Saturday, July 26, 2008

Longmeadow Foreclosures Are Increasing…

Not really...
According to the Hampden County Register of Deeds website there were 0 foreclosures in Longmeadow in 2007 and thus far in 2008 (through today) there were 2.

This above data is incorrect... see post entitled "Longmeadow Foreclosures Are Increasing- Part II" for correct numbers.

There are currently ~ 136 houses in Longmeadow up for sale (116 MLS listing + ~ 20 FSBO’s). This is a typical number for this time of the year during the past three years.

There are approximately 5500 homes in Longmeadow so currently in 2008 ~ 2.5% of the homes are up for sale and less than 0.1% have been foreclosed by the lender.

However, there are some real estate FACTS that are sobering….

1. Longmeadow 2008 YTD Housing Sales are down 36% vs. last year (for the first six months in 2008- 64 homes were sold vs. 100 in the first 6 months of 2007).

2. The 2008 YTD median price in Longmeadow is down ~ 17% over the past year (360K vs. $300K). one of the most cited websites for foreclosure information- shows 19 foreclosure listings for Longmeadow. However, these listings usually represent a notice of foreclosure to the owner and many of these situations are resolved without foreclosure.

Touting 19 properties in Longmeadow as foreclosures is like quoting $5.3 trillion dollars as the potential downside risk to the taxpayers for the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae…. not all of the mortgages guaranteed by these GSE’s are going into foreclosure and even if they did they still would have some value.

If you are interested in staying connected with the FACTS come back and visit Real Estate Buzz at LongmeadowBiz. Here is a link to the latest stats for Longmeadow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Will Your Home Stand Out In The Crowd? Selling confidently in today's market

Hah! Made ya look, didn't I?

Selling a home is not much different than selling anything else. You must PREPARE it well, PRICE it competitively, and PROMOTE it to your market. We call this the THREE "P's".

If you choose to use a real estate agent to market your home, it will be his/her job to get the word out. This usually involves putting the listing on the MLS and on other Internet websites, putting an ad in the local paper, sending some postcards to your neighbors and possibly hosting an open house. By outsourcing the promotion, you will pay between 5 - 6% of the sales price of your home...assuming that it sells! If you choose to take control and sell "by owner", you will be promoting your home yourself and you will form your own marketing strategy.

If you have done your homework in the first two areas, promoting your "product" to a wide buyer pool is the key to your success. Quality marketing and advertising that makes sure your home stands out in the crowd will create a strong statement to buyers, giving them confidence to work with you. It will create value for your home, further enhancing your credibility. Expect to pay a reasonable amount to advertise your home and look for results oriented marketing that will reach buyers where they're looking.

First impressions count. Will your yard sign come from a hardware store and look generic, leaning precariously on your front lawn, the faded magic marker telephone number barely visible? Will your information sheets look professional and grab buyer attention?

In our years of helping private home sellers learn the ins and outs of marketing their homes to the public, we've seen more bad yard signs than we can count, and learned of countless ways that sellers have missed important opportunities. Does that mean you can't sell successfully without using a real estate agent? Heck no. It just means you need to educate yourself about the process and make sure you start off on the right foot.

Remember, your home's appearance and your choice of marketing is a reflection of it's owner. Do you want to appear cheap, like you don't know what you're doing, and possibly difficult to work with, or do you want to greet qualified buyers at your door with confidence? The choice is yours.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Existing home sales continue slide

Existing home sales are now at the lowest rate in 10 years.

A report from this morning on the latest existing US home sales showed disappointing results and no end to the current housing problems...

Sales of existing homes in June dropped 2.6% to 4.86 million (vs. 4.99 million in May and estimated 4.94 million)

18.6 million houses, apartments and condos were vacant during the last three months. Median prices have dropped 6.1% in the past year.

Here is a link to a video interview with Rebecca Braeu, a economist/ real estate analyst with John Hancock Financial Services who sees this latest data as troubling sign for the fragile housing market.

There is some help on the way from Congress with financial fixes being planned for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac- the giant mortgage guarantors to help improve the availability of mortgage money. In addition as much as $4 billion in grants will become available for communities to use to purchase foreclosed properties. The bill in Congress is expected to become law by next week.

Read the full story on