Is a Housing Crash Imminent?

Todd Waller explains why he believes there is not a housing crash in our near future.

Is a Housing Crash Imminent?

Todd Waller explains why he’s not expecting a housing crash any time soon


Hey folks Todd Waller here, Studio Four8 for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder and Company Realtors. Quick little video here for you. I’m talking with a fair number of purchasers who are trying to pull themselves out of the marketplace because they are worried that there’s going to be a market crash coming in the not-too-distant future. I get it. We’re all a little gun-shy from what happened 10-12 years ago with the Great Recession were housing lead the economy into the dumper by just crashing, losing 20% of equity, and all that fun stuff in the housing market. Here is why I don’t think we have a housing crash coming.


A lot of folks who were pulling themselves out of the marketplace are citing the number of homes that are in forbearance as a result of the pandemic that we are working our way through. So let’s throw some numbers on the table, shall we? At the peak of the forbearance run here due to the covid pandemic there were nearly 6 million forbearance. Forbearance is that time and place, if you will, where the bank and the homeowner say, you know what, we’re going to pause on paying mortgages for the time being, maybe even work out putting those missed payments on the end of the amortization schedule.

Short story is, forbearance is that state where a homeowner is not making the full mortgage payment or not making any payment at all, and the bank is okay with that for a period of time. Yes, there may be some interest rates and interest charges and other fees tacked on there when the home comes out of forbearance. But the reality is at its peak, there were only six million homes that were in forbearance. Right now, here, the middle of April there are 2.3 million homes that are still in forbearance. I know this number still sounds and appears very large, 6 million down to 2.3 that are still in forbearance. 

Inventory Shortage

The reality is right now in the marketplace we are probably running about a 40% deficit on the amount of inventory we need to meet the current buyer demand in our market place nationally. What do I mean by that? What I mean is, we need an additional 3.8 million homes on the market right now to match the buyer demand that we are seeing in the housing market across this country. Last I checked, 2.3 million homes in forbearance, if they all came out as foreclosures, that number, 2.3 million, is still lower than 3.8 million. 

Where am I getting these numbers? Well, the National Association of Realtors was working with the home builders and they came up with that 3.8 million homes that are necessary to match the current demand. The 2.3 million properties that are in forbearance that was through a Forbes article. So I’m here to tell you if you are a purchaser and you’re thinking you’re going to pull yourself out of today’s marketplace and wait for the crash and you’re basing it on those homes that are in forbearance, coming to the market as foreclosures, I don’t see that one happening. 

Housing Crash Unlikely

I will also tell you if you think that there’s a crash coming it’s going to be for something drastically different than what we experienced 10-12 years ago. The Great Recession was led by folks getting some funny money from the bank. Lending standards were very loose. People could walk away from the table as purchasers with money in their pocket because we had things like 103% and 105% financing going on.

Today it’s very difficult  to get yourself a mortgage, you have to be very well qualified to do that. And on top of that, when people are making up the difference between the appraisal value of a home and the sales price they’re using their own cash to do that. They’re not using Bank funny money. If you’ve got questions about all this and how it impacts your specific real estate goals give me a contact here. This is Todd with Studio Four8 at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder and Company Realtors saying we’re here to recreate real estate.

How to Make Your Offer More Competitive

Studio Four8 discusses some of the techniques we use on how to make your offers more competitive in this hot real estate market.

Ep 1 | Initial Offer Price

Sara Maddock discusses initial price expectations


Hi I’m Sara Maddock with the Studio Four8 partnership of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company realtors and I’m here to talk about how to make your offer more competitive in a hot real estate market. The most obvious thing to do is to offer more than list price on the property. Buyers always ask how much more should I offer? What is typical? And the answer can be hard to get to, but basically it depends. It depends on the house, it depends on how many other offers there are, it depends on how long it’s been on the market, and it depends on how much you love that house and likely it is that another house that meets your needs is going to come up soon. A skilled buyer’s agent is going to work to create a professional market analysis and share that with you, so that you have a good understanding of what the value range for the property is. So that’s step one. One of the concerns that people have is how much more it’s going to cost and you should keep in mind that a $10,000 price increase might only equate to $50 or less in your monthly payment. So don’t lose that house over a few thousand dollars if it’s going to make a difference in you getting the property. Now the only concern might be will the house appraise for that much?

