Where Did All The Houses Go???...The Phenomenon Of The Vanishing House...

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

Southampton, New York has been a very busy place for real estate this year! The only problem I see is that the housing inventory is dwindling and very few houses are coming on the market for our projected  "hot" selling season--1st quarter of 2011. We now have the phenomenon of the vanishing house..."Where did all the houses go?"NEW LISTINGS ARE THE KEY TO GOOD BUSINESS

Fast paced sales and no inventory--not a good place to be!!!  Some may even say it's worse than a boat-load of inventory and very few buyers! I don't know if I would say that but I will tell you each and every deal that comes together now is tense and scary--lots of high emotions with a frightened buyer and a very FREIGHTENED BUYERS AND ANXIOUS SELLERSanxious seller in almost every single one! The scarcity of properties is making it even more treacherous for everyone involved!

 

 

Maybe that is just a sign of  the times; maybe the truth is that the fewer the houses to pick from, the better the chances there are to sell something--I prefer to work with less inventory, myself. My background in retailing taught me that in order to get "faster turn" you need to keep inventory low and sales coming in at a fast pace. Faster turn creates fewer markdowns and better profits as a result.....the ideal situation if you are in retailing!!! It may also apply to real estate in this new economy of ours!Where is all the inventory???

My company will be getting our 4th Quarter, 2010 report from our accounting firm, Miller Samuel, in the next week or so and I can't even see the number of sales or the number of houses left to sell until then. I have only 2 exclusives left now and it is a little worrisome that I had 2 potential sellers tell me they don't want to list their homes right now..they "don't have to sell" and they "don't want to put the house on the market until prices start to go up again". Another owner just told me she has been told her C of O's on her inherited property are not complete and it could take 9 months to a year to get the final documentation in place in order to sell it!

Right now my number one priority is to get listings---I am usually very good at that so we will see how that unfolds.

It is my goal to get 5 new listings before the end of the month...so here is how I plan to do that:GOING OUT TO GET NEW BUSINESS

  • ADVERTISE MY "SOLD"  LISTINGS IN THE LOCAL PRESS AND IN THE NEW YORK POST.
  • GET MY NAME IN AS MANY PLACES AS POSSIBLE BY BLOGGING ENDLESSLY.(WELL-- MAYBE ONE A DAY!)
  • TALK TO 4-5 DIFFERENT HOMEOWNERS EVERY DAY JUST TO TOUCH BASE.
  • SEND NEWSLETTERS TO MY BASE--GIVING THEM THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT INCREASED SELLING ACTIVITY.
  • SIGN UP FOR VOLUNTEER WORK THAT I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT DOING FOR THE PAST YEAR OR TWO.
  • ENGAGE IN DIALOG WITH MY DOCTOR, DENTIST AND OTHER BUSINESS PEOPLE HERE TO LET THEM KNOW THAT I AM LOOKING FOR NEW LISTINGS AND DO THEY KNOW ANY ONE WHO MAY WANT/NEED TO SELL AT THIS TIME?

 I have had a great deal of luck with using similar tactics in the past and hope they work under the conditions we find ourselves in right now....Who knows, it may be that the public is unaware that the real estate market has come to life again, here in The Hamptons!!! 

HOW ABOUT YOU???....DO YOU HAVE A PLAN???

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Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Richard: Has it been busy at all? Do you have people looking to buy right now? I still think we need a good jolt of positive economic news before we normalize--This market here is driven by Wall Street and there have been some really good rallys on the street lately--that is leading the charge when it comes to buying homes here....I am astounded that our inventory is so low, though. I knew we were busy but the way it looks now, we will have a tough time to have a successful first half of 2011 wiith the inventory the way it looks. We really need to get new listings!!

Jan 18, 2011 02:15 PM #8
Rainer
5,661
Aubree Hazel
Coldwell Banker Bain - Kirkland, WA

Hi Paula,

I love your plan and would enjoy hearing how it works for you!  Also, I am so with you on the volunteer work thing- and you just inspired me.  Going to get that ball rolling tomorrow- thanks!

Aubree

Jan 18, 2011 02:35 PM #9
Ambassador
1,258,388
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Paula -  we're the same here and my plan has just been inspired by your own.  Thank you!

Jan 18, 2011 02:40 PM #10
Rainmaker
376,927
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Great news for you folks experiencing low inventory although as you point out it can create some other issues.  Still, this NC area will be ecstatic when the inventory begins declining.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Jan 18, 2011 02:41 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,317,551
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

We always see our inventory go down during the winter months in NH.  I think we will se a return of properties to the market late feb or early march when we start to thaw out.  Good luck with the listings.  It looks like you have a great plan.

