Real Estate Information Archive


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2014: Year of Steady Growth

*This post was originally published in January 2014. 

Everywhere I go, I am always asked about the current state of the market. To be honest, there is no simple answer. The answer always depends whether you will be buying or selling. However, 2012 was considered a “recovery” year for the St. George market, 2013 was considered a “stabilization” year and now we are banking on 2014 being a really strong “growth” year. What I mean by a “growth” year is that home values are still very strong, interest rates are still very low and buyers in the marketplace. 2014 has the potential to be a good year to both buy and sell!

Check out our video below to find out what Jeremy predicts for the St. George real estate market in 2014!

Have specific questions about your buying or selling situation? We'd love to answer them! Contact us at or 435-767-9821. Your confidentiality will ALWAYS be protected!

Eco-Friendly Features Buyers Want in a Home

by Jeremy Larkin

Updating your St. George house will not only make it more appealing to buyers when you decide to put it on the market, but it could also save you money on your utilities until you decide to sell. Enjoy this 1:13 video detailing the top Eco-friendly features St. George home Buyers are seeking. For more information, feel free to reach out to us directly - 435-767-9821, or


Do St. George Homes Really Sell During Holidays?

by Jeremy Larkin

St. George homes sell during the Holidays? The reality is that that they DO. As a matter of fact, homes sell during every stinkin’ (or sweltering) time of the year in Utah’s Dixie!

You wouldn’t be surprised how often we hear from would-be St. George Home Sellers who tell us they want to “wait until after the holidays.” Sure, I get that. Family in town, lots of parties, showing the home sounds like a hassle, right? Right.

BUT…..and a big but at that, since you never know when the single Buyer for your home will be coming through town with a wad of cash in their pocket, you actually do yourself a disservice by having the home off the market during the Holiday season.

Christmas Home Staging


Clark: Russ, we checked every bulb, didn't we?

Rusty Griswold: Sure, Dad.

Clark: Hmm... Maybe we ought to just go up there and check...

Rusty Griswold: Oh, woo. Look at the time. I gotta get to bed. I still gotta brush my teeth, feed the hog, still got some homework to do, still got those bills to pay, wash the car...


"But what about the hassle of showing the home with guests in town, parties going on, etc?" I'll address that below. While there are many good reasons to do so, here are the top 4 reasons to go ahead and list your St. George home right now rather than waiting until January 1.

1. Your home actually shows BETTER during the Holidays. cented candles, wreaths, Christmas trees, mistletoe – there’s a whole lot of atmosphere goin’ on! This is an emotional purchase and your home’s Holiday “getup” might be just the ticket. Here are 7 tips on how to do it right: Holiday Home Staging Tips

2.Less Competition – MUCH LESS! Did you know that in December of 2012 just 270 homes hit the market in Washington County? Guess how many hit the market in January? 579….over TWICE as many! Would you rather compete with 270 new listings, or 579? I think I know the answer.

3.Only the SERIOUS Buyers are looking: Why would anyone waste their precious Holiday time looking at homes if they weren’t committed, and most likely, in NEED of making a move very soon? They wouldn’t. This is in your best interest as a Seller.

4.Have your fruitcake and eat it too! About those showings? You can take advantage of being on the market during this season but restrict showings during key time frames, such as specific times of day, or a period of days like December 23-26, etc.

These great reasons will of course still not be enough for some St. George home Sellers to brave the Holidays on the market. In that case, be sure to contact us NOW so we can begin our pin-point pricing analysis and marketing plan for your home come 1/1/14!

If you’d like to get a “quick and dirty” look at your estimated Holiday 2013 home value, just enter your address below. Cheers, and Happy Holidays!


Getting The Best Offer on Your Home

by Jeremy Larkin

So what’s the difference between a GOOD Real Estate offer and a GREAT Real Estate offer? According to recent research nearly 1 in 3 Buyers entered into a “competing offer” situation last year…wow! That’s great news for Sellers, but is price always King? Not necessarily:

Sellers who are considering an offer on their home or property need to consider the following:

  1. The highest offer isn’t always the best
  2. Buyer needs to be FINANCIALLY ABLE to close
  3. A buyer with significant earnest money or larger down payment is going to typically be more “ready” to close the deal.

