Change is in the Air!

 Many agents in other parts of the country get to write great articles this time of year about the changing of the leaves, the brisk chill in the air or the anticipated weather related slowdowns that come with the onset of winter. For us, we have made a significant change in our business affiliation. 

We are excited to announce that we have joined the national franchise of West USA Realty. West USA is the number 16 overall company in the nation and number 2 overall in Arizona with a total production of over 2 billion dollars in residential sales last year. While I have always been a proponent that you hire the best individual agent that you can find in the area and also an agent who specializes specifically in your area, having a national franchise behind me with one of the top companies in Arizona can not possibly hurt my ability to sell your home.

As far as the direction of our real estate market, we have witnessed a slowing of simply the number of showings distributed across all of the listings. I have been struggling to explain this slow down from an economic viewpoint and no clear cut explanation is readily available other than simply softness of the economy. I do, however , know what this means. 

FOR SELLERS: The market is a little slower than normal and it may well be a buyers market so homes have to be aggressively priced and in very good condition in order for them to obtain a purchase contract. Sales time over 90 days may be a reality in the very near future. That being said, there is still a baseline of buyers out there but they have a lot to choose from. You have to be the best priced home on the market to get your home sold. Most seller’s can expect to either negotiate about 5% on the sales price or some combination of sales price and concessions. Although I am not predicting another market crash like we experienced in 2006 and 2007, I would not be surprised if the conversation next summer occurs that we should have sold back in October and November. 

FOR BUYERS: The market is wide open for you. Interest rates are fantastic, some underwriting requirements are easing and there are many programs available for recent short sales and/or foreclosures depending on your circumstances. The market will continue to provide great selection and there are many options open to a buyer. Make sure to take professional representation (call us) before visiting any of the new home subdivisions but I really believe there are equally great buys in both the new and resale markets.

FOR BUYERS and SELLERS: If you are planning to buy a home and also sell your existing home, the sluggishness of the market will not have much of an effect on you. If you are moving up, any discounting that will be required to get your existing home sold will likely be made up in the savings on the home you expect to purchase. The good news is we are seeing more and more contingencies being accepted by both new home builders and regular resale sellers so your timing is especially good.

For the overall market: The overall prognosis for the market is not as dire as some may believe. This looks and feels like a minor depression in the market while the long term trend still tends to be toward a more normal market. Steady and predictable appreciation is not something we are seeing at this point but this appears to be a small market correction after a long term upswing that had lasted approximately 19 months prior to the beginning of August. Although we are not seeing prices decreasing significantly, they certainly are not going up at the moment. A strategy to wait for the market to return is also probably not a good plan because we currently have no trending to predict that the market will ever be statistically better than it is now.

I am currently amazed by the number of people contemplating selling their existing homes. For the first time in my career, most of my current clients have been in their existing homes for over 12 years. The national average time between sales of an existing home is usually between 5-7 years so this is an extraordinary data point. Despite the fact that it may be an anomaly in the statistics and more likely it is a result of the number of owners who were trapped in their homes financially due to the market collapse, it is still a very unusual statistic.

When your contemplating selling your home, ask yourself if the agent you are considering has even been in the business long enough to have these kinds of perspectives of the overall market. If you are seeking professional, experienced advice from a seasoned expert, then the only call you need to make is to the Al Gage Team. Good market, great market or depressed market, we sell more homes in your area