The Tides Have Turned

The Tides Have Turned. The last few weeks have been a blur of activity in the real estate world which leaves us to wonder; did we wake a sleeping giant or is this a new monster in and of itself? Only time will tell.

The real estate inventory in S. Oregon is still at an all time low and buyer demand is high. It seems buyers are in a hurry to find a home before interest rates begin to rise right along with home values. With agents waiting for the influx of properties that come on the market each Spring, the race is on to find their buyer the perfect home before it is gone. Over this last month we have seen multiple offers, homes selling the first day they hit the market, and many selling for over the listing price. On more than one occasion we were reminded there is a buyer for everything and even if we think it’s a “hot mess” our client just may love it. In many ways it feels the Buyers’ expectations are more realistic and they are seem more grateful to be getting into a home in this crazy market… no matter how rough around the edges it might be.
We still face the challenge of ensuring that the home will appraise at the contract price. Lenders want reassurance that the values of the properties they are lending on are solid and even cash buyers are hiring appraisers just as a safety net to be certain they are making a sound investment. There are still those comparable sales from five or six months ago that will affect an appraiser’s opinion of today’s value. Bank owned and short sale properties are also being considered when determining a home’s worth and these distress sales are adversely affecting prices. The best news is as time passes those comparable sales are falling off the radar and new ones are coming in which are supporting higher prices.

As we continue through the Spring season, we anticipate values will continue to rise because we will have more closed sales to support them. Does that mean you should wait to list your home in hopes you might sell it for a bit more? Not necessarily, and for a few reasons. The first is because as you wait for the market to improve, the interest rates may also climb and this will have an impact on how much a buyer can afford. The higher their payments become, the less they can afford to spend and in return the pool of buyers for your home is smaller. The second reason not to wait to list your property is because as more inventory comes on the market, the laws of supply vs. demand are no longer in your favor. When buyers have more homes to choose from you will lose leverage as a seller and will have much more competition. Lastly, if you are selling now and also re-purchasing in the same market the cost of your replacement property also increases while you hold out for a higher price on your place.

As we raced around the county, hiking country properties, listing homes and typing up offers, we felt an overwhelming sense of peace. It wasn’t the upswing in the market that brought us the sense of calm but rather seeing that our system was working. Put to the test, we felt at ease seeing firsthand how we choose to run our business was successful. We had some last minute schedule changes occur when out of the area clients sold their homes in record time and needed to get here right away and find a replacement property. We juggled our schedules to “divide and conquer” and we were able to find enough time for each of them. During that same period of time a couple of clients commented on our flexibility to accommodate them and how they loved our team approach. One day they would see the North part of the valley with DeAnna and the next Dyan would be there to show them homes on the other end of Jackson County. Our goal has always been to provide a level of service that was consistent no matter which one of us they were working with, who answered their call or returned their email. One set of clients acknowledged that they realized they required extra time and some hand holding and they were appreciative of our efforts to make help that feel at ease during the whirlwind process of selling their home.

A heartfelt testimonial letter from an out of town client that arrived by email after a very strenuous day. It could not have come at a better time. It is rewarding to have clients who appreciate our attention to the details no matter how small. We are transparent in our business practices; sharing voicemail, having full access to each other’s email, and we tag-team every client no matter who referred us. A fellow Realtor recently commended us on our 2012 year end statistics. She went on to ask how many buyers agents and assistants we had working for us. When I overheard Dyan say, “Uh….It’s just me and Dee” a smile came over my face because I knew the question. We are each other’s assistant, business co-owner, transaction coordinator and boss. Never mind that we are also each others’ best friend, God Mother of their children, marriage counselor, life coach and confidant. It’s not always pretty but we are in it together. Teething babies, deaths of family pets, unexpected SWAT callouts and double ear infections — just to name a few.
It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been a Realtor what it is about our work that can be so draining. Obviously we aren’t risking our lives or doing manual labor but at the end of the day we can be flat exhausted. Perhaps it’s the passion we have for our business or as our husbands would venture to say it’s our control-freak personalities but hey, what do they know anyway? We love what we do, plain and simple plus we enjoy being together so even in the craziest of times, it’s actually quite fun. We are grateful for “our village” who stepped up to support our crazy hours over those few days and without their support we couldn’t have done it.

Craving some overdue family time, we took a leap of faith and packed up our travel trailers for a much needed camping trip to the coast. We are rarely brave enough to leave town together so this was a nice treat. Grady, Griffin and Landon saw the ocean for the first time while Alyse showed them the ropes building sand castles. We collected driftwood for our campfire, cleaned and cooked fresh Dungeness crab and soaked in the gorgeous weather and sandy beaches. We were not disillusioned about the trip (and neither were our husbands)……so our smart phones and laptops were on standby just in case we needed it. Ironically enough, we had a very quiet weekend and the universe blessed us with some much needed down time.

Life is Good and We are Grateful.