Real Estate Data Can Help Save The Day When Appraisals Come In Low

low appraisalWhen faced with a low appraisal and danger of losing a sale, brokers and agent might consider these real estate data tools to hold the sale together.

Low appraisals happen. We all know there are a number of reasons why – too many short sales in the neighborhood, overpricing, inflated prices for certain homes, etc.

But it’s certainly a dreadful moment for brokers and agents after all that hard work bringing a buyer and seller is for naught.

Most real estate pros will obviously try their best to rescue the deal. Perhaps suggest a second appraisal. Ask the seller to lower their price. Ask the buyer to kick in more cash. It’s a tough exercise.

One handy tool that a broker or agent could introduce to prop up the sale is real estate data.

Real estate data to the rescue

With data providers such as Home Junction, a real estate pro can add a tremendous amount of hyper-local data to their website. This data can be a powerful persuader when it comes to fixing a bad situation.

And just as easy as it is to download the latest app on your iphone or smartphone, adding this gigantic reservoir of local data is an extremely simple task today. All that is required is basically just adding a few snippets of code and bazinga – there is a ton of hyper-local, highly relevant real estate data available for consumers on the agent’s website.

Here are a few suggestions on how to perhaps use that data to combat a lower than anticipated appraisal.

For example, sure this particular appraisal came in below the agreed upon price. But according to Recent Home Sales Data for the area, home prices in the rest of the market are actually on the rise So even if an appraisal for that home is low, it’s evident overall home prices in the area are on the upswing.

Perhaps there were those extenuating circumstances that hurt that appraisal. Perhaps the appraiser did make a mistake. Bottom line – the value of homes in this market are escalating, and that’s a reassuring signal to a buyer. Maybe it will persuade them to put extra cash into the deal.

Conversely, perhaps Recent Home Sales Data shows the market is flat. Or, actually declining. Maybe the seller overpriced their home (gee, how often does this happen?).

Perhaps the seller just had an unreasonably inflated number in their head and the appraisal gave them a reality check. Use your Recent Homes Sales Data to reinforce that bit of realism and perhaps help the seller come back down to earth with a more reasonable price.

Another persuasive tool to use is a Market Trend Chart. Sure, this appraisal is low, but homes sales in this neighborhood are heating up. Show how the number of homes sold is rising dramatically.

The seller might be asking for a little bit more than the appraised value, but point out to the buyer, if they really want to live in this neighborhood, perhaps they should pony up the extra cash.

Maybe there’s a new school going up down the street. Perhaps they are adding a new train station. Or a major employer is coming into town. These factors are sure to boost the values later.

Then there is the overall picture of the neighborhood. For example, Home Junction has a map-based search tool that shows amenities on a map relative to an MLS listing.

For example, you know Mr. Buyer is an avid golfer. Show him how this particular property, is within easy driving distance of three great golf courses.

Sure, the appraisal might not be pretty, but driving just a mile to tee off at one of the area’s best golf courses can sure paint a better picture in the mind of a buyer.

Mrs. Buyer loves coffee and yoga. There’s a cute coffee shop just down the street and a popular hot-yoga studio right around the corner. Does she want to give up that valuable proximity to the things she loves and find a home on the outskirts of town instead? Miles away from everything?

Okay, the appraisal came in low. Money is one thing. But arranging a solid education for your children is another. Show on the map the boundary data for the local school district. Point out how that popular middle school down the street comes in with high marks and worth putting up a few thousand dollars to be sure the buyer’s children can attend a quality school.

Maybe the data shows the area has a problem with crime compared to other areas. Show this to the seller. Let them know they are not going to get that higher price because of that factor and to be realistic. That’s a compelling reason to drop a price.

An appraisal might show the  value of a property on a micro-level, but Recent Home Sales, Market Trends and a map of local amenities can help the buyer (or seller) zoom out and see the bigger picture.

