Landon Huffer- Texarkana Real Estate Broker

January 2014 Huffer Digest: A Commercial Real Estate Newsletter

January 6, 2014
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January 2014 Huffer Digest: A Commercial Real Estate Newsletter

May 2013 Huffer Digest A Commercial Real Estate Newsletter


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May 2013 Huffer Digest A Commercial Real Estate Newsletter

April 26, 2013
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Check out my latest newsletter.


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Importance of Advertising your House Online

September 7, 2012
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Buyer’s views online, are becoming just as important to you, as a seller, as it is getting a buyer to walk through your front door.  With the large amounts of information provided online buyers are able to determine whether they want to take the next step and view the home or if they want to put the house in their “no pile.”

If your Realtor is not internet savvy or is still set on the old way of using print media to advertise your house you are potentially losing out a lot of buyers.  If your agent does have the home online you need view the major sites (trulia, zillow, and to make sure you are satisfied with the presentation.  Put yourself in the buyers shoes and ask yourself if you would be interested in this house based on the presentation of the house.

The main thing you want to make sure is that your Realtor pays the extra fee to have your house featured online.  This will allow the house to be moved up in searches and will enable your agent to post more pictures and information.  Also, with the featured listing option it is easier for the buyer to find contact information if they do want more information or to schedule a showing.  Some other key things that you want to check for are to make sure the pictures tell the whole story of the house.  The more pictures the better off you are and the better quality of the pictures the better off you are.  Also, you want to make sure your agent puts out all the information about the house.  Do not leave the buyer guessing.  If they have to guess they will just assume the worse and will not proceed any further.

In the past the only way for a buyer to get their information was to call an agent.  That is not the case any more.  Buyer’s do not want to call a Realtor anymore.  In fact if they could get away with it they would not even call us to open the door for them.

With technology the need for up front and useful information is imperative.  If you need any guidance or assistance please let me know.

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ATTN Sellers: Importance of Listing Pictures

July 18, 2012
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The pictures your Realtor takes of your home is the most important responsibility of their job.  The pictures that are taken of your home are everywhere.  Your Realtor will use these pictures in the news paper, trade magazines, and most importantly they will use these pictures on line on hundreds of home searching sites.

Today I want to stress why the pictures of your home can either sell your home or send the buyers running.

The latest National Association of Realtors statistic states that about 90% of home buyers begin their search on line and out of those 90% of buyers almost 100% buy a home they found on line.  In today’s times prospective buyers are doing all they can to find out as much information as possible before they contact a Realtor.  Most of the information they are getting is from the Internet, so it is imperative that as a Realtor we provide the most accurate information and best looking pictures we can.

It upsets me to see some of the pictures that an agent will post of a seller’s home.  They just flat out look bad and in no way would entice me to want to see more.  Buyers are ruling homes out just by pictures.  If your agent does not have good pictures buyers will not ever think of your house again.  The pictures need to be clear, bright, uncluttered, taken with a wide angle lens, and there needs to be as many pictures as possible to give the buyer an insight from all angles.

As a seller if you have not done so I encourage you to google your address and see what the pictures look like of your home.  If they would not entice you to want to see more of the home then buyers will have the same reaction.  Discuss with you agent the importance of pictures and let them know you will be checking them out to make sure they meet your satisfaction.

When I list a home my job is to make sure that a potential buyer does not rule the house out on line.  If a buyer does not want to buy one of my listings that meets their criteria I want it to be because they walked through the door.  I don’t want them to rule it out because of bad pictures, so I take great care with the photos of my homes I have listed.

Remember when buyers are looking on line they are looking for reasons not to look at your house.  They are not looking for reasons to look at your house.  I have found that bad/few pictures will give them that reason they need to reduce the 50 houses they pulled up in their search parameter to about 10 that they want to go see.

For further information on this subject please give me a call or email me.  Thank you.

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Where are all the deals?

June 24, 2011
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I get asked every day where are all the deals?  Buyers are looking for deals and are not finding them.  There are so many buyers that are ready to buy and feel with the market in the condition it is in they should be able to find deals left a right and they are just baffled that it is not happening for them.

When I get a call from a buyer, more times than not they are asking to view foreclosures.  Everyone knows that you can get a deal on a foreclosure, right?  Well, not necessarily anymore.   Everyone remembers the times a couple/few years ago where you could pick a foreclosure up for a deal, but it appears that does not hold true in every situation any more.

My thought on that is the fact that there are a large amount of foreclosures available that banks cannot afford to let the homes go for what we are used to seeing.  The more houses they have the less of a loss they can afford to take.

Banks are holding properties longer in order to get more for the home.  Banks are even fixing homes up to make them look better so that they can get more money for the houses.

Then you have the large amounts of sellers on the market.  Surely they realize this and are willing to sell their property for less, right?  Not necessarily.  In my view many home owners are not in a situation that they have to sell.  Maybe they are retiring, moving up, or moving down and do not have to sell.  This seems to be the case in a lot of situation.

So, where are they deals?  I have seen buyer’s getting “deals” in two types of transactions:  underwater sellers and relocation owned homes.

Buyer’s are being more and more patient everyday.  They are waiting for a deal and unless they can find one they are not buying.  Buyers seem to be buying a good deal or a unique property that has something they cannot find anywhere else.

So, you need to be looking at sellers that are in distress or homes owned by relocation companies.

Homes owned by distressed sellers may even qualify for a short sale.  In this situation the bank will take a loss on the property prior to going into foreclosure.  This helps the bank minimize their losses, the seller avoid foreclosure, and the buyer to get a pretty good deal.

