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177 Sales.....I should have become a Fireman.

by Jeremy Larkin

It's official! The profession of real estate is now (2-years running) considered the "least prestigious" profession according to the Harris Poll survey of 23 occupations. 

Guess who was first? No, not Priests,(they were #7). Firemen!  Everybody loves those hunky guys and gals, especially since 9/11.

It is also official that the real estate market in Washington County has become extremely complicated. Check this data out:

Nov 2005

Active Listings: 2870 - New Listings: 725 - Sold Listings: 446 - # of Mos. Inventory: 6.43

Nov 2007

Active Listings: 6044 - New Listings: 1074 - Sold Listings: 177 - # of Mos. Inventory: 34.15!!

WOW! We have really outdone ourselves. The good news is that even though I am in the least prestigious profession in the world, I get to share that honor locally with nearly 1600 others! The bad news? We also get to share the 177 sales.......ouch.

You see, the real difference between Realtors and Firemen, (besides them typically being stronger and more handsome than me), is that the Fireman actually have to DO something, BE something to qualify and get hired for the good jobs. You are probably aware that getting on the Las Vegas department is a tough job in and of itself and that only a few coveted positions come available every year.

This market will weed out a large number of part-time and unqualified real estate people for sure. However, I don't think we can ever solve this prestige & perception problem with real estate professionals until the standards required to get into the business are modified, the bar "raised" so to speak.  As you can imagine, it makes it really difficult for those of us taking our job seriously to be taken seriously.

Stay tuned for more about this market.....until then, let me know when they are hiring in Vegas again!

J

 

"Giving your house away" doesn't exist...Sellers Facing Music

by Jeremy Larkin

Go to your listing agent right now and DEMAND that they take an honest look at the list price of your home.  Then hold them accountable for the marketing plan they presented to you at listing (if there was one...). It may be the single best thing you can do to get out of where you are and into where you want/need to be.

Alot has been said by the PR people at  NAR (National Assoc of Realtors), UAR (Utah Assoc) and WCBR (Wash. County Board of Realtors) to minimize the public's feelings "being hurt" about the current real estate markets. I can understand why they do this, and for some time now, it's been really tough to figure out just "how bad" it really is. 

I can't quantify how "bad" or "good" it really is. That is pretty subjective and will feel different to each buyer or seller. What I can say is this: 

#1 - there is ALOT of inventory and everyone knows it.

#2 - some people have to sell their home sooner rather than later

#3 - as long as there is air to breath condition #2 will exist.

#4 - every time a seller has to sell, even at a deep discount, it causes prices to go down, period.  

#5 - in every real estate market there are ALOT of sellers who have to sell soon.

We are working with mulitiple sellers right now who have left their residence empty as a result of a job change. There must be hundreds of spec homes sitting empty with huge monthly interest nuts. What is the best solution for most of them? Drop the price. Sounds cruel, doesn't it? Well when the fish aren't biting you've just got to lower than line to deeper water where the fish are, right?

On countless occasions I've heard "I'm not willing to GIVE my house away." Working in the trenches, I've come to learn that "giving a house away" doesn't really exist. Buyers determine value, both in hot and cold markets. Many say that sellers were "naming their price" during the boom. They were, but BUYERS were determining if that was ok, and they did.

When the price is right, they buy. When it's not, they don't.  I mean, if a gallon of gas goes down to $1.50, do you expect the Gas Stations task for $2.00? I doubt it.

Sellers- it's ok to sell right now. You can't control the market, you can only make the best decisions for your family, and if that is a decision to move, then do so. However, if you just want to "see what you can get", don't waste your time, or your agent's, or muddy the pond any more than it already is.  

Buyers - yes, you can buy now. Prices are at or BELOW 2005 levels if you can believe it. "But what if they go lower?" They might, but I suggest the prescription above - make the best decision for your family.

The #1 Place to do Business in the Country!?!?!

by Jeremy Larkin

You may or may not be aware that every year, as part of their annual report, Inc. Magazine analyzes job-growth data, as supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on 393 metropolitan statistical areas across the nation and comes up with a list of the very best places to "do business" in the Country. 

They break down the rankings into small, medium, and large cities. So who do you think was the #1 small AND overall city to do business?.............yes, St. George, Utah.  What was more alarming than the #1 ranking for 2007, was the fact that I had no idea that we were #2 in 2006!

What does this mean? I really don't know, but I can only view this as another piece of national notoriety that will continue to "insulate" the local housing market from national trends.  Just recently many heard that St. George was still listed as the fastest growing MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) in the US, but alot of my Seller Clients will sure question whether enough people are moving in! 

Only time will tell how all of this national exposure will affect the County - stay tuned.

Here is the link to the full article, rankings, and other statistics - enjoy!http://www.inc.com/bestcities/index.html

 

 

They're right, all Real Estate IS local..

by Jeremy Larkin

I mean honestly, how many times do we have to read about the poor investors/sellers who got waaaaaaayy ahead of themselves gobbling up property in out of state markets, and have now been left holding the proverbial "bag" of real estate inventory? 

Believe me folks, the lesson to be learned is clear: Real estate happens at a local level, right down to individual suburbs and neighborhoods. I've had this whole nagging thought on my mind as I am reading a newly released book by National Assoc. Realtors Chief Economist, David Lereah. Titled "All Real Estate is Local", he hangs the whole concept right out there for us to learn from.  He comments that "real estate markets are NOT fair and equitable."  Amen to that!

Take for instance, the out of town For Sale By Owner.  This individual leaves their long time home of say Las Vegas, NV, and moves to Reno, but hangs on to the home as an investment in Vegas.  A few years down the road, this person decides it's time to "cash out" of Vegas and move on, so they make a weekend trip to Vegas, buy a sign at Lowe's, and place it in the yard, and return to Reno. (only to be bombarded by agent calls of course!)

Now what is wrong with this picture? It is NOT the fact that they are selling by owner. They have that right and I respect it. What is WRONG is the fact that they are SO FAR removed from the local market dynamics, trends of "in" and "out" migration,  Employment & new business trends, etc, that they can't possibly truly understand how to best defend their biggest asset! What's worse is when this individual mentions to inquiring agents that they themselves are agents and that they "know how do do it." 

"Having experience" doesn't majically make you a local and instantaneously provide you "on the ground" insights into a given market. Nor does reading a few articles online, or even having a "buddy who is into investing" in that area. 

There is no better way to build wealth than real estate, but do your homework. Get some professional, local advice. Go to Amazon.com and order "All Real Estate is Local." You'll be glad you did.  Because guess what?..........it is.

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Photo of Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group Real Estate
Jeremy Larkin - The Larkin Group
Keller Williams Realty
50 E 100 S, Suite 300
St. George UT 84770
435.767.9886
Fax: 435-359-5085

St. George Real Estate - Your premier destination for St. George,Utah Real Estate Listings, Home Values, MLS Search, REO/Foreclosure Info &  St. George Real Estate Statistics.  Serving St. George, Santa Clara, Ivins, Washington, Hurricane, LaVerkin, Toquerville & more! Specializing in REO/foreclosure properties, frustrated Sellers, First-Time home buyers, and Investors. Looking for the most LOCAL St. George, Utah real estate information available? Your search is over!