Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pending Home Sales Continue Up-Trend Nationall

Pending home sales improved further in December, marking the fifth gain in the past six months, according to the National Association of Realtors®

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator, increased 2.0 percent to 93.7 based on contracts signed in December from a downwardly revised 91.9 in November. The index is 4.2 percent below the 97.8 mark in December 2009. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, credits good affordability conditions and economic improvement. “Modest gains in the labor market and the improving economy are creating a more favorable backdrop for buyers, allowing them to take advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions. Mortgage rates should rise only modestly in the months ahead, so we’ll continue to see a favorable environment for buyers with good credit,” he said.

“In the past two years, home buyers have been very successful, with super-low loan default rates, partly because of stable home prices during that time. That trend is likely to continue in 2011 as long as there is sufficient demand to absorb inventory,” Yun said. “The latest pending sales gain suggests activity is very close to a sustainable, healthy volume of a mid-5 million total annual home sales. However, sales above 6 million, as occurred during the bubble years, is highly unlikely this year.”

The PHSI in the Northeast increased 1.8 percent to 73.9 in December but is 5.3 percent below December 2009. In the Midwest the index rose 8.0 percent in December to 84.6 but is 5.1 percent below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South jumped 11.5 percent to an index of 101.9 and are 1.7 percent above December 2009. In the West the index fell 13.2 percent to 105.8 and is 10.7 percent below a year ago.

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
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P.E.O. Appraisal Fair offers chance to find out antiques' values

If you've been wondering what that old china plate in the cabinet is worth or if you've been trying to figure out what that thingamabob that Aunt Matilda gave you for a wedding gift is, head down to the Southport Community Center from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, for the eighth annual Antiques Appraisal Fair.

Chapter CB of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O) has an extensive lineup of experts to help identify and value antiques and collectibles. The experts include Carol Mahoney of Northrop Antiques Mall, Charles Gaiser of Potpourri Antiques, Robert Brown, Ellen Jones of Southport Antiques, Deanne Karnes of the Ivy Cottage, Alan Perry of Perry's Emporium, Daniel and Jessica Williams of Time on My Hands Clockworks, Dot Smith, Bob Smith, Ella Oliveira and Pam Newton of the Fancy Flea Antique Mall, and Jim and Frances Nichols of Castle Street Antique Pickers Mall.

These experts volunteer for this P.E.O. fundraiser. They have a wide variety of expertise including porcelain, Staffordshire, china, sterling, antique prints, clocks, watches, art, antique woods, glass, jewelry, music boxes, phonographs, baseball/sports cards, comic books, toys, dolls and children's items.

Lines have been long at some of the past appraisal fairs.

"We have more appraisers and more generalists this year," said Jean Savage, chairman of the event. "We have learned how to speed up the process so we think we'll be right on time this year."
The Appraisal Fair has been such success that other North Carolina chapters have asked the CB chapter to share their knowledge. Savage is writing formal guidelines so other chapters can hold antique appraisal fairs. 

P.E.O., founded in 1869, supports education for women through six programs. They own and operate Cottey College, a two-year college in Nevada, Mo. It lends money to higher education students. The International Peace Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to international women doing graduate study in the U.S. and Canada. The program for continuing education provides needs-based grants to women in the U.S. and Canada whose education has been interrupted and who find it necessary to return to school to support themselves and/or their families. The scholar awards program supports merit-based awards for women in doctoral level degrees or postgraduate study or research at an accredited college or university. The STAR Scholarship provides a $2,500 award to high school senior women who wish to pursue post-secondary education. 

"One Southport woman is benefiting from our educational loan fund for graduate work at UNCW," said Savage.

No advance tickets will be sold. Tickets are $7 for each item appraisal with a limit of 3 items per person. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Polly Stimmel at 363-4183.

 Full Article

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Some interesting stats from NAR!

Among the findings of NAR’s “American Attitudes About Homeownership” survey:

The vast majority of both home owners and renters say that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. Even in today’s challenging economy, 95% of owners and 72% of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home.

Home owners are much more likely to be satisfied with the quality of their family and community life than renters. While more than half of owners (56%) are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the overall quality of their family life, only about one-third (36%) of renters report the same levels of satisfaction. Also, 43% of home owners are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their community life, compared with 30% of renters.

An overwhelming majority of home owners are happy with their decision to own a home. A full 93% of owners surveyed would buy again.

Most renters aspire to home ownership. The majority of renters (63%) say they are at least somewhat likely to purchase a home at some point in the future. Among them, young adults (18- to 24-years-old) have the strongest aspirations for home ownership.

The survey also confirmed that home owners and renters continue to have concerns about the economy:

In today’s market, many aspiring home owners face worries about job security and credit worthiness. Among renters who are “very” or “extremely” likely to buy a home in the future, three out of five consider confidence in job security or creditworthiness to be an obstacle.

Home owners and renters both believe that the mortgage interest deduction should not be targeted for change. 74% of owners and 62% of renters say it’s “extremely” or “very” important that the MID remain in place.
Original Stats
Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Four Types of Listing Contracts

While there are multiple types of listing contracts, few of them are actually used. The “exclusive right to sell” contract is by far the most common way to sell a home, but knowing the other types will allow you to make an informed decision about the best way to sell your house. After all, the sooner you sell your house, the sooner you can move into your dream St. James real estate.
Open Listing

The “open listing” is most commonly used by people trying to sell their home by owner, but who are also willing to work with real estate agents. Basically, it gives a real estate agent the right to bring buyers around to view your home. If their client buys your home, the agent still earns a commission. There is nothing exclusive about an open listing and a home seller can give out their listings to every agent who approaches them.

For that reason, no agent is going to market your home or put it in the Multiple Listing Service. If your home fits the criteria for one of their clients and it is convenient, they may be willing to show it to their client.

One-Time Show

A “one-time show” is similar to an open listing in many respects, as it is most often used by real estate agents who are showing a FSBO (for sale by owner) to one of their clients. The home seller signs the agreement, which identifies the potential buyer and guarantees the agent a commission should that buyer purchase the home. This prevents the buyer and seller from negotiating directly later and trying to avoid paying the agent’s commission.

Exclusive Agency Listing

An “exclusive agency” listing allows an agent to list and market your home, guaranteeing them a commission if the house sells through a real estate agent or company. This type of listing also allows sellers to seek out potential buyers on their own.

This is not a popular type of listing agreement. Most real estate agents will not see the benefit in spending the money to market your home. If you come up with your own buyer, they have spent money they cannot earn back through the real estate commission. Plus, it is too easy for a greedy buyer to go around the agent and negotiate directly with the seller.

Exclusive Right to Sell

Giving a real estate agent the “exclusive right to sell” your property does not mean that there will be only one agent involved. Your agent is the listing agent and part of his/ her job is to market your home to other agents who work with buyers. Those agents will show your home to their clients. Regardless of who sells the home, even if you sell it yourself to a friend at work, your listing agent will be entitled to a commission.

An exclusive right to sell is the only type of listing an effective real estate agent will accept. This is because they have a reasonable expectation of earning back any money they spend on promoting and marketing your house.
Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
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