Cash Sales Are Shrinking (See the state by state report)

Cash sales accounted for 36.4% of total home sales in November 2015, down 0.7% year over year. In November 2014 cash sales totaled 37.1%.  Month-over-month cash sales increased by 2.5% from October to November, however due to seasonal changed, cash sales are more easily measured on a year-over-year basis.

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( http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36395-cash-sales-on-homes-continue-to-decline)

 

The year-over-year decrease was the lowest in almost three years. The elevated cash share for November was most likely related to the new federal mortgage rules that took effect in October 2015 as some mortgage deals were delayed while the industry adjusted to the new mortgage rules, according to mortgage data provider, CoreLogic.

The cash sales peaked in January 2011 at 46.6%. Prior to the housing crisis, the cash share of total home sales averaged about 25%.

This graph shows the national historical trend in cash sales share by sale type. The largest cash sales were real estate owned at 63.2%, followed by resales, short sales and lastly, real estate owned.

Historical-Trend

 

This graph shows the total cash sales share by state for November 2015. The states with the largest cash sales share of any state at 53.4%, followed by Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and New York.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Cash-Sales-by-State

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HSBC Pays $601M settlement for abusive mortgage practices (Settlement with DOJ, HUD, CFPB, Fed, 49 states)

 

HSBC agreed to a $601 million settlement with a series of federal agencies and nearly every state over charges that the bank engaged in mortgage origination, servicing and foreclosure abuses. The massive settlement with HSBC was jointly announced Friday by the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 49 states and the District of Columbia.

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(http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36219-hsbc-reaches-601m-settlement-over-charges-of-abusive-mortgage-practices)

 

As part of that settlement, HSBC will pay a total of $470 million in relief to consumers and payments to federal and state parties, and will be bound to mortgage servicing standards and be subject to independent monitoring of its compliance with the agreement, the DOJ said in a statement.

“This agreement is the result of a coordinated effort between federal and state partners to hold HSBC accountable for abusive mortgage practices,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery.

“This agreement provides for $370 million in creditable consumer relief to benefit homeowners across the country and requires HSBC to reform their servicing standards,” Delery added. “The Department of Justice remains committed to rooting out financial fraud and holding bad actors accountable for their actions.”

In a separate, but related, announcement, the Federal Reserve announced that HSBC will pay $131 million to settle similar claims.

According to the Fed, the penalty assed to HSBC is the maximum amount allowed by the law, and takes into account the circumstances of HSBC’s “unsafe and unsound practices and foreclosure activities.”

According to an announcement from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the settlement requires HSBC to “substantially change” how it services mortgage loans, handles foreclosures and ensures the accuracy of information provided in federal bankruptcy court.

The terms will help prevent past foreclosure abuses, such as robo-signing, improper documentation and lost paperwork, Bondi’s office said.

In a statement, HSBC said that the company is “pleased” about the settlement.

“We are pleased to have reached this settlement and believe it is a positive result that benefits American homeowners and the US housing industry,” said Kathy Madison, CEO, HSBC Finance Corp. “Throughout the housing market downturn, HSBC stayed focused on home preservation and approached foreclosure as a last resort option, and this agreement affirms our commitment to assisting customers who are facing financial difficulties.”

Under the terms of the settlement with the DOJ, HUD, the CFPB and the states, HSBC will be required to:

