How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference | MyKCM

Even though there’s a big buyer demand for homes in today’s low inventory market, it doesn’t mean you should price your home as high as the sky when you’re ready to sell. Here’s why making sure you price it right is key to driving the best price for the sale.

If you’ve ever watched the show “The Price Is Right,” you know the only way to win the game is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item up for bid without going over. That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price.

When it comes to pricing your home, setting it at or slightly below market value will increase the visibility of your listing and drive more buyers your way. This strategy actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search process. Why? When potential buyers look at your listing and see a great price for a fantastic home, they’re probably going to want to take a closer look. This means more buyers are going to be excited about your house and more apt to make an offer.

When this happens, you’re more likely to set up a scenario with multiple offers, potential bidding wars, and the ability to drive a higher final sale price. At the end of the day, even when inventory is tight, pricing it right – or pricing it to sell immediately – makes a big difference.

Here’s the other thing: homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to lower the prices anyway after they sit on the market for an extended period of time. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drops were caused by something wrong with these homes when in reality, nothing was wrong, the initial prices were just too high.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, let’s get together so you have a professional on your side to help you properly price your home and maximize demand from the start.

Posted on February 12, 2020 at 3:44 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home!

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home | MyKCM

Rents in the United States have been skyrocketing since 2012. This has caused many renters to face a tremendous burden when juggling their housing expenses and the desire to save for a down payment at the same time. The recent stabilization of rental prices provides a great opportunity for renters to save more of their current income to put toward the purchase of a home.

Just last week the Joint Center of Housing Studies of Harvard University released the America’s Rental Housing 2020 Report. The results explain the financial challenges renters are experiencing today,

“Despite slowing demand and the continued strength of new construction, rental markets in the U.S. remain extremely tight. Vacancy rates are at decades-long lows, pushing up rents far faster than incomes. Both the number and share of cost-burdened renters are again on the rise, especially among middle-income households.”

According to the most recent Zillow Rent Index, which measures the estimated market-rate rent for all homes and apartments, the typical U.S. rent now stands at $1,600 per month. Here is a graph of how the index’s median rent values have climbed over the last eight years:Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home | MyKCM

Is Good News Coming?

There seems, however, to be some good news on the horizon. Four of the major rent indices are all reporting that rents are finally beginning to stabilize in all rental categories:

1. The Zillow Rent Index, linked above, only rose 2.6% over the last year.

2. RENTCafé’s research team also analyzes rent data across the 260 largest cities in the United States. The data on average rents comes directly from competitively rented, large-scale, multi-family properties (50+ units in size). Their 2019 Year-End Rent Report shows only a 3% increase in rents from last year, the slowest annual rise over the past 17 months.

3. The CoreLogic Single Family Rent Index reports on single-family only rental listing data in the Multiple Listing Service. Their latest index shows how overall year-over-year rent price increases have slowed since February 2016, when they peaked at 4.2%. They have stabilized around 3% since early 2019.

4. The Apartment List National Rent Report uses median rent statistics for recent movers taken from the Census Bureau American Community Survey. The 2020 report reveals that the year-over-year growth rate of 1.6% matches the rate at this time last year; it is just ahead of the 1.5% rate from January 2016. They also explain how “the past five years also saw stretches of notably faster rent growth. Year-over-year rent growth stood at 2.6% in January 2018, and in January 2016 it was 3.3%, more than double the current rate.”

It seems tenants are getting a breather from the rapid rent increases that have plagued them for almost a decade.

Bottom Line

Rental expenses are beginning to moderate, and at the same time, average wages are increasing. That power combination may allow renters who dream of buying a home of their own an opportunity to save more money to put toward a down payment. That’s sensational news!

Posted on February 6, 2020 at 8:44 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

Where Have All the Houses Disappeared To?

Where Have All the Houses Disappeared To? | MyKCM

If you’re following what’s happening in the current housing market, you’ve seen how the lack of newly constructed homes is a major reason there’s a shortage of housing inventory available to today’s buyers. Another reason is that the inventory of existing homes for sale is shrinking. According to the most recent Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales are up 10.8% from the same time last year. That exceeds expectations and is great news.