Buying or selling a home is an emotional endeavor. The cold, hard numbers in an appraisal can strike a blow to any feelings people have in their heads about a property.

Use the numbers in real estate data on your website to help persuade buyers and sellers to reassess the true value of the property and then what they should do to salvage the deal.

Real Estate Map Search

Use Real Estate Map Search And Market Trend Data To Help Sellers Decide To Sell Or Buy First

Real Estate Map SearchPeople make some tough decisions in their lives.

Who to marry. Where to work. Where to live.

And here’s one near the top of any list. Should I sell my existing home before I buy another?  Or should I wait and then sell my current home?

When it comes to real estate-related decisions, this is always a difficult choice.

That’s why it’s smart for agents and brokers to have the best tools on their site, including real estate data such as Market Trends and a geocoded real estate map search platform, all offered by Home Junction.

This decision can be gut-wrenching for home owners. Some people don’t like the idea of selling their home first and essentially not having a place to live after they close.

What are their options? Move in with relatives? Hmm, not always a great move, even for a few months.

Get an apartment? Then they are stuck with a lease.

Or they might go with the most comfortable option. Take their time, find the home they really want. Buy it. Move in at their leisure.

Then put their home on the market. But there is always the risk that unfortunately they can’t sell it! There could be a number of reasons  – local market conditions, poor shape, lack of demand for that particular type of home, overpricing, etc.

Ouch. Stuck with two mortgages. Savings getting drained.

Now that is starting to sound like a very scary option.

Real estate map search can be very persuasive

As a real estate professional, when you have the latest real estate data and amazing real estate map search tools embedded on your web site, you can provide some assurance to sellers that you have the resources to help them through these scenarios.

For people who want to sell first, by showing Recent Home Sales and Market Trends on your website, you can also point out to sellers how this is an optimal time to put a home on the market. Prices are rising. The sales trend line is moving upward. This is a seller’s market.

With the geocoded real estate map search, you can show sellers how you are not only going to market the home itself, but you also have the ability to expertly market the location of the property. In essence, you are going to sell the neighborhood and all the appealing points of interest as well.

Home Junction integrates an enormous database of hyper-local data with mapping technology — schools, businesses, roads, boundaries, medical facilities, parks, golf courses, etc. That map is also integrated into an IDX to pull in the latest MLS listings so homes for sale can be included in the map along with distances to key amenities.

The agent or broker can explain how they will use this tool to help the homebuyers sell their property quickly.

And how they will use this tool to help them find the property that is perfect or near perfect for them, in a shorter amount of time.

Mr. and Mrs. Seller pull the trigger. The agent goes to work. Buyers love how the property is either close to great schools or near an interstate for an easy commute. The sellers immediately get three offers in the first week. They have to move fast figuratively and literally.

With the in-depth real estate map search capabilities, an agent can quickly point out potential homes that meets the sellers criteria to move — a property close to an interstate for the husband’s commute, near a school with low teacher/student ratio for the children, not far from a hospital where the wife works as a nurse.

The same advantages apply for the people who want to buy another home first.

They can post their existing home on the market quickly while conditions are favorable. And they can market the location value of that property — perhaps it is close to a popular golf course, or a great park, or a downtown dining area.

Geocoded real estate map search technology is one more tool an agent can provide to show sellers how they will get them out of two mortgages as fast as possible. Plus, displaying local real estate data for home sales and sales prices is an invaluable resource that provides hard data on the current market conditions.

Neighborhood amenities can have a powerful emotional impact on buyers. Just imagine there is a great gym down the street and a buyer is a fitness nut. After seeing the proximity on the geocoded map, the image of them exercising in that gym is going to be tugging at them. It could be THE factor to pushes them to making an offer.

These are the types of tools that make one agent stand out as a pro compared to another.

Selling a home is tough decision for consumers — no matter what age or income bracket.

