What 2014 Homebuyers Need-To-Know to WIN in a Sizziling Seller’s Market like The Woodlands, Texas

2013 Record Breaking Home Sales in The Woodlands TX

2013 will go down as the most sizzling Seller’s Market on record.  2014 will trump 2013 with new record breaking activity, challenge and triumph.

The prepared buyer will WIN. We’d like to help you WIN.

Here’s the situation.

Real estate economists tell us that six months supply of available For Sale Listing Inventory  represents a balanced real estate market.  Take a look at the Months Supply Of Inventory picture below.

The Woodlands Month Supply Of Inventory on December 28th, 2013

Homes are selling fast too.

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 1.59.27 PM

Here’s Six Tips For Finding the best property for you and yours  in a sizzling Seller’s Market.

Tip #1:  First-To-Know Lighting Alerts 

When selection is thin and swift selling, being the First-To-Know about hot new inventory is an advantage for you.

Here’s how First-To-Know Lighting Alerts work.  Tell us everything you’re looking for in your new home (style, design, location, amenities, schools, etc.). We condense your needs into a concise Buyer-Needs profile (protecting your identity and private information) and program our software to math your buyer-needs to fire off an instant alert heart beats after if appears on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Your instant alerts include photos and detailed property information sent directly to your email inbox.  The service is free.  To get your personalized First-To-Know Lighting Alerts delivered directly to your email box contact your favorite Gary Green Pro at 281-367-3531.

 Tip #2:  Pocket Listings and Private Sales

We’re seeing off-the-MLS-radar properties selling via Pocket Listing whisper campaigns and real estate agent grapevine networks. Knowing about private off-MLS listing inventory is an advantage for you.

Here’s how Pocket Listings work.  Prior to mass marketing via the MLS, Pocket Listings are privately promoted by the listing agent to a network of select agents via email broadcast, text message, phone calls and personal conversations.  When a match is made private viewing appointments are conveniently coordinated , offers are negotiated, contracts are signed, escrow opened and everyone proceeds smiling to closing.  Welcome to the neighborhood.:-)

Also, we exchange Pocket Listing, Private Sale and Coming Soon properties via our Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene company wide online bulletin board, which connects over eight hundred pro real estate agents throughout the Greater Houston Area.

Using First-To-Know- Lightning Alerts and plugging yourself into the Coming Soon and Pocket Listings property information network will help you find out about hot new listings inventory before your less informed and unconnected home buying competitors.

If you’d like more information about how to tap into the Pocket Listing agent network contact your favorite Gary Greene agent directly or call them at the office: 281-367-3531.

Tip #3: Buyer-Needs Network Strategy

This strategy is sort of like the Pocket Listing Strategy for sellers, except it works for Buyers.  Do you see a pattern developing?  One of the keys to your success is tapping into a pool of available inventory that is unknown to the disconnected.

Here’s how the Buyer-Needs Network Strategy works.  Tell us everything you’re looking for in your new home (style, design, location, amenities, schools, etc.). We condense your needs into a concise Buyer-Needs profile (protecting your identity and private information) and broadcast your Buyer-Needs request to top performing listing agents who may have Pocket Listing inventory, private sale opportunities and ”Coming Soon” listings that match what you’re looking for. Buyer-Needs are broadcast via eMail, text message, phone calls, personal conversations. Also, we exchange Buyer-Needs via our Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene company wide online bulletin board, which connects over eight hundred pro real estate agents throughout the Greater Houston Area.

Using the Lightning Alert and Buyer-Needs Network Strategies will help you find out about hot new listings inventory before your less informed and unconnected home buying competitors. To discuss how to get started and tap into insider information, contact your trusted Gary Greene agent directly or call them at the office: 281-367-3531.

Five Tips On How to write a winning offers in sizzling seller’s market.

Congratulations.  Now that you’ve found the best property for you and yours, you’ve won half the battle.  The next challenge to be conquered is submitting a winning offer.  We’ve helped thousands of buyers win in multiple offers and other competitive situations.  As a result, we know what works and what flops.  Here’s a list of proven tips to help you and yours write a winning offer.

Tip One: Understand The Market.  See What The Seller Is Seeing:

Low inventory.

Rising prices.

Multiple offers.

Fast sales.

Construction cranes everywhere.

Daily news about how awesome the local real estate market economy.

Thousands of qualified homebuyers moving to the area.

Tip Two:  Move Fast. 

When you find your dream home don’t hem-haw. Be a bullet.  Squeeze the trigger and submit your offer swiftly before competing buyers snatches it from your grasp.

Tip Three:  Don’t Go For The Steal!   Seal The Deal.

Full price and over list price offers are common in this seller’s market. Don’t be embarrassed to offer full price or more when necessary. Keep in mind; your mortgage company will complete a property value appraisal. If the property doesn’t appraise for the contract price you can always bail or renegotiate.

Tip Four:  Stand Out. 

Sweeten the terms of your offer without paying more. Here’s how:

Offer a larger down payment

Make a bigger earnest money deposit.

