Monday, April 30, 2012

Raleigh Housing Inventory down 30% from Last Year Same Time

Thank you to Marshall Gay, local Raleigh Realtor who provided us with today's Raleigh Cary market update.

Raleigh-Cary North Carolina
The Raleigh-Cary area's housing market ranks #1 on Inman News top 10 list of strong real estate markets in the nation. 

March 2012's activity supports the ranking with a 35% increase in sales over the same time last year.

With the current housing inventory 30% below last year's same period level, buyers who are eager to beat the rise in interest rates are becoming competitive with the best presented properties.

Sales activity has increased for the last several months as buyers gear up for Spring; prices remain low for resales as distress sales bring good bargains. 

Forbes Magazine has named Raleigh #5 on the country's list of recession-proof cities. "Stable home prices and growth across the different sectors of its economy has kept Raleigh strong," states the April '08 edition. With a median home price increase of 4%, Raleigh continues better off than most of the nation where the real estate bubble has bursted.

Cary ranked #5 in growth among the nation's cities with population over 100,000 according to US Census Bureau findings reported in the July 10th News and Observer while Raleigh ranked a respectable 13th - the only other North Carolina city listed among the fastest growing.

Updates make Winners
In the conventional resale market, smartly updated homes allow buyers to buy at low rates with less anticipated renovation costs as sellers update to compete with newer homes.  More popular updates include granite countertops, updated baths & light fixtures, new appliances, paint and carpet.

From Where is Everyone Coming?
Local economic reports point to a continued net gain in migration for Wake County and the Research Triangle Park area. The majority of inbound traffic is coming from out of state with a heavy presence from New York state.

Interest Rates Still Helping Homebuyers
This is a great time to take advantage of home ownership while rates are low, prices are competitive and buyer's incentives are high.  The NAR reiterates the local sentiment that first-time buyers are more flexible to enter the market without concern of selling an existing house as well as having the benefits of low home prices, plentiful supply and affordable interest rates.
Experienced realtors have dealt with interest rates exceeding 18% in the early 80's and continue to see today's rates around 5% as a good opportunity.

"North Carolina is insulated but not immune from recession" reports the 1/30/08 Raleigh News and Observer. It further states that "Right now, North Carolina is better positioned than most of the country, and the Triangle is in better shape than the state."

What About Other Cities Around Raleigh?
The Raleigh/Cary real estate market has just been forecast as the #2 strongest market in the country by Veros Real Estate Solutions, a California company that has covered the nation's residential real estate market for five years. The Triangle market is the only one of the top five areas not in the Midwest.  Among the fastest growing North Carolina town's, Wake County's Rolesville ranked #1; Holly Springs, #3; Knightdale, #4; Wake Forest, #5; and Fuquay-Varina, #6.

Midtown, along Raleigh's Beltine, continues to be an active market for tear downs and major renovations. This has become a super hot market for resale detached houses from the 1960's and 70's, usually starting in the $200's and ripe for remodeling.

North Raleigh and Wake Forest have tremendous opportunities for new homes with half acre or larger lots. Morrisville, Cary and Apex have new construction on smaller lots but closer to the Research Triangle Park.

Growth continues along the new outer loop, I540, as accessibility to rural areas is made easier. To the East, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon offer more for the money and to the South and Southwest, Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs offer a variety of price ranges.

While Wake County new home prices continue to increase, neighboring counties, while still lower, are taking up the price gaps that Wake has left behind. Johnston County offers a wide range of new construction in the $200-$300K range on larger lots than more urban Wake and has become more easily accessible with new bypasses.

For those who don't mind a longer drive to Raleigh or the Research Triangle Park, adjacent counties such as Franklin, Johnston and Chatham offer custom-built homes on larger lots for less. Chatham County, just west of Wake County, has many new developments for those seeking a more rural setting with close proximity to Jordan Lake and RTP.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Is NC's Outer Banks Highway 12 In Peril?

