April 4, 2014

Free Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Jungle by S. Jackson Rivera


by S. Jackson Rivera

Giveaway ends May 18, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Filed under: Blogroll,Personal — Susan @ 11:57 am

March 24, 2014

My New Novel and 13 Others on Sale!

As some of you know, I finished writing my novel and was able to make it available to the public in December 2013. I am so excited to be asked to be a part of this promotion with such outstanding authors . . .


Yay! It’s time for a book sale and we’ve got 14 titles here. Some great new choices for you, so make sure you scroll clear to the end. Some of these books have never been discounted before, some are new, and some are back because readers are asking for them. You should find something great to read! We have everything from children’s books to adult novels, from romance and speculative fiction. If you do find a book you enjoy, we hope you will take the time to give the author a nice review and maybe check out their other books. These prices are good through April 1st unless otherwise stated, so feel free to pass them along!



The Whispering Ruins by S. Jackson Rivera


Jungle Series – YA fantasy – 421 pages


99 cents on Kindle (3.99)

Or buy for print


A mysterious whispering from ruins deep within the jungle pulls Sunna from the trance that has been holding her mind hostage for years. Kael, the young prince, seeks adventure outside the palace walls and is also drawn to the jungle. There he meets Sunna, and their fates become intertwined. When three dangerous men come to their land and begin their hunt for a missing fugitive, the secrets that have shielded both Sunna and Kael are nearly revealed, and supernatural events threaten to destroy everything they’ve worked to create—leaving their lives in ruins.


The Cure by Teyla Branton

Unbounded Series – Contemporary Urban fantasy with over 100 four- and five-star reviews! – 298 pages

99 cents on Kindle (reg. 3.99)

Or buy for print

Erin Radkey’s life has altered completely since her Change made her one of the Unbounded. Yet she has learned the hard way that some things never change.

Over the centuries the long-lived Unbounded have divided into two groups, the Emporium who craves money and power and will do anything to achieve its ends, including experimenting on its own people, and the Renegades who protect humanity. Erin’s new abilities are tested as she and fellow Renegades fight the Emporium in a struggle that soon becomes all too personal, and where lines of loyalty are blurred by relationships of the past. Everything is at risk, including the lives of her friends—and the love of Ritter Langton, the Renegade Unbounded who both infuriates and excites her.



The Ember Gods by Andrea Pearson


Kilenya Seies – Middle grade fantasy with 19 five-star reviews! – 282 pages

99 cents on Kindle (reg. 3.99)

Or buy for print


Jacob Clark has just returned from the world of Eklaron, where he frustrated the evil plans of the Lorkon and returned the magical Key of Kilenya to its rightful owners. His quest is far from over, though—Aloren is trapped in Maivoryl City by the Ember Gods, and Jacob can’t return to save her until he receives the potion that will protect his team from the corrosive influence of the Lorkon. Balancing between this new world and his own proves tricky. Not only has he started his first year of high school, but his magical abilities are bringing him too much attention. He feels pulled by both sides, hoping he’ll figure out his special powers to save Aloren in time. BTW, the first book The Key of Kilenya is FREE on Kindle March 26-28th during this promotion.


To Love and to Promise by Rachel Ann Nunes


Inspirational Romance – 298 pages


99 cents Kindle (reg. 3.99)

Or buy for print


When Brionney Fields marries handsome and charming Derek Roathe, she feels like her life is a fairy tale come true. And when baby Savannah comes along, she’s sure of it. Then, with a horrifying discovery, the dream is shattered and her fairy tale begins to unravel. Trying to pick up the bits and pieces of her life, she wonders if she’ll ever be able to take a chance at love again. The answer finally comes, but is Brionney ready for it? Can she set aside a world of pain for the hope of true love? She’s heard all the promises before, but they’ve been empty and tainted by lies. Why should she believe them now? Join Brionney as she learns that the road to true love and happiness is never easy . . . but in the end it’s worth every prayer, every tear, and every leap of faith along the way.


A Heartbeat Away by Rachel Ann Nunes


Inspirational – 212 pages


99 cents on Kindle (reg. 3.99)


“You think it’s never going to happen to you. I know because that’s how I was—untouchable. Bad things only happen to someone else. Or if something bad actually did happen, it was always something the doctor could fix with fiberglass or a pill. That’s the way it was with my family—at least until the year I turned thirteen.”

