Tag Archive | "prudential ct realty"

Timely Price Reductions And Standing Out From the Crowd-Part 2

Our Spring market is definitely in full swing.

Buyers seem enthusiastic about open houses and are actively watching for reductions on properties. Sellers, for the most part, understand that the leverage is still with buyers and that pricing should be aggressive. In a few weeks, our Spring market will come to an end and we will slip into the slower pace of summer.

We have movement in the market right now. Inventory is high in some price points and low in others. The common thread is that the homes that are in good condition and look like value to the buyers are getting picked off. And, they are getting picked off quickly, with multiple offers. Other listings are sitting and sitting and sitting. Price and perceived value by buyers is the driving force to the market. Buyers immediately determine if a listing is overpriced or not. Overpriced listings are being severely punished in the market and being ignored. That’s the only buyer feedback that is meaningful to a seller.

We have a short selling season and now is the time to reduce to a number that is either in line or lower than the competing properties. Take advantage of what time is left and stand out from the crowd.

 

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT RentalsComments Off on Timely Price Reductions And Standing Out From the Crowd-Part 2

New Homes & Land Division-Prudential CT Realty

Terence Beaty, Director

Prudential Connecticut Realty’s New Homes & Land Division gives developers, homebuilders and land owners the specialized services they need in a competitive and ever changing real estate market.

Feasibility Studies

We provide a professional feasibility analysis that takes into account features, specifications, home size and many other factors as well as demographic and income analysis for your marketplace. We project absorption rates, sales price trends, inventory levels and many other factors. This information is also up-dated during the active life-cycle of a development as markets change often.

Real Estate Market Report

We provide an up-to-date analysis of the real estate market. No other company produces a comprehensive market report, with detailed information by town, county and state.

Custom Marketing Plans

We design and implement comprehensive marketing plans that are based on strategic planning to effectively reach and attract your purchasers. This goes well beyond traditional marketing and includes demographically targeted direct mail, branding and other key elements to a successful marketing campaign.

Sales and Site Management

We provide comprehensive site sales center staffing with sales executives that
are trained for development sales. Detailed traffic and customer sourcing reports are standard. This includes the options and up- grade selection process with the purchaser.

Internet Marketing

We offer a comprehensive new homes Internet site that gives tremendous exposure to your new development. Your development will have a unique Internet address. Our services include website design and search engine optimization.

For Land Owners

We have the specific skills to analyze and properly price your land for the market, wherever it is located. This includes in-depth knowledge of the subdivision processes and a specific land sales database.

Land Search & Acquisition

We can provide you with assistance 
in locating and acquiring land for development. This includes approved developments.

Terence Beaty, Director of New Homes & Land: 

Terence is a trustee of the New Home Marketing Group of America, a national group of dominant real estate companies focused on improving the new home sales process. He is a member of the National Sales & Marketing Council, the Urban Land Institute and is on the board of directors of the Fairfield County and State Home Builders Association, which he serves as a National Director. A 23-year Realtor veteran, Terence lives in Fairfield with his wife and two daughters.

Terence has marketed over 650 homes totaling over $380 million in sales volume. Development types include urban lofts, mid-rise apartments, townhouses, luxury single-family, rental and timeshare. He is a regular guest speaker on real estate market conditions and a trainer of sales agents.

Sales and marketing awards include the Connecticut Home Builders Association award for “best-marketed development” in four different years and Connecticut Association of Realtors award for “best residential brochure”. In addition, the Home Builders Association named Terence New Home Marketer of the Year and two-time Associate of the Year.

(860) 571-7034

(203) 913-3535

tbeaty@prudentialCT.com

 

 

Posted in CT Real EstateComments Off on New Homes & Land Division-Prudential CT Realty

Like Ants At A Picnic

Like Ants At A Picnic

I was just catching up with one of my top agents on some of the dynamics of the Westport market. Every November and December the market becomes cyclical from an inventory standpoint. Much of the inventory that is available on the market has been “picked through” by buyers.  Three components are needed for a house to be perceived positively in the market: Proper/aggressive pricing, good or excellent location and good condition. When these three components do not align, listings experience resistance resulting extended marketing time and multiple reductions. Even more extreme, some overpriced properties that are so far out of range, simply become invisible to the market.

