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Buyers Seek Larger Mortgages

Home prices have significantly jumped over the past year, forcing home buyers to borrow more to keep up. The average mortgage purchase application reached $411,400, the highest since February, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average loan for a new home rose to $377,000 last month, a record high.

Home prices are climbing at their fastest pace in more than 15 years. While low mortgage rates are helping to offset some of those higher prices for successful buyers, mortgage rates are predicted to head up soon. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3% this week, up from 2.94% the week prior, according to Freddie Mac.

“We’ve seen very red-hot house-price appreciation across the country—double digits nationally,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. “That puts pressure on loan sizes because, to purchase a home at a higher price, you’re going to need to borrow more money.” Also, more homeowners have been upsizing since the beginning of the pandemic.

But to get these larger mortgages, borrowers will need stellar credit to qualify, Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American, a title insurance company, told MarketPlace. The median credit score for applicants for new mortgages was 788 in the first quarter of this year, up from 773 a year earlier.

If you need the assistance of a New Jersey Realtor®, please use the form below to contact us.  You can also text/call us at 908.912.4441 for a quicker response.

Note: This story was originally posted in Magazine.Realtor – a publication of the National Association of Realtors.

Keys to a Successful Open House

For our FSBO visitors as well as our fellow Realtor® colleagues, I thought I’d share my favorite tips for conducting a successful open house.  Doing a open house requires significant planning and a considerable investment of time and energy.  Done properly, a good open house will be one of your more important marketing tools as it allows interested buyers the opportunity to evaluate your home at their own pace.

Here are some tips to consider:

#1 Be Well-Prepared.  It may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many open houses I’ve visited that just seemed like no thought went into it.  Be sure to have print-outs of the listing, good knowledge of important property facts (ie taxes, HOA fees, schools, etc) and something on which to take notes and capture guest information.  Also, prep the house well before the open house start time.  Lift the shades/curtains, turn on lights and properly cool/heat the house.  These are just a few of the planning things I suggest.

#2 Start Early & End Later.  If your competitive open houses are starting at Noon, consider an 11am start time.  This will give your open house listing an advantage as it will be on the top of many lists and may be the first house the buyer visits.  They will have a fresh perspective and will tend to stay longer at your event instead of rushing to get to open houses later in their day.  You may also want to extend your open house an hour after the competition calls it a day.  Even though this will create a longer day for you, most people (especially agents) can find things to do during the down time.  It’s a great time to catch up on text messages and emails, return calls and even plan your upcoming week.

#3 Don’t Follow Guests Around.  Let your guests explore the house on their own.  If the house is large and you are concerned about security, consider bringing a colleague and having one person on each floor.  Never allow a buyer to enter the house if they are unwilling to give you their name and contact information.  Granted, they may provide false information, but if a visitor gives you a hard time with this request, don’t be afraid to ask them to leave.  Also, I make it a rule of allowing only one party in the house at a time.  Place a sign on the front door letting other visitors know that you are previewing the home with another buyer and ask them to wait until you are finished.  This may not always be practical, but it allows you to have higher quality interactions with your guests.

#4 Point Out Top Features.  It might be a good idea to have a list of the homes top features that you can hand to your open house guests along with the listing details so you can make sure they don’t miss anything while previewing the home.  Stay positive and don’t over-emphasize the negative aspects of the home.  If the home needs a little work, but it is in a great location with a top school system, focus on that instead of pointing out the projects.

#5 Follow Up.  After the open house has concluded, be sure to follow up with your guests to answer any lingering questions and to gauge their interest.  Their feedback may help you make your next open  house even better.  Ask them what they liked and disliked about the house and see what they thought about the asking price.

If you are a For-Sale-By-Owner seller or someone considering selling your home, please use the form on this page to contact us.  You can also call or text us at 908.912.4441.  We’d love to assist you on this important journey.