New Listing Presentation available from CloudCMA

CloudCMA has partnered with the top Real Estate Coach and Speaker, Tom Ferry. Together they have created a Listing Presentation that will be released starting Tuesday, August 8th.

Similar to the Cloud CMA Power Pack, this kit will include:

  • 20 new report covers
  • 25 pages of additional report content
  • New designer illustrations
  • And Tom Ferry's script book, "Dialogues for Breakthrough Conversations"

The Tom Ferry Listing Presentation Kit will be sold at live events, in the Cloud CMA app, and via other opt-in marketing channels. 

This is completely optional.

Agents can choose to add the Tom Ferry Listing Presentation Kit to their Cloud CMA accounts through an order form. You will get a 30-day free trial and only be charged a one-time fee should you keep it past the trial period. 

Retail price is $149. Discounts can be applied to charge $124 or $99. Agents can cancel at any time and will not be charged if cancellation occurs during their trial period. 

NOTE:  CloudCMA is offered to all NTREIS subscribers at no additional cost (included in MLS fees).   Optional upgrades such as the Power Pack and this new Tom Ferry Listing Presentation Kit will require agents to sign up and provide payment to CloudCMA.

Close more deals, do less research and appeal to more buyers with special financing options at your fingertips!

This RatePlug Agent Dashboard includes:

  • FHA, VA, USDA, Eligibility of your listings (over 70% of NTREIS’ properties may be eligible for Special Financing)
  • Increase your productivity by presenting property specific monthly cost to own with PITI and HOA calculated.  Show them what they can afford and avoid what they cannot.
  • Shorten the time from contact to contract to close, by connecting your trusted loan officers and buyers.  Because it’s not just the price of the home that matters, it’s the monthly payment.
  • Create co-branded property flyers on-the-fly with customized financing options
  • And more!

Click Here to get Started today NO ADDITIONAL COST!! Included with your MLS membership

 

 

Matrix Power Tip

If you accidentally allow your listing to expire and need to change your expired listing back to active, you may make that change for three days.

You would need to access your listing under the input tab.  You will need to use the MLS number to access the listing since it is in an off market status.

Once you have accessed the listing you must select change to active. **

Matrix will then ask you to input a new expiration date

You will then select Submit Listing to accept the changes.

**IMPORTANT NOTE:

Do not go to the listing in the edit mode (See Below) where you would normally go to change the expiration date prior to expiration.  This will only change the date and not update the status leaving you with an expired listing with a future expiration date.

 

 

 

 

2017 MetroTex Leadership Academy Grads to Shape the Association, Industry in an Era of Massive Growth for North Texas

If you’re not familiar with the MetroTex Leadership Academy graduates, you should be. They are the movers and shakers of North Texas real estate and they are shaping the future of the industry both in North Texas and nationwide. Designed to identify and develop future leaders for the Association, the Leadership Academy pushes members to become active in their communities, to get to know the legislative issues arising that impact homeowners, to become active in leadership roles within the Association and to become their best selves.

Leadership Academy students are expected to commit a significant amount of time and effort in the program; some participants go beyond the strict requirements to graduate with honors. These dedicated members embody the spirit of the Leadership Academy in a special way.
This year’s graduating class produced four amazing honors candidates. They’ve devoted hours to attend civic meetings, volunteer in our community, participated in MetroTex and TAR meetings, and read the words of respected business leaders, all while participating in the program and, oh by the way, running their businesses. 

So kudos to you, 2017 honors grads. You’ve accomplished a lot in 10 months! And congratulations to all of our 2017 MetroTex Leadership Academy graduates. We know you have a bright future ahead of you. 

There are 24 new graduates of the MetroTex Leadership Academy this year. Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Shayla  Grimsley              Summa Cum Laude
Amy  Karns                      Summa Cum Laude
Sara Parker                      Summa Cum Laude
Patrick  Burke                 Magna Cum Laude
James Christie                Magna Cum Laude
Adrienne Kirby               Magna Cum Laude
Amanda  Mahoney         Magna Cum Laude
Sharon Cox                     Cum Laude
Ryan Cox    
Rick Davis    
Sandy Donsky    
James Farias    
Arden Fitzgerald    
George Hawkins    
Brady Hill    
Eve Holder    
Hillary Knauss    
Joshua Lopez    
Chad Meadors    
Misti Nicholson    
Mindy Oglesby-Niehaus    
Rupal Shah    
Carla  Whitefield    
 

 

Matrix 7.0

On Tuesday, May 30th you will be able to experience the new Matrix 7.0 upgrade. This upgrade includes a number of improvements to the user interface for the client portals as well as the header and footer banners available for reports.   With the improvements to the interface, we will now also launch the Matrix Agent Webpages and IDX links.

  • Agents can embed an IDX link into an existing website
  • Agents can enable the Matrix Agent Webpage to use as a standalone hosted page with an integrated IDX search.   The page mimics the look of the improved Client portal pages, but offer a public search not customized to a specific client. 
  • More banner formats are available to select as header and footers, in addition to the ability to load customized banners, which are now images separate from the agent profile information.  This allows admin changes to agent profile info to automatically update to the header/footer.
  • Text notifications - agents will now be able to choose their portal notifications to be received via email or via text.

For a full overview of version 7:   Matrix 7 Release Notes

For info on portal settings:  Matrix 7 Portal Setup

There will be some downtime schedule during the night of May 29th. More information on the needed downtime will be released when it becomes available.

The Pros Weigh in on Answers to Common Objections

We’ve collected some great ways to handle awkward comments and questions from clients and leads. Here are our favorites. What are your favorite ways to handle objections? Leave a comment below.

Objection: I have a friend/relative in the business.

Expert Answers:

  • I understand your feelings, but consider this: You may have to reveal more private information to your friend than you would like. When we get into discussing the sale, your life, your finances, and your bottom line are going to be laid out in the open—warts, blemishes, and all. Do you really want to expose that much to your friend? Plus, as nice as you are and as perfect as we all try to be, things happen. When you get irritated or mad, would you rather be yelling at your friend or yelling at me?
  • Do you feel obligated to have your relative/friend represent you, or are you able to freely choose who you work with to find your next home?
  • If you didn’t have a relative/friend in the business, you would be one of the few. Did you know that 90% of the sales in our market are handled by just 10% of the agents? Is your friend in the 10%?
  • Are you willing to risk your relationship if the job doesn’t get done or if something goes wrong? Or are you looking for an objective professional that you can put to work for you?

