Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Million Dollar Listing, and the Grass-is-Greener Seller.

Got my first million dollar listing this weekend. Pretty big deal for me. Of course I will have to sell it in order to make any money, but it feels good to add it to my inventory. That would be one tasty commission. It is the Lighthouse Restaurant in White Lake. It is right on the water, beautiful views from a huge deck with seating for fifty. Restaurant seats 250, and has been in business for sixty years.

Upstairs there is a four bedroom huge living space with great views of the lake.

 Legend has it that the final Woodstock handshakes were done at a Lighthouse table, where a somewhat reluctant Yasgur finally gave in to Elliot Tiber's and the promoter's persuasion. The story goes on that a waitress overheard the final plan being hatched, and leaked it to a local radio station (WVOS) and the men heard the news before they even left the restaurant.

Whether time has romanticized the story or not, it is still a pretty cool nugget of history. And it is a pretty cool building. Hope I sell it.

I am not the first person to list this property however . I am the second lister, and I have spoken about this in previous blogs, but I was able to be a bit more sanctimonious since I was the one inheriting the listing (like this one.) However in the last few months, I have lost two listings that were re listed by other agents, (one is even using my pictures to market the property) and regardless of the reasoning, that stings a bit. Both were listed at lower price points, despite giving me resistance when I suggested reductions earlier.  The thing that is a little unsettling about it is I thought I had a pretty good relationship with both sellers. In fact one is an old friend of the family. Now it is easy to dismiss this as a grass is greener reaction to a property not selling, and in a large part I think that is true, but this is a people business, and if elsewhere is where they thought they had the best chance of selling, then I failed.

However, if you can take a step back, and try not to bring human emotions like rejection and disappointment into it, the behavior by sellers in a slow market, where things are taking forever to sell, makes perfect sense. Listings, and sellers need to marinate for a bit before the reality really sets in. And a new person, with a shiny new sales pitch makes it seem like it all may be okay. Sellers just want results. The fact of the matter is, besides some tweaks, Realtors in Sullivan County are all doing the same marketing strategies. And in a lot of cases it is nothing more than the right price that sells a property. But like I said before, some agents are of the ilk that a good dog and pony show can give you some time to massage a price reduction and ultimately a sale out of the deal.

My dislike for "salesman tactics" prevent me from this strategy however, although believe it or not, some people do not want to hear the truth.

Oh well, for now I will concentrate on my million dollar listing. Sounds good to say it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Despite Gas Prices, Busy Seems to be the Word

Finally had a nice spring day yesterday, and for a while, it felt like summer, as the temperature hit eighty. I spent the day driving around with four dollar a gallon liquid gold in my gas tank, taking pictures of my listings (finally with no snow heaped around them). These gas prices are ridiculous though, and there is no doubt it will hurt our real estate market, and the economy in general.

I consider myself to be somewhat intelligent, but the how and why of this increase doesn't make any sense to me. In April of '09, the national average price was $2.03. Two years later it is double. There is no way this is because a bunch of Chinese decided to buy cars, or Lybia's production has slowed, or any of the other reasons that are bandied about. No, this extra money is going directly into someones pocket, and for whatever reason, no one seems to know, or is reluctant to say who that is. The media loves a villain. Why are they not showcasing who these people are? Are they OPEC fat cats? Future traders? I really have no clue, and I think most Americans don't. The government seems reluctant to take measures, and I suppose the whole "make it hurt so change can happen" mantra holds some water, but I don't believe we are on the brink of hydrogen, or electric, or ethanol, or cold fusion combustion engines. Something needs to be done.

Anyway, as of right now, it seems to have done little to slow our real estate market. Pretty much every colleague I have spoken to has remarked how busy they are. At first I was a little skeptical, but now things are showing up in the pending section of the mls--some really nice high end homes. Click here to see five of them

It has been a rarity to see this many homes above the 500K mark go into contract around the same time. Now I won't know the final price tag until they close, but most of them have not been on the market that long, I don't anticipate much more than 10% off the ask.

Although I am not a part of any of these sales, (and I have a little twinge when this much good inventory goes away) I am bolstered by the fact that there are high end buyers out there, and they have decided to get back in the market. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blog Back from the Dead and a Brand New Website

Hopefully anyone considering using my services won't think that my lack of consistency on blogging reflects my business practices in general. The fact of the matter is, The Blog is always last on the to-do list, and very rarely do I get down that low. However I again read an article about how it can really boost business, so sort of like dusting off the treadmill for another go at it, I have resolved to keep current, and post once a week.

I had a busy beginning of '11...seven transactions sides closed already. For some I suppose that is not busy, but for here in Sullivan, in the midst of a prolonged real estate doldrum, it is. And it has kept me running around the last few months. (Spell check is insisting you cannot have a single doldrum, but I disagree.)
And although there was doom and gloom again in the media (the numbers for the first quarter of this year were abysmal and talk of a double dip have been circulating) for me, and other brokers in the area, it seems like things are picking up. The interest is there, but all buyers I have dealt with are very cost conscious, and will not jump unless it feels like a very good deal. It is the nature of the market.

I have had some listings that have been sitting for a bit, and my sellers are anxious. There are a few that I think are very good deals, and despite my best efforts at marketing, they continue to languish. Annoying for me, and the sellers. Oh well, patience (from what I've heard) is a virtue.

The other endeavor that has kept me busy (besides a 1 year old who likes to put everything in his mouth. Seriously, he thinks the world is one giant smorgasbord) is a brand new website. I am still working out the tweaks, and it cost me a bit of money, but I think I will reap the benefits. I have learned how to write some code, and although I don't think I will ever be confused with Zuckerberg, it has been a fun project. Now I just need some hits. Click here for my website  (See I wrote that link with html. That is why it opens the link in a new window.) Genius!

OK off to preview in the rain.