The Jared Zimmer REMAX Properties Blog


Jan. 8, 2019

The Importance of Engaging With An Agent As Early As Possible

The Importance of Engaging With An Agent As Early As Possible

Are you planning to sell your home in 2019?

Even if you don't envisage selling for some months, it's still a great idea to engage with a top agent right now!

Here are some great reasons for that:

1. You'll receive great advice on how to present your home for sale to achieve top dollar. The more time you give yourself to make changes, the easier they become.

2. Your agent's excellent network connections with the best buyers' agents in the area will enable the earliest possible identification of qualified buyers who might be interested in your home, even before it has listed. In this way, a firm offer can sometimes be received before the home has been formally marketed!

3. You'll have a professional looking out for your interests all the time, observing sales, inventory and pricing trends, to help you determine the optimum moment to sell.

4. If, like most home sellers, you're planning to move to another home, following the sale of your existing property, early engagement with a great agent facilitates the most seamless transition between homes, even if you're moving out of the area, due to the agent's nationwide network of top producing colleagues.

As you can see, there are some real advantages to the earliest possible link-up with an agent. Why not contact us today for an informal discussion of your 2019 real estate aspirations.

Dec. 10, 2018

Safety and Security Around The Home This Holiday Season

Safety and Security Around The Home This Holiday Season

The holidays are now very close and it's always a busy time around the home.

It's therefore all too easy to become so preoccupied that safety and security issues can get overlooked.

So here are what we hope are some helpful tips as you make your preparations:

Going Away? - Use light switch timers to create an illusion of occupancy at night. Ask your neighbor to collect any newspapers or other items that may accumulate on your front yard.

Prevent Electrical Fires - December is statistically the worst month of the year for electrical fires. Make sure that items like your Christmas lights are properly maintained and functioning as they should. It's also not a great idea to leave festive lights on overnight, so switch them off before you retire.

Kitchen Safety - Thaw meats in a refrigerator and don't store them at room temperature for unsuitably long periods. Don't position hot foods at the edges of countertops and tables, where they can be a scolding hazard to children and pets. Consider trying to minimize the time the kids and animals spend in the kitchen at the busiest times.

Electrical Outlets - Never overload power strips beyond their stated capacity and don't attempt to link cords together to reach a wall socket. Buy a single cord with adequate inlets for your needs.

Gift Wrap - It's a sensible idea to collect this as presents are open and dispose of immediately after your gifts are opened to prevent fire hazards. Tinsel can be fatal to cats and dogs if swallowed, so make sure this is not left lying around.

Toys - Make sure you read the safety instructions before you wrap gifts as you'll likely have little or no time to do so on the big day.

Drinks - Don't leave half empty late night drinks lying around at the end of the evening - the kids are likely to be up and around very early at holiday time.

We hope at least some of these simple tips will act as a useful reminder. As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us today if you have any questions related to real estate.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Nov. 2, 2018

Iron County Continues To Buck National Real Estate Trends

Iron County Continues To Buck National Real Estate Trends

Much has been written in recent months about changes in national real estate trends.

What's really encouraging to report is that Iron County appears to be going against the grain, with some very good stats recently released for September by the Utah Association of REALTORS®.

While inventory of homes for sale has been on the increase in many areas of the country, here in Iron County it is still falling, which is very good news for anyone selling right now, as it means less competition and more robust pricing.

Inventory fell by over 10% in comparison with September 2017 and the number of months of inventory supply dropped by 23.5% over the same period.

And the mortgage rate increases we have seen this year are not yet having a negative impact on buyer demand. Closed sales rose by over 10%, year-on-year. This time frame also saw a 4.4% rise in median sales price and a 6.8% increase in average sales price.

Despite the rate rises, Iron County buyers actually achieved better returns than September last year, with the percentage of original list price received average increasing by over 1% to 96%.

Year-to-date pending sales have risen by almost 11% compared to the year-to-date period up to September 2017 and, using the same measure, new listings are up by 4%.

As we've mentioned before, the exodus of people moving out of the overheated California market is probably helping to boost figures here. The good news on that trend is that it's unlikely to end any time soon.

So there are plenty of great reasons to list your home right now, while buyer sentiment is demonstrably very strong indeed. Why not contact us today and find out more about the great successes we are achieving for our wonderful clients and how we can do the same with your home sale.

Oct. 5, 2018

Achieving the Best Return as the Real Estate Market Changes

Achieving the Best Return  as the Real Estate Market Changes

As we've been pointing out in recent communications with you, there is a key shift in the real estate market to a more buyer-led environment, as a correction between asking prices and affordability takes place.

Here in Iron County we have been relatively sheltered from this transition to a buyer's market, but we are certainly not immune from it and it is necessary for sellers to adapt to ensure they take full advantage of the tremendous buyer demand that's still out there.