Objection: We want to try selling it ourselves.

Expert Answers:

  • Many people like to try a for-sale-by-owner. The main reason they do this is to save money on the commission. But also keep in mind that most buyers will offer a lower price for your house because they know you’re not paying a real estate professional. The challenge isn’t in writing up the sale. The challenge is to find a buyer who is willing to pay your price for your home. I can find a buyer who will pay your price. In fact, you may net more money than if you do it yourself.”

Objection: Another real estate practitioner says he can get more money for our house.

Expert Answers:

  • I know you are probably interviewing other real estate professionals, but it is not a good idea to select someone to work with based on home price. I could guess right now at your home’s value and say it’s worth twice what anyone else says it’s worth. You could list with me based on that, but perhaps I couldn’t sell it. It’s your home, Mr. Seller, and I can list it at any price you want, but it’s better to find out what the market is likely to pay. I’m going to come back to you with a CMA - a competitive market analysis. That will show you what the market indicates your home will sell for. We’ll discuss the offering price at that time. Is that all right with you?”

Objection: Will you lower your commission?

Expert Answers:

  • I’m sorry, but I just can’t take less. Here’s why: if you took $6 and laid it here on the table, $3 of that would go to the buyer’s company, $1 goes to my broker, and $1 goes to all the marketing work I do. Do you want to take the last dollar away from me?
  • No. But the good news is that you don’t have to pay me a commission.  A home seller will have an agreement to pay their agent a commission, and then that agent shares a portion of it with me. So you don’t have to pay me anything!
  • The good news is that you don’t have to pay me a commission.  The agent that represents the seller of the home you ultimately purchase will share a portion of their commission with me for finding a buyer to purchase the home.  So you don’t have to pay me a thing!
  • I want to be up front with you and say NO, I will not cut my commissions, and for one very simple reason. As a professional my time has a certain value of my service, and before you say anything, think about this: if an agent is willing to cut his or her commission - just like that - how well do you think they will hold up when it comes to negotiating the best possible price for your home? I want to demonstrate up front how tough I am going to be for you.Therefore, cutting my commission is not an option. Does that make sense?"

Objection: We are just looking right now

Expert Answers:

  • That’s good to hear.  You should look thoroughly before you buy anything. Out of curiosity, what type of home are you looking for?
  • That’s Great. Are you looking to purchase a home?
  • Absolutely. How many homes have you looked at so far?
  • I understand. How did you find out about this home?
  • Good idea. What are you looking for?
  • Great! One of the first steps is to make sure you have your financing in order. Have you spoken with a lender yet?
  • Well then I’m glad we met now.  Have you had a REALTOR® explain the entire home buying process and current market conditions to you?
  • It’s a great time to start! What are you looking for?

Objection: Our credit isn’t good enough yet

Expert Answers:

  • I understand. Have you spoken to a lender to find out?
  • That’s very common. I’ve also had many clients find that their credit is better than they thought after speaking to a mortgage lender.  Plus a lender can help you can start working to fix any credit issues sooner that way. Could I have a lender that I trust at least give you a call?
  • OK.  Did you know that there are many loan programs available that have very different credit requirements?  Wouldn’t it make sense to at least meet with a lender to find out exactly where you stand?

Objection: We have to sell our house first

Expert Answers:

  • So do you need to sell before you can buy?
  • Would it help to know how much you could sell your current home for while you are looking for a new home?
  • That’s very common.  When would you like to move into your new home?
  • Have you met with a lender to see if you qualify to buy a new home before you sell? Or do you need to sell your current home first?

Objection: We aren’t ready to work with an agent yet

Expert Answers:

  • Do you have a home you need to sell first?
  • I understand.  How are you planning on finding your next home?  Would it help if you could see all of the homes for sale that fit your criteria at home on your computer first?  That way you could just contact me when you want to see the inside of one?
  • I see. Have you spoken to a lender to determine a price range and monthly payments yet?
  • May I ask what expectations you have for the agent that ultimately represents you?
  • Many of my clients have felt the same way at first.  Until they discovered that searching for homes by driving around and looking at scattered listings on line was not very efficient.  What if I set you up on your own customized online search so that you could see all of the homes for sale by all REALTORS® that fit your criteria? You would also receive email notifications for homes the instant they come up for sale so that you would be one of the first to see them before they sell?
  • I see. What specifically are you waiting for?
  • Do you have a home to sell before you can buy?
  • When do you want to move into a new home?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with a 10 meaning you want to buy as soon as possible, where do you think you fall?  And why?
  • Understood. There is a lot to get in order before buying a new home: preparing your current home for sale, meeting with a lender, insurance, inspectors, repairs, finding a home and etc.. Would you like some help with all of that?

Objection: We don’t want a pushy salesperson

Expert Answers:

  • Good.  Because I consider myself a customer service professional, not a salesperson.  My job is to address your needs and provide you with professional guidance and assistance during the home buying process.
  • Perfect. I would never want to be pushy. I believe in listening to a client’s needs and helping them to find the perfect property for them.  So what are you looking for in a home?
  • I wouldn’t want one either.  But I would want an agent this is proactive in finding me a home I want to buy, and also assertive on my behalf in negotiations over the home’s price. Does that make sense?

Objection: I have to keep my promise to the agent from whom I originally brought the home."

Expert Answers:

  • That's great, I can appreciate your loyalty and that is a quality that I can respect in people. I am curious, has there ever been a time when you decided to buy something rather than checking around, you just took a friend’s advice, but in the end you really didn't get what you wanted? Have you ever been there before? I think you might find that this is one of those times. With that in mind, I'm sure you can see the importance of having me over to give you a second opinion. That wouldn't hurt anything, would it?"

Objection: "I want to find a house before I put mine on the market."

Expert Answers:

  • The longer you wait, the chances are greater that both the sales prices and interest rates will be higher on your new purchase. Plus, with this market as active as it is, you’re better offer being in a position of being able to buy right away without contingencies. We can discuss leasing options so you know how to handle a sale and a buy in this market. Let's get the listing agreement signed right now and get to work on getting your home sold tonight, so you don't have to wait any longer than is necessary to get moved into your new home. Sound good?"

