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 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!

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 to see how our state Senators voted on the amendment. Don’t be shy a … [Read more...]


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 ( 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,,, and 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 owned 20.64% of all online home search activity. 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...]

Your Home Needs a Director of First Impressions

Real estate agents perform many tasks for home sellers. Creating positive first impressions of their home may be at the top of the list. There is an absolute and profound truth about first impressions. You only get one. This fact increases the need for today’s Realtor® to be proficient at creating positive first impressions. Since no two homes, or client situations, are exactly alike, there is likely no clear cut way to assure positive first impressions. Many times home sellers ask me how to find and select a Realtor® to sell their home. Maybe they need a director. So what are the traits of a good director? Here are some ideas of what to consider… Creativity ~ This is what separates competence from excellence. They must be very creative, and able to generate ideas for remarks, collecting correct data, photography, and other elements involved in a home sale production. Knowledge ~ As I always say “Knowledge is Power!” Keeping up with industry changes while staying on top of pre … [Read more...]

Beware the Real Estate Lead Pirates

The internet is a sea of information. There is an answer to almost any question one could think to ask. Unfortunately as with anything as big as the internet or the sea there can be pitfalls and pirates. So for goodness sake, beware the real estate lead pirates. The internet is integrated into our lives more and more each day. It has become more natural to use it for anything and everything. It has earned our trust for the most part. This trust is very evident when it comes to the largest investment most people ever make, their home. A home buyer leaps on their computer to look at homes. Alas, they have found one that warrants more investigation. They blindly fill out the information request giving their name, email address, and phone number. They are not sure where the request will land but are confident that someone who knows something about the home will get back to them. In the same vein, a prospective home seller starts looking for a real estate agent to list and sell their … [Read more...]

Berks County Public Records, What a Mess

Having access to Berks County public records that relate to homes and properties is a great help. It is an even more significant help when the records are correct. Virtually every municipality in the United States has a way of keeping records on the properties that make up their community. Advances in technology have allowed many of these municipalities to keep accurate and informative data. Some better than others. My objective in writing this article is to make you, the citizens of this community, aware of how inaccurate real estate data can be destructive. After reading this, you may want to reach out to our Berks County officials who are in charge of these records to see what can be done to improve the situation. I tried. When a homeowner lists their property in Berks County, it is put into the multi-list (MLS). Some of the relevant information that populates the MLS comes directly from the Berks County public records. This information includes things like the property … [Read more...]

Understanding Home Loans ~ Amortization

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 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

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...]