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Proper Care of Your Fireplace, by Steve Westmark

by Steve Westmark




Hi, this is Steve Westmark, Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  I just got back from the National Association of Realtors Conference that was in Orlando, FL.  Got to hear the national economist for the Realtor Association, Dr. Yun.  And he gave an hour and a half talk on some of the things that are going on and the economics of the country and what’s going to be going on in 2013.

And so I’m just going to share with you a few ideas of what you can see going on in 2013.  The first thing that Dr. Yun pointed out is we’re at an all-time low for interest rates in our marketplace, and he predicts that in fact in the next six months that the rates are going to continue to be low.  But at some point in the 2013 year we’re going to begin to increase.  But he doesn’t seen interest rates going up significantly until about 2015.  So that is really good for the homebuyers that are out there who can purchase with lower interest rates.

The second thing that he pointed out is in fact to get back to a stronger economy, our economy needs to build about 250,000 net jobs over the next eight years to get back to where we’re at.  So we need to in fact have a Congress and a president that will roll their sleeves up and go out and figure out how are we going to get our people back to work in the United States.  So it’s really important for the strength of the economics of the country for us to be creating a quarter of a million jobs each year.

The third trend that he saw going in the marketplace is that the lender-mediated sales over the country have been decreasing.  Now a lender-mediated sale is either a foreclosure where it’s bank owned or where I’ve talked in the past about short sales where people are upside down in their properties.  Well, if you go back to 2011, this past year, 33% of our sales in the United States were a lender-mediated sale.

In 2012, he’s predicting with most of the data that’s in that we’ll be around 25%.  And he predicts in 2013 we’re going to be dropping to 20%.  Now going back to national norms going back to the early 2000s, those numbers were around 2 to 3%.  So we still have a long way to go, but that is a very, very positive thing in our economic indicators.  And the last thing that he talked about in the area of forecasting was dealing with the fiscal cliff that has been talked about in the national press.

What he tells us as consumers to do is we need to spend wisely.  We have to know what do I have to have before you decide what you’re going to go buy.  You need to as a person have a strategic plan as you move into things.  So strategically deciding what are the right things because we’re still in a very, very difficult thing.  And then third, he talked about your partnerships, the partnerships that you have with relationships into your banks, with different people that you work with in your own tax planning, whether it be your tax advisors, both in attorneys and CPAs. 

That as you move on into the future and the changes that are more than likely going to be happening in the next Congress, that this is very important to your economic stability in 2013 and beyond.  Well, thanks so much for watching.  Make it a great day.  Bye.


The Pond... Pricing Your House To Be In The Flow!

by Steve Westmark

Hi, this is Steve Westmark of Counselor Realty.  Thanks for watching my video blog this week.  Today, I wanted to talk to you about an illustration that I use.  It’s called the Pond Illustration.  And we’re out at the source of Minnehaha Creek, but also the larger part of Lake Minnetonka.  This is Grays Bay, which then goes into the larger lake.

Pond Illustration basically starts with the idea that there’s always water coming into a lake area like Lake Minnetonka, and then it has to go somewhere and out a source that then goes Minnehaha Creek to Mississippi, then out to the sea.  And the idea behind it is that our real estate market is somewhat like a pond in that I can go and research and see how many homes are on the market and how many homes have sold like it in the last year.

So for instance, if I go and a do a one-year search on a property somewhat like yours and I find that there are 24 sales over the last 12 months, and there’s currently 12 homes on the market right now, it would mean that when you divide 24 by 12, that means two sales a month and about an inventory of six months.  But even more specifically, for every month there’s two sales that occur of a home like yours.

So if two houses are coming on the market or if only one house comes on the market and you have two houses selling, it shows at the top of the illustration that if you want to be in the flow and cause your house to sell, you need to have it very well priced.  Then it shows down a little bit lower in it where if you price it too high, yes you get showings and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get a sale.  But you’re much better to be up in the flow where the activity is happening.

And the very bottom of the pond is the stagnant area, and I’m sure you’ve seen situations where houses stay on the market for one year, two years, three years.  And what’s going on there?  The property has not been in the flow of the market.  It hasn’t been positioned and set where it needs to be.  On every property that I list, I take the time to show people what’s going on, what kind of sales are happening like theirs, and what is the flowing going on in the market.

Thanks for watching this.  Help make it a great day.  Bye.


The Fish Are Biting, Are You Ready for Them? by Steve Westmark

by Steve Westmark


Hi, this is Steve Westmark of Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog this week.  Well, today I have my rod and reel, have my tackle box, and I’m going to talk to you a little bit about fishing.  Most of my friends know I’m not a great fisherman.  When I go fishing, I go with people that really know what they’re doing.  But I’m going to give you an illustration of how fishing and selling your house makes sense.

You know, in today’s marketplace, you have to find where the school of fish is.  You can have a good rod and reel.  You can have the bait and the stuff, but you can cast into an area and never find a fish at all.  And that could be because there are just no fish there.  And what we learn in our real estate market when I meet with people, we find out where do fish bite that are the kind of fish that you want to have buy your house. 

And so when we go to position your house, we hope that we’re going to help you understand that by positioning your house at a certain number, that will bring about a sale.  To give you a quick illustration of that, he started a house maybe six months ago, he wanted to try a little bit higher in price and he went out at 134,900.  Then he went to 229,900.  Then he went to 224,900.  Then he finally said, “Well, what is it going to take to sell the house?”  He went to 216,900 and it sold within several weeks.


It’s finding where the fish are biting, and that’s the key that we try to help you understand when we go out to fish for your buyer.  We want to find the best pool of buyers who will pay you the fair value on your property, the most value you can get.  But make sure that you’re not just sitting there on the market and not selling and no fish is nibbling.  Well, make it a great day.  Thanks for listening

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




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Photo of The Steve Westmark Team Real Estate
The Steve Westmark Team
RE/MAX Advantage Plus
14451 Highway 7 Suite 100
Minnetonka MN 55345
Fax: 952-241-1600