Amp up the Option Fee

Shorten trigger point deadlines and exit clauses for things like the Option Period and days for financing approval

Provide the seller with written mortgage pre-approval from your lender

Include a flexible and seller friendly closing date

Consider a possible seller lease back

Share a personal letter to the seller sharing a little bit about yourself and your situation sometimes helps the seller choose one bidding buyers offer over the other.

Tip Five:  Repair Realities.  

After your contract is executed you’ll have an opportunity to have the property inspected.  Because you’re not buying a brand new home it’s common to turn up a long or short list of items that aren’t perfect.  Understand that in a seller’s market a seller is less inclined to pay for the repair of cosmetic items.  Have your agent get a bid on the inspection items you’d like to have completed.  If the seller won’t pay for them don’t get angry or take your eyes off your prize, your real estate agent will have the names and numbers of reputable repair and home improvement people who can get the job done for you fast and affordably.   Don’t lose out because the seller won’t make the property perfect or spend a few hundred dollars in cosmetic type repairs.  If you like it, own it.

The bottom line for buyers.

Use these tips and you’ll successfully navigate seller’s market realities with a smile and success.  Good luck, speed and grace.  If we can be helpful contact one of our Pro agents directly or call 281-367-3531.

Note:  Market data provided by Houston Association Of Realtors, Multiple Listings Service.

Fall Festival Fun for my pals in The Woodlands and Houston.


Is Making a Full Price Offer Stupid or Savvy? ( The Woodlands, TX )

About the real estate market in The Woodlands (June 2013)

It’s no secret!  IT IS a Seller’s Market on pharmaceutical grade steroids. Houston in general is the new real estate darling (for sellers) and opportunity mecca for everyone.  You can read all newsworthy buzz HERE.

Real estate economists tell us that six months supply of available For Sale Listing Inventory represents a balanced real estate market.  The smaller the Months Supply Of Inventory the more muscular the Seller’s Market.  Here’s the Months Supply Of Inventory picture.  If six months is balanced, what is one and half months?

Months Supply Of Inventory In The Woodlands TexasHomes are selling fast too.

Average Number Of Days On The Market | The Woodlands | June 2013

So selection inventory is super thin and what comes on the market sells fast, the question is, what’s it going to take for you to become the winning buyer?

What Buyers Need To Know Before Writing A Wining-Offer.

From June 1st to June 28th at 10:05am there have been 229 Sold and Closed Properties in #TheWoodlands. More than 1 in 3 of the 229 homes SOLD at or above List Price. [89 out of 229 or 38.86%]

If you want to WIN you’ll have to be aggressive and smart.  1 in 3 SOLD in less than 7 days. [83 out of 229 or 36.2%]

Of the 229 SOLDS 33 sold over list price and 56 sold at List Price. Offering Full List Price or Above List Price may not be stupid, it’s a winning strategy for many.

Below is snap shot of the six-page list of all The MLS sold and closed homes reported for The Woodlands from June 1st to 28th.  The yellow highlighter shows all the closed sales at list price or above list price.  The pink dots represent closed sales above list price.  If you want to a look at all six pages of oh-my-wow data send me an email or call me CLICK HERE. 

Closed June Sales for The Woodlands

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of today’s market reality here’s a few tips

What Buyers Need To Do To Submit A Winning-Offer.

Home Search, Selection and Inventory:  It’s thin.  When fresh inventory hits the market you’ll want to know about it pronto.  To keep from losing out, have your trusted real estate agent set you up with an email auto-notification based on your unique and specific requirements.  With our new Fusion MLS system when a listing agent enters their shiny new listing data, property photos and information into the MLS system and hits the This-New-Listing-Is-Officially-On-The-Market button, within a few heart beats you will receive an instant email alert.  It doesn’t matter if the new listing goes live at high noon, midnight or anytime in-between  you’ll know about cool, hot new listings that meet your personal criteria before the uninformed and slow-moving tortoise like masses.  Now that you know before your bidding against you home buying competitors everyone else, move swiftly. Stories about hot new listings hitting the market and attracting multiple showings and offers on the first or second day are not exaggerated.  Move fast and you’ll be moving in.  Congratulations!

We’re seeing more and more off the MLS radar inventory sold via jungle drums, whisper campaigns and real estate agent grape vines.  Savvy listing agents prepping a new listing for market and always-on selling agents are exchanging phone calls, texts and emails about upcoming inventory.  We’re seeing many properties sell privately before they hit the MLS mass market.  Ask your trusted real estate agent to bang a drum, send emails to known top listing agents, put a ear to the ground, make some phone calls and see if they can learn about fresh soon-to-be-on-the-market listings before everyone else.

Expectations and Behaviors:  Put yourself in the shoes of a seller.  In a seller’s market what are they seeing,thinking and feeling?

Sellers are smiling, knowing it’s a seller driven market.  Understanding the mindset of the seller and their listing agent will help you and your agent successfully navigate your home buying experience, eliminate lost opportunity, buy at a fair price and move into your new home with a smile too.

