Archive for April, 2014

The Scarcity of Sellers in the Triangle Real Estate market

April 25, 2014
Today is one of the best times in recent memory to sell your home! Sales are up and inventory is down!!!

Today is one of the best times in recent memory to sell your home! Sales are up and inventory is down!!!

If you have been paying attention to the news, you will understand this trend, but how can it be important to you. Currently, the housing market continues to improve, but there is still a lack of homes available for sale. If you currently own a home and have been considering selling, this is a prime time to list your home and get it sold quickly. The downside is your ability to find a home once you have sold your home. Sellers are finding homes selling within days of being on the market with a sales price over the list price.

Just how bad are the inventory levels…very bad. Of course, it all depends on your perspective whether this is bad or good, but inventories at the end of March 2014 was lower than a year ago, though it is slightly up from the past two months. In Wake County, pending sales were up more than 350 over the previous month and the highest since August 2013.

The metric I like to look at is the monthly supply and the odds of selling your home. Across Wake County the monthly supply of homes available is only 3 months, which is similar to the level felt throughout last summer. The odds of selling your home is a 35%, which is the highest since July 2013. Basically, this means that one in three homes on the market sold during the month of March…an amazing figure.

Due to these metrics, we are firmly in a seller’s market where there is a lack of supply (listed homes) to match the demand (homebuyers). What does this mean? If means that if you are selling or interested in selling, this is the prime time to have your home on the market. You would be facing less competition and it could mean that your home would sell for more than asking price.┬áTo preface this, not all homes are located in the hot areas that will result in multiple offers.

What’s more impressive is that for March, only half of the homes sold with some concessions…this is the lowest for a March in many years. To put this in perspective, March 2013 had 53% of homes sell with some concessions (Seller paid closing cost) and if you go back even further, March 2010 had 77% of all homes had sold with some concessions. Of those that closed in March, 19% represented cash sales and 60% were new listings and 51% of the resales (not new construction) sold within 30 days of being on the market.

So, what are you waiting for? If you have been considering selling your home to move up to a larger one or downsize, now is the optimal time to get your home on the market. We haven’t seen this type of market in years and the scarcity of listings has continued since the market began to improve in 2012.

For more information about the value of your home, please feel free to contact me at I will be happy to talk with you and let you know what your home is worth.

Referrals: The backbone of any local business

April 15, 2014
A personal introduction can be invaluable for building your business. Ask for the referral!!! Be specific!!!

A personal introduction can be invaluable for building your business. Ask for the referral!!! Be specific!!!

As I look back on the last several years in business, the one source of growth that is often overlooked and under appreciated is the referral. A referral is the most source of prospect that any business can receive…including my business. Many talk about referring business, but few actually do. Why is that? Whether you are selling real estate, legal advice, or servicing an HVAC unit, referrals are the easiest way to build a strong relationship with a future client. So, why don’t many people refer?

The answer is simple, but also very complex. The primary reason a business doesn’t get referrals is they fail to ask for a referral. I am no different in my business as I often fail to ask for the referral. As a business owner, I often believe that my professional services I give to my clients will result in referral business. This can happen, but not in the kind of numbers you would think. Many people do not think about you when they run into a potential referral situation. I know I have many things on my mind in any given day and often, I fail to think about those service providers who have made my business a success. A past or current client is no different. They simply do not think about you.

Another reason few referrals are passed occurs from a lack of training. As a professional, I need to demonstrate to my contacts how to best refer potential clients and who would be a good candidate for my services. In my business, anyone is a potential client and a potential source for a referral. It is not like this in all businesses, but a good many professions are similar. For instance, a property and casualty insurance agent has a wide range of potential clients, if not all adults. If you own a car, you need insurance and this is a potential source for an insurance agent. As we know, most people in our area own a car. Even if you don’t own a car or a house, you need renter’s insurance to protect your belongings from a fire or flood. How do we get more referrals as business owners?

When you are speaking with a potential referral source, be specific with them. Ask them if they would prefer a lunch with the three of you or if you can use their name when you call the person. Find out what their preference is and follow it. Be flexible, but ask for the referral.

The most effective way to train your contacts while asking for a referral is to describe the client you are looking for. For instance, I am looking for renters who are considering buying their first home. This client would be a young professional who’s in their late twenties or early thirties and have an interest in investigating homeownership. I would phrase my comments like this “I heard your son/daughter recently landed a great job and are they interested in possibly owning their own home? I would love to sit down with them to discuss their options and see if buying a home is the right thing for them and if it is the right time for them to purchase a home”. It is that easy…but you need to know what type of client you are looking to gain.

On the other end of the spectrum, I am looking for homeowners who are considering downsizing or up-sizing. This would be too broad to ask, so I should limit to one or the other when asking for a referral. Since I have experience working with homes on golf courses, it would be a natural fit for the downsizing client. So, I would ask in much the same way if they have a neighbor or friend who is a recent empty nester and looking to downsizing their homes. “Are they interested in selling to move into a condo in downtown Raleigh?”

If you are in a profession that requires you to continually lead generate such as a financial planner or a real estate agent, you need to work on building your referral base to insure you are successful. The cost to generate a new client can be extensive, but typically, referrals do not cost you a dime. You may have to take someone out to lunch or buy them a drink, but you would be eating and drinking anyway and this is not a typical business cost since you have some personal enjoyment out of it. For instance, I send out postcards to generate business. This is more expensive than a lunch would be and is less effective. Don’t be cheap when trying to garner referral business…take them to lunch or host a dinner party. You will build a stronger relationship and can build a referral base that will benefit you and your business.

I would be remiss if I didn’t ask if you have a son/daughter or family member who recently landed that dream job and is now considering homeownership. If you do, I would appreciate an introduction. I hold my referrals dear and give them a level of customer service that will make you look good in their eyes.