However, when a well-priced, well-condition home in a great location comes on the market, we see an immediate reaction. Just like ants at a good picnic, the buyers converge in an almost frenzied state and we see multiple offers. Quality inventory is definitely still desirable and sells quickly. I thought the “ants at a picnic” analogy from Jon Deak was clever and an accurate reflection of the well-positioned listings that hit the market.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Like Ants At A Picnic

Westport Connecticut Real Estate Peaks And Valleys

Westport Connecticut Real Estate Peaks And Valleys

In evaluating the history of Westport Connecticut real estate it shows some interesting peaks and valleys. We have a gut feel for trends in the market because as a real estate company are the entry point to sellers placing their homes on the market and buyers beginning their home search process. So our experience has been that we are close to 2004 pricing with significant leverage shifting away from sellers to buyers since 2008. Our 2000-2011 statistics confirm those hunches. Here are the peaks and valleys in the market in the past decade and what has stood out.

Units sold: Tie between 2002 and 2004 at 408 closings in Westport. To put that number in perspective, in 2011 (through September), we have had 285 closings. So, 2002 and 2004 were brisk markets for closings. 2009 was a deep valley with a total of 174 closings. There was a tremendous amount of uncertainty and fear on both the seller and buyer sides and the closings reflected that.

Average Days On Market: The peak (for sellers) was 2002 with 75 days and the valley was in 2009 with 116. Extended marketing time tends to reflect hesitancy in the market.

Average Listing Price: The peak (for sellers) was 2008 at $1,845,220 while the average list price valley was $926,086 in 2000.

Average Sales Price: This coincided with the peak year in 2008 at $1,732,733 and the valley in 2000 at $893,291.

Median Listing Price: The peak was 2008 at $1,474,500 and the valley was in 2000 at $724,700.

Median Sales Price: The peak was 2007 at $1,400,000 and the valley was in 2000 at $703,000.

Looking at the statistics from 2000-2001, the strongest year for sellers was 2008. And, the most significant positive shift upward for prices was from 2003 into 2004. There are many parallels between 2011 and 2004 for pricing. We often mention to sellers that we are close to “2004 pricing”.

End of the year statistics, most likely, will show a subtle drop from 2010 in average listing price, average sale price, median listing price and median sales price. However, there will continue to be pressure on pricing due to a build-up of inventory in many ranges and a slowdown in binders and contracts. This may lead to more significant declines for sellers in 2012. Time will tell and we will post the year end numbers.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Westport Connecticut Real Estate Peaks And Valleys

Bridging The Real Estate Value Gap In Westport

Bridging The Real Estate Value Gap In Westport

Throughout my 29 years in the business, I have always found the real estate process fascinating, specifically how buyers and sellers react to changes in the market. Leverage between buyers and sellers is continually shifting. Since mid 2006, leverage has been moving toward buyers, resulting in noticeable pressure on pricing for sellers. For many years prior to 2006, sellers enjoyed the leverage and could list at the “high end of the range” and locational and condition issues appeared to be virtually ignored. Lack of quality inventory and high buyer demand increased the odds of multiple offers for sellers. I remember evaluating the statistics during 2006 and noticing some changes leaning toward buyers. The first two signs of the shift: “Days on market” began to extend and the buyers appeared to be pushing back on inspection issues. Resistance in the market was starting to take shape. Subtle changes of signs of things to come and a whole new real estate reality.

In any market, buyers buy from the bottom up and sellers sell from the top down. Buyers want the best value and sellers want to maximize their investment (home). Both have diametrically opposing viewpoints of what value looks like. Since the market slowdown, the value gap in the middle has resulted extended marketing time, and multiple reductions for sellers.