The troubling news from the report is that the sold inventory is not being replaced. As NAR explained,

“Total housing inventory at the end of December totaled 1.40 million units, down 14.6% from November and 8.5% from one year ago. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from the 3.7-month figure recorded in both November and December 2018. Unsold inventory totals have dropped for seven consecutive months from year-ago levels, taking a toll on home sales.”

The situation was also addressed in a recent Zillow article stating,

“The number of for-sale homes in the U.S. is at its lowest point in at least seven years, and the shortage appears poised to get worse before it gets better.”

Bill McBride of Calculated Risk further noted,

“Inventory always decreases sharply in December as people take their homes off the market for the holidays. However, based on the data I’ve collected, this was the lowest level for inventory in at least three decades (the previous low was 1.43 million in December 1993).”

Why is inventory falling so dramatically? I thought the housing market had softened.

A year ago, that was the case – but the market shifted again. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explains,

“A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and mortgage rate spike caused a long-anticipated inventory rise. That supposed boom turned out to be a short-lived mirage as buyers came back into the market and more than erased the inventory gains. As a natural reaction, the recent slowdown in home values looks like it’s set to reverse back to accelerating growth right as we head into home shopping season with demand outpacing supply.”

What does this mean if you’re a homeowner thinking of selling?

Now is a great time to consider putting your home on the market. The competition (number of houses on the market) has not been this low in decades. It’s best not to wait for the inventory (both existing homes and new construction) to increase in the spring, as it always does.

Bottom Line

The supply of homes for sale is at a historic low. Buyer demand is surprisingly strong. Now would be a great time to sell.

Posted on January 29, 2020 at 8:46 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You?

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You? | MyKCM

The real estate market is expected to do very well this year as mortgage rates remain at historic lows. One challenge to the housing industry is the lack of homes available for sale. Last week, released a report showing that 2020 is beginning with the lowest available housing inventory in two years. The report explains:

“Last month saw the largest year-over-year decline of housing inventory in almost three years with a dramatic 12 percent decline, pushing the number of homes for sale in the U.S. to the lowest level since January 2018.”

The report also revealed that the decline in inventory stretches across all price points, as shown in the following graph:Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You? | MyKCMGeorge Ratiu, Senior Economist at, explains how this drop in available homes for sale comes at a time when more buyers are expected to enter the market:

“The market is struggling with a large housing undersupply just as 4.8 million millennials are reaching 30-years of age in 2020, a prime age for many to purchase their first home. The significant inventory drop…is a harbinger of the continuing imbalance expected to plague this year’s markets, as the number of homes for sale are poised to reach historically low levels.”

The question is: What does this mean to you?

If You’re a Buyer…

Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, however, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be ready to make a competitive offer from the start, and understand that a shortage in inventory could lead to the resurgence of bidding wars. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home, if you truly love it.

If You’re a Seller…

Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there is a shortage of an item at the same time there is a strong demand for that item, the seller of that item is in a good position to negotiate. Whether it is price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to demand more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.

Bottom Line

The housing market will remain strong throughout 2020. Understand what that means to you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both.

Posted on January 21, 2020 at 2:43 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

The Spring Market is (Almost) Here!

The New Spring Real Estate Market is Here. Are You Ready?

The New Spring Real Estate Market is Here. Are You Ready? | MyKCM

Which month do you think most people who are considering buying a home actually start their search? If you’re like most of us, you probably think the surge happens in the spring, likely in April. Not anymore. According to new research, January 2019 was only 1% behind February for the most monthly views per listing on

So, what does that mean? The busiest season in real estate has just begun.

The same research indicates,

“Historically, April launched the kickoff of the home shopping season as buyers would come out of their winter hibernation looking for their new home. However, the spring shopping season now starts in January for many of the nation’s largest markets.”

With the reality of fewer homes on the market in the winter, and that supply naturally increases as we head to the spring market, waiting for more competition to list in your neighborhood this year might put you behind the curve. Perhaps now is the time to jump into the market.

George Ratiu, Senior Economist at says,

“As shoppers modify their strategies for navigating a housing market that has become more competitive due to rising prices and low inventory, the search for a home is beginning earlier and earlier.”

There is a lot of speculation in the market about why the search for a home is shifting to an earlier start. The one thing we do know is if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home this year, the earlier you get started, the better.