When their young daughter, Kristin, is kidnapped, Gary and Angie Marshall struggle to make sense of the unthinkable. Who could do such a thing? And why Kristin? As more time passes in their desperate search for their daughter, their hopes slowly dwindle. They are left with “if onlys” and a glaring uncertainty that damages their marriage and their relationships with their other children, especially their oldest daughter, Meghan. Meanwhile, Kristin’s first job in her new “life” is to heal the hearts of her family. But doing so turns out to be more of a challenge than she ever expected. But time is running out. As she blames herself for Kristin’s disappearance, Meghan turns down a road that can only lead to more unhappiness. Kristin must find a way to help her sister find healing—and perhaps love.

Behind the Mask Part 1 by Anita Stansfield writing as Elizabeth D. Michaels


Historical romance – 294 pages


FREE for Kindle (reg. 99 cents – Free March 26-30 only)


Part 1 of Behind the Mask for an introductory price. There are three parts of this extended saga and each part is like a full book.

Abbi has the gift of dreams. But her uncanny ability to see glimpses of the future has no apparent purpose or meaning until a dream leads her to a man on the brink of despair and destruction. Cameron is a man without a name and without a country, framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Long ago forced into exile and believed dead, the passing of years have defaced him of all hope. The country of Horstberg suffers beneath the weight of tyranny, and only Cameron holds the secret that could see her ruler undone and restore the people to peace and prosperity. While revolution brews and whispers of treason threaten all that is dear to Abbi, she remains unaware of her own ability to answer a nation’s prayers. Trusting only her heart and the power of her dreams, Abbi gives all that she has to lead Cameron back into a civilized world, where love is real and freedom comes only in facing what hides behind the mask.




Breathtaking Box Set – 7 Full Novels!


 Clean Romance and Suspense


99 cents on Kindle through March 29th only

Baggage Claim by Amanda Tru – A weekend trip to New York takes a dangerous turn when Rachel’s luggage is lost and she is accosted by an infuriating Homeland Security agent.

A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis – Cami DiCarlo wasn’t happy about being coerced to work at her father’s latest hotel in the Rocky Mountains, but her expectations of a boring year are blown away by sexy landscape architect Vince Talmadge, and someone in the shadows who is out to bring her family down.

Home Before Dark by Christy Barritt – When country music star Daleigh McDermott digs deeper into what she believes is the murder of her father, the only person who gives credence to her concerns is small town mechanic Nick Shields.  As they dig deeper into things best left alone, they realize they must rely on each other or the darkness they discover will swallow them whole.

You Belong With Me by Shannon Guymon – Love could restart a stalled heart. Love could comfort and cleanse. Love could renew. Love was a miracle. Burned out social worker, Layla Kendall is about to learn exactly what love can do.

Unbelievable by Sherry Gammon – Unbelievable, Book 2 in the Port Fare Series. A firestorm named Delilah Dreser is about to ignite Cole Colter’s quiet little world. But will he and his friends survive?

Blog This by Cami Checketts – In a race against time, can Natasha evade a hitman and expose her enemies before the assassin murders her family and shatters her world?

Cassie’s Cowboy Crave by Kimberly Krey – This fun western romance features a Seattle editor, a handsome cowboy, and a witness protection program that has them posing as husband and wife.



Fair Catch by Cindy Roland Anderson


Contemporary Romance – 344 pages


99 cent Kindle (reg. 2.99)

Or buy for print


Ellie Garrett never planned on being a divorced, single mother—she also never planned to get married again. Ever. Her ordinary life changes when the house across the street is sold. The new owner is Nick Coulter—quarterback and MVP for the Sacramento Defenders. Oh yeah, he’s also one of People magazine’s top 100 most beautiful people and America’s most eligible bachelor. So why would she pick him to have her first crush on since her divorce? Recently retired from the NFL, Nick is more than ready to find a wife and start a family. He’s tired of his high-profile lifestyle and moves to Pleasant Wood, Colorado, hoping to finally settle down and focus on his foundation Kids Come First. It would just feel nice to be a normal guy. Of course being rebuffed by Ellie the first few times he meets her makes him feel a little too normal. As Nick and Ellie become acquainted, their mutual attraction is hard to ignore. But Ellie’s been hurt before by her womanizing ex-husband. She’s not sure that Nick has left behind his playboy reputation. Can she risk falling in love with the celebrity football player or will she miss her chance at scoring big in the game of love?