 

What Is Cloud MLX?

What is Cloud MLX?

Cloud MLX is an alternative front end for the MLS. It’s a seamless and modern way for agents to search for and share listings with clients.

Let’s take a look at the top features of Cloud MLX:

Search.
Imagine searching for listings in the same way you search for crockpot recipes on Pinterest. You start typing what you are thinking and the search bar suggests options to make searching easier and faster. With Cloud MLX you can search quickly and effortlessly with the smart search bar. All you have to do is start typing and hit enter to select the criteria. If you prefer to search by map, Cloud MLX also offers the ability to search specific areas on a map (similar to that of Cloud Streams). Plus you can save your map searches and they’ll become suggestions upon typing them into the search bar. The more you use Cloud MLX, the smarter the search bar becomes.

For more info about how to search, check out this support article

Share. 
What if you could say “sayonara” to MLS spreadsheets? Well now you can. Cloud MLX makes sharing listings with clients easy. Simply start a search, save it, and then share that search with your clients by a unique link. To share specific properties with your clients, simply assign them to a specific hashtag that can also be shared with a unique link.  Plus, since Cloud MLX serves as a ‘hub’ for Cloud CMA and Cloud Streams, you can easily send your clients a Cloud CMA report or set them up with listing alerts on Cloud Streams all in one place. 

For more info on using Cloud MLX to create CMAscheck this article outand for creating Cloud Streamshave a look at this article.

Easy Onboarding.
Imagine if you could start searching the MLS the same day you get your MLS credentials. Forget about classes and training on the MLS system, Cloud MLX’s interface is easy to use and provides a similar search experience that you are already accustomed to.

And there you have it, Cloud MLX in a nutshell!

Want a training video?

Need another revenue stream? Check out our CE classes and get inspired!

Make 2017 the year you up your game with new streams of income. We’ve developed a whole series of classes dedicated to helping you build more pipelines to boost your income. For instance, consider branching out into commercial real estate with our CRE classes. Not interested in the commercial market? How about making your listings pop with superior staging? Earn more seller leads when you demonstrate the tools in your toolbox!

Intro to Commercial Investments—Part 1 3 Hrs. TREC #26882

DATE: May 26, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex Dallas TIME: 9:00am-12:00pm COST: $35.00 Members $45.00 Non– Members

  • Investment characteristics of different types of CRE Key questions to ask a CRE Investor: buyer or seller; Commissions: what is typical for different types of transactions; listings

Intro to Commercial Investments—Part 2 3 Hrs. CE TREC #26883

DATE: May 26, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex Dallas TIME: 1:00pm - 4:00pm COST: $35.00 Members $45.00 Non-Members

  • Analyze an Investment property using Cap Rate, Cap Value, Cash-on-Cash and Discounted Cash Flow analysis; basics of Internal Rate of Return, Net Present Value

Commercial Lease Analysis & Case Study—Part 1 3 Hrs. CE TREC # (Pending TREC Approval)

DATE: June 16, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex Dallas TIME: 9:00am-12:00pm COST: $35.00 Members $45.00 Non-Members

  • Overview of Commercial Lease Structures Analyzing leases from Office, Retail, and Industrial properties Comparing Similar and Dissimilar leases Lease Present Value calculation

Commercial Lease Analysis & Case Study—Part 2 3 Hrs. CE TREC # (Pending TREC Approval)

DATE: June 16, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex Dallas TIME: 1:00pm-4:00pm COST: $35.00 Members $45.00 Non-Members

  • Case Study: Real World Office Lease Case Study: Real World Retail Lease Case Study: Lease Proposal Comparison and Recommendation

Commercial Investment Analysis & Case Study—Part 1 3 Hrs. CE TREC # (Pending TREC Approval)

DATE: August 8, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex Dallas TIME: 9:00am-12:00pm COST: $35.00 Members $45.00 Non-Members

  • Cash Flows from Investment Properties Projecting Future Cash Flows Analysis: Cap Rate/Value, Cash-on-Cash, IRR

Commercial Investment Analysis & Case Study—Part 2 3 Hrs. CE TREC # (Pending TREC Approval)

DATE: August 8, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex Dallas TIME: 1:00pm-4:00pm COST: $35.00 Members $45.00 Non-Members

  • Case Study: Retail Property Investment Analysis Case Study: Office Property Investment Analysis Case Study: Investment Comparison and Recommendation

Staging to Sell - What every Agent Should Know

DATE: June 1, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex—Dallas 1:00pm—4:00pm $35.00 Members/ Karen Eubank

DATE: August 22, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex—Garland 1:00pm—4:00pm $35.00 Members/ Amy Fedosky

DATE:October 19, 2017 LOCATION: MetroTex—Dallas 1:00pm—4:00pm $35.00 Members/ Karen Otto

Gain insight into the benefits of staging and get invaluable tips & tricks of the trade:

  • What is home staging and what is included in home staging
  • The cost and value of home staging, ROI factors
  • Importance of leveraging marketing efforts with staging, photos and internet presence
  • How buyers think and how staging influences them to buy
  • Home staging statistics and facts
  • Why sellers respond better to professional staging advice
  • How to collaborate with a home stager
  • How to present home staging to your clients and overcome objections

NOTE: This course is not designed to teach you how to stage homes

Get registered today! Or call our Professional Development Dept. at 214-540-2751. 

Apply today for the Leadership Academy!

Why apply for the Leadership Academy? Our graduates can tell you for themselves.

“When I joined the Leadership Academy, I was new to MetroTex and didn’t know many members. Leadership Academy was a great way to network with fellow entrepreneurial-minded agents and get to know my city in ways I never imagined. As a Dallas native, I was amazed by how much I didn’t know about my own city!” – Eloise Martin, Class 9

“I enjoyed the whole program. We had a great group of people. I’d been a member since 1991 and I’d never really been involved. Not only did Leadership Academy give me a better insight into the Association, it also introduced me to a lot of other agents and affiliates who have become a great resource for me. Now I have a whole network of peers to turn to for advice or opinions.” – Alan Smith, Class 22

“Because I was in corporate management before getting into real estate, the Leadership Academy seemed like it would be a good way to gain valuable insight into the industry. It definitely was that, and then some! I’d highly recommend it to anyone new in town or new to the industry.” - Sid Thom, Class 19

“The relationships you build with your classmates and the connections you make with the alumni are probably the most beneficial part of the experience.” – Kyle Baugh, Class 25

“Ropes day changed me as a person. You learn so much about yourself. Leadership Academy helped me grow personally in tremendous ways.” – Alicia Schroeder, Class 23

“Bonding. Relationships. Chemistry. It’s amazing how strongly these things develop within your class. It’s really invaluable.” – Rick Davis, Class 26

What is the MetroTex Leadership Academy?  It is a fun and fulfilling ten month training program that specifically was designed to identify and develop future leaders for the Association.

