Thursday, September 27, 2007

Image is Everything!

After watching my favorite show " The Real Estate Pros," I decided to jot a few things down that I feel the average home seller or investor should know. Image is everything. Let me say that again....IMAGE IS EVERYTHING! After having worked with buyers and sellers for a number of years now, you would be amazed at how simple and affordable it can be to make your home the top looking house on the market.

My number one "quick fix" is paint. Paint can make or break a deal without you even knowing it. I would say about 75% of the buyers I work with will look at a paint scheme and decide not to buy the house if they don't like the painting color/style. That means that most of the people that will be going through your home, don't know how to visualize the home looking differently. I am not an agent that believes in nothing but neutral or earthy colors. I believe that every room should have personality and style to it, just be careful to have the right style. It pays to stay in the loop as to what the newest trends, colors, and styles are in the market.

There are tons of ways to stay up to date with what the new trends are. Here are a few of my recommendations.

1. Watch a few shows on HGTV, you will be amazed how much useful information is really in their programming. Most of them are about how to improve your home on a tight budget. I would recommend ( Trading Spaces, Flipping Out, The Real Estate Pros, and Property Ladder)

2. Take a class at Home Depot. Home Depot offers many classes and free "How To" sessions on just about everything. Attend a workshop and learn how to do things the right way. When looking at adding value to your home, always learn how to do it correctly. Never take shortcuts. Don't go cheap on the biggest investment you have.

3. Go visit a model home at a new construction sight. Most builders that have any sense will be up to date on what the new trends are. They know that the newest ideas will help turn their properties faster. That is why they hire very good and very important home stagers and decorators. Many of them will even give you the name of their decorator.

There are plenty of ways to educate yourself on how to make your home "pop", you just have to do a little homework. For more tips check out or give me a call directly. May God Bless you and your home.

God Bless,

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty Franklin, TN

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Fed Ready to Lower Rates This Week for First Time in More Than 4 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the first time in more than four years, the Federal Reserve appears ready to lower interest rates to prevent a housing meltdown and a painful credit crunch from driving the economy into a recession.

A rate cut would affect millions of borrowers, with the intention of getting them to spend and invest more, which would revitalize the economy.
In one of their most important and anxiously awaited decisions, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his central bank colleagues meet Tuesday to determine their next move on interest rates. Those policymakers are widely expected to cut an important rate, now at 5.25 percent, by at least one-quarter of percentage point. Some analysts predict a bolder step, a half-point reduction.

If the Fed drops the rate, then the prime lending rate that commercial banks charge many individuals and businesses would fall by a corresponding amount. It now is at 8.25 percent.
"It's no longer a debate over whether they will ease but by how much," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "The economy is soft and getting softer," and the Fed has come under economic and political pressure to act.

Should the Fed go with a quarter-point cut, analysts expect policymakers will lower the rate again in October and in December, their final meeting of the year.
Fed action would mean that borrowers who can obtain credit would see rates drop on a variety of loans. It would become less expensive for people to finance certain credit card debt and for homeowners to take out popular home equity lines of credit, which often are used to pay for education, home improvements or medical bills.

Also, it should help some homeowners whose adjustable-rate mortgages reset in the fall.
"Borrowers facing a rate reset Oct. 1 might see their ARM rates adjust to 6.7 percent, for example, rather than the 7.5 percent that a borrower whose loan adjusted back on July 1 experienced," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for "Still a big increase, but not the knockout punch it could have been," he said.

Less immediate would be relief for the country's economic health. An expected series of rate decreases could take three months to nine month before rippling through the economy and bolstering activity.

"It's like taking an antibiotic. After you take the first dose, you don't feel immediately better. But after a series of dosages accumulate, there will be a more positive effect," explained Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

Over the short term, a rate cut would provide an important psychological boost. It could make investors, businesses and others less inclined to clamp down or make drastic changes in their behavior that would hurt the economy.

Fears that the deepening housing slump and a spreading credit crisis could short-circuit the six-year-old economic expansion have shaken Wall Street over the past few months. Stocks have swung wildly, with sharp drops reflecting investors' bouts of panic.

A recent government report showing that the economy lost jobs for the first time in four years delivered a fresh jolt. The biggest fear is that individuals and businesses will cut back on spending, throwing the economy into a tailspin.

By Zandi's odds, there now is a 40 percent chance the economy will fall into a recession -- the highest probability since the last recession, in 2001. Just two months earlier, Zandi believed there was only a 12 percent chance.

So far, though, consumers have not cracked. Retail sales rose a modest 0.3 percent in August, after a 0.5 percent gain in July, the government reported Friday.
Problems have been most pronounced in housing.

But, Fed Governor Frederic Mishkin said recently, "economic activity could be affected more severely in other sectors should heightened uncertainty lead to a broader pullback in household and businesses spending." He added, "That scenario cannot, in my view, be ruled out, and I believe it poses an important downside risk to economic activity."

Analysts expect the economy will slow to a rate of about 2 percent in the current quarter, from July through September. That would be just half the rate of the three previous months. Growth in the final three months of this year could turn out even weaker. The employment climate is starting to deteriorate. Employers eliminated 4,000 jobs in August, intensifying calls by politicians and others for the Fed to cut rates. The unemployment rate, now at 4.6 percent, is expected to climb close to 5 percent by the year's end. The weakness in employment was troubling because job and wage growth have served as shock absorbers for people coping with the housing slump.

After a five-year boom, the housing market went bust more than a year ago. Higher interest rates and weaker home values clobbered homeowners, particularly "subprime" borrowers with spotty credit histories or low incomes. Foreclosures set records and late payments spiked. Lenders were forced out of business. Hedge funds and other investors in subprime-related mortgage securities took a huge financial hit.

A credit crisis ensued, spreading beyond the subprime market to more creditworthy borrowers.
"If current conditions persist in mortgage markets, the demand for homes could weaken further, with possible implications for the broader economy," Fed Governor Randall Kroszner said in a recent speech. The situation for the Fed, though, could become even more complicated. Oil prices recently surged past $80 a barrel, a record. Persistent increases could rekindle inflation worries.

Much has changed since the Fed's previous meeting on Aug. 7, when it held its key rate steady. But days later, the Fed was forced to begin pumping billions of dollars into the financial system to stem worsening credit problems and market turbulence.
Then on Aug. 17, the Fed slashed its lending rate to banks and issued a more grim assessment of the economic climate.

Bernanke repeatedly has pledged in recent weeks to "act as needed" to keep the housing and credit mess from sinking the economy. "It seemed like the Fed was behind the curve. Now it is going to bring out the big gun" on Tuesday and cut its most important rate, the federal funds rate, said Scott Anderson, economist at Wells Fargo. The last time the funds rate, which is the interest that banks charge each other, was lowered was in late June 2003. The rate is the Fed's main tool for influencing the economy.
"The cut is really needed to improve the cost and availability of credit for the average business and consumer," he said.

For information about the Nashville, Tennessee Housing Market go to

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Current Nashville Housing Market

Okay, a little view point from the streets. Being a realtor out on the streets and seeing everything that is going on from day to day my opinion on the housing market is quite a bit different than what you see on MSNBC. Is the market slow??? Compared to last year, maybe. But last year was a banner year, one for the record books. If we have a thriving market that sets records for sales, listings, and new homes, than ultimately the following year you could expect it to slow down a little bit. At least that tends to be the natural process.

In the Nashville Real Estate market, I am seeing a multitude of different situations. More listings on the market. Yes it is true, we have more listings and inventory on the market than we would like. This means two things; more room to negotiate as a buyer and more to choose from. This time last year, if you were a buyer in the Nashville market you found something that was interesting to you and you jumped on it. You presented a strong offer and made up your mind then and there that this house was the house for you. Now with there being more homes on the market, there is more competition for your business. Sellers are more likely to be reasonable about their pricing structure and more inclined to work with and negotiate with qualified buyers. Plus, this gives you as the buyer more time to think it over, pray about, and take your time on the purchase of your home.

Another issue that helps you the qualified buyer is this; the mortgage industry. With all of the problems being seen in the mortgage world, truly qualified buyers are like gold. When you find one as a seller, you hang on to it. There is nothing in the world more frustrating to a seller than tying up their property in escrow only to have the buyer's loan fall apart at the last minute. It waste time and money for everyone. So when a "good" buyer with a strong loan comes around, sellers will do whatever it takes to keep them around. That is a big plus for the buyer. And usually results in a better deal.

