Realtor News

California Desert Association of Realtors Illuminates the Future of Real Estate at the Realtor Economic Forecast

Palm Desert, CA — January 25, 2024 -The California Desert Association of Realtors (CDAR) provided an in-depth analysis of the economic landscape and a glimpse into the forthcoming trends shaping the real estate market in the Coachella Valley at the Realtor Economic Forecast. The event drew an assembly of real estate professionals and industry leaders at the picturesque Desert Willow Golf Resort to delve into market dynamics and explore innovative strategies and trends for real estate in 2024.

The event featured keynote speakers John Sebree, CEO of the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.), and Jordan Levine, Chief Economist with C.A.R., both renowned experts in the field. Discussion topics included interest rates, inflation, housing market trends, and advocating for policies benefiting Realtors and the real estate industry.
John Sebree emphasized the importance of Realtors in the economy, stating that “real estate equals 16-17% of the GDP of our nation, our county, our city.” He underscored the pivotal role played by the real estate sector in contributing to the economic prosperity of local, regional, and national levels.

Jordan Levine’s projections for the housing market, as shared at the event, suggest improvement compared to the previous year. “The housing market is projected to be better than last year, with an estimated 60-70 thousand more transactions this year than last year,” Levine said. “However, this projected growth in real estate sales is not to the prediction of lower rates driving buyers back in market, although that will boost the buyer demand.” Levine went on to state that it is assumed that with lower rates, many of the supply will be unlocked.

Levine said the economic landscape has witnessed a significant decrease in inflation since 2022, plummeting from 8.93% to 3.9%. While another recession is not on the horizon, economic forecasts indicated an expected slowdown in growth.

As the economic outlook suggests a 25 to 30% improvement this year, Levine concluded with a note of optimism tempered by the reality of a demanding market environment. While positive strides are anticipated, Realtors are encouraged not to take progress for granted, as achieving the ultra-high rates of transactions witnessed when rates were at 3% could still be a considerable challenge in the market.

Levine explained that the annual consumer surveys conducted by C.A.R. on a sample of 30,000 Californians indicated a persistent desire for homeownership, with around 85-90% expressing its significance as synonymous with the American Dream. Industry professionals were urged to serve as market experts, recognizing homeownership aspirations and providing necessary guidance to meet this demand. CDAR 2024 President Susan Marshall expressed gratitude for the impactful contributions of the keynote speakers and the engagement of attendees. “We are thrilled to have had such distinguished speakers at our economic forecast event,” Marshall said. “The knowledge shared today will undoubtedly empower our members to thrive in the ever-changing real estate landscape. It is our responsibility to help consumers navigate this complicated market environment and achieve the dream of homeownership.”

As the real estate industry continues to evolve, the California Desert Association of Realtors remains committed to providing valuable resources and fostering a community that stays ahead of the curve.


CDAR Awards Scholarships to Local HS Seniors in Greater Palm Springs for 2023

CDAR continues its over thirty-year tradition of awarding scholarships to high school seniors

The California Desert Association of REALTORS® awarded a total of $10,000 in academic scholarships to high school seniors in the Greater Palm Springs area, continuing the over thirty-year tradition of assisting students to aspire towards and achieve their higher education goals.

This year, a total of 10 local students were awarded $1,000 scholarships each, including the sixth year of awarding one of the scholarships to the child of a CDAR member. The CDAR Scholarship Fund, which was started in 1988, has awarded scholarships to over 300 high school seniors over the past thirty years, amounting to more than $200,000 total in scholarship money awarded.

On Thursday, May 11th, CDAR will honor the 2023 scholarship recipients and their families at our annual breakfast and ceremony at the CDAR Corporate Office. For CDAR members who would like to attend, click the link here for more info and to register.

This year’s list of recipients, selected by the CDAR Scholarship Committee from a large pool of well-qualified candidates, are:

  • Belinda Castaneda, Indio High School
  • Samantha Gonzalez, Desert Hot Springs High School
  • Neveah Hernandez, Rancho Mirage High School
  • Jose Hernandez-Beltran, Desert Mirage High School
  • Allison Morden, Shadow Hills High School
  • Audrey Paiz, REALTOR®/Affiliate Scholarship recipient
  • Melissa Perez-Rodriguez, Coachella High School
  • Jerson Rodriguez, Cathedral City High School
  • Tiana Rodriguez, Horizon High School
  • Kamilla Zarate, Palm Springs High School

Monies for the CDAR Scholarship Fund is raised at events such as the CDAR Scholarship Golf Tournament and the CDAR Scholarship Tree, located at the CDAR Corporate Office in Palm Desert, CA. To find out how to donate or support the CDAR Scholarship Fund, please contact the office at 760-346-5637 for information.