Today is Friday, and today's warmer temperatures and sun have my mind heading to the coast.  I was searching for a fun beach related post - when i can across an article written earlier this month.  It was an interesting piece - so we feel compelled to share the knowledge and opinions it brings to light.  We figure quite a few of our clients and real estate agents head to the Outer Banks annually - so this article will most likely be of interest.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!  Chris and The Murray Group Team

Last August, when Hurricane Irene sliced across the Outer Banks, it cut Highway 12, Hatteras Island’s lifeline, in two places. Engineers rushed to repair the damage, filling and repaving a washed-out stretch of roadway here and building a bridge over a newly formed inlet a few miles to the north. 

The road reopened on Oct. 11, to the cheers of anglers, would-be vacationers and the innkeepers, restaurateurs and merchants whose livelihoods had taken a huge blow. 

But the winds and waves that shape the coast were already gnawing at the new bridge. By January, engineers were reinforcing its southern approach with sandbags and rock trucked in from the mainland, in hopes of keeping the road open until a more permanent fix could be designed and built. 

The Outer Banks are home to some of the nation’s most celebrated beach communities. The road that links them, also called N.C. 12, offers an extreme example of the difficulty of maintaining houses, condos, roads and other infrastructure in the face of a climate-driven rise in sea level. 

By some estimates, at least 70 percent of the ocean coastline of the lower 48 states is threatened by erosion. But the outlook here is unusually gloomy. In 2009, a federal report on erosion in the Middle Atlantic states predicted that if the sea level rises two feet this century — an estimate that many experts call optimistic — “it is likely that some barrier islands in this region will cross a threshold” and begin to break up. The report, produced by the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Geological Survey and other agencies, said the Outer Banks were particularly threatened. 

Already, Highway 12 floods repeatedly and is often cut by storms. Maintaining it “is totally a lost cause,” said Stanley R. Riggs, a coastal scientist at East Carolina University who is an author of a new book, “The Battle for North Carolina’s Coast,” which describes in depressing detail the difficulties of keeping the road open.  “It will bankrupt the state,” he said.  

But people who live and work on the Outer Banks say abandoning the road would make life impossible. 

“You would see people with nothing left,” said Eddie Williams, who was born and raised on Hatteras Island. He manages the Paint Box, a gift shop in the village of Hatteras. “It would be devastating,” he said. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Real Estate Roller Coaster Simulation - One Cool Video

We have certainly seen our fair share of the housing rollercoaster here in Raleigh, NC.  In researching other cities for housing price history - we came across this little gem.

It is an actual simulation of a rollercoaster that follows the housing market in Vancouver, Canada.  While not the US or Raleigh market - it is worth two minutes of your day to watch:

Vancouver RE market rollercoaster from Vancouver Condo Info on Vimeo.

Monday, April 23, 2012

10 Ways to Take Advantage of the Rain in Real Estate

Most real estate agents hate rainy days, particularly when accompanied by the cold and dreary conditions that are around today, again.  The average home buyer does not want to dodge the raindrops and go house hunting.  It's not that fun for you either.

10 Ways to Take Advantage of the Rain in Real Estate

1. Take advantage of the wet days to begin the home buying process by looking at the financial side.
As the song says, make the most of rainy days and Mondays (or any day of the week) and get pre-qualifed and/or pre-approved for a home mortgage.

2.   Grab your client and go view the yard of the house they are considering - the rain is a great time to discover drainage issues that you may not see in fair weather.

3. Grab hold of that Basement Contractor and Mold Remediation Expert and meet him at that problem home to find out the source of the water and the root cause of the mold. Mold means no loan unless it is a 203K in most instances, so this is THE day to figure the appropriate way plus compute the cost of repairs.

4. Catch up on that pile of paperwork that has grown in size and stature during the perfectly balmy and beautiful North Carolina spring days.

5. Do the regular calls and follow ups - ask for referrals from past clients

6.  Work on your blog posts (write several at once so you can post over time in the weeks to come)

7. Work on building your Facebook presence

8.   Check out what your competition is doing online - google the top agents and see if you can emulate their efforts in your own style.