For my sellers, things have changed. The days of putting a sign in your yard and putting fliers out front are over. It takes a strong marketing campaign to bring traffic to your house. The number one thing and by far most important avenue for selling your house these days is the internet. Research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tell us that 85% of all home buyers in the market do their own searching on the internet, most of them even before calling a realtor to assist them. That means you have to have a very strong presence on the world wide web. Your realtor should be very tech saavy and know how to reach the target market for your home. For an example, refer to my website and look at my listings.
To sell your home, the potential buyer needs to know what it feels like to live in your home before ever stepping foot in it. That is why I have embedded a video stream tour of the property directly on my website. Buyers that are looking in the area can click on your listing and have a video tour of your home to see what it looks like and how it feels to actually be inside your property without ever leaving their couch. The more information and "feeling" you can give your potential customer, the better chance you have of them setting up a showing to come and see your home.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with me about my marketing ideas for listing your home in and around the Nashville area, please give me a call. I would love to help. Buyers, it's a great time to start looking. Rates are going to be going up in the future and there are plenty of options out there. Call me if you would like to take a look at a few. In the mean time, take a look at and do some looking around for yourself. I hope that this blog has been educational and can be a source of help to you and your family.

Thanks for stopping by, may God bless you today and always!

God Bless,

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Monday, September 10, 2007

Trust, FSBO's, and unrepresented buyers.

Trust....That seems to be a foreign word to some of us in the business industry of 2007. It seems like everywhere we turn there are people out there trying to make a quick buck and they don't seem to care who they have to step over to do it. I have recently seen this issue come to light. I was involved with a real estate transaction that involved a particular builder in the Nashville area ( no names mentioned, unless you call and ask me!) where that trust was breached. My client and I were both promised something that never came to light. Unfortunately my client was taken advantage of and we both learned a very valuable lesson.

On a similar topic, I have dealt with more than one mortgage officer that promised things that could not be done. Then left my client sitting at the closing table with a blank stare on his face. There are also times that I have answered questions from unrepresented buyers that get into their new home only to find major problems that were never addressed during their inspections. They thought they didn't need the help of a professional, until it was too late.

With all of that said..........(I'm going somewhere with this, I promise) .......Business, real estate, relationships, they are all based around trust and being educated before jumping into something. That is why it is imperative that you as educated buyers do your homework before making a major decision like buying or selling a home. The numbers tell you that selling your home For Sale By Owner will NOT bring you more money for your home. In fact the numbers say that you are far more likely to get more for your home when a realtor markets your property. That is including the realtor's commission. Also, never never never (did I say never) walk into a builder's office on a new construction site unrepresented. I can't tell you about the nightmares that I have seen people go through when trying to work directly with a big name builder. It's like going into a court of law trying to defend yourself without a lawyer. Just remember, you get what you pay for in this life.
In the industry we are seeing a wave of discount brokers. Those that will list your home at a discounted price. Discount brokers give you discount service. An investment like your home should never go to the lowest bidder. If you are ever contacted by a discount broker that will sell your home for a fraction of the cost, ask to see his marketing plan. Ask him how much work he is going to do for you. What marketing tools does he have to sell your home for the most amount of money? More importantly, is he or she motivated to have your best interest in mind even though you aren't paying him very well?

This industry is all about trust. You put your investments into the hands of those that you can trust, and only after you have done your homework for yourself. Even though you hire someone to help you, you should always do as much for your own education as possible. There is no such thing as too much education.

Let me leave you with this thought. Never do anything that your gut tells you isn't right. Put your trust into professionals that truly have your best interest in mind. Cheaper isn't always better. You wouldn't want your 16 year old daughter to have her brakes fixed by the cheapest mechanic in town, why would you want to list your home with the cheapest realtor in town?

Thanks for stopping by. Visit my website at for a list of people you CAN TRUST and for a ton of other useful information. My the Lord bless you today and always.

God Bless,

Nick Woodard

Thursday, September 6, 2007

State of the Art Real Estate Marketing

With technology taking over in every aspect of our lives, I have made it a point to shift my marketing efforts towards the "tech savy" customers out there. Within the pages of you can find my listings and see what I am talking about. These days people don't want to be bothered with long drawn out showings and miles and miles of visits. They want results, and they want them fast. That is why I have married two ideas together to form one. With everyone that hasn't lived in a hole for the past 5 years knowing what was, I decided why not have a video tour of my listings? Why not let my buyers see what it is like to live in the home before putting their money down? I have decided to join the "standard" virtual tour with the realism of a camera tour. After thinking it over I decided, sure you can razzle it up and put "pretty" accents on the video. I could even hire a beautiful model to show you around the property. But what people really want is a genuine feel for what the property offers them. After all they are going to be living there. They don't want the "smoke in the mirror" marketing ploy. After all, I'm not selling you anything. I am merely putting buyers and sellers together.

When you have a free minute stop by Check out my featured listings and get the REAL TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless.