Thursday, January 31, 2013

Seller's Market

So much for Seattle's housing slump. It's a sellers' market these days.
According to, metro home values rose 6.5 percent in the past year and are expected to rise another 4.6 percent this year. You can thank low interest rates and rising home values. Full Article

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

House Hunting Season

Nationally, the peak months of search activity are March and April. After a slight dip in May, there’s a second peak in the summer months of June and July. As the year ends, search activity drops off. December is the slowest month, followed by November. At the state level, though, the peak month for search activity ranges from as early as January to as late as August. Full Article

MySecretAgent has seen the same trend for "FSBO" sellers. The busiest months for selling for sale by owner are February- September. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

For Sale By Owner Video

What does "selling by owner" mean? It can mean many things but when selling through a brokerage like MySecretAgent it means the seller acts as there own listing agent. 

MySecretAgent, a leading For Sale By Owner “FSBO” brokerage, will list a home on the MLS, giving sellers Internet exposure to local and national websites. Sellers have the option of receiving all the listing tools that a traditional agent would offer, such as a key box, Comparative Market Analysis - CMA, yard sign, directional signs, open hose signs, etc. Our for sale by owner listing services allows sellers to be in control of their listing, show the home, and negotiate the price, besides, who knows a home better than the seller?

Here is a video on our for sale by owner services. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cost To Sell A Home In Seattle

How much does it cost to sell a home in Seattle? A LOT less expensive using a service like MySecretAgent!

Typically a seller has to pay about 6% of the sales price plus closing costs (we will go over that later). That percentage is split between the listing agent and the buyer's agent. Listing your home with a discounted service gives you a major advantage as you only have to pay a buyer's agent commission.

As a seller you will have to pay for closing costs that include:

  • Washington State Excise tax of 1.78%. This is the second largest cost next to the real estate commission.
  •  Half the escrow transaction fee which is based on the sales price of the home.  The escrow fee for a $450K house is $1400 total.The seller would be responsible for $700
  • Title Insurance to the buyer, this too is based on the sales price. For example, a $450K house is upwards of $1120 total.
  • Remaining balances of loans that are on the house, plus any pre-payment penalties if any apply. 
  • Utility Payoff. This depends on what you owe to all the utility companies that are linked to the home. This can range from $0 to whatever is owed. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekly Round-Up

I hope everyone had a wonderful week! Below are the latest MySecretAgent listings. Click on the address for more info. We also had several homes close this week. One of our listings had three full price offers within less then 24 hours of being listed!

If you have any questions on how to list or how much you can save listing with MySecretAgent give us a call, 800-915-9174.

MLS# 440862, Potential savings over $3500

MLS# 440406, Potential savings over $15,700
**Sold within a day of being listed with MySecretAgent**

MLS# 440153, Potential savings over $12,300

MLS# 441285, Potential savings over $10,000

Have a great weekend!

-MySecretAgent Team

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Price a Home to Sell Fast

  • Don't make it personal: The moment you put your home on the market stop referring it as "my home." This will put some emotional distance between you and the house. Refer it as " the home" or " the property". 
  • Tour the neighborhood: Check out your competition by touring homes within a mile radius of you. See how they show, what they are priced at and what makes your home stand out from the others. This is a huge advantage to selling your home- you want to know what is on the market and why your home is better. 
  • Follow the comps: Your home is only worth what someone else is willing to pay. Comps are a great place to start when pricing your home because it shows in black and white what buyers are actually paying in your area. 
  • Put it on the market: The first two weeks on the market will tell you a lot. If you have ample activity of agents and buyers looking but no offers you are probably priced too high. 
  • Back it up: If you have made too many price changes or haven't had much activity take it off the market. Ask your agent how long you have to wait to re-list it as a "new listing. Make sure to re-list with everything you learned about your market correct the first time. The first impression of a listing is very important. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Signs the Market is Recovering Fast

  1. Listing Prices and Rents jumped 5% from last year
  2. Mortgage Rules Got a Renovation: The new guidelines show that banks and the government are working out their differences to create a safer, more secure environment for homeowner hopefuls.
  3.  Delinquency and Foreclosures Are at Record Lows: These stats are good news for buyer’s agents whose clients and prospects need a boost of confidence.
  4. 93% of Millenials Plan to Buy: This is good news for an industry that’s suffered from years of skittish home shoppers and a lot of talk about home buying no longer being a part of the American Dream.
  5. Investors Rush In: Another sign that we’re on the way to a high-paced recovery is that investors are making major moves to capitalize on today’s opportunity.
Full Article

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top 10 Predictions for 2013

RE/MAX co-founder and chairman Dave Liniger says he expects the national housing market’s rebound in 2012 to not only continue into 2013, but he also thinks the year could be the best the industry has seen in a very long time. Full Article