Gathering  Storm by Kenneth R. Tarr

The Last Days Series - inspirational apocalyptic – 312 pages


FREE on Kindle (reg 3.99 – Free until March 26-30 only)

Or buy print



Steven Christopher struggles to make sense of his life after his wife abandons him and their three children to join a polygamous cult. He meets Mary Fleming at his new LDS ward, but his bitter experience with marriage makes him feel unworthy and afraid to give his heart to another woman. Mary, recovering from her own failed relationship, sees something in Steven that even he doesn’t realize exists, but how can he trust her? Then the first great catastrophe strikes. Steven and Mary soon find themselves in the midst of apocalyptic prophecies regarding latter-day events—both terrible and marvelous—that unfold shortly before the Second Coming of the Lord. As natural disasters, plagues, anarchy, and the collapse of the American government lead to the degradation of civilization throughout the world, a great worldwide secret combination expands its evil influence. The people of God are the only power that can stand against this evil, people like Steven and Mary—if they will accept the challenge.



Samara (A Kilenya Romance novella) by Andrea Pearson

YA romance - 58 pages


Buy for Kindle here (99 cents)

When Samara Oldroyd takes a break from her somewhat insane family to browse a music store, she meets the funniest, most attractive and awesome guy ever. A phone call interrupts their conversation, and she has to leave before she can find out anything about him—what his name is, where he’s from, and why his smile is so familiar. Her wishes that they’ll run into each other again come true, but not how she expects. When her older sister finally lets the family meet her new boyfriend, Samara is shocked to see it’s the guy from the music store! Awkward and hilarious situations thrive as Samara tries—in vain—to undo the crush she’s formed. Inspired by the film Dan in Real Life, this novella will tickle you pink.


At Midnight by Stephanie Fowers


Twisted Tales Series – YA fantasy – 383 pages


99 cents on Kindle (Reg. 2.99)

Or buy for print


Stop the Clock from Striking Twelve!


Bridgette has Cinderella complex big time. She has to find true love’s kiss to get some weird guy off her back who claims to be her faery godmother. But who is she really? Loser of Omak High? Victim of the evil stepmother who runs the group home?

Not-so-proud owner of a hearth where fire-starting goblins live?

Asylum wannabe with occasional schizophrenic episodes? Not even Bridgette knows. Even if her faery godmother wasn’t some guy who knows nothing about romance, how is Bridgette supposed to get true love’s kiss if everyone she cares about disappears? Bridgette must find out who she really is in the faerytales or she’ll lose everything.


Mansfield Ranch by Jenni James


The Jane Austen Diaries – YA Romance – 144 pages


99 cents on Kindle (reg. 4.99)


 Does true love really prevail?

All Lilly Price has ever known is living in the shadow of her widely successful foster family. But when a twist of fate deals Lilly the hand of Harrison Crawford, the most popular guy in Bloomfield, NM, everything flips upside down. Sean Benally is a hard worker, he’s funny, he’s generous, and he’s kind. He’s also the most amazing guy Lilly has ever known. And she’s totally fallen in love with him. But he’s her foster brother . . . Now she must choose between the unavailable love of her life—or the guy who promises to be available forever.


Awakening by Christy Dorrity


The Geis Series – YA fantasy – 300 pages


FREE on Kindle (Reg. 3.99)

Or buy for print


. . . because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth.

A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery’s family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a clairvoyant for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn’t think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She recently moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has an amazing best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital, and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way. When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled, janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities. After Aunt Avril comes to Star Valley in pursuit of a supernatural killer, people begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When the janitor reveals that an ancient curse, known as a geis, has awakened powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy.



A Challenge for Brittany by Lisa J. Peck


CTR Club ages 6-10 - 85 pages


99 cents on Kindle 

FREE on Nook

Brittany Stevenson, her little sister Christine, and her best friend Meagan have been asked by their bishop to be friends with Parker—a new kid in the ward. But Parker is autistic and loves to play with Brittany’s braids. He even tries to stick them in his mouth! Brittany isn’t sure anyone can overcome that kind of embarrassment! Or is there a way?