9.  incorporate a stop at Starbucks or Panera for tea and coffee

10.  One local realtor confided in me, that when she shows homes in the rain, she sells home.  So grab that umbrella and get ready for a SOLD sign to go up!

Friday, April 20, 2012

First Time HomeBuyer Checklist

Agents - here is an article that is ready to go - just print and include in your first time home buyer presentation kits. 

First Time Home Buyer Checklist

This Article is Courtesy of The Murray Group ( 919-656-8375
Owning your own home is probably the one biggest thing young professionals work for today. Although renting has advantages, the thoughts of "one man's ceiling is another man's floor" do not appeal to many people. In the final analysis people want the stability of owning their own home. When careers are stable, children are coming along, and you want security in knowing you own your own property, then home ownership becomes very desirable. The focus of this article will discuss the considerations you need to make in order to own your own home.
First, Your Credit History
In today's unstable market, lenders are getting very choosy about who they lend money too. They consider credit card debt, timeliness of payment, and other factors that affect your credit. The current average annual percentage rate on most credit cards is 13.8%, according to With the current rate of home loan interest on the average of 6.26%, it is easy to see that credit card holders are paying twice as much in interest on credit card debt than on a home mortgage. Paying off credit card debt instead of putting extra money away for a down payment makes more sense in this case.
Down Payment and Closing Costs
First and foremost is the ability to pay. A down payment of at least 10% is essential, and bankers prefer that you pay 20% or more. Some lending institutions may not make the loan for you if you cannot come up with a certain percentage, based on your current financial situation. Paying more than the required 10% is not only to your advantage in keeping mortgage payments at an acceptable level, but helps you avoid the necessity for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is nothing more than insurance for the lending institution to protect itself if you face foreclosure. 

Closing costs are the fees you pay for the processing of the loan. They include banker fees, cost of appraisals and inspections, payment to escrow to be used towards taxes and insurance, and title searches. An ethical lender will give you the costs of these fees in what is called a Good Faith Estimate, which should be accurate with no surprises when you go to the closing table. The lender will also notify you in the off chance that changes need to be made to the GFE. Plan to pay around 6% of the initial loan for the cost of closing.
Consider the Costs
Owning a home versus renting means that there are additional expenses involved. Utilities need to be paid, and services that are generally covered when you rent now must be taken care of by you. The most obvious are gas and electric, but plan on paying telephone, cable, internet access and other amenities. Trash removal and snow removal are now your responsibility. When ever you are planning a budget for a new home and consider these expenses, always be aware that these are not fixed prices. Plan on them increasing in upcoming years.

Housing experts agree that for a home owner to be secure, they should bank 5% of gross income to cover expenses such as wind and flood damage, and routine maintenance on the home. If you are buying an older home, there is no guarantee that the roof won't start to leak 2 years after you move in. Expect to pay at least $5,000.00 for a new roof. Wind damage can destroy siding and landscaping. Borrowing money for these expenses is not always the best option. It's better to plan and to save.
What Does the Lender See?
Today's lenders look at debt to income ratio. The current ratio is 28/36. Always calculate what this ratio will be before considering a home loan. Many calculators are available today on the internet that will help you to get a realistic overview of your current financial situation. Use these to advantage before approaching a lender.

If after considering these facts and determining your financial outlook is not what you expected it to be, don't despair. Fannie Mae has a program called "expanded approval" that allows people with less than perfect credit to own their own home. Their rates are competitive, and can even be as much as 2 percentage points lower than national average.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assists people that wish to buy their own home. HUD helps buyers raise $3,000 to $5,000 for the initial down payment. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA), a branch of HUD, also works with people with blemished credit.

