Trick or Treat? Local Home Sales Data Raise Questions for Home Sellers!

By
Real Estate Agent with Crye-Leike REALTORS® 165062

The news and media today are painting a not so rosy picture of market health for many home sellers.  Sales in many regions are off, and in some markets the next set of statistics will just confirm what we already know.  Sales are off and sluggish, days on market have increased, the list price to sales price ratio is widening, but then again some homes are still selling. Why is that?  We all know one thing...sellers are only concerned with one thing!  Their home!  Why isn't it selling?   At theis point, it is a must ask ourselves why will some homes sell while other homes sit on the market for what seems like an eternity!  What is the difference between the home that has just closed and the home that is sitting on the market?  We must be able to convey our knowledge to them clearly and concisely!  It is easier for all if we are reading on the same page.

I recently went back online and searched some news articles from earlier times.  I was surprised at how much I was able to find.  I was even able to access some newspaper archives and was quite surprised at what I found. Yes even in the 1920's and 1930's there are newspaper articles that some homes that are painted and appear well maintained are actually selling a lot faster than those that were just abandoned.  Imagine that!  What worked in the 1930's can still work today!  It is no consolation for home-sellers if as professionals we cannot guide them through this maze we are in.  Optimism is great, but your results are what matters!  I can be as positive and as upbeat as I want, but I need to be realistic with my clients in the current market. I must know my own market! The sellers are viewing us as having all the answers, and yet no one may be showing their home.  Agents call your owners to make an appointment, but cancel the showing or just never show.  The sellers get tired of cleaning, polishing, and making their home a "showplace" for an event that never takes place.  Frustration may give way to irate calls, and irrational demands.  Home sellers wonder if their home will ever sell.  As heir agents, we are here in the middle.  It is an uncomfortable position, but part of an everyday sale in real estate.

It is important to be the real estate professional in every way possible.  It is our duty to advise home sellers:

  1. Absorption rates.
  2. Current Active Listings, pending sales, and recent solds.
  3. Compare current statistics to previous years.  Units sold matter, not median price! 
  4. Current market conditions
  5. Current Sales Statistics
  6. Current Seller Concessions
  7. Current Incentives
  8. Show them the competition's listings
  9. Advise them that price is critical to sale, and so is condition and upgrades
  10. Develop a strategic pricing strategy
  11. And yes they will have to pay for your services!  It costs to market in these times!. 

    Jim Crawford

     

     

     

     

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James Crawford ABR, Broker Associate

 

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
593,482
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate

Jim,

The problem is the motivation of the sellers..they want their cake and want to eat it too...but it is not our fault our market is virtually at a stand still..... I do not even worry anymore but it really boggles the mind at the lack of activity and lack of real buyers and the offers that sometimes come in.

Oct 20, 2007 01:01 AM #1
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Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Hi Jim!

I don't think I can endure another media story on the sagging Real Estate market. The more overblown it gets, people really believe it. Thankfully, our area is not so bad. I am still selling houses and seeing a commission at closing. We are what we think...so I continue to be optimistic in these times. I work hard in my business and it is still paying off. We all just need to hang tough and get to the end of this mortgage and foreclosure mess.  Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Oct 20, 2007 01:51 AM #2
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Neal Bloom-Realtor ® Assoc.-Weston Florida   Neal I agree.  I don't think the sellers are getting this.  I assume they wonder if the home will ever sell...even if it is priced right, and updated. 

I've been licensed since 1979, and held a license in NY, MD, VA, and GA.  I am now currently licensed in GA and VA.  In my main market in Atlanta, I have never seen it this slow without any activity.  The phones do not ring...even in the late 80's and early 90's the phone rang!   I ran into a broker yesterday that I new from 15 years ago.  She now manages another companies office.  She told me that the office we used to belong to (which was one of the biggest producing offices in that entire company) is closing for good in 2 weeks.  The agents were given only 2 weeks notice of closure.  That has a major impact in my own mind, that things are not as rosy as we think.  She also told me that this current market is much worse than the 1989-93 market.  That speaks volumes...since this is a broker for several offices.  The early 90's were no picnic, but we did very well!

Oct 20, 2007 03:02 AM #3
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Lizette Fitzpatrick,Central Kentucky Realtor(R  I agree that we all must hang tough, and in the meantime I am catching up on Continuing ed, updated contact lists, fliers and more!  Have a great weekend!
Oct 20, 2007 03:04 AM #4
Rainmaker
703,874
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Jim, this is a prime time for investors. Maybe a little change in focus could make the phone ring. Home buyers (owner occupiers) are like odd lot buyers on Wall Street: they are always out of sync with what they should be doing. Going after them right now is like swimming up stream.

