Thursday, February 16, 2012

Market Stats for Will County February 2012

I would love to share some amazing market statistics for the Will County area per our MLS:

Today we have 3901 active single family homes and 1320 attached single family homes ACTIVE on the market. Average list price for a 3 bedroom home is $199,592 with 258 days on the market.
38% of these 3 bedroom homes are expiring (not selling while they are listed).
The 62% that are selling are selling at 95% of their list price with an average sale price of $196,998 with an average market time of 138 days.

Price your home to sell! What is your motivation to sell? Move closer to your family, get away from the Chicago winter weather, job transfer, be closer to your grandchildren, move to a larger home? Whatever your motivation is to put your home on the market...decide!
Now is the time to sell, mortgage rates are so low it is unbelievable...4% ????? Low interest rates, spring market, lowest home prices in our area for at least 7 years...NOW is the time!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Great News! Brookfield Residential Property Services Acquires Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services

Brookfield Residential Property Services Acquires Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services

Brookfield Residential Property Services, an affiliate of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, acquired Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services Dec. 6. The union creates North America’s third-largest residential real estate brokerage business and the world’s second-largest relocation-services provider.

“This is an exciting day for our organizations,” said Graham Badun, managing partner and CEO of Boulder Residential Property Services, announcing the transaction. “We are a strong, global company, focused on the real estate and relocation services sector in a major way.”

Added Earl Lee, who will oversee the company’s U.S. real estate operations: “Brookfield Residential Property Services is a long-term builder of value and it looks to our real estate network and relocation company as integral assets to continued success. Brookfield Asset Management, parent of Brookfield Residential Property Services, has a proud history like Prudential, is publically traded and it rivals Prudential’s size. As important, we share many of the same values and core philosophies.”

Brookfield also has a legacy of innovation, reinvention, investment and growth, and with addition of PRERS has the size and scope to remain at the forefront of the industry and provide leading-edge tools and technology to franchisees and clients.

The transaction creates a new global industry powerhouse positioned to grow and lead the market. Real estate operations now include nearly 80,000 sales professionals, 2,800 offices and more than $150 billion in annual residential real estate sales volume. Prudential Relocation and Brookfield Global Relocation Services, led by Brookfield Global Relocation Services President Rick Schwartz, are a dominant force managing nearly 85,000 moves per year into and out of more than 125 countries. They count 35% of Fortune 100 companies as clients.

Under a licensing agreement, Prudential Real Estate affiliates will continue using the Prudential name for the duration of their franchise agreements. Affiliates whose contracts expire within the next two years have the right to renew and continue using the Prudential brand for an additional five years.


Brookfield at a Glance

Brookfield Residential Property Services (BPRS) is a leading global provider of real estate and relocation services, analytics and knowledge. It is a division of Brookfield Asset Management, a NYSE-listed global asset manager with approximately $150 billion in assets under management. BPRS’ portfolio consists of leading brands including Brookfield Global Relocation Services, the world’s second-largest provider of relocation services, Prudential Real Estate, Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc., Royal LePage, Real Living, Via Capitale and Centract. Through its real estate brands it has nearly 80,000 real estate professionals in more than 2,800 locations transacting more than $150 billion annually. The company’s worldwide footprint includes more than 2,500 employees in North America, United Kingdom, France, China, Singapore, India, Brazil and Australia.

Friday, November 5, 2010

6 reasons Buyers aren't biting (and what Sellers can do to change that)!

Interest rates are at historic lows: less than 4.5% on a 30-year-fixed and below 4% on 15-year fixed rate loans. And prices are low, too - at or near bottom in most of the country. Together, these items mean that affordability is near an all-time high.

It's like a massive, pre-holiday sale on real estate!

Nevertheless, home sales are only "gradually" creeping up, according to the most recent data published by the National Association of Realtors. And sellers are clearly still feeling price pressures; on Trulia's October price reduction report, an all-time high 27% of American homes listed for sale had had their price cut at least one time!

So, what's stopping buyers from running out to grab up all these affordable homes at affordable rates? And what can savvy sellers (and listing agents!) do to offset these obstacles?

1. (Perceived) difficulties in qualifying for a mortgage. Mortgage guidelines have tightened up significantly over the last few years, now requiring good (but not perfect) credit, documented income, a proven stable job history and cash for down payment and closing costs. Some buyers find it difficult to scrape the down payment money up; others find that they can qualify, but not for a large enough mortgage to buy any home worth owning (banks have tightened up debt-to-income ratios, too). Many would-be buyers don't even consider themselves serious prospects, disqualifying themselves in their own heads because they heard somewhere that a 20 percent down payment is necessary - in actuality, many buyers can qualify for a 3.5 percent down, FHA loan. Between actual difficulties qualifying and perceived difficulties that don't actually exist, lots of buyers are not biting because of loan "issues."