Enjoy this short 1:47 video on this topic for a more interactive view on the topic, and as always – just contact us via email at or 435-767-9821 for professional advice regarding your personal St.George Real Estate situation! 


No doubt, you've already heard about home mortgage interest rates rising - sharply. The question for Buyers and Sellers will be: How does this affect St. George Real Estate? And WHY are interest rates rising? 

Here's a quick answer:

1. It affects the St. George Real Estate market...any any OTHER market for that matter, in one NEGATIVE WAY, and still another POSITIVE way. How?

Negatively, it will impact some St. George Real Estate transactions immediately as the Buyers will no longer be able to afford the home. The Sellers then suck wind because they have to start process of finding a home Buyer all over again.

So Jeremy, what’s the upside? Here you go:

Positively, the St. George Real Estate market gets a boost because of the MOTIVATION this change causes. We’ve been warning home Buyers and Sellers for at least 6 months on the GoStGeorge Radio Show that rates would eventually be rising. And they did. Many people who were sitting on the fence will not just get off, but will LEAP from that fence to quickly take action – buy a home, sell a home, refinance a home. This puts more money into St. George Real Estate market immediately, causes still MORE Buyers and Sellers to take action, and on it goes.

2. Why is this happening? Simply, the Government has spent BILLIONS to keep mortgage interest rates artificially low - like keeping the economy on life support, and that included St. George Real Estate market. It can't last forever, and as the economy improves (good sign), they're slowly tearing the band-aid off rather than ripping it off and allowing rates to go from 3.5% to say 6% overnight. 

So rising Home Mortgage interest rates a GOOD or BAD thing? Both. And most importantly, a REAL thing. Real Estate markets never stay static, and the St. George Real Estate market is no different.

Wondering if your home can be sold in this market? Reach out to us directly for a (free) personalized “Pin-Point Valuation”, or just click on the link below for a “quick and dirty” St. George home value estimate: 

What does Shifted Real Estate Market Mean for Buyers?

by Jeremy Larkin

If you haven't heard yet, the St. George Real Estate Market is shifting....AGAIN. What was a Seller's market, became a DRAMATIC Buyer's market, which is now becoming, yet again, a SELLER's real estate market not only in St. George, Utah, but all over the West. If you're BUYING St. George Real Estate, here's what that means for you. 

Blood, Sweat & St. George Short Sales

by Jeremy Larkin

Some of you may remember my post “Your Agent was trying to help you when they said Short Sales Suck!” from May 2008.

Nearly 2 years have passed from that day and in many ways, Short Sales still DO suck, but their time of “sucky-ness” (don’t look that up, NOT a word) may be soon coming to an end.

As we are all so very aware, the Federal Government has decided to stick their fingers in just about everything we do with the exception of which sugar cereal we feed to our children. (that’s probably coming…)

In a rare flash of brilliance, some of their new legislation could actually be the best thing to hit Buyers, Sellers and Real Estate in General in a long time.

The problem with short sales has always been summed up in a few major points:

  • Short Sales take too long (as in 3 to as many as 10 months!)
  • The eventual outcome of the Buyer’s original offer is always unknown (The chances of actually getting the home you offered on was a literal craps shoot)
  • They were a miserable ton of work for every single person involved in the transaction

See, the bank that the Seller is no longer making a mortgage payment to (in most cases) typically hasn’t APPROVED the sale of the home at the list price. So Buyers come along looking at a home listed for $150k that the bank may only let go for $170k. That’s just not right, totally confusing and emotionally painful.

New legislation proposed by the US Treasury would make the following changes to the Short Sale process:

1)      Banks would be FORCED to respond in 10 days or less! (Vs. 30-90 in a typical case)

2)      Sellers – yes, the SELLERS who couldn’t pay their mortgages could possibly get up to $1500 for relocation costs

3)      1st Mortgage Holders could get $1000 per closed short sale

4)      2nd Mortgage Holders (the stickiest short-sale killers in the business) could get $3000 per closed sale

Will this come to pass? I don’t know. You can bet they will be taking money from mine and your pockets to fund the plan though, which is one of the negative side-effects of the plan. Does the “disease merit the treatment?”

