Top real estate questions and answers
I recently spoke to the Watertown Rotary Club about a number of real estate issues, including housing statistics and took questions from those assembled.
Is cash is king?
There is an expression that “cash is king.” However, is that true in real estate? During my talk I noted that cash transactions normally make up about 25 percent of residential sale transactions nationally. For 2016 so far, 35.7 percent are cash. Locally, this year Jefferson County cash sales have accounted for 33.3 percent of residential sales (22 percent in 2015), 35 percent in Lewis County (26 percent in 2015), and 25.8 percent in St. Lawrence (22.6 percent in 2015). While St. Lawrence County as not followed the national trend, why have Jefferson and Lewis counties? Looking at the median price — the price where half the prices are lower and half higher — the cash sale median is $50,000 while the median for non-cash properties is $140,000. Many of the cash sales were due to foreclosure. In fact, about 55 percent of the residential listings that sold for $50,000 or less were foreclosure sales. [Read more…]
Realtors meet members of Congress
From May 9 to 14, the National Association of Realtors held its Realtor Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. Approximately 8,500 attendees from across the country and around the world attended the annual conference. The week included about 200 meetings and events that covered many real estate topics and allowed NAR members to take an active role in advancing the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. [Read more…]
The following property sales were recorded in the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office in April:
A final word on property disclosure forms
In March and April, I wrote about two state-required real estate forms. The first was the Agency Disclosure form, which is used by real estate licensees every time they work with a new client or customer in a residential real estate transaction. This includes a provision for advanced consent for the firm to represent both the seller and buyer in the transaction. There is a form for the seller/buyer transaction and a separate one for the landlord/tenant transaction. The other form, used in almost every transaction that involves the sale of a one- to four-unit home is the Seller Property Condition Disclosure. [Read more…]
Jefferson, Lewis home prices dip
Slight increase in Q1 median price for St. Lawrence County
By Ted Booker, NNY Business
The median price of Jefferson County homes sold during the first quarter fell by $33,000 compared to the same period in 2015, a trend that suggests more foreclosed homes are being snapped up.
The median price fell by 22 percent from $147,000 to $114,000, and the 25 lowest-priced homes during the first quarter sold from $9,000 to $40,000, according to Lance M. Evans, executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors. Those home sales were among 137 made over the period, down by 12 units, or 8 percent, from the 149 sold in the first quarter of 2015.
Mr. Evans said homes in the county that were foreclosed on by banks appear to be in high demand among investors and landlords that see value in rehabilitating them.
“We’ve had a lot more investors who are picking up properties for great bargains,” he said last month. “A lot of these houses are going to be turned around, flipped or rented. But they need to be fixed up first.”
The decline in the number of homes sold over the period comes as the market in the county continues to be impacted by the abundance of new rental housing options, Mr. Evans said. New rental complexes built over the past five years to meet demand at Fort Drum have contributed to the buyer’s market.
“You’re starting to see more specials out there for free months of rent,” he said.
Compared with the same period last year, the first-quarter median home price in Lewis County dropped by $39,500, or 34 percent, from $117,000 to $77,500, according to the Jefferson-Lewis board. The number of homes sold over the period, however, climbed by 17 units, or 74 percent, from 23 to 40.
Mr. Evans said that Lewis County, like Jefferson, also had several homes sell for under $50,000 in the first quarter, causing the median price to dip from last year.
In St. Lawrence County, however, the first-quarter median price home price increased slightly by $2,750, or 3 percent, from $79,250 to $82,000, according to the county Board of Realtors. And over the same period, the number of homes sold increased by 31 units, or 34 percent, from 90 to 121.
Debra J. Gilson, a broker for County Seat Realty in Canton who serves as president of the St. Lawrence board, said that mild winter weather helped spur more first-quarter home sales across the county.
Because it takes about eight weeks to close on home sales, she said, many deals initially made in November and December are included in first-quarter statistics. Realtors across the county enjoyed similar success during the winter by selling a lot of homes, she said.
“A typical December would be about four transactions, but I had 12 sales on the books for December alone,” she said. “I attribute a lot of that to the mild weather and also to the low interest rates that buyers know will go up.”
The Jefferson-Lewis board has 335 Realtor members and the St. Lawrence board has 184, Mr. Evans said.
The following property sales were recorded
in the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office in the month of February:
Property condition a required disclosure
Last month I wrote about the agency disclosure form that New York state mandates all real estate agents present to buyers and sellers of one-to-four family homes, condominiums or cooperative apartments. This is a licensing obligation. [Read more…]
Understanding residential transactions
In the coming months, I will discuss some common forms a buyer or seller encounters during a real estate transaction starting with the Agency Disclosure Form. This is the one form you should see in any transaction involving real estate agents and sales of property ranging from single-family residences to four-family homes. Remember that all parties should always be given a copy of any contract or form that is signed. [Read more…]