The Consumer Notice ~ Does it Really Protect Consumers?

Tue, Jul 6th 2021 8:54 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

It seems that everywhere we turn the government is trying to protect us. But from what, ourselves, others? Nobody can truly be sure. Enter the Consumer Notice!

Take commercials for prescription drugs like Viagra® for example. The whole commercial may last 60 seconds. In that time, we are told every adverse thing that may happen to us if we use the product, and what to do if something does. If you get a rash stop using the product, get a physical to make sure you are healthy enough for the task at hand if you have an erec…Well, you get it. We remember some of the warnings because they are humorous and end up on shows like Saturday Night Live. Other warnings are long forgotten even before...

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Home Sale May Come Down to Nooks & Crannies

Tue, Jul 6th 2021 8:47 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

When today's home buyers tell you they are picky, they aren't lying. In 23 years of practicing real estate, I have never witnessed the level of discernment buyers display when considering their next home purchase.

There was a time when you walked into a home with a buyer and the smell of cigarette smoke emanated through the home. No big deal, it will go away. Not today. In most cases, even a hint of animal or cigarette smoke will barely get a buyer in the door.


Why have things changed so drastically? Let's start with the internet. People are more aware and less accepting of conditions and circumstances that have been a part of the resale home selling process for years. Second in line...

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Selling Your Home ~ Let Your Inner Philanthropist Shine

Tue, Jul 6th 2021 7:32 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Selling your home and wondering what you are going to do with the stuff you have accumulated over the years? Giving it away to a good cause might be the answer. As the saying goes, it is often better to give than to receive.

Many of my home selling customers often tell me they have no idea how they accumulated so many things over the years. The horde of items in their homes becomes even more evident to them during the moving process. In some cases, the evidence shows up even before the home gets listed for sale.


Website shopping has created an ease of purchasing not rivaled by any other era. Websites like and the like allow us to buy almost anything we want. At moments not...

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How Did All This Stuff Get in My Home?

Tue, Jul 6th 2021 7:14 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

When selling a home, it is customary to take stock of what it has and value it accordingly. There are times when what is not in the home has merit as well.

Many times during my real estate career which started in 1993 I have counseled owners through the process of selling their home. My goal is to impart wisdom and experience so to make their journey successful, satisfying, and tolerable. No matter how much information I share with them, it does little to lessen the burden of the physical part of moving.


As the time of settlement approaches, I often hear the phrase “I can’t believe how much stuff is in this home.” Yes, we Berks Countians know how to collect stuff and put in the far r...

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It's Time for Real Estate 1.9

Mon, Jun 21st 2021 1:56 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

The term "Change is Inevitable" is a common theme among many of the worlds foremost thinkers. Physicist William Pollard said "Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. My offering of change is in the form of a home listing program I call Real Estate 1.9.

Many times the desire for change is borne from adverse circumstances which ignite our passion for overcoming obstacles and doing better. It is the ideas of change brought on by trial that make us stronger.


Okay, I think you get the point. Change is inevitable and healthy even when we go into it kicking and screaming, but is it always healthy?


Change for the Sake of Manipulation
One of the c...

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Low Home Inventory ~ Does What's Not For Sale Matter?

Mon, Jun 21st 2021 1:19 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Available home inventory in Reading, PA, and Berks County are at historic lows. Let's take a look at how the law of supply and demand is affecting local house values.

Low home inventory can have a great influence on what is for sale when employing the law of supply and demand. At the time of this writing, there are approximately 1,456 single-family residential property listings for sale in Berks County. Let's take a look at past available property listing statistics and see where today's number ranks.


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Housing starts or new home construction is still at all-time lows. Most of us remember what happened to the housing market and economy in 2008. I can tell you most la...

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Downsizing Your Home May Mean Upsizing Your Budget

Mon, Jun 21st 2021 12:45 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

People downsize their residence for many reasons. Here in Berks County, the principal causes are often age or cost related. There is now an ever-growing paradox in the housing market that is making it harder for downsizers to afford the move.

The Millenial Phenomenon
It was not long ago when many buyers could not find a large enough home to purchase. This movement of sorts gave rise to the McMansion. Many generation Xers found out that owning a rather large home came with a sizable property tax bill, larger utility bills, and more maintenance. In a way, many became slaves to all that home and expense.


Now we are post-recession, and the millennial class has entered the home buying ma...

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The Feedback on Home Showing Feedback

Thu, Jun 17th 2021 3:38 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

You have your Berks County home for sale. The phone rings and you are notified that someone wants to see it. The showing request is for tomorrow at 2:00 pm. It is a bit inconvenient but you do not want to lose the opportunity. You approve the showing, adjust your schedule and proceed to prepare the home for the event. You are hoping for an offer but if not, good home showing feedback would be appreciated.

You work hard and everything is right. You leave the house so the prospective buyers and their agent can freely preview and discuss it.

You wait an hour and return home. Upon your arrival, you see that the showing is still ongoing. It creates some inconvenience but you are excited....

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Your Home Needs a Director of First Impressions

Wed, Jun 16th 2021 5:13 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Real estate agents perform many tasks for home sellers. Creating positive first impressions of their home may be at the top of the list.

There is an absolute and profound truth about first impressions. You only get one. This fact increases the need for today’s Realtor® to be proficient at creating positive first impressions. Since no two homes, or client situations, are exactly alike, there is likely no clear cut way to assure positive a first impression.


Homeowners often asked how to find and select a Realtor®. Maybe they need a director. So what are the traits of a good director? Here are some ideas of what to consider…

Creativity ~ This is what separates competence from excellen...