  • Pay $100 million, including $40.5 million to be paid to the settling federal parties; $59.3 million to be paid into an escrow fund administered by the states to make payments to borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and 2012; and $200,000 to be paid into an escrow fund to reimburse the state attorneys general for investigation costs
  • HSBC is also required to complete $370 million in creditable consumer relief directly to borrowers and homeowners by July 2016 in the form of reducing the principal on mortgages for borrowers who are at risk of default, reducing mortgage interest rates, forgiving forbearance and other forms of relief. The relief to homeowners has been underway and will likely provide more than $370 million in direct benefits to borrowers because HSBC will not be permitted to claim credit for every dollar spent on the required consumer relief
  • HSBC will also be required to implement standards for the servicing of mortgage loans, the handling of foreclosures and for ensuring the accuracy of information provided in federal bankruptcy court. These standards are designed to prevent foreclosure abuses of the past, such as robo-signing, improper documentation and lost paperwork, and create new consumer protections.  The standards provide for oversight of foreclosure processing, including third-party vendors, and new requirements to undertake pre-filing reviews of certain documents filed in bankruptcy court. The servicing standards ensure that foreclosure is a last resort by requiring HSBC to evaluate homeowners for other loss-mitigation options first. In addition, the standards restrict HSBC from foreclosing while the homeowner is being considered for a loan modification

According to the Fed, its penalty may be satisfied by providing borrower assistance or remediation in conjunction with the Department of Justice settlement, or by providing funding for nonprofit housing counseling organizations.

If HSBC does not satisfy the full penalty amount within two years, the remaining amount must be paid to the Department of Treasury, the Fed said, adding that it will closely monitor compliance by HSBC with the requirements of the order.

1372222346_President Obama Details Sweeping Climate Policies“This settlement illustrates the department’s continuing commitment to ensure responsible mortgage servicing,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The agreement is part of our ongoing effort to address root causes of the financial crisis.”

According to the DOJ, that portion of the settlement will be overseen by Joseph Smith, who is also the monitor for the National Mortgage Settlement.

Smith will oversee implementation of the servicing standards required by the agreement, will certify that HSBC has satisfied its consumer relief obligations and will file regular public reports that identify any quarter in which HSBC fell short of the standards imposed in the settlement.

The parties may seek penalties for non-compliance, the DOJ said.

“Mortgage servicers have a responsibility to help struggling borrowers remain in their home, not to push them into foreclosure,” said General Counsel Helen Kanovsky of HUD. “This agreement is another example of how multiple agencies in the federal government and state attorneys general across the country are working to make sure the mortgage industry treats consumers fairly.”

(http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36219-hsbc-reaches-601m-settlement-over-charges-of-abusive-mortgage-practices)

 

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12 Ways To Dominate The MLS In Your Market [and why smart investors are flocking back to listed properties] Pt. 2

Here are strategies 7-12 that you can immediately use to dominate the MLS in your market (10 is my favorite). Again, depending on how many deals you are looking for, you only need to do a few of these very well to have a steady stream of deals forever. Enjoy this content packed guest post by Jim Huntzicker, creater of the MLS DOMINATION TRAINING SERIES. 

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7) Make proper offers and use proper proof of funds.

This is a BIG one. So many investors that I’ve talked to are writing half-assed offers and expecting them to get accepted. But most of the time, they probably end up in the REO agent’s garbage. These agents are getting enough offers that are written properly, so if yours is not I can assure you that yours will end up in the garbage too. And if the offer you uploaded into the bank system directly was not written properly, it will get rejected without further review even if they liked the price. Also, you need to have proof of proper funds which needs to match the buyer’s name on the contract EXACTLY. This can be an actual bank statement, a letter from a banker, or a letter from an attorney (hint, hint…the last one’s the easiest to get).

8) Don’t back out!

shutterstock_284067842Know your stuff (see point 9). If you back out of deals after they get accepted, you’ll end up on the REO agent’s black list. And if they’re not an REO agent, like if it’s an estate or regular sale, you may or may not run into them again. But trust me, they will not forget you. The point is: don’t make offers you can’t or aren’t completely willing to close on.

 

 

 

9) Know your stuff!

Be knowledgeable of after-repaired value (ARV), repair estimates, and the maximum allowable offer. You should know this well enough to walk in and out of a house in 10 minutes or less and complete the property repair estimate sheet. You also need to drive the area comps; neighborhoods and location can play a big role, so it’s important to lay your eyes on the properties you’re using as comps. Google street view has made this a lot easier, but I still recommend actually driving by before pulling the trigger.

