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Real Talk with Big Red
33 minutes | Sep 16, 2021
Ep 9: Being a Discerning Buyer in a Seller's Market
If you are a fan of HGTV, then you know and have seen with your own eyes what buyers tend to look for and desire in today’s housing market: the chef’s kitchen, the soaker bathtub, the large backyard, room for a home office, a workout room, plenty of space to entertain… and of course, all of it completely fresh, modern, clean, updated and turnkey…. MOST of us are savvy enough to know that most TV is scripted, even and especially what they call “Reality TV” - totally scripted - so the question we are posing today has more to do with the buyer mentality that these shows are (perhaps unknowingly) creating in today’s marketplace. Which is to say, buyers with more discerning palettes are finding themselves in quite the dilemma as they find themselves coming up against other buyers who place far greater weight and importance on simply winning the deal at all costs. Can beggars even afford to be choosers in today’s seller’s market? Well all of this and more is what we are talking about today on this episode of Real Talk with Big Red.Episode Takeaways:Why being picky can sometimes do more harm than good in the modern real estate marketWhen to stick to your guns on the dream home wish list and when to set stuff aside for the sake of a positive outcomeHow to hold your real estate agent accountable in helping you find what you want and, more importantly, deserveBull market. Bear market. Buyers market. Sellers market. Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book... They come, they go, or so they say… because the current seller’s market appears to be here to stay with no signs of slowing down, at least not in the foreseeable future… but who among us has a crystal ball and how can we even predict what might happen… the more pressing matter is not what is GOING to happen but what IS currently happening and how to smoothly navigate the process amid so much chaos.Mega Real Estate Extraordinaire, Sam Lepore, is here in the studio with us today… He is the fearless leader of The Sam Lepore Group, a team of powerhouse agents working in and around South Jersey, down at the Jersey Shore and over the bridge, in Philadelphia. He has been in the real estate industry for close to two decades now, getting his launch in the mortgage industry, then transferring over to the sales side not long after the 2008 housing bubble burst. I myself have had the distinct honor and pleasure of working shoulder to shoulder with Sam in recent years, and I can say with authority, confidence and gratitude, that Sam is truly the man. That said, please join me in welcoming my co-host and guest today, Sam Lepore! Welcome Sam!So we’re talking about home buyers today…. First, let’s get your background before we launch into some of the listeners’ more common questions on this topic.Tell me, Sam, HOW… perhaps more importantly WHY did you get into this business and what would you say ignited your passion for real estate?Common questions:1.) So Sam, I’m sure you get asked this all the time… I know I do…. And we talked about this on the last episode with lender, Matt Boyce, who you and I both work closely with… What do you think, is this bubble gonna burst? 2.) Let’s talk about housing inventory… as most fans and followers listening can attest… there’s so few homes for sale, so little time. How are you preparing your buyers to go into battle… and do you consider it a battle to compete and win bids in this current climate?As it relates to a winning formula, do you have a particular strategy or style that you like to stick to when working with buyers? I mean, it’s no small thing, guiding our clients, navigating them throughout the process, encouraging them, supporting them, offering suggestions to overcome transaction challenges… one could argue that it’s not enough to simply be an agile and experienced full time agent…. You also need to have, like, the Midas touch… what are your thoughts?And can we also talk about the challenges surrounding buyer financing? Naturally, buyers today with pre-approved FHA and USDA, VA and even Conventional loans are up against quite the race as they compete with all cash offers. Then you’ve got contingencies and appraisal issues…. What are you telling your buyers to help them stay on the positive and proactive side of things?Hey Big Red, my name is Scott and I have a question for you about getting ready to buy a house. I keep telling myself that I refuse to buy at the top of the market, and yet I currently own three properties and am strongly considering cashing out on all three and making a more decisive purchase in advance of retirement. My issue is that although I know I’ll make out quite well on the proceeds of my three sales, I am reluctant to overpay while values are so inflated. I am considering renting for the short term, just to see how things play out. My hope is that within the next few months or so, values will come down and inventory will improve. What is your prediction? What would you recommend to someone in my position? Thanks Big Red! Speaking of getting your house ready for sale… Real quick, I’d LOVE to share with you some of my favorite home / lifestyle picks that I’ve curated myself on Amazon. I’m a sucker for the perfect stage and I know these items are gonna help you enhance and beautify your home for a successful sale.I’ve created a quick one stop shop where you can grab all the items that will set your home sale up for success, from the photo and video shoot to the open house to the final walk-thru!So, if you’re in need of a little seasonal refresh (or are in desperate need of some home sale staging inspiration)... and you wanna zhush up your home, you should head on over to denisepetti.com/shopAnd here’s the beautiful thing, when you purchase any of the products listed in my curated Amazon collection, not only will you help keep this show going, but you’ll also help others who are interested in all things real estate find the show too.Again, all you need to do is go to denisepetti.com/shopNow if you wanna make it even easier and you’re already on your phone, go ahead and open a new message and text me. That’s right, you can text me directly and I’ll send you the link to my curated Amazon collection.You can text BIGRED to 69696That’s B-I-G-R-E-D to 69696And now it’s time for our Market Analysis segment of the show… Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of REALTORS® released a piece a couple of months ago, May 2021 in fact, related to statistics surrounding Existing and Pending Home SalesIn it, Yun says we have never seen price appreciation of this magnitude. Twenty-four percent increase in the median home price from one year ago, May of 2020 to May of 2021. Twenty-four percent price appreciation, strongest ever, now surpassing 350 thousand dollars nationwide.Furthermore, the