The Jared Zimmer REMAX Properties Blog

 

Jan. 27, 2023

2023 - Experience Matters, ONLY When it's Most Needed

2023 - Experience Matters, ONLY When it's Most Needed

Iron County real estate has started 2023 in much the same shape as at the end of last year with a more challenging market than the one we have been used to for the past few years.

Crucially, however, the market has corrected rather than collapsed and there's no question in our minds that the demand is there and, when interest rates drop significantly, we expect to see a lot more buyers entering, and indeed re-entering, the market.

But that doesn't mean to say that a good number of homes aren't selling right now. Not everyone needs a mortgage, after all, and some buyers simply have to move in a certain time frame, for a variety of reasons.

Given that selling a home isn't the comparatively easy process it was, even as recently as this time last year, it follows that teaming up with the right listing agent is more crucial than for many years.

Here are the some of the key qualities you need to look for:

Track record/reputation - Can the agent demonstrate an impressive list of recent and long term sales of listings? What are other clients' experiences in online reviews? You'd be surprised how many agents out there sold few, if any homes, in 2022.

Long term experience - Has the agent successfully operated in previous challenging market conditions? Agents who have only been running their business in the past few boom years will not have the essential experience of knowing how much more it takes to get a home sold when market conditions aren't as favorable.

Marketing skills - There was a time not too long ago when a high percentage of homes were selling almost as soon as they hit the market, sometimes even before they were listed! That's no longer the case, so you need to see evidence of the agent's marketing strategy to get your home sold in more turbulent conditions. Look for a detailed approach that covers a full range of online and other promotion, together with a plan to contact people who can influence the sale on a daily basis.

Straight shooter? - A high percentage of agents will seemingly do anything to avoid a tough conversation with a client. Right now, a bit of straight talking, often about asking price, is very necessary to achieve the right end result. Look carefully for this quality in an agent.

Be thorough - Make a list of questions and concerns that you'd like a shortlist of agents to answer. The answers will tell you a lot about how good a match each agent's approach is to your needs.

We believe we can match and indeed exceed all the above expectations. But don't take our word for it. Here are some snippets of recent client reviews that we believe speak volumes:

"They always gave us the very best advice at every stage, based on vast experience and in-depth knowledge of local market trends, enabling us to make informed decisions that led to success."

"Jared and his team was the best, we listed our house and within 10 days it was under contract."

"Made it simple and seamless."

"The team held my hand throughout the entire process. It was effortless to sell a home through them."

We'd love to help you too, so reach out to us today at 435-327-2090.

Dec. 21, 2022

Happy Holidays!

xo, the zimmers

 

Wishing you the most joyful holiday season and all things bright, happy and healthy in the coming New Year!

With Gratitude,

Jared Zimmer and Team

 

Dec. 9, 2022

What Has 2022 Taught Us About Iron County Real Estate?

What Has 2022 Taught Us About Iron County Real Estate?

After many years of unparalleled boom in our local real estate market, in 2022 we witnessed what can only be defined as a long overdue market correction.

With average sold prices having risen by almost 40% in just two years, something had to eventually give and the long-anticipated mortgage rate hikes and a rather sudden relative absence of eager out-of-state buyers, no longer motivated by the fear of covid, finally halted this rampant growth.

And, as 2023 beckons, prices may yet have to fall further before eventually finding their level and climbing once more.

One of the biggest issues for sellers has been accepting that prices they saw neighbors achieving just a few months ago are now unattainable in the present market.

So there has been a difficult period of adjustment to the new conditions and, of course, it is a process not without some pain.

However, there are some important, and encouraging, points to remember:

  • The market is only correcting, it is not in a collapse.
  • Homes continue to sell, even if the process is considerably more complicated than in recent years.
  • Iron County will remain a highly desirable area to move to.
  • It's not just your house price that's dropping. It's happening to everyone, everywhere.

An appreciation of these factors should help anyone to realize that, with a realistic attitude to pricing and a willingness to present a home correctly, great things are still not only possible, but actually quite likely.

What is certain, however, is that the era of passive, order-taking agents is well and truly over. Relentless and professional marketing of your property and a huge daily effort by your agent to get it sold are more essential than ever.

Therefore, if you're considering listing in the coming weeks or months, why not talk to us now at 435-327-2090. We'll be happy to demonstrate how we continue to achieve great results for our clients in this challenging sales environment and suggest a strategic plan to do exactly the same for you.

Nov. 8, 2022

Sell over the holidays? Or, wait until the New Year?

