The Zebra Blog

Flipping Out About Flipping Homes

Home Renovating Couple

The TV shows make it look so easy. Who wouldn’t want to take a home, make it look stunning, and flip it for a profit? As real estate agents, you have probably been asked by a buyer or investor to find them the perfect “flip house.”

According to Realty Trac’s U.S. Home Flipping Report, fewer single family homes were flipped in 2014, falling to a two year low. Almost 5% of U.S. single-family home sales are comprised of flips, but that number is down from 6.2% in 2013. This decline is expected after the flurry of flipping that went on during the downturn in the housing market.

The average gross profit for a flip is $46,000 or 21% gross return on initial investment. So you can see why many buyers get excited about flipping!

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New Construction: Trends You Need to Know

New Construction floorplans

As real estate professionals we are trained to keep a very close eye on changes in the housing marketplace. But we also need to pay particular attention to what is happening in the world of new construction, as construction trends can have a dramatic impact on the housing market. Here are five important trends we’ve seen recently in new construction that you may find  interesting:

House size decreases – When the real estate market is booming house sizes seem to increase because builders and home buyers have more confidence. When the market struggles, the size of new homes being built decreases to provide an alternative to the increased costs of larger homes. According to the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions the average single family size of a new home decreased from 2,727 square feet to 2,652 square feet – even in light of the fact the market has been improving. The median home size held steady at 2,478 square feet. In fact, I believe we are going to continue to see a decline in home size due to the large number of younger people buying homes and the increased number of baby boomers looking to downsize their nest.

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Ask Denise: Listings with No Showings

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I know you said last week that the market is in a bit of a lull, due to the time of year, but after the activity of weeks and months past, this is eerie. I have listings with no showings when just two weeks ago I was having multiple offers! What should I do?

A:  I will tell you exactly what to do:

  1. Don’t panic. This is very typical for this time of year. A lot of people are on vacation. We have a good fall ahead of us.
  2. Call your buyers. This lull in the market spells opportunity for anyone who had been wanting to buy but felt they couldn’t compete. Call anyone who indicated they wanted to buy in the next year, explain the situation, and get them off the fence. This will kick start your business. If you want some facts to back this up, go into the MLS and track the number of new pendings per week over the last 6 weeks. If you truly have a lull in the market then your pendings will drop off considerably. Show your buyers these pending numbers, get them pre-approved, and get them out looking!

Don’t see this as a tragedy. Learn how to look for the opportunities in every market.

Ask Denise: Overpriced Listing

Denise Lones

Q:  Denise, I am the listing agent for an overpriced property. Unfortunately, I allowed it to be priced optimistically when I listed it a few months ago and my client is only allowing a minimal price reduction instead of the larger price reduction needed to bring it in line with the market. I told her if we didn’t have traffic or calls in the next ten days that we would need to reduce it to a significantly lower price. I am 90% sure she isn’t going to agree to this. What should I do?

A: The solution to this problem and to all your future price reduction challenges can be solved via having a rule around price reductions in your business.

In my business, I used to utilize the following system:

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Summer Blowout Branding Special

Summer Sun

Is developing a brand on your business bucket list? Dreaming of a home marketing system that shines and is ready to market your properties when you are? Do you long to show up at a listing presentation with the best tools and props in your market? Is it time to dazzle potential clients with a polished website that says you mean business?

Through September 5th, we are offering a special Summer Blowout Branding Special that will do all that and more.

Our Summer Blowout Branding Special Package Includes:

  • Instant Identity brand
  • 25 template credits
  • 2 Listing Presentation Boards
  • Seller Brochure
  • Website
  • Business Blueprint
  • 12 months Club Zebra PRO

This Special Package is valued at $8,576!  Now as low as only $4,990!
We are also giving 3 different ways to pay. Choose your own payment plan from these options:

  1. Pay-in-full price: $4,990 (a 41.8% savings!)
  2. Pay two payments of $2,590 ($5180 total – a 39.6% savings!)
  3. Monthly payments: 6 payments of $895 ($5370 – a 37.4% savings!)

Call our office at 360-527-8904 or email Nick at [email protected] for more information and to secure your spot! We are only offering these to 10 9 agents. Time is of the essence!

Summer Blowout Special


The Market Now and What Is Coming

office workers with a bar graph

The spring and early summer brought a very robust real estate market in many areas and many price points. Multiple offers became the norm in many markets and agents found themselves busier than they had been in years. The market was moving, buyers were out looking and sellers who previously couldn’t sell were finally getting the offers they needed to make a move possible. Pending home sales rose consistently and real estate was back in the media in a positive way.

However, agents in many areas may have noticed a slight slowdown in August prompting concern about whether the market was taking a turn downward. To answer this question I want to address some key things that we need to look at to answer that question.

The housing affordability index is measured looking at median home prices, median family incomes and the mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the more buying power a buyer has. As the index reduces, so does the buyer’s buying power. The recent increase in home sale prices nationally and regionally has caused the Housing Affordability Index to decline from 196.5 in 2012 to 175.8 in 2013. It is going down even further in many areas. The West Coast has been particularly affected because of the high price gains in the past 18 months.

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