How to handle the current mortgage rate volatility

Plus, the secret world of pocket listings

Grace Townsley
March 04, 2022

Hey it's David, let me tell you about the best lead I ever chased!

Nearly 10 years ago, I met with a potential client for a listing appointment at a restaurant in West Hollywood. There was a girl sitting at the table next to us. I kept on telling my client, “I’ve got to get that girl’s number!” But I chickened out. As she walked out the door, my potential client said he wouldn’t give me this listing if I couldn’t even get a girl’s number!

I immediately jumped up, ran out of the restaurant, ran around the corner, and there she was, on the phone in her car. I awkwardly waved for her to roll down her window, and then I asked for her number. She gave it to me. And now… that woman is my wife. 

Not only did I get that listing and meet the woman of my dreams, we ended up representing both the seller and the buyer on that deal!

Here’s my point: you never know what it’s gonna take to impress your clients, but always be willing to do it, because as you can see, you never know where a lead will take you!

- David

Mortgage rates take a surprising turn

Source: Unsplash

After the average mortgage rate rose nearly a full percentage point over the last two months, things took a turn this week. Rates tumbled from around 4.18% to just 3.9%.

Why? Mortgage rates tend to follow the 10-year Treasury yield, which just dropped significantly, in part because of the volatility caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This week’s mortgage rate drop was the largest two-day rate decline since March 2020.

Our take

There’s no question that volatility doesn’t sit well with your buyers or sellers, but help your clients stay calm and focus on the fundamentals. Rates are low, so it’s a good time to buy while they can. It’s also a great time to sell because lower interest rates mean buyers can afford to pay more for a property.

But keep an eye on this. Reports are still showing that the Fed might raise rates in a couple weeks.

Off-market listings are off the charts

Source: Unsplash

Off-market listings, whisper listings, pocket listings… whatever you call them, they’re booming. The number of deals closed without ever hitting the MLS is up 67% just since 2019. 

In New York City, pocket listings are even more common. Over 20% of all homes sold in Q3 were off-market transactions. Despite the National Association of Realtors’ fair housing policy (structured to curb these off-market listings), a shocking $188M in off-market deals were closed in NYC last year.

Our take

We understand how pocket listings can seem unfair, but they are beneficial for both buyers and sellers. Some sellers just want privacy. You can’t hold that against them. Your buyers get access to a property with less competition than MLS listings, and sellers can protect their privacy by keeping their name and information out of the public eye. If sellers want to risk an off-market sale (because the smaller buying pool means they might not make top dollar), we believe it should be their choice.

Desperate times call for creative home-buying measures

Source: Unsplash

Right now, supply is so low in the housing market that a lot of buyers and sellers are looking for creative ways to get their hands on property. Unconventional purchasing methods are only used in 1%-2% of home sales, but these three alternative models are starting to gain popularity:

  • Shared appreciation: The home-assistance company pays a portion of the buyer’s down payment. Once that buyer sells or refinances, they have to pay back the down payment and a portion of the appreciated value.
  • Rent-to-own: In this model, tenants are given the option to buy their rental home before the lease expires. In many cases, these renters pay extra each month, but that overage converts to a buying credit if they purchase the property. 
  • Shared equity: There are different versions of this buying model, but in the case of limited-equity cooperatives, buyers are able to buy a home at a significant discount. They pay a monthly fee for the co-op to maintain and improve their property. In return, the resale price is limited, keeping the protected area affordable for low-income buyers.

Our take

Alternative buying models are beneficial because they create more opportunities for buyers. More buyers in the market is always good for business. Watch this non-traditional space carefully because there’s definitely money to be made here. And we’re excited to be expanding our own involvement in a particular alternative buying model… more on that later ;) 

Schematics 

The news that just missed the cut

Source: Twitter

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

Is your social media working for you or against you? Here are four ways you can maximize the social tools at your disposal:

  1. Make actually good content. What’s already trending? What are people watching? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Put your own spin on what’s working!
  2. Invest daily. If you’re going to do social, do it daily. Consistency is key because that’s how you stand out.
  3. Engage with your audience. Reply to comments, respond to other people’s content, answer your DMs, and be continually, actively engaging with people. 
  4. Use social media like a database. Start conversations, meet people, follow up with leads, and answer questions. It’s all about meeting people where they’re at!

We talked about the best ways you can up your social media game (and a hundred other fantastic tips) in last week’s exclusive mastermind class. If you haven’t already, watch that recording here.

Q&A

You ask, James & David answer!

Q: Hi guys! I’m considering buying an investment condo in Pompano Beach/Ft. Lauderdale. Prices there are skyrocketing. Should I wait for the market to slow down or just buy whatever I can to break into that market?

Georgia, The Blueprint reader (Canada)

A: Yes, buy now! Especially if you’re going to be financing this investment. Debt is cheap right now, but it’s going to get more expensive (probably by the end of this month). You could wait until property prices drop, but timing real estate is nearly impossible. Bottom line? Just buy!

James & David

Got questions about managing your time, nailing a listing presentation, finding leads, or contract-to-close? We’ve got answers! Drop your questions here

Just in Case

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

Source: Rocket Mortgage

ICYMI: We were honored with The Agency’s Chairman Award, given to the top 5% of agents within our company. 

When we first started doing real estate, we had no idea where this career would take us. From door-knocking as a couple of the greenest agents on the block, to representing some of the most famous estates in California, we’re incredibly grateful for what this industry has given us. 

Thanks for being a part of the ride and have a great weekend.

- James and David

Subscribe to The Blueprint

The Blueprint is the free newsletter that keeps you up-to-date on the world of residential real estate. Powered by James Harris & David Parnes

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.