That’s all for this time! I hope you find a lot of enjoyment in these books. If so, please pass word on. And remember that a kind review really helps authors spend more time writing and less time begging random people to buy their books THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Filed under: Blogroll,Personal — Susan @ 5:16 pm

June 13, 2013

We Need Houses to Sell!!! ASAP!!!

more buyers than houses




The inventory of homes for sale here in Utah County keeps getting smaller. For the last couple of years, all of my buyers in the $280,000 or less range, just cannot find a home to buy. The search takes longer than ever and when one does come along, there are already mulitple offers and bidding wars.

I have heard other agents complaining of the same problem, so I know this is not unique to me or my clients. I have also represented more buyers over the last few years than sellers. In the past, I would have to say it was the other way around.

I find myself pondering why this is. I know many homeowners have been upside down in their homes and selling has not been an option without losing far too much. I think that problem is slowly starting to remedy itself as the market is recovering a little at a time…at least in certain price ranges and depending on how close to the “bubble burst” they purchased their home.

I think there are people out there that do want to sell, but they think they can’t.

They may believe they are still upside down when there is a strong possibility they no longer are.
They think homes are still not selling and they fear they will sit on the market too long or not sell at all.
They think there are still too many short sales and foreclosures to compete with.
They are not aware of how many buyers are waking up now and wanting to purchase.
They are not aware that there is a great demand right now for good, clean homes.

If this is you, please give me a call. I would be happy to run a free CMA, Comparable Market Analysis, to determine the fair market value of your home at this time.

Susan L. Jackson, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR
CENTURY 21 Busnnell








Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 2:37 pm

September 14, 2012

We Need First Time Home Buyers



First time home buyers make up a little less than 40% of the market. That is interesting because the market depends on these people taking their first steps into home ownership.

The rest of the market needs that 37% first timers to buy their homes so they can “move up” to their second, usually more expensive home.

The reason most say they purchased was because they just wanted to own their home. Owning the homes we live in is a rewarding and safe feeling. Traditionally, it seems that most people rent until they can afford to buy. The rumors I’ve heard in recent years is that there is a growing trend to rent on purpose and forever. It appears there is a mentality that renting is more convenient. Some people don’t want to bother with home ownership. They think it is cheaper, they are not tied down, and have less work since they don’t have to mow the lawn or shovel the walks.

Sometimes, rent is not cheaper. Rents flucuate. Right now, there are homes you can buy that are cheaper than some rents for the same size, type of property. When the real estate market is good, home prices go up an rents go down and vise versa.

When you rent, you are paying someone else’s mortgage. Your landlord is taking your rent money and putting toward the mortgage he has on the property and building his own equity. When you are buying, your money goes toward the cost of your home and your own future.

There have been a lot of people that have lost fatih in this concept since they are upside-down in their homes right now. I can understand that frustration but they were, when they bought their homes, believing that home was worth the price they paid.

History shows us that the market will have its ups and downs. There has never been a market where home values went down and stayed down forever. If you are upside-down in your home, but you still love your home for all the reasons that made you buy it in the first place, stick it out. You have to have a place to live. Isn’t it better to be paying toward your own home ownership than someone elses?

No matter what your home’s value is, someday you will have it paid off. It WILL even be worth more than you paid. I believe that!


Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Real Estate,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 11:13 am

August 2, 2012

Make Your Bed


If you were looking to buy, which one would you rather have?

This is the same room. If you are trying to sell your house, you must make your bed, not only on the days you know you have a showing but, every

day. You don’t know when the buyer that is ready to make you an offer is going to want to see your home at the last minute.

Always be ready to show.






Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 10:04 am

August 1, 2012

Service~Who Services Whom?

I am currently working on a deal. The deal’s origination date was June 18. Settlement deadline WAS Monday. That is 7 weeks.
We, the buyers, did not make our Settlement Deadline because the underwriters didn’t get their review of the conditions done in time.