Buying a home should not be a daunting task. Although there are a lot of things that need to be taken into account when purchasing a home, following these simple guidelines will help you go a long way in making home buying an easy task. There is no lack of information available today on the internet. Use these resources to your own advantage. 
For more information on lending and the loan pre-approval process, please contact The Murray Group.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

5 Sure Ways to Master Your Facebook Posts

The Murray Group offers our realtor agent partners marketing support in many areas.  Please contact us today to ask how we can work together and build YOUR business.

Before we get to the list - the first thing we have to start with is what you are trying to accomplish by commenting, liking or sharing someone's page or post on Facebook. You see, Social NETWORKING is just like meeting a person in real life. You have to follow the protocol...

Have you ever been at a networking event and someone you either didn't know (or knew just a little bit) and you were talking about, say, the local restaurant down the street.  After one comment about that eatery, they stopped, grabbed their bag and pulled out a brochure and said, “our product is just as good as that restaurant, want to buy it now?”   Doesn’t feel good, does it? 

Or worse, they come over to your house (post on your wall) and spray paint a marketing message about their product on your front door…gasp!

Be Smart - Do it Right
When commenting on someone else's post, you can do three things:
  • you can “like” it – which simply shows the poster that you liked what they posted or
  • you can “comment” – and leave a message
  • you can “share” it – so you can share it to your timeline (profile) or you can share it to someone elses profile
Here's how to do these things right - plus two more tips for mastering your facebook strategy.

One. A Short Word about Liking Posts
Way to dip your toe in, add to the conversation or possibly grow your friends.

Social media marketing opportunities: as you can see, if you are are one of the ones that shows up as “liking” it, you may get someone to click through and ask you to be a friend. What you WILL do is let the poster know you care about what they posted!

Two. A Longer Word about Commenting Posts
 So now you are ready to move onto commenting and ZAP, you seize up, not knowing what to say. Commenting will mean that OTHER people will see what you are saying. SERIOUSLY, you cannot go wrong if you leave a genuine comment about something you have read, seen or watched.
A post comment will show up on THEIR timeline, but not yours very often.  

Social marketing opportunities: you can build relationships by leaving a shorter, more basic comment or possibly add new friends who see how insightful you are because of your comments!

Examples of basic comments (okay, here is a HUGE list of comments I pulled from the facebook, some are mine, some are my friends, modify them to suit your life/industry)
  • I was curious about that as well!
  • Yikes!
  • It’s totally awesome!
  • Aw what a great way to start my day!!
  • ditto!
  • Great seeing you today!!
  • that sounds amazing!
  • Miss You!
  • love the new profile pic!!:)
  • makes for a good weekend!
  • HappYness
More advanced comments
  • LOL..exactly…I don’t read the instructions…they are made to confuse you. I count the pieces and then throw the instructions out..
  • I agree with Suzie…time for a visit to Colorado!!
  • I have heard, more than once, that Marilyn was a size 12! YAY!
  • This will be a great event! Go and have some fun!
  • He did a lot, must have believed what he said.
  • Good photo to put with your ‘Beware of Dog’ sign…looks very convincing!
  • One of the Best books I ever read was “Failing Forward” by John Maxwell. States the same thing:)
 Social media marketing opportunities: this is a way to join the conversation and share something a little more about yourself. Could be that someone who read John Maxwell’s book would like the fellow who posted that comment because they share a mentor. This is a way to build relationships with people who have posted something and which you respond to.

Three.  Sharing Something On YOUR Wall
If you find something SO good that you want to share it with your friends or fans, you can share it to your wall. Because you are posting on your own timeline, it is a free for all! You can comment on it however you wish, and you get extra credit if you use the @ sign to acknowledge the original poster (so I put @Deborah Ward and it made a hyperlink to her profile). 

Social media marketing opportunities: sharing something someone else posted is a GREAT way to gain social capital. This shows that you liked them and their “stuff” enough to share it with your peeps. I share a lot of charity pleas, daddy’s who want people to vote for their kids things and inspirational things. Sharing instead of just copying and posting shows that you recognize where it came from first, as Martha says, a very good thing!