home prices are continuing to hit record-high levels now, with prices rising so much it's beginning to squeeze away some buyers.Home sales decline for the fourth straight month. Latest 5.8 million on an annualized basis, so it's steadily sliding down. We are still above the pre-pandemic home sales activity but only by a small percentage. It used to be, just a few months ago, about 20% above pre-pandemic, so the sales activity is clearly being hurt due to the affordability challenges and also the lack of inventory at the affordable price points.Anything under $300,000, very little inventory. Nonetheless, given that the sales activities are coming down, we may be sensing some turn in the market. We are seeing less prevalence of multiple offers. It is still a seller's market, no doubt, but the prevalence of the multiple offers or the days on the market, very swift at 17 days, but it is not falling anymore and it may begin to increase in the upcoming months. Still a sellers' market, but people need to be very cautious how they price their home to attract buyers, knowing that these sales activities are declining somewhat.Now, the most affordable region of the country is the Midwest region, whether one is looking at Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Des Moines, prices are affordable, therefore, it is the only region of the country with increased home sales. The other three major regions, the West region, South, Northeast, saw a decline in sales activity. More notable decline out in the West for the second consecutive month. The west region is the most expensive region, clearly implying that affordability is becoming a major hurdle for increased transactions out in the West region.Another interesting development is that the vacation home market is outperforming the primary home market. We completed a study from last year as well as year-to-date. Clearly, the vacation home sales are much higher now compared to pre-pandemic, much more so than the primary home, and the price appreciation in the vacation counties, whether it is out in the Smoky Mountains region, Lake Tahoe, Cape Cod, Upper Michigan, the price appreciation showing a stronger rise compared to the primary home market.In summary, the housing market has shown exceptional performance, but expect more inventory coming onto the market, the market to be calmer.As we proceed through the remainder of the year, it will still be a sellers' market. The first-time buyers will face some challenges on the affordability front, but calming of the market and less need for hurried decisions should be a welcoming trend. Links mentioned on this episode:denisepetti.com/shophttps://www.nar.realtor/videos/may-2021-existing-and-pending-home-sales
42 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
Ep 8: The Housing Bubble: Fact or Fiction?
The housing bubble… more like the housing mylar balloon… instead of it suddenly bursting without warning, it just sort of slooooowly deflates… ever notice how mylar balloons hang around for WAY longer than you think. Well, it’s a good analogy anyway. At least, I think it is.Matt Boyce is here with us today… He is Vice President and Managing Partner of Garden State Home Loans located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. For those of you who may not already know Matt, and let’s be honest, who among us who live in this area and practice real estate DOESN’T know Matt? He’s basically the Guardian of the Garden State, well, at least as it pertains to Home Loans. Matt partnered with Garden State Home Loans in 2011 right in the heart of Cherry Hill, NJ and has since expanded the company’s footprint over the years and is now currently licensed in SIX states. Amazing and awesome. So allow me to welcome my co-host and guest today, Matt Boyce! Welcome Matt!So we’re talking about the housing market today…. First, let’s get you a plug before we launch into some of the listeners’ most common questions about this topic.Tell me, Matt, HOW… perhaps more importantly WHY did you get into this business and what would you say ignited your passion for home loans?So Matt, I’m sure you get asked this all the time… I know I do…. What do you think, are we in a housing bubble?Let’s talk about inventory… You always hear about 2008 and people tend to compare the two markets. What’s your take on it?Now what about equity? People are making out like bandits right now.How about credit score? And financing? Are things more strict? Are your buyers having success competing on bids with traditional financing?Hey Big Red, my name is Nancy and I have a question for you about the state of the current market. I can’t believe what houses are going for these days in my neighborhood! I have begun seriously thinking about selling so I can take advantage of cashing out while things are still hot. The only challenge I see is how few homes are actually available for sale. I keep asking myself, “Where will I even go? There’s nothing for sale and I’ll only end up overpaying…” So I find myself staying put even though I’d love to make the kind of money that’s out there for the taking. Do you have any advice for people like me, who are on the fence?And now it’s time for our Market Analysis segment of the show… According to an article here on CNN Business written by Mark Zandi - chief economist at Moody's Analytics. Home sales, homebuilding and especially house prices have surged.Despite being overvalued, there is no sign the housing market is in a bubble. (A bubble develops when there is speculation, or when buyers purchase homes with the sole intent of selling quickly for a profit, which isn't happening today.) But stress lines are beginning to appear, and the housing market is set to cool off.Surging pricesThe increase in home prices is stunning. Nationwide, house prices are up double digits over the past year, and this comes after a decade of solid price gains since the housing market bottomed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Indeed, the median existing home price is closing in on $350,000, almost double what it was a decade ago.Think about the return you would have earned if you had the gumption to buy the median-priced home at the bottom of the market after the financial crisis, say with a typical 20% down payment. It comes to an approximately 560% return.There simply aren't enough new homes right now to meet demand, and the vacancy rate for homes for sale has never been lower. Home builders have been slow to put up more homes, especially at lower price points, given more restrictive zoning since the financial crisis, and much higher labor and material costs recently.The house price gains are powered by the collapse of fixed mortgage rates to record lows during the pandemic. They have risen a bit in recent months, but they are still below 3%, making them extraordinarily attractive. Since most homebuyers purchase as much home as their mortgage payment will allow, lower mortgage