One of the hardest “opening lines” for a new Realtor® to pull off is “Are you working with a Realtor?” Why is that? Because we know that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up! What does it matter, after all, where you’ve been and who you’ve talked with before showing up on our doorstep (or cell phone, or email inbox) inquiring about real estate?
You are thinking…what does it matter? Well it matters. It matters a lot.
According to Standard of Practice Article 16 of the Realtor® Code of Ethics, REALTORS® shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with clients. Here it is:
16-9 of REALTOR® Code of Ethics REALTORS®, prior to entering into a representation agreement, have an affirmative obligation to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the prospect is subject to a current, valid exclusive agreement to provide the same type of real estate service.
Under Arizona law, an agency relationship may be created by implied consent based upon the conduct of the principal (you) and the agent (another Realtor®). So, you may be in a legal agency relationship with another agent if you’ve looked at homes with or sought advice from that Realtor® even if you’ve never signed papers to make that agency agreement explicit. You may (or may not) choose to terminate that relationship and work with us, but it’s very important that all parties (you, the other agent, and we) be aware of the consequences of prior actions and deal with them before moving forward. Otherwise, it can simply be a mess at the end when you should be celebrating the purchase of a new home, or the sale of an old one.
So when we ask, please take the question in the spirit we intend: Making sure you’re happy and satisfied with our services when your transaction concludes. We are just making sure that we are not engaging in a practice that is in violation of our professional Code of Ethics and ultimately, we’re looking out for your best interests. That’s what agency is all about.
When you are ready to buy or sell a home in Flagstaff, AZ, give us a call at 928.714.0001 to arrange a meeting. We’ll happily answer all your questions about agency as well as all aspects of Flagstaff residential real estate. Search for homes on the Flagstaff MLS.
Headlines are touting that home sales rose in December, but that’s only in comparison to a downwardly revised total for November. In fact, national home sales were slightly lower in December 2013 than they were in December 2012. The years’ totals showed an upward trend, however, thanks to strong earlier months in 2013.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said “We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population.”
Total existing-home sales, are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. For all of 2013, there were 5.09 million sales, which is 9.1 percent higher than 2012.
The national median existing-home price for all of 2013 was $197,100, which is 11.5% above the 2012 median of $176,800, and was the strongest gain since 2005 when it rose 12.4%. The median Flagstaff home price remains much higher than the national number and rose just about 8% in 2013.
In summary, Flagstaff home buyers should not expect their positions to improve — interest rates are going up and prices are going up. But prospective Flagstaff home sellers should not get overly ambitious either.
Although conditions were mixed across the country, pending home sales continued to move lower in October, marking the fifth consecutive monthly decline, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, slipped 0.6 percent to 102.1 in October from an upwardly revised 102.7 in September, and is 1.6 percent below October 2012 when it was 103.8. The index is at the lowest level since December 2012 when it was 101.3; the data reflect contracts but not closings.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said weaker activity was expected. “The government shutdown in the first half of last month sidelined some potential buyers. In a survey, 17 percent of Realtors® reported delays in October, mostly from waiting for IRS income verification for mortgage approval,” he said.
REALTORS® Confidence Survey provides insights into real estate market
The demand for rental units appears to remain strong, judging by rental price trends. Approximately half of REALTORS® responding in the REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey reported higher residential rents compared to 12 months ago. This is certainly true with Flagstaff homes and condos.
There have been reports that Millennials (the generation born approximately 1978/9 and subsequently) may be unable or unwilling to participate in homeownership to the same degree as previous generations–based on tough job markets and higher levels of student debt. This conclusion is not substantiated by a recent survey. Millennials may be forming households at a later ages due to the economy, but there are more of them than the generation ahead, so they push demand higher.
A seller’s market is developing nationally, according to the National Association of Realtors®
The National Association of Realtors® announced its existing home sales data for the month of January today, which shows generally positive news for the real estate markets across the country. Only the Western Region of the U.S. did not show sales volume gains from a year ago. NAR attributes that exception to low inventory availability. That’s exactly what happened in the Flagstaff real estate market in January, as I reported last week.
Total existing-home sales , which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, were 9.1% above the pace of sales in January 2012. These numbers are compiled by NAR from multiple-listing-services nationwide.
NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said tight inventory is a major factor in the real estate market. “Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady,” he said. “In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country.”
Bidding wars are increasingly being reported across the country as buyer demand increases and home inventories shrink. We’re still in a market where buyers are skittish, so in the Flagstaff homes market we find that when multiple-offers come in, at least one of those buyers is going to back away. The scary part is when both do.
Makes the most sense to price your home realistically, then you will attract the right buyer who is likely to stick with the process to a successful closing. What’s “realistic?” That’s where you need the advice of a professional Flagstaff Realtor.®