Ep 2 | Appraisal Guarantee

Dan Kurylo on Appraisal Guarantees


Hi I’m Dan Kurylo with the Studio Four8 partnership of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company realtors. WIth part two of our series on how to make your offer more competitive. If you’re dealing with a mortgage you’re going to have an appraisal to deal with. Something that can give you that extra edge is guaranteeing the difference between a low appraisal and the sales price in cash. Now that often ends up as a secondary negotiation between yourself and the seller, but you could be on the line for several thousand dollars on the lease. That being said, that might be the difference you need to get your offer accepted in a competitive market. 

Ep 3 | Escalation Clause

Jeffrey Post on Escalation Clauses

Hi this is Jeffery with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company realtors. With part 3 of our panel on how to write a more competitive offer. An escalation clause in a contract means you’re willing to pay above and beyond your offer price. There are two different kinds of escalation clauses, escalation clauses with a cap meaning you won’t go above a certain price or an uncapped escalation which means the sky’s the limit. This is saying if any competitive offers come in you’re willing to pay 1,000, 2,000,  2,500 over that competitive offer up to your cap or the sky’s the limit. This can make your offer very, very, competitive. You will have to initial any escalated offer that becomes first position. This is a great way to make your offer more competitive.

Ep 4 | Other Terms and Conditions

Todd Waller on Other Terms and Conditions


This is Todd Waller with Studio Four8 at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder and Company Realtors, with the fourth in our series of how to make your offer more competitive in today’s market. So the final video we have here is all of those other terms and conditions. When we talk about all those other terms and conditions we are talking about things that are sort of intangible. Number one: work with your agent. Your agent can talk with the seller’s agent to figure out what’s really important to the seller and advise you on what is the best way to roll there. One of the things that may come up that we see frequently is post close occupancy. Maybe the seller needs to stay after closing for moving concerns or something like that. If you have the ability to offer that and that’s important to the seller that might just work. Another thing we’ve seen that works very well is maybe it’s worth your time to pick up some of the traditional sellers’ costs, like transfer taxes and things like that. Sometimes increasing that bottom net line for the seller is also the winner in a multiple bid scenario. And Finally one thing you may hear from some agents is to eliminate your inspection. We do not recommend that you eliminate your inspection contingency. You need to know what you are walking into. So still reserve yourself the time to go ahead and have that home inspected.

Should You Sell Your Home in the Winter?

Is it a good idea to sell your home in the winter months? Studio Four8 comes together to discuss the pro’s and con’s of selling your home in the winter time.

Should you Sell Your Ann Arbor Area Home in the Winter?

The studio talks about selling in the snow


One of the questions we get this time of year is: should I really be selling my house in the winter? We got together to answer that question for you.

Bigger Audience

 Despite winter traditionally being a slow season in real estate there are some advantages. People are at home especially between that Christmas and New Years break. People are spending more time online, they’re scrolling online, they’re scrolling in Zillow or So digital marketing, especially social media marketing, can have a really big impact and a larger audience than other times in the year. If you list in the winter, those homes you are seeing could be yours.

Less Competition

As seller’s you have less competition. So when you bring a home to the market in the winter time, many of the other homes that might have come on Market, just flat-out are not there. The buyers that are walking through the marketplace looking at homes in the winter time, those are some of the most serious purchasers of the entire 12 months of the year.

Losing Daylight

 Some obvious challenges to showing houses this time of year. For example, we are often battling bad weather and snow. It gets dark at 5 o’clock which could be hard for some buyers who have to wait till after work to see the home. So there are some challenges but we definitely have tips and can help you work through and mitigate some of that.

Clearing Clutter

While most all of you probably have a great number of holiday decorations still in your house right after the holidays, and you’re going to find yourself boxing those up. What a great time to talk to us and find out how to properly stage your house and get it ready to go on the market. As long as those decorations are going away there might be a few more books or furniture that you also want to put away.

Preparing to Show Your Home

Studio Four8 discusses some of the Do’s and Don’t’s when it comes to preparing your home for showing.

Preparing to Show Your Home

Studio Four8 talks about what to do before you show your home


Welcome back folks were talking today about some key points to remember when you are preparing your home for show.

Who Enters?

Now first and foremost, don’t let people in who don’t have an appointment or aren’t accompanied by an agent. It sounds like one of those obvious things. But when you’re outside doing some lawn work, trimming your hedges, and somebody walks up, sees the sign, and says “hey, this is exactly the home we’ve been looking for, do you mind if we come in and take a look”? You want to say yes, you can come in and do that. But don’t. Just don’t do it. You’re exposing yourself to risk, you’re potentially not perfect and if the buyers are serious, it’s not that much of an ask to say “hey, not ready at this point in time. Have your agent get in touch.” If they’re serious about your home they’re going to come back to look at it. If they’re not doing that, they weren’t going to purchase your home in the first place. So at the end of the day, not that big of a concern.

