June 2016: Real Estate Roundup

Realtors meet members of Congress

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

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…]

June 2016: Top Transactions

The following property sales were recorded in the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office in April:

[Read more…]

May 2016: Real Estate Roundup

A final word on property disclosure forms

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

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…]

May 2016 Real Estate: Top Transactions

The following property sales were recorded in the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office during the month of March:

[Read more…]

May 2016 Feature Story: Real Estate

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.

April 2016: Top Transactions

The following property sales were recorded
in the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office in the month of February:

[Read more…]

April 2016: Real Estate Roundup

Property condition a required disclosure

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

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…]

March 2016 Feature Story: Real Estate

A commitment to community

Mary Adair, broker/owner of Exit More Real Estate, Watertown and Clayton, in her Watertown office. Mrs. Adair bought the Watertown real estate franchise in 2011 and has since expanded with a second office in Clayton. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Mary Adair, broker/owner of Exit More Real Estate, Watertown and Clayton, in her Watertown office. Mrs. Adair bought the Watertown real estate franchise in 2011 and has since expanded with a second office in Clayton. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Real estate the perfect ‘second act’ for Exit More broker-owner

By Karee Magee, NNY Business

Only five words are needed to characterize the owner of Exit More Real Estate: “Mary Adair is always there.”

Mrs. Adair has taken the phrase, designated by her employees and customers, to symbolize her open door-style of business.

“Our backbone is the service we give our customers,” she said. “We show them that we care. You have to show them how much you care before they care.”

Making herself available to her customers is the first step to showing that, Mrs. Adair said, whether it’s dealing with home inspections and appraisals or overcoming obstacles with her customers.

Mrs. Adair includes not only her customers under her open door policy, but for her business, the same policies start at the office.

“Mary is top of the line,” said Karen Jorden, administrative assistant and agent at Exit More. She’s just like a mother figure. She’s got that way about her.”

Ms. Jorden said Mrs. Adair has made the office environment more like a family culture because she’s always able to listen and help resolve problems.

Mrs. Adair goes out of her way to provide training and resources for her employees as well, Ms. Jorden said, limiting out of pocket costs for her staff.

“I love helping the agents grow and I love watching them grow,” Mrs. Adair said of her job as a mentor to her staff.

For Ms. Jorden, this support from Mrs. Adair meant the world to her when Mrs. Adair recommended her for the job as administrative assistant to their former broker.

“It brought tears to my eyes,” Ms. Jorden said. “To be appreciated the way Mary appreciated me is beyond the ability to put into words.

Despite her success, real estate wasn’t a career that Mrs. Adair envisioned for herself, though, while she was an accountant until 2003.

She was convinced to pursue a career as a real estate agent who was working to sell an old house for her and her husband.

“I was tired of sitting behind a desk,” Mrs. Adair said. “I wanted to do something different.”

By the fall of 2003, Mrs. Adair was licensed and working for a small independent real estate company before joining Exit Moore in 2007.

“I’ve found it to be not just a rewarding career, but a challenging one,” she said.

Mrs. Adair said she found her passion in helping people fulfill their dreams, whether it was buying a house or selling one. A passion that led her to be named 2009 Realtor of the Year by the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors.

To her surprise, though, her journey didn’t end there. Four years after joining Exit More Real Estate, her broker, Debbie Moran, announced she was retiring and asked Mrs. Adair is she would like to buy the business.

“I was very happy where I was,” she said. “I never envisioned this.”
Mrs. Adair said she had decided not to buy the business, but her husband, Jerry, changed her mind.

“He said ‘If you don’t buy it, who will buy it? And will it still be Exit,’” she said.

The Exit More Real Estate name symbolized a great deal to her, Adair said, because the word “more” depicted what the business was about.

She bought the franchise in 2011, and two years later she expanded into Clayton, opening an office on Riverside Drive.

Those decisions, though, were the most difficult for another reason.

“Exit was fairly new, only five years old,” Mrs. Adair said. “No one had heard of it.”

It was during that time that she developed her reputation for always being there with a campaign of consistent community involvement.

She decided that the best way to make Exit More Real Estate stand out would be to show the company’s commitment to the people and their community by participating in a coat drive, WPBS-TV auctions, Habitat for Humanity and the North Country Festival of Trees.

The policy was continued in Clayton in 2013 with the Clayton Christmas Parade and the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival parade in Watertown.

“I felt that was a good way to get across who we were,” she said. “We work so hard and we do a good job for people. They remember that.”

The Mary Adair file

Hometown: Lowville

Professional: Broker and owner of Exit More Real Estate

Family: Husband, Jerry Adair; daughters, Tracy Moody and Lorri Norris; two grandsons

Education: Jefferson Community College

Community: Treasurer, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors

Recommended Read: “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson

Karee Magee is a magazine associate for NNY Magazines. Contact her at kmagee@wdt.net or 661-2381.

March 2016: Real Estate Roundup

Understanding residential transactions

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

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…]

March 2016 Real Estate: Top Transactions

The following property sales were recorded in the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office in the month of January:

[Read more…]