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Heidi Winston, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Recipient

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The FSBO Failure

by Heidi Winston

ForSaleByOwner.com is perhaps the most popular and successful site of its kind. The site's founder, Colby Sambrotto, has become the spokesperson/guru for promoting do-it-yourself real estate sales. In early August, the Wall Street Journal ran an article covering Mr. Sambrotto's efforts to sell his New York City home.

 After six frustrating months trying to use a "broad and creative mix of websites" to sell his condo, Sambrotto did what he has, for more than a decade, told everyone they should NEVER DO - he hired a traditional real estate broker. That broker sold Sambrotto's home quickly for $150,000 more than the FSBO guru was asking on his own and Sambrotto happily paid the full 6% commission!
This simply proves that a good real estate professional is the best way to get the most money and the quickest sale with the fewest problems
.

Heidi Winston
RE/MAX Hall of Fame Realtor,
CRS, GRI, CDPE, RRG, ABR
702-277-6599

For Sale By Owner

by Heidi Winston

We are seeing more owners trying to sell their own house without the assistance of a real estate professional. At first glance this seems to make a great deal of sense. After all, a real estate commission is a lot of money and - how hard can it be to sell a house?
Most credible studies indicate that Realtor assisted sellers net MORE than owners selling their own house. There are several reasons for this. Real estate agents have the advantage of effectively exposing a house to thousands of potential buyers through the Multiple Listing Service. The law of Supply And Demand tells us when supply is limited, the more potential buyers we find, the higher the price. Competition drives up prices.

 

 Another factor is that a real estate agent can show a buyer over 90% of the available homes and the buyer doesn't have to do all the research. An owner can show them only one house. Because of all the extra work on the part of the buyer, they expect a steep discount, reducing the price by 10% or more.
There are many other concerns such as qualifying potential buyers, personal safety, cost effective targeted advertising, tying up a house with "tire-kickers," and many more.
Although fewer than 10% of homes sell without a Realtor (many of those are friend or relative sales), a large percentage of real estate litigation involves owners selling directly to buyers.
If you know anyone thinking of selling their house, please have them talk to me first.

Last month we said the market was "insane."

by Heidi Winston

 Last month we said the market was "insane." Not much has changed. There are still too many buyers chasing too few houses.

This strong demand is keeping the upward pressure on real estate prices and that is making sellers happy. A significant percentage of buyers, frustrated with the bidding wars, are buying new homes. This is welcome news for the new home builders who have been scraping by with record low sales for the last few years.

Even the buyers are happy. With interest rates still at or near record lows, payments are far more affordable than most of us can remember.

The above chart shows what the payments would be on several different mortgage amounts at 4% (today's mortgage rate was well under that). By contrast, a few years ago, rates were at 6% and prices were twice as high as they are today.

Home Prices Rise Again, and so do Short Sales

by Heidi Winston

The Las Vegas housing market continues to shift from foreclosures to short sales, and the median home price rose for the seventh straight month, local Realtors said Monday.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported 3,076 single-family home sales in August, a 17 percent decrease from the same month a year ago.

The median price was $138,000, up 3.8 percent from July and up 15 percent from a year ago. It's the first double-digit increase for year-over-year prices since December 2005.

Inventory of single-family homes available for sale without a pending or contingent office dwindled to 3,981 units, compared with more than 11,000 a year ago.

"We're really struggling with inventory," said Robyn Yates of Windermere Prestige Properties in Henderson. "That's the challenge. Even though it's great that prices are going up, it's not great from the perspective of real estate firms and buyers. It's very frustrating."

David Brownell of Keller Williams Realty reported 586 real estate-owned, or bank-owned, home sales in August, down 75 percent from a year ago. Short sales, or homes sold for less than the mortgage owed, jumped 56 percent to 1,579 in August.

Short sales now account for 44 percent of the market, compared with 22 percent a year ago. Foreclosures have dropped from 51 percent of the market to 16.3 percent, Brownell noted.

Some real estate agents blame Nevada's robo-signing law for constricting REO inventory, but the national banking settlement accomplished the same thing, GLVAR president Kolleen Kelley said.

"We're holding our own. We're getting listings," she said. "We thought we'd completely run out of inventory at this point. That hasn't happened and doesn't look like it will."

The market is being held up by more short-sale listings and equity sellers, Kelley said.

"You have investors who came in when the market went crazy in California. Some of them used their homes as ATMs, but not all of them did," she said.

