Wednesday, January 29, 2014

December Home Sales

The 2013 Real Estate market closed with a bang!  Buyers nervous about the threat of rising interest rates didn’t wait to find out if - or when - they would begin to escalate.  On the near west side of Madison, 33 homes sold between November 27 and the 20th of December last year.  Here’s a list of what sold:

517 Charles Ln
$332,500 *
475 Agnes Dr
$241,528 *
314 Cheyenne Trl
$442,770 *
3902 Priscilla Ln
539 Chatham Ter
4325 Travis Ter
665 Knickerbocker St
$4,433,156 *
2350 West Lawn Ave
2920 Gregory St
306 Highland Ave
2737 Kendall Ave
3917 Paunack Ave
3606 Odana Rd
601 Piper Dr
2131 Commonwealth Ave
15 Bluebird Ct Apt 2
$175,427 *
621 S Segoe Rd
$174,991 *
492 Hilton Dr
5002 Manor Cross
821 Minakwa Dr
534 S Midvale Blvd
313 Cheyenne Trl
630 Odell St
445 Westmorland Blvd
4822 Fond Du Lac Trl
3814 Mineral Point Rd
$221,445 *
4320 Hillcrest Cir
201 Alden Dr
2648 Van Hise Ave
5114 Regent St
225 N Hillside Ter
606 Anthony Ln
$146,300 *
602 Eugenia Ave

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Profile of a Home Seller

I recently provided some information on the profile of a home buyer in 2013.  The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey recently to determine characteristics of home buyers and sellers.  Below is a profile of home sellers in 2013.

Characteristics of Home Sellers

  • Similar to the demographics of buyers, the demographics of sellers has changed as well. Those who preformed real estate transactions in the last year were older, typically had a lower household income that was seen in previous years, and were more likely to be a married couple than other household compositions.
  • The most common reasons for selling on'es home was due to a job relocation, the home being too small, or the desire to be close to friends and family; however, this varies greatly depending on how far the seller is moving.
  • 71% of home sellers remain in the same state when they purchase their next home. In fact, home sellers tended to stay relatively close when purchasing a home, only moving 18 miles away!
  • 45% of recent sellers purchased a home that was larger than the home they just sold, 27% purchased a home that was about the same size, and 29% traded down to a smaller home. 59% of sellers purchased a newer home than the home they recently sold, 19% purchased an older home and 22% purchased a home that was about the same age.
  • 13% of recent sellers stalled or delayed their home sale because their home was worth less than their mortgage. Among these sellers, most chose to live in their home. Those who purchase their home 6 to 10 years ago were most likely to report stalling or waiting to sell the home - approximately 1 in 5 did so.

Home Selling and Real Estate Professionals

  • Referral from a friend, neighbor or relative is the most commonly cited method sellers used to find their real estate agent. 39% of sellers used a referral to find their agent, and an additional 25% used an agent they had worked with before.
  • The typical seller only contacts one agent during the selling process, further emphasizing the importance of personal relationships in real estate.
  • The MLS remained a vital resource for sellers in 2013 with over 85% of sellers listed their homes on the MLS.
  • Regardless of the housing market climate, sellers consistently report the top four tasks they want from their agent are: help the seller market the home to potential clients, help price the home competitively, help sell the home within a specific timeframe, and help find a buyer for the home.
  • Also consistent with past years are the most important factors that seller look for in choosing a real estate agent to work with. As many sellers use word of mouth to find their agent, the reputation of their agent is on the top of the list as most important factor (35%). Sellers also value the agent's honesty and trustworthiness as an important factor in choosing an agent.
I expect 2014 to again be a year that we see buyers out and sellers still reluctant.  If you have been thinking about selling your home, 2014 may be the right time for you.  As always, please let me know if I an help.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Profile of a Home Buyer

What are home buyers looking for?  Who is buying property these days?  Do most buyers work with a Realtor? 

The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey to find answers to these and other questions.  Below are some of the findings related to home buyers in 2013.

Characteristics of Home Buyers

  • 37% of recent home buyers were first-time buyers, which is still at a suppressed level from the historical norm of 40%.
  • The typical buyer was 42-years-old, while the typical first-time buyer was 31 and the typical repeat buyer was 52.
  • 66% of recent home buyers were married couples - the highest share since 2001.

