Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From the Business Journal of the Triad re: New Construction -- Some Good News!

Ready for some good news about the housing industry?

Try this: as 2010 approaches, mortgage rates are at relative lows of around 4.5 percent to 5 percent. Existing and new home inventories are down after ballooning to unhealthy levels early in 2009. Home prices seem to have stabilized. There’s pent-up demand from buyers and sellers who for more than a year have resisted getting into the market.

And last, but not least, a federal tax credit stimulus has been expanded and extended until April.

Of course, problems remain -— most noteably Triad unemployment is above 10 percent and credit remains uncomfortably tight. But there is just enough of that good news to have real estate agents, builders and economists feeling better, if not exactly giddy with optimism.

“I think it will be a flat, stable year,” said Mark Yost, principal of Greensboro-based Yost & Little Realty Inc. “I think we’re done free-falling.”

Agreed Don Jud, professor emeritus of economics at UNC-Greensboro: “I don’t expect a really robust market, but I do think we’ve turned.”

Only after a year like 2009 could the prospect of a little stablity and modest sales gains seems like good news. Year-over-year sales of new and existing single-family homes in Alamance, Guilford and Forsyth counties decreased 28.4 percent, to 6,338, through the third quarter, according to Rocky Mount-based Market Opportunity Research Enterprises.

Median home prices through the third quarter declined 2.6 percent, to $154,000.

Expect much of the initial emphasis in the industry in the year ahead to be in lower price ranges — under $200,000 — one of the few brights spots in both new and existing home sales in recent months. Data from Market Opportunity Research show that homes under $200,000 accounted for nearly 70 percent of sales through the first three quarters of 2009.

Several builders, including Grover Shugart, president of Winston-Salem-based Shugart Enterprises, said they’re trying to capitalize on that.

Shugart said his sales in 2009 will likely be off about 30 percent to 40 percent, compared to 2008. To improve sales in 2010, he undertook a project recently to design more homes under $130,000.

“Under $200,000 is still where the activity is, and really and truly, we’re focusing everything under $200,000 into next year, he said.

Even builders who specialize in homes in higher price ranges are looking to scale back their offerings.

Donnie Canaday, of Canaday Custom Homes in Summerfield, which sells homes starting at $500,000, said he’s looking at some lots where he could build houses that cost about $350,000 next year.

Canady said he knows he needs to find a way to attract clients who lost money when they sold their house or who simply cannot afford a million-dollar home anymore.

“It’s something we’re all going to have to do until this thing turns around,” he said.

Lingering concerns

But even with positive indicators, there are looming issues.

The inventory of new homes in a five-county Triad area has fallen by a third, to 1,350, in the last year and is only about 450 homes too many, according to Edsel Charles, president of

Nashville-based MarketGraphics Research Group. But existing inventory remains too high. According to data compiled by Jud, there were 10,628 existing homes on the market in an eight-county Triad area in the third quarter, a 13-month supply. A normal inventory is about 4 to 5 months.

That means more competition for new home builders, as well as continued pressure on prices. Until that inventory declines, it will be hard for the new or existing market to improve significantly, said Bernard Helm, president of Market Opportunity Research.

Added to that, the N.C. Commissioner of Banks is predicting that the rate of foreclosures will likely peak next year, potentially adding to the inventory of existing homes.

Real estate agents and builders say financing also will remain a challenge, making it hard for buyers to get a mortgage, even at good interest rates.

Job losses have slowed, but the area needs to see positive job growth next year in order to get more homes sold, say agents and builders.

All of those factors could still hold the housing market back in 2010.

“If the economy doesn’t continue to recover, the real estate market will deteriorate further,” Jud said. “For the real estate market to get better, the economy has to turn around. But I think there’s a reasonably good prospect of continued recovery.”

Reach Laura Youngs at (336) 370-2913 or lyoungs@bizjournals.com.

All contents of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time is Flying!

If even half the people who say they are ready to do business in January actually are, I am going to be one busy girl! Buyers are wanting to take advantage of the tax credits in plenty of time to meet the deadlines, and sellers are ready to list properties in anticipation of a hot market. I personally believe January-April 2010 are going to be hopping, so... if you have your eye on a particular home, don't let it get away! Even if it has been sitting for a few months, chances are good that someone else has it on their radar as well. And sellers... historically, February is THE month to list, but from the looks of it, if you wait until February, you are going to be behind MANY MANY other great listings. Don't wait! As you pack up your Christmas decorations, think about little ways you can spruce up and get your home show ready. I already have 4 homes going on the market the first week of January, so get in there while the getting's good!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good News!

