Thursday, June 25, 2009

The following information was from a recent article published in Trulia. Pay attention Sellers!!

Top 15 Things A Listing Agent Won’t Tell Sellers … (But REALLY Should …)

Written by Carl Medford, Agent in Fremont
May 22, 2009 4:13 PM Home Selling in Fremont
We’ve all been there: something happens and you feel like you just HAVE to say something. However, common sense and the manners your mother pounded into you during your childhood keep your lips planted together and those thoughts remain inside your head.

As I talk to a lot of REALTORS, they share with me things they’ve often wanted to say to sellers but never had the guts to do so. But deep inside they felt they really SHOULD have said something. And so … since they won’t say those things out loud, I will!

Here are the top 15 things listing agents want to say to sellers, but won’t … And I didn’t make ANY of this up. I also know that one or two of these things may offend someone, so please accept my apologies right up front!

1. “I know it’s hard to believe, but as professional Realtors, we actually do know more about selling your house than you do.”

You might be an engineer, doctor, lawyer or tribal chieftain … but as a licensed, highly trained full-time REALTOR, we do this all day long every day. And just like we’d never presume to tell you how to do your job, we REALLY don’t like it when you presume to know more about selling houses than we do.

2. “You have a nice house, but it’s not anything really special.”

We know you live there and have your emotions tied to your home, but as Realtors, we see hundreds and hundreds of homes every year and trust me, yours is … ok. There is absolutely no reason it should be priced higher than other comparable homes in the area. None. Zip. Nadda. In fact, if you want it to sell in the current market, it should actually be priced a bit LESS …

3. “Your upgrades don’t deserve the extra amount you want added to the price.”

We’re glad you’ve added crown molding everywhere. And paid for Ralph Lauren suede paint. And new carpet. Your new toilet seats are great. And we’re really glad you sanded out the dog pee stains in the hardwood floors and refinished them. However, none of your upgrades add a single penny’s value to your home. In the new economy, new windows, nice flooring and a newish roof should be considered standard. Buyers today demand a whole lot more before they are willing to start paying premium prices. They expect designer kitchens with custom cherry cabinets, recessed halogen lighting, new upscale appliances, solid granite counters and more. They want totally upgraded baths with Jacuzzi tubs, tumbled marble, frameless glass doors. And so on …

4. “I know what you think your house is worth.”

Now get real! The seller doesn’t set the price, the market does. And the simple truth is that lower priced homes sell while higher prices homes sit and sit and sit. Sorry. And I truly AM empathetic that you bought your home in 2005 or 2006. At the top of the market. Please remember that I own a house too and my property value has also gone into the toilet …

5. “I’m glad you collect things. We’re selling your house, not your stuff.”

You’re moving anyway, pack all your collections away. Now. And the talking fish needs to be the first thing off the wall and in a box …

6. “Agents are willing to do open houses because they get prospective buyers – who want to buy somebody else’s house, not yours.”

Open houses REALLY are not an effective way to sell your home. Even though they sometimes work, they are the least effective way of getting the job done. Trust us. See point #1 above.

7. “We have some issues with your decorating …”

The CalTrans orange room has to be repainted. And the lime green one. While you are at it, get the midnight blue room as well. Whatever were you thinking? Did you scrounge through the “ooops” bin at Home Depot? It’s nice that you have wallpaper from 1978. Please remove it and repaint the wall. And whatever you do, DON’T paint over it …

8. “I really don’t want to get intimate with your dog.”

I especially don’t like what he’s doing to my leg. And the smell in here is really bad. Please keep Fido in the garage during the time you are selling your home. And the doggy bombs in the back yard gotta go as well.

9. “I will not be responsible for your cat.”

If you are concerned it will bolt out the door when prospective buyers arrive, then please keep Fluffy in a Kitty Krate while you are gone.

10. “Don’t put up ANY roadblocks that may keep sellers out.”

Don’t even THINK about showing your home by “appointment only.” Don’t want a lock box? Trust me, your stuff isn’t that valuable. Don’t want buyers after 5:00 p.m. at night? You’re kidding, right? If a buyer can't get in when it works for them, they are gone.

11. “Prospective Buyers DO NOT want you to give them a tour of your home.”

They actually want you out of the house … so resist the urge to be a tour guide and go for a walk around the block. They’ll find out on their own that you’ve carefully lined the cupboards with new floral shelf liners and put a new TP holder in the master bath.


Especially the pot …

13. When a Realtor calls to let you know they’re coming at 11:00 a.m., rings your door bell, knocks VERY loudly, opens your front door and yells, “HELLO, REALTOR,” …

Please get out of bed BEFORE we get to your bedroom … and put some clothes on when you do …

14. What is that smell???

Whatever it is… it’s gotta go … and please don’t cook with curry until you are in your new home … or fry fish right before people come to see your home …

15. “We’re worth our commission.”

Every penny of it. Selling a house is actually hard work. And, for those of us who market extensively, it costs a lot of money that we pay out of pocket up front. You really do get what you pay for. In the same way you’re not going to be able to buy a Honda at a Daewoo or Suzuki dealership, you are not going to get full support, service and top-notch professional representation at bargain basement prices. There’s a very good reason many discount brokerages are going out of business in the current economy. Anyone who is willing to take a cut-rate commission structure is simply not going to be able to make enough off your listing to do the types of advertising necessary to get you top dollar. And since you are competing against REOs and Short Sales, if you go cheap, you will lose every time.

