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 Realtor in Berks County. 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 Zillow.com and Trulia.com. 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 jeffreyhoguerealtor.com 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!

Is Berks County Real Estate Ready for a Break-Out?

Low inventory, long stagnated pricing, creative mortgage financing and the hope that property taxes may soon be a thing of the past. The ingredients for a robust Berks County real estate market may be in place. Each week I have the pleasure of speaking to real estate agents in areas of the country outside Berks County. Most times the discussion leads to how robust their home market is. They tell me things like, “I just put a home on the market yesterday, and there are three offers with two of them being more than asking price.” Oh and yes, the home was over $500,000. For the past several years, I have refrained from sharing my Berks County home selling stories with them mostly because they just aren't as exciting. Hopefully, that will end sooner than later. There are several reasons why I feel that our local home market may see brighter days ahead. For starters, the inventory of available homes for sale in Berks County has steadily declined since 2010. The lack of new home con … [Read more...]

A Successful Real Estate Transaction is all About Partnership

What ingredients are necessary to have a successful real estate transaction? Could it be choosing a Realtor® that has experience, knowledge, and passion? These are all great qualities, but a successful transaction may depend more on your belief and trust. Many times a successful real estate transaction starts out by accurately evaluating the marketplace and pricing the home or property accordingly. One of the first tasks when representing a home seller is to estimate the market value of their property. For some reason, more home sellers believe my home valuation assessment in an up trending real estate market than in a down trending market. Imagine that. Before any home price evaluation takes place with the buyer, discussion as to where they desire to live, what kind of home, and how much they are willing to, or can afford, paying, take place. If a home is in the area they desire, has the amenities they are looking for, and is appropriately priced; a successful transaction may … [Read more...]

Consider A Hard Money Deposit When Negotiating Your Real Estate Deal

Submitting an agreement of sale on a home often includes an initial deposit. The monetary deposit is a show of good faith on the buyer’s part. If the buyer does not complete the transaction, the deposit is refunded. Are there times when the deposit should not be refundable? In other words, should home sellers ask for a hard money deposit! In the not so distant past, if a person wanted to purchase a home they had to have a monetary deposit of 10 to 20 percent of the home’s value. In today’s real estate dealings, the purchase deposits are nowhere near that percentage. In many cases, the deposit is not even one percent. While it seems prudent to obtain a healthy deposit if you are a home seller, the act may be in vain. In almost every case, the deposit is refundable to the buyer if the home sale does not go through. The exception occurs if determined that the buyer exited the agreement unjustly. A home purchase agreement is full of contingencies. The two most common contingencies re … [Read more...]

New Year’s Real Estate Resolution

For many, the New Year brings with it a sense of renewed hope. Often we plan to take control of the things we did not do well, or at all, and make them better. If buying or selling a home was one of those things, here are some ideas for your real estate resolution list. If your dream of moving to a new home or buying your first property did not happen in 2015, there is good news. 2016 Is just around the corner, and it is a leap year. That means you have an extra day to find that extra special home. To get you rolling in the right direction, I have compiled a list of things you might want to do so we are not having this same conversation next year. Let’s start with home sellers. Pre-inspect That Home. In my 23 years of practicing real estate, I have never been witness to the high level of scrutiny currently being placed on a home’s condition. I’m not talking cosmetics here (we will get to that later). I am talking about the components of the home like electrical, heating, etc. … [Read more...]

Should You Sell Your Home As Is?

A simple term like As Is can have many meanings. When used in the world of real estate, it goes to a different parallel. The ambiguity of the statement may not be what you want when selling your home. Or maybe it is! The real estate business is always full of intrigue and surprise. Often I am presented with situations that, not just require but demand deep thinking. Sometimes that deep thinking finds it’s way into the articles I pen. This happens to be one of those times. After negotiating price and moving your stuff, the home inspection process may be next in line for things a home seller dreads the most. Not many home sales happen these days without a home inspection being part of the purchase process. The purpose of the inspection is to find out if something is wrong with the home. Reminds me of a physical. You just can’t wait for the doctor to say you will live forever. One way home sellers believe they can navigate by the whole home inspection thing is by offering the pro … [Read more...]