Providing access to an enormous warehouse of hyper-local, real estate data combined with an effective geocoded, real estate map search mechanism to help consumers is not a tough decision for a savvy broker to make. Especially when the implementation is easy and investment is low.

Click here to learn how you can add a real estate map search tool and real estate market data to your website.


Recent Home Sales Data Can Make You The Resource Buyers Turn To In An Overheated Market

Existing Home SalesWhen housing markets overheat, there is no better tool for real estate brokers and agents than Recent Home Sales Data.

Every one who has been in the biz knows what those days are like. Buyers are in a frenzy. Homes are snatched right out of their hands (along with your commissions). Prices keep escalating.

It almost gets to the point where recent homes sales data is more important than the property itself.

That’s why it’s imperative that a real estate pro offers consumers this vital information embedded on their website. Things are moving fast. Buyers will scurry for answers. Sellers will want to pull the trigger on listings. You certainly don’t want buyers finding out recent homes sales information on a competitor’s website.

Fortunately, this is the age of big data. With today’s technology it is not a big deal to gather a ton of recent homes sales data. Not only in your marketplace, but in surrounding markets as well.

Take the town of Aviso just south of San Francisco. Dotcoms in the Bay Area are literally creating millionaires overnight. What do you think these people do when they get those big fat checks? Yep, they go out and buy a house.

Aviso used to be a sleepy little town. Now the tentacles of dotcom millionaires are reaching into their community and home prices are steadily increasing. Some people used to joke you would be lucky if you could sell a home for $200,000. They are not laughing anymore.

One couple from Sun Micro systems talked about how they had to dish out $500,000 for a home and it was a bargain compared to other places. Plus it had a yard. Now the house is probably worth $1 million.

Home sales are booming in Aviso. Rents are now going for as much as $3,000. Apple and Google just bought property there as well. The market is heating up faster than an backyard hamburger grill.

Sounds like a great situation for a real estate agent. But there are consequences. For one, residents there are in a panic. Not every buyer is going to be working for a computer conglomerate or the next big digital thing. What about firefighters, carpenters and teachers?

They are going to count on you as a real estate professional to help them find a place to live. What about someone who just moves into town, all happy at the prospect of starting their new job, only to find out they will probably have to sleep in their car? They are also counting on you to find them a place to live and to assure them the outrageous price they are about to pay for that home will be worth it in the long run.

Existing home sales data can relieve buyer anxiety

Talk is cheap. But real estate data is convincing. Especially with so much on the line.

Work with data provider such as Home Junction. They have the technology to be able to feed a pipeline of  recent homes sales and market trends right into your website by just adding a few lines of code.

In just a very short period of time a broker or agent can have a wealth of this information available to show to prospects. And to promote on social media to generate more prospects.

They can show charts for any community with trends in total Number of Home Sales. Is inventory low? Are home sales scarce? Should a buyer jump on a property as soon as it goes on the market?

You can also show a trend line for Sales Prices. Are home prices skyrocketing? What about that community about 10 miles to the south? Those home prices still seem to be holding steady. Perhaps that’s the place certain buyers should be looking.

Let’s get even more granular. With Home Junction data, a person can actually look on a map to see which homes sold for what price. Perhaps there’s a cluster of homes that sold on one street but a few blocks over there aren’t any. Need to find out why?

Just imagine talking to a stressed-out couple and being able to provide all this recent home sales data with just the press of a button. Sure, home prices might be high in certain areas, but think of the relief they will feel when you are able to show them other properties that are still within reach.

Or, think about how that data can help convince a newcomer to the area who is making a decent paycheck, that according to the trend line in recent home sales, buying a home at these prices might not be that  large of a risk and frankly, it’s probably a good investment.

In essence, you will be like a calm, knowledgeable shelter in a stormy landscape to them.

Whatever the outcome, you can be certain of this – those buyers will be greatly impressed with your professionalism, your hyper-local knowledge and the amazing recent home sales data you offer on your website.



