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!

The Consumer Notice ~ Does it Really Protect Consumers?

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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?

Digital-Connection

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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...]