 Sell over the holidays? Or, wait until the New Year?

As we approach the end of the year, and with the holidays in sight, many consider the option of pulling their property from the market. Others that are wanting to sell consider waiting until the New Year. With all that goes on during a busy holiday season these are very understandable concerns.

However, here are some things to consider when making a decision:

  • Buyers vs. Lookers. At this time of year buyers are almost invariably very serious about finding a home, rather than casually viewing.
  • When does your home look, smell and present better than during the holidays!
  • Some buyers are very motivated to move in before the holidays, encouraging quick sales.
  • Others need to complete their property transactions by year end for tax reasons.
  • January is traditionally a time when most job relocation occurs and some buyers are already looking to complete their move before their new job starts at the beginning of 2023.
  • The mid-term elections will be ending very soon, removing a further layer of recent uncertainty in the market.
  • The approach of the holidays inevitably puts buyers in a more emotional state, making positive purchasing decisions more likely.
  • Some buyers may feel that delaying their purchase until the New Year risks seeing even higher mortgage rates in operation.
  • No matter how good the advice, some sellers will inevitably decide to take their home off the market until 2023. This means you'll have less competition in the coming weeks if you keep listing, improving your chances of finding a buyer and making your asking price more robust.

At the end of the day we understand the concerns and respect whatever decision works best for you and your family. We are here to help and look forward to assisting you in the best ways we possibly can.

Why not reach out to us today at 435-327-2090 and find out more about how we can still help you to get your home sold this year.

Oct. 17, 2022

Mortgage Buydowns Explained

Mortgage Buydowns Explained

If you're selling and/or buying a home right now, you probably don't need reminding that the average interest rate on 30-year loans has continued to climb.

Unsurprisingly, this is a key focus and concern for buyers and the biggest current objection to going ahead with a home purchase.

This is why you might have heard more about temporary mortgage buydowns recently. But exactly what are they and how can they benefit your home sale and/or purchase?

Essentially a temporary buydown enables a borrower to obtain a lower payment by paying the interest up front as part of their closing costs

This is a one-time up-front payment, lowering the interest rate, usually for the first years of the loan.

The result is to reduce the borrower's monthly payments, making the home more affordable and, consequently, more attractive. It also helps buyers to actually qualify for the loan.

As a seller, you are in a great place to help buyers, and not have to keep dropping your price, if you pay down the rate yourself for the buyer. This commonly comes out of the proceeds of your home. According to Dewey Warner of Intercap Lending, Cedar City, sellers can volunteer to pay up to 3% on every loan program out there.

In competitive markets, sellers sometimes offer to pay the buyer's closing costs, or a share of them, so a buydown can arguably be seen as a variation of this.

We're grateful to Dewey for this typical illustration of how it all works:

For a $300,000 home loan at 6.75%, the monthly payment is $1945.

Below are the effects, over the first two years, of a buydown payment of $6,912:

At 4.75% the monthly payment is $1,564, providing first year savings of $381x12 months = $4,572

At 5.75% the monthly payment is $1,750, providing second year savings of $195x12 months = $2,340

Clearly, this makes payments a lot more manageable for the buyer over the crucial first couple of years, in the hope that rates will have fallen in that time, facilitating a more affordable refinance option down the line.

Offering to pay the buydown is a great way to make your home more attractive and affordable in today's challenging market, so why not reach out to us at 435-327-2090, or contact Dewey directly at 435-704-0037.

Sept. 30, 2022

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall is already here and we have some tips to help you prepare your home for the changing weather conditions and temperatures we'll be seeing in the coming weeks.

Roofs - A pair of binoculars helps you when inspecting the general condition of your roof. Look for signs of missing shingles/tiles, cracks or other damage and the integrity of flashings around vents, chimneys etc. Seek professional guidance if you have doubts over your roof's condition

Gutters/downpipes - Inspect your gutters to ensure that nothing is going to get in the way of rainwater run-off. Inadequate drainage can damage your foundations, so ensure water is drained away from downpipes to avoid sending water straight down to them.

Heating systems - There's nothing worse, or more likely, than a heating system that fails just as the temperature drops to the point that it's essential. Save yourself any unpleasant surprises by getting your heating system serviced now.

Air leakage - Poorly sealed windows and doors can make a sizeable dent in your wallet, by allowing expensive hot air to leak outside. Weather stripping and appropriate sealants will more than pay for themselves by keeping heat working efficiently for you.