Reminder: When should you sell something? When there is less of that item for sale and the greatest number of buyers are in the market. That’s exactly what is happening in real estate right now.

Bottom Line

The new spring market for real estate is underway. If you’re considering buying or selling, let’s connect, so you have the advantage in this competitive market.



The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Posted on January 13, 2020 at 3:58 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

Housing Market Projections for 2020

Expert Insights on the 2020 Housing Market

Expert Insights on the 2020 Housing Market | MyKCM

When closing out another year, it’s normal to wonder what’s ahead for the housing market. Though there will be future inventory issues, we expect interest rates to stay low and appreciation to continue.

Here’s what three experts are saying we’ll likely see in 2020:

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at

“I think the biggest surprise from the forecast is how long the market is staying in this low inventory environment, especially as Millennials are in a major home-buying phase…sellers will contend with flattening price growth and slowing activity with existing home sales down 1.8%. Nationwide you can look to flat home prices with an increase of less than 1%.”

Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at Mortgage Banker Association (MBA)

“Interest rates will, on average, remain lower…These lower rates will in turn support both purchase and refinance origination volume in 2020.”

Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow

“If current trends hold, then slower means healthier and smaller means more affordable. Yes, we expect a slower market than we’ve become accustomed to the last few years…consumers will continue to absorb available inventory and the market will remain competitive in much of the country.”

As we can see, we’re still going to have a healthy market. It is forecasted to be a more moderate (or normal) market than the last few years, but strong enough for Americans to continue to believe in homeownership and to capitalize on the opportunities that come with low interest rates.

Bottom Line

If you’re wondering what’s happening in our local market, let’s get together today.

Posted on January 7, 2020 at 8:37 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

We Want You! To Join Our Team

Posted on August 14, 2019 at 8:03 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

Why I like Being a Real Estate Agent

   Sometimes people ask me what I like being a real estate agent. Other times people ask me why they should choose me to sell their house or to find a new home. Well, I gave those questions some thought and here are my answers….
1.     Meeting new people- my clients have touched my life in different ways and I sincerely enjoy helping them.  Some are facts and figures people and want to strictly get down to business. Others are emotional and like to chat about their lives which is often very enjoyable. I have to say that I have learned a lot from my clients.


2.      Being out and about- my job is not boring. It would be difficult for me to sit at a desk all day. I am always active… you may find me walking the streets delivering “Just Listed” postcards in a neighborhood, going out on a listing presentation or showing buyers potential homes. But with all the technology out there, I am reachable 24/7 (well, maybe 12/7).


3.       Learning new things- I don't claim to have all the answers, but if I don’t know the answer to something.. I  will research it and find out. Here are some situations that I have had to learn more about and problems I have solved:


a) Aluminum wiring- Aluminum wiring in a house can pose some problems. For more information on what to do about that, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website at:


b) Mold- Some mold can be dangerous and is important to identify. Certain mold, including toxic mold, should be treated only by a professional. Find more information on mold here: 
c) Radon- Repeated exposure to radon gas can pose lung problems if it is above 4 pCi/L. At or above this level of radon, the EPA recommends you consider installing a radon remediation system to reduce your exposure. For more information visit:


c) Termites- Termites can cause a lot of damage to a home. Often, you can tell if you have termites if you notice what looks like dried mud tubes. To learn what to do about termites, visit:




d) Gas line easements- Rights-of-ways and easements provide a permanent, limited interest in the land that enables the pipeline company to install, operate, test, inspect, repair, maintain, replace, and protect one or more pipelines within the designated easement. Generally, property owners are prohibited from installing any structures, storing anything that could be an obstruction, or planting trees or shrubs along the right-of-way.




e) 203-k construction loans- These loans are used to repair or rehabilitate single family homes. These loans help you finance a "fixer upper." To learn more, visit:


f) Home warranties- Some sellers offer a one year home warranty to the buyer, which usually covers the cost of repairing appliances (minus deductible) if something goes wrong. They are relatively low cost. Check these out at:


g) Home owner's insurance for investment properties- If you have a rental property, it is best to let your insurance company know, as this situation requires a special type of policy. Compare different companies at:


h) Historic home remodel requirements- If your home is considered historic, or in a historic district, you probably can't just put up any new front door for example. If your property is located in a designated historic district, you may need to seek the approval of the local Historic Preservation Commission before remodeling the exterior.

