Key Terms to Know in the Home Buying Process

Thinking about purchasing a home but feel overwhelmed by all the terms and the process? Let this infographic help you to better understand some common terms that might come up.

Appraisal: A professional analysis used to estimate the value of a home.

Closing Costs: The fees required to complete the real estate transaction. Paid at closing, they include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs and items that must be prepaid or escrowed.

Credit Score: A number ranging form 300-850 that’s based on an analysis of your credit history.

Down Payment: Down payments are typically 3-20% of the purchase price of the home. Some 0% down programs are also available.

Mortgage Rate: The interest rate you pay to borrow money when buying a home.

Pre- Approval Letter: A letter from a lender indicating you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount.

Real Estate Professional: An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes.

The best way to ensure your home buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate pro who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with the “the heart of a teacher” by putting your needs first.

Why it Pays to Sell with a Real Estate Agent

Today it’s more important than ever to have an expert you trust to guide you as you sell your house. For sale by owner is the process of selling real estate without having a broker or real estate agent representing you. Here are a few reasons why this could be considered a mistake. You are more likely to net more money working with an agent. Selling on your own can be difficult from a legal standpoint. Negotiating the deal is complex, and now more than ever, your safety is a priority. Selling your house on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction by yourself. Before you decide to take on this challenge, let’s connect to make sure you are safe and successful every step of the way.

Don’t Miss: The Perfect Loft-like Condo!

This 2-BR loft like condo offers three levels of luxury living in the  heart of the North Slope of Potrero. Located in an award winning  complex the home has a great separation of spaces, which is  ideal for working from home or sheltering in place. Graced by  beautiful maple hardwood floors throughout, the entrance to the  unit on the main level leads to a large living space with soaring  13-foot ceilings & a wall of windows allowing for plenty of natural light and views of the neighborhood. Down the stairs to the lower level an efficient gourmet kitchen has quartz counters, high-end stainless steel appliances, ample cabinets, and a washer/dryer. Tucked away behind the kitchen there is a private bedroom and full bath, great as a guest room or home office, and a fabulous outdoor deck. Up the stairs on the top floor there is a spacious main bedroom with ensuite bath and walk-in closet. The floors and some of the lighting have been redone and the unit has been painted throughout. A great 1-car parking space completes the home. Building amenities include a beautiful garden area, perfect for barbecues and entertaining (Post Covid). The building is in an excellent location, with many neighborhood restaurants, cafes, and local businesses only one block away. Enjoy the advantage of being close to UCSF Mission Bay, Dogpatch, SOMA, Caltran and tech shuttles, with easy access to freeways 280 & 101.

Tips to Safely sell your Home

With 6 months of selling experience during the pandemic, agents have learned how to make the process easier and safer.

With now never 6 months of experience selling homes in a pandemic, real estate agents have learned ways to make the process easier and safer for everyone involved.

COVID-19 protocols and technology usage recommendations from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) are making it possible to sell houses right now, while agents continue to abide first and foremost by state and local regulations.

Let’s connect to discuss how to sell your house safely in today’s housing market.

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next 12 Months?

As shelter-in-place orders were implemented earlier this year, many questioned what the shutdown would mean to the real estate market. Specifically, there was concern about home values. After years of rising home prices, would 2020 be the year this appreciation trend would come to a screeching halt? Even worse, would home values begin to depreciate?

Original forecasts modeled this uncertainty, and they ranged anywhere from home values gaining 3% (Zelman & Associates) to home values depreciating by more than 6% (CoreLogic).

However, as the year unfolded, it became clear that there would be little negative impact on the housing market. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, recently revealed:

“The only major industry to display immunity to the economic impacts of the coronavirus is the housing market.”

Have prices continued to appreciate so far this year?

Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released its latest Home Price Index. The report showed home prices actually rose 6.5% from the same time last year. FHFA also noted that price appreciation accelerated to record levels over the summer months:

“Between May & July 2020, national prices increased by over 2%, which represents the largest two-month price increase observed since the start of the index in 1991.”

What are the experts forecasting for home prices going forward?

Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 12 Months? | MyKCM

Below is a graph of home price projections for the next year. Since the market has changed dramatically over the last few months, this graph shows forecasts that have been published since September 1st.

Bottom Line

The numbers show that home values have weathered the storm of the pandemic. Let’s connect if you want to know what your home is currently worth and how that may enable you to make a move this year.

6 Reasons You’ll win by Selling with a Real Estate Agent this Fall

There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times, like what we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert you trust to help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO), it’s critical to consider the following:

1. Your Safety Is a Priority

Your family’s safety should always come first, and that’s more crucial than ever given the current health situation in our country. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings but your family’s health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, real estate professionals are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your family.

2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer

Recent studies from NAR have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 44% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumps to 93%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house. Have you?

3. There Are Too Many Negotiations

Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.

4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage

Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As a FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment.

Further complicating the situation is how the current mortgage market is rapidly evolving because of the number of families out of work and in mortgage forbearance. A loan program that was available yesterday could be gone tomorrow. You need someone who is working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.

5. FSBOing Has Become More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint

The documentation involved in the selling process has increased dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save on the commission.

study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place.

Bottom Line

Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction by yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, let’s connect to discuss your options.

2020 Homebuyer Preferences

A recent study from HarrisX shows the current health crisis isn’t slowing down today’s homebuyers. Many buyers are accelerating their timelines to take advantage of low mortgage rates, and staying home has enabled some to save more money to put toward a down payment. Reach out to a local real estate professional today if your needs have recently changed and you’re ready to make a move this year.

Real Estate Continues to Show Unprecedented Strength This Year

The 2020 housing market has surpassed all expectations and continues to drive the nation’s economic recovery. The question is, will this positive trend continue throughout the rest of the year, especially given the uncertainty around the current health crisis, the upcoming election, and more?

Here’s a look at what several industry-leading experts have to say.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, National Association of Realtors

“Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market…Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery.”

Frank Martell, President and CEOCoreLogic

“Homeowners’ balance sheets continue to be bolstered by home price appreciation, which in turn mitigated foreclosure pressures…Although the exact contours of the economic recovery remain uncertain, we expect current equity gains, fueled by strong demand for available homes, will continue to support homeowners in the near term.”

Zillow

Zillow’s predictions for seasonally adjusted home prices and pending sales are more optimistic than previous forecasts because sales and prices have stayed strong through the summer months amid increasingly short inventory and high demand.

The pandemic also pushed the buying season further back in the year, adding to recent sales. Future sources of uncertainty including lapsed fiscal relief, the long-term fate of policies supporting the rental and mortgage market, and virus-specific factors, were incorporated into this outlook.”

Bottom Line

Many economists are in unison, indicating the housing market will continue to fuel the economy through the end of the year, maintaining this unprecedented strength.

Learn the Lingo with Buying a Home

Buying property in San Francisco can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process. To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you will hear along the way.

The best way to ensure your home buying process is a positive one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction.

Today’s Low Interest Rates

Today’s low rates mean it’s less expensive to borrow money, so the savings over the life of your loan is significant. Sometimes it helps to see the dollars and cents you’ll save when you purchase a home while mortgage rates are low. Let’s connect to determine the best way to position yourself for a financially-savvy move in today’s market.

Mortgage Rates & Payments by Decade [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM