arhome realty blog

Why It's Still a Great Time to Buy

Mortgage rates have hit historic lows this month, unlike anything we've seen since 2016. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.64% last week, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to an average of 3.16%. Freddie Mac reports that during 2019, there were only 11 weeks where mortgage rates actually increased - the rest of the year, they kept dropping.

“With both the unemployment rate and mortgage rate below 4% and near historic lows, it is no surprise that the housing market regained momentum with home sales and construction at or near decade highs,”says Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

This good news does come with an exception - according to the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, we are

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3 Secrets to Selling Your Home Fast

1. The Right Price

Although this may seem like an obvious part of the plan, the figuring out the "Right" price isn't always as clear. Pricing a home correctly has just as much to do with not pricing it too high as it does with not pricing it too low.  A too low price can waste your time with potential low-ball offers, not getting you the price your home is really worth. A too high price might not match the competition you have with other sellers, and make your home stand on the market unobserved. According to Danielle Hale, chief economist at, this is especially important for 2019: "It’s still a very good market for sellers," but they "will need to consider the competition" due to the high

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3 Questions To Ask Before Selling Your Home

1. What is my home’s value?

This seems like an obvious question, but it is often overlooked in importance. It’s the first question you need to ask because you need to stack up your home’s potential sale value against your loan payoff and costs. If your payoff and expenses exceed value, your plan might change a bit.

There is no need to stress - talk to one of our professionals first. It’s important to get an accurate market analysis from us, because an online, computerized estimate is often unreliable. Once you get a professional evaluation, we can help guide you through your next steps.

Keep in mind that the right professional can sell your home faster and for a higher price with the right marketing and

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Are you ready to go digital? We already are.

In today's market, digital marketing is everything. Our marketing team knows the power of the digital age and coaches all of our agents on how to set up a digital game plan. Our weekly coaching sessions go in depth to discuss step by step how to use all the tools available to us, combining multiple platforms to create an agent marketing powerhouse. Each session is lead by our on-staff Certified Real Estate Digital Marketing Instructor, showing you the secrets on how to multiply your marketing results and skyrocket your return on investment.

Can't make it to class? Each session is livestreamed and saved for re-viewing, any time.

Don't get left behind. We are helping our agents reach their goals every day.

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First things first: the housing market is still strong, according Daniel McCue, senior research associate at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. But a housing shortage has led to big competition and higher prices, bringing down affordability, and generally putting a slowdown on the speed of the market. So If you’re planning to buy or sell this year, here are 2 the main takeaways:

1. Home Sales Are Slowing

The number of home sales has been steadily falling. It could be due to a small inventory, an increase in prices, and the intense home buying competition that goes along with that. The decline was most notable at the end of 2018, when the mortgage interest rates increased.

The amount of homes for sale is rising now, but sales are

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Never Underestimate the Power of a Well-Staged Home 

Ah, staging. What’s the matter with it? Sellers frequently underestimate the importance of arranging and decorating their homes to properly attract buyers. Oftentimes, a staged home can be inconvenient to live in during the sale process. But the truth is, it matters a lot; as a matter of fact, proper staging can significantly increase the sale price of your home.

Let’s give an example. Recent sellers in Glenview, IL were unable to sell their home for almost two years when they reached out to our company. Of course, we found the problem right away: poor staging. With the addition of one piece of properly placed furniture, we were able to sell their home three days for over $25,000 MORE than it had been

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Marketing LIVE

Attention agents! Our weekly social media marketing workshops are now broadcast via Facebook LIVE every Friday. All American Realty & Associates, Inc. agents have access to these tutorials either live as they are broadcast or later for review.

This week's tutorial explained custom social media post creation with all the tools that are available for agents to effectively create their personal brand and market themselves on social media channels. Are you craving more online exposure? Do you want to create custom, personalized, and unique posts that beautifully market your services and also save you time? Then these classes are for you. Every week, in person or online.

Want to join our team? Weekly marketing workshops are free for

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How to Afford a Home in 2019

Your Down Payment

Before you can purchase a home, you’ll need to have a down payment ready. Most conventional loans will require 20% of the home price in order to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), but don’t panic - there are many loans that will let you purchase with a much lower down payment. FHA loans require a minimum down payment of 3.5%, and some conventional loans may go even lower (but will include PMI); there are even programs that will let you buy for $0 down (such as veteran VA loans). To find out more about available loans programs and their requirements, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

If your budget is tight, you can save for a down payment by putting aside your tax return, a job bonus, or

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