The current market in the Raleigh-Cary area is moving FAST!

Sellers’ Market Alert!  Real Estate Factoid!
Since yesterday morning, as of now, 55 Wake County homes have been put on “Contingent” status in the Triangle MLS.

For those 55 listings, the median average Days On Market, “DOM,” is 30.

And that is happening with multiple offers, difficulty getting showing appointments, and barely ready listings.

And, this is mid-April.  We are just ramping up!

Thus defines a “Sellers’ Market,” and a “Frustrated Buyers’ Market.”

 

Moving to North Carolina? A LOT of other People are, too!

This fascinating graphic of relocation statistics from Atlas Van Lines shows that as of 2012 50% more people are moving to North Carolina than are moving out of the state.
And that relocating to North Carolina has been quite common for years.
Of course, those of us who have been living in the Triangle for many years have noticed that. Neighborhoods spring up and fill up rapidly! I moved to Cary in 1997, and have seen Cary swell from abuot 80,000 residents to almost 140,000. And Raleigh has also grown tremendously in that time.
They had to come from somewhere!

The graphic, courtesy of Atlas Van Lines:

2012 Migration Patterns
2012 Migration Patterns by Atlas Van Lines

“Coming Soon” culture? Is this current fad of REALTOR® MLS Members Eroding the Credibility, Equity Value, and Integrity of Our Multiple Listing Service?

You see it more and more.  Real Estate Signs blaring “COMING SOON!!!”  “COMING SOON” riders hung on signs for weeks.  And the big day never arrives.  The home never “Comes.”  It just “Goes,” as in Under Contract.   A listing goes to Contingent status, under contract, in Zero (0) Days On Market.

“Wink, wink.  MLS rules say I cannot show it to you while it says ‘Coming Soon.’  But, for you….”  When you drive past a Coming Soon sign in a hot Cary neighborhood and see folks going up the sidewalk to the house from a car with a REALTOR® sticker on the tailgate, you just know that “Coming Soon” means “Came Ahead of Schedule.”

REALTOR® members of the Triangle MLS agree to post all listings to the MLS, unless the seller wants it “Withheld.”

This convention of membership does a few things:

  • It assures sharing and cooperation between brokers, as they have agreed.
  • It helps assure that the sellers’ properties are exposed to the market, to garner the seller more chances of receiving the highest possible offer with the best possible terms.  This is a fiduciary responsibility of the listing agent.
  • It supports OUR MLS as the “Go To Resource” for legitimate real estate listings, data, and history.

And we are seeing those points undermined by a marketing fad.  The issue has become pervasive enough that the NC Real Estate Commission had to weigh in on “Coming Soon!” in the latest Real Estate Bulletin.  Sometimes folks ought to read the Articles before gleefully leafing back to the Punishment Porn to “Tut Tut” about whoever got their wrists slapped for DWI.

Why do agents post “Coming Soon?”

  • To build market interest for a quick sale?  Heck, we are in a hot market.  If the house is right and priced right, just going “Active” on the MLS is enough to generate enough traffic to get it sold in a week.  It is happening all over the place in Cary, Apex, Raleigh, Morrisville, Holly Springs, etc.
  • To get phone calls and milk buyer clients from the listing?   We might be getting a little closer there.  “Sorry.  That one isn’t ready.  Are you working with a buyers’ agent?”

How does that serve the owner of the listing, to divert a buyer by prematurely putting up a sign?
Well, that hotbed of buyer leads may go under contract in a few days.  When it is Contingent or Pending, the sign calls may decline or cease altogether  and it serves the agent well to keep a sign up for as long as possible to get sign calls and buyer leads…

Whoops!  Just wait a second on that second point.
Since when is the purpose of a listing agreement with a fiduciary role supposed to serve the listing agent?   I think “Never.”  Tell me I am wrong.

Triangle Real Estate Forum? Free Real Estate Advice? Why? I say, Why Not?

Visit Zillow or Trulia. Watch people with reasonable real estate questions being offered no help as they are routinely pestered and solicited by hordes of real estate agents resembling Biblical swarms of locusts. I did. And I thought there MUST to be a better way to help consumers with general real estate topics.

