The Real Estate Market is Back!
Let me be the first to announce that the real estate market we'd all come to love may actually be back in force at last. Contrary to what the media chooses to report on a day-to-day basis, I can tell you that things here in the trenches have really been amazing over the past few weeks. While some homes that had been on for a while still remain, many of their prices have come to the point where they're just irresistible, and the Fed has been taking bold moves towards getting the rates down to stimulate the marketplace.
In the last week alone I've seen several of our properties sell within the first 48 hours, some with multiple, over full price offers. Hard to believe? Well, believe it … because it's 100 percent true.
In sharp contrast to the existing inventory, many of my new listings have been selling as soon as they've hit the market, and much of that credit goes to my awesome sellers who are really taking my advice more than they have in years. Back at the height of the market, the process of getting a house on the market took an hour or two. Now, instead of "rushing" to the market, my sellers and I are really going through the property making detailed lists of the small things we could do to fix any obvious problems, properly "stage" the rooms, and create as picture perfect a property as possible. I've assembled a crew of top professionals who will come in on a moment's notice and be able to turn minimal effort and cost into maximum results.
Next we develop a comprehensive plan to get the word out to the public as well as the brokerage community, and basically put into eff ect an incredibly dynamic and over-the-top marketing plan BEFORE the house even hits the market. Then, hitting the market with a bang, we have been getting mind-blowing results.
Of course, proper price is always the ultimate goal in any market, and with the values changing so rapidly, often even day to day, it's imperative to do more than just a "market analysis based on past sales." Coming up with a proper listing price would mean analyzing current demand as well, which may involve such things as my contacting my colleagues in the industry to establish what buyers they're currently working with, and how we can leverage those buyers to get the maximum sales price for my homeowners.
Once we're on the market, and the offers are coming in, it will be vital to analyze which off ers we want to accept, and doing so goes far beyond merely looking at the highest price. As the lenders have finally begun tightening lending
requirements, trying to dig their way out of this hole they dug for themselves, many have gone overboard in their conservativeness and have virtually blocked 5 percent down financing in our region. As a home seller, this may mean accepting a lesser off er, from a buyer with a larger down payment, to avoid any surprises down the road. As a buyer, it may mean taking your "preapproval letter" one step further, and taking the extra few days to get a full approval. With that in hand, you basically become a "cash buyer," able to negotiate with the seller having full confidence in your ability to follow through on your mortgage.
Moving forward into 2008, I've been busier than ever, as buyers have been pouring back into the marketplace, at the same time as so many real estate agents have left the industry. One truly mind boggling issue has been an incredible lack of inventory in many levels. I know what you must be thinking … there are hundreds of homes for sale … but nowadays the buyers are looking for something "nearly flawless" and those are really tough to find.
This weekend I was out with five sets of buyers in the $300K range, two in the $450K range, and two buyers in the $850K to $1.2M range, and none of them were able to find a house they wanted to buy, despite having reviewed everything on the market across eight diff erent towns. Either they didn't like the condition of the home, or the lot, or the floor plan. It was always something … and as of this writing, all of them are still just waiting for something to hit. If you have one in that range, e-mail me asap at steve@ stevelevine.com and let's talk.
For those sellers that were on the market last fall, but weren't able to find a buyer, call me today!! It's time to really look at the property, see what we need to do to get it sold, and then pull out all the stops to make it happen. That doesn't mean rushing to the market, but rather beginning to understand what we need to do to make it happen and get you to where you really want to be.
Remember, for the local buyers looking to upgrade, the correction in pricing is the best thing that ever happened to you. While your home obviously may be worth less than it was at the peak of the market, so is the home you're buying, and combining that with the unbelievable falling interest rates, this has created one of the best times in our generation to make that leap. Check out the online videos on the current market which I put together. You can reach them by going to my main website at www.stevelevine.com and clicking the video link. Talk to you soon!
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc. and an agent for REMAX First Choice. He's currently ranked the #1 REMAX Agent in New England and can be reached online at www.stevelevine.com or by phone at 508-735-4663.
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