To the extreme

Many of our colleagues love extreme sports. You know, skydiving, bungee jumping, surfing massive waves. All that crazy stuff.

In many ways, real estate is like an extreme sport. There are some high highs, but there is also no net to catch you when you fall.

This thought is exhilarating, but we won’t lie. It’s also terrifying. However, instead of letting that fear paralyze us, we let it motivate us.

Just like those extreme athletes, there might be days when we feel nervous or even unmotivated, but we push through. Everyone has their hard days, but there is nothing quite like that rush when everything goes your way.

So let’s put aside our negative thoughts (at least, for now) and dive head first into today’s Blueprint!

– James and David

New home sales are up


New home sales across the US rose by 11.8% in April compared to a year ago. That’s the key conclusion from’s latest report. Other key findings:

  • New homes sales increased by 4.1% month-over-month

  • New home sales rose the most in the South and the Midwest, rising 23.4% and 20.6% year-over-year, respectively.

  • New home sales fell the most in the Northeast and the West, falling -46.7% and -2.8% year-over-year, respectively

Our take

This is welcome news and pretty much what we expected. With rising mortgage rates and so few existing houses on the market, the best thing buyers can do is take advantage of falling new home prices, rate buydowns, and other incentives builders are offering right now. Currently, new homes are some of the best deals out there.

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Ripple effect from concern over U.S. default

Source: Unsplash

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage reached 7.25% this week, according to CNBC and Zillow. That is the highest level since early March. The main cause: uncertainty over a possible US debt default.

Two unfortunate things happened as a result:

  • Mortgage applications to purchase a home dropped -4% for the week (down -30% YoY)

  • Applications to refinance a home loan decreased -5% from the previous week (down -44% YoY)

Our take

We are watching this very closely. Mortgage rates are very likely to drop over the next 90 days and likely to fall below 6% by the end of the year. But IF the US defaults by not raising the debt ceiling, none of that will happen. Rates will go up a lot higher, and the economic fallout will be enormous. It’s essential that Congress and the President come to a deal on this. And soon!

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Where sellers are offering the most concessions

The percentage of sellers making concessions to buyers nearly doubled from last year. Home sellers, according to Redfin, gave concessions to buyers in 42.9% of U.S. home sales ending in April.

Redfin also found that concessions rose the most in pandemic boomtowns. Here are the top 10 cities with the highest percentage of sellers making concessions:

  1. Phoenix, AZ (68.5%)

  2. San Diego, CA (66.10%)

  3. Raleigh, NC (64.60%)

  4. Las Vegas, NV (59.10%)

  5. Denver, CO (58.10%)

  6. Tampa, FL (58.00%)

  7. Los Angeles, CA (55.70%)

  8. Dallas, TX (54.70%)

  9. Charlotte, NC (52.40%)

  10. Portland, OR (52.10%)

Our take

This is very good news, but even we were a little surprised by how high the numbers were in certain markets. Then again, it makes total sense why sellers feel compelled to offer concessions. Many buyers are putting their plans on hold because of high mortgage rates, and there is now stiff competition from homebuilders who are offering sweetheart deals. Still, both sellers and buyers can benefit in the current market. Home prices are high enough to motivate sellers, and there are enough great bargains out there to get buyers moving!

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The news that just missed the cut

Source: Unsplash

  • Buyers can now buy a home with 1% down through Rocket Mortgage

  • Who should pay the TC fee: agents, clients, or brokers?

  • Massive Agent Podcast shares how he made $1 million through podcasting

  • This AI tool values a home after a specific home improvement

  • Chip and Joanna Gaines are opening a hotel

Foundation Plans

Advice from James and David to win the day

As agents, it’s critical that we manage our pipeline. As we work one deal, we must lay the groundwork for our next one. Here are three lead sources to create a constant flow to your business:

Door Knocking – We’re huge believers in using sweat equity to build your client base, especially when starting from scratch. This is literally how we started in the business when we didn’t know anyone. It’s old school, we know, but it works. We’ve written a whole book on the subject with scripts, objection handling, and a strategy guide.

Expired Listings – Many agents put unrealistic prices on homes, don't prepare for showings, or barely put any effort into marketing. The consequence? Lots of expired listings of unsold homes. Tactfully approached, the owners of these listings can be a great source as they are already primed to sell. So watch your MLS like a hawk!

Turn Rental Listings into Sales – Owners who put their property up for rent are often interested in selling once their lease term is over. Use your MLS to make a list of these owners. Contact them at least six months before the lease is up. Either make a listing pitch or work with their existing agent to line up a buyer.

Put these strategies into practice. They work. Just watch our colleague explain how he did it.

Just in Case

Keep the latest industry data in your back pocket with today’s mortgage rates:

Source: Rocket Mortgage

That’s a wrap on this edition of The Blueprint!

Remember that real estate is all about building long-term relationships and connections. So go out there and show the world who you are. Make that one extra call and knock on that extra door. That’s how you build a successful career in real estate!

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday!

– James and David