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Real Estate News - Greater San Antonio


May 21, 2008
Who represents whom?

Who represents whom?

 

Today, however, in most cases the listing agent represents the seller, and the buyer’s agent represents the buyer. Sellers still pay the commission, but it is paid to the listing brokerage…that in turn pays the buyer’s agent.   It’s important to know who the players in your monopoly game represent!

 


Now it gets a bit confusing. If you, the buyer, calls the number on a real estate sign…or answers an ad for a property, you will most likely be speaking with the seller’s agent. This agent has a legal contract with that particular seller to obtain the best possible price and terms for the property. BUT WAIT! Don’t you want the best possible price and terms for yourself? How can one agent work on both sides of the fence? They can’t! It’s a direct conflict of interest. But, it can be done. Both you and the seller will be asked to sign an “Intermediary relationship agreement” which that states that you understand that the agent will now become a “dual agent” or “facilitator”, which means that they can’t legally represent either one of you…..but only handle the paperwork. Who wins in this situation? Not the seller – he thought he was going to be represented. Not the buyer – because no one is on his side. But the agent gets paid double!! They receive both sides of the commission. What a deal!

 

Who actually owns the listing contract? Not the agent that listed the property! The real estate company owns it. Therefore, any agent that works for that brokerage is actually an agent for the seller. The State of Texas does allow the principal broker to appoint a buyer’s agent for prospective clients. But the water gets a little murky in the process. Who’s to say that your information or finances aren’t discussed over the water cooler? “How much do you think they’ll increase their offer?” “What’s the most they can pay?” It happens all the time. They’re not supposed to talk…but human nature is what it is. Or what about the fact that your file is right there in the office for other agents (the listing agent) to see?   Think about it! Exclusive Buyers Agents simply provide more protection in a real estate transaction.

 

Have you ever noticed that agents like to show you their (or their company’s) listings? If the agent sells his/her own listing, their pay is doubled. Always be aware of the motivation. 

 

 Exercise your buyers’ choice in real estate!

 

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May 16, 2008
Moving

Help….I’ve been moving for days..

 

 

I have entered the reality that all of my cherished clients at some point in time have experienced…..a new move!   My husband, boys and I have been moving for what seems like 10 days now (really, only 4, but….) there is one really good tip that I wish I would have REALLY paid attention to.   Get yourself a box (flag it, decorate it, write all over it) whatever you have to do to make this box stand out (because after a while they all look alike!) and put important papers, closing documents, ongoing things that you know will come up during the week of the move.  Why do you need these things?  It’s very simple but not as easy to implement because of the “haste” of the preparing.  I’m missing things like clean socks for my boys for school, the school lunch schedule, permission slips that are not turned in, the receipt for my refrigerator (because they are going to deliver it on what day?) and the like.  You get my point.  All of these items have somehow absconded away from my grip and it’s not easy to piece mill them back together.  Make your next move a little easier…plan ahead!

 

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May 7, 2008
To fish or not?

To fish or not?

 

 

My husband just came back from a great weekend of fishing.  He was in the Niznik MR. BIG Fishing Tournament in South Texas.  This year was the 11th annual Tournament and every year a scholarship is awarded to a student in the field at the University in the area. His fellow fishermen were ecstatic to know that they took first place in 3 divisions.  Mostly for biggest trout and redfish.  When he was explaining the preparation for the actually “fish” I likened it to find a house for sale.  You scout out the areas (where is your fishing hole going to be?), prepare your bait (get preapproved with a lender), move into position (view properties) and WAIT.  In Real Estate sometimes we do have to wait for the “right” house to show up for that particular buyer.  Then sometimes when you know you have something “on the line” it needs to be reeled in with speed and care (Your REALTOR negotiating on your behalf).  In a tournament your “weigh in” time is your closing time in real estate.  So, I ask you…who’s ready for some real estate fishing?

 

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May 2, 2008
Builders slowing down?

So, according to the reports the builders are slowing down...is this good news or bad?

The pace of home building continues to slide downhill in San Antonio, but at least it's not plunging off the cliff like much of the rest of the country.

Home builders started 36 percent fewer homes in the last 12 months in San Antonio, as local builders continue to pull back in response to the national economy and turmoil in the mortgage markets.

As of the end of March, builders started 11,445 homes, 6,500 fewer homes than at the end of March the previous year, according to the housing research firm Metrostudy.

The silver lining: San Antonio builders sold 14,527 homes in the last four quarters, chipping away at the inventory of new homes sitting and waiting for buyers.

For a year and a half now, builders have sold more homes than they've started. And in the last year, the inventory of new homes on the market has fallen by more than 3,000.

San Antonio has a lower inventory of new homes for sale — a 2.4-month supply — than any city in the 23 states Metrostudy surveys.

“I'm a believer that we're better off here,” said Jack Inselmann, vice president of the U.S. Central Division of Metrostudy. “We've got better job growth than anybody. We've got a better housing market than anybody.”

Much of the decline is in the market for new homes priced under $175,000.

That's the segment hit hardest by the mortgage crisis because it includes first-time buyers who may not have saved much of a down payment. Until recently they didn't need one. But now mortgage lenders generally require money down and healthy credit scores.

Fred Elsner, first vice president of the Greater San Antonio Builders Association and owner of Bridle Bit Custom Homes, said many builders have been relieved to see that the spring bounce, a usual part of the real estate calendar, is back.

“I know our company is doing a whole lot better,” Elsner said. “We've gotten rid of a whole lot of spec houses that were sitting for a while.”

Home builder David Anderson of David Anderson Homes, too, said that he had a lousy first quarter, but a great April as buyers started returning to the market in larger numbers.

“It was exactly what I needed,” he said.

Sonterra Mortgage broker Jack Shull said that some potential home buyers have stayed on the sidelines while they watch and see what happens with the national economy. Others have decided that Texas is weathering the economic storm better than just about any other state.

“I've seen a pick-up,” Shull said. “I'm getting more calls. My gut feeling is that we'll be fine by the summer of '09. I think California and Florida will take until 2012 or so.”

For now, San Antonio is one of the 10 most active real estate markets in the country, Inselmann said. So although times haven't been great for local builders, it could be much worse.

“We're thinking it's going to be a two-year correction, and we're 18 months into the correction,” Inselmann said.

By the end of the year, Inselmann thinks the San Antonio market will have hit its bottom — a housing-starts pace of between 10,000 and 11,000 homes a year. That's about half of the all-time building high that San Antonio builders hit in late 2006.

“There's a lot of good things about the progress we're making to get our industry healthy,” Inselmann said. “We think we're going to hit bottom this year. We've got to get to the end of the year.”

After that, he expects the market to start working its way to higher ground again.



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