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Buddy Formal Photograph - With a Big Smile!Viva Las Vegas, everyone - and Greetings from the 2007 National Association of Realtors Conference and Expo!

Boy, oh boy, did Dean & Sue look surprised, perhaps even a bit miffed, when they found me buried beneath Dean's undershirts and socks in his duffel bag.  You know, I didn't have enough money to buy my own ticket - left my wallet in my winter coat, you know.  But what a chance to explore one of the most exciting cities in the world, and also hone my skills as a Pup Reporter at this important event for Realtors, and the Home Buying and Selling Public, as well.

I was going to use a candid shot of me walking the strip, but the dog I was walking with . . . well, let's just say, there may be certain other dogs who might become very upset if they happened to see that particular photo on my Lil' Buddy's Blog - so I decided to be discrete, and use my regular Formal Photo instead.  What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas - right?

There are over 30,000 Realtors and Trade Professionals in attendance here, from all parts of the U.S. and Canada, and many from other parts of the world as well - India, Australia, New Zealand,  and many European and Asian countries have representatives here.  (To the best of my knowledge, however, I am the only Pekingese Dog with a Real Estate License attending the Conference and Expo).  What a positive crowd they are, too!  Sessions I attended were chock full of ideas on how to market and sell properties more effectively in today's often-challenging real estate market.  Many attendees shared very strong ideas of their own, too!

No matter the area Realtors were from, all agreed that Pricing Correctly is the best strategy for selling quickly, and for the most net walk-away money.  However, there are many new technological products to increase market exposure for listed properties.  Custom domain names containing property addresses, special software that allows drive-by buyers to receive an immediate text message on their cell phone, smart phone, or PDA with property information, even a contraption to automatically cover viewing buyers shoes (or paws) before they might muddy up the floors on homes for sale, were drawing considerable interest and attention.  

Dean and Sue will be going through a shopping bag full of new ideas, and bring the best ones back to Dean's Team clients when we return to Chicago next week.  They will have a ton of reading to catch up on as well - they purchased nearly a dozen books on Team Building Strategy, Market Stats and Trends, and New Technologies that they will begin to use with our Team and our valued clients.

We also heard some thoughts from National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.  Yun predicted a possible recovery in sales of resale homes in 2008, as the mortgage market begins to right itself after considerable turmoil in the credit market, especially for buyers with less-than-perfect credit.  Quoting Yun, “The level of pent-up demand reaching the market next year is a bit uncertain, and it is possible for even higher home sales activity than we’re forecasting if buyers regain their confidence about the long-term benefits of homeownership.  Over the near term, home sales are likely to be fairly flat as the lingering impact of the credit crunch filters through the system through the end of the year.”

The Pending Home Sales Index, a numeric indicator based on properties going under contract in September, increased by 0.2 percent, to 85.7, from a level of 85.5 in August.  This figure, however, is still considerably lower than last year's index of 107.6.  Even with this drop, however, Yun predicted 2007 will still end as the fifth-best year for property resales in history.    Home resales are expected to total 5.67 million properties in 2007, down from 6.48 million in 2006.  Yun predicts a slight increase in home sales in 2008 - to 5.68 million properties sold and closed.

Although the Chicago Real Estate Market, especially in the North and Northwest Side Chicago Neighborhoods and Communities served most frequently by Dean's Team, shows considerable market slow down - with increasing market times, average inventory in many areas exceeding 12 months or more, and the majority of properties not selling within six months of hitting the market, the news from NAR is encouraging to area home sellers, especially those finding it difficult to market and sell their home this year.  The predicted calming of the mortgage market, and continued predictions for moderating interest rates, based on recent and projected Federal Reserve Board policy toward interest rates, could help more buyers find a new home.

I'm jumping back in the duffel bag to return to Chicago over the weekend!  I will plan to be available this coming holiday-shortened week to answer any questions and concerns about the 2008 Chicago Real Estate Market, or, if you prefer, just exchange a growl or two.  Let me know!

For now, however, it's back to my Keno sheet - I think a few of my numbers may have come up!



Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007 2:58 AM by Dean's Team
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