Call it “Consumer Confidence”

Call it “Consumer Confidence”, maybe it’s the fact that school is out and families can move without disrupting their kids routine. Whatever it is, the market is feeling pretty good right now and if you have been considering selling your home, now is the time to do it!

See below for the market statistics that, in a nut shell, show that buyers are out there, and their choices are slim.

Interested in a free market analysis on your home? Call me and we can take a look at your personal situation…it could be much better than you expected!

(602) 818-6065 – Kevin@GiantAgent.com

 

 

I have an awesome team of professionals in our corner to ensure a smooth transaction.

If you’re not ready yet, we can help you set a plan to get there with free advice and guidance.

I would be honored to earn your trust, your business, and your referrals. Give me a call, let’s get started today! (602) 818-6065 or Kevin@GiantAgent.com


Posted on June 4, 2019 at 7:43 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Market Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cool off in Northern Arizona

The heat has taken it’s time getting here this year, no complaints about that I’m sure, but we all know it’s coming. Road trips to cool off in Northern Arizona are in order!

CLICK HERE to access my interactive “Northern AZ Fun Finder” previewed below!

Get out, have fun, cool off!


Posted on June 1, 2019 at 6:03 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Fun N Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome to the party!

Welcome to the party! That’s my message for the agents that spent the last 6-8 months giving bad advice on pricing. Welcome to where the buyers are.

If you read my blogs, or follow my social media I have been hammering home that buyers are not interested in the “Sellers Market” that most agents felt we were in. As the low inventory created a mindset of “You can ask a higher price”, the actual contracts have been showing that simply thinking your home was worth more was not a great sales technique.

Here’s a refresher from March 2019 where I pointed out that asking prices were slowly coming back to where the buyers are. Make note of the bottom right where sales prices were going up, yet contracts were going down. 

At this point in March, these numbers had already shown great signs of improvement, even though they were still moving away from each other telling us that, for the most part, buyers weren’t interested in rising prices.

I pointed out, in February and March, a trend that was showing asking prices coming down (just a little), and as a result more homes were going under contract.

April seems to have found the sweet spot where sellers are being realistic with their pricing, and buyers are willing to jump in and make offers close to, or at, asking price.

In short, homes are selling! Here…take a look…

Notice that the Average Sale Price has settled, and as a result contracts are showing improvement. The asking prices have backed up to a palatable level. Not to say that there is no growth, or that the market is crashing. To the contrary, this is showing steady growth and active buyers. The market is strong!

My point is that over priced homes don’t sell. Well priced homes do…and fast!

Bottom Line:

Sellers – Be sure that you don’t let false promises lure you into a listing contract. Look very closely at the comparable sales in your neighborhood (within 1 mile and 6 months). Try to separate the emotion from the reality and price accordingly.

HIRE A REALTOR®!!!  

Don’t get suckered in to the “Hassle Free” “We buy your house TODAY for top dollar, and you can pick the day you move”…if those guys were really giving you “Market Price”, THEY WOULD GO OUT OF BUSINESS! HAHA. They are in it for profit…that profit should be YOURS! I can show you…call me for a free consultation.

 

Buyers – Pricing is fair and homes are selling fast! If you are thinking of buying a home, now is the perfect time considering that interest rates are still very low. Give me a call, let me go to work for you. A buyers agent is free to you…yeah…you don’t pay me to represent you, so you have nothing to lose! Let’s get started!

I have an awesome team of professionals in our corner to ensure a smooth transaction.

If you’re not ready yet, we can help you set a plan to get there with free advice and guidance.

I would be honored to earn your trust, your business, and your referrals. Give me a call, let’s get started today! (602) 818-6065 or Kevin@GiantAgent.com


Posted on May 7, 2019 at 10:07 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Affordability, Market Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Adjustment in Mindset

As I have been telling you for months now, real estate in the Phoenix area has been a bit non-traditional for the last year or two. Market adjustments are happening, and the numbers are reflecting that, but it’s not an adjustment based on inventory as in normal circumstances, this seems to be an adjustment in mindset.

Let’s take a look at the latest numbers from the Arizona Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) from February.

First, the sales in the month of February 2019 looked really good. In keeping with “seasonal trends” the are up from the last quarter of 2018 and we would expect that to have continued through March. Spring is typically very good for sales overall.