rates quickly juice up demand and house prices, particularly when there is a shortage of homes.Further superchargin g house prices has been the pandemic-fueled work-from-anywhere phenomenon. This has driven apartment-dwelling households in the nation's biggest cities to move to homes in the suburbs, exurbs, and smaller towns and cities. New Yorkers and Californians, who are used to outsize house prices, viewed much lower prices in smaller communities as bargains, even though they paid much more than any previous buyer had.The federal government's yeoman efforts to shore up the single-family mortgage market during the pandemic also bolstered the housing market and home prices. The foreclosure moratorium and the forbearance on government-backed mortgage and student loan payments have forestalled distressed homes sales, which typically are sold at big price discounts, and thus weigh on house prices.Stress lines beginning to showBut stress lines are beginning to show in the housing market. Home prices have risen so far, so fast, that they have become overvalued. Nationwide, house prices appear overvalued by approximately 10% to 15% when comparing price-to-income or price-to-rent ratios with their long-run historical averages, according to my analysis. Some markets, mostly in the South and West, are seriously overvalued — by more than 20%.Overvalued housing markets are vulnerable to a meaningful price correction as mortgage rates eventually rise. And they will. The Federal Reserve thinks the economy is set to quickly return to full health and is signaling that it will thus soon begin to normalize interest rates. Moreover, work from anywhere, while likely a fundamental change in the way we live and work, is also sure to partially unwind as companies ask their employees to come back into the office. And the foreclosure moratorium and mortgage and student loan forbearances are set to expire in coming weeks.Housing demand will thus weaken. House prices will adjust. Not that there will be broad-based house price declines; that still seems a small threat. That would require a significant increase in mortgage defaults and distressed sales, which is unlikely given the improving job market and generally tight mortgage underwriting standards since the financial crisis.Moreover, the housing market isn't in a bubble. Unlike the housing bubble we saw prior to the financial crisis, house flips, defined as an arms-length sale within one year of the previous sale, remain low, according to my analysis. And much of the flipping that is happening is by investors purchasing older homes, particularly in older Northeast and Midwestern cities, renovating them, and then quickly selling.But house price gains are sure to cool off, a lot. There may even be some modest price declines in the most hyped-up high-end parts of the housing market, in second- and vacation-home locations, and in smaller and midsize cities that have seen the biggest influx of work-from-anywhere households. And while being a homeowner is generally better financially than being a renter, homeowners shouldn't count on the outsize returns they enjoyed in the past decade to come anywhere close to repeating in the coming one.If you want more information about home loans or to get in touch with Matt:Matthew BoyceExecutive Vice President, EVPGarden State Home Loans, Inc.NMLS# 218534O: 856.353.3116 C: 609.790.1722 F: 856.353.31162091 Springdale Rd. Suite 16, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003On Instagram: @matt_boyce and @gardenstateloansOn Facebook: @YeahBoyce and @GardenStateLoans Links mentioned on this episode:https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/29/perspectives/housing-market-pandemic-economy/index.html
37 minutes | May 29, 2021
Ep 7: Organizing Your Home and Spring Cleaning
Hi there, friends, and happy May day to you all. Here we are on another gorgeous spring day in sunny South Jersey and I don’t know about you, but the pollen is KICKING my keester! Sniffling and snuffling and sneezing, with this constant tickle in my throat... I feel like a walking Dayquil commercial… and it doesn’t help, feeling all self-conscious due to COVID, ya can’t even make sick jokes anymore!Walking through my kitchen to grab yet another Kleenex and there’s just this layer of green pollen powder on my countertops and all over the furniture. My car is coated in it. My dogs go outside and come back in with pollen on their noses and paws. It’s enough to drive a person crazy! As if Covid hasn’t already successfully driven us to madness?It almost makes me want to unleash a firehose on any and all surfaces within a two mile radius of the house! But in order to adequately remove the pollen and dust and dander and dog hair from every square inch of my home, I first have to get over this nagging sense of overwhelm that seems to accompany even the smallest of tasks…. Ironically, spring cleaning actually MAKES a mess, doesn’t it?! I mean, taking off and laundering the slip covers, dusting off the blinds, dry-cleaning the draperies, rolling up the area rugs and dragging them outside to beat the dust out and disinfect in the sun…. Mopping the floors, sweeping the cobwebs off the porch, bleaching the tile grout and purging the closets… like do I even NEED a gym membership? I’m exhausted just talking about it.Spring Cleaning… some people live for it. Others detest it. But as with most things in life that we prefer to avoid, there remains good reason to do it anyway. Not only does it help with the godforsaken allergies, cleaning and organizing is also proven to help with our mental and emotional health. But more on that later. For NOW, I’ve got THE expert here in the studio with me today to tell you and me and everyone listening just HOW to do it!Jenna Tickner is here with us today… and she is a professional organizer and vacation home investor and trust me when I tell you, she is the QUEEN of CLEAN! She has been creating home efficiency systems and effective family command centers for years now with her proven organizational methods. I personally have hired Jenna to help me organize and systematize MY home and she is my go-to resource when I have buyers and sellers who need help organizing their homes. So please join me in welcoming my lifelong friend and guest, Jenna Tickner! Welcome Jenna!So we’re talking about spring cleaning and organizing today…. First, let’s get your take on all this before we launch into the listeners’ questions.Tell me, Jenna, HOW… perhaps more importantly WHY did you get into this business and what would you say ignited your passion for organizing?I think getting into the business of organizing was the result of the perfect storm: my type A personality, mixed with my years of being a math teacher, and then throw in my years of being a stay-at-home mom. As a kid AND a teacher, I always LOVED the start of the school year...fresh new school supplies, organizing my folders, labelling