Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year in Review

Well, as 2009 winds down, I suppose it is only natural to look back on the year and reflect on things good and bad, personally and professionally.

On the personal side, we are expecting in March. It is our first, and cautious optimism would be the best way to describe how I feel about that. She is excited, and since she is such a saint. (she puts up with me) I have no fear that she will be a great mother, and together we can be pretty good parents.

But this is a real estate blog, and although my personal life is important to me, I'm sure it is pretty mundane to someone who is trying to gather information on buying a home in Sullivan County.

Professionally I had my best year in my short (four year) real estate career. Now most of that I can attribute to switching brokerages, where my opportunities increased expediently, and also putting it in perspective, "best year" does not by any means put me up there with the Rockefeller's, but in a year of global groaning and gnashing of teeth, I would say professionally it is an accomplishment.

I had some really great clients this year, and met some wonderful, and wonderfully different people. I would like to thank all those who bought, and who's homes I sold in '09. You are the only reason I am in business.

My mission statement for 2010 is simple. "Be there for my clients." I would like to think that I succeeded in that in '09, and I would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy 2010.

Now if I could just get my concierge service business off the ground. It is a great idea, but I have had little response.

“I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed: and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying.”


Friday, December 11, 2009

Holidays Approaching--Slow Weekend

First weekend in probably about two months where I don't have a full schedule. I do have to accompany a co-broke on one of my listings on Sat. but that is it. I'm sure it is the holidays. People are busy with Christmas stuff. I certainly don't mind. I'll take a weekend at home.

The problem with my "busyness" is that it is not translating into offers and sales. I have a half dozen people I am actively working with, and although I feel we are close on a few, all seem hesitant. There is a prevailing idea that any asking price can be automatically discounted by 20 to 30 percent, many refuse to make compromises, and then even when it all seems like it has come together, there is that nagging fear that if the market declines further, they will have overpaid.

They are not tire kickers. I have been in this business long enough to sniff out the ones who are just looking for a nice day to view houses in the country, but there is just no such thing as an easy sale.

An example I have is the property link I listed below. I showed this property three or four times. It is a nice big farmhouse on seven acres with a few huge outbuildings. Bank owned. It was bought at the height of the insanity for $450,000. Bank started it at $239,000 dropped it to $220,000, (at which time I got an offer for $180,000) I urged my people to come up just $10,000 more. No dice. They "moved on."

The price was just dropped last week again to $199,000. I called back my customers and told them. They said, put in an offer of $182,500. When I presented it...to late. In the course of two days, there had been an accepted offer, and contracts were out

Believe me this is a steal at $199,000, (and it probably went for around $190,000.) But this is my point. For $7,500 (less then the total commission.) Buyers are willing to walk. I can lead a horse to water, and yet this pervasive attitude that unless the property is a steal, it is not worth it. And it is not until the media starts telling everyone that the market is rebounding before this attitude changes.

I know I have told this story before, but I had an economics professor in college who would say. "When do the cliff divers of Acapulco jump? When they see water? or when they see rocks?

7858 State Route 52 (a/k/a CR 111) Narrowsburg, NY 12764