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Friday, Aug 3rd, 2012 ↓

Norcross, GA, Market Report, June 2012

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor... Image via Wikipedia[/caption]

Market stats for Norcross GA, June, 2012 indicate that there were 229 properties on the market.  Overall, there is about a 3.9 month supply of properties. The last year has been fairy strong… it hasn’t slowed much, if at all.  June saw 70 sales, over the 57 for May, and below the 85 for June last year.

In the sub-$200k arena, there were 133 listings, with about 3.4 month supply.  Sales are well up from last month and from a year ago in this segment, which is the main driver of sales in this area (45 v 68 in June11 & 37 May12).  For the last nine months, the AR has been tilted in favor of sellers.  This still looks like one of the strongest price/area segment in Gwinnett County, GA.  At just under a 3½ month A/R, this is VERY strong for sellers.

Between $200k and $400k, there were 70 listings for sale, and about 4.9 months of supply.  This segment had been weakening for the last few months.  But, the 20 sales rocked last year’s 15 sales, and last month’s 16 sales.  Even though it isn’t gangbusters, it is certainly better than the 28 months of inventory we had in December, 2010.  I’m still waiting for this segment to stop bouncing around so much.

From $400k to $600k, there were 22 homes on the market.  The Absorption Rate is around 5.1 months.  The AR had been fairly steady for months, then shot WAY up in January.  June’s 5 sales were up from the 3 last month and way up from last year’s 1 sale.  This had actually been a pretty good area for homes in this price range to sell…  The good news is that it only takes a few sales to put it back in a balanced range long term.

In the $600k to $800k arena, there were 3 listings on the market.  Inventories tripled compared to last year.  The Absorption Rate is at 9 months of inventory… but with only 4 sales in 2010 and 4 sales in 2011, obviously it is easy to bump one way or the other.  One reason for the strong looking Absorption Rate last month was that there were so few listings.  February had 1 sale. The were 0 sales for June12, 0 for May12 and 1 for June11.

The range from $800k to $1m, there was 0 homes listed on the market and 0 sales in June (1 sale for May).  There were no sales last year.  Unfortunately there isn’t enough data for a good A/R number.

Above $1m, there was 1 property listed.  But because of the smaller numbers of sales, the absorption rate could be significantly impacted by just a couple of sales.  There is simply not enough activity for an A/R figure.  The last sale was January 2011.

Norcross, GA is a suburb of Atlanta in Gwinnett County. The population is 2000 was 8,410 but that only included the area inside the city limits, and it has seen tremendous growth since that census. The City of Norcross revamped their old town a long time ago, and it has served as a model for other towns in the area. It is also home to Meadow Creek and Norcross High Schools. One of the things that Norcross is known for locally is the beautiful older homes in the downtown area. They have maintained their historic flair quite successfully.

I have a page dedicated to Norcross Market Data.

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Wednesday, Aug 1st, 2012 ↓

Foreclosure Paint…

Real estate agents wander through a lot of houses.  Since we see so many, sometimes we come up with back-stories for the homes… what the sellers or previous occupants were like… or why the homes are on the market.  Some of those back-stores start to get familiar.

Paint is a huge clue.  For me, seeing “Trading Spaces” designs is pretty common in distressed properties.  I loved watching the show, but it seems like people with properties that were in trouble liked quick and easy design tips.  That doesn’t mean that people that like quick and easy design tips all have homes in trouble, though…  Could just all be a coincidence…

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Monday, Jul 30th, 2012 ↓

Duluth, GA, Market Report, June 2012

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor... Image via Wikipedia[/caption]

Preliminary stats for Duluth, June, 2012 indicated that there were 402 properties on the market.  Overall, there was about an 4.5 month supply of properties.  Sales in June were 98, WAY up from 60 a year earlier.  Sales were also up compared to the prior month (91). Duluth had been slightly leading Gwinnett County as a whole, but not so much over the last few months.  Good, but not pack leading at the moment.

