Antitrust Efforts Against the “Real Estate Cartel”

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boy hugging dog in front of big home

Real Estate Trends

Is the real estate industry being stifled by “cartel” activity, happening among agents who want to maintain fat commissions and big paydays? The Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an organization that focuses on consumer rights, has found that antitrust steps need to be taken to avoid the trend of higher home prices, stifled competition, and poor service for home buyers. As home prices have soared, so have real estate commissions. Many people are questioning the 6% fees that are charged for every home… wondering if real estate agents are working any more to receive the higher commissions? Not only has it gotten easier to sell a home because of the online tools that are available, but these 6% fees are standard – regardless of the real estate agent’s experience.

Class Action Lawsuit

Earlier this year, a class-action lawsuit was filed, aiming at the real estate agents who are sticking with the traditional fees. This lawsuit charges that the four largest real estate brokerages in the nation, as well as the National Association of Realtors, are conspiring to charge inflated fees. The argument is that these high commissions violate the federal antitrust laws. Several problems have arisen because of the high fees, mainly due to how buyer’s agents and seller’s agents choose to structure their fees. For example, some brokers refuse to show homes to clients who are using real estate agents that offer lower commissions. If a real estate brokerage chooses to reduce their fees, then the “cartel” steers transactions away from any agent that isn’t maintaining the traditional way of doing business in the industry.

You Don’t Have to Pay High Real Estate Commissions

The truth is that there is no reason why 6% should be charged in real estate commissions on every transaction! At DUFFY Realty, we’ve found that the digital advancements in the real estate industry have made it possible to cut overhead costs because less time is required to sell a home. As a result, we are reducing our commissions and passing those savings onto our clients. You can expect to save thousands of dollars when choosing our team over a traditional real estate brokerage. We’ve definitely had some kickback in the local industry because of other real estate brokerages who don’t like to compete against our low prices. But we’ve held our ground and focused on the needs of our clients, which is why our team is thriving. Customer service is always our highest priority, and our clients love that they can save money without sacrificing the quality of real estate services offered. If you are looking for a way to save money on your upcoming real estate transaction in Atlanta, then it’s time to talk to us at DUFFY Realty. Call to learn more about our affordable real estate fees: (678) 318-1700.
Rhonda Duffy

Rhonda Duffy

Real estate expert and consumer advocate Rhonda Duffy is documented and ranked the #1 Agent in the U.S. for resales three years in a row and #1 Agent in Georgia 12 years in a row. Rhonda is the media’s go to expert on real estate matters for her commonsense approach, consumer advocacy and work to educate the public on the rapidly changing landscape of her profession. She has been licensed in real estate for 20 years, has been a broker in seven states and is trained in staging certification.

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Don’t Be Fooled By Investor Speculation In The Real Estate Industry

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Low Commission Real Estate Brokerage

Real Estate Trends

It’s no surprise that advances in technology are changing the real estate industry. Years ago, home buyers had to rely on real estate agents to see the homes available in the local market. Now, real estate agents are still an important part of the home buying process. But buyers can also look online to view listings that have been shared with the general public. New Trend in the Real Estate Industry: iBuyers One of the latest trends that we are seeing across the nation is the shift to “iBuyers.” People who are looking to sell their homes quickly and easily turn to real estate companies such as OpenDoor, OfferPad, and Knock. These brokerages leverage the internet to minimize overhead in the buying and selling process. Most of the sites give homeowners the opportunity to request an offer on the property, which is provided within 24 hours. Some sellers like the option to move as quickly as possible, but they don’t realize how much they are giving up by working with an online company instead of an in-person real estate agent. Investors have jumped on board, predicting that online sales are going to change the real estate industry completely. Are these new startups and investors on to something? Or is this trend simply being propped up by investor speculation and share prices, without real profits to be made in this questionable business model? Where These Real Estate Websites Fall Short It seems like a dream to have an offer on your home in 24 hours and close on the deal in 10 days. But like many things in life: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Here are a few drawbacks to using an online service when buying or selling a home:
  • High Fees: You can expect 6% commission fees when working with traditional real estate agents, or much less when choosing our team at DUFFY Realty. In comparison, some of these websites (such as Opendoor) charge as much as 14% in fees. The costs add up!
  • Cost of Repairs: After you have accepted the offer, the website team has the opportunity to inspect the property. If anything needs to be repaired, then the cost will be deducted from the sale price. Unfortunately, you don’t have the option to shop around for an affordable contractor, which means that you are likely over-paying for the repairs.
  • Personalized Attention: Nothing beats the one-on-one service that comes from working with a real estate agent in person. Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, which is why it is important to have an industry expert to help with negotiations and paperwork.
At DUFFY Realty, we offer affordable real estate services without the need to sacrifice the personalized services available in the industry. If you are looking for a way to save money on your home sale/purchase, talk to our team instead of using these unproven online real estate websites: (678) 318-1700
Rhonda Duffy

Rhonda Duffy

Real estate expert and consumer advocate Rhonda Duffy is documented and ranked the #1 Agent in the U.S. for resales three years in a row and #1 Agent in Georgia 12 years in a row. Rhonda is the media’s go to expert on real estate matters for her commonsense approach, consumer advocacy and work to educate the public on the rapidly changing landscape of her profession. She has been licensed in real estate for 20 years, has been a broker in seven states and is trained in staging certification.

