How to Negotiate Price Down by Six Figures

  • Ryan Rogers says home buyers can take advantage of the current real estate market.
  • High interest rates have impacted home prices, allowing buyers more negotiating room.
  • Rogers recommends looking for properties that have been on the market for more than 30 days.

US mortgage rates have been on a gradual downtrend since early March, hitting an eight-week low on Monday. The 30-year fixed rate averaged about 6.62{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} on Wednesday, down from peaks of above 7{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} during the last quarter of 2022.

With rates still relatively elevated, many would-be home buyers believe that they’re at a disadvantage. But nothing could be farther from the truth, according to Ryan Rogers, a 23-year residential real estate agent with Douglas Elliman in Austin, Texas.

It’s sellers who are taking the hits, he said. Specifically, those who haven’t adjusted to the new normal and still hold unrealistic expectations for what they think their home is valued at. Since the start of the year, he has noticed an increase of properties that have been sitting on the market for 30 to 60 days. This made it easier to negotiate a better deal, he added.

“We’re seeing a lot of repricing and when you look at what’s currently on the market and what’s sold in the last 30 to 60 days in a specific neighborhood, most of the time, I’m noticing in our specific market, probably somewhere between six to as high as a 10{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} sale-price reduction from the price which they started to the price in which it closed,” Rogers said.

For example, a single-family three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Austin, Texas had been on the market for about 90 days after it was initially listed for $779,000. The seller eventually reduced it to $725,000, Rogers said. But that was still too high. By the time he closed at home for his clients in January 2023, it had sold for $650,000, a $129,000 difference, he noted.

The number-one factor that made this steep price drop possible was that it had been on the market for three months, he said. The second factor was that they made an all-cash offer which could be closed quickly. Finally, he had to educate the listing agent on why the price was too high relative to the neighborhood comps, something Rogers says he has been doing a lot more recently.

He added that he’s going as far as requesting additional items like furniture. If it’s a waterfront property, he’ll request the boat docks and other recreational items, which wasn’t possible only a few months ago, he noted.

Taking the advantages

As early as seven to eight months ago, buyers were bidding 10 to 15{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} above the ask to secure a property, he noted. For example, a list price of $500,000 would be sold for $575,000. Today, that same house could be going for $490,000 or 480,000. So yes, the interest rate is going to be higher, but when you look at the payment difference, it’s not a huge delta, he added.

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Manhattan Residential Real Estate Shows Signs of Thawing

One of the country’s most expensive and frozen residential real estate markets is showing signs of a warmer-than-usual spring thaw.

Signed contracts for home purchases in Manhattan jumped 34.7{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} in March from February, compared with the 9{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} increase typical this time of year, according to data on Tuesday from real estate brokerage firm Douglas Elliman. At the same time, new listings rose 49.3{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} versus the typical 10{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} increase that kicks off the spring buying season. Both are still well below data from March 2021 during the frenzied real estate market of that year, with signed contracts down 35{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018}, and new listings down 19.4{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} year-over-year.

The ultra-expensive Manhattan market has been in the grip of a deadlock similar to the one that’s kept the national housing market in the doldrums, said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, which prepared the report for Elliman. As mortgage rates ratcheted up over the course of 2022 and early 2023, many homeowners have grown reluctant to sell, partly because they’re reluctant to give up the ultra-low mortgage rates they got during the pandemic, and partly because there’s nothing for them to buy if they move out.

For the relatively few homes on the market in Manhattan, sellers seem reluctant to lower their prices too much, Miller said, citing anecdotal reports.

“I call 2023 ‘the year of disappointment’ because sellers aren’t going to get their 2021 prices and buyers aren’t going to get a substantial discount, so both sides are disappointed in the market at the moment,” Miller said.

That’s starting to turn around. Mortgage rates fell for the last three weeks of March, according to data from Freddie Mac, as the Federal Reserve signaled that its campaign of anti-inflation interest rate hikes is nearing an end. That’s given some owners the confidence to put their homes on the market, shaking up the Catch-22 that’s held down inventory and sales.

“Barring some other unknown, unforeseen economic event, there’s probably going to be a normal seasonal uptick, if not a little bit more of an uptick in the spring,” Miller said. “The spring market, which is typically the Super Bowl of any annual housing market, is going to see an uptick in activity as usual. And that will lessen downward pressure on prices in some markets.” Miller said.

That would be a reversal of the latest quarterly trend. Average condo and co-op prices rose 0.5{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} to $1,950,333 in the first quarter of 2023, Elliman data showed, although they are down 4.5{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} year-over-year.

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10 Most Profitable Businesses to Start from Home

In this article, we delve into the 10 most profitable businesses to start from home. For more such businesses, go to 5 Most Profitable Businesses to Start from Home.

The post-pandemic world is witnessing a surge in home-based startups and with good reason. Ideally used as low-cost incubators, home businesses offer entrepreneurs with many economic and social advantages that traditional brick-and-mortar businesses don’t.

Market Outlook

The year 2022 marked the second-consecutive year of record-breaking employee quits. An estimated 50.5 million people resigned from their jobs, paving the way to a labor trend known as ‘The Great Resignation’. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has never witnessed such a radical phenomenon in its 22-year history.

These voluntary quits have largely been a result of low pay, lack of schedule flexibility, lack of opportunities, lack of respect, number of hours, and even childcare issues; Pew Research Center notes.

To offset this movement, employers have raced to improve their wages at the fastest pace. ADP Research Institute shows that US wages for employees who switched their jobs increased by an average of 8{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018}, a record-high figure. Even those who stayed received wage increments of an average of 5{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018}, despite the rising inflation and recession fears. However, lessons learned from the pandemic mean that many employees are no longer looking for traditional 9-5 jobs.