In the Under $200k arena, there were 138 listings in Duluth, GA, with about a2.8 month supply.  The Absorption Rate for last June, was 6.5.  Sales in June were way up this year v last year (52 v 41), but only slightly up compared to last month (50).  The Absorption Rate (A/R) is quite a bit better than most of the county…

Between $200k and $400k, there are 122 listings for sale, and about 6.4 months of supply.  Absorption rates have similarly risen, dropped and then risen again, but they are moving the right way now.  Sales were down compared to June, 2011 (21 v 13) and compared to last month (20).  Duluth is a market that favors luxury, but this segment is not doing as well as I would have expected…

From $400k to $600k, there were 42 homes on the market.  The Absorption Rate was around 4.7 months. June brought in 13 sales.  There were 2 last year and 8 last month.  As with much of the county, the recovery that seems to be solidifying at the lower end of the price strata is much weaker here.  But this could be the great turning point for this segment.  Duluth is a luxury centric market, and it is doing better than the rest of Gwinnett County, GA.

In the $600k to $800k arena, there were 45 listings, with about 11.3 months of supply.  Sales were 5 for June… 0 for last year.  And month to month sales were up (5 v 2).  Last month was ok, but I would like to see three consecutive months with strong sales, and haven’t seen that for a while.  Since Duluth does favor luxury sales, it looks better than the rest of the County at this price level.

In Duluth, GA, from $800k to $1m, there were 14 homes listed and approximately 3.2 months of inventory on the market.  The 6 sales recorded for June rocked last year’s 1 and tied last month.  Sales haven’t been moving much for the last couple of months, but 13 sales for the last 3 months bumped the same 3 months from last year (6 sales).  And six months ago the A/R was 69 months.

Above $1m, there were 41 properties listed. The current absorption rate indicated about 15.4 months of inventory. A couple of sales at this level could have a large impact on the Absorption Rates. There were 8 sales in the Apr-June period this year, and 8 for the same time last year. We should be posting four sales a month here regularly… and we fell short this month with just 1 sale.  Last month there were 5 sales and last year there were 3 for June.

Duluth, GA is a suburb of Atlanta, in the heart of Gwinnett County. It actually straddles the county line and has unincorporated portions in South Forsyth County. The population of Duluth is estimated as about 26,000 people as of 2008, but this doesn’t include unincorporated areas outside the city limits, but with a Duluth mailing address. It is also home to Sugarloaf Country Club, a PGA stop until recently. Forbes Magazine rated Duluth 26th in their nationwide survey of the best places to move, and it is one of the wealthiest parts of Georgia. It is also home to the Arena at Gwinnett Center (Home of the ECHL Gwinnett Gladiators) and the former Atlanta Thrashers practice facility (the Duluth Ice Forum). There is a LONG list of celebrities and athletes that call Duluth home, largely because of the country clubs and proximity to Atlanta.

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I have a page dedicated to Duluth Market Information.

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Friday, Jul 27th, 2012 ↓

Lawrenceville, GA Market Report, June 2012

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor... Image via Wikipedia[/caption]

Market stats for Lawrenceville, GA, June, 2012, indicate that there were 1001 properties on the market.  Overall, there was about a 3.8 month supply of properties. In 2011, sales for June were at 276, so 272 sales was a slight decrease, year over year.  Last month’s sales were at 267.  Coupled with the decrease in inventory, things are looking pretty good.  Normally the market picks up from January through about June-August.  This month we are rocking, in fact, some are arguing that constrained inventories are still holding back sales or we would be looking even better.

For Lawrenceville, GA, Homes Under $200k, there are 824 listings, with about a 3.4 month supply of homes.  Sales were well down from June, 2011 (248 v 254), although sales may very well be down because of constrained inventories.  Last year in this segment, there were 1309 listings v the 824 now.  This segment is easily the lion’s share of sales for the area.  With the 3.43 month A/R, it is solidly in Seller’s Market territory.  The low Absorption Rate (AR) is due to very strong sales, coupled with dramatically lower listing inventories.  Month over month sales were down, though, from 235 in May.

Between $200k and $400k, there are 148 listings for sale, and about 6.2 months of supply.  Oddly, this had one of the weaker segments in the county, now it’s mid-pack.  The 23 sales for June, 2012 were only slightly up from the 21 from last year.  They were well below from the 31 sales last month.  But, we are close to Balanced Market territory here.

