Viewpoints: Rene Sorola, Broker Associate, Rene Sorola Properties, Houston

by Natalie Terchek


Rene Sorola is the broker associate of Rene Sorola Properties in Houston.

Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before.

This week, we talked with Rene Sorola, broker associate of Rene Sorola Properties at Keller Williams in the Houston area. Sorola graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree from the Lowry Mays College of Business. After establishing a career in banking he started and ran three thriving businesses, one including real estate investing. He has been named a “No. 1 Realtor” by Keller Williams Metropolitan, a “Five Star Realtor” by Texas Monthly magazine and one of the Houston Business Journal’s “Top 20 Realtors” for the third year in a row.

Houston Agent (HA): Can agents live without the MLS, or are the services it provides simply too important?

Rene Sorola (RS): The services and information that the MLS provides is extremely important. Agents are not the only ones who depend on the MLS. Buyers and sellers also need these tools in order to efficiently keep up with our markets demands. Can we survive without it? Yes. It would not be fun and it would slow things down tremendously, but it has been done before.

HA: Do you believe housing affordability has fallen this year? What will housing affordability look like once the rates increase?

RS: I am not a lender, nor can I speak as if I was licensed, but I have seen buyers get loans denied due to the rise in lender standards during the loan qualification process. The banks simply will not lend money to just anyone in this market. You have to have good credit and money saved.

This is a good thing in my opinion. We don’t want another market crash which leads home owners helpless. Most people do not save money and rely on their equity in their home for retirement. This is not a good thing but it is the truth. Here is a good rule of thumb: if rates go up 1 percent, this will affect your price point by about 10 percent. In other words, if you can afford a $100,000 home, you can now only afford a $90,000 home to have the same payment. These are estimates and not 100 percent accurate, because this depends on many different variables.

HA: There have been considerable improvements in the nation’s foreclosure market. Are there improvements in Houston’s foreclosure market as well?

RS: Yes, we do not see as many foreclosures or short sales in our market the way we did a few years ago. Our market is healthy and inventory is low. It is a great time to be a seller because there is very low competition on the market. However, it is not a bad time at all to be a buyer either since interest rates are in the low 4’s.

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