the notebooks - some people know what I’m talking about (and I’m sure many cringe at the thought of this!). Well, when I stopped working to raise our children, I had a really hard time just being home all day with two babies - yes, I know my new “job” came with a huge responsibility, but I am a busybody who needs to be actively checking off tasks! When the kids were napping, I’d organize the pantry, linen closet, kitchen cabinets...you remember that movie “Sleeping with the Enemy” with Julia Roberts? The one where she lived with her crazy husband...that scene where she opens the kitchen cabinet and knows he was there because all of the cans were facing the “right” way? Well, my husband would come home from work each day to find that I’d organized yet another space in our house! I think the act of organizing spaces in our home became my way of keeping myself sane amongst the chaos that we all know comes along with the baby phase of parenting. Then, when the kids were toddlers and we entered the “playdate” phase, I’d organize my friends’ playrooms and pantries while the kids played. So I started with friends and then the word spread! So we all know people who love to spring clean… and of course, we know plenty of people who hate it. What does it even mean when we say “spring cleaning?” I know some friends and family members of mine look forward to and LOVE to spring clean their homes. So let’s talk about what, exactly, spring cleaning is and where that expression even came from.I think spring cleaning just goes hand in hand with coming out of “hibernation” all winter. We start shedding the hats, coats, and mittens. We might even have a dedicated closet for “off-season” clothes and coats. We open our windows to let the fresh air in. And then, maybe when we swap out the ski jacket for a windbreaker, we might say “hey, I really need a new one, let’s start a “donate” pile.Now when it comes to organization… I, for one, have never been very good at it. In fact, I would go as far as to say I’m really pretty bad at it. It makes me think of life skills, or maybe the lack thereof. Seriously, if you didn’t grow up in an organized home and no one ever taught you how to be organized, how do you even learn?I do think organization skills can be learned, but I also think some people are just born with them. I mean, I can remember as far back as being an elementary school kid and getting my first desk in my bedroom, how FUN it was to arrange all of my pencils and crayons! So I was definitely born this way. But then I think back to my years of teaching, and how many students struggled simply because their folder was a disaster, they could never find a pencil, their papers were a crumpled mess! I’ve had so many conversations with other teachers and parents over the years about the fact that Organization Skills 101 should be a prerequisite for every other class. It’s definitely a life skill that translates to success as an adult.The “spark joy” element of Marie Kondo’s organizing method is a pretty famous and memorable aspect of her approach, but did you also know that Kondo also follows a set of her own rules?According to Kondo’s website, her organizing model is called the KonMari method and there are six basic rules:Commit to doing itImagine your ideal lifestyle.Discard first.Tidy by category, not location.Follow order.Ask yourself if it sparks joy.So as it pertains to systems and methods and ways to organize, Jenna, how and where do you come up with your ideas and how do you implement them and recommend your clients maintain them?We all live our lives differently, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. I can show clients different ideas that have worked for our family and other clients, but ultimately I have to dive deep and do a thorough evaluation of the client’s space and how their ENTIRE family uses it. If a new “system” of organizing is to work, the whole family has to be involved. They all need to be TRAINED. It might sound crazy, but trust me! After I organize a space, and this is done along side the client, we walk through what it’s supposed to look like. For example, if I organize a mudroom and each family member now has their own hook and basket, we can’t assume that they will immediately just start using them - old habits die hard, right? I’ll have family members kind of act out what happens when they walk in the door. Maybe the husband used to walk in and kick off his shoes in a spot where everyone trips over them, then drops his keys and the mail wherever there happens to be an open space (which might be different every day). Well, now hubby has his own dedicated bin for shoes, his own hook for his coat, his very own spot to hang his keys and leave his sunglasses and wallet. Your daughter has her own hook, etc. Just like anything else that’s new, it will take practice before it becomes a habit.Recorded call-in: Hey Big Red, my name is Keri and I have a question for you about organizing my home. My husband and I are interested in selling our home and upsizing to a bigger one, especially now in this awesome market, but to be brutally honest, I’m just so disorganized, I’m not even confident I’ll ever get it clean enough to even list it, not to mention show it! I know we will have to take listing photos and videos… I am so disorganized, between working and taking care of three kids…. Doing my bills and helping my kids’ with their school stuff, there are toys and clothes and dishes all over the place and piles of paper everywhere and shoes and socks and newspapers and junk mail.... Not to mention my husband’s junk in the basement and the garage and the shed… I feel like we need to hire a professional organizer, but I heard that can get pretty expensive… Especially since I feel like I would need to hire five different people to organize my finances, my schedule, my kids activities, my house, my laundry…. Does it never end? Honestly, how do people do it? How can I do it? Help me, Big Red!”What a great question, Keri, thanks so much for that call. So real quick, Jenna has shared with me some amazing home organization picks that she curated herself on Amazon. Jenna and I are both suckers for creating the perfect command center and we know these items are gonna help you de-clutter and organize your way to a cleaner, neater, more stress-free home.In fact, with Jenna’s input, I was able to create a quick one stop shop where you can grab all the items we’ve mentioned on this episode (plus a few extra secret items you’re gonna wanna snag)So, if you’re in need of a little spring refresh or can’t go another second with all those piles and piles of clutter...and you wanna spruce up your home office and the areas where the kids make the biggest messes, you should head on over to denisepetti.com/shopAnd here’s the beautiful thing, when you purchase any of the products listed in my curated Amazon collection, not only will you help keep this show going, but you’ll