External air conditioning unit - This should be covered for winter, when aircon is no longer in use.

Fireplaces - An annual maintenance regime is essential. A professional is again the best option here, to cover all bases, including flue cleaning, blockage clearance etc.

Faucets/sprinkler systems/general plumbing - Close off valves that serve outside faucets, then open to drain. If you have no shut off valve, consider purchasing an appropriate insulated cover for your faucet. Sprinkler systems will require the correct manufacturer maintenance regime, so make sure that information is to hand, or source it online, so you can make the appropriate preparations. Also look for any obvious areas of vulnerability to freezing in your overall plumbing set up.

Seal holes and gaps - Critters will be seeking shelter in the coming weeks, so sealing holes and gaps in your home's external envelope right now means they'll have a tougher time using your home as their fall/winter retreat.

Walkways/drives - Repair damage to these areas now to avoid potentially nasty consquences when it begins to freeze.

Ceiling fans - Don't forget to reverse your ceiling fan direction to force warm air down.

Trees and shrubs - Pruning of trees and shrubs is very important to greatly reduce the potential for falling branches etc. in storm conditions. Also keep looking for any signs that might indicate some necessary treatment, including very early leaf colour changes, thin or brown pines and dead branches.

Decks/fencing - Right now is a perfect time to restain if needed.

Snow removal items - Stock up with salt and have your snow removal tools ready. The first fall of snow usually catches us by surprise, so be prepared.

Posted in Home Maintenance
Sept. 15, 2022

Shift... a quick glance into the past, present & speculative future

Shift... a quick glance into the past, present & speculative future

This gorgeous Cedar City property sold in October 2017 for $620,000. It's a stunning 7800 sqft, 7 bedroom, 6.5 baths, 4+ car garage mansion, loaded with every possible feature. It was listed a few months back @ $1.5M and recently expired.

Something to consider: How would such a fabulous dream home sell for so relatively little just five years ago? At that time there was low demand and high inventory. Fast forward to the summer of 2020 and we experienced completely opposite market conditions (low inventory and abnormally high demand) to the point that, by early this year, values had skyrocketed, on average, almost 40%!!! Annual appreciation is 3 to 6% in a normal/healthy market...

Why did I use that comparison? It's a reminder of what local buyers can afford when out-of-state buyers are absent. The correction we are experiencing will bring values back to what's more realistic for the market in which we live.

Since early 2022 we've witnessed a rapid change in market conditions and demand has started to slow down. The correction in property values has been almost as dramatic as it went up. The fear fueled covid-inspired migration from bigger cites and out-of-state buyers has subsided. In fact, nationally, sales spiked so much from mid-2020 to early 2022, it’s likely we will see a lag in the number of sales nationally over the course of the next 18 to 24 months.

Of course it is only natural that many current home owners have seen this exponential growth and want to take maximize the equity they pull from their investments. 2021 brought prices we've never seen before in this area and most likely will not see again for years to come. Unfortunately, as the market continues to slide, many of today's home owners are clinging to yesterday's prices and simply holding on to unrealistic expectations.

Locally, it will be interesting to see how the 30+ subdivisions currently turning dirt, finishing roads, and/or putting new inventory up for sale, will contribute to real estate values. With diminishing demand, more and more inventory sitting, developers will most likely start trimming prices.

So what can you do if you still want to cash out?

The market correction we are seeing is still transitioning and, at this point, nobody knows how far it will fall before it levels out. But the situation today is still better than it's going to get and there are no guarantees that we will see a recovery to pricing as we experienced the past couple of years. So, as values continue to drop... once the market levels out... how many years will it take to get back to TODAY'S VALUES?

Maximizing as much equity as possible on the sale of your home requires a willingness to price and market aggressively.

To achieve this goal, it will be essential to team up with the right agent. Did you know, for example, that 60% of today's agents nationwide haven't even sold a single home in 2022! Even during the boom time of last year, over 70% of agents sold less than three properties.

As should be clear from the rather frank presentation of this newsletter, we are being completely realistic about where the market is going and advising our clients accordingly. Our marketing strategy continues to produce excellent results for our sellers and we have been blessed to help many great clients throughout the year with their real estate goals.

If you’re interested in capitalizing on this market and maximizing the equity from your property, don’t hesitate to reach out. This can't be stressed enough, sooner is better. Feel free to call me on my personal cell at 435.327.2090.

Have a great day,

Jared

Sept. 1, 2022

What's Happening in Our Real Estate Market as We Head into Fall?

