Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Sweet Deal for Homebuyers" - Daily Progress

We love a good read with our morning coffee. And today we learned something.

"Homebuyers should not be greedy," says Keller Williams Real Estate Agent Arlene Yobs.

This sage counsel was offered to Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog and thousands of other readers in the Sunday Edition of The Daily Progress, in a story subtitled Sellers turn inventive with unusual incentives.

"Be reasonable and try to be fair," Yobs added.

The article tells us that as of Friday, June 20, 2008, there were 3,753 properties on the market and that with so much inventory,
sellers often have little choice but to sweeten deals with incentives.

In other parts of the country, property prices are falling as sellers realize the market is in chaos. But here in C'ville, often late to national trends, RE Agents are apparently just starting to wake up and suggest to sellers that they offer "extras. "

Our balloon is made of helium, apparently, not just hot air.

Realtor Marjorie Adam’s firm has drawn up a “menu of concessions” for Seller clients, which have included offers by the seller to pay for swing sets, interior paint jobs and moving expenses.

A couple of agents interviewed for the article also concede that "Home sellers are often willing to knock a few thousand dollars off the listing price."

But we all know that little gifts are a lot more appropriate in this fun inflated market.

Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog has a little gift for sellers: we refer you, of course, to our own Info, Tools & Tips for Bubble Buyers & Sellers.

But we're full of ideas here at the Bubble Blog. So we want to share with you some more "incentives" we've come up with for Sellers to toss in to the sale of some properties we've visited on this blog:

626 Booker Street - $149/9K

What could be better than some new lawn furniture?

1606 Grove Road - $380K

A nice brick Cape in Meadowbrook Heights, this house has a backyard that would be perfect for a hand-made croquet set. So thoughtful!

935 Belmont Ave - $375K.

This Belmont Beauty has an arbor with an old grape vine on it in the yard, which was originally for sale separately. Since the "two" properties are now being sold as one, a course in Winery Design and Equipment from PVCC would be quite thoughtful.

1614 Oakleaf Lane - $349.9K

This little bungalow in the Greenbriar neighborhood has been "done" to the hilt. There's little else to add to this property except an in-ground swimming pool.

833 Locust Avenue - $549/9K

This beauty in the Locust neighborhood needs to make good use of its double lot. Some organic gardening is in order, and for the serious plant enthusiast, some lessons in sacred plant traditions.

702 Belmont Avenue - $519K

This Belmont stunner has everything you could ask for--except land. A large flatscreen TV for the bedroom would allow the new owners to watch DVDs of nature documentaries, so they remember what it's like to be among grass and trees.

606 Lexington Avenue - $329K

This little gem in North Downtown is already conveniently located near the Downtown Mall. The perfect little gift-with-purchase would be a Segway.

Seven Oaks - $12,500,000.00

Of course the only "logical" gift-with-purchase for Coran Capshaw's place is a guaranteed annual appearance.


Jim Duncan said...

As a point of clarification regarding the "3,753 properties on the market," that is for the entire MLS.

For Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson, there are 2,669 properties on the market - which is about 40 more than were on the market at this time last year (and 300 more than in 2006). Granted, the absorption rate is significantly higher now than it was last year - and the year before ...

Potential Homebuyer said...

With 2,669 properties on the market, there's even more reasons for homebuyers to follow the advice to NOT BE GREEDY


Chet said...

That was such a fluff-filled ridiculous article to be the "lead" on the Sunday edition, it's embarrassing to call this the hometown paper.

It hardly needed any commentary highlighting how silly the real estate agents sound but the gift suggestions with the current properties are awesome.

Montpellier said...

Homebuyers should not be greedy

Heh - sure, like the entire RE industry - agents no less than anyone else - weren't grabbing the cash hand over fist as fast as they could when the Mortgage spigot was blasting and anyone who could fog a mirror could be packaged into a deal.

Ms. Yobs needs to wake up to reality: these are business deals, and the bottom line is what counts - not cutesy gifts and 'playing nice'. I'm sure Ms. Yobs didn't choose to 'be reasonable' and 'not greedy' with her commissions - I'm sure she bargained carefully every step of the way - with an eye on the bottom line (and every cent) - to maximize her cut on each deal. Please, spare us the sanctimony!

Montpellier said...

BTW - I should have said: props to Dave Phillips:

“These days, buyers can say, 'We want your first born child'...And sellers have to consider it.”

This is precisely the message sellers need to hear, even if it's not pleasant or welcome.