Liniger’s Top 10 Real Estate Predictions for 2013
1. With more pent up demand, more homebuyers and sellers are expected to enter the market.
2. Homes sales will rise by 6-7 percent, and prices will rise by 3-4 percent.
3. The inventory of homes for sale will hit a bottom. More homes will be on the market from homeowners whose equity has increased and from lenders who are foreclosing more efficiently.
4. Higher priced homes will begin to sell.
5. Distressed property numbers will bottom out. “We will be dealing with a significant number of distressed properties for a few more years, but the numbers should start retreating to more traditional levels in 2013,” Liniger said.
6. Shadow inventory will continue to fall. Liniger explained shadow inventory has already fallen 12 percent from 2011.
7. The number of short sale closings will rise to a peak.
8. Record low mortgage rates will rise slightly by year-end. Although they will remain near their historic lows, Liniger says rates may start to inch up towards the end of year.
9. Lending will remain tight was Liniger’s one negative prediction. “Due to increased government regulation and the soon to be established provisions of Dodd-Frank, lenders will be compelled to keep standards tight,” he said.
10. Home affordability will remain the best in years, bringing more buyers into the market.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tips to Save on Energy Bill

With the cold winter months we are cranking up with heater to keep warm. Here are a few tips to save on energy and money. Full Article

Put Lamps in the Corner: When a lamp is placed in a corner, the light reflects off the adjoining walls, which makes the room lighter and brighter. 

Switch to a Laptop: A laptop uses 1/3 less energy than a desktop computer. 

Choose an LCD TV: If you’re among those considering a flat-screen upgrade from your conventional, CRT TV, choose an LCD screen for the biggest energy save. 

You can find more tips here.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekly Round-Up

This week has flown by with all the listing, offers and negotiations. Here are the newest listings of the week. Click on the address for more info.

If you have any questions on how to list or how much you can save listing with MySecretAgent give us a call, 800-915-9174.

5346 Sparta Lp, Salem OR
MLS# 13664925 Potential savings over $10,000! 

MLS# 13081451 Potential savings over $10,000! 

MLS# 437774 Potential savings over $7,700! 

MLS# 436972 Potential savings over $8,600! 

Have a great weekend!

-MySecretAgent Team

Real Estate's Magic Words

The right phrasing in real-estate listings can speed a sale and even boost the final price. Can you believe that using the word "beautiful" to describe your home can add 15% to the selling price! Homes that are described as “good-value” sold for 5% less than average. Listings praising the “landscaping” sell 20% faster and homes in “move in condition” are sold 12% faster. 

When making a listing make sure the marketing remarks you use are well written and describes the positive aspects of the home in an affective manner. A good rule-of-thumb to live by is the listing language should be extravagant in order to stir up desire to see the home and showcase the features the buyer is interested in rather than your motivations for wanting to sell.

Using "magic words" to describe your home is key. When describing how wonderful and beautiful your listing is making sure to highlight the features your home has to offer.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Home Owner's Guide to Taxes

Tax season can be a real pain in the wallet, but if you're a home owner, tax deductions and credits can lessen the blow. We'll help you find all the opportunities to maximize your return. Full Article

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

5 Tips for Marketing Your Home in Winter

1. Remove snow and ice.
If a buyer can’t easily park and access your property, it won’t sell.  Shovel, salt,  and tidy your walkway and driveway on a daily basis. If the home is vacant or you don’t have time, hire someone to do this on your behalf.
2. Create a warm atmosphere — and turn on the heat.
If you know a buyer is coming through, turn up the thermostat. It’s tempting to skim on heat to save a few pennies, but buyers who come in and aren’t comfortable (aka: cold) won’t stay long. To create additional ambiance during an open house, throw a log on the fire or turn on the gas fireplace.
3. Light it up.
Use timers and technology to your advantage to make the home feel lived in. Install motion sensors to light up a driveway in the evening, and program indoor lamps to automatically turn lights on in the evenings. Another trick to create an instant mood is to tune the radio to the local classical station. The soft music is welcoming and soothing to buyers.
4. Limit seasonal decorations.
When it comes to decorating, there’s a fine line between festive and tacky. A few tasteful winter wreaths and dried arrangements are OK, but an inflatable Santa in the yard mid-February is not. Decorating not your thing? Hire a home stager and remember the golden rule, “less is more.”
5. Showcase seasonal listing photos
Since buyers won’t be able to fully appreciate your  landscaping or outdoor pool during the winter, show them an album of photographs taken during the warm months  when everything is in full bloom and the pool looks enticing. If all your listing photos are taken during the snowy winter months, swap them out with a fresh set come spring.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Housing Trends That Can Turn Into Cash

Growth, increase, jump – These and many other positive terms are being attached with the 2013 housing climate. And whle conversations about the good “vibes” in the market are great, the more meaningful chatter is about how to capitalize on this long awaited opportunity and turn the upward trends into real cash. Full Article