Then you have relocation companies.  These are companies that actually buy out the home owner when they transfer to another location with their job.  They now own the house and have no intentions of keeping the home.  Unlike your regular seller they do not have any emotional ties to the property and are able to deal just based on the numbers.  Their goal is to sell the property as fast as possible, which in some cases means reducing the price drastically.

So, if you are in the market for a new home be sure to ask your agent about distressed homes and homes owned by relocation companies.

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The Importance of Pricing Your Home Right

May 25, 2011
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I cannot stress to you how important pricing your home right is to the success of the sell of your real estate asset quickly and for top dollar. This becomes even more important in the current down market.

Thanks to the internet today’s buyers are more aware, informed, and educated than they once were. Buyers are now able to sit in the comfort of their home and do their own research. They have access to hundreds of web sites. Buyer’s now can search for homes for sell, tax assessment information, they can find out how much you paid for your house, and in some areas they can even see how much your loan balance is, if you are delinquent on your mortgage, and if you are delinquent they can see how many months behind you are.

With all this information at the finger tips of buyers they do not call an agent until they are ready to make an offer. Sometimes they will search for years before they contact an agent. So, when it does come time to start looking buyers already have a good feel for what a particular property is worth.

I understand a seller not wanting to leave money at the table, but a buyer is not even going to inquire on a home they find online if it is over priced. You lost the buyer before you could even get them through the door.

There are more things to consider when selling a house than just the sells price and amount of mortgage left. When pricing your home you should consider how many months you are willing to continue to pay the mortgage. If you overprice your house by as little as $5,000 you could lose that $5,000 in just 2 or 3 months of payments depending on how big your mortgage is. With the average property taking about 6 months from list to close you could be talking about losing thousands.

Sometimes you want to list high and negotiate down. Well once again you are going to lose the buyer before they even call.

You have got to price the house appropriately to have a chance of selling in a reasonable amount of time. Right now buyer’s have more homes to choose from than ever. The market is flooded with properties for sell. What is going to make them look at your overpriced property if there are other properties priced right to choose from?

As a Realtor I have a vast knowledge of property values. I am not a licensed appraiser so I am not able to give an actual market value. But, as a Realtor I have access to sold prices and can give my opinion of value. This opinion of value should be very near what an appraiser would value the property at. It is very important to list at what your agent suggests to list at.

If you are still not comfortable with the number you are given by your agent I recommend obtaining an appraisal. You can get an appraisal for just a few hundred dollars and you will know exactly what your property is worth. That way you know for 100% fact you are getting the most money possible for your property.

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Rates down again

July 15, 2010
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It seems all you hear is bad news about real estate.  I want you to quit listening to that.  One of the main reasons all you hear is bad is because that is all people talk about is the bad.  Let’s start talking positive.  If you think it, it will become.

Take today for an example.  Mortgage interest rates are lower than they have ever been in history.  How’s this for an example of positive?  Let’s talk about this positive fact.  Now is the time to buy.  Contrary to believe lenders are lending money.  Yes, you too can get the money to buy your new home.

For now on please stop spreading the bad news and let’s start spreading good news.  With enough good news we will pull ourselves out of this “slump.”

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Seller Financing is Changing

May 25, 2010
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Effective May 31, 2010 the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act-the SAFE Act is taking effect.  I want to highlight some of the important points that will effect you if you are participate in seller financing.

First, this law only applies to residential 1-4 family transactions.  If you are looking to seller finance commercial property or unimproved (land) property you are still able to do so without being licensed as a residential mortgage loan originator (RMLO).

Second, you are able to seller finance your homestead or if you are selling to a direct family member.

Effective on May 30th if you seller finance properties that do not meet the previous requirments you must now be licensed as a RMLO.

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Now is still a good time to buy

May 12, 2010
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Now that the $8,000 tax credit has ended it seems the phones have stopped ringing.  Even though the tax credit (which was over rated in my opinion), has ended now is still a great time to buy.  I say the first time home buyer credit is overrated is because there are so many stipulations that make it hard for most people to take full advantage.  For more details please call me and we can discuss this further.

Today I want to stress the low interest rates that are still present.  Even today rates are still historically low.  This will help keep your payment lower and cost you thousands less on your home over the term of the loan. 

Also, there are more and more properties on the market causing sellers to have to offer more incentives to make their property more appealing than the next one.  Sellers are offering closing cost assistance, home warranties, price reductions, decorating allowances, and the list goes on.

Please do not let this perfect time to buy pass you up.  You will regret it in the future.

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Short Sale

April 15, 2010
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One thing I have noticed since the downturn in the economy is that short sales are picking up.  I have handled multiple short sale closings and it is becoming more and more popular.

Short sales are a great option when you are faced with foreclosure.  A short sale is when your lender accepts less than is owed for the home. 

Unfortunately a lot of home owners do not know a short sale is an option.  Most of the struggling home owners I talk to have never even heard the term short sale.

If you are struggling today I recommend you consider accepting a short sale instead of going into foreclosure.

The benefits of a short sale over foreclosure is that you can buy a home again in about half the time as you could going through a foreclosure, the lender (in most cases) will forgive the shortage amount, and it will affect your credit score less and will allow you to use your credit for other reasons.

Landon Huffer
Texarkana Real Estate

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About author

I am a young, eager, and aggressive Real Estate Broker with Schimming Company Commercial Real Estate.