also help others who are interested in all things real estate find the show too.Again, all you need to do is go to denisepetti.com/shopNow if you wanna make it even easier and you’re already on your phone, go ahead and open a new message and text us. That’s right, you can text Jenna and me directly and we’ll send you the link to her curated Amazon collection.You can text BIGRED to 69696That’s B-I-G-R-E-D to 69696And now it’s time for our Market Analysis segment of the show… I mean, who doesn’t love statistics? It’s just so FUN to look at charts and graphs and surveys, isn’t it? Okay, well some of us think it is.There are plenty of home organization statistics available that can help put things in perspective for you when it comes to your own home organization situation.Home organization affects every single one of us. The link between home clutter and the harm it has on your health has also gotten more scrutiny in recent years from the medical community.As such, it’s no wonder that many companies and corporations have realized that there’s an appetite from consumers for information about how we maintain our homes.These studies, polls, and surveys reveal a lot of eye-opening home organization statistics that you can use to motivate and inspire you to restore order in your home. In an article published by a company called Organized Interiors… Here are some of the more interesting home organization statistics that they compiled.It’s estimated that only 20% of the things we own are actually used. (LexisNexis study)97% of surveyed realtors believe homeowners covet closet space more than basement and attic storage space. (Braun Research survey)It’s estimated we’ll each spend 3,680 hours in our lifetime searching for misplaced items. (The Daily Mail)In the average home, getting rid of clutter would eliminate approximately 40% of housework. (Soap and Detergent Association study)40% of Australians say they feel guilty, depressed, or anxious about their home clutter. (Australia Institute study)Disorganization (not lack of space) causes 80% of household clutter. (Soap and Detergent Association study)A international retailer’s survey found that 31% of its customers were more satisfied after clearing out their closets than they were after sex. (New York Times)80% of our medical expenses are related to stress, which clutter contributes to. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study)The average U.S. home has approximately 300,000 things. (L.A. Times)Links mentioned on this episode:https://www.organizedinteriors.com/blog/home-organization-statistics/https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-house-cleaning-improves-mental-well-being/https://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/americans-annoyed-with-clutter/
21 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Ep 6: Getting Ready to Stage and Sell Your Home
All the world’s a stage, that’s what Shakespeare said. You know what I say? I say, all the home’s a stage! Hey, ya gotta love the English language… it's the only place where one word can hold two entirely different meanings. Or does it? Because when you think of setting the stage, you think of setting a mood, a theme, a tone, and an arrangement of elements by which the cast and crew can easily and swiftly navigate… that is a performance stage… a place on which to perform… the place a performer acts upon so that an audience may observe and applaud that performance. This is the applied use of a stage in the arts… and staging a home takes its inspiration from the arts. It’s a creative exercise in form and function, practicality and expression, a place to showcase beauty and wonder, creativity and comfort, and it’s all the talk today on this, our sixth episode, of Real Talk with Big Red.Happy day to you all, and how are you on this fine spring day? Here we meet again in this market gone wild, spring 2021. How many of you find yourselves perusing the interwebs and looking at houses you’d love to buy? Or maybe you are looking at houses to get a sense of how to redesign your own? Maybe you want to sell someday soon and would like to spruce it up and give it a more modern flare? Or maybe you just enjoy a good voyeuristic journey through your neighborhood. Maybe you’ve found yourself walking past that one house you so admire in your neighborhood one night after dinner, when the blinds have yet to be drawn and the lights are all still on and you catch a glimpse inside of the furniture, the bookcases, the lovely artwork on the wall… the lighting, the upholstery, the paint color… sigh… it’s enough to make you want to pull up the Amazon app on your phone right then and thereSigh… why is it that we always want what everyone else has? My point is… why do we as a society admire, obsess, fixate, pore over and consume what OTHER people have and do? And for the sake of today’s episode, we’re talking specifically about what other people have and do... with their homes.We’re talking about home staging.So what even is home staging?Ah, in short, it is the activity or practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers. It is the visual satisfaction that comes with smart interior design.Well, maybe easy for me to say…. some people, who shall remain nameless of course, may find themselves fairly paralyzed at the thought of “making a house a home.” We’ll talk about that a little later on in the episode, but for anyone who wants to know just what, for the love of Pete, do I mean when I say home staging?We are talking about how you feature the nuances of your home, whether you are hosting a party, or getting your home ready for sale, when you stage your home, you are taking into consideration compatible colors, the arrangement of elements, minimalism (or maximalism if that’s the kind of thing you’re into), the careful appointment of accessories, adding dimension through layers of decor, varying textures of upholstery, the feel of fine furnishings, the appeal of eye-catching artwork…. We are talking about dressing your home up and stepping back to marvel at the transformation… seeing how \ with a few tricks and tips, and a flick of a not-so-magic wand, you can creating a look and a feel, a vibe and an energy that feels inviting, interesting and uniquely your own.Why is home staging such a big deal?Contrary to what you might think, home staging is about more than just preparing your house for sale. Staging is what you do after you've cleaned, decluttered, painted, and made minor repairs. It's about vision. It's about mood. It's about making the home look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, and more comfortable. It's the metaphorical lipstick, mascara, and single strand of pearls that pulls the whole look together.If you think you can't afford to stage your home, and that professional stagers are so expensive, you're not wrong, and you're not necessarily right either.Prices vary depending on where you live and the