Welcome and Thank You!
I want to personally thank you for cheking out our blog and staying in touch with the real estate market in this area. I have a daily focus on the market and keep my finger on the pulse of each community we serve. I hope that you find the information contained here to be insightful and helpful and that your connection allows you comfort in relying on me for all your real estate needs no matter where you live in the country. Have an awesome day!
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Looking over the market information today one interesting number jumped out at me, especially given the fact that we are in the Holiday Season. 234. That is the number of homes and condos that came on the market to sell on or after November 1st that are already under contract! Of the 234 properties only 31 of them were distressed properties. If you remove the Distressed properties that means that almost 7 properties of the 30 that sell everyday sell within 30 days of hitting the market.
203 property sellers that are not desperate to sell, but are motivated to price their properties correclty for the market will be celebrating the end of the year without another mortgage payment, or HOA payment or taxes for 2015!
It proves that when a property comes to market and is priced correctly it doesn't matter what month it is or what the temperature is outside - it will sell.
If you have been on the market for a long time take a god look at the ONLY three reasons properties don't sell and evaluate yours - Price, Condition or exposure. Something isn't working and needs to be changed.
Our market doesn't stop in November and December, so don't allow this to be an excuse for you or the agent you are working with.
If you would enjoy seeing any of the market information please let me know and I'll drop it in your inbox without question.
Thanks for reading!
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Saturday, November 1, 2014
1. Tell the truth about the price
2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing
3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible
4. Help with the relocation
5. Get the house SOLD!
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Single Family Home Sales up 30% in 2014. Is it really? Read on to truly understand what is happening in the market.
We all yearn for good news and the real estate market is no different. After a 5 years slide to the bottom of pricing we all started getting really excited in 2012 when the reports stated that prices had "bottomed out". As we look back a couple years now to 2012 we see that those reports were true; prices did bottom in 2012, then they got stuck there! Sure, there has been a few bright sub-markets that have seen anywhere from 2% - 4% appreciation over the last couple years, but most areas along the Grand Strand are the same prices as the spring of 2012. Another absolute bright spot for the single family market here has been demand. Demand jumped up last year from a pretty slow 2011 & 2012, Then 2014 came in like a lion! Looking at the comparison of number quarter to quarter the selling pace has increased a whopping 30% this year in single family homes. That alone is great news, whether you are a Buyer or Seller, and usually enough information for us to start posting the news on every social site available...but let's dig a little deeper. You see, with the increase in demand last year and the slight increase in prices it was enough to send the builders in our market into a frenzy. You can see the trusses flying in a lot of neighborhoods around the beach. This observation was enough to cause a more in depth look at the demand side of our market. What I found, after eliminating the sold homes that are new, or never lived in, is that for existing homes along the Grand Strand the market has improved exactly 3%. Not 30%. There has been a 27% increase in New Home Sales in 2014 over 2013. What does this mean to you if you are a Buyer or Seller of real estate right now? As a Buyer it means you better get your act in gear and find your motivation to buy the house you want. The New Home market is just now heating up and the builders are willing to do things to get you to buy that they won't do next year. It also means that when you look at the market median pricing that we should see small increases as the next 12 months goes on. While this can be an unimportant number, the Builders will use it to justify their pricing and reduced incentives. These figures will also drive the existing home market causing many sellers to ask too much for their homes and remain fixed on that price, thereby reducing the selection of correctly priced homes available.
If you are a home seller right now - beware. There is a new competitor in town. The last 5 years your competition has been distressed homes for sale. Today, as I write this there are 3203 homes on the market and 216 of them are distressed. They don't effect your pricing anymore. In the past a Buyer may be willing to pay more for your home because of condition over a foreclosure. Today, your competition is NEW. Shiny, bright, pick-what-I-want, NEW. Your competition is more fierce now. As an existing home seller you need to know the truth about the market and understand what you are competing against. Sure, not all Buyers want New and not all New Homes are in desirable areas. Many builders are having to build under "value engineering" strategy in order to make a profit, so you lose some of the bells and whistles. I encourage you to dig deeper than the surface of information you typically receive about the market to be fully informed on how to price your home. Don;t be misled to believe the housing market is up 30%, because it is not. The market for your type of house is up 3%. Three percent higher demand against an 8.5 month supply of homes doesn't typically make headlines.
Let's be clear. Factoring in all areas and all categories of the market along the Grand Strand we have seen improved demand and that is great news. Single family homes sales are outpacing condo sales by a wide margin and mainly due to the New stuff. There is less than 3% New Condo sales volume here right now, so condo owners aren't competing with New...yet.