Specifically, the program will:

  • Identify and motivate potential leadership in the REALTOR Association community;
  • Acquaint such leadership with community needs and problems;
  • Build a network of leaders who can enhance their problem solving skills with other leadership abilities through shared perspectives and working together;
  • Challenge potential leadership to Association and community involvement and decision-making;
  • Acquaint such leadership with Association structure and purpose;
  • Emphasize the development of team-building skills among the Leadership participants.

Participant Requirements:

  • Must hold membership with MetroTex as a REALTOR or Affiliate Member
  • Complete entire application and turn in prior to deadline of April 30th each year
  • Complete interview process in May of each year
  • If selected, tuition is due by end of June
  • Interested in obtaining a MetroTex Leadership Academy Application?

    Want more information about this program? Email the Leadership Program Administrator

 

MetroTex Centennial Farm to Table Dinner Event

Our centennial celebration is in full swing here at the MetroTex Association of REALTORS. We’ve been busy planting trees in parks across the metroplex and have given out hundreds of trees to the public at our planting parties. We’re deep into our entrepreneurial breakfast series for new agents. Our next big event is just around the corner: a foodie Farm to Table night featuring local favorite, Chef Dean Fearing.

For 100 years MetroTex has been bringing the business of real estate and the community at large together to work for the common good. Through our efforts, we’ve often formed relationships that are as close as family. As we celebrate our historic milestone, we invite the public to join us as we wine and dine family style. Guests to our Farm to Table event will be greeted with wine and hors d'oeuvres, and then treated to a tour of the beautiful Delaney Vineyards in Grapevine. Afterwards, we will celebrate with an open-air feast featuring local growers and created by Chef Dean Fearing. This charming event includes a fun request that guests bring their own plates. Plates will be returned at the end of the evening. 

CHEF - DEAN FEARING

Creator of Fearing’s Restaurant and author of The Texas Food Bible, Chef Dean Fearing is renowned for the “Elevated American Cuisine – Bold Flavors, No Borders” of his award-winning restaurant in Dallas. After more than 20 years at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, he opened Fearing's Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas in 2007. Since its opening, Fearing’s has been named “Restaurant of the Year” and “Table of the Year” by Esquire Magazine, as well as #1 in Hotel Dining in the U.S. by the prestigious Zagat Survey and as #1 Hotel in Dallas by CultureMap. 

Delaney Vineyards

Our hosts for the Grapevine event are graciously allowing us to dine among their 10 acres of Cynthiana grapes. The winery has been a favorite spot for local oenophiles for more than 20 years. Along with their vineyard in Lamesa, Delaney produces a variety of wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. We’re certainly looking forward to sampling our favorites!

We’d love to have all of the foodies in the area join us, but seating is limited. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Please wear sensible shoes and bring a light layer for cooler evening temperatures. For more information or to get tickets, please visit https://tinyurl.com/mwqtsrb.

The MetroTex Association of REALTORS® is comprised of more than 18,000 licensed agents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Established in 1917, MetroTex is the area’s largest REALTOR association, and serves all of North Texas. MetroTex is an advocate for the real estate industry, the real estate professional and private property rights. For more information on buying, selling, and leasing property in Texas, speak with your local MetroTex REALTOR or visit www.dfwrealestate.com.

Now on your MLS: the Coming Soon Status

Watch the FREE webinar here 

Watch the FREE webinar here 

Coming Soon riders can be a boon – or a bane – for REALTORS. What started as a marketing tactic in the foreclosure industry has blossomed into a common practice for many agents in a very busy sellers’ market. Used properly, a Coming Soon rider can be a way to get some advanced marketing out on a property while the owners are finishing getting it ready for sale. But the abuse of the rider has led to some really negative consequences for both consumers and the industry. Buyers’ agents were having a hard time getting in to properties before they were sold and sellers weren’t being exposed to the entire market – potentially limiting their contract offers. Properties sold before they are listed in the MLS can also interfere with appraisers and those who are trying to find good comparables for future sales.

To encourage the proper and fair use of the idea of a property that is “coming soon,” the MLS has created a new status for listings.

Another advantage of the Coming Soon status is that you’re able to enter listing data with limited information, so if you’re still trying to round up some final pieces like room sizes or HOA information you can still get the basic information into the MLS under the Coming Soon status, whereas you might be required to have that information if you were entering a property into Active status. You’ll still be able to alert other agents that the property will be available for showings at a later date.

How long can properties have a Coming Soon status?

Listings under the Coming Soon status can remain at that status for up to 14 days. You may change a listing to Active at any time during those 14 days.

What happens after 14 days if I haven’t changed the status to Active?

Listing agents will receive a reminder notice three days prior to the expiration of the coming soon period for their listings. If the property status is not changedat the end of the 14 days, the status will automatically change to Temporarily Off Market. The listing will remain in that status until the listing agent changes it or it expires on its expiration date. The property may not be relisted under the Coming Soon status within one year unless it has been sold or leased within that year. This is to prevent abuse of the Coming Soon status.

Can Coming Soon properties be shown?

Whether or not you can open properties for showings while they are in the Coming Soon status depends on your office policy. The MLS rules do not prevent showings. Do remember to follow best practices and keep everyone’s safety in mind – especially if renovations are ongoing or pets are present.

Will external sites have access to Coming Soon property information?

Third party sites will not get information about properties in the Coming Soon status. Agents are able to search for properties under this status if they are members of the MLS. Coming Soon properties will stay within the MLS. 

Can I email my clients information about properties that are Coming Soon?

Yes. If you have auto-email searches set up, you can also go back and amend the searches to include properties with that status.

Will a Coming Soon status impact Days on Market once the property is Active?

No. Coming Soon will not accrue days on the counter for DOM or CDOM.

