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Industry Simplified

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Industry Simplified

Tweak your strategy when a home is not selling

By loanDepot Staff Writers

In today’s hot real estate market, it can be hard to imagine a home not selling. But it happens – and more frequently than we may like. Real estate experts agree on three main reasons a home fails to sell: price, exposure and appeal.

What do you do when your listing isn’t moving? You’ve probably already tried reducing the price. In fact, a recent study found that most listing agents (58%) turn to price reduction when a home isn’t selling. But price isn’t always the culprit. You may need an entirely new strategy.

At loanDepot’s Retail Lending division, it’s important that we provide our real estate partners with the tools and loan products they need to complete a transaction. That includes a proper selling strategy.

Educate your sellers and yourself

When you take a new listing, pricing the home accurately will have a major impact on how smoothly the sale goes. But as we all know, buying and selling real estate isn’t always smooth. Sometimes the seller’s emotional attachment can cloud the transaction. Or the buyer’s contingencies may not be in line with current market conditions.

Either way, educating your sellers early on current trends can lay the groundwork for a swift sale and help improve the process for all parties involved.

Before signing a listing agreement, talk to your seller about the current market. That should include housing supply, average number of days on the market, comps in the neighborhood and other area statistics, such as active and expired listings.

This is also the time to approach the subject of a price reduction and what needs to happen should circumstances require it.

Price reduction shouldn’t be your first strategy

While reducing the price on a home is effective in moving it off the market, other options should first be exhausted. You should survey potential buyers and their agents to determine what’s pushing them away. Hint: It’s not always price.

Talk to your seller about staging the home or maybe doing a few repairs. Additional marketing or holding more open houses may help. Or consider an incentive such as a credit toward closing costs or cash back once the sale has finalized. Get creative.

Look at the competition. If other homes are selling or not selling, compare those listings to yours.

If all else fails and the home still hasn’t moved, it’s important that your seller feels comfortable with the fact that price is the determining factor. It’s now time to talk price reduction. This is where the price reduction guidelines included in your listing presentation will come in handy.

Come to the table armed with the guidelines and an updated market analysis. From there, the key to success is to remain calm and stay the course. It all depends on the seller’s motivation.

For more information on different loan products that may be able to help, contact your local licensed loan officer at loanDepot’s Retail Lending division today at (888) 983-3240.

 

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Industry Simplified

Six tips to avoid scaring buyers

By loanDepot Staff Writers

Right now it’s a sellers market but what if your house isn’t generating the interest you feel it should? In times like these, it can be tough to spot flaws that are driving would-be buyers away.

Most homebuyers have a difficult time envisioning a home’s potential. They expect a home to be move-in ready, and even the smallest issue can be a deterrent.

At loanDepot’s Retail Lending division, our licensed loan officers want to ensure you and your clients are doing everything possible to attract positive attention to your listing. Here are six ways to avoid making buyers scream:

  1. Eliminate foul odors: If your clients are smokers or pet owners, they may not even realize their house smells badly. It is not uncommon for buyers to walk into a home and immediately turn around and leave. As a real estate professional, it’s important not to offend your sellers, so approach this issue carefully. Explain how new carpet or a fresh coat of paint can help eliminate a stench.
  2. Use a professional photographer: As we know, the vast majority of homebuyers use the internet to search for homes. Hence, web appeal is the new curb appeal. Instead of snapping a few pics of your new listing on a smartphone, consider investing time and money into a professional photographer who can ensure the home makes a good first impression.
  3. Remove grime and filth: Not much turns off a homebuyer faster than a dirty house. Sellers should make a concerted effort to get their home in tiptop shape. Spend a few hundred dollars to hire a cleaner and landscaper to make that happen. A filthy home not only reflects poorly on the seller, but also you as the agent.
  4. Change out old wallpaper: While wallpaper is making a comeback, buyers will hate outdated designs. Since wallpaper is extremely personalized and can be difficult to remove, it just adds another chore for the future homeowner. Eliminating that issue before putting the home on the market can help expedite the selling process.
  5. Declutter and stage the home: Shopping for a home is like shopping for clothes. Buyers want to make sure the home fits. If your seller’s personal items are cluttering up a space, potential buyers may have a hard time envisioning the home as their own. Staging is a popular way to play to the buyer’s style. And while it can be expensive, the ROI is almost always worth the added expense.
  6. Leave during open houses: In general, homebuyers don’t appreciate it when the sellers are lurking as they walk through a home, eavesdropping on their conversations and making unwanted comments. As an agent, it is your job to know the property inside and out so you can answer any questions a buyer may have. It is true that open houses can be a nuisance to your sellers, but asking them to make themselves scarce during the showings may help put buyers at ease.