Bill Roberts

Oct 20, 2007 03:21 AM #5
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Bill Roberts - "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planning  I fully agree!  All my new marketing is geered towards them.  I am already two weeks into the switch.  This has given us at least 4 new calls in this market since last week!
Oct 20, 2007 03:33 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,048,125
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Jim - Great advice. As Realtors we really need to keep our sellers educated as to what is going on. There is no room for complacency right now.

I have been using the feedburner site as well. Might I suggest you add the ability for readers to get your blog in an email? I think there are probably more consumers that would take this option over a feeder. I have included both over at my Metrowest Home Blog Check it out. You can do this by adding it in your feedburner settings. Hope you are doing well.

Oct 20, 2007 03:33 AM #7
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate  Thanks Bill!  I will do so.
Oct 20, 2007 03:35 AM #8
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Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Jim, I've recently started to convert the boring raw data from our monthly MLS zipcode reports into charts and graphs for my clients.  I use them in contract and listing presentations and monthly updates - it makes me look smart, and it helps them understand what's going on in the market.  GONE are the days when communication consists of generalities!  Thanks for the checklist!
Oct 21, 2007 12:58 AM #9
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Margaret Woda, Maryland REALTORI agree!  I use charts and graphs to get their attention.  The problem is things are not looking so good!  LOL!

Oct 21, 2007 02:56 AM #10
Rainmaker
134,049
J Perrin Cornell
Century 21 Exclusively, Wenatchee, WA - Wenatchee, WA
Broker, ABR, VAMRES

We all need to remember that people buy every day! Sp if you work hard and expand your listings by 3x your ability to get more sales also expands. Last year in August there were 180 or so sales in my maarket area. This August there were about 85. Number of agents in the same period went from about 380 to 440. All I know is there are sales and I need three a month... I had four...

First things first, one thing at a time and do it now!

Oct 21, 2007 03:21 AM #11
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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Perrin Cornell, ABR  Preein, thank you for such an upbeat response.   In atlant we went from 12000 agents a few years back to 46000.  Now sales have dropped by at least 40%  it is a little more difficult right now to bring in the buyer leads.
Oct 21, 2007 09:21 AM #12
Rainer
130,599
Billnulls Blog Florida Realty Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
AHWD
it is indeed the time for investors to strike and strike it rich at the same time!
Oct 30, 2007 01:52 PM #13
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
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Oct 30, 2007 02:02 PM #14
Rainmaker
214,937
Mike and Dawn Lewis
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams - San Diego, CA
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams in San Diego CA

Jim,

Great research - great post. I love that you take the time on the issues and show us great facts. I'm sure your clients appreciate the work you do. I feel sometimes there's a lack of wanting to take on the issues that are facing most areas of the U.S. housing market on AR. I still see agents with markets that have clear indications of problems on the horizon but say everything is great with their markets. The national picture is pertinent to all areas of the country - it can and probably will effect your community - take notice.

I see some posts about "agents needing to paint a pretty picture no matter what the media says" I think thats not fair to people who look to us for real answers. I think some people are under the impression if we all stood around and said "It's Great It's Great the Market's Great" that it's just magically going to happen. How silly.

I like the posts, like yours, that lay out the facts "the real facts and accompany them with great advice". I see that sometimes agents who do this are being labeled negative or pessimists. I see them as agents who are giving good advice so people don't get burned, so they're better educated. And I think thats great. Nice job Jim. I will read more.

I think now is the time to give good advice based on facts. Thanks for stepping up.

Mike Lewis

Oct 30, 2007 02:42 PM #15
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Mike Lewis  Mike thank you for your comments.  I think a lot in real estate really feel you can think Buried headyourself well by positive thinking.  Nice thought, but it will not pay the bills in the short term.  Taking listings as if it were last years is a recipe for disaster.  It is not about psessimism, it is about gathtering data, interpreting it, and making alternative plans to see you through the storm.  We cannot be ostriches placing ur heads in the sand until danger has passed.

 

 

 

Oct 30, 2007 03:05 PM #16
Rainmaker
214,937
Mike and Dawn Lewis
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams - San Diego, CA
The Lewis Team at Keller Williams in San Diego CA

Jim,

Great picture. I think I know that agent.

Mike Lewis

Nov 01, 2007 11:06 AM #17
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Mike Lewis  Thanks Mike, I know lots of them!
Nov 01, 2007 01:02 PM #18
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