When working with sellers we cover the specifics of the comparable listings, including recent sales, comparable active listings and expired listings (failures in the market). So, in order to price correctly, we evaluate what has happened in the market (solds), what may happen in the market (availables) and what has not happened in the market (expireds.) “Right” pricing early on in the process creates excitement from the buyers who are searching for value. I equate the initial listing period as the “grand opening” of the house. It’s when almost every listing has, at least, a short period of momentum in the market. Regardless of season, or price point, there is some pent up demand from buyers who will pay attention to any new listings. Buyers watch for value and will also keep an eye on a specific home until significant or relevant reductions are made. Because of buyer representation, agents educate their buyers through showings and providing comparable information. Readily accessed information also fine tunes their ability to spot a well-valued home.

Our market is being severely impacted by many variables in the economy including lack of consumer confidence and fear of job loss. In order to get attention from buyers, sellers need to be aggressive with pricing in the hopes of capitalizing on initial buyer enthusiasm because buyers simply will not overpay. Sellers who close the real estate value gap are being rewarded with showings and sales.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT RentalsComments Off on Bridging The Real Estate Value Gap In Westport

Let Us Save You Time Before and After Your Closing

Let Us Save You Time Before and After Your Closing

Prudential CT Realty is the only real estate company that offers to assist buyers and sellers with the ancillary services. Here are some of the processes or services that our HOMEefficient Division facilitates at no costs to our clients:

  • BEFORE: We can help you find an Inspector, Mold, Radon, Lead and Asbestos Consulting/Service Company, Air Quality Testing, and Construction Consultation Services
  • DURING: HOMEefficient will assist you with contacting electric and gas companies, helping with phone, cable and internet options, and advising on gas, oil, propane, trash and more. Additional move in services include movers, locksmiths, cleaning companies home/carpet, and security.
  • AFTER: Your will have access to HOMEefficient operator assisted services and our online Vendor Resource Directory, even when you are in their new home.

Reach our HOMEefficient team Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5pm at 866-811-5214 or  visit our online Vendor Resource Directory at www.homeefficient.com

Posted in CT Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Let Us Save You Time Before and After Your Closing

Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

Find out what has listed and sold in the Fairfield County real estate market or neighborhood of your choice. Your monthly, customizable “Market Snapshot” gives details on listing and sold housing trends. Whether you are selling your home or searching for a home, get inside access to the latest activity in your neighborhood on easy-to-understand graphics from real time MLS data. You can also receive a compelling monthly newsletter which outlines the latest market scoop. Click on the red widget on the right hand column to begin receiving your “Market Snapshot”. Contact me for additional information on real estate related questions at Melissa Riley (203)253-9222.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

Market Activity Comparison For Westport Connecticut Real Estate

Market Activity Comparison For Westport Connecticut Real Estate

It’s important to evaluate the market from a few different angles. I like to look at actives (listings), CTS (continue to show or bindered) and pendings (under contract). Obviously, the CTS and pending numbers are an indication of what is expected in the market in the next few months.

Actives as of:

4/11/11-279

5/4/11-318

6/15/11-355

7/6/11-342

8/17/11-321

So, inventory is up from April by 15%, but not at its highest this year. The peak was in June, during the summer doldrums. We would assume that if the market has the same amount of buyers that leverage is shifting more to their side. Actually, it has felt that way in the past few weeks, however we do have signs of seller leverage in some popular price points.

Binders numbers for the same times during the year are 29, 32, 30, 28, and 24 so they are relatively flat.

Where we are seeing a significant dropoff in numbers since April are in contracts.

4/11/11-76

5/4/11-75

6/15/11-73

7/6/11-63

8/17/11-41

Here is my assessment: It could be a function of a more challenging environment for transactions as a whole. We are seeing more unresolved issues on inspections, disclosures and mortgage challenges. It’s taking longer to get a transaction to the contract phase and a ton more negotiation on everyone’s part.

It will be telling to see where the closing numbers net out over the next few months. As of the end of the second quarter, Westport had closed 20.5% MORE than in the same time frame from 2010. So, from a seller’s perspective it’s still possible to sell your home. Superb condition and aggressive pricing will place you in the best position with any potential buyers.