Seller Solution: Ask your agent to have a mortgage broker colleague prepare flyers reflecting various loan options, to give open house attendees a reality check about what it would actually take - including down payment, closing costs and monthly payment - to buy your home. Also, consider offering closing cost credits or being willing to chip in for lender-required repairs to empower buyers who are struggling with mortgage qualifying to close the deal.

2. Fear of buying a foreclosure. The ongoing robo-signing/foreclosure fraud scandal and the resulting foreclosure freeze is beginning to play a role. If you haven't heard, two of America's largest mortgage servicers have frozen foreclosures and resales of foreclosed homes in 23 states, and Bank of America, the largest lender in the land, has frozen them in all 50 states, all because sweeping fraud and improprieties have been revealed in the way the banks are processing foreclosure documentation.

More and more, buyers are fearful that if they buy a foreclosed home, that sale could be reversed down the road if it comes out that the banks wrongfully foreclosed on the former owner. And that could be stopping buyers from, well, buying foreclosed homes.

Seller Solution: If your home is not a short sale, all of your home's marketing materials should be trumpeting this fact - especially if most of your home's competition (e.g., similar homes in the area and in the same price range) are bank-owned homes and short sales. Seeing 'Not an REO/Not a Short Sale' on a listing or flyer is quite magnetic to buyers right now.

3. Waiting for the shadow inventory to come out. The phrase 'shadow inventory' refers to the homes that have been (or will soon be) foreclosed on by the banks, which are not yet on the market; some estimate this inventory to be as high as 7 million homes! Many buyers who are actively house hunting -- and who are disappointed with the homes that are available -- are fearful of pulling the trigger because they believe the banks are going to start releasing their 'shadow inventory' soon, and that those homes will be better than what's out there on the market right now.

Seller Solution: Work with your agent to strategically stage your home and even do basic, inexpensive repairs, to make it stand out against the competition as a desirable property. Also, ensure that your pricing is in line - or even slightly below - similar homes on the market right now, to ensure that your home seems like a very strong value for the price.

4. Waiting for the bottom. Given the trajectory of home prices over the past couple of years, there's a large contingent of buyers who are afraid that after they buy, home price will continue to fall and they will lose their hard-earned investment in the home. These are folks who are still waiting for the bottom (although by some accounts, including that of the Case-Shiller Price Index, the bottom is here or has already passed, in many cities).

Human nature is always to wait too long for the bottom, miss it, and then end up wishing we had bought sooner. The behavioral economics theory of myopic loss aversion explains this phenomenon as being due to the fact that the pain of losing money generates a greater psychological fear and avoidance than the prospect of gaining the same amount of money. Buyers can set themselves up to gain over time, even if they lose equity in the very near term, by making smart decisions about the home they buy and how much they pay for it, and planning to stay in their home for a longer term than previous generations of buyers did.

Seller Solution: This is a difficult one to counter, because it's really more about the would-be buyer's interpretation of the market than about their reaction to your home. If you live in a market that has had recent increases in home values, include that data in your marketing - make sure buyers are aware that they may already have missed the very bottom, and create a sense of urgency to buy your home before prices go up even more.

5. Unemployment/underemployment. Take California, for instance. The national unemployment rate is 9.6%; California's is a whopping 12.8%. But right around the same number of Californians are underemployed, meaning they work part-time, but want full-time work. That's right, a quarter of Californians are unemployed or underemployed, and -- right again! - none of those people are buying homes. On top of that, many people who do have jobs lack job security, the confidence of believing they'll be able to keep their jobs in the future. Interest rates could be zero, and people will not buy homes as long as they have no jobs or job security.

Seller Solution: If there are major employers in town that are within an easy commute of your home, both you and your agent should consider marketing it directly to employees there. Share your home's listing with Facebook friends who work there or even send an email out to your own contacts, if you work there yourself! Major companies' Human Resources Departments might help you get the word out to their employees - especially if you offer some incentive to an employee who buys your home, like a year's worth of subway passes. If you have universities nearby, there are likely online bulletin boards that offer housing options directly to relocating professors and employees.

6. Need to keep options open. Because home values are so volatile, currently, there's no guarantee that you can resell today's new home tomorrow without taking a loss. If we've learned anything from this crisis, we all know that it just doesn't pencil, financially, to buy a home on today's market unless you plan to own the home for at least 7 years (give or take a year or so, depending on how your market has fared in the housing recession).