Also keeping with the seasonal trends are the amount of new listings coming on the market. This typically reflects most sellers getting their homes on the market after the holidays and before the spring buying season.

While the inventory of available homes grew in January, it is important to note that total inventory is still lower than normal. The best explanation for this is that many homeowners purchased when the market was at its lowest or still recovering after the downfall. Simply put, they got a great deal then, likely an historically low interest rate, and now have lots of equity that they don’t care to lose by selling and purchasing a new home that would cost more. They truly have a nest-egg and are “sittin’ pretty”.

Now, we get into where the market adjustments or mindset adjustment is reflected in the market, and it is positive overall. The adjustment? Asking prices of homes for sale.

As I have been shouting from the hilltop for months, sellers have been reaching for the stars with their asking prices. In my opinion, this came from bad advice from their real estate professionals.

Typically low inventory lends itself to higher prices, it is simple supply and demand, right? Well, if your agent was really watching the numbers they would have identified that the “demand” was simply not there. Buyers are buying, but they were not comfortable with the increases in pricing. It felt like a bubble to them, and they weren’t scrambling to buy. As pricing went up, the sales slowed. If your home was priced fairly, it would sell quickly, if not, it would sit on the market until the price was reduced.

See the chart below and you will notice that “New List Prices” have been creeping down. This is good for our market. The pricing is coming back to where the buyers are more comfortable. These are closer to “fair” prices…buyers are willing to take a fair deal, and sellers are not sitting in wait as much as they have been.

Make note of the “Sales Price” graph below. It is a flat line for the past 5-6 months. That is where the buyer is, and they are not budging.

So, where are we headed for the remaineder of the spring selling season? 

According to the ARMLS projection, we are staying put where we are. Buyers are comfortable with the current sale prices, so sellers should take note and meet them there. We should see more pricing adjustments down, or better yet, new listings at the fair market value and not reaching for the false premise of “Low supply means high demand, so reach for more and more”. In most cases, supply and demand does effect pricing, pushing it up. As for the Phoenix real estate market…I’ve been saying this for months (scroll down to previous blogs to see) low supply doesn’t equal sale prices higher than actual value.

Bottom Line:

Sellers: You are getting great offers on homes that are priced fairly. Pricing has risen considerably in the last few years, but that was a return to normal, NOT supply and demand. Your agent should be knowledgeable and show you what homes in your area are actually selling for. They should NOT promise the highest price in the neighborhood by thousands more than your comparable sales…if they do, they are likely trying to get you to sign the listing contract knowing that they will simply drop the price later. Please feel free to reach out to me for a free, no obligation market analysis so you know what your home is worth.

Buyers: Stay the course. You are in control of this market. You will probably not get the amazing deal where you buy a home for tens of thousands less than value as in years past, but you will get a fair deal and know that you paid the correct price for your new home.

_

Are you ready to buy or sell your home? I have an awesome team of professionals in our corner to ensure a smooth transaction.

If you’re not ready yet, we can help you set a plan to get there with free advice and guidance.

I would be honored to earn your trust, your business, and your referrals. Give me a call, let’s get started today! (602) 818-6065 or Kevin@GiantAgent.com


Posted on April 4, 2019 at 6:11 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Affordability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Who I Am”

When you are an independent operator of a small business, every now and then you need to sell more than “What I do for you”, you have to sell “Who I am” to potential clients.

With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to take a few online personality quizzes that recommend, based on your answers, what your profession should be. The trick is to hold yourself accountable to your answers, be honest so as not to simply get the results you want, rather an accurate depiction of where you should be.

I took 3 different quizzes, random selections after a google search, and the results tell me that I am where I am meant to be.

Here’s the first:

Nailed it! People person with a focus on helping others…you and your friends and family!

These results were interesting to me because my first passion, and study direction (24 years ago) was law enforcement. Note, one of the career recommendations was “Police Officer”, but one was also what I do now…”Sales”.

 

The second quiz results were:

Again…”People person” popped up, with a focus on “Respect, Loyalty, and PATIENCE”! All traits that are important for me to properly serve you in your real estate transactions. These are a top priority to me, and I think my clients would agree that this is the way I serve.