I hope you've found this information helpful and if it raised a few questions let me hear about it. If I'm not meeting with you about your property, or showing your property to a Buyer my head is usually buried in the figures.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Living in a terrible real estate market
Most days I have the pleasure of talking about real estate to dozens and dozens of people which gives me the opportunity to ask a lot of questions. When you talk with enough people and ask enough questions you start to see patterns form with the answers you receive. One of the Mysteries of the Real Estate industry is the answer to the question; Why hasn't your property sold? The consistent answer we hear is "The Market".
First, you must understand that the market has never been responsible for any real estate owner to sell or not sell a property. The market with real estate, like anything else offered for sale, is dependent upon the demand for the product and the amount of the product available to meet that demand. I do get the excuse that the reason a property won't sell is "The Market", but let's look truthfully at the real reason before moving on to the numbers - It is a Seller's willingness or unwillingness to accept a price for a property that will cause it to sell or keep it from selling, not the market. As a seller, you always want to evaluate the hold & see approach against the costs associated with doing so and what likelihood there is that prices will improve. You can do it in the back room, so no one sees you do it and make the decision yourself without telling anyone, so don't be afraid. You actually should be afraid to NOT do it, but make sure you're using facts and not HOPE as your driver.
Let's pretend for a moment that "The Market" is the cause of a property not selling. This exercise got me thinking about the past and reflecting on the "Great" market we were in back in 2006. You'll remember 2006 because it is the year every property owner thinks is returning next year...well next year...or next year. I went back in time (via MLS system) to see what was going on back in the single best year of real estate sales in the history of our nation and it is interesting what I saw.
Since we are a seasonal area, many people also believe July is the best sales month of the year, so I pulled the selling numbers for July in both 2006 and 2014. I also pulled the year-to-date numbers from January to August 21st for both of the same years. You think we are in a bad real estate market? Read the numbers below -
July 2006 had 512 homes sale. July 2014 had 593 home sale. That's right - Better in 2014 than 2006!
2006 Jan - Aug had 3958 total homes sale. 2014 Jan - Aug had 3893 homes sale - 8 less homes per month sell in 2014 to date as there were in the best market ever! A Bad market??
But let's look at Condo & Townhome sales -
July 2006 had 396 condos sale. July 2014 had 382 condos sale.
2006 Jan - Aug had 4488 condos sale. 2014 Jan - Aug had 2613 condos sale.
You can see that where July wasn't far apart in the different years the annualized number is WAY off. Over 550 fewer condos are selling per month in 2014 than in 2006, but there are still an average of 326 condos selling every single month right now.
Land sales are roughly half right now than what they were in 2006, except in 2006 there were large tracts selling to developers where the current sales are driven by individual lot sales. Land is a super challenged segment of our local market and will remain that way for many more years.
So, when you truly examine the numbers of properties selling you cannot deny that the market today is not drastically different than the best market ever. Of course this relates only to selling volume and not pricing...which is kind of the point. It is always about the price and no matter how much we, as homeowners, don't want to hear it that doesn't change the fact.
"The Market" is never the culprit for you not selling your property. It is all about you making the decision to sell or not sell as it relates to today's market. As an example, if the true market pricing is on a property is $250,000, but you won't sell for less than $290,000 why would you put it on the market? (see previous post about the dumb buyer). If you don't put it on the market because you feel it will get better down the road, then look at the potential and probable appreciation that needs to happen. Let's assume that the market returns to 3% appreciation year over year for the next 5 years. You would arrive at your target $290,000 price at the end of the 5th year and again assuming an average cost of $2,000 per month to carry the property, you only invested $120,000 to get your $40,000! The only thing more wrong than investing $120,000 to get a $40,000 return is expecting the real estate market to guarantee a 3% annualized return for the next 5 years. Do you really want to put your life on hold for this hope?
If selling is you goal, then make the decision on the facts and if you just can't do it then stop thinking about selling all together.
Get out of 2006 and understand that today's market is 2014 - 8 years removed from what you may still be waiting to return.
Let's talk about it -
Saturday, August 16, 2014
So why isn't your property selling?