Jan 18, 2011 02:42 PM #12
Rainmaker
289,867
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Paula, Three weeks ago I was out with a buyer in a certain price range... we looked at 8 homes and they put a contract on on one of them.  Today we took a new buyer out in the same price range and I thought it would be easy since we've already researched the market and know what is out there.  In three weeks 5 out of the 8 choice properties have either gone under contract or withdrawn.  A year ago I would have had an easy 15 choice homes in that price range.  It starting to be slim pickings and I wish I could get some of the sellers I've spoken to get going, but they are taking their time and wanting to see if prices will go in their favor.

I will apply some of your ideas to get some new listings - we already started our season.  Too early to give an opinion on how the buyers will react to the shortage.

Jan 18, 2011 02:47 PM #13
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Aubree: Glad I could inspire you for the volunteer thing! I was so busy trying to keep my business going that I could not seem to find the time to volunteer---now I see that that was just an excuse and that kind of work is essential to my well being as well as the people I volunteer to help! So good luck and keep up the good work!

Susan: Good! I will look for your poost on how you plan to do it too!

Sue: It will happen--maybe this spring??? I wish you  all the best of luck for your market--keep a positive thought and I am sure it will happen!

Jan 18, 2011 03:00 PM #14
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Joan: thank you for the comment--I hope it thaws out there soon---we have been getting your weather down here too! I wlecome you to use what ever part of my plan to use for your market as well!

Ellie: Great--it sounds like your market has turned a corner too! I wish you luck and please, use as many of my ideas as you choose to get your inventory back into shape!!! 

Jan 18, 2011 03:03 PM #15
Rainmaker
248,047
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Paula: Good news for sellers who are thinking about putting a home on the market. Not as good for buyers wanting to get in.

Jan 18, 2011 03:24 PM #16
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Matt: I am finding that the sellers DON'T want to put their houses on the market----a tough postion to be in with low inventory and on the bring of our biggest market: Spring 2011!!!

Jan 18, 2011 03:27 PM #17
Rainmaker
2,677,257
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Very smart to have a gameplan. That's 90% of the battle.  Now, just execute away.  Make it an awesome January and 2011.

Jan 18, 2011 09:56 PM #18
Rainmaker
506,030
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Paula, our inventory is still up, but you go get those listing and keep up with your plan!

Jan 18, 2011 10:45 PM #19
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Debbie: Has your business started to sizzle for 2011? I would think that flooring woud be a good indication of what is happening there, even if just in preparation to put a house on the market?

Ellen: Thanks for the encouragment! Good luck, to you too with getting your inventory down in 2011. It will be interesting to see if the market improves in your neck of the woods....I suspect that the economy will have to improve a lot more for it to be nationwide--but we are are the upswing, don't you think??? 

Jan 18, 2011 11:58 PM #20
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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Paula, we are down too. I have some buyers I just can't find anything for... and that is a hard position to be in. I like your plan!

Jan 19, 2011 12:05 AM #21
Rainer
76,593
Vance Booher
Re/Max Select, SRES - Greensburg, PA

Morning Paula.  Our inventory is begining to creep up for the first time in a couple years and we are seeing some fresh product on the market in most all price ranges.  Interestingly the higher end of the ranges seem to be growing inventory faster than the low end.  That makes it a bit difficult because the first timers continue to be very strong in our market.  In the lower ranges I have been showing some of the same homes for months to different buyers - the shiny pennies are long gone and not much is coming on at those levels to replace them.  When it does, it goes fast.

Jan 19, 2011 12:36 AM #22
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Andrea: Who would have thought that we would be scrambling for inventory at this point in time??? I guess this is what sifts the wheat for the chaf and those of us who are able to convince sellers that now is the time to list are the real winners in all of this. After-all, you can't sell houses if you have no listings, right???

Vance: You are so right; I have taken new contruction listings before they are begun because of that very reason! I also have sold before completetion so that the buyer can create it as their own with their own details and their own extras....works wonderfully if there are builders out there willing to do it!

Jan 19, 2011 01:22 AM #23
Ambassador
1,296,348
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

Paula - What a great post!   I feel that the same thing is happening here to our inventory, but I contribute it to the snow....

Jan 21, 2011 12:38 AM #24
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Dagny: Are your sales up too? I think we are going to have a record 1st Quarter--at least I am---I have 4 sales closing in the next month!!! Hope you are doing well and that THAT is the reason your inventory is down!

Jan 21, 2011 03:08 AM #25
Rainer
36,576
Manny Bermas
Katy, TX

Hi Paul, Manny again.  Hey, thats a very good program for listings.  I will work on it.

Jan 29, 2011 04:02 PM #26
Rainmaker
495,774
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Manny: Thanks---please feel free to "use" away---I am having excellant results with those items too!

Jan 29, 2011 10:50 PM #27
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...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!
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