The Triad's real estate forecast is looking up! Recent reports indicate we currently have a 17.5 month inventory. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It is... but this time last year, we were at 22 months. So, buyers are becoming more active. Pricing and positioning are KEY -- now more than ever!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Experience Matters

According to the National Association of Realtors, over half of current real estate agents have been in the business less than 3 years. That means that more than one out of every two of today's agents have never experienced a marketplace where homes sat on the market for 60, 90, or 120 days. Do you want to trust the biggest financial investment of your life to someone with no experience? Visit AmandaShore.com to see my experience and credentials.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So Much for Which to be Thankful...

This post is not going to be informative, or an advertisement, or useful to consumers in any way... it is merely me expressing my thanks to my past and present clients, customers, and colleagues who have helped make my career such a blessing. I truly love what I do, and while it sometimes gets so hectic I can't see straight, I would not change a thing about it. I have met some of the best people on Earth through my real estate contacts, and every day brings the possibility of something new and exciting. Thanks to you all, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Listing in Clemmons!

If you need large rooms, all bedrooms and laundry on second level, and a fabulous neighborhood, check this home out! 6810 Gray Moss Court in Doublegate has multiple living spaces on the main level as well as a beautifully remodeled kitchen with quartz countertops and stainless appliances. The sellers have enjoyed making memories with their growing family here, but they are being relocated... are you in need of somewhere to make some memories? It's 4 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, and just a moment from the heart of Clemmons. View the link to find out more, and visit AmandaShore.com for an appointment.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tax Credit Info!

President Obama has signed the bill... read on!

-- First-time buyers are eligible for up to an $8,000 credit and now have until April 30, 2010 to be under contract (and close by June 30, 2010).
--Repeat buyers who have lived in their current home for at least five consecutive years of the past eight years are eligible for a tax credit up to $6,500.
--Higher income limits - Both first-timers and repeat buyers may purchase a principal residence up to $800,000. Income limits to qualify have been increased to $125,000 for single tax filers and $225,000 for joint filers.
--Credits are effective NOW – The new legislation replaces the former tax credit scheduled to expire November 30. If you have active buyers who have not closed as of November 6, they now qualify for these credits if they meet the criteria.
--Credits do not need to be repaid – The credits for both first-time buyers and repeat buyers are true credits and do not need to be repaid unless the home is sold within three years of purchase. The credits are claimed on the buyer’s federal income tax return filed for the year they purchase their home.
--Interest rates are still historically low and selection is excellent. The rates are likely to rise in March when the Feds will pull back on the purchase of mortgage-based securities. Act now to lock in those low rates.

Info courtesy of AllenTate.com

Sold Data on AllenTate.com

Have you ever wondered how much your neighbor down the street got for his home? While sales data has always been public record, AllenTate.com has made that information available with just the click of a mouse! So... if you are considering making improvements to your home, refinancing, or selling, but you don't want any major expenses before you do some research, got to AllenTate.com. Click on property search, then on Interactive Tate Map. Enter the address of the property you would like to search, and voila! Easy as pie!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why Social Media?

A lot of Realtors are utilizing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. as a way to promote their business and their properties. The following is from an article written by Allen Tate Company President Pat Riley:

"Social media is the new elephant in the living room. As Realtors, we know it's there and that we should do something with it. But many of us are struggling with what to do and how.

...Allen Tate Company understands this is what homebuyers and sellers want -- and that has always been our first criteria for any new marketing approach.

...According to a June 2009 Nielsen study, social media usage has increased by 28% in just one year. More than 138 million people engage in social media. Facebook users have increased by 198%, and Twitter has increased a whopping 1,928%!

But that's teenagers, right? Surely not people who buy homes. Not that case. Social media users represent a highly desirable segment of the buying public. While some social media sites like MySpace cater to the teens and tweens, social media users are 38 year old women, with an above average income of $68,311. And they're more tech-savvy than the general population.

...According to the NAR, the typical homebuyer is 39 years old and female. And 87% of today's buyers like to view homes and get home information online."