Don’t Be Present

To kind of go further along with that thought process, when you’re preparing your home for sale one of the things to keep in mind is to not be present when there are showings. If somebody comes up to your door, knocks on your door, says hey I’d like to see this, this is exactly what we’re looking for. If there’s no agent visible or accompanying them, you are now potentially allowing a member of the public through your house and now you’re with them. Now if there’s an appointment that an agent has made and they’re bringing buyers through your home, its still a good recommendation to not be present during the showing. You want to give the buyers agent and the buyers as much space as possible to experience your home, and to talk about your home. There may be things that you don’t like to hear, but they are looking for their next place to live, an extension of their lifestyle and who they are. So at the end of the day, any showings, do not be present. It’s as simple as sitting on the back deck, that’s a good move. Better yet, grab the dog, jump in the car, roll over to Starbucks and get a coffee to go. Sit on the patio there, something along those lines.

On Pets

Another thing to not be present, is your dog or the cat, or the parakeet,  or the iguana. As much as we love our pets to death and we think nothing could be more charming and maybe even you’re thinking it might help sell the house because they are so adorable, it is just not a good idea. Now you cant always do that. It’s the most convenient thing to do. But when and where you can, when possible, or at the very least if you have to leave them at home and you have a cage down in the lower level and some toys to keep them happy, that’s if you need to leave them there. 

Funky Smells

The other thing that appears with pets can be odor. Yes I’m using my candle prop. I’m going to talk to you briefly about odors. That is if you think the vanilla candle smells are just going to enhance a showing, they’re not. The first thing that people think when they smell a candle or a glade plugin is that you’re covering something. Pet odors, mold, anything like that. So at least 24 to 48 hours before a showing if you have that notice, don’t light any candles. Don’t light any incense. Just let the natural smell, the spring air outside, open the windows if you want. That’s the best plan.

Securing Your Home

Another thing we like to have a serious conversation with our sellers about is to just have a security minded feeling. We have so many steps and procedures in place to keep your home safe during a showing. But we still need your cooperation and just for you to walk through and think about when you’re leaving your home for a showing what not to leave behind. You want to be careful not to leave your checkbooks, your credit cards, your bills that you are paying, do not leave those out on the kitchen table, put them away. Any medications that you may have in your medicine cabinet that people would be tempted to take, put those away. Fire arms: we’ve all had the experience of walking into a home and having firearms just present. That’s very dangerous if your buyers have children, so put those things away. So you just want to think about that when preparing to show your home. Walk through and think what should we be leaving out and what should we not be leaving out.

Curb Appeal | Selling Ann Arbor Homes

Studio Four8 discusses a few overlooked things you can do to give your home greater curb appeal.

Curb Appeal | What Can You Do to Make Your Home Stand Out

The studio discusses ways to increase the curb appeal of your home


Hey folks, it’s Studio Four8 with a video about: curb appeal. It’s that time of year some sellers are getting ready to come to the market and we want to get across to you just a few items that we think a lot of folks overlook when they get their homes ready to bring to the market. Curb appeal is a huge factor, you can never make another first impression. Right, Jeffrey? Right, were my props a give away, Todd? Well they help. No it’s too true, we all know from having buyer’s in our cars when you pull up to the house the buyers are already starting to assess things. 


So we wanted to talk a little bit about some of the things that are maybe obvious to everyone, maybe not so obvious to everyone. I’m going to talk a quick minute about the gardening part. We all know that mulch sets a really nice table, it’s a beautiful blanket to put out. So you’re going to want to do that. You want the grass cut, you want the edges also done after you cut the grass. Bright flowers when you’re in a spring climate, that’s great, it really pops. One of the things I find that people don’t routinely recognize: our hedge rows. Hedge rows in front of the house, they kind of stick up and oftentimes they come up halfway up the window. This is not what you want, what you want to do is you want to trim those back to just below the lower sill of the window. Why this is especially important is the higher your house sits up, the shorter it looks, because the hedges will start to creep up in front of the window. It’s also not the best thing to look out at from the vantage point of the inside. So get your hedge trimmer, get your pruners, and get those hedge rows down. 

The Importance of Lighting

Those hedges cut down light coming into your home, which not only doesn’t look good from the inside but it’s not going to help you for photos. What also can help, our screens. Window screens cut down on the amount of light coming into your home. From the outside, your shiny windows can look kind of matte and dingy, even if they are perfectly new and clean. Get rid of the window screens, clean up the windows, everything is going to look a lot brighter from the inside. From the outside it’s going to help your home look a little bit more attractive. Same thing goes for any outside type lighting features that you have. If you’ve got sconces or anything else out in front of the garage, next to the front door, make sure they’re clean. Make sure you’ve got new matching light bulbs.

New Perspective

Sometimes we overlook these as homeowners who stop seeing your house the way a buyer might see it. So a piece of advice has to drive up to your home, try to see it from a new perspective or the perspective of a purchaser. Walk around the outside. Walk up to the front door, does your front door need paint? So you need to replace some hardware that maybe doesn’t open very easily or is flaking or peeling? Do you need a new door mat? Just his little details, get the cobwebs out, get the bird’s nest down, walk around to the back of the house. What is the buyer going to see when they get out there? Are they going to see toys scattered all over the place? Are they going to see garden tools rotting under your deck? Old piles of wood? Again, see that fresh perspective. You want to stage the exterior of your home no less than you were the interior of your home.

Gross Gutters

When folks are approaching that front door and they’re coming from the street to the driveway up to the front door, let’s take a look at those gutters. Like gutter gardens- they’re not in vogue. I don’t know if they ever have been. So let’s make sure that in the spring time and in the fall the trees are giving off a whole bunch of stuff like seedlings, flower petals, stuff like that. Let’s make sure our gutters don’t hold on to those items. Get someone up there either with a powerhouse or someone with a ladder to scoop all of that stuff out and just get it out of there. Again, the idea here is that that first impression is gorgeous, it’s beautiful, its a reflection of what folks will experience when they come inside your home.

Well this is Studio Four8 just with a few reminders to folks who are thinking about getting their homes ready for sale. Curb appeal is a huge point, we wanted to highlight some of the topics folks might overlook because we live in our homes and we don’t necessarily see these items.

The Average Cost to Sell Your Ann Arbor Home

Studio Four8 dives into what the average cost to sell your Ann Arbor home.

The Average Cost to Sell Your Ann Arbor Home

Studio Four8’s Insight into lesser known fees associated with selling your home


Hi, I am Jeffrey Post, Sara Maddock, and Todd Waller and we are Studio Four8  partners with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company in beautiful Ann Arbor Michigan. Today we wanted to talk about what it costs to sell your home, what are the seller costs? 

You are probably aware there’s usually commission involved with selling your home, but what are the other fees that you may not be aware of that are unavoidable, like taxes, when you’re getting ready to sell your house. Definitely, and so as Sara pointed out, setting commission aside, there are unavoidable costs associated with the sale of your property.

2% On Top

 What we’ve found over time is that the costs associated run to the average of about 2%. So putting aside the commission that you’re paying the Realtors, add about 2% to that total cost and it’s roughly about what the cost of sale will be.

 Now some of those costs. . . What do we have guys? We’ve got transfer fees, title insurance, recording fees, there’s also revenue stamps that the county has there as well. Could be HOA fees, a lot of companies charge to transfer their paperwork from one home  to the next. 

Proration Of Taxes

One of the things that you may not be familiar with but is a standard practice here in Southeast Michigan specifically, is the proration of taxes. So the owner of the property, that would be you, presumably, if you own the house, you’ve already paid your taxes for the year and you’ve got two different payment periods, right? There’s one in December and then there’s one in July. So if you sell your home at any point during the year you will be refunded the money that you already paid for those taxes because those taxes run a full 12 months. So your December payment goes from December to the next December and your July payment goes from July to the next July. If you sell anywhere in between there, you were refunded the amount that you pay for but haven’t utilized. 


On rare occasions there might be an instance where your closing time and the buyer’s closing time might not line up perfectly, and there might be a rent back situation. In that case there could be an additional cost of the buyer renting back to stay there, or you renting back to stay there longer than the closing time they were expecting.


 Also if you have any liens on your property, perhaps unpaid taxes, perhaps work that was performed on the house that you haven’t paid off yet, all of those liens are going to come up during the title search process and you’ll be expected to pay off those fees at closing. There could be road assessments, again HOA fees, and so on. 

One of the tools that we use is a calculator, an online calculator. One that I like is actually produced by Liberty title company. We will put the link for that down in the body of this content. Basically you can get on that, plug in what your remaining mortgage balance is and mostly it’s self populates and you can kind of get an idea of what your total closing costs will be. 

