Gallagher Husband & Wife Team Named To HouseHunt’s National Hall of Fame

By Jaime Westman

We’ll end our week of highlighting a few our new hall of famers (don’t worry, we’ll be back with more profiles on our most recent class soon!) with Alexia and Bill Gallagher, a top producing team for Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners Realty in Suwanee, GA.

Like all of our 59 other Hall-of-Fame members, the Gallaghers have proven that they are experts at handling the needs of online customers and have utilized the proven success system to its full capabilities.

Our Hall-of-Fame members have all closed a minimum of $17 million in sales and/or a minimum of 100 transaction sides in HouseHunt-related business generated solely from their exclusive territories.

The Gallaghers are exclusive HouseHunt member-agents for Suwanee, South Forsyth County and Cumming, GA, in the northeast Atlanta Metroplex.. They attribute much of their success to the HouseHunt marketing system and consumer-related programs that enables them to respond quickly and meaningfully to the needs of their customers.

“I would say that we are currently getting 80% of our business from HouseHunt,” Alexia said. “We have a great Internet presence and get tons of customers from them.”

For more information on the Hall-of-Fame, click here.

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Hinrichs and O’Reilly Named To HouseHunt’s National Hall of Fame

By Jim Droz

We continue our week of highlighting our 2010 Hall-of-Famers with celebrating the success of Steve Hinrichs and Jean O’Reilly, a top-producing real estate sales team with Edina Realty in Maple Grove, MN. We’re excited and proud to have them join the ranks of our near sixty member Hall-of-Fame!

Steve and Jean have embraced the HouseHunt model and have shown their ability to work with and close customers generated online. Heinrich and O’Reilly attribute much of their success to the HouseHunt marketing system and consumer-related programs enabling them to respond quickly and meaningfully to the needs of their customers.

“People are nervous right now, not sure of their jobs.” Hinrichs says. “We believe in being totally honest and forthright with them.”

He estimates that 10-12% of their business comes directly from HouseHunt leads and contacts and both Hinrichs and O’Reilly are strong advocates of establishing and maintaining good communication with customers, both current and past.

For more information on the Hall of Fame, click here.

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Barry Newman Joins Hall of Fame

By Jaime Westman

On the blog this week, I want to spend some time highlighting our HouseHunt agents who’ve earned their way into our Hall of Fame, beginning with Barry Newman, a top-producing Realtor for Century 21 M.B. in suburban Chicago. He is one of 24 member-agents named this year and joins an elite group of 59 member-agents to be honored since the the Hall of Fame began in 1995.

It takes a special member-agent to handle the needs of buyers originating from the Internet and Barry has certainly demonstrated his expertise in this category. This recognition also validates the HouseHunt business model by promoting one individual agent as the real estate expert in their community. Plus, it proves that business can be generated in any market.

The production achievements of Barry and members of his elite group are even more remarkable when you consider that much of the nation is still in the throes of the worst housing market recession in three decades. “Their focus is on their ability to deliver superior customer service. I congratulate each and every one of them.

To qualify for Hall of Fame consideration, Newman had to close a minimum of $17 million in sales and/or a minimum of 100 transaction sides in HouseHunt-related business generated solely from his exclusive HouseHunt territories.

Newman, the exclusive HouseHunt member-agent for the communities of Deerfield, Glenview, Highland Park, Northbrook and Northfield, IL, credits the HouseHunt marketing system and consumer-related programs that enables him to respond quickly and meaningfully to the needs of his customers.

“Success in my business is also based on providing great service and maintaining effective, personal communication with my customers. I’ve found that it’s better to be in front of them than rather than relying on e-mail,” he emphasized.

Since 1995, HouseHunt has been a successful consumer-oriented Internet firm that provides valuable free services and information to homeowners, home buyers and home sellers through nearly 1,500 member-agents serving exclusive territories through its primary websites, and For additional information on HouseHunt and its services, go to

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Latest HouseHunt Survey Finds Evidence That U.S. Housing Market Has Bottomed

By Jim Droz

Strong evidence that the market has bottomed and that a more balanced housing market is emerging in many parts of the U.S. can be found in the latest HouseHunt Current Market Conditions survey data reported during the first quarter of 2010. Although uneven, the results show prices have stabilized after steep declines over the past two to four years and in some cases are actually appreciating despite the drag of foreclosures, short sales, job uncertainties and reluctant lenders.

