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Here’s why it’s not a great time to become a real estate agent

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Posted by Zach Wasser for CNN Business

As house prices skyrocketed during the pandemic, people started racing into the real estate sales industry to take advantage of the real estate gold rush.

But that surge in new real estate agents, coupled with a sharp drop in the number of homes for sale over the past year, has created a peculiar phenomenon: there are currently more agents than homes for sale in the US.

More than 130,000 people became realtors during the pandemic, according to the National Association of Realtors. The NAR said its membership reached a record high of more than 1.5 million members in May. In the course of the last month, however, only a little more than 1.3 million apartments were for sale, according to Redfin, 27% fewer than at the same time last year.

It’s extremely rare for the number of real estate agents to eclipse the number of homes for sale, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. Especially now, well into the busy spring buying season, Yun said it was unprecedented that the number of brokers has exceeded the number of homes for sale for an extended period of time.

“That’s very unusual,” said Yun. “Very unusual for this to last for months and possibly the rest of the year.”

In Austin, considered one of the most competitive housing markets in the country, real estate agents exceeded the number of properties for sale by eight to one last month, according to the Austin Board of Realtors.

Sebastian Battle got his first job as a real estate agent last August when he moved to the Austin office of the Keller Williams brokerage firm. He said the job was harder than he thought, mostly because there are so few houses for sale.

“I’d say the hardest part about being a new real estate agent, especially in Austin, is just the competition,” said Battle. “I definitely expected more people to buy and sell, frankly.”

Before Battle got his real estate license, he sold rental apartments in San Antonio. He and his girlfriend Alison Wingate then moved back to Pfluggerville, a suburb of Austin, where they both grew up.

Wingate was already working in an administrative role for Keller Williams when they decided to move. She encouraged Battle to get his real estate license and work there too. Wingate said she knew Austin property prices were much higher than San Antonio, and she thought Battle had the kind of personality that would make him successful as a realtor. But she said she underestimated how competitive the Austin area market would be.

“I didn’t know the market was going so crazy that they were asking so much above the asking price and that inventory was extremely low,” said Wingate. “I did not expect that.”

Home prices in the Austin metropolitan area rose 42% in May compared to the same period last year – according to Redfin, the largest price jump of all major US metropolises. This rise in home prices was caused in part by bidding wars. Redfin found that nearly three out of four homes sold in Austin – 72% – were sold above asking price, with the average home seeing a 9% markup in May. Redfin noted that more than 1,500 homes in the Austin metropolitan area have been sold for at least $ 100,000 above asking price so far this year. At the same time last year it was 22.

Originally from Austin, Clayton Bullock is a second generation real estate agent who has worked in the city and the surrounding area since 2003. He says Austin has “seen a historic price adjustment. And I don’t think we’ll ever go back to our previous prices. “

Bullock says the rise in home prices has helped his business, but not as much as one might think.

“We don’t necessarily make ten times the money because there just isn’t enough business,” said Bullock. “Sellers aren’t ready to sell because they don’t have a point of contact. A salesperson can ask for a premium, but if they don’t have space to land they won’t be willing to list. “

Cindy Goldrick says she’s never seen anything like the current market in Austin, where she’s been a real estate agent since 1981.

“The market is currently the toughest I’ve seen when dealing with a buyer,” said Goldrick. “Listings, I mean, there’s money in the bank. There is hardly an offer that comes onto the market that is not sold in a very, very, very short time. “

Big tech is one reason Austin real estate is booming. Companies like Tesla, Facebook, Apple, Google and Oracle have either moved their location or part of their operations to the Austin area and brought in high-income technicians.

“They’re still hiring thousands of jobs over the next few years,” Bullock said of the tech giants. “These are not post office jobs. These are senior management jobs and computer technicians who are six or seven figure earners looking for housing mostly in Central and West Austin, and we don’t have enough housing for them.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted the same way in April, stating that “there is an urgent need to build more homes in the greater Austin area!”

In May, there were 8,395 homes for sale in the Austin metropolitan area, 21.5% fewer than at the same time last year, according to Redfin.

Out of the 87 largest metropolitan areas in the country, Austin was the fourth most popular travel destination for people according to the search results from Redfin users. Nearly 40% of Austin home searches on Redfin were done by people out of town, and Redfin found that San Francisco was the most popular place Austin house hunters came from.