So, whether you like to communicate via email (amanda.shore@allentate.com), mobile phone (336-244-4269), Facebook (Amanda Key Shore), or twitter (@amandashore), I am ready for you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Advice for First Time Buyers

I am working with several first time homebuyers right now, and 3 themes keep recurring. Before you get started on the road to homeownership, keep these 3 things in mind:

#1 - Allow more time than you think you will need. With the abundance of homes on the market right now, you will probably want to view quite a few before you make your final decision. After all, there are no returns on a home purchase -- you can't just take it back if you don't like it! Additionally, because of new lending guidelines, loans are taking longer and longer to close. No longer is 3-4 weeks from contract to close the norm. A much safer time frame to expect now is 45 or even 60 days.

#2 - Get a home inspection. Your cousin may be a first class handyman, but will he know to run the dishwasher through a cycle while checking to make sure the emergency heat works and the kitchen and bathroom outlets are GFCI protected? I had clients once who did not want to spend the money on a home inspection because they knew the seller, and the seller said everything was fine. The day after closing, their water heater burst and ruined all the hardwoods in the house. A $350 inspection could have saved them $3-4000 on new floors.

#3 - Get all the local professional help you can get. A Realtor can help you not only with finding homes to view but also with determining which neighborhood is best for you, which home is the most realistically priced, what zoning issues may exist, etc. A local lender is accountable not only to you but to your Realtor as well -- no one in PA at lendingtree.com is planning on getting future business from you, so they do not have as high a stake in surpassing your expectations. Finally, a local attorney will be familiar with the protocol of the local tax office, register of deeds, and lenders. This can save you from problems at the closing table that could make the difference between moving into your new home on Friday afternoon or moving into Hotel 6.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mountain Views and Mayberry

Ever watched The Andy Griffith Show? If so, you know it centered around life in "Mayberry" and that "Mt. Pilot" was the nearest city with any modern conveniences. Did you know those were based on real places?

I have just listed a property in Mt. Airy ("Mayberry"). If you go downtown, you can visit Snappy Lunch for a DE-LIC-IOUS pork shop sandwich, visit Floyd's barber shop, and even meet "Otis" out for a stroll. My property is on the outskirts of Mt. Airy... far enough from town to be nice and quiet yet close enough to be convenient. And, from the back patio you can see Pilot Knob, the namesake of Pilot Mtn. ("Mt. Pilot"). Sure, lots of folks have mountain views, but how many can say they have a famous mountain view?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Price Point is KEY

From SteveHarney.com:

"There is much discussion about how the real estate market is in the middle of its turnaround based on sales increasing on a year-over-year basis. Though the fact that housing is again moving is fabulous news, let's not lose sight of which homes are selling.

Here is a closer look at different price ranges and how they are faring in the current "boom":

$0-100,000 sales up 38.8%
$100,000-250,000 sales up 8.7%
$250,000-500,000 sales down 6.2%
$500,000-750,000 sales down 8.9%
$750,000-1,000,000 sales down 10.6%
$1,000,000-2,000,000 sales down 23.3%
$2,000,000+ sales down 32.4%"

Moral of the story?? Units may be up, but lower priced properties are selling quicker... so pricing is KEY!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pending Home Sales Up!

From Realtor.org Pressroom:

Record Streak Continues for Pending Home Sales
Washington, October 01, 2009
Pending home sales have increased for seven straight months, the longest in the series of the index which began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in August, rose 6.4 percent to 103.8 from a reading of 97.6 in July, and is 12.4 percent above August 2008 when it was 92.4. The index is at the highest level since March 2007 when it was 104.5.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said not all contracts are turning into closed sales within an expected timeframe. “The rise in pending home sales shows buyers are returning to the market and signing contracts, but deals are not necessarily closing because of long delays related to short sales, and issues regarding complex new appraisal rules,” he said. “No doubt many first-time buyers are rushing to beat the deadline for the $8,000 tax credit, which expires at the end of next month.”

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sellers #1 Piece of Advice

There is an increase in buying activity. That DOES NOT mean we will see an increase in pricing. Remember the ’supply and demand’ curve. Supply is still too plentiful. Price your home to sell now. This is the best chance you have to sell your house and get on with the life situation that caused you to originally put the property on the market. (adapted from steveharneyblog.com)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First Things First