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Get a CLUE (Report)

Get a CLUE (Report)

Given the latest events in the Northeast, including an earthquake and hurricane Irene, it would be timely to include a guest blogger in the insurance field. Robert Reade captures an important topic known as CLUE Reports (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange). These are similar to credit scores but for homes. We are encouraging all of our homeowners to order a report on their existing home for accuracy and our potential buyers on any home they are considering purchasing. Claims made against a house directly impact the insurability of a home and premiums, affecting overall affordability. So, please read our post by guest blogger and insurance expert, Robert Reade, and his information on CLUE reports:

As a home seller you want to make sure that your home is as appealing as possible to potential buyers.  You will make minor repairs, fix up the flowerbeds and clean the home from top to bottom.  With all this activity do not forget to get a copy of a CLUE report. 

As a home buyer, you want to make sure that the house you have decided to make a home of, you want to feel comfortable that the home’s past will not come back to haunt you in the form of higher premiums on your homeowner’s insurance.

CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, which is a database featuring loss information submitted by insurance companies.  A C.L.U.E. report provides a five-year history of losses that have been filed against insurance policies covering a specific property.

There are two major property claim databases, CLUE and A-PLUS (Automated Property Loss Underwriting System).  Property claim databases enable insurers to check the claim history of both the homeowner and the property that the homeowner is purchasing.

Many people may be more familiar with the Automobile form of a CLUE report, which is popularly, know as a CARFAX report.  This report reflects damages that the car has been involved in, normally reported just through personal lines insurance companies.

CLUE reports are playing an important role in the real estate transaction. In several states, realtors complained the deals were falling through because insurers were canceling new policies after examining claims information.  It is not only the home that is being purchased that is checked.  The new homebuyer needs to be aware of their CLUE history as well, for claims that they may have made in the past five years could now allow their current insurance company the legal right to not issue a policy on the new property.  In ordering a CLUE report, the consumer can order a report on his or her own address and/or an insurance agent can order a report on the property that is looking to be insured as well as on the person that is purchasing the property. 

As an insurance agent, have been informing realtors as well as clients of the need to know the claims history of a property that they will be listing or representing to a buyer.  On the listing side, having the homeowner order a clue shall serve two purposes:

First it will allow the potential buyers to know, in advance, if there will be any insurance claim issues that could impact the premium cost of insurance negatively, it is a great sales tool to present at open houses.  Second, for the realtor, knowledge is power.  Knowing what the claim history is on a property shall allow the realtor to know in advance if there could be issues that would cause the house to be uninsurable or that could cause the potential buyer to back out of the deal.  Knowing what the claim was: water damage, fire, burglary, lighting and liability, will allow the seller to explain what was done to mitigate any future claims.

Most importantly to realize is CLUE reports are being used and that locating competitive insurance rates could be jeopardized if there are multiple claims.  You, as a consumer, need to start on the insurance purchasing selection as early as possible in the home buying process.

Contact Robert for additional information at:

Robert S Reade Sr, CPIA, LUTCF, Connecticut Insurance Services, 860-690-5052, readersr@gmail.com.

 

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Get a CLUE (Report)

Timely Price Reductions And Standing Out From The Crowd

Timely Price Reductions And Standing Out From The Crowd

I always wax nostalgic during late August and early September.  It reminds me of new school clothing and the excitement of seeing friends again. It also reminds me of renewal and new opportunities.  In real estate, it has a similar cycle, one of breaking away from the general malaise of summer into fresh opportunity.  Coming into September brings hope to sellers for a new batch of buyers and excitement to buyers for a new batch of listings, or at least listing reductions.

So, let’s talk about reductions and what happens during the summer in a typical year. We experience a slow-down in new listings and the market generally reflects the distractions of Summer. Sellers who had such excitement at the prospect of the Spring market may now become victims of the Summer. Despite possible signs of pressure on pricing they often hesitate because of lack of showings and the fear of making an unnecessary reduction.

The energy shift begins to take place in early August as sellers begin to think about having their home on the market during the holiday season and the countdown to of the end of the year.