Enter the Triangle Real Estate Forum.

I picked up some world-class forum software, had it installed on a server, did a few minor tweaks, and opened it up to anyone who has questions to ask, or answers to give. All manner of discussion is welcome. General agency topics, sharing of Triangle regional information. Information about our towns and cities. Cary or Carrboro. Raleigh or Durham. foreclosures. Short sales. Luxury Condos or affordable Townhomes.
But, the forum is designated a “Safe Place” for visitors to ask questions and discuss topics, No Hassle style.
No solicitations for business are allowed.
No advertising.
No “Contact me for more details.”
No feeding frenzy on the poor visitor who says, “Help! I was just transferred to Raleigh and we need a 5 bedroom home in a great neighborhood, with a home-buying budget of less than $600,000. Where should we be looking?”
Just help and information. No strings attached.

It’s not for everyone. Many real estate pros cannot bring themselves to give away “free advice.” So it goes. Those are the rules.
Drop by and check it out.

Realty Arts, LLC: A New Name. Same Real Estate Service Philosophies

“Do you sell homes in Raleigh?” used to be a common question. Or homes in Apex? Or Morrisville? Or Holly Springs?
Concentrating marketing near my home in Cary, and my website: CaryRealEstateSales.com worked together to make the questions quite reasonable.

And, Yes. I sell homes in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs. Yes, I sell homes in Durham. Chapel Hill, too. Garner. Yes, I sell homes in Chatham County. Etc. I sell homes all around the Triangle.

I opened as an independent real estate broker in December, 2012, leaving KELLER WILLIAMS® Realty in Cary behind after 7 great years. And in February, we formed the LLC, Realty Arts, LLC. I wanted something catchy and not anchored in one town or geographic local area by its name.
New domain name: www.RealtyArts.com and more good real estate stuff to follow.

My focus group (friends and family) was somewhat split on “Realty Arts.” Some liked it a lot. And some, a LOT less. “What do Real Estate and Art have to do with each other?” and “It sounds like you are selling paint,” were two comments.
Well, think of other great strong real estate companies. What about “Century 21” or “ERA” or “Zillow” or “Trulia” screams “real estate?” The words alone don’t do it. It’s their marketing that puts their message and meaning into your mind.
“Oh, yes. If you market your brand, it will have meaning to the public.” Sure. McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Honda, you name it. And, “Realty Arts” already has “realty” in it. Off to a good start!

Regarding “Arts.” Besides focusing on an artist’s palette of oils, or acrylics, or clay, landscapes or portraits or statuary, I am focused on the skills attained through study and practice that will help me be a great Realtor®.

The Art of Service.
The Art of Negotiation.
The Art of Home Sales.
The Art of Poise.

The list of skills that can be developed to an Artful level goes on and on.
Study + Practice + Skill + Application = Service.

I had fun with a client this evening, referring to myself as “Realty Artist, Mike Jaquish.” Then, I thought, a lofty goal to attain. Why not?

Wallpaper is B-A-C-K! Who would EVER have guessed THAT?

I saw it in yesterday’s Raleigh News and Observer, a reprint of an article from the Washington Times.
Wallpaper is staging a comeback!!!
Read all about it here!

I had heard wallpaper rumblings and rumors. A year or so ago, HGTV Househunters featured a fellow who wanted a condo where he could unleash his burgeoning wallpapering talents.
And, it seems that anytime something falls as far from grace as wallpaper assuredly has, it rebounds into the spotlight again just to keep us on our toes.

I worked hard many years ago to develop wallpaper hanging skills. To cut and match and plumb and level well enough to let people see my work.
About the time I got good at it (Or so I thought), wallpaper fell completely out of favor.
And now, my skill is redeemed! Wallpaper is back!

So, you have a home to sell in Cary? And now your wallpaper is back in favor, right? Not so fast. It can be expensive to be a trendsetter out on the bleeding edge of the cutting edge.
I have yet to hear Buyers mention “Wallpaper” without wrinkling up their noses at the concept.
And a new media fad doesn’t mean that your floral 1990’s have suddenly become chic, in, old school hot, desirable, retro. Not at all. And that foil paper? Buh-bye!
Decor is a personal and volatile subject. Your delight may well be a well-qualified Buyer’s stupor. And we all know there is no excess of well-qualified Buyers.

