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      Blog :: 05-2019

      The Death of the Vacant Listing?

       

      The Death Of The Vacant Listing?

      About fifteen years ago after attempting to sell a vacant, unfurnished loft, we broke down and took a trip to IKEA to buy a basic set of furniture to stage the property. Style-wise we kept everything mostly white with some black accents, simply to help prospective buyers visually 'scale' the home.

       

      We created an appealing living room and dining area, added some cowhide rugs and bought a Le Corbusier chaise to 'up' the look a bit. It worked! The loft sold rather swiftly after that. Later we added staging 'artwork' - framed blown-up photos that I'd personally taken that were abstracted enough to potentially be 'real' art - as we found so many blank white walls looked cold and uninspired. We re-used that suite of staging items dozens of times afterward with great success. Flash forward and today, I cannot even imagine showing an unfurnished home ever again. It would be marketing suicide, especially on the high end. Professional staging has elevated this from my IKEA-fueled days to an entirely new level where buyers (even at the $20m+ level) are askiing to buy the staged homes fully furnished.

       

      I recall meeting with Rob Lehman about two years ago. He asked me what the one cost-distracting item was that was most critical to what we do and of course I answered STAGING. If we could stage all our listings, and offset the cost for the seller, I thought we'd have a winner.  At the time I envisioned a warehouse full of furniture, but of course that would have been unmanageable.  Of all the value-adds that we bring to the table, I truly believe that COMPASS CONCIERGE's role in providing us the ability to stage by financing the up-front cost is a game-changer for our industry. Anything that makes our role easier and takes away the stress of our clients is a certain winner.

       

      Furnishings not only help buyers scale a property: now, professional staging creates an aspiration lifestyle too. Competing against a staged property with an unfurnished property is almost a waste of time unless deep discounting or a super-hot sellers market is a consideration.

       

      #CompassComingSoon

      #CompassComingSoon

      What is it exactly about Compass COMING SOON listings that is important for you as an agent individually, as well as for all of us at Compass collectively - agents and staff - in every region of the USA? Here are my TOP 10 reasons:       

      1.  Human Beings are by their very nature attracted to having knowledge first, even more so in to-days day and age where there is so much information out there.   

       2.   Like a movie, who wouldn't want to see a movie before the crowds see it? While we like to get information first, we also like the excitement and exclusivity of knowing we were there first. As marketers creating some sense of excitement and energy has a great value and fuels energy behind a marketing campaign. It adds an additional marketing moment of substantive value. 

      3.  COMING SOON listings - if they appear on compass.com first - drive traffic to compass.com. We are all beneficiaries when there are more eyeballs focused on our website.                 

      4.  COMING SOON listings are not exclusionary of other agents within Compass or at competing brokerages. We encourage ALL agents to see our coming soon listings, show them and sell them! All agents benefit by this. They are NOT off-market listings at all.             

      5.  COMING SOON listings take away from 'days on market'. For those of you lucky enough to be in super-fast moving markets, this may not matter to you....yet. Having a COMING SOON listing out for 10 days without the clock starting has value in a world where many search engines automatically list properties in priority of newest.           

      6.  Most Broadway productions are tested in smaller markets before coming to Broadway. Like a Broadway Show, a COMING SOON listing allows you to test the market too. Should you lower or raise the price? Did several agents point out a flaw or feature you may not have noticed or focused as much attention on?                                               

      7.  Clients and Sellers love creative marketers. A COMING SOON listing demonstrates agent innovation and adds to your marketing arsenal. It demonstrates additional value agents bring to the table.       

      8.  In a world where aggregators and technology entities continue to make every effort to minimize or eliminate the human agent, COMING SOON re-captures our essential role in the brokerage equation. It is something these antagonists do not have and may break the consumer's addiction to them. We have evidence it's doing so already.   