Four.  Sharing (or Posting) To Someone Else’s Wall
DANGER WILL ROBINSON, DANGER! Posting something on someone else’s wall should be done judiciously! This is like going over to their house and sticking a sign in their yard without their permission.  

Social media marketing opportunities: there are NO social media marketing opportunities for sharing on someone else’s wall. That is their world and you should only post things that you think will add to their lives. 

Five. Direct Messaging
This is a little different than commenting, but I think it needs to be addressed. Being able to send whatever you want to another person and no one else will see it is a powerful action. Two things to remember about this:
  • They are not sitting on the Facebook, waiting for you to send them a marketing message
  • They can copy and paste it to anywhere they like so it is not actually private
Direct messaging is not for selling. It is still for growing relationships and starting a conversation. So you could say, “thanks for the great post today, could I share it with my team”. This will open up the door to them asking, a team of who or they will say “sure”! They might ask about your business and what you do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Strangest Places for A Bird to Make it's Nest

Today - with spring in full swing - we wanted to take time out of our normal busy business day and "smell the roses" so to speak.  Here is a photo gallery of the strangest places birds make their nests to raise their young.

We hope you enjoy this nice change of pace from the usual hustle and bustle of life!

Traffic Light

Kitchen Light Fixture

Wheel Well of EMS Vehicle

Soldiers Engine - Safe and Warm?!?!

Front Porch Planter Box

Front Door Wreath - Very Homey!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Become a Top Producing Commercial Real Estate Agent

Story today by guest writer Daniel Dee - this article was originally written for Go Articles..  Daniel Dee is a commercial realtor in Albany, Oregon.  For more articles like this, please visit our For Realtors Only page on The Murray Group website.  As Always -go out and make it a great day! 

Commercial real estate is a funny animal. You have the agents who starve and on the other side you have agents who make millions of dollars. The truth is that there is no secrets, hard work is key.

But there are, certain tips you can follow over a 12 month period, to greatly increase the chances of you becoming a top producing commercial real estate agent.

In this article, I'm going to cover 3 big tips I have learned throughout the years. They are not revolutionary
in any way, but they do allow you to leverage proven principles in building your commercial business.

First, above everything else you have to prospect everyday...No matter what!

Zig Ziglar says this about prospecting, "Prospecting is like taking a bath, if you don't do it everyday you'll stink."

As you do it everyday the better you get at it. The better you get at it, the more business you will generate. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

If you are having a hard time getting into the mood of prospecting, try to examine why you don't do it
as frequently. Are you living in fear, do you not know what to do, who to contact, or what to say?

When you are able to identify the main obstacle you are having, you can then immediately start looking for answers.

Word of warning: If do not prospect, you will never become a top producer. Start the habit today!

Second, learn to network effectively.

Yes, I know everybody networks...Supposedly.

The truth is only top producers network effectively. And when I say effectively, I mean make money with it.
The whole point of networking, is to collect names and contacts of people who might know people you want to know.

Here is what I mean:
As a commercial real estate agent, who is your ideal prospect?

People looking to buy/lease commercial properties. Who do these people usually have contact with, or do business with on a regular basis?

Business Attorneys, come to mind right away. Simply because they deal with business owners on a daily basis.

What you do then, is collect names of business attorneys or ask someone if they know of a good business attorney. After that just pick up the phone and ask them to a cup of coffee, offering them a mutually beneficial networking relationship.

Third, be overly consistent!

Notice, I said overly...

In this industry, your word is what people have, so don't use it loosely. Be on time, don't over promise and when you make a mistake...Own up to it!

Consistency also means that you are always following up. In commercial real estate, someone might
say NO to you today, but it doesn't mean no forever. It just means, not right now!

Many agents miss-interpret that and they find themselves with no one to prospect 3yrs into their career.
When in reality, they should be contacting all the people they met in their first year of doing business.