local demand for professional home staging. Coastal areas and large metropolitan cities where home staging has been prevalent for years command higher prices.Some real estate agents help sellers stage the home themselves. Most listing agents agree, however, that vacant homes show better with professional staging. Even if an agent is capable of helping to stage a home, they're likely to encourage sellers to hire a professional stager. Fees range from $500 to $4,000—sometimes more, depending on square footage, the number of rooms staged.Real quick, I’d LOVE to share with you some of my favorite home / lifestyle picks that I’ve curated myself on Amazon. I’m a sucker for the perfect area rug and I know these items are gonna help you.In fact, I’ve created a quick one stop shop so, if you’re in need of a little spring refresh...and you wanna zhush up your home, you should head on over to denisepetti.com/shopAnd here’s the beautiful thing, when you purchase any of the products listed in my curated Amazon collection, not only will you help keep this show going, but you’ll also help others who are interested in all things real estate find the show too.Again, all you need to do is go to denisepetti.com/shopGo to denisepetti.com/shopNow if you wanna make it even easier and you’re already on your phone, go ahead and open a new message and text me. That’s right, you can text me directly and I’ll send you the link to my curated Amazon collection.You can text BIGRED to 69696That’s BIGRED to 69696Home staging can pay off big time for sellers. A 2020 survey by the Real Estate Staging Association showed that 75% of sellers who invested 1% of their list price into staging saw a return of 5% to 15% over asking price.Not all sellers are receptive at first, but if the home doesn't sell because it's missing that "oomph," home staging always seems to turn it around. You can do large-scale home staging or small-scale What matters is that you do some degree of staging. If you do, you're more likely to quickly sell for top dollar.When you see before-and-after photos of spaces not staged versus staged, it’s easy to quickly become a believer in home staging! Vacant spaces, in particular, absolutely need to be staged for these 3 HUGE reasons…1. An empty room EASILY SHOWS its flaws.I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of strutting around in my bikini these days … are you? Why? Because with very little on, you can see every flaw on my body. Empty rooms are no different!No room is perfect and empty ones especially are like walking around naked. 2. An empty room almost ALWAYS looks smaller than it really is.People have no imaginations and let’s face it, how could buyers intuitively even know if furniture will fit into a space. Empty rooms almost always appear smaller than they really are because without furniture … it has no frame of reference.By cleverly floating the furniture around the focal point and creating a seating area, it leaves nothing up to the buyer’s imagination.Finally, here's the number one reason it’s critical to stage an empty or vacant home...3. Empty rooms are cold and lifeless (i.e. not exactly an emotion you want buyers to feel!)Imagine the cost of putting up a lifeless, cold, sterile photo online of your empty home! Statistics show that of over 4,200 professionally staged homes, the average increase in value to the home due to professional staging was more than 8 percent.Vacant homes typically take twice as long to sell and go for even less than unstaged, “occupied” homes. So, imagine the true cost of not staging a vacant home!Every room gives a stager the opportunity to add “emotional connections” to the space, so that buyers fall in love, aspire to live there and can actually imagine their family in that home.Staging is merchandising and marketing in its purest form. Home stagers learn who the buyer demographic is and what they envision for a home will draw on those emotions with a carefully styled room…Links mentioned on this episode:https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-home-staging-1799076#common-accessories-a-home-stager-might-usehttps://www.nar.realtor/blogs/styled-staged-sold/3-reasons-why-staging-a-vacant-home-is-criticalReal Estate Staging Association. "Home Staging Statistics," Download. Accessed March 9, 2021.
29 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Ep 5: Heading into Spring Market and the Inside Scoop on Zillow
You know how Zillow is the go-to search engine for all things real estate? Well, do you ever wonder how this digital powerhouse is impacting the real estate market? The value of your home? Even the long-term career outlook and job security for real estate agents? I mean, if everyone everywhere is looking at Zillow, then what does that mean for literally any and every other real estate app, real estate website, real estate company and real estate agent? Is Zillow’s iBuyer model rendering the real estate agent irrelevant? In this current technological age, it’s a question worth paying attention to… After all, attention is the name of the game when it comes to modern digital marketing, and we all know… whatever the eye follows is where you’ll find people watching… and wherever the people are is where all the data lives. So by definition and extension, is Zillow actually LESS about featuring homes and MORE about data mining?We are going to discuss all this and more today and I have a caller who wants to know if they should sell their home based on what Zillow says its worth.THAT, my friends, is what we are covering today, so stay right here for Real Talk with Big Red.Well, good day, good day, good day and happy Spring Market 2021 to all of you fans and followers, buyers and sellers, ladies and gentlemen. I can just feel the shift in the weather and the general vibe in the air, so I’m delighted to be here with you to record our FIFTH episode of Real Talk with Big Red. I can hardly believe it’s already been five months since we first launched this podcast. We’ve enjoyed so many great conversations and tackled a lot of questions surrounding real estate and the real estate market… and to think we are just getting started. We have a full year on deck already slated with incredibly knowledgeable and successful guests and thought-provoking topics for all of 2021 and today is certainly no different.Today we are discussing… [dun, dun, dun] Zillow. What does everyone think about Zillow? I know my sister in law texts me her Zesstimate practically weekly. She thinks it’s the end all, be all of home valuation.My buyers are always texting me listings that come from Zillow, even after they are set up for automatic property alerts through my listing website. It’s as if Zillow has completely won the attention game.So for all you buyers and sellers out there, this begs the question…. If you have Zillow, do you even need a real estate agent? And for all of us agents out there, we can’t help but wonder... can we even compete with Zillow? Is this one of those age-old scenarios where we have to accept if we can’t beat ‘em, we have to join ‘em?1.) What is Zillow?Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help.Zillow is a business who sees itself as transforming the real estate transaction into a place where buyers and sellers can move from one home to the next as easily as possible. Their business model started at the top of the funnel as a lead generation model and over time, end to end transaction platform that is seamless, bundled and creates happiness and ease around the home buying and selling experience.2.) How does Zillow make money?Today from selling products to real estate agents, specifically leads and now it sells transaction management services and showing services. Zillow is celebrating 15 years in the real estate space. They have their own broker license and the use of that license has changed, necessitating additional licenses over time such as ibuyer and referrals and IDX feeds, which pulls listings from the various multiple listing services across the country. The information it offers on its site for consumers now mirrors the information that agents have at their fingertips. Any general brokerage is on the same playing field in terms of access to listing data. Zillow has innovated in its drive to aggregate. From it’s purchase of Trulia, Market Leader, Showing TIme, DotLoop…. Zillow’s innovation is its vision, its drive to control not only the lead, but also the transaction, and end to end seamless transaction and, ultimately, the gateway to the contract.Showing Time is the app that we real estate agents use to set up appointments to get your home shown… and ultimately sold. What does that mean for you the consumer? It gives Zillow another opportunity to consume data and control data. Think about it. You list your home and it has 20 showings on the first day. Zillow knows this. All the agent feedback is recorded within the Showing Time app so if the people feel it’s overpriced, outdated, all that data now belongs to Zillow. Acquisition likely includes past data, information on all listings, 50 showings, feedback, not only the opportunity to see where houses are in demand, what the consumers and agents think about the pricing of the inventory, what needs to happen to get an offer.Huge data grab. Very smart purchase by Zillow. Collecting and controlling data, document management system, terms of service, insight into the whole transaction.Zillow isn’t just a platform either, it’s also a brokerage. That makes Zillow a buyer, a seller, a lender, a data provider and a data forecaster and now a data collector of how homes are being shown.How does Zillow impact real estate agents?Zillow has always made a great partner to the real estate agent. So why do agents suddenly feel uncomfortable now? Zillow is being mandated by consumers to provide a digital experience. They believe they are in lock-step with what consumers want and have a partnering model with agents and create a win-win relationship by honoring those relationships. So buyers and sellers are the customers and agents are their partners.As agents we need to educate ourselves and our clients. How Zillow works affects them and their bottom line. Our goal is always for our buyers and sellers to profit. So the bottom line is to understand how big Zillow is in this industry, to take our data and extrapolate it, use the algorithm to purchase and sell properties for themselves.Honorable, firm in their belief that what they do is good for the real estate industry and view themselves as providing value to consumers and agents.So where does all the angst come from? The tension between Zillow and real estate agents goes back many years. Realtors have long complained about Zillow’s inaccurate Zestimates, valuing homes with online data and algorithms, with no physical walk-through or neighborhood assessment. Realtors say it is impossible to accurately value a home without a physical inspection so Zestimates mislead homeowners into pricing their homes incorrectly — losing equity in the process.Realtors also objected when Zillow sold agents “positions” on its website next to listed homes. This redirects some buyer inquiries away from listing agents to agents who pay Zillow. Realtors say this damages their sellers because buyers get information from agents who have never seen the home.The real estate market exploded in 2020. With some sellers reluctant to list due to uncertainty surrounding the economy and the pandemic, inventory was shorter than usual, causing prices to appreciate rapidly and buyers to scramble. One in five homes sold above list price as homes came off the market at the fastest rate in over two years.To add more fuel to the fire, the Federal interest rate was decreased to record lows in response to COVID-19, causing the mortgage industry to refinance at record highs and buyers to take advantage of the rates while they could.Urban metro areas across the nation experienced an “exodus” of sorts with massive numbers of people fleeing cities for the suburbs.Figures are based on information from sources like comparable sales and public data. Zestimates are only as accurate as the data behind them, meaning they may be outdated or incorrect.Each company has an estimate of their own accuracy: Redfin claims their estimates for active homes on the market have a current median error rate of just 1.77%, and off-market homes are within 6.64%. accurate. Zillow claims its estimates have an error of not greater than 7.9% on any home. However, they recently dropped a bombshell, claiming their median error rate will be dropping to 4% or below very soon. Given that they don’t break out their error rate per on- and off-market properties, an overall 4% rate on 110 million homes could very well put them in the lead.Why the difference?Zillow doesn’t provide different accuracy metrics for on-market vs. off-market homes like Redfin does. That means their margin of error has to be higher so it can account for actively listed homes as well as properties that haven’t been sold in years.Because of the smaller number of listings available, Redfin can look at more details than Zillow. For example, Redfin may consider that a home with a stunning view may have a better value, and Zillow may not take this little tidbit into consideration at all.Zillow provides estimates for more homes than Redfin does. The more homes the system looks at, the more difficult it is for the pricing algorithm to calculate all the detailed variables that impact value in different parts of the country. For example, in some parts of the country, a home without a basement is no big deal. In other locations, a basement is a must-have and not having one will negatively impact the home’s value.Zillow’s accuracy is dependent on many factors including the data the system has on any given property. Redfin’s accuracy is based on an algorithm that takes into account hundreds of data points. Both platforms are relatively accurate, but as with most things, the more information you have, the better. Using both tools, in addition to the advice of a professional like an appraiser, is your best bet.It’s also worth mentioning that my website, denisepetti.com offers home valuation.Zillow Statistics: https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/zillow-statistics/2020: 245 million monthly unique users.2019: 196 million monthly unique users.2018: 157.2 million monthly unique users.2017: 151.6 million monthly unique users.2016: 140.1 million monthly unique users.2015: $123.6 million monthly unique users.2014: $76.7 million monthly unique users.SHOW NOTESLinks mentioned on this episode:https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/zillow-statistics/https://www.homebay.com/tips/which-home-value-estimator-is-better-redfin-or-zillow/
