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Low Interest Rates and Their Effect on Our Current Market

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The media has recently been abuzz with the news of the continuation of our nationally historically low interest rates. With a current rate at 3.5%, the environment for buying a new home has never been better. Because of these low interest rates, inventory in Omaha has dropped over 30% to around 3000 homes currently listed compared to 4500 homes on the market at this time last year. Many people are taking advantage of these rates by buying new property or refinancing their existing properties, but what exactly do these low interest rates mean to you? We have the numbers.

You may hear that interest rates are extremely low, but how does this actually affect payment plans? We’ve done the math for you. Today, with the current interest rate of 3.5%, you can purchase a $150,000 home for only $1100 a month. Five or six years ago, that same $150,000 property would cost $1500 a month. That’s a $400 a month difference, which is a savings of $4800 a year. With a 30-year mortgage you can see that this difference is astronomical!

A $200,000 home at an interest rate of 3.5% figures out to be around $1450 a month, while a $300,000 property is just about $2000 a month. An easy way to figure how much your monthly payments will be is to use the “rule of $10,000.” This technique in determining buying power is for every $10,000 increased or decreased at the current rate of 3.5% your monthly payment will be affected by about $35. (This technique is used only to calculate the monthly payment; it does not take into effect the insurance or taxes paid on the property. The higher priced the property, the higher the insurance and taxes will be.)

If you are considering purchasing a property, now is a great time. With low interest rates and 3-7 months’ worth of inventory on the market, you will be able to find the perfect house for you at a great price. If you are looking to sell, now is a terrific time too. You will be able to get your house sold quickly and at the price you are looking for. If you are looking to buy or sell or have any real estate questions, give us a call at (402) 957-1116 or email us at info@OmahasElite.com. Thank you and we look forward to working with you!

Tips on Selling Your Home

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you want to sell it fast with the least amount of hassle that puts the most money in your pocket. To get you the results you want, we use four distinguishing tactics. And since 90% of buyers start their search on the Internet we make sure your home is presented in the best possible light. Here’s how.

First, we use professional photographers to take pictures of your home. The company we rely on continually invests in their equipment making sure every photo online is the best in the business.

Second, very few agents provide a state-of-the-art video tour, but we believe it makes an impact. A potential buyer can go online day or night and do a virtual walkthrough of your home. It’s a 3D view of every space your house provides and makes the buyer feel like they are in your home.

Third, staging makes the photos and video stand out. We work with a professional stager who spends approximately two hours with you going room by room, closet by closet, outlining what you need to do so your home is in the best condition possible. This step gives you, the seller, a definite edge over the competition.

Remember, when a home hits the market, the buyer is thinking about price, condition and location. It’s very important that through photos, a video and staging, we give the buyer the best experience.

Fourth, we offer an instant database of thousands of buyers who have registered on our website. We have 10 buyers’ agents working with buyers so our entire team is working with you to get your home sold as soon as possible and put the most money back in your pocket with the least amount of hassle.

If you’re considering selling your home or are in the market to buy, call us at (402) 957-1116 or visit us at omahaselite.com.

Trucking Along

What a year! NP Dodge, the oldest real estate company in the country, awarded Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Team with a prestigious award, recognizing the group as the top-selling team in 2012. We also set an all-time record for overall sales.  We wanted to thank all our clients, both past and present, as well as all those who gave us referrals. To show our gratitude to our fans, we decided to invest in a moving truck. You can use it for a day, and all you have to do is put gas in it.  Again, we thank you!  

The following is a press release that features some of our accomplishments in 2012 and outlines unique strategies we implemented in our business to become the number one team at NP Dodge. 

Jeffrey M. Cohn of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group Reports Record-Breaking Year for 2012

Jeffrey M. Cohn of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group announced this week that his team has set a new record for residential sales at NP Dodge in 2012. NP Dodge is the oldest real estate firm in the U.S., and the largest in Omaha. 

OMAHA, Nebraska, (PRWEB) March 11, 2013
Realtor Jeffrey M. Cohn and his team at Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group broke the record for residential sales in units and overall production at NP Dodge in 2012 with more than 230 sales and $38 million in volume.

Cohn is the leader of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group, one of NP Dodge’s many real estate teams working in the Omaha Metro Area. Founded in 1855, NP Dodge is America’s oldest family-owned, full-service real estate company.

Omaha's Elite Real Estate Group consists of a team of 15 real estate professionals who specialize in assisting real estate buyers, sellers, and investors. The group’s expertise extends past traditional sales and in to categories such as short sales, REO and bank-owned properties, new construction, property management, land and commercial real estate. Cohn says that their aggressive marketing approach and innovation has helped the team grow business exponentially – more than 300 percent in 12 months – making it one of the top five ranking real estate groups in the Omaha Metro area.

Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group also has offices in Lincoln, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Cohn aims to grow the group to the number one spot over the next few years, and at its current rate of growth it could happen sooner than anticipated. Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group hired 10 new buyer’s agents and three customer care staff members in 2012.

Cohn says his team has adapted cutting-edge technology to its operations, including Smart-Drip Email and eAlerts, part of the BoomTown online marketing system utilizing the latest technology and strategies to generate more qualified leads for real estate professionals.

BoomTown recently released a new “Best Fit Leads” feature which allows team members to search their database of more than 5,000 buyers and determine which leads are the ‘best fit’ for listed homes.

“We film a state-of-the-art video tour of every property we list, whether it’s residential or commercial, no matter what the sale price,” Cohn says. “We bring in professional photographers, videographers and even provide our clients with their very own stager to assist our clients in staging their property, essentially conditioning it for sale.

“We top that all off with a complimentary moving truck available to anyone who buys or sells with our team.”

Cohn adds that in addition to the team’s personal and company websites, Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group utilizes social networking including Facebook and Twitter, YouTube, their video blog and more than 100 websites both locally and nationally.
“We spend tens of thousands of dollars every year on Internet marketing alone,” Cohn says. "We know that more than 90 percent of buyers go to the Internet to search properties, so we want to be sure they see us and our listings while they’re out there.”

Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group also offers a real estate search app, compatible with tablets, iPhones and smart phones, for clients and potential clients to search for properties using a variety of different search options and filters. The app makes it easier for anyone with a smart phone, iPhone or tablet to find exactly what they’re looking for wherever they are.

This year, searches with these types of devices are up 10 percent from last year, contributing to one-third of the group’s monthly website traffic.

“We average around 40,000 visitors to our website each month, which generates about 1,000 buyer leads,” Cohn says.

Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group combines more than 30 years of experience,
offering a team with all the expertise necessary to meet any real estate need. For more information, visit the Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group website, Email Jeff@OmahasElite.com or call 402.957.1116.

About Jeff Cohn:
Jeff Cohn has been active in the Omaha real estate scene since 2006. Cohn has worked with thousands of customers buying and selling both commercial and residential properties. A native of Omaha, Cohn earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Education from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Throughout his career he has excelled as a leader in the industry and has consistently earned the Million Dollar Producer designation every year since 2006.


If you know of anyone who wants to buy or sell a home, let them know we have a complimentary moving truck ready for them. Give us a call at 402.957.1116 or email us at Jeff@OmahasElite.com. 

Four Easy Steps to Owning a Home in Today's Marketplace

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If you are following the real estate market, chances are you already know that interest rates are at their all-time historic lows and they continue to hover at these amazing levels! When you combine other factors such as motivated sellers and affordable prices – not to mention the huge disparity between renting versus owning right now – it’s a GREAT time to buy. Here are four key steps to prepare for purchasing your home that will make your experience enjoyable, smooth and hassle-free.

Decide What You Can Afford Each Month
Once you do a monthly budget and determine how much you would like to spend on a house payment every month, you will better be able to understand whether this is right for you. Many people quickly find that they are paying more for rent.

Obtain Loan Preapproval From Your Bank
Whether you choose to work with a local bank or a national lending institution, the process will entail you giving them your financial information and them determining an amount they are willing to loan you. This will depend on many factors such as your credit score and history plus your debt-to-income ratio. They will also walk you through the entire financing process.

Save Money for a Down Payment on Your Home
Many people falsely believe that they will need 20% of their home’s price to put down on the purchase. The truth is that there are several products allowing buyers much more financial flexibility. The standard FHA loans typically call for 3.5% down while other programs also exist for qualified buyers such as the VA loan where you can put zero money down.

Meet With a Good Realtor®
The final, and perhaps the most important, step is to meet with a Realtor® that you can trust. They should be experienced, have plenty of client testimonials and they should be someone you feel you can connect with. They will help you find the perfect home, located in the right place and at a price you can afford.

We invite you to visit our premier website OmahasElite.com or email us at info@omahaselite.com. We look forward to helping make your real estate dreams become a reality!

Busting the Myth of Selling in Winter Months

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Many sellers are unsure whether or not to wait until next spring before listing their home. The confusion comes with a combination of age-old schools of thought that predict the spring season as being almost the only season for homes to sell successfully. Not true.

A lot of homeowners are under the impression that homes are not selling at all, whereas in our own experience, time and again we continue to see complete opposite results. So much so, that we are defying the myths of never ending days on market statistics with many properties going under contract in approximately two weeks. Here’s why.

