Lancaster County’s September Real Estate Market – By the Numbers

As we wave goodbye to the 3/4 mark in 2017, the beautiful fall foliage is rapidly appearing all around us.  There have been lots of interesting developments on the real estate front this past year.  The market that has shown a steady recovery from the Great Recession which has been good for Central Pennsylvania.  Let’s take a look at the numbers to see what they reveal.

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2017 09 September Market Stats - Avg Sales Price

The average sales price year over year shows prices are up 4% to just over $206K.  This relatively modest appreciation rate is good news for sellers who are slowly recovering the lost equity from the economic downturn.  This number should also send a message to potential buyers who are on the fence about purchasing.  Waiting to buy equals higher prices and interest rates that are potentially on the rise (more on this later). Continue reading

eClosings Are Coming to Real Estate Settlements Sooner Than You Might Think

Real estate settlements in Pennsylvania have always been an emotional event for buyers and sellers.  It’s a time for beginning a new chapter in a buyer’s life or the closing of a book for the seller.  In most cases it is a relatively joyous event when a property transfers to a new owner.

But one of the pain points of a real estate settlement is the actual event itself.  Between trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules (i.e. buyer, seller, buyer’s agent, seller’s agent, title company, attorney, mortgage lender, babysitter for the kids, travel to the location, navigating traffic, etc.) to signing a pile of paperwork, it’s not as fun-filled as you might have imagined.

But all of this is about to change . . . and in a big way!  eClosings are coming to a real estate settlement near you. Continue reading

Lancaster County Real Estate Market Statistics for August 2017

Another successful year of Lancaster Barnstormer baseball is almost in the books.  It’s been quite a ride this season with two games left with the division-leading York Revolution and two games back in the standings.  Let’s hope they can squeeze out the final pair and force a playoff.  Now for the numbers – – –

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After a steady rise in average sales price over the past couple of years, August saw the first decline in a long time.  Not to worry.  Sales activity is still steady but home buyers are more active in the lower price ranges which has caused the average sales price to dip just a bit.

On the national front, the Case-Shiller Index of national home prices continues to reflect a healthy housing industry with no major red flags on the horizon. Continue reading

What’s This? A New Look for an Iconic Brand?

After 44 Years, RE/MAX Reveals Refreshed Brand Identity

DENVER – The world’s most productive real estate network* is getting even stronger. RE/MAX Co-CEOs, Dave Liniger and Adam Contos, revealed today a refreshed RE/MAX brand, including the world famous balloon logo and wordmark, to hundreds of franchise owners at the annual RE/MAX Broker Owner Conference in San Francisco.

“Our new look better represents the enthusiastic entrepreneurs who comprise our network,” said Contos. “Great brands evolve and RE/MAX is no different. We believe the updated balloon and wordmark will help our agents grow their business and give them an even bigger competitive advantage in digital, social media and mobile marketing.”

REMAX_mastrBalloon_RGB_R

RE/MAX Balloon Still Flying High
The iconic red, white and blue hot air balloon has been updated to be brighter, more modern and more appealing to the home buyers and sellers of today – while being instantly recognizable as RE/MAX. Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of E-Sign in the Real Estate Transaction

In the world in which we live in today, if you haven’t been asked to electronically sign something, you’ve been hiding underneath a rock.  Our comfort level with E-sign has rapidly evolved in the last ten years. Electronic signatures in real estate transactions are fast becoming the norm instead of the exception.

For purposes of simplicity in this post, I am going to refer to electronic signatures and digital signatures as one in the same, although they are different.  Digital signatures are used in the real estate business and are much more secure than electronic signatures.  If you’re geeky and want to read about the differences, click here to learn more.

Before we touch on the pros and cons of e-sign, a common misconception needs to be cleared up.  I often hear from consumers and agents alike, “Are they legal?”  The short answer, “Yes.”

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) was introduced in 1999 and has been adopted by 47 U.S. states (Pennsylvania is one of them), as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  UETA allows electronic signatures in real estate transactions as long as the parties to a contract agree to proceed electronically.

The ESIGN Act is a federal law passed in 2000 and grants legal recognition to electronic signatures and records if all parties to a contract choose to use electronic documents and to sign them electronically.

UETA and the ESIGN Act solidified the legal landscape for use of electronic records and electronic signatures in real estate transactions by confirming that they carry the same weight and have the same legal effect as traditional paper documents and wet ink signatures.

Now that they boring legal stuff is out of the way, here are the pros and cons:  Continue reading