OK, well nothing like travel through a good worm hole in life to get you all set for spring. Sorry for the gap in blogs - I've had my hands full with several short-fuse contracts, one of which is now closed, and another that is supposed to close next week. The market has been very active this past month. The feeling among buyers is definitely that the deals are ripe for the picking. Financing is finally loosening up a bit, but most folks are doing cash transactions still, which is the way to go if you can.
Another piece of excellent news is that I have partnered with Jerry Thompson, THE top realtor in this area, and we now both have our licenses with Prudential Shimmering Sands, who bought out the old Prudential company here on St. George Island the first of the year. So, changes are happening with our business as well. Jerry and I can see this big swing in the market coming, and we have joined forces to be in the best position possible to capitalize on it for our clients. He works primarily with sellers while I continue to work mainly with buyers as I always have, but we switch it up enough to keep things interesting, and we double-team the situation when needed.
Mary Agnes Stephens also works with us as licensed assistant and transaction coordinator and she keeps all the plates spinning on the ends of the sticks - she is a pro from the word go.
All that plus a little emergency laser eye surgery thrown in for good measure (I'm fine) and volunteering for Chili Cook-off and things are just rocking and rolling here.
So, what's going on with our market? Well, we've got a lot of short sales and they are still TOUGH to get through the banks. It takes a very special brand of patience and persistence to make one work - you've got to be sure it is THE house for you, otherwise, it will be easy to lose momentum and walk away.
The bank foreclosures are trickling through the system, not flooding, and the banks are pretty hard-nosed about pricing them right on the market. They do their homework, and are willing to take small discounts to get them sold, but there's not much flexibilty once they set their price. Because they are so good at being sure they price them at some reasonble discount off market value, they are being snapped up by buyers pretty much as they come onto the market. We do not have a large inventory of bank-owned properties because of this - they sell.
The trend for banks to put their properties up for online auction is continuing as well, and the success all depends on their handling of their reserve bid. Sometimes the bank doesn't end up taking the bid of the winning bidder!
So, the true sleeper deals continue to be the properties that are owned by individual owners, bought long enough ago that there is still room for profit, and so that they can make a decision to sell independent of a looming short sale. Buyers and sellers in these situations can freely negotiate the offer and counter-offers until they agree on a terms, and proceed to closing. Everyone is happy that way.
Hope your spring is off to a great start - we've got the dedication of the lighthouse coming up next weekend, and spring break weeks are rolling by with lots of visitors in town as the various schools have their breaks. It's blue skies and light winds for the most part, still a little cool for swimming (unless you are from Canada or you can see Canada from your front porch), but just perfect for biking, walking the beach and getting a little work done in the yard...
The top picture above is by Ron Dickey, taken from the lighthouse during Chili Cookoff the first weekend of March - we had quite the crowd.
The bottom photo is right here at my house, a little geranium that seems intent on making me happy even though I've neglected it badly over the winter...