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All Real Estate Blog Posts, First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, For Sellers, General, Interest Rates, Move-Up Buyers, Real Estate News

The Cost Of Purchasing Today vs Yesterday [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • With interest rates still around 4.5%, now is a great time to look back at where rates have been over the last 40 years.
  • Rates are projected to climb to 5.0% by this time next year according to Freddie Mac.
  • The impact your interest rate makes on your monthly mortgage cost is significant!
  • Lock in a low rate now while you can!

Mortgage Interest Rate Trends (last 3 months)

Powered by MortgageCalculator.org

Now that you have the information, what are you going to do? When you let me know your real estate goals, I can help you to make them happen! Schedule an appointment with me below if you are thinking about making a purchase or selling. Your local real estate expert is always happy to help you.

Schedule a Free Real Estate Consultation

Danielle J. Gaynor, RCC, MSRE

Residential & Commercial REALTOR®

Bennett Realty Solutions

work: 202-670-5471

office: 301-459-5040

e-mail: daniellegaynorhu@gmail.com

All Real Estate Blog Posts, First Time Home Buyers, Tips for Purchasing Real Estate

NEW First-Time Homebuyer Assistance Program for Prince George’s County

Up to $20,000 Down Payment & Closing Costs

The Prince George’s County Purchase Assistance Program (PGCPAP) is providing home purchase assistance to eligible, first-time home buyers to purchase residential properties in Prince George’s County. Home purchase assistance includes down payment, mortgage principal reduction and/or closing costs.

  • Purchase price limit: $462,000 (resale or new construction)
  • Maximum loan amount: $15,000 for most cases
  • Buyers who are one of the following may be eligible for up to $20,000
    • Police Officer
    • Deputy Sheriff
    • Classroom Teacher
    • Firefighter
    • Emergency Medical Technician
    • Nurse
  • Household annual income up to 120% of the area median income (AMI) for the county
  • Home buyer(s) must contribute a minimum of 1.75% of purchase price (includes earnest money deposits, appraisal fee, inspection fees, homeowner’s insurance premium, credit reports, termite, housing counseling fee and HQS Inspection)
  • Loan terms: 0% interest, deferred payment, to be paid back when the home is sold, transferred or ceses to be the primary residence of the buyer(s) regardless of the length of residency

Guidelines and Program Manual

Program Website

REALTOR® Program Resources & Documents

Danielle J. Gaynor, RCC, MSRE

Residential & Commercial REALTOR®

Bennett Realty Solutions

work: 202-670-5471

office: 301-459-5040

e-mail: daniellegaynorhu@gmail.com

Schedule a Free Real Estate Consultation

All Real Estate Blog Posts, First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, Move-Up Buyers, Tips for Purchasing Real Estate

A Financial Checklist for First Time Home Buyers

Don’t forget this checklist when you buy your first home!

Have questions?

I am always happy to help.

Schedule a Free Real Estate Consultation

Danielle J. Gaynor, RCC, MSRE

Residential & Commercial REALTOR®

Bennett Realty Solutions

work: 202-670-5471

office: 301-459-5040

e-mail: daniellegaynorhu@gmail.com

All Real Estate Blog Posts, First Time Home Buyers, For Buyers, For Sellers, General, Real Estate News, Real Estate Services

How does a REALTOR® spend their time?

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Key Takeaways

  • A real estate agent’s job is to make sure everyone else involved in the transaction is doing their job.
  • Agents have to continuously shift gears to quickly adapt and respond to their clients and customer needs.

Trying to explain to the public how real estate agents spend their time is similar to explaining what a doctor or lawyer does all day. There is a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that goes into “treating patients” or “handling legal matters” and the same goes for “helping people buy, sell or rent property.”

From a consumer’s first thought about making a real estate move to actually taking the leap (whether that means right now, next month or three years from now), the agent is incubator, initiator, action-taker, coordinator, scheduler, personal concierge, resource person, problem-solver, mediator, miracle worker, red-tape cutter, transaction manager and chief make-it-happen officer of everything else that doesn’t fall into the prior categories.

They may delegate some of these roles, but nothing gets completed without their oversight and input into what needs to be done and how.

An agent has a workday like anyone else, but there are typically little to no boundaries to that agent’s day and week. Here’s how an agent’s workday often goes:

Responding 

There are no official days off in real estate. You might have spans without any scheduled appointments, but there are always inquiries, emails, and texts to respond to.

Agents are “on-the-clock” no matter where they are. If a consumer contacts them about a property, they respond. If other agents contact them to ask questions about their listing or want to show one of their properties, they get back to them. If they receive an offer, they work on it regardless of the day, place and time. There is no stop-and-start in this business.

