Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dave Ramsey Quote

This blog is based around one of my favorite radio talk show hosts, Dave Ramsey. Dave has taught many of us to live below our means, spend less than we make, and to delay pleasure until we can actually afford it. Dave has helped many people across this country get back up on their feet after they have made bad financial decisions with their money. His ministry is to pass along advice and council to people who find themselves in a financially hard situation. By changing your habits, relying on the Lord, and using some simple common sense, we can get ourselves back up on our feet. If only our government would listen to his advice!

“Work - get paid; don't work - don't get paid. Everybody is on commission, ... Try not coming to work for six weeks. Work gets paid; don't work, don't get paid. When they earn those dollars, and when you're 4, and you clean up your room, it really means mom cleaned up the room and you did two toys. When you're 14, it means you cleaned up your room. But still, we got the money caused by work, and then, we have teachable moments on how to handle the money they earn.”
Dave Ramsey quote

Nick Woodard
Realtor
Nashville, Tennessee
www.nickwoodard.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Selling your home...the Dave Ramsey way.

How to sell your home fast and for top dollar



1. Know why you’re selling and keep it to yourself.
The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything, from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What’s more important to you: the money you walk away with or the length of time your home is on the market? Different goals require different strategies.
Don’t reveal your reason to sell to anyone else or they may use it against you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed.




2. Do your research before setting a price.

Setting an offer price shouldn’t be done lightly. Once you’ve set your price, you’ve told buyers the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home. Pricing too high is as dangerous as pricing too low. Remember that the average buyer is looking at 15 – 20 homes at the same time they’re considering yours. This means that if your home doesn’t compare favorably with others in the price range you’ve set, you won’t be taken seriously. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time.



3. Do your homework.


With the help of your agent, find out what homes in your neighborhood and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past 6 – 12 months. Also research the listing prices of current homes. You can be certain that prospective buyers will judge the price of your home based on homes similar to yours.



4. Find a great real estate agent.

A great agent not only helps you to get more money for your home but they also communicate with you and guide you through every step of the selling process – including negotiation. You want an agent that provides great customer service and has sold a lot of homes. Sold homes equal happy clients.


Click here to find an agent in your city that Dave recommends!



5. Maximize your home’s sales potential.

Appearance is critical, that’s why businesses spend billions on product and packaging design each year. It would be foolish to ignore this when selling your home.

You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, scrub, scour, and dust. Fix everything no matter how unimportant it may appear. Present your home to get a “Wow!” response from buyers.


Buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new pair of jeans. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or if your d├ęcor is so different that it’s difficult for a buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, you make it difficult for them to imagine themselves as the owner.

The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Fixing and cleaning generates a greater emotional response than anything else by allowing buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.



6. Make it easy for buyers to get information about your home.

Some marketing tools that most agents use to sell homes (e.g. traditional open houses) are not very effective. In fact, only 1% of homes are sold at an open house.

Also, buyers calling for information on your home value their time. The last thing they want is to play a game of telephone tag with an agent or an unwanted sales pitch. To avoid this, make sure the ads your agent places for your home are attached to a 24 hour prerecorded hotline with a specific ID number for your home. This gives buyers access to detailed information about your home day or night, 7 days a week without having to talk to anyone. Such a system can triple information request calls. Remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home the better – because it sets up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver’s seat.



7. Know your buyer.

What is your buyer’s motivation? Does he need to move quickly? Does he have enough money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation process because you know how far you can push to get what you want.



8. Make sure the contract is complete.

As a seller, make sure you disclose everything. Smart sellers go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, he can’t come back with a lawsuit.

Make sure all terms, costs, and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract and resist the temptation to stray from the contract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Now is not the time to risk the deal falling through.



9. Don’t move out before you sell.

It can cost you thousands. Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it looks forlorn, forgotten, and simply not appealing. If you move, you’re also telling buyers that you have a new home and are probably highly motivated to sell fast. This, of course, will give them the advantage at the negotiating table.

Nick Woodard
Realtor
www.nickwoodard.com
Nashville, Tennessee

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fannie and Freddy news

I can’t imagine there are too many that have not heard the news about the US Government take over of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I wanted to shed a little light on it and open the doors to any questions or concerns. There are immediate concerns and there are immediate benefits. My overall advice would be to take the negatives with a grain of salt and see the positives for what it can do for you in the short and long runs. Shareholders in Fannie and Freddie will be hurt the most. It’s inevitable that they will loose a lot if not everything. Our tax dollars will rise to help support the bailout. Lending may tighten but Fannie and Freddie lending guidelines could also start to take on the makeup of FHA today. That’s just an interesting Matt Askland possible prediction. That in it self will change a lot of the lending practices for the positive, increasing and making Fan and Fred more competitive to the FHA mortgage market share. I can tell you for one thing…… My rate sheet this morning has already seen a ½ point reduction in the borrower offered rate. For my lending partners, this means a potential overall full point swing in our bottom line. For you and your clients this means getting you mortgage rate under 6.0% very affordable. Will the rates continue to drop? No one can say for sure but this is an opportunity to look at your current mortgage terms again or another reason to push potential buyers off the fence. Homebuyers have been waiting for that big sign that says, ‘we are at the bottom of the market.’ This bailout will keep and should almost create the bottom of the market. Low rates and buying low is the best recipe for success.

If you are in the market or have clients that are on the fence,…..Get off the fence!!

Nick Woodard
Middle Tennessee Realtor
nick@nickwoodard.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Are we at the bottom?

Are we there yet??? That seems to be the question that I am asked multiple times per week. Has the real estate market made a turn for the better??? In my opinion, yes. I am starting to see more and more buyers pull the trigger on purchasing a home in the recent weeks. With interest rates in a very affordable position, many people are taking advantage of this opportunity, myself included. My new home will be the 3rd home purchase for me in just as many years. I am locked in at the lowest rate of all three homes that I have lived in the past 3 years. So for my buyers out there, yes it is a very good time to buy real estate in the Middle Tennessee area, but I wouldn't expect the cushion to hang around for very long. Remember, you don't know if you have hit a bottom until you start coming back up. Take advantage of the opportunity while you can. For my sellers, Hang in there! I know that many of you are stuck trying to sell your property before you can purchase a new one. It can be a very frustrating experience, I understand. I was in the same situation myself earlier this year. Like I said, hang in there and keep marketing. With Spring right around the corner and mortgage rates staying in the low digits, I strongly feel that things are going to get better in the coming months. If there is ever anything that I can do to help, please don't hesitate to call. Thanks for stopping by and God Bless.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty Franklin, TN
615.566.9839
www.nickwoodard.com

Monday, January 28, 2008

Morgage Rates at 4 year low

WASHINGTON - Rates on 30-year mortgages dropped for a fourth straight week to the lowest level in nearly four years, raising hopes that low rates will help spur a rebound in the hard-hit housing industry.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.48 percent this week, down from 5.69 percent last week.

It was the fourth consecutive decline and the third straight week that rates have been below the 6 percent level. The new rate marked the lowest point for 30-year mortgages since they averaged 5.40 percent the week of March 25, 2004.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Economists attributed the decline to further weak news on the economy combined with the biggest reduction of a key interest rate by the Federal Reserve in more than 20 years, a move that has raised hopes the Fed will be making more rate cuts as it steps up its efforts to combat a threatened economic recession.

“When the Federal Reserve cut the target for the federal funds rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, the action was extraordinary in both the magnitude and the timing of the rate cut,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

Other types of mortgages also showed declines this week.

Rates on 15-year mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, dropped to 4.95 percent this week, down from 5.21 percent last week.

Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages declined to 5.13 percent, compared to 5.40 percent last week while rates on one-year ARMs fell to 4.99 percent, down from 5.26 percent last week.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year mortgages, 15-year mortgages and five-year adjustable-rate mortgages all carried a nationwide average fee of 0.4 point. One-year ARMS had an average fee of 0.6 point.

A year ago, 30-year mortgages stood at 6.25 percent while rates on 15-year mortgages were at 5.98 percent. Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 6.00 percent and one-year ARMs were at 5.49 percent this time a year ago.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Williamson County Association of Realtors® Announces December 2007 Home Sales
January 7, 2008 (Franklin, TN)-The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® today announces the sale of homes statistics for Williamson County, Tn. for the month of December 2007. There were 305 residential and condominium closings reported for the month of December, according to figures provided by RealTracs Solutions, the multiple listing service used by REALTORS® in the Middle-Tennessee area.

Compared to December of 2006, the single family residential closings decreased 30 percent and the median price decreased by 2 percent. Compared to 2005, the median home prices have increased by 20 percent. Condominiums closings have increased by 2 percent and the median price increased by 5 percent. Compared to 2005, the median price for condominiums has increased 37 percent. The average days on the market (DOM) for residential homes have increased by 21 days and condominiums have increased by 2 days. Days on the market have been consistent since the onset of 2007, with the days ranging from 58 - 72 days. Median prices have remained consistent since January 2007, ranging from $365,000 to $391,200. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.