From $400k to $600k, there are 22 homes on the market (big jump from the 16 last month).  The absorption rate is around 33 months.  However, with the level of sales in this segment, a couple of sales added or subtracted can have a HUGE impact.  There was 1 sale for June, the Absorption Rate has dropped from 78 months last June, through good, but sporadic sales.  There was 1 sale in June, 2011.  This is acting like a luxury market and the A/R is jumping all over the place… with just a few sales (A/R was 7.1 six months ago).  While the long term trend was looking a little better, now it is still pretty choppy.

In the $600k to $800k arena, there are 5 listings, with about 15 months of supply. As with the next lower priced segment, a couple of sales makes a big difference and there were 0 sales in June. There were only 6 sales at this level in all of 2011, 2 of them were last January. There was 1 sale in January 2012 and 1 last month.

Between $800k and $1M, and Above $1M there are 2 homes listed (combined) and not enough sales data to give an accurate absorption rate. There has only been one sale in this range in the last 3 years (Aug, 2010), according to FMLS.

Lawrenceville is in Gwinnett County, GA, just outside of Atlanta. As of the 2000 Census, there were 22,937 people in Lawrenceville, but that is only including people in the city limits, and there has been a lot of growth since 2000 in Gwinnett County (2008 estimates from the Census Bureau peg population around 29,000). It was incorporated in 1821. Lawrenceville is home to Central Gwinnett High School, and also has students that the Mountain View and Archer clusters. It is also home to Gwinnett Technical College and Georgia Gwinnett College. Another recent addition to Lawrenceville is that it is home to the Gwinnett Braves, playing at the Gwinnett Stadium on GA20 between I-85 and GA316. Possibly the most famous resident of Lawrenceville was Oliver Hardy. As a small boy he lived in Lawrenceville with his parents for a short time. Lawrenceville was also home to Junior Samples. Some of its other residents included Jeff Francouer, Brian McCann and Jennifer Ferrin.

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I have a page dedicated to Lawrenceville Market Data.

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Monday, Jul 23rd, 2012 ↓

Buford, GA, Market Report, June 2012

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor... Image via Wikipedia[/caption]

Market stats for Buford, GA, June, 2012 indicate that there were 393 properties on the market.  Overall, there was about an 4.3 month supply of properties (Absorption Rate or A/R).  There were 102 sales for June, well up from 86 last month and up from the 97 sales last June (2011).  It isn’t the strongest market in Gwinnett, but the A/R is nothing to sneeze at.  It is solidly in Seller’s Market territory.

In the sub-$200k arena, there were 213 listings, with a 3.5 month supply.  This is the largest price segment in this market area, so strength here usually equals strength across the whole local market area.  Sales were up from last month 68 (v 54 last month), but flat compared to last year (67 sales in June, 2011).  But, the A/R is WAY under the 6 months that would be considered fairly balanced… pointing towards a solid seller’s market.

Between $200k and $400k, there were 137 listings for sale, and about 5.6 months of supply.  The 29 sales recorded were up from the 25 from last month and from the 25 sales last year for June.  This had been one of the weaker segments in the county, but has improved dramatically and at current A/Rs, it is one of the stronger $200k-$400k segments in the county (aside from Suwanee).

From $400k to $600k, there were 20 homes on the market.  The absorption rate is 4.0 Months.  There have been 15 sales in the last 3 months (6 for April, 7 for May and 2 for June).  When the market is rolling, there should be 6-8 sales a month during this part of the year.  Just for comparison, there were 5 sales in the Apr-Jun period in 2011.  This segment has been bouncing all over the place… but it is VERY strong right now.

In the $600k to $800k arena, there were 8 listings. Absorption Rate is 24 months… but it jumps around a lot.  Sales in this range are pretty sporadic, but steady when looking at the long-term.  The drop in inventory over the last few months from 14 homes to 8 has made things look less slow… but there were 4 sales in this segment last year… and 3 sales in March and 1 in June.

The range from $800k to $1m, there were 5 homes listed.  Trends are hardly definable.  Listings are down.  June recorded the first sales since December, 2012.  There were 2 sales in June.  That gives the segment a 7.5 month Absorption Rate.

