Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Social Media?

A lot of Realtors are utilizing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. as a way to promote their business and their properties. The following is from an article written by Allen Tate Company President Pat Riley:

"Social media is the new elephant in the living room. As Realtors, we know it's there and that we should do something with it. But many of us are struggling with what to do and how.

...Allen Tate Company understands this is what homebuyers and sellers want -- and that has always been our first criteria for any new marketing approach.

...According to a June 2009 Nielsen study, social media usage has increased by 28% in just one year. More than 138 million people engage in social media. Facebook users have increased by 198%, and Twitter has increased a whopping 1,928%!

But that's teenagers, right? Surely not people who buy homes. Not that case. Social media users represent a highly desirable segment of the buying public. While some social media sites like MySpace cater to the teens and tweens, social media users are 38 year old women, with an above average income of $68,311. And they're more tech-savvy than the general population.

...According to the NAR, the typical homebuyer is 39 years old and female. And 87% of today's buyers like to view homes and get home information online."

So, whether you like to communicate via email (, mobile phone (336-244-4269), Facebook (Amanda Key Shore), or twitter (@amandashore), I am ready for you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Advice for First Time Buyers

I am working with several first time homebuyers right now, and 3 themes keep recurring. Before you get started on the road to homeownership, keep these 3 things in mind:

#1 - Allow more time than you think you will need. With the abundance of homes on the market right now, you will probably want to view quite a few before you make your final decision. After all, there are no returns on a home purchase -- you can't just take it back if you don't like it! Additionally, because of new lending guidelines, loans are taking longer and longer to close. No longer is 3-4 weeks from contract to close the norm. A much safer time frame to expect now is 45 or even 60 days.

#2 - Get a home inspection. Your cousin may be a first class handyman, but will he know to run the dishwasher through a cycle while checking to make sure the emergency heat works and the kitchen and bathroom outlets are GFCI protected? I had clients once who did not want to spend the money on a home inspection because they knew the seller, and the seller said everything was fine. The day after closing, their water heater burst and ruined all the hardwoods in the house. A $350 inspection could have saved them $3-4000 on new floors.

#3 - Get all the local professional help you can get. A Realtor can help you not only with finding homes to view but also with determining which neighborhood is best for you, which home is the most realistically priced, what zoning issues may exist, etc. A local lender is accountable not only to you but to your Realtor as well -- no one in PA at is planning on getting future business from you, so they do not have as high a stake in surpassing your expectations. Finally, a local attorney will be familiar with the protocol of the local tax office, register of deeds, and lenders. This can save you from problems at the closing table that could make the difference between moving into your new home on Friday afternoon or moving into Hotel 6.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mountain Views and Mayberry

Ever watched The Andy Griffith Show? If so, you know it centered around life in "Mayberry" and that "Mt. Pilot" was the nearest city with any modern conveniences. Did you know those were based on real places?

I have just listed a property in Mt. Airy ("Mayberry"). If you go downtown, you can visit Snappy Lunch for a DE-LIC-IOUS pork shop sandwich, visit Floyd's barber shop, and even meet "Otis" out for a stroll. My property is on the outskirts of Mt. Airy... far enough from town to be nice and quiet yet close enough to be convenient. And, from the back patio you can see Pilot Knob, the namesake of Pilot Mtn. ("Mt. Pilot"). Sure, lots of folks have mountain views, but how many can say they have a famous mountain view?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Price Point is KEY


"There is much discussion about how the real estate market is in the middle of its turnaround based on sales increasing on a year-over-year basis. Though the fact that housing is again moving is fabulous news, let's not lose sight of which homes are selling.

Here is a closer look at different price ranges and how they are faring in the current "boom":

$0-100,000 sales up 38.8%
$100,000-250,000 sales up 8.7%
$250,000-500,000 sales down 6.2%
$500,000-750,000 sales down 8.9%
$750,000-1,000,000 sales down 10.6%
$1,000,000-2,000,000 sales down 23.3%
$2,000,000+ sales down 32.4%"

Moral of the story?? Units may be up, but lower priced properties are selling quicker... so pricing is KEY!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pending Home Sales Up!

From Pressroom:

Record Streak Continues for Pending Home Sales
Washington, October 01, 2009
Pending home sales have increased for seven straight months, the longest in the series of the index which began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in August, rose 6.4 percent to 103.8 from a reading of 97.6 in July, and is 12.4 percent above August 2008 when it was 92.4. The index is at the highest level since March 2007 when it was 104.5.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said not all contracts are turning into closed sales within an expected timeframe. “The rise in pending home sales shows buyers are returning to the market and signing contracts, but deals are not necessarily closing because of long delays related to short sales, and issues regarding complex new appraisal rules,” he said. “No doubt many first-time buyers are rushing to beat the deadline for the $8,000 tax credit, which expires at the end of next month.”