Look at your price -
You may think there simply are no buyer's in the market. That would be untrue. In August 2007, widely considered one of the best markets in history, there were 30 properties per day that closed. In August 2011, widely considered one of the slowest markets on the Grand Strand, there were 26 properties per day that closed. 4 properties per day difference between the best and worst markets seems crazy, but it is true. Buyer's are in the market buying everyday, no matter the market. Look at it this way, would someone buy your property for $150.00? Would they buy it for $2,000.00? How about $10,000.00? Of course they would and that proves the point. Every property has a price that will cause it to sell. No exception. You have to decide if you are willing to accept what the current market value is for your property. That is a decision that only you can make, but your decision doesn't make the market. The market is the exact range for which a Buyer is willing to Buy and a Seller is willing to sell a property, product, or gallon of gas...and not a penny more. Don't be fooled into thinking that your year-old air conditioner that cost you $4,500.00 to install adds $10,000.00 to the value of your property over the others that have SOLD. Does this mean that you can just liquidate a property without the help of a real estate agent? It is an option, for sure, but not one that has a high success rate. The process of getting your property sold absolutely requires a strong professional that is willing to guide you to market, or guide you away from the market. When you look at market statistics where your property is located there isn't a huge curve for interpretation. What you see and what a Buyer sees, is what every agent should also see for value. The right, well-informed agent won't bend on their estimation of value, but will be able to exhibit to you why it is the price and exactly what they will do to expose the home and sell it. If your price doesn't match with the market, don't put it on the market, period. There are already too many sellers searching for that ONE, Dumb Buyer that will abandon market facts, fall in love with their property instantly and pay cash so an appraiser won't come look at it. He or she may be out there, but boy do they have a big selection of overprice properties to consider.
A recent NAR survey revealed that the NUMBER ONE benefit a Seller wants from their agent is assistance in setting a competitive price. It is truly one of, if not the most important things an agent can do for you as a seller. Remember, big, bright and beautiful ads don't cause Buyer's to become dumber. Get a Great agent, price your property correctly and don;t believe advertising more will create a group of Buyers that don't understand value!
Besides, when was the last time you paid $10.00 for a gallon of milk because of the "Got Milk" ad?
Think about it -
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Thursday, June 26, 2014
Recently we received two offers on a property and ultimately decided on one with the other becoming a back-up contract. During the day or two after the contract was verbally accepted the Buyers returned to the property, excited and ready to take some measurements. During their visit they encountered a couple of homeowners and a renter that all lived in the community. As would be normal, they struck up a conversation and asked questions about their experience in the community. Based entirely on those conversations the Buyer's excitement turned to remorse and they pulled the contract. Fortunately, there was a backup contract on the property, but at a 5% less price than the first contract.
Now, obviously this property selling for 5% less than a previous accepted contract means this specific seller received less for their property, but doesn't their value effect yours if you live in the same community? Certainly it does.
It seems to be our nature to vent and enthusiastically share the negative things that cause us to dislike something; in this case a real estate community. I do not propose to hide things or paint a glamorous picture in a situation that doesn't deserve it, but if there was nothing good to share why do you live there?
Understand that when you are asked about a community people are looking for validation of their feelings they already have for the community, they aren't just out seeking to learn of your bad experience. I would imagine that in every single neighborhood in our great country the owners there, if they look hard enough, would find something they would change or dislike. Does that have to be the very first, and sometimes only, thing you share?
I encourage you to think through your advice to someone asking about the very place you invested your money. Only sharing the "horrible" things or your take on what the builder "should have done" is taking money out of your pocket and only makes your decision to buy there look pretty bad. Find the good in your community or call me and I'll find a buyer for your property that will appreciate the good things the community offers. Move on!
Enjoy your day!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Numbers Never Lie!
Here is a very interesting record that I thought was worthwhile sharing -
Over the last 20 year period The Hoffman Group has out performed every Real Estate Agency in the Myrtle Beach market by a huge margin.
The Facts of the market show over $709,000,000.00 in more sales volume than the number two agency in town. Roughly, $2.8 Billion in real estate sales v. $2.1 Billion by the distant #2 agency.
The total number of properties sold is also a landslide difference -
The Hoffman Group has outsold all other agencies during the period of 1994 - 2014 (April) by a minimum of 3,650 total properties.
Based on the annual selling rate of the top agencies in town - If The Hoffman Group stopped selling today it would take the number two agency 8 years to catch up!
If your looking for Real Estate guidance why wouldn't you choose the Market Leader?
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Mark January 29, 2014 as the day that time stood still! Not much snow from the winter storm at the beach, but plenty of ICE! It was a tricky ride to the office today, but no accidents or issues. Looking forward to warmer temps in the days ahead! Stay Tuned!