Sunday, November 18, 2007

Use Open Houses to your advantage

If it seems as if there are "Open House" signs on nearly every street corner these days (especially on Sundays), you aren't imagining things. Although statistics show that the chances of actually selling a house DURING an Open House are quite low -- maybe one in a hundred -- the events still have a great deal of value.

First, an Open House creates buzz. Word-of-mouth advertising can be invaluable. Even if most of the people who come through the home (a large percentage are usually neighbors) aren't really interested in buying it themselves, they may know someone who is. That's why "lookie-loo's" are always welcome at my Open Houses.

Second, it gives "unagented" prospective buyers (you?) a great way to conduct stealth interviews of prospective agents. Of course you want to hire a Realtor who is skilled and knowledgeable, but beyond that, a good personality match will make the home buying process sooooooo much more pleasant for you.

If you'd like to meet me, while remaining incognito, come by my Open House today at 6325 SW 39th St., near Morgan Junction. I'll be there from 1-4PM. For a list of other Open Houses, see the list of links in the column on the right. (For some reason, this software isn't allowing me to add a link here at the moment.)

1 comment:

Brian Smith said...


Thank you for taking some time to speak to me at your Open House yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation and your insight into West Seattle's current Real Estate market. I was impressed with your understanding of the current mortgage situation also. As a lender for the past 12 years, I have seen the market do many strange things, but nothing like what happened this summer.

Between mid July and late August (when the Fed stepped in and added some liquidity to the credit market via the discount window)the value of Non-Ageny (not secured by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae) and non-Government (FHA, VA, USDA) mortgage loans was re-priced. That is, the value of the securities backed by these Sub-Prime loans was reassessed and deemed to be worth far less than what was assumed. The devaluation of these securities caused serious losses to the Investment Banks that were holding them, causing crediters to pull back lines of credit, strenghten loan requirements and causing a good part of the mortgage industry to seize up.

The relatively quick response of the Fed and other Central Banks had a calming effect on the markets and things stabilized within a few weeks. While the issue of figuring out how to value the vast numbers of financial instruments secured by Sub Prime mortgages is still causing havoc in financial markets all over the world, Agency and Government back mortgage loans are stable and doing well. Because of that and the Fed efforts of lowering the Fed Funds rate, interest rates are approaching historic lows.

The effects of rising foreclosure rates continues to dog many financial institutions and has had a negative effect on the stock market, but the investment community has to put their money to work somewhere. Often times, when the stock market is in a corrective mode, dollars are sent into the security of U.S. Treasury Bills, this in turn has an effect on Long Term Interest rates. The National News might be all doom and gloom, but our market looks strong and with rates dropping, I would expect it to get stronger in the near future.

Thanks again for your time yesterday and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday.