Listing Courtesy of PATTERSON SCHWARTZ ASSOCIATES
In case you set your alarm clock to go off when it was time to buy a home, that clang you may be hearing from somewhere in the distance could be it (figuratively speaking, of course). The reason has to do with the direction of Lewes mortgage rates (among others).
Now, I realize this could come across a little bit like Aesop’s boy who cried ‘Wolf’ since a year and a half ago the experts were unanimous in predicting that mortgage rates would rise throughout 2014 (to at least 5%, if I remember correctly). And not only did they not jump—after a short rise, they actually fell!
The experts were wrong. To the extent I agreed with their call, I was, too—but at least I wasn’t lonely. And I also try to be clear that predicting the future of any financial movement is never a sure thing. The same is true today…but…
Last week, less than a week after the Federal Reserve monetary policymakers emerged from their meeting, Bankrate web commentator Janna Herron published a view that sent alarm bells ringing in my head. It makes so much sense, I feel compelled to share it. Already publicized in the rest of the media was the announcement that 15 of the 17 Fed officials now agree that they expect to raise the federal funds rate at some point within the next 6 months (and one expert was quoted as expecting that as early as September or October). Fifteen out of 17 is a 88% majority, so it couldn’t get much clearer. The funds rate has been cemented to the ground at precisely zero for almost seven years. Since 2008.
Lewes mortgage rates are based upon that Fed funds rate. When it rises, mortgage rates have to rise, or lenders would have to be reclassified as charitable enterprises (not likely). The reasons given for the Fed governors’ near-unanimous prediction are both the rise in the pace of job gains and, as was reported, “The Fed also noted improvement in housing.”
Now, that news may have prompted Lewes mortgage-rate watchers to sit up and take notice—but not necessarily have them hearing alarm bells going off. But there were two other pieces of information:
· First, the current national mortgage rates reported last week rose. They were pegged at just over the 52-week average for 30-year fixed loans, but at 4.13% it remained below the 4.33% of a year before. In other words, still (perhaps momentarily) in the historically basement-level range.
· Second, new mortgage activity began to rise, moving 1.6% up from a week before. Applications had been dropping, but now they were on the move. This while home builder confidence levels soared, with expectations hitting the highest levels in nearly a decade.
As with any batch of economic numbers, the signs can be interpreted in multiple ways, but one way sure does seem to stand out: mortgage rates are attractive now, housing activity is almost certainly on the rise, and mortgage rates and monthly payments are very likely to become more expensive. The same thought may be occurring to more and more people as we enter the summer home-buying season: “What if I could pay less every month for the same home…for the next 30 years…”
Note to Lewes home-buyers. Listen carefully: that could be the sound of your own alarm bell going off! If you think you hear it, now would be a great time to give me a Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com
It’s true of any commercial offering: sometimes a perfectly saleable item doesn’t move off the shelves as rapidly as predicted. Real estate is no exception—not every Lewes home is sold as quickly as its owner and the property’s Realtor® wish. When that happens, and the term of the original listing expires, an important decision must be made: should the listing be renewed, or should another Lewes Realtor be enlisted to try a different approach?
If you have been dissatisfied with the amount of effort your current Lewes Realtor has demonstrated up to now, the decision will be easier than otherwise—especially if you have already communicated your impression and been less than overwhelmed by the response. You are right to expect that your Lewes Realtor will have posted attractive, accurate listing material for the MLS, has included your property in the advertising program that goes out to the community, and has been diligent and professional in showings and (if it was agreed upon) open house presentations. You should have been able to contact her or him within a reasonable amount of time when communications were called for, been satisfied by the punctuality of appointments when scheduled.
If performance in any of these basics has been unsatisfactory, it’s entirely reasonable to entertain a change in representation. On the other hand, if your Realtor has not disappointed in any dimension, you are left in a problematical situation—one which has no clear-cut solution. Whether or not your inclination is to stick with the team in place, to make the right decision you need more information. The best guidance is—get it!
· Before you decide whether or not to extend the relationship, ask your agent to review the days on market (DOM) for similar nearby Lewes properties. An analysis will show whether yours is the only slow-moving property, or whether it has simply hit a lull in neighborhood activity.
· Ask yourself whether you have paid attention to the suggestions offered by your current Realtor. If you have chosen to bypass any of them, this could be an appropriate point at which to reappraise.
· If you have had many showings with few offers forthcoming, it’s a pretty good sign that your asking price is higher than prospective buyers believe is justified. If that’s the case, changing Realtors alone isn’t likely to have the desired effect. You’ll need to fix whatever problems visitors are seeing…or else lower the price.
If a hard-headed analysis tells you that switching Lewes Realtors is warranted, don’t worry too much about the reaction you will get. Most Realtors are very professional; they know that clients do occasionally change representation for a number of reasons, and that hard feelings are simply not warranted. Be ready to interview several agents and to compare what they offer. Pay extra attention to how they propose to stimulate activity—you are well-positioned to appraise their ideas!
For my clients, in addition to an energetic marketing approach, I put a premium on keeping the highest quality communications flowing at all times. Give me a call whenever you have a Lewes real estate query! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.