 

The final quiz shows:

I learn from you every day. For that, I am grateful. I am where I should be as “My own boss” and I sincerely hope to continue serving you and your referrals with the upmost respect, integrity, and ethics for years to come.

I cannot do it without you, so please don’t hesitate to refer me to everyone you know, and meet.

Thank you!

(602) 818-6065 or Kevin@GiantAgent.com

 


Posted on March 13, 2019 at 6:25 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Appreciation for Appreciation

For months now I have been beating the drums and sending the message to sellers and agents alike that when pricing your home, you must have appreciation for appreciation.

What I mean by that is illustrated in the graph below courtesy of The Cromford Report. There is a lot of information on the graph, so let’s try to simplify it a bit.

First, the good news. We see that despite some folks fears, we are not in a “bubble”. In 2006 the average sales prices (here shown as price per square foot) were towering over actual home value, as shown on the “Annual Appreciation” shaded area of the graph. Basically, we were all clamoring for a home, paying whatever it took to get it, way over the homes value…and predatory lenders were more than willing to lock us into contracts for homes that we couldn’t afford driving pricing up, up, up!

Skip ahead on the graph to the last year or so. Home values continued to increase at the annual 2-3% appreciation, sale prices seemed to lag behind until recently when we jumped above the homes value with higher and higher asking prices. The result? Coupled with low inventory, sales began to slow.

Are the slowing sales and available inventory cause for concern? In my opinion, no.

There are a couple of reasons for the slow down. For example, many people bought their homes at the bottom of the market. Low price, low interest rates, they got the home they wanted, they have equity and no desire to sell it. As a result, listing inventory is low.

However, the biggest reason for the slow down in sales, as I see it, is illustrated in the graph. Asking prices are growing faster than home values, or appreciation. Buyers that have memories of 2006-08 and the bubble/crash are very savvy, and smart to not chase the pricing up. They have a value threshold of “the actual value”, and that is what they are willing to pay.

Sellers agents are, in many cases, giving bad advice to their sellers telling them “Low inventory means Sellers Market! We can push the asking price up because there isn’t much competition.” In the past that may have been the case, it’s supply and demand, right? In this situation, with the experience many of us had in 2006-08 and no desire to repeat that, it’s about fair value.

Today’s buyers want a fair price.

Recently we have seen an increase in inventory for the “Spring selling season” (see the graph courtesy of ARMLS below). This makes your initial asking price even more vital. Over priced homes will sit on the market.

There is something to be said for a “Stale Listing”. The longer it sits, the more buyers begin to wonder if there is something wrong with it and seem to put it on the bottom of the “Gotta see it” list.

I have seen quite a few “Price Reduced” signs as of late, some as much as $20,000! I think we can agree that a $20,000 price drop is a clear sign that the initial asking price was a bit aggressive. 

Bad advise from the listing agent, or are they just telling the seller what they want to hear in order to lock them into the listing contract? Either way, I bet those sellers wish they would have shopped around for their representation. That kind of disappointment is avoidable and should never happen.

 

The Bottom Line:

Sellers.  Always shop around for your agent. Don’t get trapped in a situation where you are being told what they think you “want to hear” rather than the actual facts and market situations in your neighborhood.

Personally, I think it’s highly unethical to give the seller false hopes for an unreachable sale price in order to lock them into a listing contract and months of “price drops”.

If you have questions about your property value, or questions about what you should be asking an agent prior to signing a listing contract, call me. I am happy to advise you. Even if you choose someone else to list your home, I will feel better that you went into it knowing you have an honest agent, and an honest valuation of your home.

 

Buyers.  Your agent should be advising you on the fair sale prices of the home based on comparable sales in the neighborhood.

While everyone is looking for the best deal, you should have an initial mindset of “What is the best house for me?”, followed closely by “Is this a fair price”. Not too high, but it will likely also not be too low either.

In the end you should feel as if you, and the seller walked away feeling as if the transaction was a fair one, and everyone is happy.

Are you ready to buy or sell you home? I have an awesome team of professionals in our corner to ensure a smooth transaction.

If you’re not ready yet, we can help you set a plan to get there with free advice and guidance.

I would be honored to earn your trust, your business, and your referrals. Give me a call, let’s get started today! (602) 818-6065 or Kevin@GiantAgent.com


Posted on February 26, 2019 at 6:34 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Affordability, First Time Buyer, Market Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baseball is Back

Baseball is back!  Are you ready for some family fun at a local ballpark, cheering for your favorite team and players, in AMAZING Arizona Weather?

