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VOL. 35 | NO. 45 | Friday, November 11, 2011




Looking for miracle in holiday home sales

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With November in full swing, the number of new listings will begin to wane. Traditional wisdom has it that the shoppers abandon their search for homes on the market in favor of markets in the malls. Sellers may think ’tis not the season for listing houses until after the first of the year, or even the spring market.

While the number of real estate lookers may decrease, the intensity of those parading about seeking homes for the holidays is elevated to a level of red and green. If they’re looking now, they’re serious and they’re going to buy something. And they can’t buy it if they can’t see it.

Therefore, the holidays provide a wonderland of opportunities for sellers to allow the buyers’ presence in their homes, perhaps around a tree or a yard full of trees.

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors reported this week that sales for October were up in double digits over October 2010. With the number of pending sales holding steady, 2011 unit sales should surpass those of 2010. This activity is encouraging as sales must occur, even at lower prices, in order to allow a recovery.

Next week, President Obama’s new initiative will be implemented allowing homeowners that have made timely mortgage payments to refinance the balance of their loans without requiring an appraisal or a credit check. This will stabilize the market as properties that are “underwater” – worth less than the balance owed – can be refinanced, in most cases reducing the payments by hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

This will allow many of these houses to be leased with a positive cash flow and could pour millions into the economy and free the owners from the weight of the debt service allowing them to purchase other properties. The holiday gifts are being delivered early this year.

Yet another reason to consider listing during this holiday season is the possibility that the General Assembly could use the proceeds from the “robo-signing” of foreclosures settlement to allow homeowners to reduce their mortgage balances. Some states are passing the settlement on to those harmed, while some are considering sending the funds into the general fund.

Since many would-be home sellers are dissuaded from placing their homes on the market during the holidays, there is far less competition. Also, the days-on-the-market meter continues to run for the Island of Misfit Houses that were overlooked during the frenetic – OK, stable – fall selling season.

Perhaps there will be some miracles on 34st Street, or 21st Avenue, or Idaho-ho-ho, or Deer Park Drive, or any points between.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Pilkerton Realtors and the author of Come Together: The Business Wisdom of the Beatles. He can be reached at Richard@richardcourtney.com

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0