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1st Quarter Real Estate Review Now Available

The first issue of Real Estate Review for 2015 is ready to download, customize, print and send to your client base.

In this latest edition, the featured stories include home maintenance tips that can and should be performed year-round, an article about choosing the right paint colors to attract home buyers, a Kansas City calendar of events and a list of things that the world would not have if it weren't for Kansas City.

Download your copy of Real Estate Review here or visit the Newsletter page under the My Marketing tab.
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Three Ways to Help Millennials Enter the Housing Market

There have been so many reports in recent months about both the importance of millennials in contributing to the housing recovery and the uphill battle they face when trying to buy a home that this has become a main topic of conversation whenever I talk with agents and brokers in the MLS I manage.

I’ve picked up some tips from all these conversations so I want to share a few of them here. The millennial generation is an even larger population than the baby boomers and their potential impact is huge. We in the industry can tweak some of our methods to help them overcome the barriers to finding the right home. Read complete article.

Source: Andrew Stauch, RISMedia, December 2014.
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Winter Is Best Time to Sell, Study Shows

The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and real estate professionals should be ready for a season that often brings in more focused and active sellers and buyers. Read complete article.

Source: REALTORMag, Monday, December 15, 2014.
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Seller's Market: KC Home Prices Continue to Edge Up

The Kansas City area's residential real estate market continues to be a seller's market, though interest rates are expected to remain attractive to buyers.

According to a monthly report from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, the average price of the 2,088 new and existing homes that sold in November was $194,525 — up 4.3 percent from the average price in November 2013. Read complete article.

Source: Rob Roberts, Kansas City Business Journal, Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
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10 Things Americans Want in Their Homes

There’s the ideal home. Then there are the homes in which we actually live.

The discrepancy between the two is the topic of a new report from the Demand Institute on what it calls the housing satisfaction gap. More than 10,000 households—including renters and owners—participated in a survey about their current homes and their ideal ones. The Demand Institute is a non-profit organization run by the Conference Board and Nielsen. Read complete article.

Source: Amy Hoak, Market Watch, Saturday, December 6, 2014.
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Save the Date: Year-End Event

Our annual year-end celebration is just around the corner. Mark your calendar for Thursday, February 12 from 4:30-7pm at the DoubleTree Hotel in Overland Park (10100 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66210). Stay tuned for more details.
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Existing Home Sales Continue to Pick Up Pace

Sales of existing homes rose to an adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million in October, the highest pace since September 2013.

That's according to the National Association of Realtors, which attributed the increase to low interest rates, more housing inventory and stable price growth. Read complete article.

Source: Kent Hoover, Kansas City Business Journal, Thursday, November 20, 2014.
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7 Graphs that Prove the Real Estate Market is Back! [INFOGRAPHIC]



Source: The KCM Crew, Keeping Current Matters, Friday, December 5, 2014.
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5 Creative Ways to Market to Clients in December

The holidays are a crazy time for everyone. But even though many people avoid buying or selling a house during this time of year, that doesn’t mean it is time to stop reaching out to your sphere.

Here are a few creative ways you can connect with past, present and future clients this holiday season:

1. Hire a helper to leave your mark. Enlist the help of a neighborhood kid to shovel and salt driveways for neighbors who haven’t gotten around to it. Read complete article.

Source: Kat Bremhorst, Inman.com, Monday, December 8, 2014.
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Share the Updated Listing Syndication Video with Your Clients

In response to multiple requests from agents, we have updated the video in which David Cooper explains BHG's withdrawal from 3rd-Party Listing Syndicators.

We encourage you to watch the updated version and share it (URL: http://youtu.be/JeENJynvaWQ) with your clients when and if the question of listing syndication arises. We have also provided a letter from David Cooper explaining Kansas City Homes' position, as well as a waiver for your clients to sign if they still wish to display their homes on 3rd-Party sites.

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MLS Statistics November 2014

The following statistics compare sales activity in November 2014 with the same time last year.


