Last week, I posted an article in which we named the Top Ten MSAâ€™s in the country where HomeGain buyers and sellers transacted in the First Quarter of 2008.
I included feedback on current market conditions in the Top Five areas from our top performing agents who closed those sales. Now, here is the latest information on the MSAâ€™s ranked 6 through 10.
Again, a common theme among our member agents to working successfully in challenging markets is to educate our clients and, as Heidi Mueller says, to â€śmanage expectations of the home sellers and buyers.â€ť
Please feel free to join in and post comments about your local market conditions.
And the cities areâ€¦
Houston is experiencing real estate market conditions that most other areas of the country would be pleased to have.
We heard from Stanley Montz of the Stanley Group who told us that his market is â€śthe best in the country, and the economy is good, mostly based on oil.â€ť As of March 10, 2008, the current rate of sales of all active listings is 6.2 months, which is an active sellerâ€™s market.
Stanley further told us the â€śupper end of the market was not affectedâ€ť. Foreclosures have gone up some, but â€śinvestors are buying things upâ€ť as they come on the real estate market.
In the New York area, specifically Long Island, the market has slowed significantly according to Carolyn Sullivan with Coldwell Banker Manor Gate in Long Island, New York Carolyn reports â€śprices are down approximately 10% from last Spring, and home buyers are moving very slowly and cautiously with about a 25% increase in inventory over same time last year.â€ť
She advises sellers who are serious about selling that â€śprice is the key factorâ€ť.
â€śGimmicksâ€ť, such as including a boat with the house, she tells them, are not working.
We also asked Carolyn about foreclosures. In her experience, the banks are â€śreally dragging their feet making decisions on accepting or countering to offers that come in. The buyers get discouraged and move on to another house.â€ť The banks need to react much quicker and help clear up the foreclosure inventory that is dragging the whole market down.â€ť With qualified buyers few and far between the banks can hardly afford to lose a buyer by lack of decision.
Days on market is on average 122 and a typical property is selling for 89% of list price, BUT â€śmost homes have lowered their prices at least 2 times from their original asking price.â€ť
When asked about the Philadelphia market, Chris Rossmaier of RE/MAX Home Experts told us â€śnow is a great time to buy in the Philadelphia market.â€ť
Homes are selling lower than market value, and interest rates are still very good.
Chris advises his sellers to â€ślist 2% â€“ 3% below market valueâ€ť, and to make sure the property is in top condition if they expect to sell.
Heidi Mueller of Prudential California Realty is a veteran at most types of markets, having 41 years of real estate experience. Heidi told me that San Francisco is experiencing â€śa decent market compared with the rest of the country.â€ť
But, Heidi is witnessing more short sales and foreclosures coming on the market which used to be â€śonly in the lower-priced areas but are now in higher-priced areas also.â€ť Still, on a positive note, there are home buyers out there â€śwho are buying at the lower pricesâ€ť.
One of the hardest hit markets in the country has been Michigan. One of HomeGainâ€™s Top Performing agents is Phil Kyburz, of Real Estate One in Troy, MI.
When we spoke with Phil, he told us they are still able to move property with â€śproper pricing, aggressive marketing, and conditionâ€ť.
His office spends a great deal of time getting the sellers to follow their advice to the letter making the home improvements necessary to sell the house.
In Philâ€™s market he told us, â€śOnly about 30% of all homes put on the market will sell according to recent MLS. Our market is that over-supplied.â€ť For those properties that are priced well, they will sell for about 90-95% of list price, but only after a lot of education of the sellers and getting the home ready for market.
Do incentives work?
We asked Phil and he replied, â€śNot really. Aggressive pricing seems to be the key.â€ť How bad is it out there we wanted to know. Phil told us that â€śclose to 40% of our companyâ€™s business last quarter was foreclosures and/or short sales.â€ť
If homeowners follow his strategies, â€śthey have a chance to beat the odds in one of the most challenging real estate markets in the country.â€ť