There are so many buyers in the marketplace right now that are eager to lock in the phenomenal interest rates and market conditions that continue to allow a very significant amount of buying power. The interesting thing is that while it is a strong buyers’ market in that sense, sellers are still enjoying an edge with the lower inventory that comes with it being this time of year.

Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, either way you look at it the market is strong. People are out there buying. If there are fewer homes available on the market, then that only means that there is less selling competition. This of course translates to top dollar and incredibly quick, hassle-free transactions in which everyone comes out a smiling winner.

So to answer one of the most frequently asked questions I am getting these days, it IS a great time to sell your home. Sure, you could wait till spring. But keep in mind that so will countless other sellers and by the time springtime blooms are back out, so will equally as many more “for sale” signs, competing with you.

By listing your home now, you can harness the power of the buyers that are striving to find that perfect property before the holidays kick in.

Contact us today if you’d like a custom, home valuation report detailing exactly what we expect your home will sell for in today’s marketplace. Our team looks forward to hearing from you and helping your real estate goals come to fruition.

What is D.O.M. and Why is it Important?


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Generally speaking, the longer a home is on the market, the more willing a seller is to negotiate. And that means you might be able to get a good deal!

However, notice that I said “generally speaking.” I put in that disclaimer because there are several reasons a home might be on the market for a long time.

One is that it might simply be overpriced. If that’s the case, then you’re in an excellent position to negotiate since the sellers may be anxious to sell the home.

A second reason may be someone has already put an offer on the property, but their financing, credit rating, etc. hasn’t met the requirements of the deal. In short, there was something wrong with the buyers, and nothing wrong with the home. Again, there may be an opportunity for you in this situation.

A third reason is that someone made a simple mistake in the 
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)! Perhaps the home got listed in the wrong ZIP code or the wrong neighborhood, or the price was simply wrong and listed too high. Now, normally, MLS is very accurate, but, as always, it’s dependent on humans entering information into the system, so mistakes happen!

Fourth, the house may have stayed on the market for so long because the owners simply refuse to negotiate! A real estate agent can help you identify these individuals for you so you don’t waste time and energy on a sale that will never happen.

Finally, a home may stay on the market for a long time because there is something wrong with it either structurally or cosmetically or both!

Depending on the situation, this can also be an opportunity for you as a buyer! You can use it as a bargaining tool; that is, either the home seller fixes the defects or lowers the price to account for the cost of repairing those defects.

However, you should always, always get a home inspection done on such houses! (Or on any house you’re considering, for that matter!). It prevents you from buying a “money pit,” in which you have to throw a small fortune in order to get defects repaired.

Here’s the short and long of it: DOM can sometimes get you a great value in a home; however, you need the expertise and guidance of an experienced real estate agent to pinpoint such values! I can provide you with that expertise. Contact me today!

Three Ways to Determine Home Value

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One thing that remains sort of a mystery to many homeowners is who determines the value of their home and how it is done. Today, I am going to erase that mystery and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Consider this: a home is much like a commodity. Its pricing is not determined by anything other than what the fair market values the home to be. In other words, what will buyers pay for your property? Contrary to popular belief, factors that do not have any on the value of your home include 1. What you may have paid for it, 2. What you need in terms of value or 3. What the neighbors sold their home for. Well, the third point may be somewhat true (see point #3 below).

The way the housing industry does determine the fair market value of a property is through one of the following three things. 

Assessed Value As Deemed by the Local Municipality
This is the figure that comes to you each year from the Board of Review or County Treasurer’s office. Also called the State Equalized Value (or SEV), this number is often not aligned with the fair market value because it is capped at a 5% increase in most states. Furthermore, each time a home is conveyed to another owner, the SEV and Taxable Values become the same.

Appraiser’s Value Determined by a Licensed Appraiser
A huge part of purchase transactions, appraisals are reports that are formally prepared by professionals that are licensed in the field. They can be determined in one of three ways and depending on the appraiser performing the task, the valuation can vary significantly.

Market Value Arrived Through a Competitive Market Analysis
For consumers, the best way to know their home’s value is through a Competitive Market Analysis. The CMA, also called a Comparative Market Analysis, is a report compiled typically by a licensed real estate agent and it comprises of other like kind homes that sold in the last 6 months to a year. The key is that these properties reflect current buying trends.

We know that if you’re looking to sell your home, making sure it is priced competitively is absolutely critical in the market these days. A home that is well priced will not only sell quicker but is also more likely to sell for top dollar as compared to over (and under) priced homes. If you would like a custom home valuation report on your property, call us today! We will be happy to provide you with an accurate estimate of what your home will sell for in today’s marketplace.