Is the Coming Soon status mandatory?

No. Listing the property under the Coming Soon status is a decision that should be made between you and the seller.

Do I need to have a listing agreement in place before placing a property in a Coming Soon status?

Yes. You must have a signed agreement in place before listing the property in the MLS. You must have written authorization from the seller to place information about the property on the MLS.

How do I assign a listing a Coming Soon status?

Begin by inputting the listing like you would any other and select Coming Soon as the status. Certain information is required, like expiration date, location, property type, etc. It’s a good idea to be as complete as possible so you can ensure your early marketing efforts are attracting the right buyers and to save time when you do change the status to Active.

Can I add Coming Soon status properties to my hot sheets?

Absolutely! There are already a lot of listings taking advantage of the new status. Customize your searches to include this option.

If a listing expired before it sold, can a Coming Soon status be used to relist the property?

If the property was listed as Coming Soon in the past 12 months, it cannot be relisted with the status again, even if the previous listing agreement has expired.

Even more mortgage terms you should know

In our previous posts, The ABCs of mortgage terms you should know, and More mortgage terms you should know, we covered quite a few basic mortgage terms. Today we’re concluding the series. Feel free to compile all of these terms to create a personalized guide for your clients.

Interest Rate: A percentage of a loan amount paid to the lender as the cost for borrowing money. A mortgage can have a fixed or adjustable interest rate.

Joint Loan: A mortgage loan with a co-borrower who is equally responsible to repay the loan.

Jumbo Loan: A mortgage that exceeds the insurable limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These limits vary depending on local market conditions. In Texas, a jumbo loan is a loan that is greater than $424,100.

KBYO (Know Before You Owe): The CFPB’s effort to help consumers understand their loan options, shop for a mortgage, and avoid costly surprises at the closing table via their Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms.

Lender: Your lender is the person or institution granting you a mortgage loan. Lenders loan you money to buy a home, with the understanding that you will make regular payments, with interest, to pay off the loan.

LLPA (Loan-Level Pricing Adjustments): This is a risk-based fee assessed to conforming borrowers that varies based loan traits.

Loan Application: An application and its supporting documents used to determine a consumer’s eligibility for a mortgage.

Loan Approval: An approved loan is one which the lender has determined that a loan may be granted based on the information provided in the loan application. Loan approval does not guarantee a loan. The borrower must not have significant changes to income, debt or credit score between loan approval and closing and funding.

Loan Balance: The amount owed on the mortgage principal.

Loan Estimate: This form is provided to consumers within three business days after they submit a loan application. It provides a summary of the key loan terms and estimated loan and closing costs.

Loan Officer: The loan officer is responsible for matching a mortgage program to the borrower and processing the loan application.

Loan Term: Generally, the agreed-upon length of time used to pay off a loan. The loan term may change depending on the borrower's payment habits.

LTV (Loan-to-Value Ratio): The ratio of the loan amount compared to the actual value of the house. LTV are used to determine the mortgage insurance rates and costs that go with it.

MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium): In order to qualify for an FHA-approved loan with less than a 20 percent down payment, borrowers are required to pay a mortgage insurance premium. This insurance protects lenders if the borrower defaults on the loan. It does not offer the borrower any protections.

Monthly Payment: Recurring payments to a mortgage loan. The amount paid is applied to the principal balance and interest, and is determined by the down payment, term, interest rate and size of the loan.

Mortgage: A loan that is used to buy a property.

Mortgage Closing: The final step in the transaction between a buyer and seller. This settlement meeting is when mortgage documents are signed, an application for a change of title is prepared, credits for HOA dues and property taxes are settled, and funds are transferred.

PITI (Principal and Interest plus Taxes and Insurance): PITI is compared to a borrower's monthly gross income for determining how much an individual borrow. Generally, lenders prefer PITI to be equal to or less than 28% of a borrower's gross monthly income.

HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program): If a borrower is current on their mortgage, but has had difficulty refinancing, HARP could help lower the interest rate and mortgage payment, or help borrowers switch to a fixed-rate mortgage.

Origination Fee: A fee to meant to cover the costs of processing the loan.

Pre-approval: A certification from a lender stating that both a loan application and its supporting documents have been reviewed, and that a borrower is approved for a mortgage.

Prepayment: Payments made in excess of the amount due, thereby reducing the total amount of interest paid on a loan over time.

Pre-qualification: An estimate of the mortgage amount for which a borrower could be qualified.

Principal: The amount owed in order to pay back the money borrowed from the lender (excluding interest).

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance): Private Mortgage Insurance is required in cases where the borrower will close on a property with less than 20 percent equity (known as high-cost mortgages). This protects the lender from default.

Property Tax: Property taxes that are paid to the local taxing authorities. In Texas, property taxes are determined as a percentage of the appraised value of the house. Taxing authorities include city, county, school districts, and special districts.

Property Title: A property title is recorded with the county and states who owns the property.

Reverse Mortgage: a financial agreement in which a homeowner exchanges the equity in their home for regular payments, typically to supplement retirement income. In Texas, reverse mortgages are only available to seniors aged 62 or older.

Second Mortgage: Second mortgages are loans taken out on the equity of a property that is already being used as collateral for a mortgage.

SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area): Areas determined by FEMA to be at risk of flooding.

Subprime Mortgage: Mortgages made to borrowers with low credit scores who wouldn’t qualify for most other loans.

Title Insurance: There are two basic types of title insurance: the owner policy and the loan policy. The owner policy insures the owner against certain risks and typically provides coverage in the amount of the sales price. The loan policy insures that the lender’s lien is valid against the property and typically provides coverage in the amount of the loan.

TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID): The Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) rule created the new disclosure documents and extensive guidance regarding compliance with those requirements.

UETA (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act): Ensures the recognition of electronic signatures on documents across states.

UCDP (Uniform Collateral Data Portal): An online platform used by appraisers to submit reports for conventional loans.

How do commission advances work?

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There’s no question that a career in real estate can resemble a roller coaster ride – especially for new agents learning how to fill their pipelines. Agents will have a lot of ups and downs in their businesses. Successful closings tend to come in clusters with gaps in between. One way some agents bridge the income gaps between closings is through the use of commission advances.

So just what are commission advances and should agents use them often – or shy away?

What is a commission advance?

