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Is the Housing Market Starting to Come Back?

It seems that the housing market is finally showing signs of a recovery. We are not suggesting that it will come roaring back and we will see 2006 numbers again. However, the National Association of Realtors released their December Existing Home Sales Report yesterday. The report showed a 12.3% increase in closed transactions over the month before. […]

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You Need an EXPERT, Not Just an Agent

A major national television network called us a few weeks ago to do a live interview. To Steve Harney, our lead author, it was an honor to visit their Manhattan studios and meet Gerri Willis, the anchor of her own show – The Willis Report.  She and all the people on her staff were both extremely […]

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Our Lead Author, Steve Harney, on The Willis Report

The KCM CrewWe believe every family should feel confident when buying & selling a home. KCM helps real estate professionals reach these families & enables the agent to simply & effectively explain a complex housing market. Take a 14-Day Free Trial of our monthly membership to see how we can help you!

Questions Sellers Should Ask Before Choosing An Agent

Once a homeowner decides to sell their home and hire a professional agent to market it for them, most sellers will interview a few agents before signing on the dotted line. That’s a good idea. However, most sellers don’t have a clue on who is the RIGHT choice. Many sellers pick and agent based on a “connection” or […]

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Why Prices Will Soften in the 1st Half of 2011

The big question facing real estate in 2011 is which direction are home prices headed. We agree with most experts who believe prices will continue to soften for the first half of the year. Supply and demand will determine this. Let’s look at where real estate sits entering this year compared to the beginning of […]

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Will Foreclosures Be Erased?

A court in Massachusetts voided two bank foreclosures this past Friday. The decision has already created a ripple effect across the banking community. Will other courts also decide to void local foreclosures? Does this put an added burden on banks when they are trying to complete a foreclosure process? What will it mean to the […]

How Should Your Home Be Marketed?

Differentiating a home from the massive inventory is difficult. In a world of information overload, building excitement about a single home (when there are “three just like it” for sale on the same block) is a monumental task. Really, MARKETING a home is an agent’s primary job. I mean, agents don’t determine price (the buyer […]

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What You Want to Hear vs. What You Need to Know

A new year brings changes. Some homeowners will decide that this is the year to move on with their lives in some way. Some will move south to join children and grandchildren. Others will move either east or west in search of a better career opportunity. Growing families may decide to purchase a larger home […]

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2011: The Year a House Again Becomes a Home

For almost a decade now, every time we talked about real estate we immediately discussed money. We didn’t talk about the value of a home but instead about the price of the house. We didn’t worry about a roof over our heads but instead the ceiling on our interest rate. We didn’t care as much about […]

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Real Estate 2010: The Year of Intervention

This past year has been very challenging for real estate. The market was defined by outside intervention. This intervention tugged at historic trends. Government involvment caused market fundamentals to be distorted beyond recognition. Unpredictability was the only thing we could predict. Modifications The administration’s announced goal of the modification program was to save 3-4 million families […]

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Dr. Doom, Mr. Bear and Real Estate

Trying to negotiate the current housing market is difficult. There are so many external variables impacting real estate it seems almost impossible to project where sales and prices are headed. But, there were two people who saw the challenges we are currently experiencing back in 2005-2006. They looked at the market and predicted we were in […]

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Prices Compared To Historic Trend Lines

Last week, we did a blog post on house prices as compared to income levels. We showed that, using historic ratios, house values were lower than previous norms. Many people asked us if we believe that home prices were about to increase. As we said in the post: Some experts are predicting that today’s values […]

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5 Reasons You Should Sell Today (UPDATED)

Selling your house in today’s market can be extremely difficult. It is for that reason that every seller should take advantage of each and every chance that appears. There is a fantastic opportunity available right now. Meet with your real estate agent and mortgage professional today and see whether it is the right time for you and […]

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The Trick Is To Not Flood the Valley

Banks and the government have struggled to get the current foreclosure situation under control. The modification programs have helped many families avoid foreclosure. However, the number is but a small percentage of those incapable or unwilling to pay their mortgage. This has resulted in an ever increasing number of bank owned foreclosures (REOs). The banks […]

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Negative Equity: Not Good But Improving

Back in October, we posted that falling home prices would drive more homeowners into a negative equity situation where their home was worth less than the amount of their mortgage (also known as the house being ‘under water’ or ‘upside down’). If a homeowner falls further into negative equity, it increases the chances that they […]

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Demand for Housing Will Increase in 2011

The last Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a substantial 10.4% month-over-month increase. According to NAR the index measures: housing contract activity. It is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. A signed contract is not counted as a sale until the transaction closes. […]

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Forbes: Housing Had a Superb Decade

Has real estate been a good investment over the last decade? Many people would be quick to answer ‘no’ to that question. However, they would be wrong. Real estate prices in this past decade have appreciated nicely despite the challenges over the last four years. Forbes.com reported on this issue two days ago: With all […]

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House Price Declines Hitting Most States

This winter will see a softening of prices in most parts of the country. If you are considering selling your home in the near future, you should set an appointment with a real estate professional that has experience in your local market. That being said, we want to explain the magnitude of the challenge. The […]

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This is Good News for Housing, Not Bad News

We found it interesting to see how some media outlets reported on the latest Fannie Mae National Housing Survey. It is true that the number of people who believe that now is a good time to buy a home dipped 2% since the June report. However, the report also showed that 68% of people still […]

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House Prices: The Impact of Supply and Demand

For some time now, we have attempted to shed light on the fact that pricing in today’s real estate market will be determined by the concept of ‘supply and demand’. If supply continues to increase and demand softens (or even remains constant) prices will continue to fall. Even the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has […]

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FSBOs Get More Money! We Don’t Think So

We hold the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in very high esteem. They are without question one of the finest research institutions in America. Their work on the psychology of strategic defaulters has been mentioned in this blog on several occasions. That being said, we want to take a close look at an […]

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Why You MUST NOT WAIT to Sell Your House

The best real estate professionals are trying to convince anyone thinking of selling in the near future to correct the price on their home and sell now before the home loses even further value. Some cynical homeowners think the agent is just trying to create fear in order to make a quick sale. Some sellers […]

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Difference between Telling a ‘White Lie’ and Lying

When I was growing up, both my family and the teachers at the Catholic school I attended made a distinction between a ‘white lie’ and a lie. It seemed ‘white lies’ were okay while lying was a sin. As a child, I had difficulty understanding where the line was. As I matured, I realized there […]

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20,000 Houses Will Sell This Weekend. Will Yours?

There is no doubt that demand for housing has slowed. The National Association of Realtor’s 3rd Quarter Existing Homes Sales Report showed that sales were down in all fifty states and the District of Columbia (3rd quarter vs. the 2nd quarter). The decline was in double digits in all but two states (Nevada and California). Those are […]

Myths: The Earth Is Flat and Newspapers Sell Houses

It is amazing how masses of people can believe something that is absolutely untrue. The greatest example of this is that at one time the vast majority of people believed the world to be flat. Today, we want to debunk another commonly held belief – that newspapers sell houses. Somehow this notion gained believability even though […]