Albuquerque Real Estate with Joe Brooks

April 24, 2008

What is a market snapshot?

New just on the market.  A way to keep tabs on what is happening in your neighborhood for FREE.  Just fill out the form and 30 Minuets later you will see how your properties stacks up to your neighbors. 

<a href=”http://www.homeinsight.com/Widget/default.asp?LBUFLX1VXP7K” target=_blank>MLS Market Snapshot</a>

Warm Regards,

Your Albuquerque Area Realtor

Joe Brooks

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April 21, 2008

If You Think You’re Saving Money Renting … Think Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — joebrookshomes @ 4:57 pm
If You Think You’re Saving Money Renting … Think Again

A new report by the National Association of Realtors shows the real reason why home sales don’t crash for long — rents. When purchase demands slow down, rentals speed up. Rents provide the floor that stops housing prices from major declines.

 

Home prices going down is been the big news lately, but in the shadows is a statistic that may surprise you. The first quarter of 2008 makes the 24th consecutive quarter that rental prices have escalated nationwide.

According to Reis Inc., a New-York based research firm, the soft home market and stricter loan terms are combining to turn more potential homebuyers into renters.

The troubling part is that renting isn’t necessarily better for consumer pocketbooks than owning. A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report “Out of Reach,” suggests that one in seven U.S. households is using more than half their income for shelter. Low-income, minority and first-time homebuyers are the most impacted, suggests the study.

First-time homebuyers are approximately 40 percent of the housing market, so knocking them out knocks out move-up homebuyers who wish to trade up to larger and/or more expensive homes.

One bright spot following the release of the report was the weekly mortgage applications survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade organization’s Market Composite Index found that purchase loan applications increased 5.4 percent from a week earlier. And the Refinance Index found that refinance applications increased 3.4 percent.

Because mortgage interest rates rose slightly for the week, to 5.78 percent from 5.75 percent, the implication is that flat rates weren’t the reason for the rise in applications, but that consumers may simply be moving off the bench for the spring homebuying season.

We’ll know more as the weeks continue, if there is a relationship between rising rents, and rising home sales and mortgage applications.

 

Contact  Joe Brooks if you want to know on the average rent in your zip code here in the Albuquerque Area.   

April 9, 2008

Home prices slip in Albuquerque

Filed under: News — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 5:34 am
Home prices slip in Albuquerque
 
The latest housing report for Albuquerque shows home prices are starting to slide, and some home buyers say this is just what they have been waiting for.The report indicates that houses are not only slipping in price, but they are also staying on the market for a lot longer.

“For someone like me, it makes it nice to have a lot of stuff to look at and make sure I get what I want,” said Michael Chavez, who is looking to purchase a home.

Numbers released Tuesday show the average home price has dropped to $229,000. That is down almost 3 percent from the same time last year.

And despite the lower prices, fewer houses are selling, about 800 less than in the first three months of 2007.

And those that do sell are sitting on the market for about 71 days compared to the 46 days it took to sell them a year ago.

But Cathy Olson of the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors says the numbers are much better than the rest of the country’s numbers.

Olson says Albuquerque’s housing market is correcting itself after the enormous growth over past couple of years

“There was some over building going on, I also think that we couldn’t catch up to the number of builds as well as the onslaught of investors coming in,” said Olson.

Realtors say the slump is not hitting areas like Nob Hill and northeast Albuquerque as hard as it’s hitting people on the West Side.

April 7, 2008

How to price to sell and still make a profit

Filed under: Selling — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 11:03 pm

How to price to sell and still make a profit

 

The asking price you set for your home significantly affects whether you will profit in the sale, how much you will profit and how long your home will sit on the market. Your licensed Realtor like Joe Brooks’ knowledge of the overall market and what’s selling — or not selling — will be invaluable in helping you determine the price. The objective is to find a price that the market will bear but won’t leave money on the table.

