Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Home Prices Plunge - Stop the Hysteria!!

Today, the front page headline in the Orlando Sentinel is “Seller Beware: Home Prices Plunge.” We are seeing & hearing this from all types of media. The writer was discussing the Median Sales Price. The unfortunate problem is that many may be unfamiliar with the term and at the same time it is being used as an incorrect standard.

Let’s start with some clarification here. The Average Price is that of homes in any given period being determined by taking all of the prices of homes that have sold, adding them together & then dividing by the number of homes that have sold. The Median Price is the home that has sold basically in the middle. That means that 50% of the homes, during that period, have sold for more & also the other half sold for less than that price.

Therefore, when we discuss median price, we are saying what is selling at that point in time. This does not mean that house values have dropped. But in conjunction with the average price is a good indicator of what homes are presently selling.

Now, granted & I’ve discussed this before, the real estate climate is different all of the country & everything is relative. Here in Orlando we still have a healthy market. Yes, the number of sold homes is less than what we saw in the past few years, but we are still selling homes. With the record number of recorded sales in the past couple of years, it was inevitable that this should slow down to a normal pace.

OK, I know that the world ‘normal’ is used a lot & myself included, but there is in reality no such thing as a ‘normal market.’ The market, as is discussed in Economics 101, boils down to supply & demand – buyers & sellers. We have an oversupply of homes on the market. In Orlando, we’ve hit the highest level recorded – over a 14 months supply.

I track the inventory numbers weekly. I do this for personal knowledge of what is happening in my market. You need to know your market. Last week, the amount of inventory dropped from the previous week and I thought & was also hoping that this was an indicator of a shift in the market. Unfortunately, this week the numbers were even higher.

But, HOMES ARE SELLING! I will reiterate this & it has been my mantra, but you have to show PRICE & VALUE for a home to sell. And as a realtor®, as the professional, you need to service your clients. You need to be realistic as do they. You need to do the proper marketing for a home to sell. Homes are generally not going to sell themselves as they did in the past.

I think that I have an excellent marketing plan. I also have to assume that my clients feel so also. The reason that I mention this is because I consistently see other listings & have to wonder what do they expect to sell. There is either nothing really mentioned about the home in the marketing comments & I’m just reading facts in regard to size, # of bedrooms & baths; the pictures are usually terrible or non-existent; and, no virtual tour! How can you expect to sell a home like this?

I always try to find new avenues to market a home; and, yes, myself. Your listing and you have to be as professional as is possible for you. This is a career & a profession & you need to sell yourself as well as your product. Otherwise, your product will languish on the market. And, that serves no one’s purpose.

OK, so I got off on a tangent – Imagine that!! I’ve stated in my last blog that I was thinking of writing about ‘What is a Realtor®?’ I will do that soon, because there is a great misconception of what it takes to be a realtor® & what a realtor® does. It’s all about education. As a person and realtor®, I believe in further educating myself, but I also feel that it is just important that I educate the public. Without this is why we have so many misconceptions flying around.

Thanks again for the indulgence.

Till next time – MARC IT SOLD!

ps. Thank you Nury!

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