Jeffrey Hogue Realtor

Real Estate home sales, new home construction sales, commercial real estate sales, all iin the Berks County area. Realtor since 1993. Top producing Realtor in Berks County 2012. Over 22,000,000 sold. Instead of telling you what I do, how many homes I have sold and all the awards I have achieved simply read my customer REVIEWS on and My customers will tell you more about me than I could ever say. I am truly humbled by their comments. Please see my web site at for more on this subject.

Real Estate Blog and Articles

Knowledge is Power ~ This Blog is meant to empower the consumer with real world, no nonsense real estate information...Enjoy!

Emotions can Influence Home Sales


Emotions may have more of an influence on home sales than you think. Here is my story of how emotions can influence home sales... Recently I received a call to list a home from a lady who asked me to meet with her to discuss, what she hoped would be, the sale of her home. Nothing out of the ordinary simply a business call to do what I love, home sales. Upon arriving at the home I met the lady who made that call. She was charming, smart, a seasoned traveler and more. In my humble opinion, she was, and is, class personified. She had an influence on me almost immediately. She told me stories and things about herself, both good and bad. When the tale was good I cheered inside, when it was bad I wanted to make it better. I wanted nothing but good things for her. We talked about her home, about what she paid for it and what she did to make it special. As she showed me around a sense of proudness followed her every step. We then went outside to see the landscaping and talked about her … [Read more...]

Berks County Real Estate Outlook 2015


Will it be a Happy New Year for Berks County real estate? Let’s peer back to 2014 to see if we can get a feel for the coming year. According to the Trend Market Watch Report, the first quarter of 2014 showed an increase of 0.4% but home sales were down a whopping 13.5% from 2013. The second quarter showed an increase of 2.7% and home sales were up 5.3%. The third quarter showed an increase of 1.7% and home sales were up 7.2%. The fourth quarter ended with a resounding thud. While overall sales were up 13.8% for the quarter, which was tops for the year, home values decreased 5.3%. Simply put, if you owned a home that was worth $200,000 in November of 2013 it was worth $189,400 in November of 2014 based on the numbers. The number of home sales in Berks County in 2013 was 3,795, in 2014 the number rose to 3,944. This is an increase of 3.92%. The inventory of available homes dropped approximately 7 % for the year. This is normally an indicator that home prices will rise due to supply a … [Read more...]

Does Your Home Have a Story or Just Remarks?


The art of storytelling is still an advantage when selling a home. It was not that long ago since the internet was nothing but text. There were not many photos or images streaming through that dial-up connection. If there were you could wait all afternoon to see one. Times have obviously changed, the internet is much faster allowing photos and video to be easily viewed in mere seconds. As it relates to the real estate kingdom, being able to view great home photos is truly an asset to both the home buyer and seller. The question I pose has to do with the fine art of writing and storytelling. While photos help the discerning buyer choose which homes to preview what happens when they look farther. In most cases the remarks are directly under the home photos. Unfortunately many a Realtor® has forgotten, or never knew, how to write a story about the home they are representing. What is the history surrounding the home? What architectural enhancements adorn the halls of the residence? … [Read more...]

Real Estate can be a Moving Experience


For 21 years I have been practicing real estate in the Reading, PA and Berks County area. Before this past weekend I had only moved once during my career and that was 19 years ago. At that time I was moving from a one bedroom apartment in Flying Hills to a four bedroom home in Spring Township. The move went smoothly, no kids, plenty of willing friends and just enough stuff to fill a medium sized truck. So what’s all the fuss I constantly hear from clients about their moving experiences? It’s easy right. After all, I have to market the home, find a ready willing and able buyer, perform countless tasks to keep the deal together and make it to settlement. All the buyer and seller have to do is follow my lead and everything will take care of itself. I understand there is that moving part but what the heck as long as you are out by settlement everything will go well. For all the customers I have represented over the years who had concerns over moving I would like to say one simple phr … [Read more...]

Does the City of Reading Have a Negative Effect on Berks County Home Values?

City of Reading

This past week I had my first opportunity to collaborate with the City of Reading and its dignitaries. I had heard that it was tough dealing with the factions that run the city but brushed the comments aside to do what I thought was a good thing. To say I got an education would be an understatement. I turned to my friend Jack Gulati to see if he could persuade the mayor and city council in allowing me to decorate the Christmas tree at 5th and Penn Streets. Jack is a pro at dealing with circumstances that need influential attention. After all, Jack has more than proven his dedication to the City of Reading with the purchase of the Reading Royals and Stokesay Castle. If he would not have stepped in Reading may have lost the Royals. Fortunately Jack loved the idea and decided to spearhead the decoration event. He thought it would be a good thing for the City of Reading, the Reading Royals and, of course Weichert Realtors® Neighborhood One. I never would have guessed that asking the … [Read more...]