To help you in that process, here are some key areas for attention:

Keep up appearances - In a more competitive environment, home condition matters even more. While buyers may overlook imperfections when there is a severe shortage of homes, more choice enables them to be more selective. It's therefore very important to eliminate any negative factors that may not help you to sell the property.

Be realistic - Buyers are now very resistive to what they consider to be overpriced homes. If you don't listen to your agent and price too optimistically, don't be surprised if no one wants to view. The key strategy in today's market is to price according to what similar homes have very recently sold for. That identifies what the market will bear and will attract interest. It still happens that buyers will compete for the best homes, so there's every chance you could receive an offer above asking price if the correct procedure is followed.

Patience is a virtue - Those days not so long ago when "For Sale" signs disappeared from front lawns almost as soon as they were put in the ground are no longer the norm. Changing market dynamics mean that it is likely that your home may take longer to sell now. You therefore need to factor this in to the time when you list. The misguided tradition of people waiting until the New Year until they list is an even worse idea at the moment. Don't wait until snow is on the ground either. The earlier you list, the more opportunities you'll have to sell in a timeframe that suits your future plans.

Keep calm - While things are definitely changing, buyers still want to find their ideal home, and in numbers. The difference is that they are now in the driving seat more than they have been in recent years. In fact, we are arguably moving towards a more normal and sustainable real estate market. The trick is to make sure that you're in the best place to make your home a great fit for what buyers now demand.

Hopefully the above advice helps you to consider the simple steps that need to happen to ensure you give yourself the best chance to get an optimal return on your sale. We have navigated successfully through these conditions before and know what to do to put our clients in the best position to make the most of them. Why not contact us today for an informal discussion of what's best in your individual circumstances.

Posted in Cedar City, Sellers
Sept. 21, 2018

Examining Current Trends in the Iron County Real Estate Market

Examining Current Trends in the  Iron County Real Estate Market

We've just taken a look at the trends in the Iron County market, as provided by the Utah Association of REALTORS®, and they certainly make interesting reading.

The most interesting aspect, in spite of widespread growing pressure on home prices, is that our market continues to flourish across a wide range of key metrics.

New listings have risen by 5.4% in the past year, while pending sales have improved by 11.3% and closed sales are demonstrating an impressive 21.7% year-on-year increase.

Despite widely reported price pressures nationally, as wages struggle to keep up with home price inflation, we've seen good increases in both median (10.5%) and average (14.7%) sales price.

And sellers are also receiving better average returns, as the percentage of original list price received figure has grown by 0.8% in the past 12 months.

Once again, the growth in supply has failed to keep up with demand and we're still seeing overall falls in inventory of homes for sale (a year-on-year drop of 12.1%) and, possibly even more significantly, months supply of inventory has fallen by 25.5% to just 4.1 months.

All that being said, there is a small indication of buyers being more cautious, in that we've seen an annual rise of 4.3% in the average number of days a home is for sale in our market (72 days).

While extremely encouraging, these great figures shouldn't disguise the important underlying trend that buyers are becoming more powerful in their negotiations, and we can expect the current trends to come under more pressure in the coming months.

Right now, however, it's very clearly a fantastic time to be selling your home while our market continues to flourish. Although national trends are important, and are likely to have a progressive effect here in Iron County, we are arguably somewhat sheltered by the fact that so many are moving from the more troubled markets, such as Southern California, to make our wonderful area their home.

As ever, please don't hesitate to contact us today for an informal discussion of the best options in your situation and how to make what promises to be another busy fall/winter market work very much in your favor.

Aug. 16, 2018

Why Pricing Your Home Correctly Matters Even More Right Now

Why Pricing Your Home Correctly  Matters Even More Right Now

In our last blog, we looked at the changing market conditions and why it may not be the best idea to delay your home sale until next year, if you are hoping for even better returns.

While we're still seeing great demand for homes here in Iron County, there are a number of external economic factors that are likely to result in more home price pressure as we move ever nearer to fall and winter.

The key take away from this is that pricing your home correctly for the market conditions is likely to be critical to sales success.

In recent times, sellers have been able to enjoy fantastic returns as buyers have generally been in acceptance of higher asking prices.

While that's been happening, however, it's estimated that home prices have been climbing at about double the pace of wages, meaning that continual prices rises are simply unsustainable and there have been a number of strong indications, nationally, that buyers are finally becoming more resistant to what they consider to be overpricing.

This means that it is critical that you team up with an agent with the necessary experience and intimate market knowledge to price your home so that it attracts a lot of initial interest. This is a strategy that often leads to multiple offers and sold prices above asking price.

And don't forget that inaccurate pricing can work the other way around too and be so low that you don't achieve the best possible return.

We average over 130 sold properties every single year, compared to the typical agent who sells just one a month.

This means that we simply have more day to day knowledge and exposure to what is happening in the Iron County market, enabling us to fine tune pricing to an optimal level at all times.

Furthermore, we have been through cycles like this before, unlike many more inexperienced agents, and are thus better equipped to serve you in a more challenging sales environment.