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Dual Agency - Can a Realtor® Serve Two Masters

Wed, Jun 16th 2021 4:53 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Is it possible to competently represent the best interest of two different parties in a real estate transaction? Dual agency has been practiced by real estate brokers for years but has it ever been a good idea?

Imagine a law firm attempting to defend both plaintiff and defendant. Or a campaign manager working for two opposing political candidates. People and companies tend to avoid such arrangements and their inherent conflicts of interest. But the business of real estate has for decades operated knee deep in dueling allegiances.

The practice of dual and designated agency is legal in some form or another in all 50 states across the nation which amazes me. It indeed shows how influenti...

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Blog Post Example 2

Tue, Mar 9th 2021 7:17 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

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Blog Post Example

Tue, Mar 9th 2021 7:16 pm by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

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Reading-Berks Real Estate ~ A Look Back at 2020

Mon, Jan 11th 2021 3:10 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

It is that time again - A new year is upon us, so we reflect on the year that was 2020 and see what it can teach us about 2021 and beyond. Without further adieu, let's have a look at the numbers.

Available Homes For Sale (Inventory)

To have a housing market, you need houses that are for sale. Over the past several years, the inventory of available homes for sale has crept ever lower. In 2020, 6,056 homes hit the market, which was less than the 6,450 listed for sale in 2019. The low volume of listings paired with high demand forced home values to climb.


According to Bright MLS statistics, there are only 440 homes listed for sale as of this article's writing. Adding to the low inven...

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Great Real Estate Photos Can Keep Your Home Sold

Fri, Dec 11th 2020 10:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

We have all become very aware of how great real estate photos help when marketing a home for sale. Those same photos can also help keep a home sale moving in the right direction.

The internet has certainly changed the way Realtors® market homes. The internet has had a tremendous impact on real estate photography. It was not that long ago when a home buyer came to a real estate office to comb through questionable black and white home photos in an MLS book looking for one that they desire to tour. Today that same home buyer can get on their computer or mobile device and see many color photos of homes from almost every angle.


I have often compared selling a home in the internet age to ...

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Giving Thanks for What Really Matters

Fri, Nov 27th 2020 5:15 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

In real estate and other businesses, we often depend on relationships to get things done. 2020 Has undoubtedly put pressure on many of those relationships. It is essential to remind ourselves that forgiveness, empathy, and compassion are crucial to what really matters.

Recently, a good friend of mine, who is also my go-to mortgage lender for over 27 years, shared some interesting insights. He said that people throughout his mortgage firm were literally at each other's throats daily. The managers were spending their day issuing group emails to personnel, encouraging them to be civil. In my friend's words - "You question if people who called you a friend in the past ever really were."



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Declutter ~ Declutter ~ Declutter!

Fri, Nov 13th 2020 4:15 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

The mantra of real estate value has always been "Location ~ Location ~ Location." While this is still true, Declutter ~ Declutter ~ Declutter may not be far behind.

It is no mystery that most homeowners have lots of stuff. As the years march by, their homes get filled with things they may never use again but have too much sentimental value to be cast away. Most Berks Countians would agree that we are a sentimental bunch and tend to keep things we know should have been discarded years earlier. Now it is time to sell that Berks County home, but there is one problem - You cannot find it through the clutter.


What to do? Well, if you are authentic Pennsylvania Dutch, it may be time to "R...

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Reading-Berks Real Estate 2020 Election Edition

Thu, Oct 29th 2020 10:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Every four years, we Americans vote to see who will hold the highest office in the land. It is interesting to look back and see how the Reading-Berks real estate market has fared since the last election. Please note: this is a non-partisan statistical look at local home sales figures and in no way an endorsement of any political party or campaign.

The passage of time seems to happen without notice. Occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays are reminders of the special events of our lives. Then there are those events that do not occur yearly but over broader lengths of time. One such event is the presidential election.


As a Realtor® and self-proclaimed market statistician...

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Managing the Dreaded Seller Property Disclosure Statement

Tue, Sep 8th 2020 9:30 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Signing documents has never been a favorite activity for most people. I think homework may even rank below signing documents. The 10 page, 21 section, 253 questions Pennsylvania Seller Property Disclosure Statement offers home sellers the task of doing both.

Picture the unwitting home seller in a dark smoky room with a bright desk lamp glaring down on them as the document completion interrogation ensues. What do you know about your home? What do you remember? Do you actually live here or not? Tell us everything you know then sign and date the bottom of each page, please!


Okay, enough with the drama. It's not that bad. The disclosure is one of the most complicated but necessary docum...

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Super Fast Home Selling May Leave Money on the Table

Fri, Sep 4th 2020 10:35 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

Many real estate agents today openly boast how quickly they sell their client’s homes. The question is, could some fast home selling strategies leave money on the table?

Years ago, it seemed that every real estate company had one or two agents nobody in the office could tolerate. It wasn't that weird tie or how they interrupted you in the middle of every sentence you uttered. No, it was their incessant bragging about the homes they listed or sold. I speak from experience on this matter. In my early years, I was quite exuberant when it came to telling my colleagues about my home selling accomplishments. It was probably a good thing Facebook was not in existence during this period of my y...

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There's More to This Crazy Real Estate Market Than Meets the Eye

Fri, Aug 21st 2020 4:15 am by Jeffrey Hogue Real Estate

The combination of low available housing inventory, low mortgage rates, and the federal government printing money like never before have contributed to skyrocketing house prices. But are there other underlying factors that make this bullish housing market different?

What do the Numbers Say?

Many believe that record low home inventory is a critical factor in rising home prices. I love statistics, so I decided to check the Reading, PA, and Berks County housing inventory figures. According to Bright MLS statistics, there were 663 residential properties listed for sale in July of this year. In July 2019, there were 627 homes listed for sale, which means available home listings are up 5.74 ...

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