What’s Happening in Walton High School Area?

What’s happening the in the Walton High School area?

The standard answer comes from the MLS reporting, but the best answer comes from an in-depth study using FMLS raw data which requires an extensive manual process. This step is regarded as critical because it is very revealing and relevant when counseling sellers on how best to prepare and position their property to improve the opportunity to net more at closing, in less time. It is the MGR business model, local knowledge, and depth of experience that brings about the delicate balance between these opposing forces. So why the need for hours of work when push button MLS reporting is available?

First, the MLS “Original” List Price is a bit of a misnomer as the OLP comes from the most recent listing and not the initial listing in a multiple listings scenario; i.e., when more than one listing has been used to market a property. As show below, the average homeowner goes through about 2 listings in their effort to sell.

Second, the MLS “Total” Days On Market does not always reflect the entire amount of time a property has been offered for sale, and especially so in a multiple listing scenario due to MLS reporting rules.

Third, the MLS system is not currently built to segment results based on whether or not price changes were introduced.

Fourth, is the granularity needed to isolate the events down to the elementary school and price range level. More detailed information leads to better and more confident decision making.

The featured chart (in seasonal colors of red/green) illustrates two things; a) what happens when property is initially offered for sales at the Right Price (no price changes were required), and b) how this ratio varies among the upper price ranges.

Directly related to the falling SP/OLP% is the corresponding increasing days on market when the Right Price has not been identified.

These stats are for the higher value resale Walton High School single family detached homes in just four elementary schools (East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge) because it is the focus of my business, and clients that fall into this slice of the market appreciate and benefit from this concentrated effort.

Below is the summary section of the reporting for the List Date 1/1/18 – 11/20/18 with List Price $800k – $999k, comparing among other things the variance between the MLS TDOM and MGR SDOM (seller days on market). It is very enlightening!

$800k - $1m Current Status v9

Contact me when you plan to sell and I’ll be glad to review this information in detail and other aspects of the MGR Best Home Marketing approach to selling higher value property.

 

One Chance To Be NEW.

One chance to be NEW. Similar to, “You Get Only One Chance To Make A First Impression”.

Deciding to sell is a big deal. It is also exciting and fun to share your plans.

Once the public hears a house is for sale, from quite conversation with neighbors, friends, a FSBO sign, through services like NextDoor.com or the all-out full-blown publication on consumer home search websites and MLS, a baseline, for better or worse, has been established. This becomes THE first impression and first shot at being new inventory for buyer consideration.

Recovering from a False Start can be a challenge and in my experience almost always results in a lower net at closing and more days on market. (see below)

I associate the term False Start with two conditions.

  • Broadly speaking, anything that adds to the days on market and/or reduces the net at closing, and
  • More specifically, a listing that ends without a sale (expired / withdrawn), a sale or pending listing that incurs price reductions in order to attract an acceptable offer, and an active listings that has been on the market longer than the average amount of time.

Efforts to recover from a False Start may include one or more of the following activities.

  • Reduce the price
  • Withdraw the listing or let it expire in order to re-list to appear “new”
  • Change the description/remarks
  • Change the photos
  • Offer buyer and/or agent special incentives
  • Change and/or stage the house to address buyer/agent feedback (i.e., new paint color, new carpet, etc)
  • Schedule additional Open House and/or Caravan days
  • Spend additional advertising dollars (marketing to buyers and/or agents) on social media, print material, etc.
  • Contact surrounding neighborhoods (by phone and/or mail)

It is my personal experience that these actions, beyond the first two, have a very low return for the effort (the proverbial needle in the haystack) and generally produce more benefits for the agent than the seller.

Deciding to sell is simple. Preparing to sell with the objective to net more in less time takes careful planning and execution because there is just one opportunity to be truly NEW and have the buyer come away with a positive experience.

Avoiding False Start conditions produces a huge win for the seller. Here are some facts based on hours of YTD 2018 data gathering using my area of focus (the higher value Walton High School single family detached resales in just four elementary schools (East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek, and Timber Ridge). Find more stats by elementary school and price range on MillerGroupRealty.com.

 

SP-OLP% Price Range Summary 11-25-18

A gradual decrease in the SP/OLP% is experienced as the List Price increases; however, the SP/OLP% is significantly higher for those that go under contract without incurring price reductions.

 

SDOM Price Range Summary 11-25-18

Shown above is the drastic difference in terms of Seller Days On Market when price changes are and are not involved. Sellers listing their house at the right price have a totally different view of the market than their counterparts. At the end of the day it is not about the “market” but starting at the “right price”. (The Miller Group Realty SDOM more accurately reflects the seller’s true effort to sell in contrast to the often quoted Total Days On Market stat which falls short of more accurately recording the events when more than one listing is used to produce a sale.)

 

Seller Fatigue Price Range Summary 11-25-18

The above chart illustrates the percentage of sellers that become “spectators” rather than true “participants” in the race to actually transfer title to a new owner. Spectators are those that go on the market and fail in their efforts to sell because either they were not serious about selling or are ill advised before or during in the process. Participants are those that actually cross the finish line…close on the sale!

 

False Starts Price Range Summary 11-25-18

Not surprising is that the number of False Starts increases as the home value increases. I owe this dynamic to the challenge of identifying the right price for luxury property. Deciding to sell is simple. Selling with the dual goal in mind to net more in less time requires someone with keen local knowledge, significant experience, and a business model and approach to selling that provides the best opportunity to sidestep the False Starts to achieve this delicate balance.

 

I welcome an invitation to discuss these findings in more detail. The best way to reach me is via mobile number 678-933-7780 and Brady@MillerGroupRealty.com.

Why Is Right Pricing So Important?

What is “right pricing” and why is it so important?

For me, “right pricing” is the research and analysis that goes into identifying a price range and a pricing strategy.

The end result is a specific price that will prompt offers. Too low and the house may sell quickly but at lower price resulting in a lower net at closing. Too high and the house may never sell without one of more price adjustments and then, like the too-low scenario, may generate less cash at closing.

My experience tells me that the right price must be within certain limits to attract offers, and those limits vary with the value of the property and amount of time it has been exposed to the market.

The penalty for overpricing is huge, both in days on market and net at closing, and not to mention the additional emotional stress and the negative impact it can have on many areas of life. No one expects to become the one to catch what I refer to as Seller Fatigue but it will materialize over time, and it can take as little as 30 days.

I dig into the details to be in a position to give my clients real numbers generated from my area of focus (i.e., the higher value resale Walton High School homes in just four elementary schools: East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge). This effort is necessary because the MLS search and reporting capabilities don’t provide this micro market detail (which is so important for those in Walton) nor does the firm Keller Williams Realty hires to produce custom stats.

It is also important to understand that the MLS reporting does not always (in fact, most of the time) illustrate the real challenge facing sellers. My SDOM (Seller Days On Market) captures the full number of days the property has been exposed to the market which can be significantly different from the TDOM (Total Days On Market) reported by the MLS due to their restrictive guidelines.

Another must-know, but not reported, is the number of days that transpire from the last price change to when a listing goes under contract and ends with a sale. It is important to have this information as a guide when considering the timing of price changes.

In general, as house value increases, so does the amount of time it takes go under contract (aka, Binding Date). Also interesting is that the data reveals that listings go under contract in less time when the house was first listed for sale with the right price (i.e., price changes were not involved) compared to the elapsed time from the last price change to the Binding Date for those listings incurring price changes.

Price Change Impact 10-31-18 All Price Ranges

Picking the right price is simple, but not easy. The benefits are clearly in favor of getting the price right, right out of the gate! One can be lucky and guess the right price, or improve the odds by hiring a Realtor with hyperlocal market concentration and expertise…Brady Miller, 678-933-7780.

 

 

How Much Can I Expect My Home To Increase In Value?

My seller asked this question recently, and on another occasion I set out to see what the numbers would say about a house a client was about to purchase.

Since I concentrate on the higher value Walton High School homes in East Side, Mt Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge I used this market to illustrate the challenge.

As shown below the results are can vary widely depending on the start and end periods. Starting in an off month (such as January) and ending in a peak period (such as July) can set the wrong expectation.

