As rates rise, should Real Estate agents worry?

Minneapolis, MN:  Yesterday the Federal Reserve “clarified” to everyone when it will likely end its economic stimulus program.  This ended weeks of speculation that has caused mortgage rates to surge to the highest levels since 2011, and up over 1/2% in physical rate in the past two months.

house_new_constructionBased on the news, it appears mortgage rates have a new bottom, which is about where they are at today. There is plenty of room for rates to move higher.  Express this to your clients, and get the fence sitters moving.

Loan Officers and Real Estate Agents have great fear for future purchase activity.  Is it founded?  “There should be some concern, but overall, I only expect a minor slowdown in purchase activity. People always buy homes, regardless of rate.” said Eric Metzler, a Senior Loan Officer with Cambria Mortgage in St Paul, MN.

Will home sales fall as rates rise?  Sure… But most people will still buy, just maybe a little less home. As for the future?? If you are a full time experienced agent with a good past client based, I wouldn’t worry about it.

Desperate Loan Officers

Today, a huge number of Loan Officers have been living largely on refinance activity.  This business will drop dramatically as rates creep up.  Many of these Loan Officers have little, if any, purchase business experience.  We would expect to start seeing layoff’s from many of the larger banks, and online refinance powerhouses.  We should also start seeing Loan Officers back again hitting the streets, trying to drum up Realtor referral business.

My world of advice is to pass on refinance specialists trying to turn into purchase loan hopefuls.  While basic loan requirements are similar, purchase loans have a whole new world of requirements for these Loan officers, and you don’t want them experimenting on you and your clients. Stick with licensed, and experience purchase loan specialists like myself.


Minnesota Real Estate – A Sellers Market

St Paul, MN:  The latest report from the Minnesota Association of Realtors shows what we mortgage lenders already knew… That lower quality inventory is sparking higher prices across the state, but primarily in the Minneapolis / St Paul area.

real1The report for March showed the lowest number of homes currently on the market, at 11,784, since 2005. The report also shows the highest March average price for homes in four years, at $155,000 statewide.

The low inventory, combined with increased consumer confidence, and historically low mortgage rates, has created bidding wars on many properties, with the homes selling quickly, and ABOVE asking price.  This goes against the grain of what many home buyers think, that they can still make low ball offer on homes.  For the most part, low ball offers are a thing of the past.

More homes are expected to come on the market as we finally get some spring weather, but expect the fury of multiple offers on great, well priced homes to continue.

Your best bet to make a successful competitive offer is to be fully Pre-Approved, from a LOCAL reputable lender, and to be working with experienced knowledgeable real estate agents.


Are home sellers stupid?

“Broker Bryant, How much do you think our home is worth?” “Well, Mr. Need T. Sell, I think you house is worth about $260,000. However, I’m not here to tell you what your house is worth, I’m here to tell you what it will take to get it sold. In my opinion, I think we should Range Price your property from $239,000 to $259,000 trying to sell as close to $250,000 as possible.” He says in shock, “Broker Bryant, are you crazy? I just had it appraised 6 months ago and it appraised at $275,000! There is no way I am giving my house away at $250,000.”

Now being the “good looking” Realtor that I am, I respond, “Mr. Need T. Sell, you have been on the market for 6 months priced at $265,000 and told me you have not had a single showing. How has that been working out for you?”

He looks at me sternly and says, “Broker Bryant, the reason our house didn’t sell was because our Realtor didn’t do anything. We asked her to run an ad in the paper and she never did. All she did was put up a sign and put our home in the MLS. You can’t sell a house like that. I don’t know how they ever sell a house. All she ever did was call us every month and tell us to reduce the price. That’s the only time we ever heard from her. She’s the one that said she could sell our house at $265,000.”



How people find a Real Estate Agent

The two most important people in a real estate transaction is your Loan Officer, and your Real Estate Agent.

Having an experienced person in these two positions will make for smooth, rewarding, successful transaction. So how do people pick this very important person?

Referral by friend, neighbor or relative is the most commonly cited method sellers used to find their real estate agent.

Thirty-nine percent (30%) of sellers used a referral to find their agent, and an additional twenty-two percent (22%) used an agent they had worked with before.

The typical seller only contacts one agent during the selling process, further emphasizing the importance of personal relationships in real estate.

Sixteen percent (16%) of sellers contacted two agents before selling their home and eighteen percent (18%) contacted three or more agents.

Among recent sellers who used an agent, eighty-five percent (85%) reported they would definitely (69%), or probably (16%) use that real estate agent again or recommend to others.

For buyers, the average person talks to 9 agents over the typical 9 month long period from the time they start thinking about buying a home until they actually close on a home.