Many Americans don't want to be tied to one location, given the changes in the job market, because they simply don't want to be stuck in one place, geographically speaking. They want to be free to meet someone via online dating and move if the match sticks. They want the freedom to move across the country or even to the next city or state for a job, if that's the direction their career takes them. The more mobile the person, the less likely they are to buy a home.

Seller Solution: Price your home well - if it's been lagging on the market, make sure you get aggressive and cut the price below a common buyer search cut-off price point (see this post for more details: Sellers: 5 Signs It’s Time to Cut the List Price of Your Home). Even buyers who are seriously in the market, get nervous about buying a home when it seems a bit overpriced, because they fear the price will drop some more in the coming months and years, extending the period of time before they can sell it at a break even or (hope beyond hope) a profit! Don't let overpricing cause you to lose buyers who otherwise would have bitten the bullet, pulled the trigger and hopped off the fence in order to buy your home.
source: Real Estate Realist @ Trulia

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some Wealthy Sellers Refuse to Drop Prices

Some of the nation’s wealthiest home sellers are simply refusing to cut the prices on their mansions. Here’s a sampling:

· Suzanne Saperstein, ex-wife of Metro Networks founder David Saperstein, is holding fast to her price of $125 million for "Fleur de Lys," a 41,000-square-foot, mansion near Beverly Hills.

· Tommy Hilfiger co-founder Joel Horowitz, who has been asking $100 million for his 210-acre estate in Zephyr Cove, Nev., since July 2006, says, "I feel the property is worth every penny — and probably then some."

· Former New York Giants running back Tucker Frederickson has been asking for $50 million for a 5,000-acre cattle-and-shooting ranch in Florida since 2008.

Some sellers say they just have to find the right buyer. Others insist that replicating their property would be impossible at the current prices, so they are just waiting for reality to set in.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Juliet Chung (10/01/2010)

Monday, September 20, 2010

4 Tips for Setting the Right Sales Price

Sellers think their homes are worth more than their real estate professional recommends, and buyers think these same homes are worth less.

It’s a difficult disconnect that makes selling properties a challenge. Successfully marketing a home requires that the price be set carefully -- or it will languish on the market. Among the considerations:

1. How many homes are for sale in the neighborhood? The more homes on the market, the more important it is to list at the lower end of the scale. "I want buyers to ask why is this house priced so competitively," said NAR President-elect Ron Phipps of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. "I want the answer to be an offer."
2. Take short sales and foreclosures into consideration when pricing. If the competing properties are in lousy condition, they are less of an issue, but if they are well taken care of, yet priced 25 percent below market, they can be a serious factor.
3. Negotiate decisively. "Buyers are not interested in back-and-forth negotiations these days," Phipps said. "They are less emotional and more disciplined. They will walk away."
4. Cut the price when you have to. If no one shows up for an open house, if no one calls and if there are no offers, then the price is too high. That means it's time to make a meaningful price cut.

Source: The Washington Post, Associated Press (09/18/2010)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wave of Foreclosure Sales Could Hurt Prices

Uh-oh...More foreclosures could move onto the market as borrowers fall out of the government's loan-modification program. That, coupled with weak demand, could lead to lower home prices across the board, suggests an article in the The Wall Street Journal.

Over the past two years, the pattern has become clear: the more homes that are being sold by lenders, the faster prices will fall. Ivy Zelman, CEO of research firm Zelman & Associates, says that distressed sales could account for 50 percent of properties sold by the end of the year – unless conventional sales recover.

Neither she nor Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin Corp., believe that there will be massive declines in prices because homes are already undervalued in many areas, but Kelman suggests that the decline could be 5 percent to 10 percent.

Should the government intervene again? Susan Wachter, professor of real estate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, says that could be necessary if the bank sales trigger a downward spiral, "where price declines are feeding further price declines.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos (09/13/2010)

Watch for more news in my blog later in the week regarding sales in Will County!

54 Million Dollar Mortgage for Tiger Woods

And you thought your mortgage was big! In the week since his divorce was finalized, Tiger Woods has made a new commitment that will make your head spin (it did mine!). According to TMZ, Tiger just signed on to a $54 million home loan to fund the construction on his Jupiter Island mega-mansion.

By my (very) rough math, the payment on a $54 million loan is somewhere in the $300,000/month range. Makes your mortgage seem much more reasonable, now, doesn't it?

If you want to see the homes of some of his new neighbors :,FL/price;d_sort/