Despite what people might say, it is nearly impossible to shut off the communication, ever. The workplace is anywhere an agent is and that doesn’t mean agents have to go to an office for the day to start — work happens at home, in the car, during vacations, and on the go.

The job often begins early in the morning or the night before managing emails and follow-up communications — phone calls and texts about any number of things from showing feedback on listings, following-up on in-progress transactions and creating to-do lists for assistants and staff.

Reviewing MLS activity

Agents review MLS activity for any pertinent listings and updates on properties of interest to their buyers and sellers (competitive listings, price changes, under contracts, back on the markets, off the markets or solds, etc.) and notify their clients of relevant information.

Keeping up a database

Agents must continually update their contact databases with new customer information, updates to existing customer contact information, birthdays and new-home anniversaries, and more.

Scheduling showings

Agents put together property itineraries for clients who are planning a house hunting trip, which could involve numerous showings in a short period of time.

Scheduling these tours requires a delicate dance that takes into consideration geography and logistics against the backdrop of unknown time constraints that sellers may impose. (“Can you come at 2 p.m. instead of 10 a.m.?” or “Today’s not good, but how about Friday?”)

These impromptu changes in plans wouldn’t be a problem if agents didn’t have anything else to do, buyers had the luxury of time and they were local — but rarely are agents working with that kind of flexibility.

And Murphy’s Law says the property that’s causing the scheduling difficulties will be the one at the top of buyers’ wish list. Agents have to find a way to make it happen.

Making contact

Agents reach out to establish initial contact, discuss real estate needs and provide advice on the market to customers who have just been referred to them.

They conduct in-depth research on possible options for buyers and dive into market comparables to get an idea of what sellers’ homes can realistically sell for.

Setting and attending appointments

Then there are the appointments — meeting buyers and sellers for initial discussions, previewing and touring properties, meeting inspectors, appraisers and a plethora of specialists, contractors, stagers, photographers and repair professionals.

While out on these meetings, business carries on and the emails, calls and texts flood in.

Oftentimes agents will be juggling these meetings with the sellers from six months ago who call and want to meet immediately — or the inactive buyer couple who suddenly found the perfect home that they need to see right this minute.

Negotiating offers and managing the sale

Negotiating offers may go on for days or weeks. Once an offer gets worked out and a property goes under contract, that is just the beginning. There’s no jumping up and down, high-fiving and laughing all the way to the bank. Quite the contrary, this is where it can all go wrong.

At this point, agents have to make sure that everyone involved in this process does their job. From whatever side of the transaction they represent — buyer or seller — agents need to make sure everyone is fulfilling their obligations of the transaction in a timely manner.

If a lender is involved, active and frequent communication is a must to ensure the loan process is on track.

Agents check in with the title company or attorney’s office to make sure the file is being handled and all details and nuances are being attended to. They also address anything unexpected that may arise — a closing that needs to be a mail-away to the seller, or a situation in which a power of attorney needs to be present because one of the buyers will not be.

There are an endless number of tasks that agents must ensure get done from contract to close, from reminding clients about utility transfers to ensuring the seller has everything moved out on the day the buyer legally takes possession.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving and crisis management happens at every turn. This entails educating clients about the realities of what they are trying to accomplish; running down information about a community, association or property; or troubleshooting umpteen potential issues that could derail a property search, transaction or closing.

Unlike many jobs, no two days are the same. One week could be plagued by multiple snags (a buyer’s financing falls apart, home inspection issues, etc.), and on another day, it may all come together in an eerily smooth manner. But never fear; in this business, the other shoe is always about to drop.

Speaking of the other shoe dropping, there is no guarantee that the time spent and the hours put in will result in a paycheck.

Agents can’t bill for the time and effort they’ve expended giving advice and information, showing properties, attending showings, creating and hosting broker and consumer open house events and more.

The buyer may never buy; the seller may never sell, and the agent’s paycheck is affected by other people’s circumstances and decisions.

The enthused buyer could have a job transfer fall through. An unexpected medical situation could put a house hunt on hold for someone else. Or a couple of sellers could suddenly decide they love their house more than they did before.

The agent — if he or she is lucky in these cases — will get a “thank you.”

Marketing

Then there is the marketing and business development agents pour into their brand, knowledge, and expertise. That website, newsletter, postcard, video or other marketing pieces (social media posts, custom property ads) didn’t appear out of thin air.

Agents devote thought and resources to each marketing piece with an eye toward implementation, execution and tracking results at every turn.

