Thursday, February 17, 2011


In some markets, sales were the worst ever these past few months—According to Case-Shiller the leading Real Estate think-tank: “While the composite housing prices are still above their spring 2009 lows, six markets—Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Portland (OR), Seattle and Tampa—hit their lowest levels since home prices started to fall in 2006 and 2007, meaning that average home prices in those markets have fallen beyond the recent lows seen in most other markets in the spring of 2009.”

This may make buyers a little lax. I can’t tell you how many times Connie Rice & Partners in Greenville, SC has heard: “We’re going to wait for the prices to go down even more..for the bottom of the market.” And if you’re a seller, your immediate reaction might be to hide like an ostrich for a while.

Greenville and the surrounding burbs of Simpsonville, Greer, Taylors and Travelers Rest are certainly included in this factor however Greenville County as a whole did not overinflate the way the above huge cities did. Oh sure we have our depreciation, but it’s much smaller than the horror stories you hear coming out of Florida and California. Our job growth is still in the black and we’re still seeing very qualified buyers coming for the best deals in decades.

But all may not be so negative—in fact, it might be just the opposite. For one, Case-Shiller numbers, when they come out, have a lag time of several months. So many things happen between those months. You’ll hear our Keller Williams agents and Connie Rice team say: “it’s a different market now even within the past few months.” Things change daily in this industry. And some positive things have happened.

For one, strong consumer holiday-shopping numbers. The stock market has risen some and the extension of the tax cuts have made some a little less nervous to spend their money. And, while unemployment is still a problem, there is some good jobs news as well. Huge businesses are staking their ground in Greenville and Laurens Counties. It’s a trickle, not a gush. But a little can go a long way.

It’s because of reasons like this—increased consumer confidence and slight lessening of fear—that we’re seeing some movement in the market. But some believe prices will go no farther down. That is not the case. We have not seen the bottom of the price points. But we HAVE seen the bottom of interest rates as low as they were in past years. The government can no longer artificially hold down the rates and expect to pay its astronomical debt. Part of it is psychological: If people see the financial and retail markets go up it can create more interest in buying more expensive items, like homes. It’s normal for a buyer to start rationalizing things this way: If the economy’s starting to improve, this house is going to wind up costing much more at some point. I’d better get in the door now, so I don’t miss the boat. Yes, you’d better. Because the rates will go up soon and that house you’re waiting on to drop the price will cost you more down the road because the interest will be higher. It’s a fact. Rates have gone up nearly a point in the past month alone and are trending upward with no end in sight.

Yes, there are still plenty of problems. Not just astronomical unemployment, a high number of foreclosures, a amazing amount of inventory on the market, especially in the 250K and higher range, mortgage rates that are anything but friendly. But these factors are THE sign to get off the fence and buy while the getting’s good!

For instance, when interest rates go up uniformly over time as they have been, people develop a bite-the-bullet mentality, thinking: “I’d better buy now even though they’re high, because it doesn’t seem like they’re going down any time soon.”

This mentality—of getting in before things move up—is something to strongly consider if you need to sell. Get your home ready and call a professional home inspection to address major problems that could be make or break deal breakers for buyers. And just as importantly, talk to our team and learn how Connie Rice and her team of expert and top Realtors can market your home best in this current market.

For you Buyers: Buying a home is an individual thing and very specific to your needs. We can’t say the time is right for everyone. But now is the time to check with our preferred lenders, talk to our team and learn how Connie Rice and her team of expert and top Realtors can market your home best in this current market. But for many buyers, a simple saying may very well hold true: Get in while the getting’s good.

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