Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Market Conditions
by Leisel Caldwell

As a seasoned real estate agent, I have received a lot of educational and motivational training over the past 30 years. The real estate business is constantly evolving and the career I started in 1978 as an agent does not resemble much of the work I do today. We still get the seller to sign a listing agreement, put up a sign and pray it sells, but a good agent knows this is just the beginning of the process. To be a successful agent in today’s market you must be part computer geek, professional marketer, public relations specialist, advertising specialist, negotiator, decorator, mediator, counselor, database manager, etc. 
Another thing that has not changed from the early days, is everyone who knows you are in real estate will ask, “How is the real estate market?” It is a great conversation starter but sometimes very difficult to answer honestly without appearing negative and pessimistic.  And that is not something you want to do when you are attempting to get people to list with you or buy from you.

Early on in my career I attended a Tom Hopkins class. Hopkins was one the  greatest real estate trainers in the 70s, 80s and 90s in the United States. At this class, he taught us to respond to “How is the real estate market” by saying “it is unbelievable.” As he said you are not lying and can keep everything on a positive note.  
So, this all leads me to the current market and the question, How is the Lake Wedowee Real Estate Market? IT IS FREAKING UNBELIEVABLE!

We have definitely seen freakish things happen in the current market such as lenders allowing owners to stay in properties when the buyer is in extreme default and has other assets, appraised values differing more than $100,000 from one appraiser to another, banks and mortgage companies dumping properties for 50 to 60 cents on the dollar, builders signing properties back over to their banks, banks reorganizing and lending practices changing drastically. Yes, it appears many are FREAKING out and bailing out, which in my opinion is keeping the market from correcting itself.

The current pricing of lake homes is FREAKING UNBELIEVABLE  too. As you can see  from the chart below, 2010  showed declines in the average price and median price.  More than half of the lake houses sold in 2010 sold for less than $275,000.
Almost all predictions say we should not see a turn around in the market for another one to two  years. But, don’t be fooled by thinking you will get a better deal by waiting. There are tremendous buying opportunities on Lake Wedowee right now. The best advice I can give a potential buyer is if you find something you like at a reasonable price, you better buy it now, because the opportunity to buy at these low prices and low interest rates are not going to last forever! 

For those who have to sell. Think like a buyer and make your house the best deal possible. Price it competitively, make needed repairs, get it in the best showing condition you can. It is also advisable to get a good local agent, someone who is experienced, knowledgeable  and who will work hard to get your property sold. Don’t just settle for the first agent you call or see, interview two or three agents. Then choose the one you feel is most honest, listens to your needs, and has a real plan to get your property sold. 
Last but not least, don’t FREAK OUT by low offers, be appreciative you got an offer, discuss your options with your agent and make every attempt to negotiate a deal that will work for you and the buyer. 

Leisel Caldwell is the broker for RE/MAX Lakefront on Lake Wedowee.

Information taken from ezMLS an online listing service used by most of the local agents to promote and sale their listings in the Lake Wedowee area.


Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Pin It button on image hover