INTRINSIC VALUE, the Unpredictability Factor of Home Pricing

Did you ever walk into a home and think, this is just right? The colors are inviting, and the décor is pleasing. The home has a sense of order and comfortability. It makes you happy. This intangible factor is known as intrinsic value. When I put a home on the market, prospective buyers will often call to schedule a showing. Some call me directly, and others call their real estate agent. Either way, the prospective buyer, and agent have an opinion about the home they are previewing. Typically, this is given in the form of written feedback, most commonly, email. I review the feedback and communicate it to the home seller. I am often amazed at how different the feedback can be regarding the same home. Some rate it an 8 (out of 10) and some a 2? When asked about the price it can vary by tens of thousands of dollars. This condition holds true for both buyers and professional real estate agents. So why the differences? Is it the difference in the buyer's taste, practical needs or … [Read more...]

Once Again, Pennsylvania Left at the Property Tax Reform Altar

Pennsylvania may have the most dysfunctional state governments in history, and everyone who owns a home here will pay for it. We need Property Tax Reform! So much has already been said about property taxes in Pennsylvania and Berks County that I find it hard to add anything substantial but I will give it a try. This past Tuesday our state Senators congregated at the state capital to vote on several pieces of legislation. Of interest was an amendment known as House Bill 683 PN 1427 A4499~ ARGALL AMENDMENT NO. A-4499. This was an amendment to the now popular SB76 known as the “Property Tax Independence Bill” That has such a nice ring, doesn’t it? In short, it was all about property tax reform. This is something Berks County homeowners have dreamed about since the 1830’s. Unfortunately, we can all keep dreaming as the amendment was voted down 25 to 24 with one abstention. Visit my website at JeffreyHogueRealtor.com to see how our state Senators voted on the amendment. Don’t be shy a … [Read more...]

WHAT IS SELLER CREDIT TO HOME BUYERS

The good The Bad & The Misunderstood Every week I look for a real estate subject that will help Berks County home buyers and sellers better understand the dynamics of my industry. I did not have to look far this week. It again became apparent that many Berks County home sellers do not fully understand what a seller credit to a home buyer is. What it is: Seller credit is the practice of crediting a home buyer a percentage or fixed amount of the sale price from the proceeds of the seller's property. Example: $100,000 Home sale price. Buyer offers the seller $100,000 for the home and requests a 3% seller credit (or $3,000). The net offer is $97,000. THE GOOD: Seller credit is one of the last vestiges of assistance the Government allows to assist home buyers and sellers in crafting a workable deal. In the first half of 2013, there were 847 Berks County homes sold between $100,000 and $200,000. 505 Of those transactions used a seller credit to complete the deal. That is a … [Read more...]

Selling Homes With Shared Driveways in Berks County

Shared driveways in Berks County are more common than you think. There are things to consider when trying to sell a home located on one. Here are a few. Rural Berks County is a land of rolling hillside and farms. Intertwined amongst these features are the homes in which many live. On occasion, the setting and topography does not allow for applicable road frontage to build houses. The solution to the lack of road frontage has often been to have a driveway off the main road leading to homesites known as flag lots. In years past there was little in the way of restriction when planning flag lot communities. There could be 2 or 20 homes off a shared driveway. The main driveway is often the property of the owner of the first home bordering the main road. This homeowner grants a recorded easement to the owners of the flag lots, so they have unfettered egress to their site. We now have stricter developing laws governing these types of communities. Today it is rare to see a community like … [Read more...]

Home Search has Gone Social

Like most things in our everyday life, searching for a home has gone social. Over the years, online home searching has not changed that much. The home shopping websites have added more information, larger maps and a host of other tools. While the information is helpful and the eye candy differentiates one site from another, most home shoppers only need the basic search criteria like location, price, bedroom, baths, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a website out there that allowed for full collaboration between you and your agent? Better yet, suppose you could invite your spouse, friend or parent to preview and comment on every home you show interest in. The next level may be adding your lender to the search circle. Adding your lender would give them the added advantage of having you ready to make that all mighty offer before someone else buys your next home. Enter SocialSearchHomes.com (http://open.socialsearchhomes.com). Social Search Homes is the latest innovation in c … [Read more...]

Home Buyers, Know Your Rights and Wrongs

Knowing a few simple things about the real estate industry can help make your next home purchase more enjoyable. This is a behind the scenes look that can help you determine the rights and wrongs of home shopping. Locating the perfect home has become easier than ever before. There are now thousands of real estate websites loaded with home search tools to assist in the effort. Some have better and more reliable information than others. At some point, you may decide to contact a real estate agent to get information or see a particular home. Before you make that call or send the first email, there are some rules of the road that will help you better navigate the real estate industry. Some real estate home search websites make it easy to contact the actual Listing Agent of a property for sale. They supply phone numbers, email addresses, information buttons and even forms for you to supply your contact information so the Listing Agent can contact you. Other sites do not make it that e … [Read more...]