Above $1m, there were 10 properties listed.  The last sale in the segment was in April… of 2009…and then there was May, 2011… and 2 sales in June, 2011.  So, we have 66 months of inventory.  I hope, but am not expecting, sales to be more consistent.

Buford, GA is a suburb of Atlanta in Gwinnett and Hall Counties. The population is 2000 was 10,668, but that only included the area inside the city limits, and it had seen tremendous growth since that census. Buford is home to Lake Lanier, one of Georgia’s premiere recreational areas, and Lake Lanier Islands. Recently, the City of Buford has revamped their old town. It is also home to Buford (Buford City Schools aren’t a part of Gwinnett County Schools), Mill Creek, Mountain View and Lanier High School (Lanier will open for the 2010-11 school year).

I have a page dedicated to Buford Market Data.

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Friday, Jul 20th, 2012 ↓

Sugar Hill, GA, Market Report, June 2012

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor... Image via Wikipedia[/caption]

Market stats for Sugar Hill, GA , June, 2012 indicates that there are 139 homes on the market.  Overall, there is about an 4.8 month supply.  There were 39 sales, compared to 39 last month and 45 last June.  Of course, last June, there were 217 listings on the market.

For Sugar Hill homes priced under $200k, there are 97 listings, with about 3.3 months supply.  There were 30 sales this June, slightly worse than last year for the same time (32).  There were 34 sales last month.  Inventories have been fluid, rising and falling.  This time of years we often see a slight decrease in listings… but we are already very low.

Sugar Hill Listings between $200k and $400k, there are 36 listings for sale, and about 5.4 months of supply.  Last June there was an 18 month supply.  There were 3 sales, this year there were 9.  Last month had 4 sales.  That makes two of the last three month look pretty strong.

For listings in the $400k to $600k range, there were 3 homes on the market.  The absorption rate was around 9 months, but with 0 sales this month (and last month’s 1 sale being the only one since November), it is tough to calculate accurately.  Obviously, a sale or two could make a BIG difference.  I still hope to see some consistent activity in this segment.

In the $600k to $800k, $800k to $1m and Above $1m (combined), the sales are too inconsistent to have a solid read on, but there were only 3 homes listed for sale in that price range.  No sales have been recorded in the last 2+ years.

Sugar Hill, GA is a suburb of Atlanta in Gwinnett County. The population is 2000 was 11,399, but that only included the area inside the city limits. The name comes from a bag of Sugar that spilled on a hill while in transit between Cumming and the railroad in Buford. And while it is actually a big market, it is in the shadows of Lawrenceville, Duluth and Suwanee… which all are nearby. That also makes it a great location, as it is close to everything that Gwinnett County, GA has to offer.

I have a page dedicated to Sugar Hill Market Data.

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Wednesday, Jul 18th, 2012 ↓

Buying More Affordable Than Renting in Atlanta?

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”200”]Image representing Trulia as depicted in Crunc... Image via CrunchBase[/caption]

Trulia maintains a database of costs for rentals as well as listings for buying.  This allows them to compare the costs of both in various markets around the country…  And Atlanta is currently listed as one of the markets where Buying is Cheaper than Renting!

In addition to the costs, they look at Employment Growth, Vacancy Rates and Price Drops.  Because of the reasonably low vacancy rates, flat employment growth and big price drops, Atlanta scored well into the Buy side…

Check it out on Trulia’s blog.

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Monday, Jul 16th, 2012 ↓

Lilburn, GA Market Report, June 2012

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor... This map shows the incorporated and unincorporated areas in Gwinnett County, Georgia, highlighting Lilburn in red. It was created with a custom script with US Census Bureau data and modified with Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

Market stats for Lilburn, GA, June, 2012, indicate that there were 284 properties on the market (as of June 30th).  Overall, there was about an 4.1 month supply of properties and 77 properties that closed (sold) in June.  It was a huge increase from last year’s sales (63) and an increase from May (68 sales).  The Absorption Rate notched down a good bit.  Lilburn had been among the weakest of Gwinnett County, GA, cities I track.  But, at 4.06 months of inventory, it is downright strong now.  Six months is considered balanced, lower is a seller’s market and higher is a buyer’s market.

