2017: What can agents expect from the market this year?


With the new year well underway, it’s time to take note of the ways in which the housing market has changed since the last buying season, and how certain trends are expected to develop in the months ahead. Issues such as shifting affordability and tight inventories will likely continue to weigh heavily on real estate sales figures on the local, state, and national levels, and they’re issues agents will have to keep in mind when working on their marketing and business plans for 2017.

For instance, it’s expected that existing home sales will tick up about 1.9 percent – and those for new homes will jump 10 percent – over the course of 2017, despite declining affordability, according to the latest projection data from the National Association of Realtors. Indeed, it’s believed home prices will rise about 3.9 percent in the months ahead, while mortgage rates could climb as high as 4.5 percent over the same period. And because of these changes, it’s expected that the national homeownership rate will hit 63.5 percent, up slightly from the all-time low observed last year (just 62.9 percent).

Trends to monitor
The two age groups that are most likely to buy in the year to come are – perhaps not surprisingly – baby boomers and millennials, the NAR added. And the latter group seems to be particularly interested in buying in mid-sized cities in the Midwest, such as Madison, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Minneapolis. Already these cities have larger shares of millennial homeownership than average, and that’s a trend that will probably continue to grow.

What could be problematic for existing home sales, though, is that rising rates might deter current homeowners from selling en masse, even as prices rise. As such, many markets could see inventories continue to shrink or at least stay at their current low levels in the year to come.

“We don’t expect the outcome of the election to have a direct impact on the health of the housing market or economy as we close out 2016. However, the 40 basis points increase in rates in the days following the election has caused us to increase our interest rate prediction for next year,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. “With more than 95 percent of first-time home buyers dependent on financing their home purchase, and a majority of first-time buyers reporting one or more financial challenges, the uptick we’ve already seen may price some first-timers out of the market.”

Faster-growing markets
Meanwhile, it seems that the local housing markets most likely to flourish in the year ahead are suburban regions, according to MarketWatch. Indeed, about 80 percent of all residential growth is expected to happen in these communities in particular, up from the rate of 71 percent seen from 2010 to 2015. Meanwhile, urban areas will only see about 15 percent growth during this time, leaving the remaining 5 percent in more rural areas.

The more real estate professionals can do to get out in front of these trends and make sure their approaches in local markets meet shifting expectations among buyers and sellers, the more likely they will be to enjoy long-term success in 2017 and beyond.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Reasons a Home Sells

sellerguidefbadThere are a variety of reasons a home will sell.  Some are out of your control, but others can be changed or modified so that your home can be sold for the best price.

Reasons Beyond Your Control


Some neighborhoods are more desirable than others.  The better the location, the more money buyers are willing to pay.  For a house to sell in any location, its listing price should reflect its location and the value of home surrounding it.


The economy, interest rates, and other important factors impact the condition of the real estate market.


High buyer demand and low housing supply makes it easier for the homes that are on the market to sell.  When buyers have more to choose from, sellers have more to compete with.

Reasons Within Your Control


To effectively sell your property fast for the most money, the listing price has to be just right.  If your home is not selling or getting a lot of traffic, it could be a sign it’s priced too high.


Attracting buyers sometimes has more to do with the condition and price of your home.  Many sellers offer incentives such as closing costs or a home warranty to help compete in the market place.


The better condition your property is in, the easier it is to sell.  Making repairs and staging your home will make for a more impressive presentation to buyers.


The more buyer traffic a home gets, the more likely it is to sell.  Sellers need to make sure their home is available to show to buyers, sometimes even with very short notice.

For more advice on selling your home download our FREE seller’s guide or contact your local HUFF agent today!




Affordability May be Shifting in 2017


Another year is in the books and real estate professionals across the country collectively saw the housing market continue its trek back toward pre-recession norms. However, many experts now believe that the surprising results of November’s presidential election could throw a number of industry trends off their previous course, and it will be vital to keep up with the many ways in which the market will shift in the year ahead.

One of the biggest changes from previous expectations – which was already observed within weeks of the election – is that mortgage rates started to spike in short order, according to Tribune News Service. Home values have been on the rise for some time, but rates quickly moved from the mid-3 percent range to north of 4 percent. And it’s important to consider what impact that could have on buyers’ motivations.

Assessing the situation
Most agents know that real estate sales in many parts of the country weren’t always easy to facilitate in 2016 because of the limited inventory of properties for sale, and it’s possible that quickly rising rates might discourage additional selling especially among homeowners who refinanced in recent years, the report said. But the fact is that because both prices and rates aren’t likely to shrink back down again any time soon, any efforts would-be buyers can make to get into the market as soon as possible – especially younger adults who have never purchased before – will help them to save at least some money in comparison with what they will closer to the end of 2017.

This might also be made possible by the fact that lenders are expected to continue to loosen their mortgage standards over the course of the year, especially for buyers who can make sizable down payments.

How much could affordability change?
Rates have already risen appreciably, but expectations for that rapid uptick to continue for some time to come are a little dim right now, according to MarketWatch. While rates north of 4 percent weren’t seen for almost all of the first 11 months of 2016, it’s not yet clear whether rates will surpass 5 percent before the end of 2017. More likely is that rates – which have seemed shockingly low to many observers for all but a few brief periods in the past few years – could hover in the 4 percent range for most of the year.

“I don’t believe that there will be any significant changes to interest rates, at least in the near term, since the underlying fundamentals that have led us into a low-interest-rate environment haven’t changed,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Ten-X, a real-estate auction site, told the site.

It’s further important to keep in mind – and to remind hopeful buyers – that rates even as high as 4.9 percent are still below pre-recession norms, which tended to range between 5.5 percent and 6 percent prior to the start of the housing downturn. With this in mind, affordability can still be somewhat strong for hopeful shoppers.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Tips for Success in Buying a Home in 2017


Realtor Showing Hispanic Family Around New HomeThere are many benefits of homeownership: equity buildup, tax incentives, pride in ownership and strong community ties to name a few.  If you have a goal for 2017 that includes buying a home here are five tips to achieve your home buying goals.

1.Start Planning Now

The home buying process should start a few months in advance of a home purchase.  Start your home search by meeting with a real estate agent who knows the area where you want to buy.   It is important to work with someone with whom you feel comfortable since you will be spending a lot of time with him or her; ask family and friends for recommendations.

2.Get PreApproved for Your Mortgage

Discovering your buying power is an important step in the home buying process as it saves time in your home search by defining the price range in which to look.  A pre-approval also allows you to submit a strong, competitive offer which may give you an edge over other buyers in multiple-offer or negotiating situations.

To get an idea what you can afford try using HUFF Realty’s  HOME FINANCING CALCULATORS.  These tools will help you estimate how much mortgage you can afford.

3.Identify Your Needs Versus Wants

Many people must compromise on home features when buying an existing home. It’s a good idea to prioritize your needs and wish-list items from most important to least.

4.Start Your Home Search and be Prepared to Act Quickly

Visit neighborhoods and homes that align with your budget and needs based on your discussion with your lender and real estate agent.  Recently, home inventory has been low which can often lead to multiple offers and bids over asking price so be ready to move quickly!

5.Make a Realistic Offer

You want to make sure your offer is consistent with the sale prices of similar homes in the area.  Make sure to review the list of comparable sales with your agent so that your offer stands out among the rest.

The home buying process can provoke many questions, some frequently asked questions and answers can be found here.  If you would like to explore the fine details of home buying as they pertain to your specific needs, contact your local HUFF agent or visit www.HUFF.com.




New Year, New Career? A New Year’s Resolution Worth Keeping

New careerAre you approaching the New Year with many goals in mind? Eating better, losing weight, quitting a bad habit, or generally improving the quality of life? Are you looking to begin a new career that allows you to be your own boss and lets you set your own schedule?    A career in Real Estate may be the answer you are looking for!

HUFF Realty can help you establish your new career in Real Estate.  We provide sales training to help you jumpstart your career.  Our dedicated support staff will be there with training, marketing, relocation, and technology support to assist as your business grows and prospers.

Join HUFF at our FREE informational career seminar Wednesday, January 25th at 6PM at our Fort Mitchell office located at 334 Beechwood Rd. Fort Mitchell, KY 41017.

What to expect:

  • Food, drinks, networking, and fun!
  • Information on how to get your Real Estate career started
  • Information on obtaining a Real Estate license
  • Information on Real Estate schools
  • Information on Earnings Potential
  • What HUFF Realty will do to ensure your success


If you have any questions, contact Pam Schreiter at 513-644-4111 or pschrieter@huff.com.

5 Home Staging Tips for Wintertime

House with snow and wreath

While winter isn’t always considered the best time to sell your home there are many reasons it’s a great time!  Whether you live in an area with consistent snowfall all winter or in an area where unexpected weather could leave you snowed in it’s best to have a plan of action for showings in inclement weather.  If you currently have your home on the market here are a few tips to increase your appeal to potential buyers during the winter months.

1.Clear the Walkways

All areas of the yard should be accessible for buyers.  That means, not only do you need to a clear path to the front door but also to any outdoor areas the potential buyer may want to view.  This means sheds, patios, garages, and recreational areas.

2. Let There Be Light

Winter months can be dreary and dark but you don’t want your home to be!  Put your home in its best light by opening shades and draperies, as well as turning on all lights.

3.  Keep it Toasty

Keep your home warm and toasty by starting a fire in the fireplace (if it’s in good condition), or setting your thermostat a degree or two higher than usual.

4. Embrace the Holidays

While it’s customary to pack away personal belongings when staging a home to create a clean canvas for buyers the holiday season can be an exception.  Tasteful holiday decor can help create the warm, family feel you’re trying to achieve.  Lush wreaths, a tree with inviting white lights, and candles in the windows can invoke an emotional appeal.

5. Don’t Ignore the Outdoors

Your landscaping won’t look as good as it does in the spring, pots of evergreens can help add some color to your walkways and yard. Always make sure your gutters are cleaned and shrubs are trimmed, too.

If you have questions about the home selling process, contact your local HUFF real estate professional today!

Source:  www.rismedia.com