  • May ’08 to August ’18:  29.0%
  • May ’08 to July ’18:  17.1%
  • May ’08 to June ’18:  9.1%
  • May ’08 to May ’18:  8.9%
  • May ’08 to April ’18:  0.3%

Walton Avg Sales Price May 2008 - Aug 2018

  • June ’08 to August ’18:  51.8%
  • June ’08 to July ’18:  37.7%
  • June ’08 to June ’18:  28.4%
  • June ’08 to May ’18:  28.1%
  • June ’08 to April ’18:  18.0%

Walton Avg Sales Price June 2008 - Aug 2018

Perhaps the answer is that your house is primarily a place to call home and secondarily an investment. The appreciation is what it is.

Call me when curious about the price of your home, and especially so if it falls in this area, $600,000+, and has not been previously listed as you only get one chance to truly be “new” inventory for buyers to consider.

 

When Is The Best Time To Sell?

This question is probably second only to, “How’s the market?”

I find most people are looking for a month or season. The typical response is usually not an answer but information that may already be known; i.e., higher prices in the peak season (spring/summer) mean more homes on the market, while lower prices in the off season (late summer/winter) are associated with less inventory and seemingly fewer buyers.

My reply is a 2-part answer and perhaps unexpected.

First, when to sell should be when you are ready, regardless of the time of year. Is there a life event driving the move? Do you have time to prepare the house? Is the social calendar full?

Second, when to sell should be within the first 2 to 3 weeks of putting the house on the market. It is rare for a house to look as pristine months later. Buyers intuitively know there is more room to negotiate months later. Owners develop what I refer to as “Seller’s Fatigue” which can lead to poor decisions.

Take a look at this chart showing the resale average sales price of single family detached Walton High School homes in East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge. It identifies the two months for the past 10 years with the highest average sales prices. Two observations:

  • The customary seasonal low-price months (cool blue) offered some of the highest prices in 2008 – 2015.
  • Recent years have been consistent with the pattern usually expected; i.e., highest prices in the spring and early summer (hot red).

Walton Highest Months Avg Sale Price 2008 - 2018

Maybe the housing recession and early recovery had a role to play in this unexpected results and things are now more “normal” in this post-recovery period.

I can provide plenty of evidence to demonstrate the importance / benefits of being under contract sooner than later. And the number of sellers that do, without resorting to price reductions, may be surprising. Avoiding what I term as a “False Start” has a lot to do with starting at the right price.

Contact me when you have thoughts of selling, regardless of the time of year.

 

Walton High School Residential Real Estate Market Observations

Perhaps the best place to find residential resale information for higher value Walton High School homes is MillerGroupRealty.

Here are some takeaways as of July (raw data sourced from the First MLS system) for Walton homes in four elementary schools (East Side, Mt Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge). Unless otherwise noted, the information is based on resales (excludes new construction) of just single family detached homes (excludes condos/townhomes and lots/land).

  • Number of Active listings is below the levels reached in the summers of 2014 – 2017.
  • Number of new construction listings continues its decline (began June 2017).
  • The average sales price increase for Walton since July 2014 is about 18%, coincidentally about the same for the four major metro counties (Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett).
  • The average Walton sales price was $625k compared to $426k for Pope, $433k for Lassiter, $406k for Wheeler and $286k for Sprayberry.
  • Higher value homes ($600k+) account for about 45% of all Active listings and Sold listings.
  • The July average sales price of $890k for Sope Creek consistently far surpasses the other elementary schools (under $600k).
  • Who has the most homes available for under $600k? East Side
  • Who has the most higher value ($600k+) homes available? Sope Creek

Contact us when you have thoughts of selling as we may well be your best choice for representation when the goal is to net more at closing, in less time. Our clients benefit most when we can apply our Best Home Marketing approach to selling and also be hyperlocal. We live where we work, and our website reflects this focus.

It’s That Time of Year

It’s almost that time of year when the school year is over, and for some that means preparing to make that long anticipated move.

Here is a high level view of the current Walton High School real estate market as of 4/26/18. I chose $600,000 for this illustration because the higher value homes are our particular focus in just four elementary schools. Continue reading “It’s That Time of Year”