In the sub-$200k arena, there were 199 listings, with about an 3.4 month supply with 65 sales.  This represents most of the sales in the market area.  Sales increased a bit from last month (59), and were also up from last year (48).  While the Absorption Rate isn’t as low as many other areas, sales are strong, and I’m think we are in a comeback for Lilburn.  At 3.4 months of inventory, with a few months of similar stats, we’re there.

Between $200k and $400k, there are 74 listings for sale, and about 6.7 months of supply.  This segment had been quite weak for months, and had stalled a little, but came back with a vengeance.  It is stalling a bit again.  There were 11 sales compared to 8 last month and 14 last year.  Lilburn has never been seen as a luxury market, but this number is not bad.  The decrease in listings has really helped.  I’m still not as confident about this portion of the Lilburn market coming back quite yet…  It is strengthening, just not as consistently as I’d like.  This month was quite strong, last wasn’t.  The month before was strong… and the one before that, not.

From $400k to $600k, there are just 7 homes on the market.  The absorption rate is 10.5 months. There was 1 sale in June.  Poised for a comeback, but the increase in listings and weak sales don’t give the right ingredients for that to happen.  To start with, we can’t have 7 month blank spots in sales (none from Aug11 through Feb12).  If we can keep up a sale each month on average, this one will be back.

From $600k to $800k, $800k to $1M and Above $1M, there are 4 listings (combined), but too few sales to have any sort of reliable number of months of inventory. March posted the first sale since August, 2010. It was in the $600-$800k range. One of the listings is above $1M and one between $800k and $1M, and there is no market activity in the last 12 months for those ranges…

Lilburn is in Gwinnett County, GA, just outside of Atlanta. As of the 2000 Census, there were 11,307 people in Lilburn, but that is only including people in the city limits, and there has been a lot of growth since 2000 in Gwinnett County. It was incorporated in 1910. Lilburn is home to Parkview High School, and also has students that the Brookwood, Berkmar and Meadowcreek clusters. It is also home to Killian Hill Christian School, Providence Chrisian Academy, St. John Neumann Catholic School and Parkview Christian School. Possibly the most famous resident of Lilburn is General Beauregard Lee, a groundhog with a better winter prediction record that Puxatawnee Phil up in PA. Dominique Wilkins, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks also lives in Lilburn.

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I have a page dedicated to Lilburn Market Data.

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Friday, Jul 13th, 2012 ↓

Suwanee, GA, Market Report, June 2012

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor... Image via Wikipedia[/caption]

Market stats for Suwanee, GA, June, 2012 indicate that there were 455 properties on the market (flat from last month).  Overall, there was about a 5.1 month supply of properties (up slightly from 5.0 last month).  June had 93 sales. Compared to May, 2011 (63), this year was pretty hot.  Inventory was down compared to 2011 (629).  There were 99 sales last month.

In the Under $200k arena, there were 116 listings in Suwanee, GA, with about a 3.3 month supply (183 and 5.6, respectively last year).  This June’s sales were down, at 36 (33 last year, 42 last month).  This was definitely the strongest price segment in Suwanee.  While it used to be a county leader, though, for now it is mid pack with the other locales in the county.  The next level up is coming up fast, though.

Between $200k and $400k, there were 217 listings for sale (300 last year, 220 last month), and 5.4 months of supply.  Sales in June, 2012 were 42 (43 in May), compared with 22 for the same period in 2011.  Sales have been bouncing between very strong and average for the last few months.  I’d like to see some consistency around 40-50 sales for the next couple of months.  This shouldn’t be a “peaky” market/price segment.  Unlike most of the county, this is the largest price segment in the area, and its direction plays a major part in how the area looks.

From $400k to $600k, there were 66 homes on the market.  The absorption rate was at 6.6 months (6.0 in May).  There were 9 sales in June (11 in May)… up from 3 last June.  Looking at the three month average, there were 30 sales this year and 16 for the same period last year.  This segment had gotten dramatically stronger in the last couple of months.