Goldrick said the bidding wars were good for their business but not for their mental health. She said her brokerage firm Wilson & Goldrick Realtors was well on its way to doubling last year’s sales. But after a year of working in this hectic market, she begins to feel burned out.

“In a way, I wish it would calm down a bit, you know, especially when we’re representing buyers,” Goldrick said. “But I really don’t see it anytime soon.”

For Battle, his first year as a realtor was tough. He hasn’t had to close a deal with a buyer or seller in months, but he hopes his fate will change now. He is representing a buyer who recently accepted more than $ 800,000 for a $ 780,000 home in Leander, Texas, a suburb of Austin. The deal is expected to close on July 13th.

“I can’t say it’s an impossible market because there are people who do it,” Battle said. “I understand that this business is growing exponentially. One salesperson could change your entire business, the entire landscape, your entire financial situation. “

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Unflattering audit of San Diego real estate deals prompts push-back from city attorney

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A July report by the San Diego auditor investigating the city’s Ash Street lease and other real estate transactions appears to have driven a wedge between the elected city attorney and the appointed auditor.

A new memo from auditor Andy Hanau states that prosecutor Mara Elliott rejected several invitations to participate in the month-long review of real estate transactions and then criticized Hanau for not interviewing her before his report was published.

“We met at least seven times with representatives of the public prosecutor’s office during the examination,” Hanau wrote in the message last Thursday. “No one in the prosecution stated that we had a reason to question the city attorney, or that the city attorney wanted an interview.”

The auditor’s memo was in response to Elliott’s official rebuttal of the audit published two months ago, which harshly criticized the way city officials have handled a number of real estate transactions in recent years.

In her refutation of the August 31st audit, Elliott reiterated her criticism of the July 22nd audit as an incomplete review. She said the legal conclusions were wrong and the assessment was based on speculation rather than fact.

“I spent nearly two decades of my legal career advising state auditors and audit boards on their roles and responsibilities in the San Diego County and City of San Diego,” Elliott wrote. “This failure to obtain complete information resulted in inaccuracies in the audit report.”

The prosecution issued a similar response to the exam when it was first published.

The city council’s audit committee is due to look into Elliott’s rebuttal along with a subsequent response from Mayor Todd Gloria at its Wednesday meeting on the audit.

Gloria’s rebuttal suggested that the mayor’s office would implement any recommendations made by the auditor under his control, although implementation will take several months or even until 2023.

“The department intends to create a robust and enduring policy that will regulate real estate transactions of many types,” wrote Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone to Hanau on September 7th. “The revised guideline will serve as a guideline and instrument for the city council and city administration to comply with, even if no concrete transactions are envisaged today.”

Hanau’s July 22 report found that former Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his staff withheld information and misrepresented some facts when they approved the council for the 20-year lease for the former Sempra Energy headquarters at 101 Ash in 2016 St.

“The former city administration has limited the supervisory capacity of the city council in large property purchases by not providing complete and accurate information,” the audit said.

The auditors also criticized other real estate investments made under the Faulconer administration, including a failed indoor skydiving facility that the city bought for $ 7 million without a valuation and a repair yard that was $ 8 million more than expected had improved.

Elliott, who is now trying to suspend the Ash Street lease and an earlier contract for the nearby Civic Center Plaza, said the Court of Auditors’ office mistakenly blamed her for the prosecutor’s legal work prior to her 2016 election.

Her rebuttal also criticized the audit for saying it was her office’s failure to spot “red flags” on the Ash Street transaction that cost the city at least $ 60 million for a 19-story skyscraper. that cannot be safely occupied due to asbestos and other topics.

“We have to rely on experts. And those with expertise report to a different branch of government – the executive, ”wrote Elliott. “The lawyers have to rely on facts presented by the city officials.”

The dispute over the auditor’s audit is not the first dispute between the audit office and the city’s public prosecutor’s office.

Last year, then-acting city auditor Kyle Elser applied for permission to hire an independent attorney for his office. Sometimes there are conflicts of interest between city auditors and city attorneys, he said at the time.

Elliott has resisted the request, which relies on both the prosecutor’s office and the mayor’s human resources department to move forward.

The proposal is expected to be reintroduced by the city’s audit office later this year.

