SRES® Blog

Navigating Seniors and Their Families

Navigating Seniors and Their Families

It’s a family affair. That statement has never been more accurate when dealing with the families of seniors in a real estate transaction. If our beloved seniors are involved, everyone wants to ensure they are happy, healthy, and safe. This can prove to be a challenging task for SRES® agents. Everyone wants to feel like they are making the best decision for their loved one which can look different for all interested parties. This is an emotional experience for anyone. Regardless of how many people are included in the real estate process, there are some simple steps to follow. Set the Tone As

How Healthy are Your Homes?

How Healthy are Your Clients Homes?

According to the Shelton Group, a Knoxville, Tenn., energy, and sustainability marketing firm, three-quarters of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about the air they're breathing in their homes. Three-quarters of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about the air they're breathing in their homes, according to the Shelton Group, a Knoxville, Tenn., energy, and sustainability marketing firm. With so many still hunkered down at home because of the pandemic, homeowners continue to focus on home health and indoor air quality. You can help your clients assess just how healthy their home

Your Grandparents are Retiring in Virginia?

Your Grandparents are Retiring in Virginia?

Florida and Arizona are the two states that immediately pop to mind when people think of retirement destinations. But things change. It turns out that Virginia has become a significant retirement destination, edging Florida out of the number one spot. That’s according to “2020 Study: Where Do Americans Move When they Retire?” by Hire a Helper. If you work with retirees, the study gives you a snapshot of moving trends that may be helpful to your 2021 business planning. Virginia is an especially appealing spot for retiring women making out of state moves. Of those, 17% landed in Virginia. Single

AIA Survey: Home Design Trends

AIA Survey: Home Design Trends

Your clients who want to incorporate aging-in-place features to accommodate multiple generations under one roof may be interested in findings from the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey. So too will those who want to upgrade their homes for better functionality to respond to the ongoing pandemic. The quarterly AIA surveys provide a snapshot of residential trends that architects are seeing and measure whether a feature’s popularity rose or fell. Due to pandemic work-at-home situations, home offices, outdoor living spaces, and multi-function rooms, and flexible

Design Matters: Color is Back for 2021

Design Matters: Color is Back for 2021

If you’re tired of pale gray, the popular home paint color during the last year or so, look to the new hues of 2021. In recent months, paint companies released their 2021 color predictions. Many of their choices have been influenced by the changes the pandemic has brought to our lives. For example, in announcing its color of the year, Urbane Bronze (https://bit.ly/34RY9pf), Sherwin-Williams, suggests finding your sanctuary. It says, “As we're looking to create the ultimate retreat for reflection and renewal, we're turning to a hue whose natural simplicity and nature-inspired energy cultivate a

2021 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

2021 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Now is the time of year when you’re taking a hard look at your financial picture and developing a plan for the year. Before you start, check the all-important Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contribution limits for 2021. For details, visit the IRS site at https://bit.ly/3mUplK4 and https://bit.ly/2JpWZK5. For individuals contributing to a 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government's Thrift Savings Plan, the contribution limits stay at $19,500. For those over the age of 50, the catch-up contribution stays at $6,500. The maximum contribution limits for individual retirement

Fee for Refinancing Mortgages Now in Effect

Fee for Refinancing Mortgages Now in Effect

Your clients who are refinancing their mortgages now will need to factor in the new adverse market refinance fee that kicked in on December 1, 2020. The 0.5% charge applies to conventional loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was put in place to cover projected COVID-19 losses. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the fee means the average consumer will be paying $1,400 more than they otherwise would have paid. Since many homeowners may be focused solely on chasing the lowest interest rate, give them a heads-up about the change. Others may not know about or forget to

Serve Bi-lingual Clients with Mortgage Information in Their Native Languages

Serve Bi-lingual Clients with Mortgage Information in Their Native Languages

Maybe your market includes clients for whom English is a second language, or you have the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation, and the bulk of your sales comes from foreign buyers. If so, both audiences may appreciate being able to navigate the loan process in their native languages. The Mortgage Translations clearing house (https://bit.ly/3dGiBMZ), developed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, provide loan documents in multiple languages: English Spanish Chinese Vietnamese Korean Tagalog The site includes the Uniform

Refinance Quickly to Avoid Extra Fee, Effective Dec. 1

Refinance Quickly to Avoid Extra Fee, Effective Dec. 1

On December 1, it’s going to get more expensive to refinance a mortgage. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will start charging a 0.5% fee on refinanced mortgages that the two mortgage giants purchase. The reason for the fee, known as the “adverse market refinance fee,” is to cover projected COVID-19 losses. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the change will cost the average consumer an additional $1,400 than they would have paid before. However, those refinancing balances $125,000 or less are exempt from the fee. Initially, the adverse market refinance fee was to go into effect on

Get More Eyes on Listings with Better Descriptions, Careful Staging

Get More Eyes on Listings with Better Descriptions, Careful Staging

With 25% of buyers making offers without even seeing a home -- a statistic from a recent Redfin survey -- it may be more important than ever to showcase features that are most important to today’s shoppers. In addition to detailed MLS descriptions, images and videos are crucial in conveying the features, feel, and flow of a property. Keep an eye out for new surveys and studies to stay up to date on how the pandemic changes homebuyer preferences and how your listings can accommodate those wishes. For example, 35% of consumers are changing what they’re looking for in a home. That’s according to