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 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 www.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!

Understanding Home Loans ~ Amortization

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Is it possible that the old standard of calculating home loans is killing the real estate market and our economy in general? Maybe it is time to think about a new way of calculating home loan payments. Amortized loans were first introduced by the Federal Government during the great depression (not sure what was so great about it) because people were losing their homes due to their inability to pay the balloon payment that was common at that time.  Although we would like to think the Fed created amortized loans to get more money out of us, in actuality, they were trying to help people keep their homes. This was a time when homes were predominately owned by the wealthy (about 60% of the population rented their residence). Things were tough and even the wealthy struggled to pay their mortgages. Visit my Website at JeffreyHogueRealtor.com and click HERE for a complete reference of the 1932 and 1934 Mortgage Act. Mortgage loans are a good thing. They provide us the opportunity to … [Read more...]

Berks County Property Status :: More Than Active

berks county property status

There is more than active to Berks County property status than you may be aware of. Following is a detailed explanation. Many home shoppers now venture online to seek a new residence. They are bombarded with real estate information like never before and they like it. The question is; are they really getting the type of accurate information necessary? The website says the home is active but when one reaches out to a live person to inquire about it they are told the home is pending. It is possible it has something to do with the different property status categories that exist throughout the multi-list services and Realtor® associations. My hope is that this article helps people, customers and agents alike,  understand the different types of property status that exist here in Berks County, PA and the Trend Multi-list system. We will see how MLS property status information may differ from what is displayed on real estate portals and how it can affect you. Let's start with the plain o … [Read more...]

When are Home Buyers Really Qualified?

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Home sellers are led to believe that home buyers that are requesting to preview their home are qualified to purchase it. The question is, are they? There are certain moments in a real estate transaction that excite the senses. One is when a home seller receives a call stating that someone wants to see their home. Hope, excitement and intrigue invade their thoughts. Will the buyer like the home, if so, will they make an offer, did I change the cat litter and, of course, I hope they are qualified. The word qualified can mean many things inside a sentence. In the real estate world it leans heavily towards a buyer’s ability to acquire funds to purchase property. So let’s start at the beginning…A buyer’s agent contacts the seller’s agent and says they have a customer who would like to see the seller’s property. The seller’s agent may ask if the buyer is qualified. This practice is more actualized when the property to be shown is of a higher value. I have yet to get a “no” answer from … [Read more...]

Have Home Sellers Lost Their Status to Real Estate Portals?

real estate portals and syndication

The large real estate portals giveth opportunity but do they also taketh away home sellers and their agents rights? Wyomissing, PA, April 27, 2015------ The hot topic in real estate used to be the marketing, buying and selling of homes and property. It seems as though the buzz has been replaced with debates and discussion on data feeds, real estate portals and syndication. It is reminiscent of the old days when there were issues of procuring cause and the like. I guess it’s always a to-do when it is about money. Procuring cause debates are normally between real estate agents and brokerages while data feed/syndication discussions can fall unknowingly on the property owners themselves. When a homeowner signs a listing contract with a real estate brokerage there is an understanding between the parties. This understanding is the foundation of the contract and includes things like fees for services (commission), contract length and marketing plan. The factors that make up the c … [Read more...]

Berks County Real Estate Market Statistics, March 2015

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The first quarter of the 2015 Berks County real estate market is already in the books. My how time flies. So how did we fare? Let’s find out… Before we get to the whole first quarter let's take a peek at the month of March. March 2015 was the best month year over year we have seen in some time. Settled single-family homes were up 25.1% (319 units) over 2014’s count of 255 units. While the 2015 number was greatly better than 2014 it was still 4 units behind the 323 units sold in March 2013. This does more to illustrate how bad home sales were in March 2014. The single-family median price jumped to $147,000 for March which was 5.8% above the mark of $139,000 in March of both 2013 and 2014. This is especially good news considering the precipitous drop of 13.3% (February year over year) we experienced just last month. The trending drop in overall home inventory continues to drop. March 2015 showed an inventory volume of 2,523 homes which was 6.9% lower than the 2014 number of 2,709 h … [Read more...]