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Real estate agent appreciates mentors

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Sep 26 – In Beckley’s real estate sector, Carol Pugh is known for her dedication to clients and her knowledge and expertise.

Pugh is the agent at Sigmund-McLean & Associates on Prince Street. In 2010, she and broker Don Martin entered into a five-year buy-in plan and became co-owners of the agency.

Many in Beckley live in properties that Pugh listed, sold, co-developed, and in some cases re-listed and resold.

“I’ve got so many stories, houses I’ve sold two or three times, families I’ve met along the way,” Pugh said. “There was a lot of property.”

In the late 1970s, Pugh was the mother of two young children. She enrolled in a real estate course at Beckley College taught by local real estate agent Jim Lilly.

“It was just something I did,” she said. “I knew I liked real estate, and it was a course I took without thinking that I would actually get a real estate license.”

But in the summer of 1989 her children – she had three children now – were of school age.

“I just thought, you know, I’d like to get into the real estate business,” she said.

She enrolled in a real estate course taught by Mike Tyree.

She spent the day in class every Saturday and Sunday for the next six weeks. Next she was licensed.

“The first company I thought of that I wanted to work with was a male-dominated company,” she recalls. “Sigmund McLean Hunt and Payne.

“I’ve always respected them. They were family friends. Good, honest business people.”

Pugh said she never treated real estate as a part-time business. She went to the office every day.

The owners were great mentors, she recalls.

“They were in the office every day in a coat and tie, and I would come into the office every day and try to get their knowledge of them.”

The trio developed three sub-divisions in Beckley: Woodcrest, The Landmark and Old Mill Village, she reported.

“I loved hearing about it,” she said.

The story goes on

The agency was still selling lots on Woodcrest when Pugh joined the agency, and Pugh saw an opportunity. She teamed up with a local contractor, Howie Lambert, who was building houses in upscale Woodcrest.

“We worked together,” she said.

“I would sell him a lot. He was going to build a house and Howie would let me sell his house.

“So I learned building development.

“Woodcrest’s development was a real learning experience, watching Bill (Sigmund) and Bob (McLean) develop and even pave the roads and bring the utilities to the properties.

“I had just learned so much in development by watching builders build their homes,” she said.

“Sometimes realtors have the wrong idea what real estate agents are doing and they step in and fail to realize the work that needs to be invested and the time,” she added.

“You have to spend time with experienced real estate agents to learn the business because what you learn in your real estate course doesn’t have much to do with the real world of real estate.”

Pugh said real estate was a full-time job for her from the start.

“I was very fortunate that my family were great supporters,” she said. “My children were still in school, but I was still able to pick them up from school.

“My husband supported me a lot back then. He helped with the children.

“There was a lot of night work and weekends. That’s how I got into it.

“I’ve worked hard and the rewards have been wonderful.”

Pugh is a two-time winner of the Beckley Board of Realtors (BBR) “Realtor of the Year” (1999 and 2005) and was nominated for West Virginia for “Realtor of the Year”.

She has served as secretary to the West Virginia Real Estate Commission and twice as BBR president.

She is consistently a top producer of real estate sales in the Beckley market and is widely respected by sellers, buyers, and other real estate agents.

Her advice to others is to always be honest with customers. She said it was one of the most important things in business.

A supportive family is a help to success, Pugh added.

“There are many ups and downs,” she advised. “There is a lot of heartache.

“I’ve had some deals that I just cried about when they fell apart, buyers regretted, sellers regretted.

“If a deal fails, I live with them.”

Most of the deals were successful, however.

Pugh said she could drive through Beckley, view a property, and remember a deal.

“I do it all the time,” she said. “I wish I could go back and see everything I sold. It went quickly.

One of her mentors did the same.

“Bob McLean used to walk around town calling the homes from the original owners … by the owner’s name even though they had sold it two or three times,” she added.

Pugh’s favorite aspect of business isn’t necessarily making a big profit on an expensive property.

“I’ve sold a lot of commercial properties over my years and I love the challenge,” she said.

“But I have to say, my favorites are my first-time home buyers.

“I feel best about all of the people I’ve helped get into houses.

“They are most grateful to have their home.”

Sigmund-McLean & Associates’ business gives Pugh a sense of achievement.

“I am very proud of my company,” she said. “I am a proud owner here.