I am often told "I have never bought a house before and I have no idea where to start." If you are in this situation, here are some tips...
Before you even start searching online, making sign calls, driving around neighborhoods, etc., talk to a lender. This could be the bank where you have your checking account, a credit union, the one closest to your office, etc. You can also find many lenders online, but I caution folks (especially first timers!) against finding a lender this way. There are a lot of reasons for this, but to put it simply, you need someone you can go to face to face who will be accountable to you and your agent for present and future business. (My local Allen Tate rep is great... just email jennifer.tuttle@allentate.com).
A lot of times people respond to this advice by saying they want to look around, find a house, and then speak to their lender. Don't do this! Nothing is worse than finding your dream home, making plans, and then realizing you don't qualify for the mortgage needed to purchase it. From that point on, nothing will look as good as that "first love." You may even find out you can afford more than you thought. At least get a pre-qualification so you will have a ballpark figure of what you can afford, and often, this can be done over the phone.
Next, hire a buyer agent. All agents in NC are assumed to work for the seller (even if they have never met the seller), and you need someone on your side, working for you and looking out for your best interests. Buyer agency costs nothing and can save you a ton.
There are many many things you need to know, but with an honest and responsible lender and agent by your side, you are ready to go!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Warning!

According to the Mortgage Bankers' Association and RealtyTimes, 1 of every 308 housing units nationwide received a foreclosure filing in August '09. At the end of August, there were 1,957,073 foreclosures nationwide, with 358,471 of them new in July. Interestingly, only 33,515 sold in July, so that shadow inventory is becoming a real issue as more and more home sellers find themselves competing with foreclosures. The average sales price nationwide for foreclosures is $202,566.

On a brighter note, Forsyth County is 367th in the nation for foreclosure activity.

Surprisingly, conventional loans are 1 in 3 of new foreclosure filings -- thus the importance of offering Job Loss Protection on your listings!

Finally, a word of caution -- if you are attempting a loan modification with your lender, and they tell you you are not responsible for your payments as they make the decision, make the payments anyway and document them! Some people are being foreclosed on due to lack of payment during this decision period, when the lender is who told them to stop in the first place.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wall Street Journal

An article in the Wall Street Journal on September 8 cites Moody'sEconomy.com's chief economist Mark Zandy stating that almost 400,000 new and existing home sales are attributable to the $8000 first time home buyer tax break. Maybe the government will take this to heart and either raise the credit or offer it to ALL home buyers, first timers or not. Doubtful, but we can dream.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Quick Sale

More home sellers these days are asking me "What can I do to MOVE this place?" With the abundance of inventory that we (and most areas) have, there are a few things that are crucial to make you stand out from the rest. First, you shouldn't just be priced competitively -- you need to be the most competitive. On a street where similar homes are priced $215,000 to $229,000, you need to be at $209,000 or less. You will be going up against distressed properties, and those often have not had the best exterior maintenance. So, exterior cosmetic improvements, such as pressure washing or new pine needles, can really make your home stand out. Making your home a sweet and speedy sale helps too. Just offering a home warranty is no longer enough -- you need to offer a home warranty, a year's worth of HOA fees paid, Job Loss Protection (available through your Allen Tate Realtor), a new refrigerator, closing cost assistance, etc. -- the more the better! Verbiage such as "Available Immediately" in your advertising will inform the consumer that unlike the short sale down the street, that could take 6 or more months to close, yours can be available in 30 days. This is especially important for relocating buyers, who are still extremely common here in the Triad.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Living is Easy...

Ever wish you had a fairy godmother who could snap her fingers and make all of your yard work disappear? Or one who could move your laundry from upstairs to downstairs with the flip of a switch? Well, at 1117 Muirfield Avenue in Cobblestone (Salem Glen), you get the next best thing! The homeowner's association covers all lawncare, and in this particular unit, all the necessities (laundry, garage, kitchen, living room, baths, and bedrooms) are on one level... how carefree you could be! An upper level bonus room is perfect for visitors, teens, or as a "man cave," and the unfinished attic space provides storage space galore. The kitchen is wonderful with plenty of counter space, an island, and breakfast area. A great room with gas logs & hardwoods opens to a small patio as well as the formal dining room, while the master is blissfully located away from the other bedrooms. Salem Glen has pool, tennis, and golf amenities (different membership fees apply), so why look elsewhere? Visit AmandaShore.com for a photo tour, and for more information about Salem Glen Golf and Country Club, visit SalemGlen.com.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's on the Inside?

