Who’s Who in the Real Estate Profession?

If you’re entering the real estate market for the first time, you may find the array of titles used by real estate professionals a little confusing. There are real estate agents, associate brokers, brokers and Realtors.
A real estate agent is anyone who earns a real estate license and is the first step for someone entering the real estate profession. This is a temporary license and the agent must attain a real estate associate broker’s license as a permanent real estate license by taking additional courses.
The Real Estate broker is a person who has taken education beyond the agent level as required laws and has passed a broker’s license exam. Brokers can work alone or they can hire agents to work for them.
If you have hired a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a home, that agent typically reports to a broker. The broker is usually the manager and often owner of the real estate company and is recognized by the State as the “designated broker” of that real estate firm responsible for the overall operation and supervision of several real estate agents.
You can choose to work with a salesperson or a broker, but in any case you should take the time to interview your agent and ask for references. If you want to work with someone new to the profession, you may want to ask to meet the broker as well so you can feel comfortable that someone with experience will be representing your best interests.
The term Realtor refers to a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means that they are bound to uphold the strict standards of the association and its code of ethics.

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Generational Shuffle Will Make 2016 the Best Year to Sell

Millennials emerged as a dominant force in 2015, representing almost 2 million sales nationally, which is more than one-third of the total. This pattern will continue in 2016 as their large numbers combined with improving personal financial conditions will enable enough buyers between ages 25 and 34 to purchase a home. The majority of those buyers will be first-timers, but that will require other generations to also play larger roles.
Two other generations will also affect the market in 2016: financially recovering Gen Xers and older boomers thinking about or entering retirement. Since most of these people are already homeowners, they’ll play a double role, as both sellers and buyers. Gen Xers are in their prime earning years and thus able to relocate to better neighborhoods for their families. Older boomers are approaching (or already in) retirement and seeking to downsize and lock in a lower cost of living. Together, these two generations will provide much of the suburban inventory that millennials desire to start their own families.
Assuming that most of these households will both sell and buy, 2016 is shaping up to be the best year in recent memory to sell.

Generational Shuffle Will Make 2016 the Best Year to Sell

Millennials emerged as a dominant force in 2015, representing almost 2 million sales nationally, which is more than one-third of the total. This pattern will continue in 2016 as their large numbers combined with improving personal financial conditions will enable enough buyers between ages 25 and 34 to purchase a home. The majority of those buyers will be first-timers, but that will require other generations to also play larger roles.

Two other generations will also affect the market in 2016: financially recovering Gen Xers and older boomers thinking about or entering retirement. Since most of these people are already homeowners, they’ll play a double role, as both sellers and buyers. Gen Xers are in their prime earning years and thus able to relocate to better neighborhoods for their families. Older boomers are approaching (or already in) retirement and seeking to downsize and lock in a lower cost of living. Together, these two generations will provide much of the suburban inventory that millennials desire to start their own families.

Assuming that most of these households will both sell and buy, 2016 is shaping up to be the best year in recent memory to sell.

DECEMBER ‘PENDINGS’ UP

The National Association of Realtors reported a slight increase in its  Pending Home Sales Index.  Aforward-looking indicator based on contract signings, crawled 0.1 percent to 106.8 in December from 106.7 in November and is now 4.2% above December of 2014. The index has increased year-over-year for 16 consecutive months.
 
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says contract activity closed out the year on stable footing but lost some momentum, except for in the Northeast. “Warmer than average weather and more favorable inventory conditions compared to other parts of the country encouraged more households in the Northeast to make the decision to buy last month,” he said. “Overall, while sustained job creation is spurring more activity compared to a year ago, the ability to find available homes in affordable price ranges is difficult for buyers in many job creating areas.
 
“The silver lining from the market turmoil in recent weeks is the fact that mortgage rates have slightly declined,” says Yun. “Buyers looking to close on a home before the spring buying season begins may be rewarded with a mortgage rate at or below 4 percent.”
Existing-homes sales this year are forecast to be around 5.34 million, an increase of 1.5 percent from 2015. The national median existing-home price for all of this year is expected to increase between 4 and 5 percent. In 2015, existing-home sales increased 6.5 percent and prices rose 6.8 percent.