Shoot me some feedback.

BUYERS – have you been involved in trying to secure a short sale? What kind of experience was it?

SELLERS – are you in that same position? Honestly, is it a HUGE pain in the neck or what?

You can avoid reality, but you can't avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

-Ayn Rand

Hey let's just have a frank little chat here: The "down" real estate market has been going on for 3 or 4 years now, yet alot of St. George Sellers are talking like this wave just hit us. Grief!

As a St. George area homeowner (a.k.a. future St. George Seller), I will be the first to say "I GET IT!" I get your pain, your frustration and dissappointment with what "could have been" and what certainly "was" in terms of market values for a short period of time. VERY short.

As a Seller, if you want to win the prize in this current market may need to get really courageous and set the "new market price" in your neighborhood. Yes, that means the LOWEST price anyone has seen in that area since 2003 or 2004.

In today's video I talk about the benefits of doing so and the potentially COSTLY consequences of not doing so. St. George Sellers are learning, but the learning curve has been slow and alot of owners have paid a steep price for that curve.

Man up!


Bidding Wars?! A Tale of 2 Real Estate Markets

by Jeremy Larkin

"But Jeremy, I offered above full list price and STILL got beat out! What gives?

If I had $5 for every Buyer who has been shocked (and dismayed) about having to "compete" for homes in this so-called "Buyer's" market, I'd have a nice little vacation fund built up.

Today we talk about

  • the "Tale of 2 Markets", those listings that are "in" the market, and those that are "out" of the market;
  • why Buyers are getting into bidding wars in St. George, Utah as well as other Western markets,
  • and also why Sellers have to get in the "critical 20%" if they are going to sell.

Below this video is a copy of the chart I discuss in the video. Enjoy!


St. George/Washington County Real Estate Update

by Jeremy Larkin

The tides are a turnin' in many parts of the St. George area real estate market this month! Friends and clients on my mailing list have been hearing about this for the past few months and the positive news keeps coming.

In an article from today's "Spectrum" newspaper titled "Local Economy Stabilizing", local & regional economist Lecia Langston said Washington County's economy is beginning to stabilize. Well it's about time!

For so long our area was "insulated" from the major ebbs and flows of the economy, feeling only a percentage of the cyclical changes that may have been felt in other major metropolitan areas. Why? Well if you live here you know the answer, and if you are moving here you also understand. Great location, weather, scenery, national parks, low crime, the works!

Outside of all the economists' hard-to-understand charts and graphs, what we are seeing "on the ground" is this: Properties hitting the market and selling in a few days or less for list or even above list price, with the final price and terms being determined through a "bidding war." (see this WSJ article on just that: BIDDING WARS)

Here are some hard figures to consider:

Total Pending 264
Total Active Listings 2650 %
Total Sold (30 days) 106 Sold
    % of Total
Active REO 178 7%
Active Short Sale 440 17%
Active Retail 2020 76%
Sold REO 39 37% 22%
Sold Short Sale 9 8% 2%
Sold Retail 58 55% 3%

May 5 #'s
Total Active Listings 2337
Total Pending 430 %
Total Sold (30 days) 202 Sold
    % of Total
Active REO 133 6%
Active Short Sale 472 20%
Active Retail 1733 74%
Sold REO 67 33% 50%
Sold Short Sale 37 18% 8%
Sold Retail 98 49% 6%

1. "Pending" sales up nearly 40% since February. All of the major financial and housing experts use pending sales as a major indicator of housing market health.

2. "Active" listings down 12% in that same time frame. Real estate, just like handguns and hammers, is about supply and demand. Lower supply is what we want.

There is still a TON of foreclosure inventory coming, but I think this is a good thing. Why? Because every well-priced home that hits the market right now, especially under $300k, is selling in just a few days. This tells us the public is finally ready to pull the proverbial trigger and get into the housing market.

Housing has always driven the rest of the financial markets. When people are buying, sellers are getting paid and spending that $$ on other homes, goods and services. In that process, real estate agents, title and mortgage people also get paid. They in turn spend money, and the eternal sales cycle continues.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions on this page about the figures above, as well as your personal opinions about the market. Onward!


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11




Contact Information

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
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!