10) Estate sales are my personal favorite!

shutterstock_144037306These are one of the reasons you need to be checking the MLS three times a day because these will pop up and go under contract just as fast because of the emotional reaction the executor of the estate often has. You see, many times, this is a house that has been in the family for a long time. A loved one has just died and now that they are at the point of selling the house, they want it to be done as quickly as possible and will take the first reasonable offer that comes across their table, especially a cash one. So checking the MLS three times a day is key for this strategy to be most effective.

 

11) Offer follow-up and organization is a must.

When making offers in the MLS, you will usually get 10, 20, and 30 offers out at a time. I’ve had as many as 180 offers out at one time and was able to track all of them with a simple Excel spreadsheet. Google Drive has a similar format to Excel to organize your offers. But why the organization comes into play and is most effective is the offer follow-up. If you follow-up with these offers properly after you don’t win the original offer but follow it 30, 60, 90, or 120 days until it either reactivates or closes, I will tell you that for the properties that reactivate at day 90-120, there is a small fortune to be made in them.

12) Take the classes offered by the local MLS!

Duh! This is only a system that regularly produces the most motivated sellers that you will ever find. Don’t you think it would be a good idea to learn all of its tricks and tools so that you can you can use the system to its fullest? They will teach you how to set up proper searches or hot sheets. They will show you how to conduct detailed property research. Trust me…take the damn classes!

I hope you found this information useful, but what I really want to stress to you is the first point I made regarding communication. Have proper communication with the agent you work with and with the listing agents you are giving offers to. You need to keep your cool and always remain in good contact with them. Depending on the deal, this can be the reason the agent tells the seller to take your offer over others. When they see that you are diligent and they are confident that you will close on the property, they will recommend to the seller that they accept your offer even if they end up accepting another offer. Trust me – you will be the only one following up with the agent a week or two into a deal you didn’t get to see how the inspection went and if the deal still looks good. This is the kind of stuff that will get you the deal if that one falls apart.

The rest of the information in here is pretty easy, but if executed without proper communication, it will be significantly less effective.

Here’s what I want you to do next. Go here and sign up for the free training. I will walk you through these strategies in more detail, and this will really help you start to dominate your MLS today!

 

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12 Ways To Dominate The MLS In Your Market [and why smart investors are flocking back to listed properties] Pt. 1

Here are 12 strategies you can immediately use to dominate the MLS in your market (5 and 10 are my favorite). Again, depending on how many deals you are looking for, you only need to do a few of these very well to have a steady stream of deals forever. Enjoy this content packed guest post by Jim Huntzicker, creater of the MLS DOMINATION TRAINING SERIES. 

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Let me bust a few myths for you as far as using the MLS goes. The MLS is no different than any other deal source we use and most of the deals we come across do not work for what we do. First of all, people always say to me that there are no good deals in the MLS. That is absolutely not true, as I can tell you from my experience as well as my students’ experiences. I have built a very successful career and made life changing money using the MLS as my primary deal source.

shutterstock_283731104I will tell you that just passively watching the MLS here and there is not the way to get those deals. It is actually quite easy but you need to follow the steps below to set yourself up to be the one that gets those deals as they come on the market. I will also tell you that most of the truly great deals are sold before they hit the market by investors using the strategies below. The second thing I hear all the time is that there is too much competition (in a whining voice of course). There is nothing wrong with a little competition (especially when there is millions of dollars to be made), but again, using the strategies below will put you in a position to beat out your competition to several deals. The third thing I hear is: “I don’t have MLS access.” This doesn’t matter as many of the strategies listed below utilize other agents. So, whether you have your real estate license or not, you will still use these other agents to help you get the deals (see points 3-5 below).

ANYONE CAN DO THIS IN ANY MARKET, AT ANY EXPERIENCE LEVEL, LITERALLY ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY!

Now, let’s get into the meat of this thing. Here are 12 strategies you can immediately use to dominate the MLS in your market (5 and 10 are my favorite). Again, depending on how many deals you are looking for, you only need to do a few of these very well to have a steady stream of deals forever!