We are often disappointed when we find out what is inside a person does not live up to what is outside. The same can be said in a real estate transaction. You may walk through a home 3 times with your agent, family members, and close friends, but there could still be latent defects under the surface that are just not readily apparent. Radon gas could be building up, for example, and you can't see it, touch it, or smell it. For this reason, if no other, you MUST listen to your agent when they advise you to have a home inspection! Yes, home inspections will set you back $300 or $400 (or more), but it is money well spent. Consider what happened to my client Sharon. Her husband was a very handy guy, so they decided not to have a home inspection done. They had looked over every nook and cranny of the property and felt comfortable buying it without one. On the day they moved in, they began to wash dishes in the dishwasher that had been packed up. The dishwasher leaked, and by the time they realized it, their recently repaired/refinished hardwoods had been ruined on the whole main level! A simple home inspection could have saved them thousands in floor repair. It's better to be safe than sorry is a cliche, but it's oh so true!

Friday, August 21, 2009

$8000 Tax Credit Q&A

The deadline is fast approaching to take advantage of the 2009 first time home buyer tax credit, so I am getting more and more questions about it. I thought I would take a second to explain some basic principles. Of course, if you have more questions, consult your lender or tax adviser, but here goes...

The credit is available to first time buyers who purchase on or before November 30, 2009. "Purchase" is defined as when closing occurs and title transfers. A first time buyer is defined as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the 3 years prior to the purchase. For a married couple to qualify, both people must meet this condition. It is not automatically $8000 for everyone -- the credit is equal to 10% of the home's purchase price up to $8000. Income limits do apply, and unlike the tax credit enacted in July 2008, this one does not have to be repaid. However, buyers must use the home as a principal residence for at least 3 years or face recapture of the credit amount.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What's Your Story?

At our sales meeting yesterday, our guest speaker talked with us about being trusted advisers to our clients. He emphasized to us that we should be fostering "clients for life." It really hit home with me -- some of my best friends are past clients of mine. He talked about looking past the purchase and seeing the person. What makes people tick? What circumstances led them to my door? What are they hoping to accomplish?

The most interesting part of my job is getting to know so many different people. When you spend hours and hours within the confines of a vehicle, you can really learn a lot! So, just be aware -- when we are viewing homes, or I am giving you tips on how to prepare your home for the market, I will ask a lot of questions. You may feel I am being nosy or intrusive, but it is very important to me to understand the whys, whats, and hows of a situation. If I know that you don't want to remove the wallpaper in the extra bedroom because it's the last project your mom did before she died, then I'll probably quit pushing so hard. Knowing what motivates you helps me develop the most effective strategy to helping you accomplish your goals. From now on, don't be surprised if I ask "What's your story?"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Are All Agents REALTORS?

A common misconception among the public is that all real estate agents are REALTORS. They are not, and the difference is very important to understand. To be a real estate agent, you must complete the coursework required by the state in which you hope to practice and pass the state test. REALTORS, on the other hand, undergo yearly ethics training and voluntarily adhere to a strict code of professionalism. In short, "When you enlist the services of a REALTOR®, you can be confident that you're being dealt with honestly. Every member of the National Association of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. The Code of Ethics is a promise—as a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years" (taken from REALTOR.org).

As a REALTOR, I must approach the real estate transaction with some basic principles in mind. I must be honest with all parties in the transaction – not just with you, as my client, but also with the other real estate practitioner and his or her clients; put your interests ahead of my own, at all times; disclose all pertinent facts regarding the property and the transaction to both buyer and seller; and be truthful in all communications with the public (taken from REALTOR.org).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Digital Billboard!

As you drive west on Business 40 from Kernersville, pay close attantion to the billboards... you just might see me! Allen Tate has a spot on the only digital billboard in Winston-Salem. It's right next to Baptist Hospital near the Hawthorne & Cloverdale exits. Agents that produce a certain amount are rotated on the board... good thing I didn't have anything in my teeth when the picture was taken!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina..."

According to RealtyTrac Inc., the foreclosure rate in NC rose 8% in July 2009 from June 09. Over 3400 homes were involved in the foreclosure process in July. This translates to 1 out of every 1200 households. But this is only part of the story.

Nationwide, foreclosures rose 7% in July, jumping 32% from July 2008. But this is only part of the story.

The real story: North Carolina foreclosures FELL 20% from July 2008 to July 2009. Real estate is local! As bad as we think we have it, those of us who live here are blessed to live in NC. In Nevada, 1 of every 56 households received a foreclosure filing in July. They had the highest foreclosure rate in the country for the 31st consecutive month.

This information was taken from The Business Journal of the Greater Traid Area/American City Business Journals Inc.

