There were 78 residential home sales in March in the 12 Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $289,111 and the media price point was $195,950. That brings the total number of sales in the first quarter of 2016 to an even 200 at an average price of $301,551. There were 146 sales in the first quarter of 2015 at an average sales price $284,776. That's a 38 percent increase in total sales over last year so far, which means we are off to a pretty nice start!
If you like Aerosmith, you obviously like their song Sweet Emotions. It's a classic. Not sure what it is really all about, but I am sure that buying or selling a home has a lot of emotions involved in it and many of them are anything but "sweet." After all, it is the biggest financial transaction most people will ever make and money can make anyone crazy. It can be very stressful. There are all kinds of emotions wrapped up in a home buying/selling process and as real estate agents we are never quite sure which emotion a buyer or seller will have at any given time. There are many steps in a real estate transaction and with each gingerly step forward we brace for some sort of reaction that could range from a very reasonable reply to anger.
There seems to me to be two distinct kinds of buyers; those that want to buy a house because they just need a place to live and those looking to make an emotional connection with the property. The latter category of buyers could be a first time home buyer or they could be experienced buyers who are looking for that one special property that they really fall in love with.
First time buyers need to be cautious that their emotions don't get in the way of common sense. Often a first time or novice buyer's excitement will cause him to overlook or discount issues that could have a monetary affect in the future. Just because a home has shiny new appliances, granite counter tops, and a fresh coat of paint it doesn't trump a poor location, poor design, or poor structure. The first time or novice buyer is also affected by fear of loss. They sometimes are afraid that they will not find another home as good as this one and that can cause them to make bad decisions.
An experienced buyer that is looking for that special home knows when he finds the right property. He feels that emotional tug that this is the right property, the holy grail of waterfronts, the dream home on the hill with panoramic views, and he just wants it. But then, usually but not always, emotion gives way to logic. In the logical world, if that special property has a price on it that does not make sense to a buyer he won't purchase the property or will make an offer based on logic rather than emotion.
On the seller's side, deciding to sell a home can be very emotional or it can be matter of fact. The matter of fact or business decision mode is much easier to deal with. The emotional seller with the "nicest house on the planet" can get be a tad more difficult when it comes to setting prices and dealing with offers. Want to see emotions from a seller? Give them a really low offer on their "nicest house on the planet" preceded always by the verbiage "I know this is not what you were expecting, but I have to present all offers." It will be like, as Stephen Tyler sings, "the backstage boogie set your pants on fire."
Another emotionally driven seller is one that has put thousands of dollars of improvements into a home without realizing that he won't recoup all of those costs in a sale. Properties that have been in a family for generations can create baggage for the current owner as well. Childhood memories, kids growing up at the house, holiday gatherings, and family weddings all create ties to a home that are sometimes hard to break but don't add value to a property.
Buyers often get stressed out, frustrated, and exhausted from just looking at houses. They sometimes doubt that they'll ever find something that they really like in a time frame they need to find it in. Sometimes they get scared and are afraid to fully commit to a purchase or fear they made the wrong decision when they have made an offer. That's the Dreaded Buyer's Remorse... yes, with a capital "D."
Sellers can have a bad case of remorse as well. Sometimes this is caused by the anxiety and stress of having to move, not finding what they had hoped to find for housing elsewhere, or a spouse just had second thoughts. You just hope that the seller's remorse happens not too far into the process rather than during offer negotiations.
Anger (or let's call it displeasure) can often flare up on both sides during the home inspection process when items are revealed that may need to be addressed. To paraphrase Tyler again: "You talk about things that nobody cares. You're wearing out things that nobody wears." It can sometimes get ugly. Sellers that look at the transaction as a business deal are likely to get through this part of the process much easier. Buyers have to realize they might not get everything they ask for to be fixed or addressed.
But, there are many happy and positive emotions, too, and those are the best. They are a real estate agent's true goal: to have a happy client or customer at the end of the process. This usually happens when buyers and sellers have an agent who they truly trust, who communicates well, explains the process, and guides them through to a successful transaction. I like the sweet emotions a whole lot more, don't you? Sing along... Sweeeeet Emotions...
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 4/19/16. Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 677-7012
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