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>