Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sellers Take Note

Many people read the national news when it comes to real estate and forget that, like politics, all real estate is local.  In the past couple of years, most news has been about prices rising once again, and inventories running low across the country, especially (of course) in California.

We don't like to dwell on bad news, but our region was one of only six out of the top hundred metro markets around the nation whose average price fell from May 2013 to May 2014.  Three of the past few months have also seen declines.  I hate to bring it up, but sellers considering offers, or even listing price, should take those statistics into account.

There are multiple reasons for the fall in prices here, and some will certainly go away over time, but, for now, we are in stasis at a lower price point for most real estate, and we should accept that during the fall market that lasts until Thanksgiving.  Buyers will have choices, and it's fine to stick to your guns about price, unless you want to sell in the short run.  The spring market may be different, so buyers, who may expect that low selling prices and low mortgage rates will last forever, should act now.  Everybody will be better off if everyone is realistic.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Live Time Chat

As we tread further into the brave new world of digital marketing, we try new ways of reaching and serving our clients all the time.  This week, we have begun offering "live time chat" on our Pearce website.  People who log onto our site between 8 AM and 1 AM will see a pop-up box after they begin browsing, that will offer them the chance to talk to a person immediately.  While that person is not an agent, and will ultimately be referring certain questions to our offices during business hours, it represents our latest attempt to give buyers and sellers what they want, when they want it.

It's certainly been a long journey since the days when buyers had to come into a physical real estate office, and sit down with an agent to go through "the book".  That was the MLS compendium of currently listed real estate properties, and it came out every two weeks, with the latest in inventory available twice a month.  Twice a year, we could buy a book that had the sales for the past six months chronicled for our use.  We didn't give out maps or addresses of listed properties, and most information we did give out was only available on little cards, that we kept in a little box that looked like something in which you would store recipes. It seems strange now, but it was what we had, and it seemed normal to us!

We've gone all the way in the other direction now, and you can find out almost anything about a property, currently listed or not, with the flick of a finger on a mouse.  It may not all be accurate, but it is readily available.  Real estate agents, on the other hand, have morphed too; they've become consultants and counselors.  They no longer control the information, but they are adept at interpreting it, as well as in streamlining the process of buying or selling.

So, if you are scrolling the internet at midnight, and you happen to talk to our live receptionist, think for a moment of how much things have changed!  And how much they still remain the same--we're still here to help you in any way we can, to make the very best real estate decisions for you, your families, and your firms.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Are you ready for 2015?

I know it sounds ridiculous, in the waning days of summer (hot and humid, to boot!), to be talking about the beginning of a new year.  But we in the real estate industry know the time cycles of our profession, and we know that someone who wants to be in a new home by the end of the year needs to get on the stick right now. 

Labor Day is the traditional start of the fall market--that brief two months when people rush to do what they didn't do in the spring--and we're ready for it.  Buyers suddenly wake up from the dog days of summer to rush into action, and sellers get serious about getting to closing on properties that they want to sell, especially if there are tax reasons for finishing the transaction this year.

Although these two groups can be a very motivated lot, there still needs to be some urgency in the process, since financing issues seem to take an ever-increasing amount of time, and the very end of the year can be tricky for inspections, closings, and other things.  While the first snow may seem very far away, it's just around the corner, and will throw a wrench into dates seemingly fixed in stone. 

So don't be left out in the cold--act now to achieve your 2014 goals!
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