A commission advance is a type financial service. Basically, you and your broker agree to sell a portion of a pending commission to a third party. When you do this, you are able to access cash from your commission in advance of closing.

How much does a commission advance cost?

If you’re considering taking a commission advance on an upcoming deal, this is a good time to shop around. Fees for advances vary widely, and can range anywhere from 5 – 25 percent. Most companies fees will depend on you sales production (how many other deals do you have in escrow, for example), how far out the contract is from closing (a 30 day close will have lower fees than a 120 day close), and what other costs are involved. Some companies will charge additional fees like holdback fees, processing fees, or wire transfer fees on top of the quoted rate for the advance. Make sure you know exactly how much the advance will cost before you agree to take it.

What are the advantages of taking a commission advance?

As an independent contractor, you often need your future cash to be able to operate and promote your business today. Some agents will use advances to pay office expenses, operate or promote their businesses, or paying estimated taxes on time.

What are the disadvantages?

Cost, mainly. Depending on the service provider and the contract, fees can range from around $200 to over $1000 per transaction. If the transaction doesn’t close, you or your broker will have to be able to pay the advance back from another transaction within a grace period or you’ll incur fees.

Many brokers have preferred advance commission service providers, and you can find a lot of them with an online search. Ask your broker for recommendations and do your homework before you decide whether an advance is the best financial decision for you.

NAR reminds you that REALTOR® voices are needed this year

NAR, TAR and MetroTex agree: REALTORS® must stay politically engaged this year in both local and national arenas. On the national front, Congress is poised to tackle several issues that directly impact our industry.

Congress is expected to try to completely overhaul the country’s tax code. Changes to Dodd Frank and the secondary mortgage market are already in the works. Flood insurance program reauthorization is also on the agenda, and needs to be completed by September.

The Republican “blueprint” for tax reform reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to three, with tax rates of 33, 25, and 12 percent. It also increases the standard deduction to almost twice its current amount reducing the incentive to itemize deductions. Itemized deductions are largely eliminated, though mortgage interest and those for charitable contributions remain. NAR is concerned that the larger deduction greatly reduces the appeal of the mortgage interest deduction.

On the commercial side, there are indications that the 1031-exchange could be eliminated. NAR’s position is that it is important to maintaining 1031 exchanges.

NAR would also like to keep the federal government in the secondary mortgage market to ensure the viability of affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and not eliminate the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have played in ensuring credit is available in a variety of market and to the most people possible.

Locally, we will be making our voices heard in the elections in May. Remember that we want to protect property owners’ rights. We will also be paying attention to issues that impact education, transportation, utilities and the Dallas Pension Fund – all of which impact our quality of life and the ability of us to do our business.

Register to vote. Pay attention to our endorsed candidate and other local races and remember to vote!

Using an App to Hire a Temporary “Showing” Agent? Beware!

You can land in hot water with TREC if you don’t know what you are doing.  Mobile apps used to "hire" another license holder to show your buyer a property are popping up everywhere. But will you be violating TREC’s rules if you use the app?

Compensation Issues

Since showing a property is an activity that requires a license, an agent may not receive or pay valuable consideration for that activity except through their sponsoring broker or with written consent from their sponsoring broker. Do you have written consent from your broker to pay and/or receive money through the app?

Representation and Disclosure Issues

Keep in mind that in Texas there is no recognized license classification of "showing" agent. An agent either represents the buyer or the seller (or both as intermediary with clients’ consent).

So who do you represent when you are a temporarily hired "showing" agent?

If you work for the same brokerage as the agent who "hired" you, it might not be an issue since the buyer is represented by the broker and both agents are sponsored by the same broker. Still, when hired as a "showing" agent you must make it clear to the client who you represent.

But what if the showing agent is not from the same brokerage as the hiring agent?

Under current Texas law, if an agent aids a buyer in a transaction without an agreement to represent the buyer, that agent is a sub-agent of the seller and must put the interests of the seller first. Has this been disclosed to the buyer prior to their consent to another agent showing them the property? Has the seller consented to this arrangement?

What about other disclosures?

An IABS notice is required to be given at the first substantive communication about a specific property UNLESS the "showing" agent knows for certain that the buyer is already represented by the "hiring" agent - but how do you know the buyer is actually represented by the "hiring" agent? Another complication - what if the agent showing the house is from the same brokerage firm as the listing agent? Do intermediary disclosures have to be given? Whose responsibility is that - the "hiring" agent or the "showing" agent? Figuring out who the "showing" agent represents and giving all appropriate disclosures to the buyer is a paramount duty for the "showing" agent in this temporary situation.

More Questions than Answers

Other questions arise about the temporary showing agent’s function and duties in regards to the buyer. Are you going to answer any questions about the property? If not, has the "hiring" agent made it clear to the buyer that they are going to be shown a property but no questions will be answered at that time? Has the buyer consented to being merely escorted with no information available to them during the showing? Is the "hiring" agent or the "showing" agent violating the agent’s minimum duty to answer the buyer’s questions? If you do answer questions, how does that affect your role and liability for the transaction? Is the "showing" agent obligated to disclose known defects with the property when showing it?

What if the buyer decides they like the "showing" agent better and want to work with the "showing" agent going forward? What if the buyer does not like the house after the showing and the temporary "showing" agent knows of another house nearby the buyer might really like? Can the "showing" agent take them to see it? Who is representing the buyer then? Who earns the commission if the buyer buys that second house?

Be Careful!

Keep in mind that license holders have a special fiduciary duty to their clients and a duty to treat all parties to a transaction fairly. Representation is not a "service" that can just be parceled out at will by one agent to another.

If all appropriate consents and disclosures are not given and received from all necessary parties, this "time-saving" showing app may end up costing the agent and their broker both time and money dealing with an administrative action or a civil lawsuit.

Originally posted

Online Lead Generation Ideas that Work

There are so many ways to market yourself online, sometimes it’s hard to know how you’ll ever have enough time or money to fit it all in. Here are a few effective ways to get started or improve what you’ve already got going for 2017.

Visual Elements will be increasingly important, so get on camera. Share branded short (10-30 second) video tips on social media. You could demonstrate how to perform simple maintenance (partner with a local handyman, if you aren’t handy yourself), explain real estate terms like escrow or option, or even point out what’s trending in home interior design. Grab a short testimonial or have your clients share their success stories. You can also take a series of photos around town of events, landmarks, architecture, new businesses, road closures (and when they reopen). Keep in mind if you’re doing still photography, that the best angles to use are either neutral (head-on, flat angle), from 45° (slightly above and down), or from straight above.