In short, real estate is a profession full of follow-up, follow-up, follow-up; multi-tasking; prioritizing, re-prioritizing; juggling; figuring out how to be in three places at once; evaluating, advising and coaching; hand-holding; researching and problem-solving; and responding.

Despite what reality television portrays, agents don’t simply ride around in expensive cars or have their private driver take them to unlock a door. They don’t show up in designer clothes at some swanky place to negotiate a deal over trendy cocktails.

It might appear glamorous and easy, but showing a customer properties or putting a home on the market happens sometime in the middle of a very involved process.

Marketing, branding and creating top-of-mind presence usually comes first, and those are the things that motivate customers to choose an agent.

Agents are the catalyst for the entire process of buying, selling or renting a property; and, from that perspective, they help keep the economy moving in every sense of the word.

Re-Posted from inman.com

Schedule a Free Real Estate Consultation

Danielle J. Gaynor, RCC, MSRE

Residential & Commercial REALTOR®

Bennett Realty Solutions

work: 202-670-5471

office: 301-459-5040

e-mail: daniellegaynorhu@gmail.com

For Buyers, For Homeowners, For Sellers, General, Real Estate News

August 2018 Housing Market Update

August 2018 Housing Market Update: In both Washington D.C. and Baltimore Metro, prices set August records, but as more listings enter the market and sales show signs of slowing, inventory levels decline at the smallest rate of the last year.

The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro and Baltimore Metro Area housing markets has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of MarketStats by ShowingTime and is based on August 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to access the full PDF version of this report

DC Metro Area – Overview

  • The Washington D.C. Metro median sales price of $442,250, was up $12,250 or 2.8% from last year and at the highest August level of the decade.
  • Sales volume across the DC Metro area was nearly $2.8 billion, up 4.1% from last year.
  • There were 5,064 closed sales in August, down a slight 0.2% compared to last year.
  • There were 4,747 new pending sales at the end of August, down 4.4% from last year.
  • Compared to last August, new listings were up 3.0% to 6,071 compared to last year. This was the highest level of new August listings of the last decade.
  • There were 9,681 active listings at the end of August, down 1.8% compared to last year. This is the 28th consecutive month of declines in year-over-year inventory levels, but it was the smallest year-over-year decline since last September.
  • The average percent of original list price received at sale in August was 98.0%, up from last year’s 97.8%.
  • The median days-on-market this month was 15 days, down three days from last year.

Baltimore Metro Area – Overview

  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $280,000 was a 5.7% or $15,000 increase from last year and was easily the highest August median sales price of the last 10 years.
  • Sales volume of more than $1.25 billion was up 6.7% from last year.
  • There were 3,872 closed sales in August, up 1.8% compared to last year and at the highest August level of the decade, while new pending sales of 3,771 were down 1.6% compared to last year.
  • There were 5,286 new listings that came on the market in August, up 11.3% from last year, and the largest year-over-year increase since March of 2016.
  • There were 10,442 active listings at the end of August, a 3.2% decline compared to last year. Year-over-year inventory levels have declined every month of the last three years, but this month’s decline was the smallest since early 2016.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in August was 96.2%, above last year’s 95.9% and at the highest August level of the decade.
  • Median days-on-market of 22 days was down four days compared to last year and was at the lowest August level of the last 10 years.

Click here to access the full PDF version of this report

About the DC Metro Housing Market Update

The DC Metro Area Housing Market Update provides unique insights into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales, trends by home characteristics, and key indicators through the most recent month compiled directly from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data in ShowingTime’s proprietary database. The DC Metro Area housing market includes: Washington, D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland, and Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Fairfax City, and Falls Church City in Virginia. Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

About the Baltimore Metro Housing Market Update

The Baltimore Metro Area Housing Market Update provides unique insights into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales, trends by home characteristics, and key indicators through the most recent month compiled directly from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data in ShowingTime’s proprietary database. The Baltimore Metro Area housing market includes the City of Baltimore, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County in Maryland. Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

About Bright MLS

The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 85,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve over 20 million consumers. For more information, please visit www.brightmls.com.

About Elliot Eisenberg

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is the Chief Economist of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, a firm specializing in economic consulting and data analysis. He is a frequent speaker on topics including: economic forecasts, economic impact of industries such as homebuilding and tourism, consequences of government regulation, economic development and other current economic issues. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg was formerly a Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio, writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70 word commentary on the economy that is available at www.econ70.com.

Have questions? My contact info is below.

I am always happy to help when I can!

Danielle J. Gaynor, RCC, MSRE

Residential & Commercial Realtor

Bennett Realty Solutions

cell: 202-670-5471 | office: 301-459-5040

e-mail: daniellegaynorhu@gmail.com