September immediately becomes a popular month to reduce, resulting in an overload and the fight for attention.

So, we have two weeks before the crowd of reductions for those sellers who want get to the finish line before the end of the year.  Buyers are out there looking for value. They track the market and watch for the reductions that are significant and home prices that are compelling.

It’s easier to get ahead of crowd and secure the attention of your potential buyer by making reductions earlier. Why not be one of a few making reductions now versus fighting the crowd of adjustments that are about to take place in two weeks?

Posted in Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Timely Price Reductions And Standing Out From The Crowd

The Core Of “The Big Apple” Real Estate

The Core Of “The Big Apple” Real Estate

Fairfield County Connecticut real estate, specifically, Westport real estate is inextricably linked to New York City. Many of our residents work in New York City and our economies are directly tied. While the real estate in New York is wildly different from Fairfield County, we are seeing some of the same trends and buyer and seller mentality. I thought it would be interesting to include a guest post from a long-time friend and super broker in NYC. Michael Shapot is a SVP at the preeminent NYC broker, Prudential Douglas Elliman. He is sharing his long-time, practical experience and real estate savvy on http://www.michaelshapot.blogspot.com Feel free to follow and add your insights or questions.

Posted in Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The Core Of “The Big Apple” Real Estate

QR Codes And The Future Of Real Estate Marketing

QR Codes And The Future Of Real Estate Marketing

Prudential CT Realty, Connecticut’s largest and most successful real estate company, has introduced QR (Quick Response) barcodes to its marketing efforts. Now consumers, with a smart phone, can read the codes and either be sent to a property page or agent bio. I think QR codes will play an interesting role in real estate, especially because they utilize mobile technology and bring information rapidly to the user. Since we are all focused on getting content online, being able to direct a consumer from a small printed QR code to an online presence is fascinating. QR codes allow the consumer to view much more information, such as what can be found on a website. Since a website is more fluid and “24-7” than print, it should prove to meet the needs of those searching for listing information, multiple photos and community information.

We are finding so many different ways to utilize them including business cards, advertising, and direct mail. So, if you are new to QR codes and would like to test them out: Google “QR Code Readers” for the smart phone you are currently using. Download the “app” for it. It will appear as an icon. Find a QR code in print, and click on your QR code icon, snap the photo and wait a few seconds. You will be directed to the website for that QR code.

For those of us who grew up in the sixties, it may be a reminder of all of the futurist things that George and Judy Jetson had. Maybe, we are actually living in the times that generations before us could only dream of and that technology is moving at light speed. For information on how Prudential’s QR codes can help you, read more on http://www.prudentialct.com/qr-popup.htm

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Complimentary Antique Appraisal Day In Westport With Doyle New York

Complimentary Antique Appraisal Day In Westport With Doyle New York

Melissa Riley, Office Leader of Prudential Connecticut Realty’s Westport office, and Doyle New York are inviting the public to a Complimentary Appraisal Day on June 21st, 2011 at Prudential’s Westport office at 272 Post Road East.

Auction evaluations for jewelry, fine art, furniture and decorations will be provided by Doyle’s team of appraisers, many of whom are featured on the popular PBS television series, Antiques Roadshow. Those who don’t want to bring their actual items are welcome to bring photographs for estimation.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this service to our community,” Ms. Riley said. “Doyle New York is one of the world’s leading auctioneers and appraisers and their experts always do a great job for our clients.”

Founded in 1963, Doyle New York has been the focus of international media attention as the gallery that auctioned the estates of such Hollywood legends as James Cagney, Gloria Swanson, Bette Davis and Rock Hudson.

The event is by appointment only. Members of the public may schedule a confidential appointment with an appraiser by contacting Doyle New York’s Connecticut Representative Lorraine Tuohy at (203) 637-6209 or Lorraine@DoyleNewYork.com.