When you find your dream home don’t drag your feet, hem or haw.  Hustle pays off.  In this market a tortoise won’t win the race. Be prepared to pull the trigger, be a bullet and submit your offer.

It won’t happen every time, but anticipate competing offers and consider adjusting sweetening (without souring your satisfaction) your offer accordingly.  Values are risings, don’t wring your hands over a few thousand dollars.  Even though mortgage rates are on the riste today’s insanely low mortgage rates make affordability a once in a life time gift.  For every thousand dollars you borrow on a thirty year mortgage your monthly payment will rise a measly six or seven bucks or so.  That means if you and the seller are  ten thousand dollars apart from an agreed up price, you’re really not talking about ten thousand dollars, because you’re financing your purchase you’re really talking about sixty bucks more a month.  Come on now.  What’s the big deal.  If it’s the property for you and yours, make your move.  Remember, odds are if it’s new on the market and it’s an attractive enough property for you to be interested, no doubt other qualified buyers will be attracted too. Those other people are your competition!  Don’t let them drink your milkshake.   You will begin to build equity by owning now, not looking and waiting for deals and steals – they don’t exist.

Don’t be embarrassed, too prideful or penny wise and pound foolish to offer full price.  In this market we are seeing offers submitted at or slightly above list price.  These committed buyers usually walk away with prize.  When you find what you like, it’s fine to end the home search tour and put in an immediate offer. If you like it love it, buy own it. Plus, keep in the mind the mortgage company will complete a property value appraisal. If the property doesn’t appraise for the contract price you can always bail or renegotiate.

Terms Of Purchase:  To hone an edge and stand out in the sellers eyes consider sweetening the terms of your offer.

  • Larger down-payment.
  • Bigger earnest money deposit.
  • Short trigger point deadlines and exit clauses for things like the Option Period and days for financing approval.
  • Provide the seller with written mortgage pre-approval from your lender.
  • Flexible closing date.
  • Possible seller lease back.
  • A personal letter to the seller sharing a little bit about yourself and your situation sometimes helps the seller choose one bidding buyers offer over the other.

Inspections and Repairs:   After your contract is executed you’ll have an opportunity to have the property inspected.  Because you’re not buying a brand new home it’s common to turn up a long or short list of items that aren’t perfect.  Understand accept that in a seller’s market a seller is less inclined to pay for the repair of cosmetic items.  Have your agent get a bid on the inspection items you’d like to have completed.  If the seller won’t pay for them don’t get angry or take your eyes off your prize, your real estate agent will have the names and numbers of reputable repair and home improvement people who can get the job done for you fast and affordably.  Or if you’re a DIY kinda person, go for it.  Don’t lose out because the seller won’t make the property perfect or spend a few hundred dollars in cosmetic type repairs.  If you like it, buy it own it.

The bottom line for buyers.

Use these tips and you’ll successfully navigate today’s new strong-like-bull seller’s market realities with a smile and success.  Good luck, speed and grace.  If we can be helpful – Ken Brand 832-797-1779.

I’m thinking of selling, what about me?

Good news!  You’re in the right place and the right time.  But you can still lose money if you don’t play your cards right and take advantage of today’s Seller’s Market by using some savvy strategy.  Consider THIS.

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Thanks for reading.  Send me text if I can be helpful – Ken Brand 832-797-1779.

Icon Agent Top Performers, April 2013 | Better Homes And Garden Real Estate Gary Greene | The Woodlands and Magnolia Marketing Marketing Centers

It’s official!   In April more people choose our supreme and hardworking team members to help them make a move than any other month in the history of our office and company. Several of our brother and sister offices throughout Houston had world record success and the company has it’s most productive month in our 50 year history.

We’re so fortunate to live in Texas, Houston and of course The Woodlands. Thank you everyone for all your extra efforts and a super-hug to all the people who entrust their real estate futures to us. We promise to BE BETTER on your behalf. Thanks so much.

Real Estate Market Snapshot for The Woodlands TX | February 11, 2013 | 8:18pm

Fact:  It’s A Strong-Like-Bull Seller’s Market.

There’s a mad scramble for fresh salable listing inventory.   Qualified buyers can’t find what they’re looking for.  Available listing inventory is at an all time low.

Getting your property under contract in this market is amateur easy.   Getting your property SOLD for the highest possible price is the pro’s challenge.  Why leave money on the table?  Why lose out on maximizing your hard earned equity?  Thankfully, you don’t have to.

Choose a pro real estate agent backed by a savvy Be-Better Marketing-Action-Plan that can net you thousands of dollars more at the closing table.  

Our Sold Price To List Price Percentage (according to HAR MLS closed sales data) leads the market in seller success.  This means we sell  properties (similar to yours) for higher prices, netting sellers (like you) more money.  

If you’re thinking about selling we’d like to share how our Be-Better Marketing-Action-Plan can help you WIN bigger and net more money at closing too.  

Call, text or eMail me to learn more:  Ken Brand 832-797-1779

Thanks.