 

Here are some points to consider:

  • Time
    Time is not on your side when it comes to real estate. Although many factors influence the outcome, perhaps time is the biggest determinant in whether or not you see a profit and how much you profit. Studies show that the longer a house stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell for the original asking price. Therefore, if your goal is to make money, think about a price that will encourage buyer activity (read: fair market value).
  • Value vs. Cost
    Pricing your home to sell in a timely fashion requires some objectivity. It’s important that you not confuse value with cost — in other words, how much you value your home versus what buyers are willing to pay for it. Don’t place too much emphasis on home improvements when calculating your price, because buyers may not share your taste. For instance, not everyone wants hardwood floors or granite countertops.
  • Keep it simple
    Because time is of the essence, make it easy for the buyers. Remain flexible on when your agent can schedule showings. Also, avoid putting contingencies on the sale. Though a desirable move-in date makes for a smoother transition between homes, it could cause you to lose the sale altogether.

Opting for new home construction

Opting for new home construction

 

Whether to buy an existing home or have one built is yet another decision to make during the home-buying process. If you decide to go with new construction, a real estate agent like your Joe Brooks from Keller Williams Realty can be a powerful advocate in your corner as you negotiate upgrades, a move-in date and other terms with the home builder.

Below are some basic pointers to prepare you for the journey ahead.

 

Selecting a builder


Shopping for a large production or custom home builder can be a daunting task. Start by defining what architectural styles appeal to you and then seek out the builders in your area who offer those styles. Due diligence is essential. Ask friends for referrals to get firsthand accounts; verify the builder’s state license status, if applicable; and check whether they’re certified by the National Association of Home Builders.

 

The builder representative and your real estate agent


A builder representative’s ultimate goal is to sell you a home. His or her role is to provide a wide range of information to help you in your decision-making, from building restrictions, roads and easements to inspections, warranties, rebates and upgrades. A real estate agent knowledgeable in new-home construction will be able to help you wade through all the data and point out the downsides and upsides of each line item. Your agent also can look out for your interests in reviewing the builder’s contract, which often contains more legal jargon than consumer-friendly language.

 

It’s all about timing


Market conditions greatly dictate a builder’s incentive to make a deal you cannot refuse. When a builder has inventory on his hands, his carrying costs start adding up. When this happens, a builder might be more amenable to strike a favorable deal, whether it’s throwing in upgrades or taking a bit off the asking price. A real estate agent can help you know when market conditions are right for these benefits. Also, watch for builder close-out sales. Builders promote these special events when a new subdivision is near completion but empty inventory still remains. 

 

A word about paying up


While there are always exceptions, most builders require a deposit when a purchase agreement is signed. They also require that the buyer pay for any upgrades prior to closing. If you back out prior to closing, unless the agreement states otherwise, you will lose that money. Make sure you understand every detail in the builder’s contract before signing it.

How can Joe brooks, a licensed Realtor help me sell my home?

Filed under: Selling — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 5:13 pm

How can Joe Brooks, a licensed Realtor help me sell my home?

 www.joebrookshomes.com

There are countless decisions to be made when selling a home, and many of them will significantly affect whether or not you make a profit and how much time it takes to sell your home. Joe Brooks, a licensed realtor, can offer specialized knowledge in research, marketing and negotiations to help you meet or exceed your goals. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 82 percent of home sales are the result of agent connections.

 

A licensed Realtor like Joe Brooks will:

 

  • Serve as your advocate and representative when dealing with buyers, buyers’ agents and service providers.
  • Help you establish a fair asking price that also meets your goals.
  • Advise you on how to present your home aesthetically to maximize its appeal to buyers.
  • Design a customized marketing plan that will promote your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tactics can include the MLS, direct mail campaigns, fliers, yard signs, advertising, Internet listings and open houses. 
  • Schedule and host open houses and home tours.
  • Screen all written offers and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Assist you in making counteroffers.
  • Prepare your closing documents.
  • Represent you at closing and mediate any last-minute obstacles to ensure a smooth, successful transaction.
  • Provide referrals to proven service providers, including title companies, inspectors, appraisers, pest control, moving companies and more.