Heartland MLS:
  • Sales (YTD): +0.7%
  • Avg. Home Sale Price (YTD): +5.2% to $191,931

Johnson County:
  • Sales (YTD): -2.6%
  • Avg. Home Sale Price (YTD): +3.5% to $270,679
  • New Listings YTD: -6.0% to 667

Wyandotte County:
  • Sales YTD: +0.4%
  • Avg. Home Sale Price (YTD): +11.7% to $96,460
  • New Listings (YTD) : -2.5% to 152

Jackson County:
  • Sales (YTD): -0.8%
  • Avg. Home Sale Price (YTD): +9.0 to $151,750
  • New Listings (YTD): - -4.1% to 851

Clay/Ray Counties:
  • Sales (YTD): +4.7%
  • Avg. Home Sale Price (YTD):+7.6% to $171,417
  • New Listings (YTD): -5.1% to 319

Platte County:
  • Sales (YTD): +4.8%
  • Avg. Home Sale Price (YTD):+7.6% to $219,082
  • New Listings (YTD):-13.8% to 138

Click here to download the November 2014 MLS statistics report and summary.
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Don’t Give up on Facebook: Do This Instead

Most real estate professionals don’t have the time to be a social media guru. But don’t give up. Even if you don’t have more than a few minutes to spare, Facebook can still be extremely valuable. Read complete article.

Source: Logan Wells, Lumentus Social Blog, Wednesday, December 10, 2014.
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3% Down Payments May Be Game Changer

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced Monday that first-time home buyers can now qualify for loans with down payments as low as 3 percent. That will expand credit for qualified home shoppers who may have been sidelined the last few years because of higher down-payment requirements, housing analysts say. Read complete article.

Source: REALTORMag, Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
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BHGRE Welcomes Two New Affiliates

Sherry Chris is excited to announce that Better Homes and Gardens Lifestyle Realty (Florida) and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Community Realty (Pennsylvania) have joined our franchise network.

Lifestyle Realty, Led by broker Dan McCarthy and general manager Geoff Burt, the will continue to serve the great Jacksonville area. This is the third Florida brokerage to join our network in the past three months.

Community Realty, helmed by co-owners John Colarusso and Jennifer Daywalt will serve the greater Phoenixville area, including Chester, Montgomery and Berks counties.
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Owning Still Trumps Renting in Overall Wealth

The recent housing crisis has prompted questions over whether home ownership is still a viable way toward greater wealth in this country. Confidence in home ownership was shaken, and many have had to turn to renting (the number of renters has increased nearly 25 percent since the housing crisis)...Still, researchers continue to find evidence that home ownership contributes to individual wealth. One example: The Center for Responsible Lending of Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances recently found that median net worth of home owners in 2013 was $195,400, while at the same time the median net worth for renters was only $5,400. Read complete article.

Source: REALTORMag.com, Monday, December 8, 2014.
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2015: Year of the First-Time Home Buyer

First-time home buyers are expected to re-emerge in the new year after mostly staying out of the market in the aftermath of the housing crisis. That's one of realtor.com®'s five top housing predictions for 2015. Read complete article.

Source: REALTORMag.com, Friday, December 5, 2014.
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Susan Bowers Named Realtor of the Year

At the Annual KCRAR Holiday Party, Installation and Awards Event, Susan Bowers from our 8101 office accepted the prestigious REALTOR® of the Year award for 2014.

Since 1978, Susan has been highly involved in the real estate industry, serving in roles at the local, state and national level. Among her many accomplishments, Susan served as President of the Johnson County Board of Realtors® (JCBR) in 1995, then continued to be part of KCRAR when the two Boards merged. She was President of the Heartland MLS Board of Directors in 2009. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors.

"Susan has given back to the industry in incredible ways over the years – she has served as a past-president of the Johnson County Board of Realtors, past-president of Heartland MLS and more committees than I can name," commented David Cooper, President of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes. "She is consistently a strong sales professional and ranks in the upper-echelon of our company. She is most-deserving of this prestigious award."

Congratulations, Susan! We are proud of you and your accomplishments!
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2015 CE Schedule Released

The preliminary list of classes for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes' 2015 Continuing Education series is now available.

Take a moment to download and review it so you can make plans to attend the classes you need for the coming year. Check back often as this list will evolve and be updated in the future. If you have any questions about the classes offered or how to register for them, please contact Elaine Cavener, Education Director at 913-661-1486 or via email.
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