Leverage social media connections. Add connections in your social media accounts to your CRM database and include contact with them in your notes. Connect weekly with 10 or so social contacts. Comment on what they’ve posted, ask questions, offer advice or a tip. Be involved. Consider it a mini-networking event. Create guides for various aspects of the business (buying, selling, staging, using a VA loan, finding down payment assistance, keeping good credit, spring home maintenance tips, etc.) and offer them on social media. Have the posts link to your website where they have to fill out a contact form to access the free content. Make sure to note that you won’t sell their email address or spam them.

Testimonials, profiles and reviews. Be sure to claim your business on as many sites as you can, like Yelp! Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Fill out the profiles as completely as possible and add pictures where it makes sense. Look for real estate listing sites that offer free profiles to agents and fill them out, too, even if you don’t like the sites, won’t advertise with them, or they’re horribly inaccurate. Consumers are there, so you should be, too. Add as many reviews and testimonials as you can and ask your clients to add reviews as well.

Try Crawling. If you’ve got a LinkedIn profile, you know they send you a notice when someone views it. Well, Crawling is a way of having your computer visit profiles on LinkedIn so people get those notifications. Studies have found that just visiting someone’s profile will incent between 2-8 percent of people to connect with you. Get a connection, get a lead. You can reach out, invite them for coffee to discuss their situation. They already know you’re a Realtor, so if they’re not interested, they’ll let you know. Here’s a video tutorial on how to set it up: https://youtu.be/24afmZXOeCk. Just make sure to set up your crawl to a LinkedIn Group that has your target audience in it.

 

Offline Lead Generation Ideas that Work

Fill your pipeline in 2017! You don’t have to spend a lot of cash to generate leads, but you do have to focus on lead generation and spend time on it most days. If you’re not an extravert, that’s ok. We’ve got ideas here for everyone – from crowd-loving go-getters to those who prefer actual conversations with people, one at a time, no mingling required.

Let’s start with getting personal. Here’s what to do when you’re out in the real world. First, lead with a giving hand. Be seen as someone who gives back and participates within the community. Network by being social, not salesy. Make connections and introduce people to each other.

1. Get a hobby. Really. Find something you love to do (other than sell houses) and commit to participating in a local group that does the thing. Let others get to know you and your passion away from work - but don’t be a secret agent – let people know what you do and that you’re happy to give them advice outside of the event.

2. Be sociable. Make family and friends a priority. Go to their parties, fundraisers and important events. Meet people and offer to help. Don’t let work get in the way of being there. And keep your paraphernalia close by in case you meet someone who wants more information later.

3. Be civically-minded. Join your local chamber of commerce and attend events. Get involved with new business developments and pay attention to what is being planned for your community. Get to know the decision-makers.

4. Get to know other agents. Yes, you compete for business, but more importantly, you have to work together on deals and it’s a whole lot easier when you know the agent on the other end of the phone. Get active in your association. Become a referral source for agents on the other side of town. Become a trusted go-to source to fill in when someone needs a vacation or has a family emergency. Cooperate and communicate and be a leader in the industry. If you’re good at what you do, you don’t have anything to fear from other agents.

5. Network with other related businesses. Give and ask for referrals. Referrals can come from a variety of sources. If you help someone build their business, they are more likely to help you build your own. Sometimes certain businesses might be leery of showing favoritism because they work with so many agents, but ask anyway. And always give back, first. Start with lenders, title companies, insurance agents, contractors, doctors, HR directors, builders, CPAs, and family attorneys.

6. Participate in your community. If you’ve got kids or grandkids, volunteer with their PTA, chaperone on field trips, sponsor a sports team, or donate at a carnival. Love the local team? Volunteer at the concession stand. If pets are more your style, then have a towel and blanket drive for your local shelter, walk dogs, help out at an adoption event. Just get out in the community and do something positive. Get to know people you never would have met otherwise while you’re doing it.

7. Ask how you can help. When you speak with people, ask them what they need. It may not have anything to do with real estate. You’d be surprised at how many people you know who have a need and how many people you know who might be able to fill that need. Make those connections.

 

Build better relationships with your clients: Get to know your client

“I am not what you see.
I am what time and effort and interaction slowly unveil.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

Spending the time to really get to know your client can be a great way to ensure not only that you are offering them the very best service you can, but also that you are building a customer for life. As their trusted advisor, you are more likely to be the one they refer when their friends, family and neighbors mention they need a Realtor. Going deep is a process that takes place both in conversation with your client and behind the scenes. It involves a little research and follow-up. It definitely requires some sort of database – whether that’s CRM software, a spreadsheet, or a system of index cards. It’s an investment of your time that will build your business. Here are some great ways to get started.

When you meet new clients, take note of their employers and industries. Once you’re home, set up Google Alerts to follow any breaking news about those companies or the industries as whole. (Read Using Google Alerts to track your sphere to learn how). On a basic level, learn the lingo and have a general idea of how that industry is performing. Ask questions when you meet with your client about the news impacting their business, even if it’s something simple like, “what do you think of the merger?” or “I heard something about X, but I don’t know much about it. Can you explain it to me in layman’s terms?” Demonstrate an interest in what they do and how they’re doing.

Understand their relationships. Sometimes things are pretty straightforward, and sometimes relationships are messy. Strong ties can influence big life decisions, so at least on some level, you should have some understanding of who is influencing these decisions. If you find that a best friend or relative is giving advice that is counter to your own, ask if you can meet to clear up confusion or conflicts (making sure you have an understanding about what may and may not be discussed). Listen to and address their concerns. Be an advocate for your client.

Leverage social media. Follow your clients and pay attention to their likes, preferences, milestones, celebrations. Send handwritten notes to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or other celebrations. Don’t include business cards or ask for business in them. Just celebrate with them. Marketing can come later.

Understand their motivations. Ask them questions to really get to know why they want to make a transition, what motivates their psyches, what gets them excited, and what makes them nervous. Why are in the market now? How quickly can they make a decision? Are they able to pull together the appropriate paperwork?