Becoming a top producing commercial real estate agent is very simple. But its not easy, you have to be
willing to get up every day and perform. But, if you are going to get out of bed shouldn't you get paid?
I hope my tips will help you on your path to becoming a superstar in this field.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

67% of Home Sellers More Likely to Choose an Agent that Uses A Mobile Marketing Plan

Many Realtors may be fortunate to be with a large brand that provides mobile apps as part of their marketing package.  But what if you are an independent agent or work with a very small brand or local agency?  Are you missing out on the world of mobile apps thinking it is cost prohibitive?

According to a recent study of potential home sellers conducted by Philadelphia based research firm Devine and Powers, 49% of respondents said they would be more likely to use an agent who offered a mobile solution as part of their marketing plan, while 67% said it would be a major deciding factor in choosing a Realtor. 

We scoured the internet and have found several resources for affordable realtor mobile apps and mobile sites.  Here's our list, and i am sure there are more. If you know of a good one that we didn't list - please post in the comment field and share with us!

1. FLIKMO Real Estate Mobile Apps and Mobile Sites
Benefits: Easy to use, quick set up with each prooperty taking less than one minute to set up and risk free - month to month no long term contracts. 

Carriers Supported: AT&T, T-Mobile®, Sprint, Alltel, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, Dobson, US Cellular, Nextel

About: Mobile programs are one of the most effective marketing solutions real estate agents and companies. There's no better way to get listing information to a potential buyer than allowing those individuals to text in an address or keyword when driving by a 'for sale' property.  Other effective real estate tools include:
  • Keep your client list updated on new listings
  • Send new listing updates in the form of virtual video tours and slideshows
  • Include Text-to info on your promotional and marketing materials
  • Property location / Drive-by solutions

2.  (this is a listing access app - not a personal app for your site or listings)
About: The app is a real estate app for your smart phone and tablet. Whether you prefer Apple, Android or Windows, the same real estate listings from are available at your fingertips and on the go for over 3 million homes for sale, rentals, and millions more property records and other types of real estate. The real estate app is also free so that you are free to find the real estate information you need whenever and wherever you need it. 

3.  The Murray Group offers marketing support for our realtor partners.
Yes, we are a mortgage brokerage first - but we know the value of offering our agents more support to help them grow their business.  Drop Chris Murray an email today to learn about our mobile marketing, text messaging with call capture, HD galleries, property widgets, single property websites, social networking and other great marketing support.

Monday, April 9, 2012

House Hunters Show Featured Raleigh and Wake Forest NC Properties

Did anyone see the House Hunters episode that aired April 6th?  

Three homes in the Triangle were showcased on HGTV’s popular House Hunter television series! The episode featured an Iraq War veteran and his German-born wife searching for their first home.

The show was filmed over five days, and Raleigh real estate agent Angie Cole took the couple across Wake County.  They toured several residential communities before narrowing their choices down to two homes in Raleigh and one in Wake Forest.  The show pits a bit of controversy between husband and wife - he wants to live in the suburbs, but she prefers an older home in the Raleigh downtown area as all their friends are in that area.  They have a small son so a yard is important to them. 

In the end, you can probably guess who wins the argument - the wife! Don't worry if you missed it - the show will probably air again as re-runs - as most episodes do.

Cole, a buyer specialist with the Rachel Kendall Team of Keller Williams Realty in Raleigh, has been selling houses in the Triangle for about four years and says she is scheduled to shoot another episode of House Hunters that will air later this year.  

Be sure to check out Rachel's Light Hearted News page for more fun news - which we can all use these days!

Thanks for the fun topic for today Angie and Rachel.  Enjoy your week everyone - spring sales are in full swing.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Tagline? What’s That?

We hope this article helps you if you are re-branding your image or considering doing so.  (Tags support the brand, but they are just a portion of "Brand")

If you would like a complimentary copy of our "Branding Tip for Realtors", please email me and I will be happy to send you a digital copy. 
Happy Easter to Everyone from The Murray Group

You know, a catchy slogan that’s easy to remember.  The line that is always near the company's logo...
Example:  Allstate Insurance for years used - "You're in Good Hands..."