33 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Ep 4: Real Estate Options for Retirement
You know how there’s a ton of pressure to have this perfectly mapped out retirement plan? That it has to look a certain way or yield a certain amount of ROI? Oh, and it better include a heaping dose of financial security because no one wants to be sideswiped by an emergency.Well, what if your retirement plans looked a little… different?My guest on today is Lisa Vicoli, a former real estate agent and now a recently retired IT Specialist for the Department of Defense. On this episode, Lisa and I are getting real about retirement strategies especially as it pertains to… you guessed it...Real estate.PRESS PLAY on Ep. 4 “Real Estate Options for Retirement” to learn how to embrace retirement with purpose and strategy, the pro’s and con’s of renting, 55+ communities and condos and why twilight careers are a great option for additional income.___________________________________ Links mentioned in this episode:Download Your Free Guide: 7 Steps to Becoming a Rock Star REALTOR® https://www.denisepetti.com/rockKeller Williams Preferred Properties Virtual Career Nighton February 1, 2021 https://bit.ly/3oprSO6BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing Education Tools & Networking https://www.biggerpockets.com/ ______________________________________ Have a question about real estate? I'd love to help you out! Real Talk Q & A phone lines are open now at 1-844-5-BIG-RED and I’m here and ready to take your call.Connect with me on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/denisepetti/Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.donnellypettiVisit my website: https://www.denisepetti.com/
24 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
Ep 3: New Year, New Opportunities: Moving and Shaking into 2021
With the holidays behind us and a full 360 days in front of us, what intentions have you set for yourself this year? How do you intend to lay claim to your potential this year and does that mean coming up with new ways to do what you’ve always done? Or could you be called to expand into something new? PRESS PLAY on this episode to learn how to claim or reclaim your career identity in 2021, what sectors have adapted and sailed through the confines of pandemic culture, and what it takes to stake your claim as a sales professional in the real estate industry. Links mentioned on this episode: Download Your Free Guide: 7 Steps to Becoming a Rock Star REALTOR® https://www.denisepetti.com/rockGet your copy of the The Millionaire Real Estate Agent https://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Real-Estate-Agent-About/dp/0071444041 Keller Williams Preferred Properties Virtual Career Night https://bit.ly/3oprSO6 ________________________________ Have a question about real estate? I'd love to help you out! Real Talk Q & A phone lines are open now at 1-844-5-BIG-RED and I’m here and ready to take your call. Connect with me on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/denisepetti/ Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.donnellypettiVisit my website: https://www.denisepetti.com/
21 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
Ep 2: Happy Holidays! The Gift of Equity and Timing the Market
In a year of unrelenting change, one thing has stayed the same. The real estate market is BANANAS.From lending to liquidating, brokering to buying, refinancing to renovating… nearly every professional related to the real estate industry has been busier than ever this year as buyers rushed the market to capitalize on primary, secondary and investment properties, ushering in record production and profits during the dumpster fire that was the global pandemic.PRESS PLAY on this episode to learn why 2021 may or may not prove to be the great equalizer for the housing market, how investing in real estate just might be your best wealth-building bet in the new year and how to approach timing your real estate decisions around the pandemic. _________________________________ Have a question about real estate? I'd love to help you out!Real Talk Q & A phone lines are open now at 1-844-5-BIG-RED and I’m here and ready to take your call.Connect with me on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/denisepetti/Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.donnellypettiVisit my website: https://www.denisepetti.com/
23 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
Ep 1: Video Techniques to Make Your Real Estate Listings POP!
Have you ever wondered why so many people feel drawn to housing market videos? Maybe you are an agent and admire other agents with high end listings and amazing video tours. If you feel like you want to get in on this hot trend, this episode is for you!PRESS PLAY to learn the best practices for shooting listing videos, why it’s better to get in the video game now and not wait until you’re “ready," whether or not video is just as important if not more important than photographs, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, when you should seek to pay a professional and when you should DIY.My guest today is Mark Salmon of Darkwater Films. Mark is an experienced videographer who assists those looking for digital video production from filming to finished edits. He and his team work directly with their clients throughout the creative process offering many different and versatile options to showcase businesses, real estate properties, products, services and more. Connect with Mark : https://www.instagram.com/darkwaterfilms/ ________________________________ Have a question about real estate? I'd love to help you out!Real Talk Q & A phone lines are open now at 1-844-5-BIG-RED and I’m here and ready to take your call. Connect with me on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/denisepetti/Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/denise.donnellypettiVisit my website: https://www.denisepetti.com/
2 minutes | Oct 16, 2020
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