 

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Real estate professionals can represent the seller, the buyer or both. When agents represent both parties, it is called dual agency. In some states, dual agency affects the real estate professional’s fiduciary responsibilities to the seller. Keep in mind that real estate laws differ from state to state and even from locale to locale. For more in-depth answers, talk with a knowledgeable real estate professional and ask about local practices.

Eight steps to selling your home

Filed under: Selling — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 5:08 pm

 Eight steps to selling your home

www.joebrookshomes.com

1. Define your needs.

Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin.

 

Work with Joe Brooks, your licensed Realtor to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.

 

2. Name your price.


Your next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area. It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so Joe Brooks’ expertise is invaluable at this step. Joe will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This typically costs a few hundred dollars.

 

Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.

 

3. Prepare your home.


Most of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tiptop shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer.

 

First impressions are the most important. Joe brooks can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.

 

A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized décor will help buyers visualize the home as theirs.

 

Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression.

 

Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knickknacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.

 

4. Get the word out.


Now that you’re ready to sell, Joe brooks will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including:

 

  • The Internet
  • Yard signs
  • Open houses
  • Media advertising
  • Agent-to-agent referrals
  • Direct mail marketing campaigns

 

In addition to listing your home on the MLS, Joe will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest.

 

5. Receive an offer.


When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, Joe Brooks will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and Joe will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:

 

  • Legal description of the property
  • Offer price
  • Down payment
  • Financing arrangements
  • List of fees and who will pay them
  • Deposit amount
  • Inspection rights and possible repair allowances
  • Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing
  • Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home
  • Settlement date
  • Contingencies

 

At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with Joe brooks right away.

 

6. Negotiate to sell.


Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Joe Brooks also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items:

 

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Repairs
  • Appliances and fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Move-in date

 

Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, Joe Brooks will prepare a contract.

 

7. Prepare to close.

Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Joe Brooks at Keller williams Realty can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing.

 

Important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so.

 

8. Close the deal.


“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Your realtor Joe brooks will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, he can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. In some states, an attorney is required and you may wish to have one present.

 

After the closing, you should make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a checklist to get you started.

 

  • Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable and other routine services.
  • If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account.
  • Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.

April 6, 2008

10 things you should ask a real estate agent

Filed under: Buying — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 8:08 pm

10 things you should ask a real estate agent

 www.joebrookshomes.com

Having the right real estate professional by your side can greatly improve your home-buying experience. A good rule of thumb is to interview a minimum of three candidates. Here are 10 questions to ask during an interview:

 

  1. Are you a full-time professional REALTOR®? How long have you worked full time in real estate?
  2. What geographic areas do you specialize in?
  3. Do you have a Website? What information can I find there?
  4. How will you keep me informed during my home search and throughout the transaction?
  5. Do you have a staff or a team? If so, what roles will they play in my transaction?
  6. Will you show me properties from other companies’ listings? (Some real estate companies do offer their buyers’ agents a higher commission if they are able to sell “in-house” listings. In those instances, there can be added incentive to limit the range of homes you are shown. This may affect your home search and how much your agent’s fee will be.)
  7. Will you represent me exclusively, or will you also represent the seller? May I have that in writing?
  8. How will you get paid? How are your fees structured? May I have that in writing?
  9. What distinguishes you from other real estate agents? What is your negotiating style?
  10. May I contact some of your recent clients as references?

 

Do you have a performance guarantee? If I am not satisfied with your performance, can I terminate our buyer agency agreement? (In the heavily regulated world of real estate, it can be difficult to offer a performance guarantee. Typically, agents will outline verbally what you can expect from their performance. Keller Williams Realty understands the importance of win-win business relationships: The agent does not benefit if the client does not benefit.)

Seven steps to buying your home

Filed under: Buying — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 7:52 pm

Seven steps to buying your home

www.joebrookshomes.com

1. Define your needs.


Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home! It is important to select a professional like Joe Brooks with Keller williams Realty to work with you before you begin house hunting, so that he can help you define what kind of home and neighborhood would best suit your desires and needs. The finer the details on your wish list, the more effective your home search will be. To further define your needs, you may want to divide your lists into negotiable and non-negotiable items, so Joe can operate with some flexibility when scouting for homes on your behalf.