Work smarter in 2017 by keeping your pipeline full of clients who already know you offer a superior level of service. They’ll be happy to refer you to their sphere and you’ll spend less time marketing to people who don’t know or care who you are.

How loyal are your clients?

How do you build a relationship with your clients to ensure that they become a customer for life? Will they refer you to their closest friends, co-workers, family members? Are you the first one they think of when someone needs advice? Here are some ways you can continue to foster your client relationships long after the deal has closed.

Communication is key. Stay in contact with your client. Make sure they know that you are a resource for them should they have questions, need a referral, or just want to chat. Underscore your ability to listen. Make sure the conversation isn’t just one way. Yes, you’ll push out information to them, and you’ll also ask for them to respond. It’s the difference between asking your teenager, “did you have a good day” or “what was the best part of your day?” One of those prompts might actually spark a conversation.

Here are some of our favorite ways to keep engaging clients. The key is not to pester, but to present something with value.

  • Be reliable. Even if they’re not a current client, return calls when you say you will (or promptly if you don’t have a specific call return time on your voice mail.)
  • Don’t Hide Behind Technology. While technology tools like SlyDial can save time, don’t rely o it exclusively. If you’re returning a call and you know the person on the other end is a talker, begin the call with something like, “I’m just walking into an appointment, but I wanted to get back to you right away.” That way you can be forgiven for keeping it brief. Also, do make sure to check in with clients by phone or in person from time to time. Don’t rely on email or social media for all of your interactions. Face time is important and more meaningful.
  • Remember the little things. Keep an active calendar in you CRM with birthdays, closing anniversaries, and anticipated life events (graduations, births, etc.) and send a hand written note or card as the day approaches. Send a thank you card when a referral closes.
  • Monitor their investment. Provide your clients with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) in April and let them know that you’ll be around to help them should they have questions when the property tax bill comes due. Set up alerts so they know about sales activity in their neighborhood, changes in interest rates (is it a good time to refinance?), and expiration dates for key things like home warranties and insurance.
  • Keep customers informed or use newsletters to stay in touch. As an industry representative, let your clients know what REALTORS are doing to protect their interests. If there’s an initiative in the works that would impact their property taxes, let them know. Similarly, keep them informed about the latest news with transportation projects, utilities, new developments, and new businesses moving in near them. Be their go-to resource. You can look to this blog for state and local endorsements. If you see something that might be useful in their business, pass it along. In between phone calls, use a newsletter to help them stay informed.
  • Continue your Education. Certifications and designations really do provide you with an expertise like no other.  Stay on top of your game, stay informed and stay apprised of the very latest in the industry.
  • Be consistent.  Make sure clients know what to expect from you and always be truthful. Always be trustworthy.
  • Get together.  Throw a party, meet for coffee, have lunch, or sponsor a table at a fundraiser. Just get together every now and then.

Who are Texas’ homebuyers?

A recent study of buyers and sellers in Texas has revealed some interesting details about how who our clients are, what they want from us, and how their motivations are changing. Here are our favorite highlights from the 35th Annual Home Buyers and Sellers Survey provided by NAR.

Who you are and what you do is important. Honesty and reputation are the most important factors when choosing an agent. Keep that in mind because 29 percent of buyers contact at least two agents before settling on one. Thirty-nine percent of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative. That’s proof that providing your clients with superb service pays off! Being responsive to inquiries is also important. Seventy percent of buyers choose the first agent they contact to help them. You’re probably losing business if you’re not following up on leads.

Characteristics of Texas Home Buyers

  • First-time buyers made up 30 percent of all home buyers. Historically, this number has typically been closer to 40 percent.
  • The typical buyer was 46 years old and had a median income of $94,200.
  • Sixty-six percent of recent buyers were married couples, 19 percent were single females, nine percent were single males, and four percent were unmarried couples.
  • Fifteen percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home, to take care of aging parents, for cost savings, and because of children over the age of 18 moving back home.
  • Ninety three percent of recent home buyers identified as heterosexual, and two percent as gay or lesbian.
  • Twenty-three percent of recent home buyers are veterans and one percent are active-duty service members in Texas.
  • The primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home in 27 percent of cases.
  • Twenty three 23 percent bought new homes and 77 percent were in the market for previously owned homes.
  • Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 38 percent and 33 percent of buyers of previously owned homes were looking for a better price.
  • Detached single-family homes continue to be the most common home type for recent buyers at 87 percent.
  • Senior housing purchases accounted for seven percent of home sales in Texas.
  • There was a median of 15 miles between the homes that recent buyers purchased and the homes that they moved from.
  • In Texas, the median home price was $214,000. Buyers typically purchased their homes for 100 percent of the asking price.
  • In Texas, the typical home purchased was 2,060 square feet and built in 2003.
  • Overall, buyers expect to live in their homes for a median of 10 years.

The Home Search Process

  • For 44 percent of recent buyers, the first step that they took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale. In Texas, 29 percent first contacted a real estate agent.
  • Eighty-two percent found online websites to be very useful in the home search process, and 80 percent felt that way about real estate agents in Texas.
  • Buyers typically searched for 8 weeks and looked at a median of 10 homes.
  •  The typical buyer who did not use the internet during their home search spent only four weeks searching and visited four homes, compared to those who did use the internet and searched for 10 weeks and visited 10 homes. In Texas, those who did no search the internet looked at five homes over three weeks.
  • Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 93 percent found photos useful in their home search process.
  • In Texas, 59 percent of recent buyers were very satisfied with the buying process.

Financing the Home Purchase

  • Those who financed their home purchase typically financed 94 percent.
  • First-time buyers who financed their home typically financed 95 percent of their home compared to repeat buyers at 87 percent.
  • For 85 percent of buyers, the source of the down payment came from their savings. Thirty-eight percent used a gift from a relative or friend.
  • Twenty four percent of buyers saved for their down payment for six months or less.
  • The most difficult step in the home buying process was saving for a down payment, as cited by 11 percent of respondents.
  • Of buyers who said saving for a down payment was difficult, 36 percent of buyers reported that student loans made saving for a down payment difficult. Thirty six percent cited credit card debt, 32 percent cited child care costs, and 32 percent cited health care costs as making saving for a down payment hard.
  • Buyers continue to see purchasing a home as a good financial investment. Ninety one percent reported they view a home purchase as a good investment.

Full report