By ROY SANBORN
There were 132 single-family residential homes sold in June in the 12 Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sale price came in at $303,761 and the median price point was $217,250. That compares to 112 sales last June at an average price of $325,548.
That brings the total number of residential transactions for the first half of 2016 to 542, at an average sales price of $311,342, with a total sales volume of $168.7 million. That is up from the 417 posted in the first half of last year and the average price is up a bit as well from last years $309,625. The six-month total sales volume last year was $129.2 million. Even more impressive is the increase over the first half of 2014 when we had just 408 transactions at an average of $299,623. So things are looking pretty strong so far this year!
Home sales numbers increased in all price ranges except for properties below $100,000 where sales dropped from 61 for the first six months of 2015 to 52 transactions so far this year. The number of sales in the $100,000 to $199,999 range rose 52 percent from 129 transactions to 196. In the $200,000 to $299,999 bracket, sales increased 30 percent from 115 to 149 and in the $300,000 to $399,999 bracket they increased 59 percent from 37 to 59 sales. In the over $400,000 category, sales were up 15 percent from 75 to 86 year over year for the same period (85 percent of the sales over $400,000 were waterfront homes.)
I stumbled across a website called "We Buy Ugly Houses" somehow the other day. The site has a cute little cartoon caveman character on it who I guess represents an ugly person (I think) who might buy an ugly house? Apparently this company, which has franchises all across the country, buys ugly houses for cash. When they say ugly, they really mean a property that is distressed or that perhaps the owner is more distressed and wants to sell it quickly.
This company graciously offers to come in and buy your property at a reduced price, maybe at 60 percent of the real value (not likely the list price), and then turns around to sell it for a profit after perhaps sprucing it up. I suppose this might be a viable option for some sellers who don't want or don't have the money to fix their place up. But, the seller has got to have some pretty good equity in the property to be able to do this kind of thing and most don't.
You often will see little paper signs tacked to telephone poles that say "We Buy Houses for Cash" along with a number to call. It may not be the "We Buy Ugly Houses" people but the idea is the same. When you want to sell your house fast that means you are going to sell it at a reduced price.
Another website touted: "If you have had your house listed with a Realtor for months without any results, or if you are having a hard time selling the house yourself and are starting to get frustrated, let one of our investors make an offer that you can't refuse. We are always ready to buy houses quickly." The translation here is "We are always ready to buy houses cheaply."
There are even some real estate agents that tout that they will buy your house if they can't sell it in 30 days. I think that is pretty big conflict of interest, if you stop and think about it!
The long and the short of it is that time equals money. If you price any home too high, then it will take longer to sell than pricing the same home at a lower number. Underprice it and it will likely sell very quickly. It's so simple even a caveman can do it. It is finding that perfect number between the high and low point that can be a little harder.
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 7/19/16. Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.
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