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Will 2013 Outpace 2012 for Another Great Year in Real Estate?

It was a great year for real estate. Yes, 2012 was “great” for real estate! We finally saw a marked improvement in sales both in Dane County and the State. Dane County sales were up by over 22%. Homestead Title outpaced the market with an increase of 40% in 2012! In addition, sales related to foreclosures showed a steady decline for the entire year. This is all great news.

In addition, there has been good economic news with lower unemployment and a surge in the stock market. As so often happens, this has corresponded with higher interest rates. Rates on 30 year mortgages ticked up last week. If you haven’t refinanced, NOW may be the time or you might just miss this historic window.

So how does 2013 look? It is way too early to tell, but the early returns hint at another strong year. Anecdotally, things look great: Facebook and twitter are lighting up with Realtors and Lenders celebrating an incredible start to 2013. Reliable statistics aren’t in, but Homestead Title’s early numbers suggest that 2013 is off to an even better start than 2012. Homestead Title’s sales orders are up over 40% from this time last year. In fact, this has been the best January we’ve ever had.

Here’s to a GREAT 2013 in real estate!

 

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Sometimes the best way to avoid a closing nightmare is to simply choose the right title company. We recently met with one of our vendors to discuss how they could help our business and the salesperson shared a story about her closing at one of our competitors.

Just Sign HERE!

Joan and her husband (not their real names) had signed an offer to purchase and arrived at the title company with a mixture of excitement and nerves. Soon the emotions turned entirely to stress and nerves. The closing officer simply asked Joan to “sign and date here… sign and date here” without any explanation for each document. Joan became increasingly uncomfortable, feeling like she was signing her life away on documents she did not fully understand. She asked to call her attorney and the closing officer became huffy and irritated. Joan began to cry. This is when the unbelievable happened – the closing officer slammed the documents on the table, barked at Joan “fine, call your attorney!” and stormed out of the room.

Empathy, Insight, and Care

Providing incredible service as a title company means so much more than simply not making mistakes, quickly finishing a closing, or handling a large volume of transactions. Those are minimum standards. Great service requires that everyone involved understand the anxiety, high stress, and emotions of buyers and sellers. Attention to detail, accuracy, and efficiency are core competencies of a good title company. But empathy, compassion, and understanding of buyers, sellers, and the professionals they work with are what set Homestead Title apart. We don’t deal in “transactions.” Rather we help guide buyers and sellers through some of the most stressful moments of their lives by offering guidance, understanding, and a hands-on touch.

I’ll Never Buy a House Again!

The last thing Joan said to us after conveying this nightmare story really struck a chord – “I told my husband ‘I’ll never buy a house again!'” Her experience at the closing didn’t turn her off to that title company. She felt as if the whole process was distasteful and to be avoided. This should not come as a surprise. The closing is the last thing to happen and leaves lasting memories. Be sure to choose wisely when ordering title insurance. As a lender, attorney or Realtor, your choice of title companies reflects upon you. For hands-on, empathetic, caring service, choose Homestead Title. We will reflect well upon you.

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