Well … there they are – I've probably managed to offend everyone! I know you will have some of your own to add ... please, be my guest!

Good News in New Bern?

Don't get to excited just yet. But at least it is good news based on sales and pendings this month compared to last month.

Total closed sales June 1-24=84 prices ranged of sold homes=$40,000-$699,000.
Pending sales in June to date=285

Total closed sales May 1-24=62 prices ranged from $50,000-$1,275,000
Pending sales=263

My interpertation of this data and other data is that we are at or the bottom of the housing recession. Lets hope I am right.

Interesting Article

The following was from a recent article printed out of the NAR magazine.

Sales of existing homes showed another gain in May, benefiting from favorable affordability conditions and a first-time buyer tax credit, according to the National Association of Realtors®. May’s increase was the first back-to-back monthly gain since September 2005.
Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 4.77 million units in May from a downwardly revised level of 4.66 million units in April, but remained 3.6 percent below the 4.95 million-unit pace in May 2008.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expected an improvement. “Historically low mortgage interest rates clearly drew buyers into the market, and housing remains very affordable even with a recent uptick in rates,” he said. “First-time buyers also are being drawn off the sidelines by the $8,000 tax credit, which is helping to absorb inventory. However, the increase in sales is less than expected because poor appraisals are stalling transactions. Pending home sales indicated much stronger activity, but some contracts are falling through from faulty valuations that keep buyers from getting a loan.”
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 4.86 percent in May from a record low 4.81 percent in April; the rate was 6.04 percent in May 2008. Last week, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed at 5.38 percent; data collection began in 1971.
Total housing inventory at the end of May fell 3.5 percent to 3.80 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.6-month supply2 at the current sales pace, down from a 10.1-month supply in April.
Yun said the appraisal problem is serious. “Lenders are using appraisers who may not be familiar with a neighborhood, or who compare traditional homes with distressed and discounted sales,” he said. “In the past month, stories of appraisal problems have been snowballing from across the country with many contracts falling through at the last moment. There is danger of a delayed housing market recovery and a further rise in foreclosures if the appraisal problems are not quickly corrected.”
An NAR practitioner survey in May showed first-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of transactions, and that the number of buyers looking at homes is nearly 10 percentage points higher than a year ago. “This is the time of year when we see large increases in the number of repeat buyers, who are benefitting from sales to entry-level buyers,” Yun said. “Investors appear less active, but are more prevalent in areas with large price corrections.”
NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said appraisals and the tax credit are key issues. “To maximize the potential for a housing recovery and subsequent economic recovery, we need realistic appraisals that are based on proper comparisons and done by a local specialist,” he said. “In addition, the first-time buyer tax credit should be expanded to all buyers of primary homes regardless of income. Extending the credit into 2010 would allow more time for the market to catch up with underlying demand, in part because many families with children, who normally time their purchase based on school year considerations, do not have enough time to move before the start of school in late August.
“Freeing a pent-up demand in housing will absorb inventory at a faster pace, strengthen communities and stabilize home prices earlier,” McMillan said.
The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $173,000 in May, down 16.8 percent from a year earlier. Distressed properties, which declined to 33 percent of all sales in May from 45 percent in April, continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes.
“The decline in the distressed sales share likely results from an increase of repeat buyers in May,” Yun said. “First-time buyers are concentrated in the lower price ranges, which include most of the distressed sales.”
Single-family home sales rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.25 million in May from a pace of 4.17 million in April, but are 3.0 percent below the 4.38 million-unit level in May 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $172,900 in May, down 16.1 percent from a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 520,000 units in May from 490,000 in April, but are 8.9 percent below the 571,000-unit level in May 2008. The median existing condo price4 was $173,800 in May, down 21.9 percent from a year earlier.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 3.9 percent to an annual level of 800,000 in May, but are 10.1 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $243,600, which is 12.5 percent below May 2008.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest jumped 9.0 percent in May to a pace of 1.09 million but are 4.4 percent below May 2008. The median price in the Midwest was $145,800, which is 10.4 percent lower than a year ago.
In the South, existing-home sales were unchanged at an annual pace of 1.74 million in May but are 8.9 percent below a year ago. The median price in the South was $157,400, down 9.9 percent from May 2008.
Existing-home sales in the West slipped 0.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.14 million in May, but are 11.8 percent higher than May 2008. The median price in the West was $197,700, down 30.6 percent from a year ago.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
# # #
NOTE: Any references to performance in states or metro areas are from unpublished raw data used to analyze regional trends; please contact your local association of Realtors® for more information.
1The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.
Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings. This differs from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which generally account for 85 to 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger sample – more than 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.
Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.
2Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982.
3The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to the seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if more data is received than was originally reported.
4Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price generally is higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes.
Existing-home sales for June will be released July 23. The next Pending Home Sales Index & Forecast is scheduled for July 1; release times are 10 a.m. EDT.
Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section. Statistical data in this release, other tables and surveys also may be found by clicking on Research.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

May and June home sales in New Bern

June 1 through June 16 home sales in the New Bern area=43

May 1 through May 16 home sales =42

June 1 through June 16 new home sales=12

May 1 through May 17 new home sales =17

Not much to draw on from the above analysis. New home sales are down from May but that may have been the military who often buy in May. All home sales are about the same this month as last. There are 1560 homes for sale currently which is way to many for the current absorption rate. Don't try to sale your home if you do not need to. Hang on and lets see what happens this summer.