The advice to strip and paint is going to be with us for a while, I am afraid.

Rembrandt in America? I collect Rembrandts in Cary and Raleigh!

 

Since the end of October, the North Carolina Museum of Art has been honored to host Rembrandt in America, the largest collection of Rembrandt paintings to ever have been exhibited in America.
The collection is on display for a few more weeks, until January 22, so you should be scheduling your visit soon.
I haven’t even visited the new NC Museum of Art since construction was completed, so I am overdue to find a reason to go.

Rembrandt in America may be the perfect reason to get out and go.

Interestingly, I have been collecting Rembrandts in Cary and Raleigh for some time.   Houses, that is.  “Rembrandt” models by New Fortis/K Hovnanian Homes.

I live in a Rembrandt.  Circa 1993.
Oddly enough, my Rembrandt is in a subdivision named “Giverny.”  Rembrandt in Giverny?  Maybe it should have been a Monet?  That would have been OK, too.

The Rembrandt by New Fortis

 

The Elevation “D” Rembrandt was the masterpiece of the model.  Full brick front, with half circle windows, a hip roof, and a finished bonus room over the garage all elevated the “D” to the top of the heap.  It was the model home in Giverny, and as is common, the model became one of the most popular floor plans to be built.  I belive our neighborhood is about 20% Rembrandts, of one elevation or another.
I live in a home built to Elevation “C.”  The “C” has a partial brick front.  We added a front porch that makes our “C” unique in the neighborhood.

Rembrandt Elevations A, B, and C

 

Elevation “A” was the “plain Jane,” base model elevation.

Elevation “B” adds a rocking chair front porch.

Elevation “C” includes brick trim on the left of the front of the house, and a step down in the roof.

But interiors of these three elevations are the same, unless options were chosen to change them.

The two-story family room in the top rendering offers dramatic central height to the interior, and the rendering shows the palladian windows included in the “D” elevation.  Our “C” Elevation home has rectangular transom windows in place of the palladians.
Most commonly, buyers chose to finish a loft area into a 4th bedroom and/or to add a 5th bedroom/bonus room over the garage.
Square footages vary from just over 2200 to about 2800 square feet.

While owners have customized their homes and properties over the last 15 to 18 years, a tour around the area turns up many Rembrandts.  You can see the Rembrandt DNA in the photos, and also appreciate the pride homeowners take in personalization of their properties.

 

 

Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing

Cary Home Sales set comps. Competitive pricing compels buyers to buy.



Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing

Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing

Everyone wants to see "Comps," comparable closed sales when fixing a price for a new listing.

I agree.  We have to begin with the end in mind, and the "End in Mind" is a closed sale.  A contract price MUST be supported by market activity, specifically recent, comparable sales that have closed.

However, a smart seller and smart listing agent will also consider "Competition."  And that will include properties outside the specific neighborhood where the home to be listed for sale is located.
See, while the neighborhood activity must support the sales price for appraisal purposes, Buyers have myriad choices outside the neighborhood. 
A home worth $400,000 must compete with and draw attention away from other $400,000 choices.  We just cannot tell Buyers that they can only shop one neighborhood.

So, Sellers have to be competitive across a broader area, perhaps a school district, or a local geographic area in a county or town.
In Cary, and Wake County, NC, the Wake County Public School System manages all public schools at the County level.  Town boundaries do not indicate school assignments, and it is not uncommon to see a neighborhood, all or part, reassigned to another school
So, parents will shop various school assignments, attempt to grasp stability in assignment, and affordable neighborhood options. To do so, they may look in a ten mile radius, or farther.  That search may take them out of Cary, and into Morrisville, Apex, Raleigh or any other local municipality. 
That is why it is smart to consider a wide area of competitive Active listings when pricing a home.

Comps, Competition, and Compelling Pricing, via 60 Seconds in Real Estate, Cary NC: