Nationally Recognized Economist, Matthew Gardner, Secured as Keynote Speaker for Community Forum in January
Windermere Real Estate Camano Island & Stanwood has secured nationally-recognized, expert chief economist, Matthew Gardner, as keynote speaker for Real Estate Forecast 2019, a community forum scheduled for Friday, January 25, 2019 at the Camano Center. The forum, which will take a macro and micro look at economy, housing, and the economic forecast, is open to the public at no cost. Reservations are required. Doors will open at 6PM; the presentation will begin at 7PM.
“This past year, our office has been inundated with questions about the economy and whether or not it’s still a good time to buy or sell,” said Marla Heagle, owner/broker of Windermere Real Estate Camano Island & Stanwood. “We encourage our neighbors to attend the forum to get a broader understanding of the current and anticipated state of the real estate market, locally and beyond. We are privileged to have a recognized expert in Mr. Gardner at this year’s event who will, undoubtedly, shine new light on the topic for us all.”
As the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner offers more than three decades of professional experience analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market. As this year’s keynote speaker, Gardner will provide insight into the real estate landscape through a macro lense, looking at it on a global, national, and then regional scale, followed by a more micro concentration of our local market. Attendees will garner real-time knowledge of current market trends in relation to the economy, and how these factors could impact overall buying and selling behaviors in the coming year.
Doors will open at the Camano Center at 6PM for a cocktail and heavy appetizer hour, followed by a 45-minute presentation by Gardner. Attendees will have an opportunity, immediately following the presentation, for an extended Q&A session lasting until 9PM. The Camano Center is located at 606 Arrowhead Road on Camano Island. Reservations are required. Call (360) 387-4663 to reserve your seat, or click the link below.
Are Real Estate Agents Still Relevant in the Age of Tech?
Windermere Stanwood-Camano Real Estate Brokers are deeply connected to the issues that face local home-buyers and sellers. In this series of blogs, The Broker’s Perspective, Windermere Stanwood-Camano Brokers provide insight into current Real Estate market trends and topics.
This week, we take a look at an article from Forbes about Real Estate agents being relevant in the “Age of Tech.” Nancy McClure, a broker from our Terry’s Corner Camano Island office, gives us her perspective on this article.
More Than Just the Home Search
It’s true that buyers today are doing most of the legwork when it comes to actually finding listings. But according to Nick Bailey, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, that initial search is only a small portion of the overall home buying process.
“Historically, buyers and sellers needed data,” Bailey said. “They needed to know what’s on the market, the price and property specifics. Today, consumers need access to see properties and then help analyzing the data and negotiating through a process that is the most complex it’s ever been.”
In fact, according to New York broker Jed Lewin, the “real work” doesn’t even begin until a property is under contract—when things like negotiating, inspections and, in Lewin’s case, dealing with co-op boards come into play.
Still, having buyers already knowledgeable about the market can make the process easier—for both parties.
“Online listings completely changed the way that people interact with their home search, and has led to buyers and sellers being much more sophisticated about the market, which is a great thing,” Lewin said. “People conducting their own searches means that buyers are better informed and therefore more realistic about what their budget will allow, and sellers are more attuned to what their properties are worth.”
At the end of the day though, buyers generally still need assistance navigating the process. Throw in today’s red-hot market and historically low inventory levels, and having an agent’s expertise might be more important than ever.
“It’s clear that while home-buyers are embracing technology, most still require the guidance of an agent to help save them time, keep them organized, and successfully take them through the closing process to get the best deal,” said Daniel Maloney, head of sales at Owners.com. “Technology will continue to revolutionize the real estate market, but consumers still value and rely on their real estate agent.”
At the end of the day, and despite all the tech that’s out there, that’s what it all comes down to: what the agent can offer above and beyond the confines of the web.
“While the internet is replete with information, it’s the agent’s knowledge that makes the difference between mediocrity and extraordinary,” Bailey said. “The irony is that the digital revolution has helped scale the importance of human knowledge and shared experiences. Technology is constantly evolving and so, too, must the agent and the real estate company.”
Read the entire article here.
Windermere Broker Nancy McClure gives her perspective.
Looking at our local Stanwood-Camano market, do you find that when a buyer comes to you they have already done their research online or via mobile technology? And are they only using your services to show homes they have already picked out online?
Buyers usually come in with a list of homes they have found online, but we sit down together and most often end up changing the list. Buyers may not know what they want based on their online search. Many times when we first meet with the buyer to discuss their needs they realize that they need something more, or different than what they had initially envisioned. Good agents have a knack for reading between the lines and pulling out more of what they are looking for vs. what they are expressing. Although the initial online search provides a great starting place, narrowing down a buyer’s search is really a person to person individual process.
When and if a buyer comes to you with a list of homes that they have found online, do you find the information to be accurate and complete?
Not always. Some sites tend to be behind; when this happens, the list a buyer brings in to me can be outdated. The local market is still moving fast. Homes can go pending and sold so quickly that a list that was done on Monday can sometimes be outdated by Friday.
Although a lot of information about these properties can be found online, one of the most important things when buying or selling a home is having a knowledgeable local agent. For example, in our area, beach rights, beach access, wells (community and private), and septic systems all have an effect on the value and usefulness of a property. An out of area or “online” brokerage generally will not be able to represent, and more importantly, protect the buyer’s interests the way a knowledgeable local agent can.