Your colleagues at loanDepot’s Retail Lending division are here to answer any questions you may have. Click here to find your local licensed loan officer.

 

 

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Industry Simplified

A field guide to millennial homebuying

By loanDepot Staff Writers

It’s no secret that millennials have been slow to enter the housing market. Now the largest living generation[1] and biggest age group in the U.S. workforce[2], millennials have come of age in unique economic times.

Between struggling to find good paying jobs and juggling mounting student loan debt, many millennials believe the dream of homeownership is out of their reach, according to the National Association of Realtors. But the desire to own a home is still strong.

At loanDepot’s Retail Lending division, we have the technology and the products to help millennials get into a home. But first, it’s important to understand how millennials operate and what motivates them.

What’s keeping millennials at home?

Millennials, those born roughly between 1980 and 2000, have been slower to move out of their parents’ homes than previous generations. Living under mom and dad’s roof is the most popular living arrangement among adults ages 18 to 34.[3] This is mostly due to economic circumstances, according to a study by the Federal Reserve.

Pew Research shows that this is the first time since the U.S. began keeping Census data that more young adults are living with mom and dad than with a spouse. But they still want to buy, according to NAR.[4]

“Despite entering the workforce during or immediately after the worst of the financial and housing crisis, the desire to become a homeowner appears to be a personal goal for a convincing majority of young renters,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Furthermore, there appears to be sizeable, pent-up demand for buying that currently remains untapped because of a variety of economic and personal reasons impacting many households.”

Tapping the millennial homebuying market

Educating millennials on the options available to them when it comes to buying a home is the first step to helping them achieve their dreams. Owning a home has many benefits. From tax breaks to building equity, homeownership has proved to be an excellent investment, experts say.

“Buying a home is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make as early as your 20s,” says Riccardo Ravasini, managing director of Rava Realty, who handles properties in New York and Florida, “because it is inflation-protected and a physical asset that doesn’t disappear like stocks can do.”

Since saving money has been a struggle for millennials[5], low down-payment options, such as a 3.5 percent down FHA loan or $0 down VA loan, are excellent options to help them break into the housing market.

Speak with a licensed loan officer at loanDepot’s Retail Lending division today for more information on the programs we have available for millennials. Click here to find a licensed loan officer in your area. By educating yourself on needs of millennials, you’ll be able to serve them better in their search for a home.

 

 

Woman buying first home
Industry Simplified

A guide to first-time female homebuyers

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By loanDepot Staff Writers

A paradigm shift is swaying the real estate world. Record numbers of single women are becoming homeowners. The change is so dramatic, more than 1-in-5 homebuyers are unmarried women, and twice as many single women are buying homes than single men, according to a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Single women make up the second most common group of homebuyers, behind married couples. And this number grows when looking at the older set: 20 percent of buyers from ages 51 to 60 and 19 percent at ages 61 to 69 are single females, according to the National Association of Realtors. This includes divorced, widowed and never-married buyers.

Your colleagues at loanDepot’s Retail Lending division want to ensure you have the right tools to expand your business. Contact us today to find the right loan products and learn how to attract single women homebuyers.

Single women taking over homebuying demographics

While millennials seem to take the spotlight in news reports about homeownership, single women are making their own waves. In 2015, single women represented 15 percent of all residential home purchases, while single men represented only 9 percent.

When it comes to buying a home, unmarried women began to outpace unmarried men in the late 1990s. To this day, men have yet to catch up, a phenomenon that has industry experts scratching their heads. “It may be as simple as most guys don’t get serious about housing until they meet the right woman,” Walter Molony, a spokesman for NAR, told the New York Times.

Here are the top three reasons single women want to buy, according to NAR:

  • Strong desire to be homeowners.
  • Need more or less space.
  • Relocating to be close to school, work or family.

Fueling this trend are demographics. A recent Pew Research Center study found that now women are the primary earners in their households.

How to attract single women homebuyers

When working with unmarried women, set aside any preconceived notions. Spend time getting to know them like you would other clients. Never assume anything, including the property type and costs. The idea that single women want low-maintenance, move-in-ready homes is based on outdated gender roles.