I’ve seen this happen on occasion in my almost 10 years in the industry but it is the exception, not the rule. When the economy took a turn for the worse and the real estate market “crashed” (as some call it), it seemed to happen a little more often because mortgage lenders grew quite skiddish about taking on any new potentially bad loans and wanted more time to make sure every “t” was crossed…
But, we agents adjusted and started allowing extra time in our contracts for this.

Now, the market seems to be getting back to a more normal pace and all this year, lenders have been promising me that they can do a loan now in just 2 weeks. I am still contractually giving my buying clients at least 6 weeks which seems to be a safe time frame but, over the last few months, the loans on my deals have been coming in sooner than the time allowed and we have been closing early. (Closing means funded and recorded with the county records)

I guess I am writing this because of my frustration. We had to extend our Settlement Deadline because, while they had plenty of time, the underwriters just didn’t get to us and potentially caused my clients to default on their contract. Luckily for us, the sellers agreed to the extension.

Wednesday, 5 days before our deadline, they promised to have it in 48 hours. Friday, they promised to get to it over the weekend. Monday, the day of our deadline, we had to extend becaue they promised to have it the next day. Tuesday, 1 day into the extension, they wouldn’t even answer their phone. The loan officer and title company were both trying to call to get a status update. No way!

Now, we extended a whole week because we just don’t know what to do or when it will be finalized and the sellers are saying it better go by then because they will not extend again.

I called the loan officer working with the company that will be servicing the loan, and while he is frustrated also, I grew increasingly displeased with the words coming out of his mouth. Ha ha~ kind of.

I was asking him if he ever mentioned to them that they were making their client default on their contract. I believe he started to sound a little huffy as he said he hadn’t mentioned that because,

       “they don’t care about that. We are asking them to give us their money so we are at their mercy. We want their money
so we have to just jump through their hoops because they don’t have to give us their money.” (I am paraphrasing because, maybe,
I was listening more to his tone and getting frustrated with the gist of his words possibly more than his actual words, (–in his defense).

Ok, here is my problem with this. Yes, it is their money and yes, they don’t have to give it to us, —they have the right to examine and consider their risk. But, we didn’t come up to some random person in the street and start begging for him to give us some money.

The second they put the sign in the window, “Money to Lend” they became a solicitor/servicer. They aren’t deciding to give us money for this mortgage out of the goodness of their hearts. This is a business transaction and they will make a profit on the transaction. Buyers are the consumers and because of that, lenders automatically put themselves in a position to owe their clients some fidiciary responsibility! They have compromised my —thier client‘s position which could potentially cause these people to lose, not only their dream home, but their Earnest Money, inspection costs, AND loan origination fees– yes, they actually paid to be subjected to this type of treatment.

These particular clients are more than a good risk. Great, stable income, excellent credit scores, 20% down payment, and a substantial savings account balance. This loan is a no-brainer and there is no reason for hesitation on this decison.

I recently closed a client that was a marginal risk. His/her (to protect the identity) credit score was barely in the acceptable bracket, no down payment, salary barely able to qualify for the house payment. He/she applied for the loan and we were sitting at settlement in 9 days!!!!

I’m frustrated. I feel bad for my clients. I know mortgage lending is tricky right now as all the lending institutions are sitting on too many foreclosures and dealing with too many short sales. I understand there needs to be a higher level of care taken when deciding who to lend money to.

But, this is a “TIME IS OF THE ESSENSE” industry. That’s all I’m trying to say in spite of my rant.

Everyone– REALTORS®, inspectors, title companies, etc., AND lenders, need to work together to make sure the consumer does not have their position weakened or compromised. Lenders should not have the right to disregard the contractual obligations of their consumer/client.

Please pay attention to the deadlines in the contract!

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Credit & Finances,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 9:11 am

July 29, 2012

Things are changing…

Most of the last few buyer clients I have had are looking for homes in the range of    $250,000 or less.


I have been feeling a trend that things, at least in that price range, $250,000 or less, are getting harder and harder to find and that is the price range of the typical buyer.

I feel pretty confident in saying that the trend in that range right now would be considered a “Seller’s Market”.

Yep, after years of waiting out the horrible conditions that sellers have been facing, it is finally their time.

I took a listing recently that sold before it was even on the MLS. That is right, I was still working out the details of our listing agreement when, by word of mouth, a buyer came along and begged us to show them the home. I was reluctant because I wanted to give my seller time to fix it up. I got the price we wanted without the cost and time of the fix up. I couldn’t believe it. The buyer was desperate.