Instead, despite the economic downturn, the year 2020 was witnessed 4.4 million applications for businesses filed by Americans. A record high was set in the year 2021 with 5.4 million applications filed, a 53{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} increase from 2019. This startup surge was a dramatic deviation from previous economic downturns such as the Great Recession which witnessed declines in startups instead.

As such, these small businesses contribute 44{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} to the GDP of the US With the current market outlook, startups continue to grow, with 77{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} of small business owners remaining optimistic about the future. rightly so, Guidant Financial notes that over 65{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} of these small businesses have been successful as of year 2022, up from 40{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} in 2018. The pandemic has undoubtedly helped these entrepreneurs take challenges head on, with technology, digital tools, and artificial intelligence fueling their businesses at an unprecedented pace.

The numbers across industries vary, with the healthcare industry and food services being the most popular sectors experiencing business growth. Businesses such as SEO and e-commerce are also popular considering their low startup costs and favorable profit margins.

Why the Startup Splurge is Good for the Economy

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) notes that 99.9{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} of all businesses across the US are small businesses. Out of these, 50{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} start at home. These small and home-based businesses have been responsible for creating over 12 million jobs in the last 25 years, with 8.7 million jobs created between March 2020-21 alone.

These businesses are also the testing laboratories for innovation, providing many with the opportunity to become their own boss. In a report by Guidant Financial29{b5e4caabb46945dac267f6fa1789e0b2b1831cce91f79b27f72a0de22e4bb018} of entrepreneurs stated they made the

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Best plants for beginners: 10 easy-care choices |

Growing fabulous flowers the first time is super exciting, but it can feel a bit daunting, too. Whether you’ve recently acquired an entire backyard to fill, or you just fancy adding a few containers to your patio, step one is choosing your plants. But with so many varieties to decide between, how do you narrow it down?

Of course, you’ll want to choose the ones that look beautiful in your flower beds or pots. But for beginners, it’s best to go with plants that are not only gorgeous, but also non-fussy about their care regime. After all, some of the more diva-ish varieties need relentless watering, frequent feeding, careful pruning, and protection from a myriad of threats (think inclement weather, pests, and disease) – an overwhelming list that can prove tricky to stay on top of, at least at first.

So, make your life easier by picking those who are happy with a more hands-off approach. You can always add more challenging varieties later, as your confidence builds.

10 garden plants that are great for beginners

Ease into gardening with these pretty plants. Just remember to check the label for specific planting instructions, and that the hardness rating is suitable for your region.

1. Rudbeckia

yellow rudbeckias

Rudbeckias will brighten up a flower bed

(Image credit: Ali Majdfar / Moment / Getty Images)

Nancy Awot-Traut (opens in new tab), a Horticulture Specialist at Burpee, recommends these cheerful yellow daisies, rating them as one of the easiest perennials to grow. ‘They are drought and heat tolerant and don’t need much care.

‘Plant the flowers early in the spring and choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil,’ she advises. Removing the spent flowers will encourage them to keep blooming longer.

‘They are hardy in zones 3-9,’ she adds. They’re great for attracting pollinators, and make a beautiful addition to cut flower gardens.

Try ‘Goldsturm’, available from Nature Hills (opens in new tab)for a classic option that grows up to 24 inches in height.

2. Nepeta

nepeta

Nepeta is a favorite of bees

(Image credit: AlpamayoPhoto / E+ / Getty Images)

‘Catmint (nepeta) comes in many different varieties and once they start blooming in late spring, they will bloom for the rest of the season,’ says Joanna VonBergen (opens in new tab), a gardening expert and the owner and writer behind the popular gardening website, Gingham Gardens. It graces backyards with masses of purple flowers which offset the scented foliage, and bees adore it.

‘If they start looking a little ragged, they can be sheared back and they will send up fresh blooms within a week or so,’ she adds.

Apart from this, it’s a very low-maintenance perennial plant, being drought-tolerant once established. It’s a good choice for planting along pathways to soften hardscaping. Try ‘Walker’s Low’, available from Burpee (opens in new tab)a popular edging plant that flowers for weeks on end.

3. French marigolds

French marigolds

These pretty flowers are good companion plants for a range of home grown vegetables

(Image credit:

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HB 1113: Home-based business freedom

House Bill 1113, sponsored by Rep. Jansen Owen, prohibits local governments from restricting home-based occupations.

As Mississippi continues to grapple with a stagnant population, one of the brightest areas for potential is home-based businesses. We know that entrepreneurship start to climb at the beginning of the pandemic. But as technology has progressed over the past two-plus decades, the trend toward home-based businesses is not new. There are roughly 15 million home-based businesses in the United States, which makes up about half of all small businesses. Sixty-nine percent of startups are home-based, and 58 percent are women-owned.

And the benefits of a home-based business are great. This allows entrepreneurs to follow their dreams, with a particular benefit for groups like stay-at-home moms, as evidenced by the number of businesses run by women. One of the major considerations of running a home-based business is the ability to balance work and family responsibilities, increasing the quality of life. And, naturally, there is a lower cost associated with running a business from your home.

But throughout Mississippi, various municipalities have a variety of regulations that home-based businesses must face. And chances are they are different in the town next to you, creating uniformity problems.

Existing regulations that limit home-based businesses include limitations on the percentage of square footage in your house that can be dedicated to your business, what kind of equipment you can have, or who can work in your house. Meaning some places only allow family members to work with you. So working with your aunt is okay, but not your best friend. Your friend can be at your house any time of day, but if you start calling clients, you are breaking the law.

The proposed legislation doesn’t suddenly eliminate smart neighborhood regulations, but it is very clear in what a local government can do and what an entrepreneur can expect. This is good for protecting neighborhoods and providing for economic growth.

Empower Mississippi supports this legislation.

The bill died in committee. You can read the bill here.

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