March, 2013

What's New
Crystal Ball
No one has a crystal ball but we can see trends developing.

In the news this week:

What does this mean for you?

The increase in pending sales and purchase mortgage applications is a good leading indicator that the real estate market will improve, at least for the near term.  This is also a good reason why both buyers and sellers should consider entering the market now.

As more jobs are added and unemployment declines, we could expect more buyers entering the real estate market.  This means more attendance at your open houses and more calls on your ads.  It might be a good idea to get ready to answer questions buyers might ask, such as school districts, proximity to employment, shopping, transportation and local tax rates.

Mortgage rates remain low meaning mortgage payments will be lower, compared to where they have been.  The bad news is that qualifying for a mortgage today is far more difficult than it was 5 years ago.  You may want to encourage your borrowers to get prequalified before looking for homes.

Fewer listings in Orange County means that real estate agents will have to stay on top of the inventory.  A good listing could evaporate before an agent gets a chance to show it to a buyer.

Price gains could be both good and bad news.  The bad news, of course, means that buyers will quickly be priced out of the market if they don't act quickly.  The good news is that as prices rise, we can expect more properties to enter the market, hopefully alleviating the stress of a shortage of listings.

The increase in the number of Tract Reports being viewed at The Inside Tracts means, of course, that more real estate professionals are looking up tract information.  We know from our experience, that many real estate agents put off their research until the last possible minute.  Consequently, these agents will be less prepared to answer buyer or seller questions.  Losing this competitive edge may mean losing a deal to a better prepared agent.

Be prepared.  Know your rates, know your inventory, know your tracts, know your models and know your floor plans.  Happy Selling!

Tips 'n' Tricks
Top 'Free' Mobile Apps for Real Estate

App: Docusign
Download: Apple -- Android

App: Dropbox

App: AroundMe
Download: Apple -- Android -- Windows Phone

App: GreatSchools Finder
Download: Apple

App: Wikihood
Download: Apple -- Android

App: Real Estate News
Dowlnoad: Android

To learn more, click on: Top tools for real estate deals

Dean Rathbun, Sr. The Best Way To Start

Since the conversion to Matrix, the link to Inside Tract was removed from the "My Tools" drop down list that was in Tempo.  To be honest, I was quite surprised how many of you signed in that way rather than login directly from your own web browser.

We received an enormous amount of calls or Emails wondering if we are still associated with MLS.  The answer is a resounding YES!  For 31 years we have been assigning the official Tract Codes and we are working hard to add a lot more.  To date we have added over 1,600 codes for Riverside County and almost 4,000 for Orange County.

Getting back to signing in, in Tempo, it was really just a link to our login page on the Internet.  Searching Tract Codes and logging in is easy.  Just go to and start your lookup.  Having a subscription gives you access to all of the data, but the basic codes may be found for free without a subscription.

If you farm a certain area and you don't have a specific code for a project, please contact us.  It must be 20 units or more, but we will be happy to work with you to identify the project including all of the streets, and other pertinent information.  We will then make a map of the project and assign a "Builder Tract Code".  Start the process at and click on "Ask Dean" tab at the top of the page.

As "Data Research and Service Companies" go, we are a small business, but have a big heart.  We will do our very best to share with you how to use our information to aid you in your research to make a sale, get the best comps for an appraisal and satisfy your client.  All information shared with us, is and always has remained confidential.  We wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh, and by the way, if you like us, please tell a friend that might not be using the Inside Tract. We appreciate your support in what we do.

We respect your privacy.  We do not share any of your information with any other entity.  To be removed from this mailing list, reply to this message with the word "Remove" in the subject line.