The Cactus League kicks off in just a few weeks, and I can attest, Diamonds are everyones best friend this time of year.

Take a day off, pull the kids out of school for a game…Create some memories!

Simply CLICK HERE for an interactive digital poster (previewed below) I created for all things Spring Training and enjoy a day (or two) at the ball parks throughout the valley!


Posted on February 1, 2019 at 10:56 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Fun N Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Good News Is

The numbers for the month of December 2018, and a look at the 2019 Real Estate Market are painting a picture of what homeowners, new and current, can expect. The good news is, it is not a “Sky is falling” scenario, but we need to be realistic about the current state of the market. We have a lot of numbers to look at, so I’ll get straight to the point.

First, let’s take a look at the sales from Dec. 2018. These numbers, courtesy of the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) show a continued slowing in sales month over month as well as year over year. There are a couple of factors that are causing this. One being the rising interest rates throughout 2018 that we have been discussing.

The other factor being (in my opinion) bad advise from listing agents to sellers. They spent 2018 seeing low inventory as well as rising prices and advised their clients to reach for higher and higher sale prices, as they would in a typical “Sellers Market”. However, buyers were simply not paying those prices. As you can see in the graph below, sales continued to slow month over month in the second half of 2018. Something I have pointed out repeatedly.

 

The “Low Inventory” aspect of the market continues as the amount of homes on the market dropped a touch. The prediction is that will add to the trend of higher asking prices in this faux seller’s market. I can tell you that as a “Man on the street”, I am seeing lots of “Price Reduced” notes recently. This shows that sellers have over priced (in a sense that buyers aren’t paying their asking price), and they are dropping the asking prices down trying to find the “sweet spot”. I call that chasing a falling market. Not a crashing market…simply an adjusting market.

The next two graphs are the most telling to me. The first graph shows the average list, or asking price around $389k. As you can see it is slowly adjusting down. Chasing a falling (adjusting) market.

The second graph show the actual average sale price around $326k.

On average it’s a $63,000 difference between what sellers want, and what buyers are willing to pay. This is not a sellers market…but it’s also not a crashing market. We are searching for the afore mentioned “Sweet Spot”. 

I tend to approach things cautiously and my attention is drawn to one number that was released this month that needs attention, and that is the Distressed Property (REO, Foreclosure) number. ARMLS actually adjusted their numbers for the last 5 months as they had received bad data, and that number shows an ever so slight trend upwards.

The reason for this could be that homeowners who bought 5-8 years ago when prices were rock bottom made the typical mistake of cashing in on equity and over extending themselves to the point of not being able to pay the loan(s) on their homes now. That is speculation on my part, but experience tells me that cashing out equity is very appealing to some, and not always a great idea.

Whatever the case may be this number, while nowhere near a worrisome level, has been rising. It is one to watch.

 

The bottom line:

Sellers: Don’t be fooled. Your home is not worth more than what a buyer is willing to pay for it. An average asking price $63,000 over the average sale price should tell you that most sellers are getting bad advise from their agents. BE WARY OF AGENTS THAT PROMISE A WINDFALL!!!

If given the opportunity to earn your listing I will give you a realistic snapshot of ACTUAL comparable sales in your area, advise on how to sell your home fast and maximize your sales price.

I most certainly will not tell you what I think you want to hear simply to get your signature on the listing contract. Don’t fall in the “chasing falling prices” trap. Let me analyze the numbers with you, and get your home sold!

 

Buyers: I say it repeatedly. Now is the time to buy! Interest rates are continuing to trend upwards, and predictions are they will do so at a rapid pace in 2019. Historically, they are still fantastic, but you want the very best rate available and that opportunity is now.

Home prices are rising. Slowly, but they are. Waiting a few months will likely cost you a few thousand dollars more. Is that cash out of pocket, or do you give up your pool, 3rd garage, larger yard to offset the higher cost? Buy now, and don’t give up a thing!

 

I have an awesome team of professionals that I work with in all aspects of real estate. We have already helped many buyers set a path to home ownership whether they were ready to go, or needed guidance on credit etc. to get there. We are here to help you live your dream!