Dave Phillips said...

Thanks for the props - I guess. Anyway, I think you underestimate the emotional factors in a real estate deal. While I agree that it is a business deal, it is also frought with emotions and sentiments. A wise broker once told me that "no deal gets done unless both parties want it to."

More deals today are strickly business - "I have to get out of this house before I default" - but that is still only a very small minority here in Cville. The bulk of the transactions are a pleasant meeting of the minds. If a buyer comes in with guns blazing and makes unreasonable demands, that can sour the seller and kill the deal. You are talking about people's homes and the emotional aspects of a deal are far greater than you (and this blog) give credit.

Anonymous said...

"New reader here." A buddy emailed link to blog. After reading this post and clicking the properties I have to say the Booker St. house and Seven Oaks are perfect SYMBOLS for a LOT of what's BAD ABOUT C'ville. And I'm a native. Finally, someone "telling it like it is." Will be back for more!

marjorie said...

If you are going to quote me, make a pithy comment "but we all know that little gifts are a lot more appropriate in this fun inflated market" and use my photo in your blog, quote me and understand where my comments were coming from.

First, I stated that buyers expect concessions, which they do. Not quoted or used in the article, which I also said, was that first homes need to priced correctly for the current market and that sellers should expect to negotiate to get their house sold.

We have created a incentive menu ON TOP OF PRICING HOMES CORRECTLY, so that our sellers can try to stand out in the crowd. There are many times that it is not just the price or overall condition that keep a buyer from buying a house. Small issues keep buyers from purchasing a particular home, such as the lack of a fence if they have dogs or the fact that they would need to paint the inside of the house to make it "feel" like their house.

If there are 2 houses that a buyer is choosing from, the same price and similar in many ways, and one house has a fence and the other does not, we want to be priced right AND OFFER WHAT CAN GET THE HOUSE SOLD. Just an incentive will not get homes sold. An incentive with price negotation can and often will. One does not take the place of the other.

gabriel said...

i'm thinking marjorie has never visited a bubble blog in the snarkosphere. it's a slightly different neighborhood than the usual corner of the RE blogosphere.

that being said, on to the subject: when houses are priced "correctly" buyers don't need "incentives." the whole point of that DP article was that there are too many houses thus incentives are necessary. part of the reason there are currently so many houses is not just because of nationwide housing collapse, bad economy, etc, etc etc, but because in charlottesville







good luck to you, and peace.

Dave Phillips said...

All houses are not priced incorrectly, only the ones not selling in 90 days or less. Realtors and buyers can easily spot the overpriced properties. For the most part, homes that sell are selling quickly. Likely because they are priced correctly. Unfortunately, you are correct too often - many homes ARE over-priced. I have written about this often on the CAAR Blog - for instance

Thom said...

Re: Gabriel and Dave's posts

Using Dave's logic there are 1400+ houses that are not "priced correctly" according to the number of available houses on the June 17th post on this blog which links to another real estate blog.

But I don't think that's what Gabriel is talking about. I think he's saying that RE prices in Charlottesville have skyrocketed since the turn of the century and they're due to come back down to earth. The same way they are across the rest of the country.

Montpellier said...

Dave -

My point is, as a wise broker once said to me, "it's just a matter of the numbers".

Although people develop a rather large attachment to their homes - sellers who have lived in a home for some time - beyond just the financial committment - at the end of the day, these are simply business transactions. I don't give short shrift to the 'emotional' aspect, but I think that factor distorts the free market and prevents it from functioning efficiently.

At the end of the day - these 'incentives' and 'gifts' are gimmicks - nothing more or less. Essentially a house with a car which conveys? How about whacking $100k off the house price and letting me go find my own Prius for $25k. The builder (in the case of the Sand Rd. house) is *not* "giving away" anything - the price of that car is bundled into the loan the buyer will be paying off.

This is what makes the "rebate" we previously discussed so disingenuous and pernicious - the REALTOR in that case is "giving back" money the buyer borrowed in the first place. And the buyer is the one who incurs all the costs on that - and they really get less than the 'rebate' because the rebate is borrowed money that they paid all sorts of fees on - origination points, interest, etc.

The same can be said for all these nice 'conveyances' - furniture, Plasma TVs, etc. Just cut the gimmicks and let's talk turkey about the house. Anyone who takes a minute to run the calculations will see that it is much cheaper to price the house appropriately and buy their own TV.