As a Realtor, Why would I need one of those?
So visitors to your site can ‘get’ what you’re all about in four seconds (sometimes you may get 7 or 8 seconds...).  Every business needs a good tag line.

The philosophy goes like this: It’s not called an Internet “browser” for nothing. Because of the nature of the web, you’re competing for the right eyeballs against an almost constant search for something better. If the audience isn't digging what you've got in four seconds (and definitely no more than the magic ten), they’re gone and there’s not much chance they’re coming back. 

So what do people look at when they show up without knowing much about you? Your brand, your logo, your design, and as much text as it takes to know that you’ve got what it takes to hold their attention. They want you to stand out from the crowd, to speak to them in a way pushes your competitors into the background. Which is where that tagline comes in.

What you Want Your Tagline to Say
Your tagline should be a phrase that sums up what your business offers to people, should include the one thing that sets you apart the most from others.  More importantly, your tag must appeal to the emotions of the reader. 

Shorter is Not Always Better
The longer your slogan or tagline, the more options you have, and the more conversational and human it can be. Of course, you can take this notion too far. There’s a big difference between a phrase and a sentence, and you definitely don’t want your tagline to seem like a paragraph.

Warning! Keep the buzz words out
Buzz words are the work of lazy writers and lazy is definitely not something you want associated with your company or brand.
  Steer clear of buzz words like if you want to give that fast moving internet audience a reason not to click the back button.

What is your Competition Doing? 
There are numerous ways to screw up a real estate tagline.  Unoriginal or lenghty taglines can clutter your information package and distract your clients.  Many real estate professionals spend hours and hours working on the taglines and add all different types of fonts and colors.  At the end of the day their tagline looks tacky and can really hurt the overall presentation.  When creating real estate taglines for your properties make sure you keep it simple.  The saying less is more can be applied to this situation. Also keep in mind the competition that you will be against. They will use overused phrases like “good deal” “great location” “reduced price”.  Be different.

Your Name
Now obviously, don't flat out lie and say the location is great and the its a wonderful neighborhood when really the place is smack in the middle of the ghetto.  But use your expertise and brainstorm ideas.  Ask yourself if you are only allowed to say three or four sentences to sell the property which ones would you use. This will train you to focus really hard on the sellable aspects of the deal.

Examples of Not-so-Good Tag Lines Used by Actual Realtors (around the U.S.)

We are Buying and Selling NOW! – (Really Isnt That Your Job?)
Our Job is Find You The Best Home - (Yep It Sure Is.)
We are TOP Notch! – (Care to explain this a little more?)
Successfully selling Home for 30 Years – (Okay well this one has some experience to it, but still defining  “successfully” is subjective)
A Realtor For the People – (As opposed to what, against the people?)

Now Here are Few Ones That We Found That Were Good:
Bringing Knowledge and Expertise to The Market
We Understand The Market Better Then Anyone
Let Us Bring Value To You
Make The Right Choice For Your Family
A Track Record Of Great Results
Making Your Dream House A Reality

 Remember, you get 4 seconds to grab a prospect's attention.  Or they are on to the next realtor's site... 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Did Obama Do Enough to Stabalize the Housing Market

Today's article is reprinted with permission from CNNMoney.  The original article was run on their site in January 2012.  Meanwhile, the Raleigh Market is showing signs of improvement, and overall we were not hit as hard as the nation's other largest cities.  Contact The Murray Group now for pre-approval on a new loan.

The president's efforts to revive the housing market have largely failed. But is that entirely Obama's fault?
Experts say there wasn't much Obama could have done.
market was in far worse shape than anyone knew."

Obama took office in 2009, promising swift action to address the mortgage crisis. He quickly unveiled his signature foreclosure prevention program, known as HAMP, and his refinance program, known as HARP.
But the HAMP program, which was designed to lower troubled borrowers' mortgage rates to no more than 31% of their monthly income, ran into problems almost immediately. Many lenders lost documents, and many borrowers didn't qualify. Three years later, it has helped a scant 910,000 homeowners -- a far cry from the promised 4 million.

