WizardOctober 2015 — Emotional mistakes are common among homebuyers, particularly first timers. Here’s a list of common errors and tips on helping your clients navigate the unfamiliar terrain.

Always looking for a better deal.

Every market has its up and downs, but many homebuyers make the mistake of thinking there’s a better deal just around the corner.

The antidote is to help your buyers do their homework, understand value in their neighborhood and let them know that in the current upbeat market, today’s purchase will be more expensive tomorrow.

Falling in love at first sight.

The rush to buy is understandable for those waiting to get out of a less than perfect situation. But buyers who purchase the first property they see may overpay, minimize serious condition issues or become remorseful later on when they take off the rose-colored glasses and see what else is available around them. None of the outcomes will reflect well on you, and you may end up losing a valued referral source or worse, gain an anti-referral.

green houseOctober 2015 — Remember all that equity lost during the downturn? It’s back, or much of it, anyway.

In 2015, single-family homes and condos sold for more above their original purchase price than at any time since prices peaked during the real estate boom.

Homes sold for an average of 13 percent above their original purchase prices, the highest average percentage in home price gains realized by sellers since 2007, when it was 30 percent, according to RealtyTrac.

“Home price appreciation has settled into a nice groove over the past few months, and ought to remain there going forward. This is still more proof that the for-sale market, while certainly not yet fully healed, is continuing to return to normal,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.

QandASeptember 2015 — The average real estate professional made $1900 less last year than in 2013 because home sales declined and Realtor membership increased. The 2015 National Association of Realtors Member Profile also found the average Realtor is older than ever.

“After gradually climbing for three consecutive years, the decline in existing-home sales in 2014 resulted in a slight reduction in business activity and income last year since home sales didn’t surpass year-over-year levels until October, which is likely the reason the typical member had 11 transactions last year versus 12 in 2013,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

“Slightly fewer transactions resulted in the median gross income of a Realtor falling to $45,800 from $47,700 in 2013,” he said.

social mediaSeptember 2015 — Despite the continuous cycle that drives housing, there’s one commodity, arguably more valuable than any other, relentlessly in demand while in an ever-present glut. That’s information.

“As a real estate professional, if you are not helping consumers clear a path through this dense information jungle, you’re leading them — and your business — astray,” said Brett Johnson content expert with RISMedia Content Solutions. The solution? Learn how to use high-quality content for four very specific strategic purposes. Here they are:

Earn Repeat and Referral Business. Maintaining relationships with past clients is key to repeat and referral business, but unless clients have demonstrated an interest in your services, engaging in follow-up conversations can be a challenge. You can make those conversations pertinent by sharing timely and topical information in a personally branded email.

peopleAugust 2015 — Young adults are the key to boosting future household formation, but those households may look different than in previous generations. With declining marriage rates, households headed by married couples may no longer dominate the landscape.

Gen Y/millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, now makes up the largest percentage of today’s buyers at 31 percent, according to NAR’s Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, followed by Gen X buyers at 30 percent and younger boomers at 16 percent.

At the same time, the number of 30-somethings who are married has fallen about 10 percent in the last decade, while the percentage of unmarried couples living together has nearly doubled from seven percent to 13 percent, according to Gallup Analytics.

Single and Satisfied

Most notably, the “rise of singledom,” as Gallup calls it, is most evident among 18- to 29-year-olds. The number of people in that age range who are single and living alone has risen from 52 percent in 2004 to 64 percent in 2014. Among 30- to 39-year-olds, the number has increased from 15 percent to 19 percent in the same period.

Money July 2, 2015, RealtyTrac

Although nationwide all-cash closings were down in May 2015, averaging 30%, New Jersey remained at the top of the list.

The most common states for all cash deals in May [2015] were New Jersey and Florida, with these transactions accounting for nearly 48 percent of all sales in both locales.

New York (38.8 percent) and Massachusetts (37.1 percent) followed.

Latest sign the housing market is gaining traction after a shaky start to the year

UpJune 29, 2015, SOURCE: National Association of Realtors

“The steady pace of solid job creation seen now for over a year has given the housing market a boost this spring,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

First-time home buyers also started making their way back to the real-estate market last month.

Prices have also been rising lately. The median price of an existing home last month was $228,700, or 7.9% higher than in May 2014.

CFPB Logo2

JUNE 18, 2015

After months of denying requests from real estate, mortgage and settlement service professionals to either delay implementation of the TILA- RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) regulation or agree to enact a “hold harmless” enforcement period, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will push the 8/1 implementation deadline to October 1, 2015.

Many in the real estate industry were concerned about implementing the new rules in the middle of the busiest time of the year for real estate closings. The CFPB cited "administrative errors" as one of the reasons for the implementation of the delay.

June 19, 2015, Source: The Record/NAR

questionmarkWho is buying?

Forty-four percent were first-time buyers in New Jersey compared to the national figure of 33 percent.

Age of the first-time buyer is 33 and the typical repeat buyer is 48. 64% of buyers were married couples.

Who sold their home?

The typical seller lived in their home for 10 years and sold for 97% of their listing price.

51% of sellers reduced their asking price at least once.

14% of sellers had to delay the selling process as the value of their home was less than their mortgage.

Student debt keeps growing but homebuyers still buying

May 13, 2015, Source: TransUnion

loanAccording to the latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt rose $32 billion in the first quarter to $1.19 trillion total, but recent reports from Capital Economics have suggested that growing amount of student debt isn’t actually preventing millennials from buying a home.

A new report from TransUnion shows that not only are younger consumers with student debt able to get a mortgage, they are also quite adept at making their payments as well.