Are Real Estate Agents Collected by Real Estate Agencies?

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A look at the agent collector model and how it hurts real estate agents and ultimately customers I have now owned Weichert Realtors® Neighborhood One for almost two years. In that time I've surmised that while making a profit is good,  profit in and of itself, means little if your customers are having a terrible experience using your service. Real estate companies are about offering good service. This comes from having a good real estate broker, staff and owner all with the intent of meeting the customers goals competently. In most if not all states real estate agents have to work under (supervised by) a broker. Real estate agents are a kind of extension of the broker. Brokers are actually responsible for the actions of their real estate agents. This link explains the difference between agents and brokers. Most consumers are completely unaware of the fact that when they sign a listing contract or buyer agency agreement the broker of the agent's company is actually in authority. If y … [Read more...]

Berks County Real Estate Market Statistics, February 2015

Market Trends  Berks County  February 2015 - TREND 2

The Berks County Real Estate Market Statistics for February 2015 are in! While the weather in Berks was undoubtedly cold in February, home sales were hot. Market sales of homes was up a whopping 17% over the 2014 numbers. This sounds great but wait. Median home sold price was down an even more astonishing 15%. It is unusual to see prices drop that much when inventory of available homes is down 6.8%, interest rates have declined and gas prices are over $1.50 per gallon lower than last year at this same time. Normally when the inventory of available homes shrinks you see a rise in prices due to supply and demand (economics 101). Add cost of living factors, such as fossil fuel prices dropping, to the equation and one would believe that it would be even more affordable to own a home. Obviously it is, just at a lower price point in Berks County. Some economic analysts are calling for it to be a prosperous spring season for real estate. Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief … [Read more...]

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Buyer Agency vs Seller Sub-Agency

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Misconceptions of who represents who in a Real Estate Transaction It has become ever clearer to me that many home sellers are not aware how representation in a real estate transaction has changed. They still believe both their agent and the agent showing their home to a prospective buyer work for them. Before 1999 that was often the case. Things have changed. Before 1999 most agents showing homes to buyers were working for the seller as a sub-agent. Seller’s signed a listing contracts with the understanding that the commission they agreed to pay was for representation when selling their home. In other words the seller paid their agent and in the case the property was sold through the efforts of another agent that agent received compensation as well. In most cases, the commission was split equally between the cooperating real estate agencies. Home buyers were unaware of the seller / agent relationship. Buyers felt as though they were led to believe the agent showing them a home w … [Read more...]

The Most Important Thing When Buying a Home is Opportunity

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Are home buyers missing the bigger picture when searching for a home, like the opportunity to own one? On a weekly basis I’m contacted by buyer’s agents regarding the purchase of a home I have listed for sale. It is not uncommon for them to send me a list of questions their buyers have about the home via email that numbers in the 20’s or 30’s. If the property is hot (has a lot of activity) it may be under contract before the seller answers the questions. It may have been better for the buyer to have submitted an agreement to purchase the property and ask questions later. Don’t get me wrong, It is understandable that a buyer has questions about a property they are interested in purchasing. The real question is why they don’t grasp the right to purchase the home first and ask questions within the guidelines of the agreement later. To better explain my position it is important to understand how most agreements to purchase real estate work. Many times an agreement has conditions s … [Read more...]

Real Estate Marketing ~ A Tech Perspective

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Real Estate Marketing Takeover ~ Tech Style In the beginning there was Realtor.com. It was considered a friend of the Realtor®.  It helped people from all over the world find homes for sale in the United States. Often after finding a home the prospective buyer would find the Realtor® who listed the property for sale. The information was accurate and the service affordable to Realtors®. This was a real estate agent’s dream. A kind of national MLS. It wasn't long before other home search websites appeared. The property information on these websites was far from accurate. Without accurate property information many of these burgeoning real estate websites were doomed.  A few survived by getting second hand information from municipal or property records. Some made deals with property information aggregators like ListHub. Once these real estate websites became more relevant they befriended Realtors®, Brokerages and multi-list Services (MLS). It was through these relationships that they st … [Read more...]

Emotions can Influence Home Sales

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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

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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?

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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

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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...]