Or Realtors Charge Less than big tech and sell homes for more money
Over the last few years the traditional real estate industry has been under attack from dozens of Tech companies sure they can “add value” by cutting out the real estate agent or at least by cutting out a portion of the commission. Zillow failed and stopped buying homes. The behemoth lost approximately $25,000 on each home sold. OpenDoor was just fined $62,000,000 for false and misleading advertising by the FTC; basically OpenDoor said sellers would save money by using them. They did charge less commission … but they charged a high “convenience” and other fees (often totaling 7 to 11%) that when combined with lower sales prices than the open market can get netted the sellers less money than if they had hired a realtor. A quote I like is “most people who sold to OpenDoor made thousands of dollars less than they would have made selling their home using the traditional process.” And these failures were done during perhaps the best rising market in history.
Why have the Tech Companies failed? My supposition is that real estate is a hyper local business and that “value” is determined best by using an experienced professional who understands all the nuances and how to sell. When we moved to Georgia, we were perplexed by widely ranging values in the neighborhood we first bought in. Similar sized homes with identical one acre lots had values between $550,000 and $1,000,000 with no discernable differences in age, quality etc. Turns out the more expensive street was in a gated portion in the community and commanded a significantly higher price. No way for a computer model to figure that out. Another subdivision had students going to two different high schools. With a difference of about 10% in the value of the homes depending upon which school they attended. Again without “boots on the ground” and experience there is no way to accurately value a home. Artificial intelligence has a difficult time making complicated real-world decisions.
Our clients and friends know the value we bring to each real estate transaction and as more and more of our business becomes referral-based we wanted to assure you that your friends and family that you refer to us will thank you because of the value they receive!
Real Estate Stats and Thoughts
Our primary areas of service are below, and it continues to be a strong sellers’ market. Newspaper headlines are stating the market is dropping and while it is true that prices dropped in some area’s month over month (from June to July it was about 2%) Year-over-Year is still showing extremely healthy appreciation. This appreciation has slowed a bit to 15.4% and the number of closings declined by 36.75% – attributable to the rise in interest rates and paralysis as the market seems to be changing.
Active listings are at historic lows in Cherokee AND Cobb Counties – while the number of homes on the market is rising in both counties combined, we have 2333 homes for sale and only 32 properties for sale under $200,000! All 32 are fixer-uppers, lot value only, not habitable or condominiums. Last month 1348 homes closed in the two counties; giving us 1.7 months of remaining inventory which has traditionally proven to be a strong seller’s market.
Exciting Stuff in and Around Woodstock
We enjoy Olde Rope Mill Park family friendly hikes. Mountain biking, kayaking, and its just really pretty.
The Outlet Shops are also pretty cool. We like several of the restaurants and especially the Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience.
Dixie Speedway is good ole fun. Hosts over 150,000 fans of red Georgia Clay loving race fans.
Berry Patch Farms is a terrific excursion to pick blueberry’s pumpkins and more. Click the link to see a fun history.
Property Management: Repairs and maintenance
We do regular property inspections and let our owners know what needs to be done repair wise. Most of our owners are happy to keep their homes in good condition. Here are the most common items needing attention.
1) Fresh paint – it helps rent the property faster and for more money. It can also prevent future wood rot and expense on the exterior. We are finding a good paint job inside last 4 to 6 years and exterior paint should be planned on every 5 years.
2) Appliances. Older appliances can be repaired but the economic and functional life span should be considered. Tenants today like the stainless-steel look.
3) HVAC Systems. Should be serviced (usually at the owner’s expense) every 6 months. We had a rash of units needing to be replaced this summer.
4) Flooring. Carpet lasts 3 to 8 years. Premium Vinyl 8 to 10 years. Ceramic tile (not real common here except in bathrooms) lasts forever.