When It Comes To Maximizing Real Estate Listing Photos, Choose A WordPress Real Estate Website

Real Estate Listing PhotosThey say a picture is worth a 1,000 words but displaying them on a top-notch WordPress real estate website could be worth a 1,000 new customers.

Let’s face it – images rule the web. Entire multi-billion websites have been built on the display of photos – Instagram is one. Pinterest is another. Every post on Facebook is essentially image based and statistics show there are 350 million photos  posted on that platform every day. Snapchat, an instant photo website, just went public and generated billions in stock pricing. And their photos only last a few seconds.

With today’s smartphone camera technology, everybody snaps a photo of everything.

However, as a real estate professional, you should be more concerned about HOW those photos are displayed.

And the undisputed best platform for displaying photos is a WordPress real estate website.

Here’s why. With a huge chunk of market share, WordPress is essentially the leading content management platform in the world. The developers have created a web tool that is friendly to users (brokers and agents), consumers and search engines.

What this means is that it is super-easy for a broker or agent to add multiple photographs to a WordPress real estate website.

Because of the coding architecture behind WordPress, Google and Bing have the easiest time running their bots over the pages and determining how to rank those pages.

And consumers find WordPress-based websites the easiest to navigate to discover the answers they want.

Take photos for example, the most critical marketing tool for brokers and agents besides a description of the property itself.

With a WordPress real estate website, it is super-easy to add a photo. All you do is hit the “Add Media” button and upload the latest image onto a page.

You don’t need a webmaster to do this for you. You don’t need to create a long string of HTML code to add a photo to a page. You don’t even have to create a certain size. WordPress does all that for you.

Hit the “Add Media” image and upload an image.

You will see there is a field to add a caption. Obviously, a great caption is very important. In fact, research shows that captions are read 300% more times than actual text. Huge impact. There are also search-engine implications as well.

There’s an “alternative-text” box on the page. This is an important field to fill out. That’s where you can enter a few words about the image itself. For example, if it’s a home in the “Under Par Country Club” community, you will want to add that description in this field. This is critical because Google and Bing can’t read photographs, but they do scan that “alt-text” box to find relevant keywords.

Next, choose the size. WordPress will usually give you a choice of three or four sizes. The size depends on how you plan to use the image. Obviously, bigger is better. But you don’t want to go too big, because that could affect your site speed as the server struggles to load up your page for viewers.

You might want to use that image, just for a thumbnail photo as well. In that case, you can choose a smaller image.

There is also another field in WordPress where you can link the image. This is important. Perhaps you are loading the image on your homepage to show off a new listing. In the link field, you can insert the URL to the page where the property is listed with all the full property description and other images.

Next, this is where Google and Bing come in. Those search engines need to determine what your webpage is all about as far as keywords and relevancy. Obviously, the right text is essential. The search engine bots will scan the text and look for keywords they can use to determine what the page is about.

Including images is important for search rankings. For one, Google and Bing see that you are using images to enhance the text and they will give you points for helping readers. Google and Bing also depend on the caption for that image and that “alt-text” we mentioned one before.

With the right WordPress theme, and there are literally tens of thousands to choose from, those real estate photos can really pop on a broker or agent’s website. A broker or agent can choose to display big, beautiful, colorful photos that have a strong emotional impact on a home buyer.

In addition, just think how impressed a seller will be when they see how the photographs of their home can be displayed in this big bold manner as well?

A WordPress real estate website can also host an array of easy to use “galleries” or slide shows that allow a broker or agent to load a large number of images.

As we said, this is the era of the photograph. A consumer does not just want to see a few photos of the front of a house, the living room, kitchen and back of the house.

They expect to see a myriad of photos showing every inch of the house – closets, shrubs in the backyard, four or five angles of the front of the house from different perspectives, etc. etc. etc.

With WordPress, a broker or agent can supply all those images themselves. Essentially, they are  empowered to perform all of these tasks. They can control the content on their websites. Quickly and effortlessly.