There is no secret that Windermere Stanwood-Camano has the market share in the Stanwood-Camano area. Does the online technology provided by Windermere allow home shoppers to search all of the listings in the area easily, including listings from other Real Estate companies?
As this article suggests, buyers have access to a multitude of online real estate searches. Windermere provides complete and up-to-date search capabilities with all of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service’s information. This means that a buyer can go to any Windermere “home search” web page (agents & brokerage websites) and search through all the currently listed homes regardless of what company listed the home. All Windermere agents are equipped with the same technology access and provide this information to potential home buyers and sellers as part of our comprehensive service.
Windermere Stanwood and Camano Island Prepares “We Are Stanwood Camano Giving Tree” to Support Neighbors in Need During Holiday Season
CAMANO ISLAND, WA (November 16, 2018) – Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Windermere Real Estate has put up its “We Are Stanwood Camano Giving Tree” at its Terry’s Corner office located on Camano Island to benefit local people who need a little bit of help this year. Strung throughout the Christmas tree, anonymous tags noting an individual’s age, gender and interests will be hung for people to choose from and fulfill with an appropriate gift. All donated items are to be turned into the Windermere office by December 15 so that Santa’s Elves (ie. Windermere brokers) can wrap and deliver the gifts before Christmas arrives.
“This is a project that all of us at Windermere look forward to each year,” said Marla Heagle, owner/broker of Windermere Real Estate Stanwood Camano Island. “Our tree is loaded with names of people right here in our community who just need a little help. We’re encouraging the community to stop by our office, grab a tag, and take advantage of this weekend’s Black Friday sales to fulfill someone’s Christmas wish. It’s a small way to give back and elevate your spirit during this season of gratitude.”
The individual’s profiles that fill each tree tag were submitted by the faculty of local schools. It’s a process that affords families with the anonymity, but also the holiday joy, they deserve to experience this time of year.
Donated items will be accepted at the Windermere office on Terry’s Corner between Friday, November 23rd and Friday, December 15. All donations (ie. toys, books, stuffed animals, etc.) must be brand new at the time of drop off. The Terry’s Corner office is located at 818 North Sunrise Boulevard on Camano Island. Office hours for drop off are between 9AM and 5PM Monday through Saturday, and 10AM to 5PM on Sundays.
About Windermere Real Estate Stanwood and Camano Island
With an extensive network of over 50 agents serving Island, Skagit and Snohomish County, Windermere Real Estate Stanwood and Camano Island provides decades of combined experience and local knowledge. The Camano Island Windermere office was started in 1991 and purchased, along with the Stanwood office, in 2005 by Randy and Marla Heagle. The Heagles work hard every day to bring value and positive change to the Stanwood and Camano Island community.
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Interest rates have been trending higher since the fall of 2017, and I fully expect they will continue in that direction – albeit relatively slowly – as we move through the balance of the year and into 2019. So what does this mean for the US housing market?
It might come as a surprise to learn that I really don’t think rising interest rates will have a major impact on the housing market. Here is my reasoning:
1. First Time Home Buyers
As interest rates rise, I expect more buyers to get off the fence and into the market; specifically, first time buyers who, made up nearly half of new mortgages in the first quarter of this year. First-time buyers are critical to the overall health of the housing market because of the subsequent chain reaction of sales that result so this is actually a positive outcome of rising rates.
2. Easing Credit Standards
Rising interest rates may actually push some lenders to modestly ease credit standards. I know this statement will cause some people to think that easing credit will immediately send us back to the days of sub-prime lending and housing bubbles, but I don’t see this happening. Even a very modest easing of credit will allow for more than one million new home buyers to qualify for a mortgage.
3. Low Unemployment
We stand today in a country with very low unemployment (currently 4.0% and likely to get close to 3.5% by year’s end). Low unemployment rates encourage employers to raise wages to keep existing talent, as well as to recruit new talent. Wage growth can, to a degree, offset increasing interest rates because, as wages rise, buyers can afford higher mortgage payments.
There is a clear relationship between housing supply, home prices, and interest rates. We’re already seeing a shift in inventory levels with more homes coming on the market, and I fully expect this trend to continue for the foreseeable future. This increase in supply is, in part, a result of homeowners looking to cash in on their home’s appreciation before interest rates rise too far. This, on its own, will help ease the growth of home prices and offset rising interest rates. Furthermore, if we start to see more new construction activity at the lower end of the market, this too will help.
National versus Local
Up until this point, I’ve looked at how rising interest rates might impact the housing market on a national level, but as we all know, real estate is local, and different markets react to shifts in different ways. For example, rising interest rates will be felt more in expensive housing markets, such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Orange County, but I expect to see less impact in areas like Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and Detroit, where buyers spend a lower percentage of their incomes on housing. The exception to this would be if interest rates continue to rise for a prolonged period; in that case, we might see demand start to taper off, especially in the less expensive housing markets where buyers are more price sensitive.
For more than seven years, home buyers and real estate professionals alike have grown very accustomed to historically low interest rates. We always knew the time would come when they would begin to rise again, but that doesn’t mean the outlook for housing is doom and gloom. On the contrary, I believe rising interest rates will help bring us closer to a more balanced real estate market, something that is sorely needed in many markets across the country.