23. January 2012 09:22
On January 19, the RI Association of Realtors issued a press release that single family homes sold in December (2011) increased 19% from a year ago. This was the 6th consecutive month of year over year increases! Pending sales (homes that are under contract but not yet closed), rose 17% from the year before.
Incredibly low interest rates, increased affordability and buyer demand are all given as reasons for the increase.
Having lived through the endless consumer retail sales reports of the "holidays", beginning on Black Friday and ending just before the new year, I think the "attitude" of the public is more upbeat, more hopeful, and more willing to spend than in years past.
So much of what we each do is motivated by how we "feel" and then what we say to each other in conversation about our "feelings"........ so I rejoice in this upbeat January 19 report.
Spread the word. There is good real estate news. Let's keep it going.
5. May 2011 08:26
As a full time real estate broker and part owner of Island Realty in Jamestown, RI, I am very active and visible in my community. I usually begin my day with a visit to Jamestown Fitness. With just a cup of coffee under my belt at 7 AM, I crawl over to the treadmill. I estimate that the day will begin and end with the same questions: “Hi Carol, how’s the real estate market? Good? Bad? Slow? Crazy? How are prices? What’s the village home on the market for? What did that waterfront home sell for? Here’s the good news. People recognize me without any make-up on with a red pony tail sticking straight up in the air…and they think of real estate when they see me! And the day goes on with visits to McQuades, East Ferry Deli, Bakers, Slice of Heaven, Bill Del Nero, the Trat….the list goes on.
My answers are based on what I do, every day. I sell and list real estate primarily in my hometown of Jamestown. The market is all of the above! How’s that for a clear answer? I can usually answer the value questions as well! Aren’t I something?
So here’s the real scoop…There is healthy inventory on this small island, with houses for sale in the mid $200,000 range all the way up to 9 million. As of today, almost 100 properties total!
Prices are down from the “good old days” of 2006 and 2007. Houses are selling but the competition is stiff and buyers are very knowledgeable of what the market looks like right now. My advice is that if you are a Seller or are thinking of selling, get ready to negotiate. Your home should be staged and in tip top shape. The biggest mistake a Seller can make right now is to “test the market”. You will not pass the test! An overpriced property will sit and not sell. A perfectly priced property will sell quickly, especially if there is no deferred maintenance. Keep in mind, statistically buyers are looking on the internet for approximately six months before even getting in the car to look at real estate. They have access to what is listed, what has sold, and what has been on the market “forever”!!
My advice to Buyers is to see a banker or mortgage broker prior to viewing homes and making offers. Having that piece of paper puts you in a much better position to negotiate on your behalf. It is a “Buyers Market” at the present time. When and if you are involved in a multiple offer situation (and they are happening on perfectly priced homes), keep your offer as “clean” as possible with few contingencies. You are likely to have an offer accepted if you can forego a mortgage contingency or inspections, but ONLY if you are in the right position to do so. Don’t take chances you can’t afford. Also, for those of you that have been waiting to finally afford something here, the time is right. If you are a first time homebuyer, there are many programs available such as FHA and R.I. Housing. For the first time in a long time, these programs can help you afford a home in Jamestown!
I close with many thanks for being able to work and live in such a great town and always welcome questions and chatter about real estate. I invite you to stop in our office and meet our wonderful team.
<p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=721">Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>
15. April 2011 11:41
As is almost always the case when selling a home, if you can’t get them in to see it you can’t sell it to them.
The ability to entice and attract potential buyers to a house has to do with three main factors; location, price and Curb Appeal. In my opinion curb appeal is at the top of the list. I have actually had clients request to see a house either out of their price range or in a location other than where they thought they wanted to live, because of its curb appeal.
Most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won't look at a house if the initial look doesn't appeal to them. Home buyers who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, expect you to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work they plan to do.
Here are several very inexpensive and simple things a Seller can do to create a curb appeal that will make a great first impression.
- Paint the trim and front door to brighten them up
- Add window boxes
- Create new planting beds and an accent garden on either side of the walkway, driveway, front steps or front door to frame the entry
- Change out lighting fixtures
- Replace all hardware with new updated hardware
- Add shutters
- Add accent trim or detailing around doors and windows to make them pop
- Add arbors, pergolas or fencing
- Replace gutters and downspouts
- Create a walkway
- Install landscape lighting
- Remove or trim over-grown shrubs
- Fix or replace broken items around the exterior of the house
- Remove weeds from garden beds and within the cracks of walkways and driveways
- Pressure wash the exterior of house
Most of these ideas can be accomplished in a very short time. Here is a great example of seller improvements: