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Expert Update 11.17.2022

Is Solar Power a Smart Choice for Homeowners?

More green-thinking homeowners are turning to solar power as seasonal cold and hot temperature swings become more severe. To assist your clients with making the best choices, here are several considerations to discuss before they invest in a solar system.

1. Will adding solar affect my home's value? In today's market, a 10-kilowatt solar system will increase a home's value by approximately $60,000.

2. How expensive is the initial system? Since solar systems are custom designed for each home, the cost can vary. Last year the average solar deal was $30,945, and that is holding true for 2022. And while some states offer incentives, the homeowner's insurance company may levy additional costs.

3. Will our home's location be suitable? The Southwestern U.S. is the best location for solar panels, but they can be financially advantageous anywhere the sun shines – even as far north as Alaska.1

 

Do You Communicate with Appraisers?

A survey conducted this past May revealed that 19% of real estate professionals avoid interacting with appraisers.

Either they believe they're not legally permitted to do so, or they're concerned the interaction may lead to appraisal bias. 47% said they had a transaction fall through because of an appraisal issue. The most common reasons for this outcome: the appraised value came in lower than the contract price, the perception that inappropriate comps were used, or the appraiser was unfamiliar with the neighborhood.

According to the Appraiser Independence Requirements (AIR) policy passed in 2010, real estate agents are allowed to communicate with appraisers. This includes providing additional property information, a copy of the sales contract, comps, a list of home upgrades, or details of multiple offers.2

 

Three Thanksgiving Marketing Tips

1. Grocery giveaway.

Host a contest for a $100 grocery giveaway at a holiday vendor event or fall festival. Place bulk holiday items in a glass jar such as candy or ornaments, and have people enter by submitting their contact information along with their numeric guess. It'll give you a chance to chat with contestants while marketing your business.

2. Recipe cards.

Send a recipe you love that represents your personality to prospects and clients, or choose a pre-printed recipe card from sites like Zazzle. Sending a thoughtful, small gift like this will help you stand out, especially if the card ends up on a bulletin board or refrigerator.

3. Firepit event.

Host a fall fireside chat for buyers and sellers. It's a great way to get people comfortable with the process by talking about their hopes and concerns. Serve cider and s'mores – and remember to bring your marketing materials!3

 

What to Expect if Remote Work Goes Hybrid

The pandemic's work-from-home phenomenon had an enormous impact on housing markets in rural areas, smaller towns, and suburbs.

If remote work becomes a permanent mode of employment, these areas should continue to grow after affordability eventually returns. Some areas are already seeing lower housing prices, and lower mortgage rates are expected in 2023. Plus, dense urban centers designed to support large numbers of commuters from the suburbs will need to adjust or add features to increase their attractiveness to buyers.

However, a few major employers are introducing hybrid work requirements, which means that staff must work in their employer's offices a certain numbers of days per week. If hybrid or 100% in-person office work takes hold again, then housing prices in the surrounding rural areas, small towns, and suburban areas could fall.4

 

Thinking of Going Part-Time?

If you're considering cutting down on your working hours, you may be wondering how this will affect your career. While your income will most probably be affected, going part-time may help you improve your work-life balance. The answers to these four questions can help you decide.

  1. What is the average part-time agent's salary? The annual average for agents working less than 20 hours per week is $24,556, but remember - this is an average. How much you make depends on how many sales you close, your commission percentage, and your operating expenses.
  2. What is a part-time agent's schedule? Generally, there is no set schedule. The hours you work will be determined by your clients' needs, which may include working some weekends and weeknights. You can expect to put in anywhere from 15-30 hours per week.
  3. Will clients work with a part-time agent? Yes. As long as you offer them true value in terms of industry knowledge, market insights, and financial guidance, they will definitely work with you.
  4. Will brokers hire part-time agents? All real estate agents must have a broker sponsor them. Some may prefer to sponsor only full-time agents, but others will take on anyone with a license. Your options might be more limited, but there are brokers who are happy to hire part-time agents.5

 

Sources: 1realestate.usnews.com; 2nar.realtor; 3theclose.com; 4bdmag.com; 5theclose.com

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