It’s a Better Time to Buy Now than 10 Years Ago

A strong economy, low unemployment, low mortgage rates, and alluring mortgage rates are making it a great time to buy a home, according to a newly released report from LendingTree, an online financial services marketplace. The amount of income that buyers spent on their mortgage payments also dropped from 2010 through 2019, despite higher home prices.

“If you are in a point in your life where you’re considering buying a home today, it’s a better time to buy than 10 years ago,” Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s chief economist, told®. “If you can get a mortgage, you’re getting much lower interest rates, and it enables you to afford more. But that also means that you’re competing with more buyers, who are bidding up the prices.”

Indeed, median sales prices jumped 53.5% between early 2012 and summer 2019, according to®. But a decrease in average mortgage rates—by more than a percentage point from the start of the decade—is helping to offset some of that uptick. Mortgage rates have dropped from 5.09% to 3.74% during that time period. That drop could save borrowers hundreds of dollars a year to tens of thousands over the life of the loan,® reports.

Since the Great Recession, borrowers are being more responsible too, Kapfidze says. They’re “much healthier financially than they were 10 years ago,” Kapfidze says. “One reason is because of low mortgage rates. If you refinance, [you can] reduce your monthly mortgage payments.”

Homeowners are also sitting on more equity. In 2012, nationwide equity reached a low of $8.2 trillion. In 2019, it grew to about $18.7 trillion.

(Republished from REALTOR® Magazine)

Why Should You Use a REALTOR®?

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again. Our members abide by a strict code of ethics and have access to a wide variety of business services that are not available to non-REALTORS. This gives them a competitive edge in the marketplace, enabling them to provide superior services to buyers and sellers of real property.

12 Reasons to Use a REALTOR®

  1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.
  2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
  3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
  4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
  5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
  6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
  7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
  8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
  9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the sell-ability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
  10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
  11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
  12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

(Information herein © 1995-2014 National Association of REALTORS®)

How to Choose the Right REALTOR® For You?

Not All Agents or Brokers are REALTORS® – There is a Difference

As a prerequisite to selling real estate, a person must be licensed by the state in which they work, either as an agent/salesperson or as a broker. Before a license is issued, minimum standards for education, examinations and experience, which are determined on a state by state basis, must be met. After receiving a real estate license, most agents go on to join their local board or association of REALTORS® and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the world’s largest professional trade association. They can then call themselves REALTORS®.

The term “REALTOR®” is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics (which in many cases goes beyond state law). In most areas, it is the REALTOR® who shares information on the homes they are marketing, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Working with a REALTOR® who belongs to an MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes.

Using an Agent and the Obligations that are Owed to You

An agent is bound by certain legal obligations. Traditionally, these common-law obligations are to: Put the client’s interests above anyone else’s; Keep the client’s information confidential; Obey the client’s lawful instructions; Report to the client anything that would be useful; and Account to the client for any money involved.

NOTE: A REALTOR® is held to an even higher standard of conduct under the NAR’s Code of Ethics. In recent years, state laws have been passed setting up various duties for different types of agents. As you start working with a REALTOR®, ask for a clear explanation of your state’s current regulations, so that you will know where you stand on these important matters.

The Difference Between a Buyer’s and a Seller’s Broker

Suppose you sign an offer to buy a home for $150,000. You really want the property and there’s a chance other offers are coming in, so you tell the broker that “We’ll go up to $160,000 if we have to. But of course don’t tell that to the seller.” If you’re dealing with a seller’s agent, he or she may be duty-bound to tell the seller that important fact. In most states, the seller’s agent doesn’t have any duty of confidentiality toward you. Honest treatment might require that the agent warn you that “I must convey to the seller anything that would be useful so don’t tell me anything you wouldn’t tell the seller.”

TIP: If you’re dealing with seller’s agents, it’s a good idea to keep confidential information to yourself. These days many home buyers prefer instead to hire a buyer’s broker, one who owes the full range of duties, including confidentiality and obedience, to the buyer. A buyer’s broker is often paid by the seller, regardless of the agency relationship.

How to Evaluate an Agent

In making your decision to work with an agent, there are certain questions you should ask when evaluating a potential agent. The first question you should ask is whether the agent is a REALTOR® . You should then ask:

  • Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency.
  • Does the agent belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service? Multiple Listing Services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS® that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region.
  • Is real estate their full-time career?
  • What real estate designations does the agent hold?
  • Which party is he or she representing–you or the seller? This discussion is supposed to occur early on, at “first serious contact” with you. The agent should discuss your state’s particular definitions of agency, so you’ll know where you stand.
  • In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Show you homes that meet your requirements and provide you with a list of the properties he or she is showing you?

(Information therein © 1995-2014 National Association of REALTORS®)