Something From Nothing: What Today’s Low Inventory Means for Buyers

By Todd Waller

Historically low real estate inventory can be a daunting prospect for buyers and sellers alike. Real estate professionals use “months of inventory”—the number of months it will take to sell the current number of active home listings in a given market—to gauge local conditions. Over 6 months of inventory is called a “buyer’s market”; between 3 and 6 months of inventory is a “neutral market”; less than 3 months of inventory is a “seller’s market.”

Nationally, 2014 saw a thin inventory of homes for sale and good buyer demand for those homes.

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How Do You Know When To Buy a Home?

By Jake Breen

In America, homeownership has always been considered a lofty goal, a dream that millions upon millions hope to make real. However, before these would-be buyers find homes, they usually rent. In the age-old rent vs. own debate, each generation seems to have its own idea about what is right. Baby Boomers tend to ask, “Why rent when you can own?” And millennials typically assume it’s always better to rent than own, at least when you’re first entering the job market and disposable income is limited. As rates of homeownership fluctuate, economists look to these differing ideologies to try to figure out just where America stands.

So, when is it better to rent than own? In the long run, it’s always better to buy. Buying a home is an investment in your future. However, many factors come into play when purchasing a home including timing and local market conditions.

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For Valentine’s Day, A Love Letter to Your Future Client

By Maggie Aiken

Dear Future Buyer,

I am so excited to start this journey of finding a house with you. Let me start by telling you a little bit about what I do as your real estate agent and how I am going to make this process as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

I have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) along with an outlet of agents who work together to make sure we know about all properties that are on the market or coming on the market in your area. I also have access to all houses that are listed, so you don’t have to worry about calling owners and listing agents yourself to schedule showings. Another huge plus is that the vast majority of sellers will compensate me to represent you – so there is really no reason to try to take on this process alone! The seller is represented by a listing agent, who is working in the seller’s best interest. Considering this is one of the biggest financial purchases you will make in your lifetime, don’t you want to have someone who is solely representing you throughout the entire process?

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#06 Thoughts on Leadership: An Unbeatable Mind

By Gino Blefari

Last week, my travels took me all over the Golden State—from San Francisco to Palm Springs. And this week, I’m still in California, working closely with our staff at HSF Affiliates in Irvine. In between conference calls and meetings, I had the incredible opportunity to chat with author and former Navy SEAL Mark Divine, who penned one of my favorite leadership books, Unbeatable Mind. During our conversation, Mark was incredibly friendly, even extending an invitation for me to visit his SEALFIT Training Center, which from what I’m told, is everything you’d expect from a hard-core fitness facility. Even over the phone, Mark’s can-do attitude and positive outlook fit perfectly with the resiliency and mental toughness he champions in his writing. More on his leadership philosophy later …

First, let me tell you how this all started.

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The Interview: Four Questions You Should Ask Any Agent

By Darrin Friedman

You may have noticed that there are a whole lot of real estate agents out there in the world, any one of whom would be thrilled to have your business. From your mother’s best friend’s nephew—you know, the kid who got his license last week and has never actually helped anyone purchase a home—to the top agent in your region who represents the very best of what the name REALTOR® stands for, and every agent in between; the sheer volume of practitioners can seem overwhelming.

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How Winning a Super Bowl Relates to Real Estate

By Sean Cawley

Early last week, I had the privilege of attending Super Bowl XLIX Media Day, an event that took place not far from my Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona Properties office in Phoenix, AZ. What an amazing way to kick off the exciting days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday! Media outlets from all over the world were in attendance, and informed reporters were able to ask any question they wanted to team members from the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. I listened in on several of the interviews and noticed a common theme in many of the players’ answers when asked why they were playing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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Winning the Deal: Selling and Buying, Simultaneously

By Jill Griffin

Now that most of the country has officially pulled itself out of the housing recession, we are once again seeing sellers open their minds to selling their home and moving into a new one. Juggling the two deals can be intimidating and stressful. The timing, due diligence, and chaos of scheduling movers; the gap between closing dates, and ultimately, the sellers inheriting the risk of living without a home for some period of time. Figuring out how to ease your sellers’ minds could result in a double sale for you. This is why it is essential as real estate agents that we understand how to guide our sellers through the dual transaction.

Here are my tips:

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The Haunted House Listing: A Ghost Story

By Sean Cawley

I’ve been asked on several occasions if I would ever list a haunted house.

And what better time could there be to think about that question than on Halloween? Haunted homes conjure up many images in my mind, from ghosts, ghouls and goblins to the movie Beetlejuice or even that Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.

So, would I list a haunted house?   Yes!

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Staging: How to Make a Home Irresistible

By Jill Griffin

Over the past few years, staging a home for sale has become standard practice, rather than an option.

Sellers are incredibly receptive to the idea and often ask me what they need to do to get top dollar for their home long before I can even bring staging up.

Buyers now get confused if they walk into a home that hasn’t been staged or prepped for the market. Often, they ask, “Is this house in pre-foreclosure?” Or, “Is this a rental property?”

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How to Lose a Client in Five Ways

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By Carl Guild

Want to succeed in real estate?

I’ve got two words for you: client retention.

Some of you may say that we don’t want to retain our clients. We want them in and out. Well, the truth is you want to retain your clients FOREVER. You want their inventory in and out, but the relationship must remain so you can represent them for every deal, every real estate milestone, and receive those all-important referrals. Don’t believe me? All right, have it your way.

Here are five surefire ways to make sure your client relationship doesn’t last:

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