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Should I Turn My Home into a Rental Property?

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Real Estate Trends

Wondering whether it’s a good idea to rent your home? You aren’t the first to consider the possibility. It’s a question that people grapple with every day. So, what do you need to know? Here are several things to think about before you put it on the rental market:

Are You Ready Be a Landlord?

If you are ready and willing, then continue evaluating the option to rent out your home. If not, then perhaps you should rethink your plans. You can continue to own the place and live in it, or you can sell it. Being a landlord is a fair amount of work and, at times, it can even be a headache. Done well, the rewards can be worth your while, but don’t go into it thinking it’s a cakewalk.

As a landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the home and making timely repairs when needed. Of course, you can hire others to help with these requirements, but you’re the one who will foot the bill. Make sure to keep this in mind, and be prepared to pay for such things when needed.

Finding Good Tenants

An unoccupied rental house is losing money. At the same time, finding a bad tenant that fails to pay on time, or causes heavy damage to your property, is also losing money. So, what is a landlord supposed to do? Find and attract good tenants with good credit and stable employment. It takes time, but once you understand how to find quality tenants, you’re on your way. It’s a critical skill that will make or break your success.

Handling Tenant Issues

In the process of finding good tenants, you’re likely to encounter some that are less than ideal. They may be neglecting the property or disrespecting neighborhood rules. Perhaps they fail to pay rent. These issues must be dealt with, and it isn’t always pleasant to do. However, renters do have certain rights, so be sure to follow laws and procedures as you deal with issues that may arise.

Market Conditions

Before you decide to rent your home, take note of the market conditions. If the market favors sellers, then you might consider selling the property at top dollar. On the other hand, if the market favors buyers, then renting your home can be a great way to continue to accrue equity while you wait for home values to rise once again.

Financial Common Sense

Rental properties can be a fantastic investment, but it has to make sense. You’ll want to spend some time evaluating the tradeoffs between rental income and any tax deductions you may incur. Other things to consider should include projected expenses, current equity, the value of the property, etc. If needed, your accountant can help you to analyze the investment potential of renting your home.

DUFFY Realty is a reputable agency that puts people first. Helping people like you are the reason we’re in this business. If you’re ready for a team of knowledgeable professionals to provide some common-sense insights in today’s real estate market, give us a call: (678) 318-1700.

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When Does the Real Estate Season Start?

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Are you trying to figure out the right timing to buy or sell a home? It is smart to consider the trends in the economy and real estate season so that you can maximize the equity available from your investment. We often hear customers ask us about the start of the real estate season because they want to get ahead of the competitors in the area.

Trends Through the Year

Some people will tell you that the main real estate season is spring through fall. But, the truth is that the real estate season never really ends! Even though some months are busier than ever, your real estate team will work all year long to accommodate people who need to move.

In fact, it is smart to start working with your real estate agent before the busy season begins. You can get your home on the market and bring in the right buyers without competing against the higher number of home listings that usually come online in the summer season.

Following these trends will give you the advantage to improve the results for your real estate transaction. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the market details. Simply choose the right real estate team, and let them oversee the best strategies for each time of year.

Should I Wait to Buy a Home?

There are many reasons why families might be waiting to buy a home: real estate industry trends, school schedules, work changes, and more. Sometimes, it makes sense to stay put for a while based on the needs of your family. On the other hand, there are situations where you should act fast to take advantage of the real estate market trends that are available right now.

Don’t make assumptions about buying or selling a home until you have a chance to talk to an experienced real estate agent. Our team will discuss the current trends, talk about your situation, and help you with identifying the timeline that will fit your needs.

If you are planning to move in the next few months, then right now is a great time to make your move. We are approaching the industry’s busy season, which means that you still have time to get ahead of the curve. Our real estate team is just a phone call away; always ready to help you find a dream home. We are here to answer your questions and assist with your real estate listing.

DUFFY Realty offers the leading real estate services in the Atlanta area. We’ve been serving this community for many years, offering unbeatable quality and attention for homeowners. Our team has industry connections and the quality experience you need when you are buying or selling a home in any real estate season. Contact us right away to learn more about the real estate services that are available for your family: (678) 318-1700

Will the Real Estate Market Trends Be Changing Soon?

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Most real estate experts agree that we are experiencing a “seller’s market” right now. This article will discuss if the real estate market trends will be changing soon.  Prices are back up to the levels that we experienced at the peak in 2006. At the same time, demand is high and inventory levels are low.