Please contact us for an informal discussion of the most effective strategy to sell your home in the coming months.

July 26, 2018

Why Putting Off Your Home Sale Until 2019 May Not Be A Great Strategy

Why Putting Off Your Home Sale Until 2019 May Not Be A Great Strategy

As the end of the high summer selling season approaches, many sellers decide not to list until some time in the new year, expecting that they'll make more money by playing a waiting game.

Last week I attended a very high profile real estate conference in Las Vegas, which strongly suggested that a delay strategy might not be the best decision right now!

Here in Iron County we're still seeing very high demand for homes, which might seem to imply that all is well and will continue to be so.

Taking a wider view, however, we can see that things are starting to shift. Consider these headlines (click on them if you wish to read more):

U.S. Home Prices at Least Affordable Level Since Q3 2008.

Sales of new homes sink to an 8-month low even as prices fall.

Chinese Reversing Big U.S. Real Estate Buying Spree That Had Helped Boost Prices.

Southern California home sales crash, a warning sign to the nation.

Just how much all this impacts on our local homes market remains to be seen. The key point, however, is to be aware that things are changing in the wider world and to factor this in to your decision as to when is the best time to sell, bearing in mind that market conditions this summer are still so very favorable here.

Please feel free to contact us for an informal discussion of what are the best options in your individual circumstances.

July 11, 2018

How Long Can This Seller's Market Last?

How Long Can This Seller's Market Last?

Last time I wrote to you, I talked about how resilient our Iron County real estate market has been, despite higher federal funds interest rates and increases in mortgage rates.

We're still in fabulous shape in our local market, but a logical question at the moment is how long can the current seller's market conditions last?

In some areas of the country, there are signs of buyers being less keen to accept continually rising home prices. Quite simply, many are at the edge of what they can afford, not helped by interest rate rises. This is resulting in the balance of power in some markets swinging slightly more in favor of buyers than has been the case for some years.

It's hard to say if we will see the same conditions here.

The California market, for example, has arguably been overheating in terms of price for some time and there is something of a reset at present, including many homeowners moving out of state, chasing more affordable property, as a direct consequence.

This trend is, of course, very positive for us in Southern Utah, which is an extremely affordable part of the country to buy a home, especially from a Californian perspective.

Therefore, our local conditions are, to some extent, being further enhanced by homeowners moving here from elsewhere.

As ever, your individual circumstances will dictate when is the right moment for you to sell. It can certainly be said that right now there are still wonderful opportunities, being driven by such strong and sustained demand.

Please don't hesitate to contact us for an informal chat about whether selling sooner or later is right for you.

June 19, 2018

Interest Rate Rises and Real Estate - Some Perspective

Interest Rate Rises and Real Estate - Some Perspective

It probably won't have escaped your attention that the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates last week.

The federal funds rate was raised by a quarter percentage point to 2% - the seventh rate increase since December 2015. The Federal Reserve also indicated that there are likely to be another two rate hikes this year.

The first thing to say is that the federal funds rate is not directly related to mortgage rates, however it does of course pertain to other forms of borrowing, including credit cards and auto loans.

I think it's important to examine why these increases are happening. They are a direct result of the very, very strong economy and incredible confidence that's everywhere right now.

So, while no one welcomes higher borrowing costs, there is an offset in terms of the recent tax cuts and let's never forget that higher interest rates are great news for savers, including those saving for a home (saving account rates are now at a five year high).

Here in Iron County, we're seeing no reduction in the fabulous levels of enthusiasm of home buyers and there are no signs that the wonderful market conditions we've been enjoying for some time are going to diminish.

Mortgage rates are also higher these days and aren't adversely affecting housing demand here either.

Higher interest rates are, in fact, a direct result of a much better economic environment, which can only help to further improve things.

Why not contact us to discuss the fantastic opportunities in today's market.

June 7, 2018

Iron County Fact File

Iron County Fact File

I recently read some really interesting statistics concerning real estate and related matters for Iron County, so I thought I'd share some of them with you:

Renters - Out of the total population of 49,940, 16,460 are renters. What's really interesting is that 4,148 of those renters can afford to purchase their own homes!

Unemployment - Currently the unemployment rate is just 3.39%, down from 4.46% in 2015.

Employment - The number of people employed has been climbing since 2010 and a on a fairly steep increase since 2013. Current employment levels are considerably higher than before the effects of the Great Recession kicked in.

Income - Median household income is currently $50,450.

Home Prices - Median home price for Iron County stands at $228,930.

Home Price Appreciation - Home prices are forecasted to appreciate by almost 19% over the next five years.

Inventory - Available homes for sale continue at a very low level, despite continuing high buyer demand, down by 12% compared with the same time last year.

I hope you find the above information of use. It's a great time to buy or sell, as these statistics tend to suggest, so please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your specific needs and the many opportunities in the current vibrant marketplace.