Big change to your real estate calendar

Top 10 metros for affordable homes

The most valuable asset

In our business, we are constantly hearing about prices rising and falling, but there is always one thing that never loses value. That is the trust between an agent and their clients. It is, and will always be, invaluable.

There are many ways an agent can win, and lose, that trust. In today’s Foundation Plans, we give some quick tips on what you can do to make sure clients know they can lean on you.

But if you want to really know how to build a strong relationship with your clients, make sure to join our one-hour FREE webinar: Beyond Boundaries - Mastering the art of around-the-clock client success in real estate. Wednesday, March 13th, at 1pm ET/10am PT.

We look forward to seeing you there!

- James and David

Inventory sees substantial growth

There are now over 500,000 single family homes on the market in the U.S., according to Altos research. That’s up 0.5% from last week and up 21% from a year ago. Here are other key takeaways from their report:

  • There are 100,000 more single family homes on the market than in March 2023.

  • The Gulf markets, from Southwest Florida to Louisiana, now have inventory levels back above their pre-pandemic levels of 2019. The Northeast and parts of the Midwest are beginning to increase their inventory from their pandemic lows.

  • Last week, 30.5% of the homes on the market took a price cut — a normal level for this time of year and unchanged from a week ago.

  • The median price of newly listed homes this week is $420,000, up 4% over last week and 5% over last year

  • Altos predicts that, by July, we could have 40% more homes on the market than a year ago, unless mortgage rates fall.

Our take

This report is very bullish on inventory (40% more homes on the market!). We doubt we’ll see that growth, but we do believe inventory is only going to increase this year. Not only is this excellent news for buyers, it is also excellent news for us agents. It was so hard getting a listing in 2023, and while landing listings won’t be easy, it will definitely be easier. There are a lot more opportunities out there. Start honing your listing pitches if you haven’t been doing so already!

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Is summer the new spring?

Nationwide, homes listed for sale in early June sell for $7,700 more than average, according to new research from Zillow. This is a shift from before the pandemic when May was the best month of sellers. Here’s what else the report reveals:

  • Sellers earned 2.3% more in June, making it the most lucrative month for sellers to list

  • The ideal month to list varies by market. For example, the best time to list in San Francisco is February, while for Philadelphia, it’s July.

  • These were the top 3 markets that saw the biggest YOY percentage increase in sale value by listing in the “ideal” month:

    • San Jose, CA – June – 5.5%

    • Seattle, WA – June – 4.3%

    • San Francisco, CA – February – 4.2%

Our take

Before we re-think everything we thought about the housing market and go whole hog on this report, we want to see a little more data from other researchers. Nonetheless, this is valuable new research from Zillow. Every agent should know the best month to list, and if that month happens to change over time. Sale value premiums for listing your property in the ideal month are amazing. This is great intel that needs to be shared with your clients.

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Markets with highest number of affordable homes

The number of homes for sale in the $200,000 to $350,000 range shot up by 20.6% nationwide compared with this same month last year. As reports, this class of homes is not only outpacing all other price categories, the median price of this category of houses is $130,500 below the median home price overall. 

Here are the top markets that have seen the biggest percentage YOY increase in this category of homes:

  1. Miami, FL – 67.4%

  2. Orlando, FL – 42.8%

  3. Birmingham, AL – 39.1%

  4. Oklahoma City, OK – 32.3%

  5. Dallas, TX – 31.9%

  6. Tampa, FL – 31.0%

  7. San Antonio, TX – 25.8%

  8. New Orleans, LA – 25.4%

  9. Houston, TX – 11.7% 

  10. Atlanta, GA – 10.4%

Our take

We need more affordable homes, so this is great news. But that’s not the whole reason why we are sharing this report. This is a helpful guide for agents. We think every agent needs to keep track of their market by price categories. For example, if you’re in the luxury space, you need to keep track of the number of homes between $1M-$5M, $5M-$10M, $10M-$15M and so forth. Know the year-over-year increases in both percentage and absolute terms. You should have this data at your fingertips when talking to clients. It will also help you more accurately estimate the kind of income you can achieve this year.

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The news that just missed the cut

  • Use this to boost your email open rate and click rate

  • Massive Agent and half of his 340 agents are leaving eXp

  • Optimize your ads for Google using this guide

  • What NAR is paying its execs and contractors

  • Why pricing your listing matters. Just ask Kylie Jenner.

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

As we said last week, there is no one thing that agents need to be to be successful. Instead, there are few things. Today we’d like to continue to highlight a few more skills and qualities we think agents need to have.

Negotiation Skills – Once you have a prospect on the phone, do you know how to get an appointment with that person before the end of your phone call? Or if you have a client, do you know how to negotiate the best deal for them as a buyer or seller? Negotiating is knowing when and how to ask for something. Among other things, it involves educating your client, reframing their anxiety as excitement, and anchoring the discussion with a draft agreement. Don’t fret if you don’t have all of these things. These skills can be learned and honed through practice

Active Listening – To be successful, agents need to “hear” what their client wants. To do that, you need to be an active listener. That means listening without taking a position or making judgments, letting your clients finish their thoughts without interruption, using eye contact and body language to show that your attention is focused on them, and having the ability to repeat what you heard to confirm that you understood. Lastly, don’t just “hear” through their words. Pay attention to what is not being said and your client’s body language. Most communication is non-verbal.

Trust and Integrity – Trust is earned by backing your words with your actions. When you say you’re going to deliver a market survey, deliver it on time. When discussing prices, make sure you can back them up with comps. Always be upfront and honest with your clients, especially when you have to share news they don’t want to hear. This will only help your reputation, and in building a business, that is the most important asset of them all.

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Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Mortgage News Daily

Remember: our one-hour FREE webinar – Beyond Boundaries - Mastering the art of around-the-clock client success in real estate – is tomorrow March 13th, at 10am PST/1pm ET.

We’ll see you there tomorrow and back in your box on Friday! 

- James and David