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27 August 2010

Week in Review: Things We Liked from the Week That Was

The midterm election season is officially underway with many states holding their primaries – some of them out-and-out nail biters. No matter which side of the aisle you fall, elections are certainly an interesting spectator sport as the candidates pull out their boxing gloves.

In a standoff of another kind, sometimes the relationship between agent and home seller can become hostile when the latter holds unrealistic expectations.  As it has been for some time, sellers often feel as though their home is worth more than comparables reveal – even in a down market. At the same time, home buyers can make some outrageous demands in their search for a “bargain” in the downturn.  Have you experienced anything to this degree as clients deal with economy-induced stress?

In the most talked about real estate news this week, existing home sales plunged 27 percent, to 3.83 million units, the lowest level since 1995. For a little color, sales have averaged 5.2 million units over the past three years. In other sobering news, sales of newly built homes fell to the lowest level in 47 years. Let’s try to keep a positive attitude even in times of uncertainty.

It’s been long held that instilling home ownership as the “American Dream” and creating excitement about owning a home for clients is a critical yet unwritten part of our job description. To wit, Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow says that homes should not be looked at solely as an investment, as there is no “iron law” that property must appreciate in value. Instead, focus on the joy of owning a home as opposed to just the money-making potential.

In the event you have clients ready to purchase a second home, USA Today this week revealed that family-centric communities (read: plenty of activities, classes and sports) are the most desired for this group. What amenities does your community have that focuses on family? These are sure to be great selling points to homebuyers, especially those from out of town.

It’s always nice to pass along useful information to homeowners. Check out an article in Forbes which examines appliances and materials in a home that are “environmental horrors.” Also, if you have clients wanting an energy-efficient home, look at these things to consider.

Will you be watching the Emmy’s this Sunday?

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