This is the era of the image. A broker or agent must have the most-advanced platform available today to maximize use of images.

For some examples of the power of WordPress real estate websites, talk to a Home Junction representative today.



How The Right Real Estate Data Comparison Tools Will Give You An Edge In The Marketplace

Real Estate Data ComparisonHow many times has a real estate agent faced this dilemma? One buyer wants to move here, the other wants to stay there (or vice versa).

Take a typical home buying couple. Sheila loves where they live now. She’s heard negative things about the new location from her tennis friends.

But Gary  wants to move. He’s excited about relocating to this new town, and has only heard great things from his golfing buddies.

What to do? Fortunately there’s a tool for this type of situation.

In fact, there are a whole slew of real estate data tools that can brokers and agents can use to help buyers make these difficult home-buying decisions.

These are choices that are literally life-changing for consumers.

For example, think about the impact a broker or agent can have by offering real estate data that shows a comparative analysis of one area next to another.

Take Bellevue WA and Seattle WA for example.

Gary desperately wants to move there from Seattle. He’s tired of the big city. The couple have spent the past few weekends driving around the area checking it out. They’ve even gone so far as to sit down with a local real estate agent.

Sheila is warming up a bit, but says she still loves the city and has many pre-conceived notions about what’s it’s like to live further north.

Real estate data can enlighten buyers

A savvy agent can move the dialogue along by providing the couple with valuable information that addresses those concerns and compares one area to the other.

For example, Sheila heard it’s freezing in Belluvue. The town is so close to the Canadian border, which in her mind is just down the street from the Arctic Circle.

On the agent’s website, the real estate pro pulls up a comparative analysis of the weather (remember those words, “the agent’s website.”)

Here’s what the results show for Average Temperatures:

Seattle – High 60 F degrees – Low 44 F degrees.

Bellevue – High 60 F degrees – Low 43 degrees.

One degree difference in winter. None in the summer.

“Well,” Sheila might argue. “I prefer the college graduate crowd of Seattle.”

The agent pulls up the results under Education.

Turns out Bellevue has a higher share of people with bachelors’ and graduate degrees.

Gary is glowing. But then he does express one bothersome thought to the agent.

“I personally know Bellevue is a fantastic places to live. But, I am really concerned it’s so great that it’s become super-expensive.

The agent pulls up a Buying Power comparison, again on their website.

Turns out, yes, Bellevue is more expensive. Goods and services that cost $945 in Seattle would cost $1000 in Bellevue.

However, the agent reminds Gary that’s only a 5% difference.

The comparison could go on and on. Could be Anytown USA compared to any another town.

But the underlying message is, that when it comes to real estate data, there’s no comparison between an agent who can provide that valuable local information on their website, and an agent who cannot.

Think of the implications just one comparative data tool can provide.

For one, there’s a huge marketing opportunity. As we noted earlier, when an agent points out this tool in their email blasts or social media posts, they will be driving consumers back to their website. Not another site.

And certainly not sending them out into the world wide web where perhaps they can find this data from a competitor. That creates a lead generation opportunity.

Think about the benefits when approaching sellers. An agent can not only paint an appealing picture on how they are going to market a seller’s property with great photos, etc.

They are also going to create a positive illustration of key data points on how the location of this property compares to other locations nearby, in the next county or in the next state.

Finally, there’s that local knowledge thing. The attribute that all agents aspire to possess. This is the 21st century. Home buyers (and sellers) are continually surrounded by data every day. Think of all the data they can gather on mortgages for example – comparing rates, points, fees, etc.

Data is part of their lives. They expect to see data in every transaction they are involved in. It’s a must that today’s brokers and agents have this hyper-local data available for consumers to examine.

After all, prospects will also be comparing you to your peers. Be sure you win that argument with the right comparison real estate data.

For more information visit Home Junction’s real estate data section.