Perhaps the most positive news is that the buyer-seller ratio is almost dead even in HouseHunt’s national random survey of member-agents. Also important, repeat buyers now represent 50% of all transactions with first-time buyers when investors are factored into the equation. Three months ago, repeat buyers accounted for only 34% of home purchases. The normal ratio is two-thirds repeat buyers.
Improvement is also seen in the average time needed to sell a home. Fifty-two percent of HouseHunt’s member-agents report that their customers received 95 to 100% of their asking prices. Another 35% said they received more than 90%.
“From the member-agents I talk to, there seems to be a sense the market has hit bottom and sales activity is continuing to pick up,” observes Michael Bearden, president and CEO of HouseHunt, Inc. “Business is by no means easy but is getting better and more reliable. Our lead flow remains good with plenty of interest in real estate. Consumer demand is building, especially from repeat and move-up buyers. The federal $8,000 and $6,000 first-time buyer tax credits approved by Congress last year were strong motivators for fence-sitters to do something. Any increase in current mortgage interest rates could stimulate additional buyer activity this summer and fall.”
When individual member-agents were asked if the housing market has bottomed in their communities, their opinions ranged from “yes” to a flat “no.” A majority of them agreed that more personal contact with customers is needed, both by phone and by e-mail, to meet changing market demands. Here’s a sampling:
“I’m definitely trying to spend more time being in touch with my customers,” said Steve Hinrichs of Edina Realty, who with his partner Jean O’Reilly are exclusive HouseHunt member-agents for Maple Grove and Rogers, MN, in the suburban Minneapolis area. “I’m currently offering to update my customers on a monthly or quarterly basis on homes that have sold in their communities. It keeps me in front of them and allows me to see what is going on in their areas. As far as local market activity, our focus has been on first-time buyers. We’re seeing a little price growth in some areas but will know better in a month or two. Our market will come back. Our biggest problem right now is consumer confidence. People are nervous and unsure about their jobs and the economy. I try to be honest and forthright with them. Trust is of utmost importance now.”
Geri Boyer of Altura Real Estate Group, exclusive HouseHunt member-agent for Laguna Beach, CA, said she is seeing a stabilization of prices but expects a little more price dropping through the end of the year. “The activity is out there,” she said, “but our biggest problem is getting loans for my buyers. Competition from second home buyers and investors is also keen for properties in the $350,000 range. Recently, I had a listing on a bank-owned property that attracted 33 offers. It sold for $100,000 over the list price. First-time buyers are being outbid by investors with cash.” Boyer added: “I’m doing everything different to compete in this market. I’ve had to reinvent myself.”
Dealing with the lenders is also a big problem for Alexia Gallagher of Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners, exclusive HouseHunt member-agent with her husband, Bill, for Suwanee, South Forsyth County and Cumming, GA. “The majority of buyers who come to us are looking for deals, so we’re looking at foreclosures, short sales and distressed properties. Our biggest problem is getting banks to be reasonable and to get them to respond in a timely manner. We have been in multiple bidding wars. It’s a different market.” She noted: “I think as far as value goes, we probably have bottomed out price-wise. Our inventory of unsold homes is down quite a bit, which is very good. We’ve had a surplus of inventory with lots of new construction. We continue to have a record number of foreclosures as well. So we have a mixed market with some positive signs and some negative signs.”
Not convinced that the housing market has bottomed is Barry Newman of CENTURY 21 M.B. in Glenview, IL, exclusive HouseHunt member-agent for Deerfield, Highland Park, Northbrook, Northfield and Glenview in suburban Chicago. “I feel that we’re over-inventoried. I also have a hard time believing that there are as many buyers as sellers out there. I had a great December and January, then things started to dry up, which was disappointing.” Newman continued: “One thing I am doing to be more effective in this market is to talk more with my customers rather than e-mail them. I now see that talking directly to people is the best way to go. It’s better to be in front of your customers than communicating the way I have been doing.”
Hinrichs, O’Reilly, Boyer, Alexia and Bill Gallagher, and Newman are newly inducted members of the HouseHunt National Hall of Fame. To qualify, they had to close a minimum of $500,000 in cumulative commissions and/or a minimum 100 transaction sides in HouseHunt-related business over a five-year period.
HouseHunt’s Quarterly Comparison Chart for U.S.
2008 2009 2010
1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q 1st Q 2nd Q 3rd Q 4th Q 1st Q
Buyer to Seller Ratio
More Buyers 32% 30% 28% 34% 29% 32% 32% 33% 38%
More Sellers 55% 56% 61% 49% 59% 57% 58% 58% 42%
About Even 13% 14% 11% 17% 12% 11% 10% 09% 20%
Time on the Market
0-60 Days 10% 12% 08% 06% 12% 21% 22% 35% 21%
Sold in 60 Days Plus 90% 88% 92% 94% 88% 79% 78% 65% 79%
Unsold Inventory
Good Supply 89% 95% 93% 94% 93% 91% 85% 83% 76%
Tight Supply 11% 05% 07% 06% 07% 09% 15% 17% 24%
Annual Price Appreciation
Up 0-5% 20% 12% 12% 13% 05% 16% 14% 26% 21%
Up 05-10% 08% 07% 04% 03% 04% 03% 03% 06% 09%
Up 10% Plus 07% 09% 04% 03% 06% 04% 03% 03% 07%
Unchanged 08% 07% 07% 08% 03% 07% 03% 03% 06%
Negative Appreciation 57% 65% 73% 73% 82% 70% 77% 62% 57%
Buyer Activity
Repeat/Move-up 54% 46% 50% 35% 35% 48% 48% 34% 50%*
First-Time Buyers 46% 54% 50% 65% 65% 52% 52% 66% 50%
Ask vs. Sale Price
Less Than 95% 52% 55% 39% 54% 65% 56% 57% 55% 48%
Getting 95-100% 48% 45% 61% 46% 35% 44% 43% 45% 52%
Multiple Offers
Yes 25% 36% 41% 39% 48% 60% 60% 65% 60%
No 75% 64% 59% 61% 52% 40% 40% 35% 40%
*Total includes 5% investors

HouseHunt, Inc., is a consumer-oriented Internet firm that provides free information and services to homeowners, home buyers and home sellers in 47 states through its member-agents and through its primary web site,

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