Archive | January 2017

The American Dream Forecast For 2017

Will Housing Become Better under Trump? Half of Americans Think So


Will Housing Become Better under Trump? Half of Americans Think So

Americans are “cautiously optimistic” about the housing market, with 69 percent recently surveyed by ValueInsured believing 2017 will be a better year for real estate than 2016, and 52 percent believing housing will become more favorable under the Trump Administration.

The outlook is primarily felt among millennials who are not homeowners. According to the survey, 62 percent of millennials believe the housing market will turn in their favor this year, while the level of confidence held by millennial non-homeowners has gone up the most in the past quarter, to a score of 61.3 in the ValueInsured Housing Confidence Index. (The Index is based on a 100-point scale.) The Index overall, however, has trended downward to 68.0 since September 2016—the first decline since March 2016, driven largely by homeowners.

The sentiment comes in contrast to the drop in share of first-time homebuyers who plan to purchase a home during the spring real estate season this year. A recent report by® reveals the percentage of first-time homebuyers who plan to enter the housing market this spring has gone down 10 percent since October 2016—before the presidential election—due to concerns over higher mortgage rates. Mortgage rates rose for the first time in 2017 last week, after falling since the start of the year. 

Forty-four percent of millennial non-homeowners in the survey are also confident they can afford a down payment, and 41 percent are expecting it to be easier to buy a home. Research out of Freddie Mac bears out a related trend, showing 40 percent of millennial non-homeowners are making saving for a down payment a priority. (Affording the ideal 20 percent—which ensures better mortgage loan terms—remains elusive.)

Attitudes toward home value, as well, have shifted, with homeowners feeling less confident home prices in their market will rise and their homes are worth what they paid for them, according to the survey. Zillow reports home values grew at an annual rate of 6.8 percent in December 2016.

Still, with the new administration, more than three-quarters of those surveyed believe owning a home is essential to the American Dream, and buying a home, ultimately, is better than renting one.


Forget What You Know: This Year, Sellers May Benefit From Listing Early

| Jan 13, 2017

Conventional wisdom in real estate holds that sellers should time the market to maximize their price. Why? Because home sales are extremely seasonal: They peak in spring and summer, when prices peak as well. That’s why in most markets, most years, the optimal time to list is in the spring, so that the maximum number of potential buyers view the home.

But we’re in an era in which conventional wisdom is becoming an ever-sketchier concept. So why should real estate be immune from all this topsy-turviness? This year, the conventional wisdom of buying and selling may need to change.

Inventory levels at the beginning of 2017 are at multiyear lows. Sellers now face very little competition.

The Agent your choose works for you

Let’s talk Selling your home in Westchester

Renee S. Stengel
Associate Real Estate Broker
Houlihan Lawrence
Licensed in New York State and the State of Connecticut

Signs Your Selling Agent Is Wrong for You

By Ryan Tyson

5 Signs Your Selling Agent Is Wrong for You

A world of difference lies between a good selling agent and a bad selling agent. Unfortunately, for first-time home sellers, determining the difference can be difficult. You might have to interview several real estate agents before you find someone who works for you, so be sure you’re asking the right questions before you start.

No References
You should always check references before signing on with a selling agent. Talk to people whose homes the agent recently sold, not the best sales of their careers that may have happened years ago. You don’t need to talk to everyone the agent sold for in the past year (in fact, many of them won’t give out their information to strangers) but the agent should have a couple people willing to give them a good reference. If not, look elsewhere.

Part-Time Work
Your selling agent should be a full-time real estate agent. Doing everything required to sell a house well is a full-time job. A lot more goes into it than just showing it to a few potential buyers and determining a good listing price. A part-time agent will have divided attention between selling real estate and another job. Hire someone who spends their entire work week in the real estate industry.

Unrealistic Advice
A good selling agent will have advice for you about improvements your home needs before you list it for sale. Unless your entire home has been renovated in the last year, you must take care of some things. Outdated appliances have an impact on how potential buyers see your home. If your agent tells you, for example, that repairing a 20-year-old AC unit instead of replacing it is adequate, they’re not giving you the best advice about preparing your home for sale.

Lowest Commission
Commissions are not like interest rates. You don’t necessarily want to go with the person who offers you the very lowest. Most agents in your area work for the same commission percentage. Commissions are negotiable, but if someone is willing to negotiate down too readily, they might not have the negotiating chops to represent you well while selling your home.

A Friend or Family Member
It’s often better to go into business with someone you don’t know personally. If problems arise or you have disagreements with your agent, do you want this to turn into a fight that could damage a friendship or a relationship with a family member? You can certainly interview your friends or family members to see if they’re the best for the job, but they need to understand that you’ll pick the agent that’s right for you, and not choose them because of your existing relationship.

With the wrong selling agent, your house might sit on the market for too long. Choosing your agent is an important step in selling your home, because the right selling agent will get you the right price on a timeline that works for you.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.