Why do People Dislike the Real Estate Industry?

real estate industry

Each year Forbes Magazine and many other websites come out with a list of the most disliked industries and guess which one is right up there almost every year. You guessed it, the real estate industry. Hmmm. I wonder why? Has the real estate industry done something to earn that lofty ranking on such an infamous list? Here are my thoughts on the matter… When an agent first gets their license they are faced with a big decision. Where should I go to practice real estate? There are plenty of brokerages ready to go hunting for these prospects. You see many brokerages tend to focus their attention on hiring and recruiting agents to fill seats and collect the fees from them. They lure prospective agents with the promise of training, mentorship and opportunity. Few actually follow through on these promises which leaves the industry with agents that do not have the necessary skills, confidence or competence to perform their fiduciary duties. The biggest losers in this scenario end up being not … [Read more...]

Do Sellers Pay Full Commission Rates for Half Representation?


The commission rate to sell a home has always been, and will likely always be a hot button issue. Commission rates vary but most people recognize the rate of 6% of the sale price of a home as the industry standard. So what is the seller actually paying for? Prior to 1999 home sellers contracted with real estate brokerages in an effort to find a ready willing and able buyer for the seller’s property. The overwhelming majority of residential home sales were achieved through the efforts of a seller agent and a seller sub-agent. Yes, both brokerages represented the seller. It was a time before the advent of buyer agency. And, as stated above, the commission for providing this service was often 6% of the homes sale price. In most cases 3% would go to the seller’s broker and 3% would go to the seller’s sub-agent. Fast forward to today’s most common home sale representation scenario. The seller hires a broker to represent their interest in the sale of their home. No longer is it the duty o … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates are back in the News and for Good Reason

mortgage rates

This past Friday an economic event took place that few will ever know about. We saw history in the making in the global bond market, with all-time lows in 10-year yields in each of the following countries: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Japan. What do each of these countries have in common? Slow to negative wage growth and extreme deflationary pressures. These negative economic factors drive interest rates lower because interest rate yields are a reflection of both growth and inflation. Lower yields mean lower borrowing costs aka, low mortgage rates. Good thing right? Wait, there’s more to it. The reason why the historic implication of last Friday may go unnoticed by most people, is that many have become conditioned to believe weaker growth is a good thing economically. Why? Because it means more central bank “action” to prop of stock markets in the near-term. This means that governments will print more money, adding liquidity (cash) to the s … [Read more...]

The Other Real Estate Web

The Glowing Pagoda (Reading PA)

Have real estate web sites changed the location, location, location theory on home values? The number one rule in home values used to be based on the theory of location, location, location. Then came the web and subsequently real estate web sites. While the location theory still holds the number one spot in home value consideration it is now closely pursued by many other factors that were never considered prior to the birth of webonomics. To some extent the internet has even changed how the location theory is considered. Now you can find out the crime rate in a given area, school district ratings, average income, cost of living, unemployment rate and yes, taxes in the click of a button. The internet has made the world a much smaller place. Home valuation based on location is more than just a neighborhood, township or school district. It is the sum total of the whole area. This is why having good governing authorities in our city, boroughs, townships and county have … [Read more...]

Why Don’t People Just Make an Offer?

Make an Offer

If you have been doing something long enough there are questions you get asked repeatedly. Sometimes there is a simple answer and sometimes there is no real answer. As a Realtor® there is one particular question I deal with often enough that it deserves special thought and attention. Home sellers will often ask “If they think the price is too high, why don’t people just make an offer?” The question normally comes up after their home has been on the market a couple weeks, it has been shown several times and no one has made an offer. One reason may be that prospective home buyers do not want to offend a seller by making an offer lower than what the seller is asking. While this may be the case in some instances I do not believe it is the leading factor. While the desire not to offend a home seller they never met is commendable the emotion to purchase a home you want to live in is greater. This emotion is enhanced even more of the home buyer feels they got a great deal. I believe t … [Read more...]