Characteristics of Home Search Process

  • For 42% of home buyers (as compared to 35% in 2011), the first step in the home buying process was looking online for properties.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search rose slightly to 92%.
  • Real estate agents were viewed as a useful information source by 87% of buyers who used an agent while searching for a home.
  • The typical home buyers searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • For more than half of buyers finding the right home was the most difficult step in the home buying process.

Home Buying and Real Estate Professionals

  • 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker - a share that has steadily increased from 69% in 2001. (This has increased nearly 20% in the last 10 years!)
  • 42% of buyers found their agent through a referral from a friend or family member and 12% used an agent they had used before to buy or sell a home. Both figures have increased over the past few years even in today's Internet age. Although a newly added statistic states 12% of buyers used online recommendations when searching for an agent and it influenced half of those buyers.
  • About 2/3 of recent buyers only interviewed one agent before they found the agent they worked with.
  • More than half of buyers reported what they want most from their real estate agent is to find them the right home to purchase.

I'll provide additional information on home sellers in an upcoming post.  In the meantime, as always, let me know if I can help!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Making a Connection

Nancy and Kobie lived in my neighborhood.  A quiet little spot off the beaten path surrounded by century-old oak trees and well-manicured cape cods.  I learned that they were planning to move and contacted Nancy to see if I could help.  After several meetings about getting the house ready for sale and what they could expect once the house was on the market, we listed their house for sale.

A flurry of activity in the first few days rendered two offers on their home.  They were surprised and thrilled! We counter-offered all the offers and settled on the one that would be the best for them in terms of price, closing date and a few other criteria.

Nancy and Kobie had lived in their house for 17 years.  As most sellers do, they loved their house, their neighborhood and all the improvements they had made to make the house their home.  The inspection revealed a few items that needed to be corrected and the sellers and buyers agreed on what needed to be done to complete the sale.

The next step, the appraisal.  In recent years, as home values have declined, appraisals can be a sticky point.  While the market has been on the upswing in terms of value over the last year, the comparable houses have not caught up with the rising marketplace values.  In this case, the appraisal became a problem.  The house appraised for less than the buyers and sellers agreed upon sale price.  Not only is that a problem for the lender and the buyer, but the seller is now in a position where the house has been “off” the market for several weeks.  Previous buyers have moved on to other properties.  Buyers that are still looking for a house know that the house had an offer that didn’t come together, so they often assume there is something “wrong” with the house.  And the “selling” season is that much further along.  It is not an easy situation for anyone!

To accommodate the lender, the buyers and the sellers, we devised a plan that would make everyone happy.  There was more negotiating, late nights and long conversations.  In the end, the buyer received a good value for their investment, the seller received a good price for the property and the lender’s appraisal was honored.  We went to closing!

Nancy and Kobie later thanked me for helping them navigate the sometimes precarious issues that can crop up when selling a house.  As Kobie said, “This is a personal, relationship partnership.  We have to feel a connection with our Realtor.  We felt a connection to you.”  Music to my ears!

Nancy and Kobie have since moved to the east coast and are happy as can be.  The new owners have settled into their new home and new neighborhood.  Perhaps you know a couple or family like Nancy and Kobie who could use my help selling their house.  Give me a call at 333-4406, I’d be happy to make a connection with them, too!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Sub-zero temperatures. No school.  Antsy kids.  What's a parent to do?  There is always the tried and true movie theater, shopping mall and bowling alley, but if you are courageous enough to venture outside to brave the cold, here are a few ideas that are more off the beaten path.

Olbrich Botantical Gardens - Check out the conservatory!  It's a warm, humid paradise in the middle of winter!

Henry Vilas Zoo - The zoo have several inside exhibits including the Primate House and the Discovery Center and Herpatarium.

Wisconsin State Capitol - Discover the heavy marble and see where the grand staircases will lead you through this wonderful building.  The majesty of the structure can only be surpassed by the history made within the walls.  A great place!

Vitense Golfland - Lots of indoor activities for kids, mini-golf, remote control boats and an arcade.  The best part: a windowed room for mom and dad to sit fireside while the kids play!

However you spend the next few frigid days, Stay warm!