But really we would be happy to come out, evaluate your situation, and give you a really good idea and a sense based on what are the taxes, what are the HOA fees, what are the assessments- all those things, so that you can have a really good idea of what it’s actually going to cost you to sell your house. 

Because at the end of the day, what’s more important isn’t just selling your house, it’s the net proceeds of the house that you’re selling when you walk away. Bottom line baby. This is Studio Four8 with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder & Company here in beautiful Ann Arbor. Thank you so much and if we can ever be of assistance to you know how to reach us. See Ya!

How Long to Sell My Ann Arbor Home

Studio Four8 dives into how long you should expect it to take to sell your Ann Arbor Home.

How Long to Sell your Ann Arbor Home

Studio Four8 Talks about how long it will take to sell your Ann Arbor home


Hey Folks this is the Studio Four8 partnership, this is Todd Waller, Sara Maddock, and Jeffrey Post. Today,

 we’ve got a question for you that we think you might want answered, at least it’s a question we frequently get or at least walk through frequently with sellers. That question is: How long is it going to take to sell the house, from the time that I sit down with a realtor, to the time I’m walking away from the closing, how long is this process going to take?


 One of the first things that we do is sit down, actually kind of with a process map, because the first question you want to ask is: Is there an urgency to sell the house? Maybe somebody’s being relocated very quickly and the timeline needs to be shortened up.

Condition of your Home

 So once we understand that, we can set in motion certain things that we need to look at when we tour the  house. Are there updates that need to happen, is there painting that needs to happen? Some people think staging a house is actually bringing furniture in, I always say staging a house is oftentimes putting things away. We all have things to put away, right? So there’s an initial consultation that takes place. Sometimes I’ll go back to a house once or twice to follow up and be like: you’ve gotten this far let’s do this, let’s do that. So that part of this process can vary a lot depending on if your house is already show perfect, it’s ready to go from day one, or there is a lot of work that we need to do.


 So that’s kind of a variable there, but from that point we would get ready to take professional photography, professional videography. Now we can just walk into the home with an iPhone camera and snap some pictures, and do it. We see this all the time- unfortunately. Our process as a studio is to hire a professional photographer, professional videography, whatever the property demands as far as our marketing goes. That does take a couple of days. We want to be ready to go, to coordinate everybody’s schedules, and then it takes a photographer a couple, 2 to 3 days to process the photos, to edit them, and to upload them to the website.

While that’s happening we’re behind the scenes working on ad copy, social media platforms, all the other marketing materials and portfolio that we’re going to use to market the home once we get those photos back. Then once we have all of that, it’s time for- We call it the MLS launch. 

MLS Launch

So, the fun part in our day is when we’ve got a home coming to the market- is launch day. So now we’ve got all of the digital marketing materials together, we’ve got the photos, we’ve got the virtual tour, we’ve got the video, we’ve put it all together. We enter that profile sheet into the multiple listing system. You may have heard it as the MLS, called the real estate database, whichever you call it- it’s the database which feeds all of those websites out there. Zillow, Trulia,,, we’re entering your information and the digital marketing into that particular platform to launch. 

So now we have the consultation, we’ve had the digital photos and videos squared away. Now we’ve had the MLS launch, how long are we going to be on the market at that point in time?  If we’re selling it, it takes a day. but it’s really important, as Todd says, when we hit go- everything hits go. Our printed media, our online media, we set it all up so there’s nothing missed, it’s all going out at the same time.

Cash or Finance?

 From there it really depends on whether their cash offers or Finance offers. Cash offers, because there’s not an appraisal process or an underwriting process can take a shorter amount of time. Generally within that time frame you’re going to have things like attorneys review of title, an inspection, so you’re going to be sitting outside of probably 21 days at a minimum with a cash offer, If somebody’s really urgent. but otherwise with a typical lender it’s going to be 30 days to maybe 45 days. 

60 Days

So how long it takes to get the offer, we’re in a seller’s market in the Ann Arbor area that could be one day it could be about 2 weeks. Obviously when we do that initial consultation will talk to you about your house, your price point, your location, all of which impact what we expect the timeline for getting the offer is. but that’s basically, we’ve got the initial consultation, prepping the house for sale, getting the marketing materials ready, MLS launch day, showing the home, and obtaining the offer. So from start to finish in a typical transaction, if you counted, 60 days from the time that we first came to your property to the time that you are walking away from the closing table. If you think about 60 days, probably give or take a couple of weeks.

Anyways thank you so much for listening, this is Studio Four8 partners and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder and Company realtors and we would love to talk to you about your home, your timeline, and your home selling goals this year.