What's Happening in Our Real Estate Market as We Head into Fall?What's Happening in Our Real Estate Market as We Head into Fall?

What's Happening in Our Real Estate Market as We Head into Fall?

Numbers don't lie. As the above graphs show, inventory of available homes for sale is building in Iron County and prices are correcting.

While many would-be sellers are "holding out", the reality is that the tidal wave of home sales crested earlier this year and that tide is now heading out!

It's interesting that prices are correcting as fast as they rose. On average, property values have dropped between 8 and 12% this year. Based on current economic factors, it's a safe bet that values will continue to correct by a further 10% over the next six months, or by the Spring of 2023.

So what are the main factors affecting this change?

Essentially we are moving back to a "normal" market. We're no longer seeing the panic buying wave, caused by covid, that led to very low inventory here.

But what is a "normal" market?

The reality is that nothing today can really be called "normal".

Nationally, annual closings jumped by almost 20% in 2021, compared with 2019. So those people who were planning to buy in the next couple of years went ahead and bought. This is likely to contribute to a lag in overall sales throughout the country for the next few years!

We should also remember that we are in a deep economic crisis in the US with no sign of relief. Until things stabilize again, the big unknown factor is how long it might take to fully return to a truly "normalized" market.

So what can you do about it today?

Price and condition are the main driving factors in getting a home sold in today's market. As our graphs show, the market is on a downward trend, so a realistic attitude to what your home is actually worth at the moment is essential. Presentation of the property is also now far more critical, as buyers have the luxury of choice once again.

Nonetheless, we are continuing to sell homes in good numbers. Our clients recognize that the relentless efforts we make to sell any property, even in the boom times, are an absolutely essential ingredient for success right now.

Yes, things are now tougher than they were just a few months ago, but we have your back and will be there with you every step of the way to make sure that nothing is overlooked and every opportunity is immediately seized upon.

Why not contact us on 435-327-2090 to discuss your own situation in more detail. We'd love to help.

Aug. 9, 2022

Current Trends in the Southern Utah Real Estate Market

  Current Trends in the Southern Utah Real Estate Market

The above graph, courtesy of Southern Utah Title Company, shows the home sales performance of the Southern Utah real estate market so far in 2022, compared with the whole of 2021.

As can easily be seen, the number of homes sold a month has lagged behind the 2021 totals for the entire year to date.

We can also see a relatively steep decline in July, doubtless the cumulative effect on buyer sentiment of rising mortgage rates and other financial pressures, such as inflation.

It should, of course, be remembered that last year was absolutely exceptional and much of what we are currently seeing is a return to a more normalized market.

We have recently seen some stabilizing of mortgage rates, and that could lead to a leveling out of home sales, as opposed to the quite steady drop we've been tracking in recent months.

A better jobs market and lower gas prices are also good signs. The National Association of REALTORS® reported at the end of last week that it expects home sales to soon stabilize and that we are likely to start seeing steady gains again, as we head into 2023.

So, as we move towards summer's end, there are some reasons to be upbeat. However this does require a sensible approach to pricing your house to what the current market will bear and also paying attention to those presentation details that mattered much less during the buying frenzy of the past couple of years.

We are still selling very healthy numbers of homes right across all sectors, so why not contact us today at 435-327-2090 and discuss your best options.

July 29, 2022

Homes Will Still Sell - With The Right Agent!

Homes Will Still Sell - With The Right Agent!

The three top-of-the-market homes above have all been sold by us very recently, among several others.

Even though this is a tougher market than we've been used to for a very long time, homes are still selling.

But it's essential to team up with the right agent!

So how are we succeeding where others might fail?

We ensure that the home is priced right within the current market conditions. This is a more precise science than it has been for some time. It's easy to under price a home. We avoid that by studying the market literally day-by-day and use our deep experience to arrive at a price that will still attract buyers but achieves the maximum possible return for you.

We talk straight with you about the market and what you need to do. This is not a time to hide your head in the sand about a more challenging market. Doing so will likely mean that your home remains unsold, putting your future plans on hold. Clients have ultimately thanked us for being so frank with them, as it has been the difference between success and a lot of disappointment.

Presentation of your home is simply far more important than it has been in recent times, where homes would often sell regardless of condition. We offer practical suggestions that help you to make the property as attractive to as many buyers as possible.  

But perhaps above all, we simply work harder for you, in terms of aggressively marketing your property and making important daily connections with people who can influence the sale. 

Why not talk to us today at 435-327-2090.