Call me, refer me, and THANK YOU!  (602) 818-6065 – Kevin@GiantAgent.com

 

 


Posted on January 21, 2019 at 5:43 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Affordability, Market Information, Mortgage Rates |

Guide to Holiday Lights Around The Valley

There are a lot of twinkling lights around the valley, and some of the displays are spectacular!

Click Here for a Guide To Holiday Lights Around The Valley

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Posted on December 5, 2018 at 1:18 am
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Fun N Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Home Sellers Adjusting Prices Down

We have discussed at times in the last few months the fact that asking prices for re-sale homes have been rising at the same rate as new contracts are falling. This now has home sellers adjusting prices down to meet the “comfortable purchase price” that buyers are willing to pay. In a sense, sellers are beginning to chase a falling market.

How far it will fall is hard to determine, and there are many factors that will effect where the “bottom” will be, but personally, I don’t see a massive disruption coming. This feels like an adjustment, not a bubble.

ARMLS released the numbers from October, as well as some expert opinion that I’d like to share with you.

First, the total sales in October on the surface look pretty good. However digging deeper, for those that are inclined to do so like “The Cromford Report’s” Michael Orr, an expert in Real Estate trends, you’ll see that they are actually a tad weaker than they should be.

He explains that the month October had 1 more working day in it in 2018 than in 2017. You may ask, “What difference does one day make?”. According to Mr. Orr, it makes about a 6% difference. In his opinion, October 2018 should have finished with up to 6% more closings due to the extra “Work day” available.

Mr. Orr Stated:

What stands out to me in Mr. Orr’s comment was the last sentence. This is the message that I have been sending for some time now to sellers, “Buyer enthusiasm is fading”. Due to this, “Price cuts are getting more common.”

With my most recent listing I discussed this current market adjustment with the seller, and we priced the home at the current market value based on real trends. 3 weeks later we have a full price offer (which is in line with the comps).

A listing on the same street, with the same floor plan was priced based on the upward swing of selling prices this year and reaching for about $13,000 to 15,000 more than the high comps. It was listed a week prior to ours, and is today still on the market.

The market is falling away from that seller, whereas my client saw the trend for what it was, and got his home sold.


Let’s look at List Pricing vs. Sales Price from October.

As you can see below, the “New List Price” averages went up yet again, but look at the line on the chart. It seems to be leveling off. This seems to be reality setting in and agents (hopefully) are done with the “Reach for the starts” pricing advise.

Compare the “New List Price” line to the “Sale Price” line and notice how the trend up for “New” is not followed by the actual “Sale” trend. Buyers are not chasing the pricing up, it’s that simple.

What is not clear is why they aren’t. It could be rising rates, it could be that the demographics of “Millennials” simply prefer to rent, it could be folks are satisfied with their current situation? Whatever the cause buyers are, to paraphrase Mr. Orr, simply less than enthusiastic right now.

Overall, this quiet trend is not concerning to me. Buyers are out shopping. Fewer of them, but they are there.


What does concern me, just a little bit right now, is a very slight uptick in distressed sales. Foreclosures are up ever so slightly. This is a number I am going to watch in the coming months.

Right now they are still very low, so it’s not an issue, but something to watch in nonetheless…if you like watching number in real estate like I do that is.


So, bottom line, here’s my advise:

Sellers. Make your home “The One”! Put in some work tp freshen your property. Paint, perhaps new fixtures, flooring, make it stand out and give the buyers a feeling of “Move in ready”. In most cases you will fetch a more desirable sales price that will earn your investment back, maybe even a bit more, and your home should sell quicker than most.

Buyers. I have said it all year…NOW IS THE TIME! Even as pricing adjusts down, any rise in interest rates will offset the price drops. Our parents and grandparents had rates of 9, 10, even 18%…5% doesn’t look so bad when you consider what it could be.

I have a great team of professional lenders on my team with programs to fit every buyer. If you’re not ready yet, they will help you set a plan to get there with free advice and guidance. Give me a call if you would like to chat with them.

If you are ready to buy, or sell, or know someone that is, I would be honored to earn the business. Give me a call, let’s get started today! (602) 818-6065 or Kevin@GiantAgent.com

 

 

 


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 11:28 pm
Kevin Jacobs | Posted in Affordability, Market Information, Mortgage Rates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,