1. Communication, Communication, Communication.

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This is by far the most overlooked step. About 99% of investors overlook communication. I know it may seem silly to lead off with

communication, but if you do this properly, you’ll have a great deal of success not only in the MLS, but anywhere you’re making offers. This is by far one of the reasons I have had and continue to have success in the MLS. From presenting the offers, to following up, as well as how and when you call and email, and how often will all dramatically increase your odds of getting your offers accepted. It’s simple: proper communication. Just ask your significant other! (And if you don’t have one, you really need to work on that communication)

If you are not consistently using proper communication you are not going to have success. If you are submitting offers without calling the listing agent your chances of getting that property are not very good. I know that half the time I get these properties because of the rapport I built with the agent. Well let me be more clear; because of the rapport I built with the agent, the agent might have told me where I needed to be on price to get the house. Now I am not saying this is going to happen to you too but I am not saying it won’t happen either. I get deal after deal out of the MLS from agents I have never met before because of the conversations I have with them. And you have to have persistence. You must be consistently persistent without being annoying. Always be cool and respectful with your communication all while being consistently persistent with your follow up.

So how do those conversations go… let’s see… they start with a phone call letting them know I am interested in the property and if it’s a foreclosure I am calling to find out if they are able to represent me as the buyer’s agent. This is called double ending the deal and most banks allow the listing agent to do that. Then I ask if they are representing anyone else currently (they have to disclose that to you). It’s called contemporaneous offers. If they are that doesn’t mean I don’t use them still. But depending on the feel I get from them, I might use my agent team member and in my case that’s me. However, there have been times the agent told me that the current buyer is low balling and is not being realistic. So my decent offer was very welcome to him. Did I mention that I am not saying they will give you inside info but I am not saying they won’t either. It’s all about having proper communication with the agents and not being afraid to ask questions about price and where you need to be. You will be surprised how often you get the answer you’re looking for.

Sometimes I have to fish for the number… for example I just got one here in my area that listed for $360,000. Now this thing needed about 60K and will easily be worth $575,000 (the agent or bank way undervalued this property). Obviously there is a lot of meat on the bone here. At the current list price, after holding and selling costs, there is about $125,000 in profit potential and this will be a 3-4 week flip. The problem was that there were over 20 offers on it. I had to go to $407,500 to get it. I was not pleased with this price but I still had a potential profit of $75K or so. And had I not brought the listing agent in as my buyer’s agent I would have been way off on where I needed to be to get an easy flip like this. The agent never told me the number I needed to be at. I always offered a number and I was told there might be higher offers. When I finally got to $407,500 I was told that should probably do it. Again, it was the communication and rapport I had with this agent that got me this property. I should probably mention I just met this agent and she has already brought me two off-the-market REO’s that I will get the first shot at. This stuff works over and over.

Now if the property is an estate sale I ask the agent if they think it would be ok for me to not take a commission on the buyer side. I always say I know that this is an estate and every penny counts for the heirs. So I just want them to net as much as possible. This is usually very well received. In this situation you either have no representation on the buyer side or your agent team member goes down but waives the commission. This strategy can also work for regular sales. I will get more into that during the market research section later on in the course. I get deal after deal using these strategies.

shutterstock_284063492You have to explain to these agents that you are an experienced real estate investor, a cash buyer, and can close at any time. You have already run your numbers on the property and know that you can pay X for it. You will have already seen the property with your agent team member. If you don’t have an agent team member yet I will teach you how to find one in the training below this one.

You need to be following up with these agents even when your offer gets rejected. In many cases there will be an inexperienced investor that overpaid and will back out after the inspection. If you are following up with that agent 7, 14, and 21 days later to see if the deal is still holding together, he is going to know you are serious and guess what? If that deal falls apart who do you think he is going to call first? It is with this exact strategy that I have gotten several deals that never officially came back on the market. They went from the first offer directly to me without ever going active again. So all of the other offers never had a second shot. It is just simple proper communication with persistence that will get you more deals then you can ever imagine.