Understanding the Variable-Rate Commission in a Real Estate Transaction

knowledge ignorance

Most everyone understands what the term commission means as it relates to a real estate transaction. The opposite is true as it relates to a variable-rate commission. In this article I hope to shed some light on what it is and how it relates to buyers and sellers of real estate. Article 3-4 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics defines a variable-rate commission arrangement as a listing in which one amount of commission is payable if the listing broker’s firm is the procuring cause of sale and a different amount of commission is payable if the sale results from the efforts of the seller or a cooperating broker. The Code of Ethics and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR’s) Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy require listing brokers to disclose a variable-rate commission to potential cooperating brokers as soon as is practical. In response to inquiries from potential cooperating brokers, REALTORS® are also required to disclose the difference between the two rates. In addition, once … [Read more...]

Is a Real Estate Appraisal Really Just an Opinion of Value?


Should a real estate appraisal be done before listing your home? From time to time a seller will ask me if it is a good idea to have their home appraised before we put it on the market. It is a good question and one that needs some reflection about what a real estate appraisal is. In a sentence a real estate appraisal is an opinion value. The interesting thing about an opinion is that we all have one. A persons opinions can be influenced by many circumstances. So what influences might affect the real estate value opinion of an appraiser? A major influence is often the reason for the appraisal itself. Story time…Earlier this year I was invited to meet with a homeowner in regards to listing their home. I was made me aware that they planned to apply for an equity loan on the home in order to use the proceeds to purchase another home. I told them they should not list the home until after they had completed the home equity loan process. Most lending institutions will not entertain r … [Read more...]

Passing the Real Estate Buck in Reading and Berks County


Being a Realtor® is a profession you can love and hate all in the same day. One customer is happy everything is going smoothly with their real estate transaction and a call later another is coming unglued because their home is not selling. I’m sure it’s like this in many vocations but I am a Realtor® and write about real estate so that is the window of understanding I peer through and use to get my point across. One of the most asked questions I hear from my home selling customers is “how can we get more showings and an offer on my home?” This question has been even more prevalent over the past 2 months due to the shrinking demand for housing in Reading and Berks along with most of the country. If I only had the power to create a market bubble inside Berks County and have all home values miraculously go up 10% to 20%. Or better yet, a secret marketing weapon I could employ just after the home seller asks what we can do to sell the home. BANG! The home would sell and all would be r … [Read more...]

The Right Plan


When I started Weichert Realtors® Neighborhood One I knew there would be many challenges. Several real estate office owners told me that being an owner would not be something I would enjoy. After 18 months I can happily say they were mistaken. In the last 4 weeks I have received two letters from real estate agents who work for me. The first was from Samuel Padovani which I shared two weeks ago. This week I am sharing a letter I received from Vanessa Doaty… “My First 6 Months at Weichert Realtors® Neighborhood One” As a child I waited with fragile patience for Christmas to come. As an adult I was excited and nervous on my wedding day. In both cases the events were worth the wait, nervousness and excitement. Being a Realtor® gives me the opportunity to see the same emotions in my customers’ eyes when they are buying and/or selling a home. It is a pleasure to share this life event with my clients, and I always strive to provide the absolute best advice throughout the entire process. … [Read more...]

Shedding Light on the Real Estate Transaction Fee

transaction fee

Is it Necessary to Pay a Real Estate Transaction Fee? If you are reading my info-article for the first time you will quickly understand that my goal is to educate home buyers and sellers about the nuances of the real estate business. If you are a consistent reader you know I tell it like it is (or how I believe it is). This week I want to shed light on the infamous transaction fee (also known as an administrative or broker service fee). Whatever it is called by different real estate brokerages I will refer to it as the FEE. Several years ago real estate brokers faced with higher costs of doing business looked for ways to supplement their income. Many decided to charge ancillary fees in addition to the real estate commission. The fee is usually in the $200 to $500 range and purport to cover costs for increased overhead and costs incurred for complying with the myriad of federal and state laws affecting the sale of residential real estate. The fee is not limited to the home seller … [Read more...]

A Change of Plan


As I sat down this week to craft the next edition of how to fix the real estate business I was presented with a letter from one of my Realtors®. After reading the content of the letter I knew a change of plan was in order. Helping Berks County and Reading home buyers and seller understand the craziness of the real estate industry would have to wait till next week. The following letter from Samuel Padovani says it all… “Why I chose Weichert Realtors® Neighborhood One” “My very first year in the real estate business, I worked for one of the larger firms in Berks County.  It was a good experience, one I would not change.  I had the opportunity to work with some veteran agents and learned a few things as well.  I also started to see how this real estate business actually operates.  Becoming a standout agent at one of these larger offices is extremely difficult.  While the agent is trying to learn and establish himself, the company is doing everything in its power to fill the building … [Read more...]