HARP, which was intended to reach 5 million borrowers, has yielded about the same results. Through October, when it was revamped and expanded, the program had assisted 962,000.
Meanwhile, more than 3.5 million people remain behind in their mortgage payments and more than 1.9 million homes are in foreclosure. And home prices have fallen for six months straight.

One of the main problems with Obama's foreclosure prevention program was that the housing crisis had already spiraled beyond unaffordable mortgage rates. Homeowners were defaulting because they didn't have jobs -- and the administration's effort did little to help them.

In response, Obama rolled out a multitude of initiatives designed to help the underwater and the unemployed. But few of them have had much impact.

"He focused his gun in the wrong place," said Anthony Sanders, a real estate finance professor at George Mason University. "The administration's approach is to kick the can down the road. That doesn't lead to a recovery and just strings the problem along."

See Entire Article on CNN Money

Monday, April 2, 2012

How to Get the Most Showings for Your Listings

The following advice comes from various realtors around the country via Trulia.   We are gathering them here as a resource for our local realtors - we believe it is always good to see/hear what other agents are recommending.  We hope these tips help and best of luck selling your client's homes. 

If you have a client who is ready for pre-qualifying - please contact the Murray Group today.

Realtor One - Dallas TX
When I list a home, I would hope to have at least 5-8 showings in the first 2 weeks. If I have less than that, I will check with other agents who have similarly priced listings, and see if they have gotten showings - it might just be a slow period, so I'd want to look into that possibility.

I also ask the agents who have come to my broker open house whether thy have any potential buyers to gauge what the activity level might be.

You will (or should) get the most flurry of activity in the first 2 weeks.............after that, it will slow down a bit, but I would hope there would be a few showings at least every week or two.

If, after 2 weeks however, we have had no showings, and indications are that there are buyers out there in that price range, I will speak to my seller (actually, we will have already planned for this when we listed)...and discuss our strategy moving forward.

If, after 30 days there were no showings, a reduction would be my strong suggestion.  

Realtor Two - Orlando Florida
There are several factors that are typically good indicators if your home is reasonably PRICED, in a desirable LOCATION, and in move-in CONDITION.
a. The first couple of weeks of your listing is the most critical; don't list until your home is show-ready and the marketing plan is in place.
b. Most show-ready homes are viewed several times within the first couple of weeks before the number of showings decrease. Feedback? This is so important. You can't fix something or change a price if you don't have feedback.
c. If you have not received any showings and the weather is decent, revisit comparable home sales within your immediate area. How does your home compare? How are you marketing your home? Would you be interested in seeing your home if you were a buyer? 

Realtor Three - Surfside Beach, SC 
You will likely find the first few weeks are going to get you the most showings so everything has to be picture perfect. Price your home to sell. I often have clients that say that they are willing to sell much lower then what they want to list their home. Get a good CMA of homes in your neighborhood, with similar features and see what has sold and how many days on the market. If you have a good deal of showings and not any offers there is a reason that your home is being passed by. Be patient, days on the market are longer then before and more homes for clients to see. You are just looking for that one buyer so be ready when they show up at your door.

Realtor Three - Richmond Va
there is no real magic number, however you do tend to know when you are priced wrong because the showings just aren't there. In this market, buyers are afraid of over paying and often will simply skip a home if they believe the price is too far above market.

If you are getting consistent showings that's a good sign. There is simple a lot of inventory on the the market right now, and buyers have many options and are in no rush to pull the trigger "So to Speak!"

Realtor Four - Boise, ID
There really is no "magical" average number of showings, as it is dependent upon the number of buyers for the category your house falls into...

If you are getting showings, be sure to ask your agent to share the "feedback" from each of the Buyers with you. Listen to that feedback, as it may relate to price or condition of the property. This will help you adjust one way or another to get your property sold!

What is your biggest challenge when listing a new home?