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By Joe Klock, Sr.

Real estate analysts (and what American is not among them these days?) tend to survey the sea of sale signs in most areas and join the gloomy headline writers who conclude that there are not enough ready, willing and able buyers in the market place.

Not so, gentle reader! The shortfall is among sellers, of which there are relatively few treading water in the aforementioned sea.
“Whoa, Nellie!” you might exclaim (ignoring the by-line clearly displayed above), “any fool, including the by-lined fool, can see that it’s buyers that are now in short supply.”
In so doing, you might cite the hordes of hungry house-hunters who roamed the house-hunting roadways during the many months of a recently-deceased feeding frenzy, fueled by mortgage lenders with deep pockets and all the fiscal restraint of sailors on leave.
It is a now a fact of real estate life in most areas that their numbers – and that financial fuel – have shrunk like last month’s birthday balloons, and it’s true that there are fewer prospective buyers rummaging through the current logjam of listings.
Enter the law (not the theory or fantasy) of supply and demand, which dictates that when the number of consumers is dwarfed by a surplus of products, either prices take a hit or activity takes a holiday.
That reality underpins my contention that, while there may be too many homes for sale, there are too few legitimate sellers offering them.
This position is backed up by more than a half-century of experience on and behind the firing line of real estate brokerage, during which I have seen and survived several cycles of inflation, deflation and stagflation, as well as so-called sellers’ markets which morphed into buyers’ markets and vice versa.
Through all that trauma, certain facts remained unchanged – facts that are being ignored by too many would-be sellers and, sadly, pseudo-professionals. They are as follows:
1. No home in history has ever sold for a penny more than the best offer obtainable from the best buyer available in the then-current market.
2. The only way to determine the true value of a home is to thoroughly and aggressively test the market and challenge the competition. That process need not be a lengthy one, since buyers and their agents do comparison shopping and readily react to an attractive offering.
3. Once that procedure has been pursued, properties remaining unsold for an extended period of time are, quite simply, overpriced. Forget about what similar houses sold for in the past (which is history), or what those would-be sellers might have invested in their homes (which is irrelevant), or what qualified appraisers say they are worth (which are only opinions). The critical test is exposing one’s home to the greatest practical number of prospective buyers and active agents, and then analyzing the results.
4. A home that is appropriately priced and effectively marketed, preferably by competent professionals, will ALWAYS attract attention, generate activity and ALWAYS sell for what it’s worth (refer to Fact #1 above).
The problem today is not that there are too few buyers. Demand is what it is and neither wishful thinking nor wistful memories will increase its size.
The more serious shortage is of genuine sellers; i.e., those who meet these specific criteria:
a) They are willing and able to accept the best price obtainable from the best buyer available in the current market, and
b) They have something to lose if they don’t do so.
“Sellers” who do not fit that mold are not sellers at all and should be encouraged to take their properties off the market. (Realistically, they’re not actually ON the market, anyway!)
The market is not always kind, but it is never wrong – and those who believe otherwise pay a heavy price for ignoring “The Facts Of Life For Home Sellers.”
FOOTNOTE: For a further dose of this perhaps-unpleasant medicine, visit and click on that caption. You have nothing to lose – except, maybe, a pipe dream.
If that doesn’t work for you, take two antacids or a short snort and DON’T call me in the morning!
Here’s the bottom line – take it to the bank or to any nearby Wailing Wall: When proper pricing is combined with effective marketing, there is a buyer for everything and, given those conditions, any home can be sold in any market.
The ritual dances of negotiation may change with market fluctuations, but the drumbeat of reality does not!

Mike Carraway

1100 East Park Drive, Suite 104
Birmingham, AL 35235
Valleydale Branch
4500 Valleydale Road, Suite 160
Birmingham, AL 35242
24/hr Info: 800-634-0511
24/hr Fax: 800-634-0511

Alabama Real Estate in Recover

(Birmingham, AL) The Alabama real estate market is already recovering from recent lows. Evidence is everywhere.

Inventories of property on the market hit an all time high at the end of november 2007 into the first of December 2007. Since then, the inventory of property for sale has been shrinking. This is always the first sign. As property inventories decrease, the demand for property rises. This causes price support and shores up values.

Mortgage applications, or new people applying for a home loan, increased 12% just last week. This is yet another sign that more buyers are entering the market to buy a home. If you combine this with the fact that inventories are shrinking, it doesn’t take a genius to see that values will stop declining soon and prices will again start to rise.

New Alabama Relocation Network makes debut

A new network of websites which features the largest 494 cities in Alabama will make it’s debut statewide in December. Called the ePartners Network, the statewide web will make it easier for consumers to find properties all across the state of Alabama. In particular, the major cities, Montgomery, Huntsville, Birmingham, and Mobile and their surrounding communities are linked and cross linked so consumers can easily search for homes and real estate from one single location.

The state affiliate Broker, Mike Carraway (Broker, Access Realty), has already introduced the network to real estate agents in Birmingham, Huntsville, Jasper, Cullman, Hoover, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Montgomery, and several other Alabama cities. Each city has it’s own site and weblog and an agent can elect to be the exclusive real estate agent for their city to help consumers find what they want or to market their property statewide.

This is the first time in the history of real estate that geographic boundaries have been erased. In the past, agents and brokers have worked in certain geographic areas and basically limited themselves to that area, even though they were licensed to do business anywhere in the state. Now, for the first time, those boundaries are gone. An agent licensed to do business in the state can assist customers finding homes or locating a local agent from anywhere.

This new network will be a plus for all real estate ancillary services as well. Mortgage companies, insurance companies, and others can now advertsie their services on the network either statewide or in a local community.

The ePartners Network will change the way that the real estate business is done in other ways as well. It will serve as the first statewide, and even nationwide, platform for paperless real estate transactions.


Generating Online Interest in Your Property

The internet is all the rage when it comes to real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, when a buyer starts thinking of buying, the first place they turn is the internet. Just 10 years ago – it was getting in the car and driving around.

With gasoline prices approaching $3 a gallon, more and more people will search online first before they do any driving.

So – if you are an agent or a seller, how do you get your property noticed online?

Let’s talk about being an agent first. If you are with a national franchise and/or your company is affiliated with the local board of Realtors, there is a good chance that your listings will get streamed to is the #1 property search engine in the world and just keeps getting bigger and better. The site is ranked by as the #8 site – in the WORLD. That’s pretty big. Real estate agents already have this site in their favor.

As a home seller, you do not have such an advantage. You can either buy into one of the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) products out there that will put your home on the internet for you, or you can put up your own site and sales page for your home. Of course, if someone is searching for a home in your area, and your site doesn’t come up on the first page or two of the major search engines, no one will ever see it.

With people shopping more online and doing less driving around, it puts todays home sellers (those selling without an agent) at a pretty big disadvantage. If they would list their home with an agent whose company has a popular internet presence, their home would sell a lot faster because of the increased exposure.

Our company site is such a site. If you go to Google and search on “Birmingham Alabama Homes for Sale”, you will see that the Access Realty site comes in at #3 or #4 on the first page. That’s a huge advantage for anyone who wants to sell a home in Birmingham.

One other way to sell a home is to generate a large roster of interested buyers. This can be accomplished online by setting up what are called mini-sites designed to capture llists of people who are currently in the market for a home. This works great for real estate agents but may not work so well with a seller of just one home. You can get more information on these mini-sites and how to accomplish this HERE. As I said before, this type of buyer generation works extremely well these days because almost everyone shops online before getting in the car and driving around looking for homes.

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