i) Raw land- Many lenders are not willing to lend money to purchase raw land. In addition, there are many other thing to consider such as whether the land has access to public utilities (electric, water or sewer) or if the land will support a septic system. A perc test and survey will need to be done as well. For other considerations, visit:


i) Underground storage tanks (USTs)- USTs can pose problems if they have corroded and are leaking substances such as oil. If you are concerned about USTs on your property, contact the appropriate company and they can do a sweep for one to see if one is present and determine whether the soil has been contaminated.


k) Short sales- Short sales are potentially better for your credit then letting your home fall into foreclosure. Short selling involves a multi step process you go through to get your mortgage lender to approve a lesser amount than what you owe. This often happens because a home was purchased at the height of the market, around 2006 and now must be sold for less, as market values have decreased since that time. 
So, I hope your career is as rewarding as mine is. In my next blog post, I will write about what my clients like about me. 

Anne-Marie Tustin, MBA
Realtor Associate in NJ & PA
Keller Williams Realty
Princeton NJ
(609) 987-8889 office
(609) 575-8801 direct

Posted on April 19, 2016 at 7:09 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |

Why My Clients Like Me

In my last blog, I explained what I like about real estate. This blog explains why my buyers and sellers like me. I definitely go out of my way for my clients. How do I go above and beyond you ask? Read on to find out…

1. I work hard- I have trimmed hedges for clients and weeded their lawns. I have moved 100 photos from someone's walls then spackled and painted them. I have staged, rearranged and moved furniture. I have called around to the whole neighborhood to invite people to an open house.

2. I hold their hands– This is especially important with 1st time home buyers. I provide them with a list of steps and what to expect during the home buying process and give them an idea of their estimated costs.

3. I provide numbers- I offer free market value analyses (MVAs) for sellers. My MVAs are pretty accurate, as I have attended workshops hosted by professional appraisers. I know how much extra a house with a finished basement costs versus an unfinished one, or a house with 4 bedrooms as opposed to 3. 

4. I am fair and honest- I am never going to go MIA. I provide frequent communication and have a thorough list of vendors (inspectors, contractors, mortgage reps, attorneys, etc.) clients can work with throughout the home buying or selling process. 

Here are a few testimonials from my past clients:

"Our realtor, Anne-Marie Tustin, was nothing short of excellent in helping us find our dream home. We can't say enough good things about her quality of work. She really took the time to understand our "must-have's" and took into account our budget and quick timeline. She showed us a wide variety of homes and ended up finding us a house that was exactly what and where we wanted. In addition, as first time home buyers, she was always available to answer any and all questions. She guided us through the process and had great recommendations for our mortgage consultant and lawyer as well. She made the process incredibly easy. We love our new home and do not plan to leave, but would definitely recommend Anne-Marie to anyone looking to buy or sell." Nico C.

"We have been extremely satisfied with Anne-Marie's services as a realtor. She first helped us sell our house which had many challenges and once we sold our house she helped us in finding our new house. She is a wonderful person and realtor. I would highly recommend her as a realtor."Mark M.

"Anne-Marie is very knowledgeable in the real estate field. Her knowledge and professionalism guided and helped us close the deal in a timely manner. Her willingness to take the extra steps above and beyond what's required is what sets her apart from other agents I have dealt with. I would definitely work with her again in my future real estate [investments] transactions. [She] is a great agent to work with. Always punctual, responds very quickly to questions and e-mails. We are very satisfied with her service." J. and J. L.

"Anne-Marie was very helpful throughout the process of renting my apartment. I highly recommend her." Isabelle D.

For more information about me and the services I provide, call, text or e-mail me and see for yourself!

Anne-Marie Tustin
Sales Associate
Licensed in NJ & PA
Keller Williams Realty
100 Canal Pointe Blvd., Suite 120
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-987-8889 Office
609-575-8801 Cell

Posted on April 19, 2016 at 6:49 pm
Anne Marie Tustin | Posted in Uncategorized |