Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Showings and Sales

One of our colleagues has determined a linear relationship between showings in the first week of a listing, and eventual sales price.  While we all know that overpriced listings eventually sell for less than properties priced "correctly", we know now that you can tell that right away, by the interest at the very start of the listing period.  When a listing goes live, it needs to start having showings right away, in order to be statistically likely to sell quickly and at a good price.  If people notified or searching see something that they believe is uncompetitive, relative to other listings that they've seen, they won't rush to see it.  And it won't sell for as much, then or ever.  So pay lots of attention to what you list your property at, and be very wary of the argument that "it's worth trying it first, at the higher price".  You may regret it later.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Current Absorption Rates

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. If you look at the number for Hamden you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 5.6 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market. A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”

Monday, August 29, 2016

Labor Day is Around the Corner

Even though the weekend traffic indicated that many people are headed home after the summer, and that most schools are starting this week, we've always considered Labor Day to be the kickoff for the fall real estate season.  And, even though most people think of spring as the primary buying and selling season, that is less true than it used to be, particularly in Connecticut.  We have an older population and a lower birth rate than other states, so we are less driven by the school year, and maybe more by taxes.  Many people want to buy or sell before the end of a calendar year, to deduct expenses sooner.  If that applies to you, it's time to get moving.

Fall is an excellent time for buyers in particular, since the expenses of heating and plowing start when the temperature drops.  And, given the aforementioned interest in the tax consequences of real estate, autumn is when sellers strongly consider offers that they might not accept earlier in the year.  I say every year, so I'm saying it again now:  The best time to buy real estate is between Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Prices are low, and motivation is high.

Sellers also should pay attention to the fall boomlet, since it's often a new pool of buyers that are beginning to look now.  Properties, especially those new to the market, have fresh eyes to consider them, especially since people spend more time on the internet and with newspapers when they have less daylight to use for other pursuits.  Homes also show well in crisp, clean air and changing leaves.  New England is at its best! 

So during the last picnics of summer, think about your own real estate goals for 2016.  Have you achieved them yet?  If not, the big push toward the close of the year starts now.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Repairs and Upgrades

Summer is often the time when people undertake home improvement projects, DIY or otherwise.  Over the weekend, I had a friend ask me to visit the house her daughter bought last year, to see what I thought the value of the upgrades would be.  In addition, at my own house, we are in the middle of what I'm calling The Big Repair, where workmen seem to be there every day, and all the things that were new 22 years ago, or new with our "new" kitchen 15 years ago, are starting to fray, break, or wear out. 

When I talk to my friends, or my husband, I basically say that homeowners should do what they want, what they can afford, and what they need, without expecting too much in the way of a monetary return.  If something gives you joy every day (see Spark Joy for more on this concept), then why not go for it?  Very few projects raise the market value in the amount that they cost, and most are simply to keep the property current.  Some additions and changes are quirky enough, due to the taste or needs of the owner, that they add nothing, or possibly even subtract value. 

But does that mean that The Big Repair should stop?  No way!  You live in your home, and anything that you would have to do to sell it, you may as well do now, so as to reap the benefits from it.  Anything that you don't need to do, but that you want and will use (think pool, porch, garden pergola, fire pit as examples) and you can afford, are no different than what you might spend on a vacation.  And why not have as much fun at home as you could somewhere else??