Please, if you have been wanting to sell but have been thinking you should wait until conditions improve, I am saying it is time; please give me a call. I need homes for my buyers. I would love to represent you and help you through the process.

Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 3:24 pm

July 13, 2012

Get Connected!

When you are moving, you will need to call your utility companies and inform them of your move. You will want to disconnect your service if you are moving out or get connected when you are moving in. It can be tedious to look up all the numbers necessary so I have compiled a list that I hope will make things a little easier.

Please let me know in the comment section if I have overlooked anything or if I have the wrong information for something. I would love for this to be correct and include anything that would be of help to the most people. Thanks

Get Connected: Utah County Utilities list

Rocky Mountain Power

201 S Main St Ste 2300
Salt Lake City UT 84140
Tel – (888) 221-7070
Fax – (888) 800-2851
Power Outage – (877) 508-5088
Web – http://www.rockymtnpower.net
Web – RMP Utah Regulatory Information
Questar Gas Company

180 E 100 S
PO Box 45360
Salt Lake City UT 84145-0360
Tel – (801) 324-5555
(801) 324-5111 Customer Service
Fax – (800) 324-5131 Legal
Web – www.questargas.com
24 Hour Emergency Service (800) 323-5517
Centurylink (formerly Qwest) Phone, Internet

250 Bell Plaza RM 1603
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Phone: (801) 237-7200
Toll Free: (888) 642-9996
Customer Service: (800) 244-1111
Web: www.qwest.com
Comcast (Phone, Internet, & Cable TV)

One Comcast Center
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: (215) 286-8667
Toll Free: (800) 288-2085
Fax: (215) 286-8414
Web: www.comcast.com

Orem City Utilities (Water, Sewer, & Garbage):
58 North State St. Orem, UT
801- 229-7275
Provo City Utilities:
351 West Center, Provo UT 84601
Payson Utilities:
439 West Utah Ave, Payson, UT 84651
153 North 100 East, Lehi, UT 84043

20 North Main Street, Alpine, UT
(801) 756-2378
American Fork:
Uinta Water Systems
947 S 500 E # 216, American Fork, UT
(801) 492-4900 ‎
Pleasant Grove:
70 South 100 East, Pleasant Grove, UT
(801) 785-5045
10 South Main Street, Springville, UT
(801) 489-2706
Spanish Fork :
Eagle’s Landing Water Company, LLC.
1094 North Ridge Way
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Tel: (801) 794-9559
Fax: (801) 794-9669
email: hearthstonedevelopment@hotmail.com

Alpine School District: Orem and North Utah County
School Boundary Map:


Nebo School District: South of Provo
(801) 354-7400
350 South Main
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Provo School District: Provo
280 West 940 North, Provo, Ut
Phone: (801) 374-4800
Fax: (801) 374-4808

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Personal,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 9:00 am

July 11, 2012

What are you waiting for?


Yesterday, our in-house lender was telling us that too many people lately have told him they are still waiting to buy a home. The reason?

They are waiting for the interest rates to go down some more. The interest rates are at an all-time low. They have been hovering around 3 and 4 percent. Any lower, and it will be like believing the banks are going to pay you for the priviledge of lending you money. (I’m kidding)

Back when rates dropped to 7%, I thought that was as low as they would go, then they went to 6%, then 5%…, so, I was wrong.

Yes, it was advantageous to wait during those times because house prices were dropping as well. No one was buying homes so the rates kept going down to entice people to get out and buy, something that wasn’t happening.

I have information for you– homes are selling again and prices are starting to go up in Utah County.

The number of homes listed right now is down, bordering on a Seller’s market level. Each of the last 3 clients I have been working with have lost, not one home, but at least 2 and even 3 of the homes they wanted, because –they lost the bidding wars. There have been multiple offers on every home we finally found for them and we were not the winning bid.

One of my clients lost a home even after offering $20,000 over the asking price. Another client finally won her home by offering $5,000 over the asking price and the other got his at asking price with no seller-paid concessions.