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Hot Dog, Cool Cat Photo Contest Benefits The Sunshine Kids

Hot Dog, Cool Cat Photo Contest Benefits The Sunshine Kids

The Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to children with cancer. Established in 1982, we are committed to providing positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients. The Sunshine Kids provides a variety of programs and events, free of charge, for kids who are receiving cancer treatments in hospitals across North America. Prudential CT Realty was the nation’s 2nd largest fundraiser for Sunshine Kids in 2011, raising over $280,000.

Contest Rules:
1.    All entries must be submitted by July 1st, 2011.
2.    Each entry will be $25 with checks being made to: The Sunshine Kids.
3.    Please include your contact information and your pet’s name.
4.    You can submit as many dog or cat photos as you wish, but each entry must be accompanied by a $25 entry fee.
5.    Entries can be submitted as a photo (with your contact information on the back) by mailing to: Prudential CT Realty, 272 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880, or emailed in jpeg format to mriley@prudentialct.com  The $25 entry fee can be mailed or dropped off at the same location. (Please reference which pet on the check.)

 The winning dog or winning cat will be awarded a 2-panel Warhol style photo, 20” x 16” stretched canvas. (Value $250).

Hot Dogs and Cool Cats will be judged based upon cuteness factor, cleverness and originality. Deadline for entering is July 1st, 2011. Judges will narrow down the entries to the final 3 tops dogs and 3 top cats which will be posted on Facebook on July 8th. The winning CAT and DOG will then be posted on Facebook “Hot Dog Cool Cats” Photo Contest on July 11th, 2011.  Owners of the winners will be contacted directly.

All entry fees will go to the Sunshine Kids.

Posted in Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Hot Dog, Cool Cat Photo Contest Benefits The Sunshine Kids

Prudential CT Realty Westport Office Collecting Food for HomesWithHope

Prudential CT Realty Westport Office Collecting Food for HomesWithHope

Prudential CT Realty is collecting food for the pantry at HomesWithHope in Westport. Please drop food off at our location, 272 Post Road East, Westport, CT. We are located on the Post Road just south of the Playhouse Square. Our hours are weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. We would also be delighted to pick up food at your home. Please contact Melissa Riley, (203)253-9222 to make arrangements.

This is the mission statement  for HomesWithHope and their website: http://hwhct.org  The Interfaith Housing Association dba Homes with Hope, a not-for-profit agency with an IRS 501(c)(3) designation, is a local grassroots response to the tragedy of homelessness. With a caring professional staff and the help of more than 400 volunteers, Homes with Hope assists people who have lost their ability to lead normal lives. Homes with Hope’s mission is to provide facilities and supportive services in a structured environment that enable homeless people in the communities we serve to achieve an independent and self-sufficient life. We will accomplish this through permanent supportive housing, casework and supportive services, emergency shelter, food and meals and the life skills training critical in preventing homelessness from reoccurring.

Here are the food items on the “Wish List”:

Boxed complete Meals – all types (ie; Hamburger, Chicken, Tuna Helper; Betty Crocker Complete Meals)

Peanut Butter

Canned Tuna and other canned meat products (ham, turkey, Spam – canned tuna with Tuna Helper is very helpful) 

Instant Oatmeal – any variety

Salad Dressing – Any variety

Powdered milk

Powdered drink mix

Jarred pasta sauce—any variety

Jelly/Jam

Soups that contain meat

Canned foods that contain meat:  beef stew, chili, etc.

Chef Boyardee-type full meals – ravioli, spaghetti-o’s; Large/family size cans

Cold Breakfast Cereal:  any variety

Canned Fruit:  fruit cocktail, peaches, pears, etc.

Crackers

Ketchup

Mustard

Mayonnaise

Salt/pepper

Coffee/tea (regular and decaf)

Grated Cheese

Powdered non-dairy creamer

Sugar

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The Buyer, The Seller And……….The Appraiser

The Buyer, The Seller And……….The Appraiser

Think only a buyer and seller need to agree on the sale price of a home? Think again. Due to stricter lender guidelines, appraisals are playing a larger role in our real estate market.