Are Home Sales Up? -- part 2

Here is a chart that shows the trend noted earlier regarding homes sales v. median price. Median sales price for June '09 in Forsyth County was approximately $135,000 (down $40,000 from 24 months ago). While this chart is Forsyth County specific, Forsyth County is pretty indicative of what is happening in surrounding counties as well.
What does this mean? Homes are selling, but price is key. The less expensive the home, the more likely it is to sell.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

When One Door Shuts...

Some things have happened lately in my personal life that have been disappointing to me and my family, but I can't forget the saying "when one door shuts, another one opens." Things may not go according to our plan, but that doesn't mean we won't have a better, brighter opportunity down the road.
The same thing can be said in real estate transactions. I have clients right now, for example, who made an offer on their dream home... only to be outbid and not given a chance to bid again. They were so frustrated. They took a break from looking for a while and then came across a new listing. We offered on it, and their offer was accepted. We just found out it appraised way over what they are paying for it. Whoo hoo! The other property was at their max price range, and it would have been a tight appraisal. This one is much more affordable, versatile, and they are going to go into it with some built-in equity. What started out as a disappointing set of circumstances is giving them reason to celebrate now. Let's always be looking for that open door!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Are Home Sales Up?

According to national statistics, home sales are up. This will prompt sellers to ask, "why should we reduce our price if sales are up?" Just as with any statistic, there are 2 sides to this story. Home sales are up, but home prices aren't. "Sales" refers to units and does not take into account median sales price. Please keep this is mind as you price your home. Yes, homes are selling... but the median sales price is going down. So, the higher you price, the less chance you have to sell -- and isn't selling the goal?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A House or History?

One of my favorite aspects of my career is the different people I get to meet. I have a home listed now in Asbury Place in Clemmons that is owned by a really sweet lady. When we listed the home, she got teary-eyed talking about all the wonderful memories she had made there. It really hit home with me that not only am I selling someone's home but someone's history. When I look at my clients and their different situations as such, it really humbles me to think I have been entrusted with something so sacred. Even more motivation is there to make their selling experience a positive one, so that their memories are not tainted. She talked of evenings sitting on the beautiful back deck with her husband -- looking out over the flowers they had so lovingly cultivated, the birds that regularly visited their birdfeeders, and their sweet grandchildren playing. Every time I go there, I stand on that back deck and just imagine... and fervently hope someone comes along who will make such wonderful memories as well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Is it a Deal or Not?

I'm writing today about buyer expectations... I showed property to a man this morning who is, unfortunately, pretty typical of a lot of buyers today. So as not to give away too much, I'll call him Jay. Jay is looking at a home priced (hypothetically) $100,000. From my market analysis, the home is worth $95,000-$100,000... so the list price is pretty dead on. Jay wants to offer $70,000 though, because it will need a roof in the next few years, the trim needs painting, the hardwoods need refinishing, etc. What I couldn't get Jay to understand was that the list price takes those things into account. In other words, if it had a brand new roof, refinished floors, no needed exterior maintenance, etc., it would be listed at a price much higher.

My point in writing about this is really just to emphasize that buyers need to be educated. Our market is definitely being affected right now by the nationwide housing crisis, but that doesn't mean you can buy every home out there for 80% of the list price! Many agents, particularly those with experience, are cautioning their sellers and advising them to price homes right for their condition, so $100,000 may be a good deal... even if that is the list price. The important thing to remember is that not all sellers are out to make a huge profit. This validates further the importance of having an agent (shameless plug!). With so many homes priced under market right now, it is hard to know what is a great investment and what isn't. Your local real estate agent can help you through this process.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Here we go!

Not that anyone cares, but I'm diving into the blogging world... after talking with my BIC for a while, I'm convinced this is where my industry is going. Might as well start with baby steps...

I get asked several times every day how our market is doing. That is SUCH a loaded question! Homes are selling, but they have to be positioned correctly and priced right... therein lies the catch. "Priced right" these days typically means sellers aren't getting what they'd like. A lot of sellers are having to cut their losses and be satisfied to simply get out from under the payment and responsibility of a home (rather than making a huge profit). For many the consolation is that they can make up for some of that on the buying side, but even that is only a possibility and not a probability. We are blessed here in the Triad -- we never had a crazy bubble. So, instead of being down 26% on home prices, we are only holding steady. Disappointing to some, but many others in America would love to be in our shoes!

This was my inaugural post... short and sweet, but bear with me since I am new to the blogging world. Now I'm off to spend some time with my 12 week old!