There’s plenty of information on the web, like this article from USA Today that provide homebuying tips to single women. As a real estate professional, make sure to share resources that help single women understand how homebuying works, including the home loan process. But never assume a woman needs an oversimplified explanation or calls for hand-holding throughout the homebuying process.

We’ve come a long way since the Fair Housing Act of 1968, when single female homebuyers were virtually nonexistent. Your colleagues at loanDepot’s Retail Lending division are here to help you cultivate your relationships and build trust with single female buyers. For more information, call us today at (877) 431-0100.

real estate professional
Industry Simplified

Solidify your niche as a real estate pro

By AARON CROWE, Contributing Writer

As a real estate pro, you want to be a magnet for homebuyers. The go-to agent. The one Realtor drawing reams of referrals.

How to create your corner on the market? Find a niche. Know your neighborhood. Become an expert on certain houses. Own the internet.  As an agent, you want to stand out as a specialist to clients.

Your colleagues at loanDepot’s Retail Lending division are here to help you expand your business. Here are six ways to find a specialty that will help home sellers and buyers:

Explore your excitement

Chances are your passion is someone else’s passion, too. If you’ve sold antiques, then using that skill to help people sell their antique homes could be a specialty people would seek in a real estate professional.

Same goes for golf. If you swing a mean club, your expertise could help golfers find neighborhoods near the links.

Pick a specific geographic area

Every seller wants to know if you’ve sold a property like theirs. Take Cape Cod.  The Massachusetts resort hub has unique features, and when you learn about them, you can let buyers in on every corner. Study about an area and position yourself as its best real estate agent.

Spot demographic trends

The U.S. Census offers all sorts of data showing population shifts and ages.  Take advantage of that information for your clients.

Looking to sell to retirees? Sumter County, Fla., for example, is the only one in America with a population mostly 65 or older, according to Census data. The bureau also has maps showing where metro populations have changed, providing a possible city niche if more people are moving to your area.

Make your niche a service that turns out to be big

If you want to remain a generalist, you could still distinguish yourself with a niche that’s small but pivotal. Try these actions to place you above the crowd:

  • Help homebuyers move in by offering them a free rental truck.
  • Provide maid cleaning service to help prepare the home.
  • Come through with meal delivery for a month while clients get settled.

When people hear about how you stand out, more customers will line up.

Be an online resource

Whatever specialty you choose, use it online so people learn more about the subject. With a memorable website address and information about your niche – such as luxury homes or green housing – you can turn the site into a go-to place for homebuyers and sellers.

Multiply your area of expertise

If you’re well-versed in a variety of areas, promote them as separate niches. Be sure to SEO optimize your website and tag your blog content to your specific audiences so that they may find you through organic search. Also, target your online advertising to attract these specific audiences.

You may want to stay a generalist with an expertise in many areas, giving you a chance to appeal to a range of clients. That could lead to more clients in the long run.

For more information, contact your colleagues at loanDepot’s Retail Lending division at (877) 431-0100.

Social media real estate
Industry Simplified

Five strategies to boost your social media presence

By CRAIG DONOFRIO, Contributing Writer

Social media. Few phrases are enough to elicit a deep sigh from even the most personable real estate professionals. But building your online brand doesn’t have to be confusing or time consuming. Nor do you need to run the entire gamut of social media platforms for a high-quality social media presence. With just a bit of diligence, creativity and – perhaps most importantly – persistence, you’ll be getting walk-ins and calls from people who may have gone elsewhere.Continue reading

Minimum FICO rule
Industry Simplified

Minimum FICO rule: Homebuyers leaving money on the table

By loanDepot Staff Writers

In the real estate industry, there’s a little known rule of which many borrowers, especially first-time homebuyers, are not aware. It’s called the minimum FICO rule, and it can save borrowers tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of their loan. If you are borrowing jointly, knowing this rule and using it to your advantage can have a huge impact on the interest you pay on the loan.Continue reading

Real estate closing issues
Industry Simplified

How to avoid common closing issues

By loanDepot Staff Writers

It makes the list of most common fears homebuyers face: closing issues. They’ve found the perfect home, are pre-approved for a home loan, but an unexpected matter threatens to derail the homebuying process. While issues do pop up from time to time, real estate transactions that do not close – or do not close on time – are not very common. Yet the possibility is still a source of worry, so it’s worth peace of mind to understand the process in order to prevent any issues.Continue reading