In the $600k to $800k arena, there are 24 listings, with about a 8.0 month supply.  Sales at this level are not consistent, but there were 6 this month (3 last month).  Looking at one month makes the numbers jump around.  For the last three months, sales were 9…  For the same time last year, the sales were 7.  With the huge decrease in listings over the last couple of months, I was looking for this to become one of the strongest $600k-$800k area in the county.  But until I see 3-5 sales a month on average, I can’t call this one strong.  We’re two months in that range…

The range from $800k to $1m, there are 10 homes listed and at least 30 months of inventory on the market.  There were only 4 sales at this price level last year (1 in April, 2 in July and 1 in August).  This is a tough segment to try to sell in right now, but if inventory stays low, it won’t be quite as rough.  But there still needs to be some more sales activity.  There was 1 sale in March this year.

In Suwanee, GA, Above $1m, there are 22 properties listed.  The current absorption rate indicated about33 months of inventory, but because of the smaller numbers of sales, this could be significantly impacted by just a couple of sales (2 for April, 0 for May and 0 for June).  In this segment, we should be seeing reduced inventories…  There were 27 homes listed in this segment at this time last year.

Suwanee, GA is a suburb of Atlanta in Gwinnett, Forsyth and (just a little bit) in Fulton Counties. The population is 2000 was 8,725, but that only included the area inside the city limits, and it had seen tremendous growth since that census. Money Magazine rated Suwanee in the “Top 10 Best Places to Live” in 2007, and it is one of the wealthiest parts of Georgia. Recently, the City of Suwanee has revamped their old town, adding a large park with a bandshell, condos, town homes and small businesses. It is also home to North Gwinnett High School, Peachtree Ridge and Collins Hill. I have a page dedicated to Suwanee Market Data.

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Wednesday, Jul 11th, 2012 ↓

Don’t Lose Your Shorts (Sale)…

They are all of the rage.  Sellers don’t want to be forced to do them, and buyers are scared to death of having to deal with them.  At the same time, it is often the best option for a seller to avoid foreclosure and get back on the path to rebuilding their lives.  They can also be a great deal for buyers.

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”300”]English: Buyers and sellers in the Plazuela de... English: Buyers and sellers in the Plazuela de los Sapos, Puebla, Mexico (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]

As a buyer, there are some big differences between buying foreclosures and buying short sales.  To begin with, often, short sales are still occupied.  I have been in a LOT of houses… foreclosures, vacant homes that weren’t foreclosed, abandoned homes and non-distressed tradition sales.  Homes without people in them tend to degrade.  Short sales tend to be in better condition and have fewer maintenance issues that need to be dealt with right away.

However, all is not wonderful in the world of Short Sale properties.  They have a huge problem.  Short sales are risky.  The risk is financial, but rather it is time.

  • The average Short Sale takes over 9 months to close after going under contract.
  • Only 25% of Short Sales actually make it from contract to closing.

So that means that a buyer could go through the better part of a year, only to have the sale fall through because of a lender-based wrinkle.  And when 3 out of 4 of them fall out in the process, it equals a MASSIVE waste of time.

The risk is the same for a seller.  Months and months of uncertainty followed by disappointment.  The desire to get on with financial life gets delayed.  It’s no wonder that so many sellers end up giving up and letting the house go to foreclosure.

But, there IS a way out…

Along with the brokerage change a few months ago, I also partnered up with a couple of other agents… one of which is a short sale specialist.  As part of the partnering, we have contracted a firm that handles Short Sale Process from contract to close.  The firm’s batting average is quite a bit better than the national averages…

  • Their average Short Sale takes less than 4 months from contract to close, with most happening anywhere from 2-5 months.
  • They are at 82% making it through the process to closing.

This is a huge reduction of risks for both the buyer and the seller… financial, time and emotional.  It still isn’t perfect, but 4 out of 5 beats the heck out of 1 in 4.  And getting the average time down by half is pretty big, too.  That gets Short Sale buyers out of the realm of almost exclusively investors and back into a range that is workable by people that plan to live in the house.  That opens up the market considerably.  And that means that more of the sales are likely to make it to close.

BTW, Sarah’s close rate is even higher than the 82%.

If you are wondering whether a Short Sale is appropriate for you, please feel free to give me a call, or send a text to my cell or email.

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