxury market, where homes were on the market for an average of 160 days according to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Bottom Line

If you are even thinking of listing your home and moving up to a luxury home, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to do so. Homeowners across the country are upgrading their homes, why can’t you? Your dream home is waiting!

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More Boomerang Buyers Are about to Enter the Market

More Boomerang Buyers Are about to Enter the Market | Simplifying The Market

We previously informed you about a study conducted by TransUnion titled, “The Bubble, the Burst and Now – What Happened to the Consumer?” The study revealed that 1.5 million homeowners who were negatively impacted by the housing crisis could re-enter the housing market between 2016-2019.

Recently, HousingWire analyzed data from the US Bankruptcy Courts and revealed that 6 million Americans will have their bankruptcies disappear off their credit reports over the next five years and that this could “possibly send a flood of more homebuyers into the housing market.

The chart below shows the total number of bankruptcies filed by year in the US over the last 10 years. The light blue bars represent over 3.3 million people who have already waited the 7 years necessary for their reports to no longer include their bankruptcies.

More Boomerang Buyers Are about to Enter the Market | Simplifying The Market

 

How would this “send a flood of more homebuyers into the housing market”?

As the article mentioned, in 2010 the number of chapter 7 bankruptcies increased to nearly 1.14 million. Now, 7 years later, they will begin to fade from credit histories, enabling prospective buyers to become homeowners again once their credit scores improve.

As we can see from both reports, the homeownership rate has the opportunity to increase drastically over the next few years with all of these boomerang buyers returning to the market.

Bottom Line

If your family was negatively impacted by the housing bust, here is the light at the end of the tunnel! You may be able to purchase your dream home faster than you think!

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Why Is It Important to Use a Professional to Sell Your Home?

Why Is It Important to Use a Professional to Sell Your Home? | Simplifying The Market

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price for it with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the first step that “…44% of recent buyers took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.

However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their homes directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers who reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

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To Stage…or Not to Stage? That Is the Question! [INFOGRAPHIC]

To Stage...or Not to Stage? That Is the Question! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

To Stage...or Not to Stage? That Is the Question! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members & released the findings of their Annual Profile of Home Staging.
  • 50% of staged homes saw a 1-10% increase in dollar value offers from buyers.
  • 77% of buyer’s agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own.
  • The top rooms to stage to attract more buyers are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.

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