Times are changing. I think buyers are tired of waiting and sellers are still afraid to list so the demand for good homes is growing. Even in spite of all the short sales out there, the opportunity to make that killer deal is getting rare. If you are waiting, you are running out of time and may just wait yourself out entirely.

Back to my friend’s point. Interest rates are down, yes, you may wait and get a percentage of a percentage better but in the meantime, prices are going up. So, if while waiting for that percentage of a percentage on the rate to go down but the price of the type of home you want goes up, it will cost you more in the long run.


June 13, 2012

What do you expect from your agent?





In a recent sales meeting, my broker went over some things people say they don’t like about real estate agents. He is always trying to educate us on how to be more successful. It must work because I can’t imagine anyone in my office making some of the stupid mistakes we hear about.
Most of the things on the list are understandable (not saying excusable, keep reading) like agents that do not follow through, do not keep them updated, etc. There are different types of people in the world and even in the real estate industry so it is to be expected that some agents will be unorganized the same way you can expect there to be unorganized people in any profession.
I do believe organizational skills are an important ingredient for success in this business and I think that the unorganized ones weed themselves out eventually. Unfortunately, they don’t drop out before taking some clients for a bad ride.
There is a high turnover in this industry, at least in my area. I think there is a perception out there that it is an easy way to make a lot of money. I’ve seen the list of members in my local association grow and dwindle over the years depending on the market. When times are good, everyone gets a license and when times are tough, 96% of them get a second job or leave the business all together. An extremely high percentage of people getting a real estate license do not renew it when the renewal comes up in 2 years. It is much harder than they expected.
(When I first started, someone told me that only 4% of all the agents are actually successful and knowledgeable. That made an impact on me and I have always strived to be in that 4%. I think I am doing pretty well with that goal as I enter my 10th year in the business.)
Back to the ‘unfortunately’ part I mentioned earlier. I’ve said this in posts before but if you need a real estate agent, you have to do some research; you have to ask around, get referrals, search the internet and interview agents. There is no industry where you can just close your eyes and pick a name out of a hat then expect that the one you picked is going to be the best for your needs.
I fear that the general public, the people taking these polls, mistakenly think that all agents are popped out of some cookie cutter REALTOR® factory. That is just not the case. There are organized people in the business, there are intelligent people in the business, there are friendly agents, and agents that can make your experience buying or selling a home a very positive one. There are even agents that care more about their client’s bottom line than their own.
As in any other industry, profession, or walk of life, there are also going to be people in the business that are not/do not…
With a little research, you can find the best agent for your needs.

P.S. One of the items on the list is the idea that agents are always pushing them to the higher priced home to get a higher commission. I cannot comprehend this concept. I am never “pushing” for anything more than finding the perfect home for my buyers. Yes, when a buyer gives me a price limit of $250,000, I will include homes up to about $260,000 in the search— but not because I am trying to earn a higher commission.
I believe it is important to see what kind of home you get for that slightly higher price. It is an educational tool. It familiarizes buyers with the market …and occasionally, a buyer can offer $250,000 for a $254,000 home and still negotiate a successful deal.
Sometimes when a particular buyer is struggling to find a home in their price range, I can show them a few homes in the higher range and suddenly, they see what they like. I can then kindly point out that they may not have a realistic idea of value and suggest they may have to either adjust their expectations or wait until they can save the difference in price so they can have what they want.
We are not magicians. If a buyer’s likes/wants/needs do not match the price they can afford…
It IS possible the perfect house doesn’t exist in your price range.
In the end, if a client says they want a home for $300,000 and I send them the information on a home for $305,000, the difference in my commission is $75. Not worth compromising my reputation or losing a client over.
If you feel your agent is “pushing” you to higher priced homes, maybe you should just ask them why. I may be naïve and prefer to assume people are basically good, but I think your agent will be able to give you a real, logical explanation. I also think their explanation will more often than not, have something to do with your best interest and not their own.
I hear there are bad, selfish, and crooked agents out there but the agents I associate with work to improve their skills, do what is right and generally strive to do their best and act in a professional manner. If you do a little homework when looking for someone to work with, stick with the “tried and true,” the ones that have proven their ability to do right by their success, you will be pleased with the results.
If your agent introduces himself/herself as your waiter at your favorite restaurant, you may want to reconsider your choice. lol

Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Community,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 10:59 am

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