Our market has become so dynamic and as expected, the most appealing, well-priced homes are selling. While there are fluctuations in the market, overall, there is still downward pressure on pricing and the buyers are in the driver’s seat in most price ranges. Another consideration of growing concern for sellers in this market is the appraisal process. With lender requirements tightening, the appraisal has become a focus on many transactions. Appraisals are ordered after contracts have been signed and the lender is reviewing the borrower’s information.

Enter the Appraiser. This is the person that is contracted by the lender to give an “opinion of market value” or what the home would likely sell for on the open market. The appraiser is held to strict ethical guidelines and uses a USPAP form (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). This detailed report will include condition of the home, location, neighborhood, and comparables selling near the home (usually within one mile) and other variables. They use active, pending properties and sold comparables within the past 90 days, if comparables are available. Appraisers attempt to get the best information from the market. Essentially, they are looking to see how the subject property competes against “comps” in the market. The USPAP form includes a grid with detail and adjustments made to the comparables against the subject property.

The biggest challenges in any real estate transaction occur when the appraisal comes in lower than the sales price. This immediately impacts the buyer’s ability to borrow and what the buyer is willing to pay. An appraisal that does not support the sales price can be another point of negotiation for the buyer. We suggest to some of our sellers to order an appraisal up front so they can see how a typical appraiser would analyze the market value of their home. Appraisals can run between $350-500 or higher, depending on the price range and detail needed. It is money well-spent by a seller to get a handle on what to expect.

So, it’s not just the buyers and the sellers who have to be amenable to the transaction. It’s also the appraiser. Keep this in mind when you enter any real estate transaction.

Posted in Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The Buyer, The Seller And……….The Appraiser

Private Road Maintenance Agreements

Private Road Maintenance Agreements

There are hundreds of private roads in Westport and surrounding towns which are now becoming more of an issue with buyers and specifically their lenders. Since many loans are sold to the secondary market, lenders are requiring formalized “Private Road Maintenance Agreements” prior to closing. Our experience has been that many roads have no agreements that establish what residents pay into maintenance and repair. Check out my post on Westport Patch for more information. It may impact you whether you are a buyer or seller. http://westport.patch.com/articles/private-roads-and-the-price-of-homes

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Latest Market Statistics From Westport Connecticut

Latest Market Statistics From Westport Connecticut

It’s been a very strange market in Westport, Connecticut.  I was talking with an attorney yesterday regarding what he is seeing. We are all experiencing more pitfalls along the way from binder to closing than ever before. Stricter lender guidelines and appraisals are taking center stage in the transactions, impacting buyers and sellers. Despite the bumps and buyers generally having the leverage in the market, there are still price ranges that are readily selling and in some cases, in multiple offer situations. Well-priced, well-conditioned homes are being sought after by buyers where the inventory has been picked over.

Properties under $700,000 are selling within a reasonable time frame with a healthy balance of 6 months of supply. For some reason, $700,000-$749,000 is sluggish with 72 months of inventory. $750,000-$899,900 is balanced but the brakes get slammed on sellers between $900,000-$999,000 with over 42 months of inventory. This could be the glut of listings that were initially above $1 million but are now reduced. $1 million-$1,399,900 is somewhat balanced at 10 months. Historically, this would be considered an oversupply, but it appears to be closer to the new norm. $1.4-$1.499,900 is another slow moving price range with 33 months of supply. $1.5-$1,899,900 is being absorbed along with an average of  9.5 months of supply and $1.9 and above is seeing extended days on market supply ranging from 14 months to 54 months.

Despite some of the inventory numbers, the average “days on market” is 121 which is not far from what we have experienced historically. The median list price is $1,199,000 and the median sale price is $1,081,250. The median price on active listings is $1,630,000, the median on bindered properties is $1,186,500 and the median pended (contracts) price is $1,299,000. The median price of sold properties in the past six months is $1,199,000. As we know, the median is the middle of the market, so right now, it’s more favored toward the lower end.

The best advice for sellers is to price aggressively against the comparable homes. And, for buyers to be prepared to move fast in the the lower price points, especially with well-priced, and well-conditioned gems. There is still opportunity for both buyers and sellers, but it’s important to know the details of the market.

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