      9.  Social Media requires many impressions to have an effect. Many consumers search for newness via social media. COMING SOON affords your followers a reason to follow you more closely....and add followers! In New York a disclaimer is essential, so be sure to check your area what the local MLS rules require: "All listings are simultaneously syndicated to the REBNY RLS. Compass is a licensed real estate broker. All material herein is for informational purposes only, was compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors and omissions. Compass makes no representation or guarantees that Coming Soon properties are available in your region, or that its use will result in the benefits described herein. This is not intended to solicit properties already listed. Equal Housing Opportunity."                 

      10.  In markets where there is a growing inventory, a COMING SOON campaign can draw attention to your new listing in a crowded sea of options. Slower markets are finding the exhausted buyer who has seen everything to be the most inclined to pounce on the newest. In fast-moving markets with limited options, a time advantage is always a plus.                                                                       

      Have a wonderful day and MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. Drive carefully if you are driving and please take care!     

       
       

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      DID YOU KNOW? Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 5.19 million rate in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That was 0.4% lower than March and 4.4% lower than a year ago. The median selling price in April was $267,300, a 3.6% annual increase. First-time buyers made up 32% of transactions in April, while individual investors accounted for 16% of buyers. (Marketwatch)


      DID YOU KNOW? Those living in Minnesota have an average score of 713. South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts round out the top 5 US states with the highest average credit scores for 2018. The lowest score, 652, belonged to those living in Mississippi. Louisiana, Nevada, Georgia, and Texas are all in the bottom of Experian’s ranking as well, with scores of 659 or below. (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? Over the past year, 22% of respondents in a survey of 2,200 US adults say the average credit card balance they carried was between $100 - $500, while about 10% of people say they had a balance over $5,000. At close to 18% interest.

      DID YOU KNOW?  Over 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. Use subtitles and text. Make the visuals SING!  (INMAN)                                                                                           

      DID YOU KNOW? 25% of American jobs - belonging to about 36 million people - are at risk of being replaced by automation or artificial intelligence over the next 20 years, according to a Brookings Institution report issued in January.

      DID YOU KNOW? New York City’s economy grew 3% from January through March 2019, a bit more than the 2.7% jump in gross city product recorded in the first quarter of 2018. (Crain’s)  

      Compass Contemplations for Tuesday

      DID YOU KNOW? Is Madison Avenue retail rebounding? Since January 17 new stores have opened on this corridor that 4 years ago commanded rents up to $1,600/sf. Now, this number is closer to $1,000/sf. There is a growth in wellness, beauty, sustainability, and brands that have prices reaching broader markets. One thing missing from the Avenue that has helped drive retail traffic in other parts? More food. Stores are collaborating with one another. What is the biggest trend worth watching?  Several brands are BUYING their buildings or retail spaces. By doing so they remove the risk of future rent escalations beyond their control. (WWD)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? The homeownership rate among households headed by someone under 35 was 35.4% as of the first quarter of 2019, according to the Census Bureau. In 1999 that level was about 40%.  WHY?

      * The Great Recession caused the Millennial unemployment rate of those aged 20 - 24 to go as high as 17% in 2010. It would have been even higher if more young people hadn’t opted to continue schooling instead of joining the labor force or simply stopped looking for work.

      * This delayed entry into the workforce is taking them longer to develop the financial wherewithal to buy a home. 

      * Many are saddled with higher levels of student debt than previous generations, making mortgage approvals more daunting. 

       * The tough labor market they faced early in their careers may have delayed other life events that often coincide with the decision to own a home: Millennials have been getting married/having children later.

      * The 2017 tax cuts reduced financial incentives for homeownership. 

      * Banks have become more risk-averse since the crisis, more eager to extend pricey mortgages to wealthier clients than to lend to those seeking smaller home loans, as do many first-time buyers.

      * A greater share of millennials live in the central city of a metropolitan area with a population of 500,000+ than did Generation X at the same age...where buying a home is less affordable.

      * Fewer urban millennials have decamped to the suburbs in their 30s than previous generations.  (WSJ)

      A Lack of Inventory Continues to Impact the Housing Market

      A Lack of Inventory Continues to Impact the Housing Market | MyKCM

      The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest point in years. The market will continue to strengthen in 2019.

      However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory! Buyer demand naturally increases during the summer months, but supply has not kept up.

      Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

      Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at National Association of Realtors

      “Further increases in inventory are highly desirable to keep home prices in check, the sustained steady gains in home sales can occur when home price appreciation grows at roughly the same pace as wage growth.”

      Jessica Lautz, Vice President of NAR

      “There’s a supply-demand mismatch… More inventory is needed at the lower end and a price reduction may be needed at the upper end.”

      Danielle Hale, Chief Economist of Realtor.com

      “Heading into spring, U.S. prices are expected to continue to rise and inventory is expected to continue to increase, but at a slower pace than we’ve seen the last few months as fewer sellers want to contend with this year’s more challenging conditions… A buyer’s experience will vary notably depending on the market and price point they’re targeting.”

      Bottom Line

      If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time! Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price!

       

      « A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC]

       

      The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

      Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership!

      Home Buyers are Optimistic About Homeownership! | MyKCM

      When we consider buying an item, we naturally go through a research process prior to making our decision. We ask our friends and family members who have made similar purchases about their experience, we get opinions and insights, and we read reviews online. There’s no difference when considering a home purchase!

      Most home buyers start by listening to the news to hear what is being said about the real estate market. They check with family and friends about their experience. They spend time online reading reviews about their desired neighborhood.

      The challenge is that comments from the news and those closest to us can contradict the data and reports. One source says one thing, while another source says something completely different.

      There is a group of homebuyers that are not allowing comments about an upcoming recession to interfere with their decision to buy a home. According to a survey by realtor.com®,

      Nearly 70 percent of home shoppers this spring think the U.S. will enter a recession in the next three years, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to close on a home…Despite the fact that they foresee an economic downturn, they generally expressed confidence that a future recession will be better than 2008 for the housing market.”

      The report provides more insights from the survey:

      • Nearly 30% of the active home shoppers* surveyed expect the next recession to begin sometime in 2020.
      • 56% of shoppers believe home prices have hit their peak.
      • 41% believe housing will fare better than in 2008.
      • 45% of home shoppers feel at least slightly more optimistic about homeownership.
      • 33% reported no impact on their feelings about homeownership.

      Homebuyers are aware and making decisions with their eyes wide-open. As the report mentioned,

      “The fact that some [36%] home shoppers expect the next recession to be harder on the housing market than the last recession suggests that they are buying homes with eyes wide-open and very sober, if not slightly pessimistic, views of the housing market.

      This is a stark contrast to the years leading up to the last recession when ‘irrational exuberance’ was more common and yet another reason to expect that the next downturn will be very different for the housing market than the last.”

      Bottom Line

      If you are considering buying a home, let’s get together to help you understand our local market and determine if buying a home is the right choice for you now.

      *Active home shoppers are those consumers who responded that they plan to purchase their next home in 1 year or less.

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      Good morning,

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Small business confidence ticked up and remains at a high level for the second quarter. The CNBC|Survey Monkey Small Business Confidence Index reading of 59 (up from 58 in the first quarter 2019) indicates that small business owners are optimistic about the direction of their business over the next 12 months. 77% of 50+ person small businesses described business conditions as good and only 1% said conditions are bad.

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Japan’s bullet trains can reach nearly 200 mph and date to the 1960s. They have moved more than 9 billion people without a single passenger causality. America's ACELA is the fastest and averages 65 mph between NYC and Boston because its lines (created in the late 1900's) were never designed for high-speed systems. China built 19,000 miles of high-speed rail all in the past 10 years. The USA virtually abandoned rail-served infrastructure with highway-served infrastructure mostly dedicated to the automobile. (CNBC)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Sellers who sold their homes in June - meaning June was the sale date on the deed of the house, so they likely put the home on the market in spring -  got 9.2% more than what their home was valued at, according to data released this month from real estate analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions. Sellers got a premium in other spring and summer months too: May (7.4%); July (7.3%); April (6.4 %); March (6.1%); August (5.8%); meanwhile December, January and October sellers got less than a 4% premium. Demand is much higher in spring and summer in part because school is out and winter is over so people are out and about. (Marketwatch)

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