“A lot of real estate has been bought and sold in this corner of Beckley.”

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BREVARD REAL ESTATE REPORT: Listings Increase for Single-Family Homes, Median Sales Price Up 21.0% to $325,000

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new listings for condominiums are down over 2.8%

The Brevard housing market reported higher median prices, more new offers and a year-over-year increase in cash sales in August. The average sales price for Brevard single-family homes is up + 21.0% to $ 325,000, compared to $ 268,500 a year ago.

The median sales price for townhouses and condos is up 17.6% to $ 261,868, compared to last year’s $ 222,750.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard housing market reported higher average prices, more new listings and a year-over-year increase in cash sales in August.

“The latest data shows that the number of new offers for single-family homes here on the Space Coast continues to rise,” said Jennifer McCoy of McCoy Freeman Real Estate, which looks after the entire Space Coast of Florida.

“However, the new entries for condominiums fell by over 2.8% and the active portfolio by over 36%. This means that we are still very deep in the seller’s market area and there is still a long way to go back to a balanced market. “

The average contract term for single-family houses is 8 days, 61.9% less than in the previous year.

Single family home closed sales were up 7.9% year over year, which is impressive given the rate of home sales at that time over the past year.

However, the condominium and townhouse market remains the hotter market for now. In August, sales in this property category rose by over 11 percent compared to the previous year.

A brief summary of Brevard County’s single-family report for August 2021.

Summary of Brevard County’s Single Family Report for August 2021

■ Closed sales increased 7.9% in August 2021, with the number of closed units being 1,069 compared to 991 in August 2020, with cash sales increasing + 61.9%.

■ New pending sales increased + 3.2% and new offers increased + 23.5%.

■ The average sales price for Brevard single-family homes is up + 21.0% to $ 325,000, compared to $ 268,500 a year ago.

■ Monthly inventory levels are down -38.9% to 1.1 months, down from 1.8 months in August 2020.

■ Traditional sales are up 8.4%, with an average selling price of $ 325,000.

■ Foreclosure / REO Sales are down -33.3%, with 8 closed sales and an average sale price of $ 245,080.

■ Short sales are 0.0% with 2 closed sales in August 2021 and 2 closed sales in August 2020.

A brief summary of the Brevard County Townhouses & Condos Report for August 2021.

Summary of the Brevard County Townhouses & Condos Report for August 2021

■ Closed sales increased + 11.1% in August 2021, with the number of closed units being 300 compared to 270 in August 2020, with cash sales increasing + 21.4%.

■ New pending sales down -10.7% and new offers down -2.8%.

■ The median sales price for townhouses and condos is up 17.6% to $ 261,868, compared to $ 222,750 a year ago.

■ The supply of inventory in months decreased by -48.1% from 2.7 months in August 2020 to 1.4 months in August 2021.

■ Traditional sales are up + 10.8%, with an average selling price of $ 263,660.

■ Foreclosure / REO Sales are N / A, with 1 closed sale and an average sale price of $ 170,000.

■ Short sales are 0.0% with 1 closed sale in August 2021 and 1 closed sale in August 2020.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Freeman, Jennifer McCoy and Nikki McCoy-Freeman are family owners of the McCoy-Freeman Real Estate Group on Florida’s Space Coast. Together, they have over 40 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry, have sold over $ 420 million, and are among the top 1% of all Florida real estate agents.

Bobby Freeman, a lifelong resident of Brevard County, has been a top real estate agent in the area for over two decades. In his first year as an agent, Freeman received a Rising Star Award from his brokers. Since then, he has received numerous sales awards from some of the largest real estate companies in the world.

Freeman, Jennifer McCoy and Nikki McCoy-Freeman are family owners of the McCoy-Freeman Real Estate Group on Florida’s Space Coast. Together, they have over 40 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry, have sold over $ 420 million, and are among the top 1% of all Florida real estate agents.

McCoy-Freeman Group’s achievements include Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), and Brevard County’s Best Real Estate Agent. The group has been featured in many news publications including CNN Money Magazine, CNNMoney.com, WFTV 9 News, News 13, WKMG News 6, Coastal Condo Living Magazine, Hot Retirement Towns Magazine, and SpaceCoastDaily.com.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST NEWS FROM BREVARD COUNTY

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