 

2. Get preapproved.

Now that you know what you want in a home and neighborhood, you need to find out what you can afford. The best way to do this is to get prequalification or preapproval for a home loan. Joe Brooks can refer you to a mortgage broker to begin the process. In most markets, preapproved buyers are preferred by sellers over those who are prequalified. Your preapproved status lets the seller know:

  • You have gone through an extensive financial background check.
  • A lender is willing to do business with you.
  • The likelihood of unexpected obstacles regarding financing is minimal.

3. Let the house hunting begin!


Now you are ready to embark on your home search — an endeavor that can prove overwhelming if not approached with some forethought. The most efficient route is to allow your Realtor, Joe brooks to do the initial scouting for you. Using your wish list as a guide, he or she will alert you of new and existing listings that have strong potential. If these listings pique your interest, your agent will arrange home tours at your convenience. Many agents send alerts via email — sometimes as often as daily, depending on the available inventory in your market. Let Joe know how you’d like to receive these alerts, whether by phone, email or fax.

 

You also can do some research on your own. Read local real estate publications, contact your local neighborhood associations, visit the local chamber of commerce, surf the Internet, or drive around your favorite neighborhoods. While these methods certainly can lead to your dream home, it’s important to note that 82 percent of home sales are the result of agent connections.* That means it’s more likely your agent will find your dream home through being in the real estate business than you driving around on the weekends.

 

* National Association of REALTORS®

 

4. Make an offer.


When you’re ready to make an offer on a home, you Realtor, Joe Brooks will help you determine the offer price by reviewing recent sales of homes similar in size, quality and amenities. With your input, Joe will draft a written contract that outlines what needs to be done by both parties to execute the transaction. If the seller accepts the offer, the document becomes a binding agreement, so it is imperative that you carefully review it with Joe and speak up if anything is not clear to you. It’s important to note that if the seller changes any aspect of the offer, it is not a binding agreement until the buyer agrees to the seller’s changes.

 

5. Strike a deal.


Sometimes, you get lucky and the seller accepts your offer as is. However, in most instances, the seller will make a counteroffer. This is where your Realtor, Joe Brooks’ experience in negotiations will be invaluable. Keep in mind almost everything is negotiable when you are buying a house. This can give you a great deal of leverage in the buying process — that is, if you have adequate information and you use it in an appropriate manner.

 

Some items you may negotiate:

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Move-in date
  • Repairs
  • Appliances and fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Painting

Remain in close contact with Joe brooks so you can quickly review any changes from the seller. Remember: Bargaining is not a winner-take-all deal. It is a business process that involves compromise and mutual respect.

 

6. Prepare for the closing.


When an offer becomes a binding agreement, your Realtor, Joe Brooks will help you tackle the checklist of action items that you, as the buyer, have agreed to perform prior to closing. Depending on how the responsibilities are divvied up in the agreement, this is typically when you will:

  • Conduct a home inspection.
  • Get an appraisal and finalize your financing.
  • Secure title insurance.
  • Shop for a home warranty.

Having these procedures done in a timely and professional manner is a must, as any delays could threaten a successful closing. A first-rate real estate agent like Joe Brooks, should be able to serve as your “one-stop shopping” referral source for service providers. Joe also should serve as your advocate, helping to coordinate activities and making sure the vendors have access to the property to perform their jobs.

 

7. Close the deal.


Congratulations! The moment you’ve been anticipating has arrived. The closing is where home ownership is legally transferred from the seller to the buyer. It is a formal meeting that most parties involved in the transaction will attend. Closing procedures usually are held at the title company’s or lawyer’s office. The closing officer will coordinate all the document signing and the collection and disbursement of funds.

 

In advance of your closing date (24 hours at minimum), your lender will send a final closing statement that outlines your closing costs, if applicable. Your Realtor, Joe Brooks will review this document with you to ensure its accuracy, as well as help you gather any necessary documentation that you’ll need to bring to closing.

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