One common question that we hear is regarding the anticipated trends that will be happening in the future. There’s no way for anyone to predict the industry with surety. But, there are a few things that we can look at which might indicate the way the real estate market will be shifting.

Cycles in the Industry Make Real Estate Trends Ever Changing

Even if we aren’t in the “bubble” territory in the real estate market, it is important to understand that there are always cycles in the industry. Prices rise and fall over the years.

It all comes down to basic economics: When the prices rise, then sales activity slows down. The slower sales cause sellers to reduce prices, then sales pick back up again. These patterns are normal in the real estate environment.

Since we are currently at an industry high, then it means that there is a good chance that the home prices will decline. In fact, we are already seeing signs that home prices are dropping across the nation. Of course, local factors will influence the way the home prices change. But, it appears that these changes are consistent throughout the US.

Should You Buy a Home Right Now?

The current trends don’t necessarily suggest that prices will crash in the next year or two. But, we are definitely seeing trends that home prices are starting to decrease, which could be an indication that the market is shifting.

At the same time, interest rates are going up. These higher rates could be contributing to the slow down because buyers don’t want to pay the higher interest costs. That being said, it might be the perfect time for you to buy a home if you are planning to move in the next few years so that you can avoid the higher interest rates that will likely be coming in the future.

Instead of getting caught up in the rumors in the industry, a better solution is to focus on the needs of your family. You need to have a place to live, and it makes sense that you are putting your money into a real estate property instead of flushing it down the drain by paying rent every month. Your payments add up over time, helping you build equity that supports the financial future of your family. So, often the best strategy is to buy real estate properties and hold onto them for a long period of time.

If you have questions about the real estate industry, then our expert team at DUFFY Realty is always here to help. We are happy to assist as you are looking for the perfect home for your family. Call today to learn more about the services that are available: (678) 318-1700

If you enjoyed Will the Real Estate Market Trends Be Changing Soon, read this article: https://duffyrealtyofatlanta.com/save-flat-fee-real-estate-agent/

Fall Changes: How the Real Estate Market Changes When the Weather Cools Down

Fall Changes: How the Real Estate Market Changes When the Weather Cools Down

Did you know that seasonal changes can have a direct impact on the real estate market? After Labor Day has passed, you can expect to see changes in the behaviors or both home buyers and sellers. What do these changes mean for the price of your home?

Falling Leaves and Falling Home Prices

As the leaves start to fall, you can expect that home prices are going to start falling at the same time. These trends are not guaranteed, but it is a common occurrence each year. Typically, the changes are small but noticeable in the real estate market.

Why do home prices go down? It’s the perfect example of economics: as demand drops, so do prices. Summer is the peak selling season for real estate, and then prices start to go down when the summer season is over.

People are settled into their homes, the school year has started, and everyone is looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. Often, homeowners decide to stop the search during the fall, and then pick it back up again in the spring season.

If you are interested in buying a home, then this trend opens up the market for you to find the home of your dreams. There is less competition, and buyers are anxious to sell. So, you can step in and find the perfect house for your family. During this time of year, it is usually a “buyer’s market” in the real estate industry.

Choosing Your Vacation Home

Even if you aren’t looking to move, you might consider this opportunity to find a nice vacation home for your family. Fall is an excellent season to shop for vacation homes because summer vacation season is done. At the same time, you still have plenty of time to lock down a location to have it available for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Imagine spending the holidays in the mountains with your family and friends… it would be a fun and exciting way to create lasting memories! Whether you want a cabin or a lakefront property, there are many options available in the Georgia real estate market.

Consider the areas that you love and start looking for a property that meets your preferences. Your family deserves the best, which means that you need to find a place where you can spend time with the people that you love. Picking the right location means that you can enjoy beautiful scenery outside the windows while enjoying quality time with friends and family.

Are you ready to buy a home? Right now is the perfect time of year to talk with our team at DUFFY Realty. We are experts in the industry, and our team is here to help. Call us right away for more details about how you can leverage the fall season to get a great price on your dream home: (678) 318-1700

5 real estate trends to watch in Atlanta

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If you are planning on selling in Atlanta in 2014, here are five real estate trends you need to know about.

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Atlanta Real Estate Trends for 2010

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual ULI Atlanta Emerging Trends in Real Estate seminar. The day was filled with economists and Atlanta developers, like Stephen R. Blank, Dennis P. Lockhart, Ed Baker, Philip B. Beaudette, Randall Evans, Larry L. Gellerstedt III and Gregg Logan, giving their predictions on what to expect from the coming year, in regards to the real estate industry of course. The Emerging Trends report from ULI is one of the oldest and most trusted publications of its kind. In its history, it has been pretty accurate about predicting the economic future of the industry. So, what did I find out??Continue reading