December 2007

Closings Median Price Average Price DOM
Residential 247 $ 385,757 $ 471,523 74
Condominium 58 $ 198,732 $ 217,309 51

December 2006

Closings Median Price Average Price DOM
Residential 356 $ 394,900 $ 456,445 53
Condominium 57 $ 190,000 $ 213,643 49

December 2005

Closings Median Price Average Price DOM
Residential 450 $ 320,704 $ 414,290 50
Condominium 46 $ 144,950 $ 180,452 31


"As expected the real estate market in Williamson County remained consistent with the other months of the fourth quarter producing approximately 250 residential closings each month. Real estate continues to be a strong investment in our area despite the seasonal slowdown that is consistent with the fourth quarter of every year. Nationally 2007 is the fifth best year for real estate since the National Association of REALTORS® began keeping records; more than 100 years ago. We expect 2008 to remain consistent with 2007 with an increased volume of transactions towards the middle of the year." said Kathie Moore, 2008 President of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®.


Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty
615.566.9839
nick@nickwoodard.com
www.nickwoodard.com

Thanks and God Bless

Monday, January 7, 2008

December Home Sales Reports

Williamson County Association of Realtors® Announces December 2007 Home Sales
January 7, 2008 (Franklin, TN)-The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® today announces the sale of homes statistics for Williamson County, Tn. for the month of December 2007. There were 305 residential and condominium closings reported for the month of December, according to figures provided by RealTracs Solutions, the multiple listing service used by REALTORS® in the Middle-Tennessee area.

Compared to December of 2006, the single family residential closings decreased 30 percent and the median price decreased by 2 percent. Compared to 2005, the median home prices have increased by 20 percent. Condominiums closings have increased by 2 percent and the median price increased by 5 percent. Compared to 2005, the median price for condominiums has increased 37 percent. The average days on the market (DOM) for residential homes have increased by 21 days and condominiums have increased by 2 days. Days on the market have been consistent since the onset of 2007, with the days ranging from 58 - 72 days. Median prices have remained consistent since January 2007, ranging from $365,000 to $391,200. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.


"As expected the real estate market in Williamson County remained consistent with the other months of the fourth quarter producing approximately 250 residential closings each month. Real estate continues to be a strong investment in our area despite the seasonal slowdown that is consistent with the fourth quarter of every year. Nationally 2007 is the fifth best year for real estate since the National Association of REALTORS® began keeping records; more than 100 years ago. We expect 2008 to remain consistent with 2007 with an increased volume of transactions towards the middle of the year." said Kathie Moore, 2008 President of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®.


Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty Franklin, TN
615.566.9839
www.nickwoodard.com

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Standardizing Mortgage Tactics


WASHINGTON - Seven states on Wednesday launched a standardized and mandatory process to more thoroughly license and track tens of thousands of mortgage brokers.

The effort could be expanded upon by Congressional Democrats, who are expected in 2008 to continue pushing for tighter national standards. Mortgage brokers have come under scrutiny over the past year as home loan defaults grew and housing market troubles worsened. Experts say loose licensing standards made it easy for shady operators — even those with criminal records — to work in the business.

While mortgage regulations vary dramatically from one state to another, the new system creates a uniform application for mortgage brokers and a database that banking regulators, and eventually consumers, can use to track down brokers who try to work in one state after being banned from another. Consumers should have access by next year.

Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York and Rhode Island are the initial states participating. In total, 42 state agencies — including those in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico — have committed to joining by the end of 2009,

The system is mandatory for brokers doing business in those states, and brokers can be penalized for operating without a license.

Lending-reform legislation does face tough odds this year, but mortgage industry consultant Howard Glaser said the consensus emerging from Democrats and Republicans is clear: More oversight of mortgage brokers is necessary.

“To have true uniformity, you would need to have a federal rule,” Glaser said. “It shouldn’t make a difference where you live.”

The state system applies to mortgage brokers and loan officers at state-regulated banks, but not employees at nationally supervised banks. In the works since fall 2004, it was developed by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators.

A bill passed by the House in November would require all states to participate in the licensing system and would mandate criminal background checks for everyone involved in selling home loans. The bill would also mandate minimum education standards for brokers and completion of a written test.

Of the 53 state agencies that regulate mortgage lending, 41 require criminal background checks, 32 require continuing education and 17 have require some sort of testing requirement, according to the state banking supervisors group.

John Ryan, executive vice president of the banking supervisors group, said his group can’t force states to strengthen their laws, but many are already doing so. “We’ve focused on where we could get consensus,” he said.

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers fought the banking supervisors’ effort, arguing that bank loan officers should be subject to the same standards.

Mortgage brokers’ share of new mortgages rose from 20 percent in 1987 to more than 60 percent for much of the past decade, according to Wholesale Access, a Columbia, Md. consulting firm. But their market share is likely to slip this year, as the industry returns to more traditional loans backed by government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those loans have typically been the business of mortgage banks, not brokers.