Look, at the end of the day it is just being super cool and saying the right stuff when you call to build rapport. You cannot be cool enough to these agents, especially the REO agents as they deal with a-holes all day. Be a professional that knows your stuff and is super cool to them even when you want to be rude because they are not calling you back. Even if you’ve left 3-4 messages, just keep your cool and trust me it will be worth your while. It is your job to make it as easy as possible for the seller’s agent to tell the seller that this is the offer they should take. The agent just needs to feel confident that you are not going to back out of the deal after the offer is accepted; like asking for some ridiculous inspection credit because you realized you over-paid. I have actually had agents tell me on more than one occasion that my offer wasn’t even the highest offer but the seller still accepted it because they felt the most comfortable that I would actually close without any trouble.

It just goes back to being professional when contacting the agent whether you are submitting the offer with them as your agent or not. You need to build proper rapport by communicating with them so they know you are legit. When you submit offers make sure they are filled out properly and submitted with all necessary documents. Never just email in an offer without calling first. Also call to make sure it was received. Ask them when it’s a good time to follow up on the offer and follow up at that exact time. This is a business where you can make millions of dollars; I am not sure why so many investors screw up this basic business principle of proper communication.

Again, these are strategies that will get you deal after deal with agents you don’t know and will help you build lifelong relationships with agents who will bring you deal after deal before they even hit the market to see if you are interested. These are strategies that ANYONE can implement immediately. You can look at the MLS right now today and put this to work

2) Get MLS access if you do not have it; become an “assistant” to an agent.

shutterstock_258779678This is as simple as finding the right agent and paying him to be his assistant. He/she can control how much access you have to the MLS. All licensed agents with MLS access are allowed several assistants so this is a very easy thing to get done. Simply find the right agent and offer them money for the access.

 

3) Bring a licensed agent onto your real estate investing team.

If you’re not planning on getting licensed yourself, you will need a licensed member on some level. With this person in place you will have no trouble getting MLS access. This is a person that will forgo the commission on the front end to profit with you in the back end of the deal.

4) Utilize field agents.

A field agent is an agent that you find to work in a specific area, such as a zip code, town, county, etc. You’re looking for an agent that does more than the average (the National Association of Realtors average is 3 deals per year. Yep, that’s correct – 3 deals per year). You’re looking for someone who is doing closer to 10. They just need to have a decent understanding of what we do. This way they are bringing you real deals.

5) Work with smaller foreclosure/REO agents.

Once you figure out how to work with these guys, it will be like finding a pot of gold at the end of the foreclosure rainbow. Building relationships with these agents and letting them take both sides of the commission (double-end the deal) will have you finding yourself with a steady stream of deals from these people. But it all goes back to properly communicating with them and letting them know why you would give them both ends of the commission. Of course your reasoning for that is that you want to build relationships since you’re a full-time real estate investor looking for deals all the time.

6) Work with the large REO agents.

shutterstock_136231994It may seem like the large REO agents (the guys doing 100 to 600 deals per year) are hard to get ahold of if not impossible. Though these elusive agents may seem difficult to build relationships with, there is a way. Since you can’t get ahold of them, you have to focus on their staff. You need to make sure their staff knows who you are and that you’re a real estate investor who truly closes on deals. Try dropping off donuts and/or candy to their office the next time you’re working with them. Trust me – they will not forget you. Again, proper communication is key; you must absolutely kill them with kindness. Since these REO staffers deal with a bunch of angry A-holes all day I have found that being the bright, shining star in their day, even if you’re not getting the info that you want, will go a long way.

 

 

Here’s what I want you to do next. Go here and sign up for the free training. I will walk you through these strategies in more detail, and this will really help you start to dominate your MLS today!

 

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7 Online Tools to Help You Estimate Investment Property Values

What is your investment property worth? In recent years, a proliferation of online resources has emerged to provide you with an answer before you ever consult a human. But while consumers have access to more information than they could have dreamed of a decade ago, that doesn’t mean you can expect a computer to deliver the final word on your home’s value – though it can give you some helpful hints.

 

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(http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/7-online-tools-to-help-you-estimate-your-homes-value/)

“I don’t believe there are any accurate instant numbers,” says David Eraker, CEO and co-founder of Surefield, a new brokerage in Seattle that has a free Pricepoint tool that provides estimates of home values, so far just in Washington state. “I think the first thing you should do is take it with a grain of salt. You could probably talk to three or four different real estate agents, and they would probably give you different numbers as well.”

The variation in the data is a good reminder that any estimate of home value, whether provided by a human or a computer, is just that – an estimate. Computers and humans may disagree, for example, about which recently sold homes are truly comparable. Plus, when it comes time to do the deal, the negotiation skills of buyers and sellers (or their agents) may come into play.

“Opinions of value, there are a lot of them,” says Stan Humphries, chief analytics officer for Zillow, which pioneered the practice of estimating and publishing home values in 2006. “If you were to sell the same house 100 different times with different buyers and sellers, it would close at a different price.”

shutterstock_284062328That means if you are looking at estimates for your home’s value, you have to consider what kind of data went into that estimate. If your home is unique compared to others in the neighborhood, for example, the choice of “comps,” or comparable homes, would be a challenge to find. Your estimate may also be less accurate than if you live in a neighborhood where all the homes are similar. If there have been lots of recent home sales in your area, there is going to be more data to work with than if there are fewer sales, and therefore you’ll get a more accurate estimate.

“The more the house is an outlier, the more difficult it is for anyone to price it, whether it’s a human or a computer,” says Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, which just launched its own automated estimate tool. “The hardest things we had to deal with was which homes are comparable and which aren’t.”

All the online tools take advantage of publicly available data, which they then run through computer models to derive estimates of value. Exactly which data is used is proprietary, as are the formulas used to crunch it, but among the data sources are public records and the multiple listing services used by real estate agents. Exactly what data is available also affects the accuracy of the estimate, and that amount of data varies by municipality and sometimes by home.

Zillow allows consumers who register for a free account to correct or add data about their homes, and just this week the company launched a new Price This Home tool, which lets consumers receive a private estimate in which they control which comps are used. Surefield also has tools that allow homeowners and homebuyers to refine estimates based on their knowledge of the neighborhood and the listed comps. Redfin shows the comps and public records data about the home that was used, and you can email if you believe the information is inaccurate.

Zillow covers about 100 million homes in 450 markets. Humphries says the national margin of error for home values is 7.9 percent, but the rate varies by location. That’s partly because the type and accuracy of data varies, but also because home values are easier to estimate in an area with more sales and in areas with a larger volume of homes. “You’re dealing with less data than you’d like to have,” Humphries says of some areas. Parts of New York state, for example, don’t list square footage in public records.

He points out that real estate agents doing comparative market analysis have an error rate of 5.5 to 6 percent, and it’s rare that a home sells for the exact asking price. “No one’s error rate is zero. They’re all opinions of value,” Humphries says.

Glenn says Redfin’s estimates have a median error rate of 1.96 percent for homes on the market and 6.23 percent for homes not on the market, but the service so far covers only about 40 million homes in 35 major metro areas, which are often easier to value than homes in less dense areas.

shutterstock_284063492We also found some calculators that provide estimates at several bank sites, with information drawn from databases used by appraisers. ForSaleByOwner.com has its own tool, called Pricing Scout.

The representatives of all the companies stress that their numbers are merely estimates, based on the available data, plus a number of assumptions about comparable sales. While all the services throw out a number for the home’s estimated value, most provide a range of values, which sometimes gets overlooked by consumers who focus on the number in big type.

“We think of our estimate as the beginning of a conversation, not the end,” Kelman says. “Many times the asking price of a home is the result of a fairly tense conversation between the owner of the home and the agent who is trying to sell it.”

Here are seven online tools you can use to help you estimate the value of your home:

Zillow: This is the pioneer of the home value estimating tool, and the company continues to refine how it arrives at its Zestimates.

Redfin: This new tool shows you photos and listing information for the exact comps used to arrive at the value of your home.

ForSaleByOwner.com : This site’s Pricing Scout tool gives you the average of a regression analysis and a comparative market analysis to estimate the worth of your home. It also shows recent sales of comparable properties on a map. You have to register to use it.

Chase: This tool allows you to change the information about the house to arrive at a more precise estimate, plus provides information on recently sold homes and neighborhood trends. You can also use it to estimate the value of improvements you’re considering.

Bank of America: This tool shows comparable neighboring sales on a map. It provides only a range of values, not a single number.

Surefield: This site lets you narrow or widen the range of comparable homes, plus exclude specific comps from the list.

eppraisal.com: This site uses data from public records and lists homes sold recently nearby.

(http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/7-online-tools-to-help-you-estimate-your-homes-value/)

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Zillow CEO Breaks Silence About The Current Housing Market (What he says may surprise you!)

The real estate market is soaring. Sales of existing homes in the United States reached their highest level since 2006 last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The booming market is driving buyers to Zillow, the largest real estate website. On average, more than 142 million users a month find information on more than 110 million homes nationwide.

 

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(http://www.cbsnews.com/news/zillow-ceo-spencer-rascoff-homes-buying-renting-selling-housing-market-trends/)

CEO Spencer Rascoff is the author of “Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate,” in which he offers tips on buying, selling and renting homes, and insight on current trends in the housing market.

According to Rascoff, the housing market has been appreciating about three percent year over year, but this varies by region.

“So certain parts of the country are roaring and other parts of the country are lower. It’s all based on what’s happening in the local climate,” Rascoff told “CBS This Morning” Monday. Among the top cities are Denver, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Richmond – areas teeming with jobs in the technology industry and strong local economies.

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  • In general, home values have increased about 70 percent year over year in the last 17 years, but those near a Starbucks were up about 100 percent in the same period. Rascoff advised future buyers to look for homes near Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s locations, where values were up highest topping 140 percent – twice that of the normal American home.

    Another interesting trend Zillow found is the correlation between politics and home ownership. Homeowners tend to be more politically conservative – 40 percent compared to 25 percent of renters.

    “Now it makes sense right because home ownership tends to occur a little later in life and once people are a little more affluent, and that those are demographic attributes which tend to correspond with political conservatism,” Rascoff explained.

    Still, Rascoff clarified that this does not mean millennials are not interested in buying homes. In fact, Zillow found millennials still hold “very traditional views” about home leadership, but are merely pushing it off to later in life in their thirties.

    For those who are interested in buying, Rascoff emphasized researching real estate agents is just as important as researching the homes, advising people to hire agents only after reading ratings and reviews, using resources such as Zillow.

    Rascoff also said the decision to purchase a home should also rely on a specific “crossover point” when you no longer want to rent, which is determined by how long you intend to live there. On average nationwide, you should purchase a home if you will be there for two or more years. But this, too, varies regionally. In New York, the crossover point is about five years, and in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, between three to five years.

    “But in Detroit, it’s less than a year. So in Detroit it almost never makes sense to rent. You ought to buy because home values are so much cheaper,” Rascoff said.

    For those who want to sell their homes, Rascoff compared the process to a party.

    “You don’t want to get there too early before no one’s there and you don’t want to show up too late once everyone’s gone,” Rascoff said. “The data says that the best time to list your home is late March.”

    But this also depends on other factors, including location, weather and timing. Those in warmer parts of the country like the Southeast should purchase earlier in the month, whereas those in colder areas like the Northeast should wait until April, Rascoff said.

    Timing is also an important factor.

    “Once the listings have come online and buyers are in the market, then you want to list. The internet has changed this because Sites like Zillow and Trulia show how long somethings been on the market,” Rascoff said.

    (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/zillow-ceo-spencer-rascoff-homes-buying-renting-selling-housing-market-trends/)

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