Even as inventory shrinks, the months' supply has started to increase after bottoming in June, said Frank Nason, president of Residential Resources in Las Vegas.

About 85 percent of homes under contract are short sales waiting for lender approval.

It's evident that the decline in REO sales and increase in short sales is affecting the market in terms of successful closings, Brownell said. Average time from listing to closing has increased to 110 days.

That's in contrast to National Association of Realtors' statistics that show median days on market down 29.6 percent from 98 days a year ago to 69 days in July.

While days on market are pulled from statistics maintained by local multiple listing services, the task is complicated because sellers sometimes take their homes off the market and relist them.

Las Vegas Realtors reported that 53.4 percent of homes sold within 30 days of being on the market, and 13.1 percent sold within 31-60 days.

Yates said buyers from outside Las Vegas don't always believe what local agents are telling them.

"You have to let the market teach the buyers a lesson," she said.

"The perception is Las Vegas is on sale, prices are really good and it's easy to get a house. They're shocked that prices are going up and you have to compete to get a house."

Realtors sold 612 condo and townhomes in August at a median price of $65,000, down 2.3 percent from July, but up 16.1 percent from a year ago.

The Great Housing Recovery

by Heidi Winston

Las Vegas real estate has, after almost five years of extreme distress, started on the long road to recovery. Prices are heading up and there are no signs of these increases slowing or reversing. 

Because of the critically low number of homes for sale (4,500), buyers are having great difficulty finding a house to buy. When they do, they are often bidding against several other buyers, many of them paying cash.

These cash buyers, often investors, are difficult competition for a buyer simply looking for a home to live in.

There are some effective strategies a buyer can use to compete with cash buyers and investors. None of them easy or simple, but if you know anyone trying to buy a home in today's highly competitive real estate market, have them call 702-277-6599 Heidi Winston or 702-232-8510 Nancy Gillingham and we will help them find the best possible home for the lowest possible price.

 

 

Las Vegas Housing Inventory, Did you Know?

by Heidi Winston

 With only 4,500 homes for sale in the Las Vegas area, buyers are scrambling to find a suitable home. Most buyers with a pending offer on a short sale are counting their blessings that they have a house "locked in."

 

Although 40% of the homes for sale are priced under $150,000, 66% of the sales are in this price range. Homes priced over $300,000 account for 26% of all the available homes for sale but represent only 8% of the sales. There is far less competition for these higher priced homes.

Las Vegas Market Watch

by Heidi Winston

LAS VEGAS MARKET WATCH                                           

 

May 2012

May 2011

Annual Change

Total Inventory

4,569

13,948

-67 Percent

REO Inventory

494

3,207

-85 Percent

Short Sale Inventory

1,207

6,474

-81 Percent

Non- Distressed Inventory

2,868

4,267

-33 Percent

REO Pending

1,667

3,207

-48 Percent

Short Sale Pending

11,872

8,248

44 Percent

Non-Distressed Pending

1,937

1,856

4 Percent

REO Closed

1,275

1,707

-25 Percent

Short Sale Closed

1,289

912

41 Percent

Non-Distressed Closed

1,407

1,202

17 Percent

 

Landscaping Builds Home Value!

by Heidi Winston

Color is the personal finishing touch that pulls landscape together. It takes time and a bit of money, but the results are worth the effort. Plan color for maximum impact with minimal expense and effort.

Put flower color where you want to focus your attention. To make a small space feel larger, place warm colors (red, orange, and yellow) in the front of a garden and cool colors (blue, green, and purple in the back.

The most pleasing landscapes are those where color is uncomplicated. Too many shades and hues do little to enhance a house. Keep the planting in your front yard simple. Generally, a lot of busy color in the front is not a good feeling. Use a single color for a calm appearance.

Color is most effective when snuggled next to something green. Color needs the green backbone behind it to work well, and it should enhance your shrubs. Don’t put annuals out in the middle of the yard. They will get lost without a green backdrop.

Contact Michael and Heidi for more landscaping and home staging tips and ideas or to see some beautifully landscaped homes in Las Vegas.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Winston Team

We're often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give us a call at (702) 688-6300 if we can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 111-119 of 119

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Contact Information

Photo of RE/MAX Excellence Realty Real Estate
RE/MAX Excellence Realty
Heidi and Michael Winston
4435 South Buffalo
Las Vegas NV 89147
Heidi: 702-277-6599
Michael: 702-219-8692
Fax: 702-974-2288