Bank Foreclosures at highest levels since 2013

What is amazing to me is that eight years after the biggest sham in real estate history, we still see headlines like this ~ Bank Foreclosures! Bank Foreclosures rose 14 percent year-over-year as of July 2015. Foreclosure activity increased 7 percent on a month-over-month basis. Swiftly rising real estate owned by banks, otherwise known as REOs, are the reason cited for the uptick in overall foreclosure filing volume. So when does this merry go round stop! I don’t know about you, but I could use some good real estate news. Inman News staff writer, Erik Pisor, recently penned the following article. Enjoy the article below if you can. _____________________________________________________________________ The volume of America’s properties with foreclosure filings, default notices, bank repossessions (REOs) and scheduled auctions, rose by 14 percent on a year-over-year basis in July to 124,910. According to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure activ … [Read more...]

The Consumer Notice ~ Does it Really Protect Consumers?

It seems that everywhere we turn the government is trying to protect us. But from what, ourselves, others? Nobody can truly be sure. Enter the Consumer Notice! Take commercials for prescription drugs like Viagra® for example. The whole commercial may last 60 seconds. In that time, we are told every adverse thing that may happen to us if we use the product, and what to do if something does. If you get a rash stop using the product, get a physical to make sure you are healthy enough for the task at hand if you have an erec…Well, you get it. We remember some of the warnings because they are humorous and end up on shows like Saturday Night Live. Other warnings are long forgotten even before the commercial is over. In November of 1999, Pennsylvania enacted the Agency Disclosure Law, which was designed to protect Consumers. The Act requires that prospective customers about to engage in a real estate transaction read the Consumer Notice and sign it prior to entering into a meaningful di … [Read more...]

Is Your Real Estate Agent Connected?

Years before the internet home buyers and sellers needed to contact a real estate agent if they wanted property information. The agent was the connection and knew how to find a buyer for a home and a home for a buyer. Obviously things have changed. Today most home buyers (around 92%) shop for their next home online at some point in the process. Home sellers can get a pretty good idea of what their home may be worth by doing research online.  Information provided by websites like Zillow.com,  Trulia.com,  Realtor.com, and Homes.com have greatly increased the customers understanding of value as it relates to property. The real estate agent is often NOT the first contact with the consumer. So, do home buyers and sellers even need a real estate agent anymore? Thankfully, the answer is “More Than Ever”! You had to have guessed that would be the answer, or I would not be writing this article. I might be selling shoes at the local mall. Sellers want to work with an agent that can find … [Read more...]

Real Estate Over-Marketing

Is it possible to over market a home? In this Realtors® opinion, the answer is a profound "YES!" You will not find many that do not believe the internet has changed the world. The jury is still out on whether it has made it better or worse. The thought makes for great debate, but that will have to happen another time. My job in assembling this article is to assess whether there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. That "thing" as I put it, is home marketing. You cannot speak of real estate marketing without mentioning the web. The National Association of Realtors® states that a whopping Ninety-two percent of buyers use the internet in some way in their home search process. Another 50% of buyers use a mobile web site or application in their home search. That is a large percentage no doubt. So where are all these people going to look at homes? According to Inman News, as of February 2014 Zillow.com owned 20.64% of all online home search activity. Realtor.com is a distant s … [Read more...]

Home Sale May Come Down to Nooks & Crannies

When today's home buyers tell you they are picky, they aren't lying. In 23 years of practicing real estate, I have never witnessed the level of discernment buyers display when considering their next home purchase. There was a time when you walked into a home with a buyer and the smell of cigarette smoke emanated through the home. No big deal, it will go away. Not today. In most cases, even a hint of animal or cigarette smoke will barely get a buyer in the door. Why have things changed so drastically? Let's start with the internet. People are more aware and less accepting of conditions and circumstances that have been a part of the resale home selling process for years. Second in line are television shows like HGTV. Now a buyer can live the experiences (good and bad) of 100’s of home buyers before ever hitting the street. There is nothing wrong with being a discerning customer. It only means the Berks County home seller and their agent have to up their game. Start with getting in … [Read more...]