Coming on the market July 18, 2013, and with two public open houses on Sundays July 21st and 28th from 1:30-4:30pm, 5323 Broadway is a stunning 3Br/1.5Ba two-story Arts and Crafts Style home. Original details include unpainted wood mouldings an built-ins, leaded and stained glass cabinet doors, oak floors and a functioning fireplace. The bedrooms are all spacious and the there is also abundant storage in the basement. Upgrades and/or replacements were made in the last 15 years to the foundation, electrical, plumbing and furnace systems, and there are also french doors leading to a deck and stairs to a lush and private rear yard. The kitchen was elegantly remodeled and featured in the 1999 Rockridge Kitchen Tour.
Please stop by on either of the Sunday open houses and enjoy viewing this beautiful home.
By all accounts, the single biggest factor contributing to the recent (last 6 month) surge in home prices has been the scarcity of inventory on the market. Of course, this is basic economics: when supply is low relative to demand, prices go up. I believe this is about to change.
Why? Spring and early summer has always been when more homes come on the market. Nothing new there. But this year, I think something else is happening, and that is as homeowners have been hearing about multiple offers and huge overbids on the few neighboring houses that have come on the market, they want to get in on the action too! How do they hear about it? In part because us Realtors are so desperate for something to sell that we’ve been sending out lots of postcards (like one with the image shown) exorting would-be-sellers to get off the fence!
But this seems that this approach will become a self-defeating proposition. Demand is indeed high, but relatively steady. As supply increases, buyers may begin to feel less desperate to buy any one house because there are more on the horizon. This is likely to lead to lower prices. So hang on buyers: the Inventory is coming!
Big Bucks to Buyers: Part I
In the last few years, coincident with the growth of the Internet as a real estate search tool, a number of real estate firms have begun to offer rebates their buyer clients. The firms offering rebates range from venture capital-backed national startups like zip realty, to small local firms like ours, Realty Advocates.
In the pre-Internet days, the information about homes for sale was very tightly controlled by local boards of Realtors with their wholly owned Multiple Listing Service. With the exception of newspaper advertising, buyers needed to work closely with an agent to learn about the inventory and closed sales. Agents are where buyers would also find out about local schools, crime statistics, neighborhood demographics, and where the best coffee shops were. Agents used this monopoly of information to justify their value in the real estate transaction. That value was reflected in the the buyer’s agents share of the total sales commission, usually between 2.5-3% of the sales price. Continue reading
Real estate agent also acting as loan agent is a conflict of interest
In the last couple of years, we’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the number of agents representing buyers who also act as loan brokers. Likely, this is because there are so many new agents chasing a limited number of deals and originating the loan for the buyer is an efficient way to maximize one’s income from a given transaction. Lenders themselves have encouraged this with software packages and web links that make it easy for agents to originate loans.
But this practice represents a big problem from the listing agent’s point of view. When I am evaluating an offer on behalf of my seller, I need to assess the buyer’s ability to obtain financing. Normally, an offer is accompanied by a “pre-approval” letter from a lender or loan broker. If I don’t have any prior experience with the person who wrote the letter, I will most likely call them and ask a series of questions designed to see just how far the loan process has really gotten. Questions such as: Has she actually received a completed loan application? Has she verified the buyer’s source of down payment? Has she run a credit report yet? Continue reading