Blog Archives

Helping Shelby Co. People In Need

You can have fun and help people at the same time.

That’s what the Oak Mountain Real Estate Network’s annual Christmas Auction, held November 18th in Pelham, is all about:

Oak Mountain Real Estate Network Auction
Despite a tough economy, we had a lot of Agents and people working in affiliated fields participate. When it was all over, the Network had raised nearly $2,200. The Network supports two very worthy causes here in Shelby County: SafeHouse and Family Connection.

Special thanks to Auctioneers Kelly Bishop-Hicks with Allstate Insurance and John Holliman of the Holliman Law Firm, who did a great job!

David

October Birmingham/Shelby Co. Home Sale Stats

Getting your home sold in Shelby County is taking longer in some communities and less time in others, while prices have dropped, according to October statistics from the Birmingham Multiple Listing System.

The average number of days on market increased in Alabaster and Chelsea, but fell in Helena, Pelham and Calera:

Days On Market  JUN-OCT 2009
Click here to see a larger version of the Average Days On Market graphic

Prices continued a downward trend in October, and substantially so, compared to September:

Average Prices  JUN-OCT 2009
Click here to see a larger version of the Average Sales Price graphic

How many homes are selling?

Except for Calera, the number of homes sold in October dropped from September. Chelsea saw the sharpest one month drop, while more homes sold in Calera during October than in September:

Homes Sold  - JUN-OCT 2009
Click here to see a larger version of the Number of Homes Sold graphic

Why the uptick in Calera?

Perhaps it’s the large inventory of low cost housing (both new and resale), making for some very attractive deals for first time home buyers, along with the fact that Calera qualifies for USDA financing (which means loans with no down payment required).

I think these statistics are giving us some important messages.

If you’re planning on buying a home, the market is continuing to work very much in your favor in the Birmingham and Shelby County area. Prices have dropped, inventory is in plentiful supply, and loans continue to be very affordable.

If you’re trying to sell, the message these numbers present is that it’s going to take a lot more than just putting a For Sale sign in the yard.

Marketing plays a more critical role than ever, and must be done in innovative ways if your home is to stand out among all the other properties for sale.

Pricing is no less important and will be a huge deciding factor in how quickly you sell, or if you sell, at all (believe me, we have seen examples of both!).

You may also benefit from an informed assessment of your property’s appearance and condition. With so many homes for sale right now, if your property doesn’t sparkle, Buyers will simply move on to another.

These are some very good reasons for trusting the sale of your home to an Agent who’s knowledgeable about the market here in the Shelby Co./Birmingham area and who knows how to achieve success in spite of challenging economic conditions.

David

Birmingham Home Sale Prices

How much does it cost to buy a home in the Birmingham/Shelby Co. area?  Here are a few numbers that really show the variety of inventory and pricing currently available.  Remember that these are asking, and not sold, prices:

Alabaster/Maylene/Saginaw
Homes For Sale:  370
Under $150,000:  125
$150,000-$199,999:  111
$200,000-$249,999:  51
$250,000+:  83 just_listed2

Helena/Pelham (Shelby Co.)
Homes For Sale:  502
Under $150,000:   148
$150,000-$199,999:  153
$200,000-$249,999:  72
$250,000+:  129

No. Shelby Co./Hoover
Homes For Sale:  725
Under $150,000:  30
$150,000-$199,999: 41
$200,000-$249,999: 127
$250,000+:  527

Chelsea
Homes For Sale:   287
Under $150,000:   23
$150,000-$199,999:  92
$200,000-$249,999:  53
$250,000+:  119

Calera/Montevallo/Wilton
Homes For Sale:  334
Under $150,000:  203
$150,000-$199,999:   77
$200,000-$249,999:  29
$250,000+:  25

Source:  Birmingham Multiple Listing System

David

Shelby County/Birmingham Area Home Sales Update

Here’s a look at how homes have been selling in the Shelby Co./Birmingham area during the past few months, courtesy of the Birmingham MLS:

Stats - SALES - JUN-SEP 2009

Stats - SALES - JUN-SEP 2009

Stats - DOM - JUN-SEP 2009David

Encouraging Signs For The Real Estate Market?

Maybe things are getting better.

Pending sales of homes in the U.S. rose in June for the fifth straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

For the first time in five years, sales of homes have risen for three months in a row, according to NAR.  Sellers pricing their properties attractively, low mortgage rates and the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers are getting credit for the rise.

New sales statistics give reason to be optimistic about the real estate market.

New sales statistics give reason to be optimistic about the real estate market.

For a number of market analysts, this trend is better than expected, and gives reason to believe the real estate market will continue to improve.

In the North Shelby county/Hoover area, 787 properties are for sale as August gets underway, according to the Birmingham Multiple Listing System.  391 properties are for sale in the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas, while 505 are for sale in the Shelby county portions of the Helena and Pelham areas.

Here in the Birmingham and Shelby county area, you can still get quite a deal on a mortgage.  30-year fixed rates have actually slipped some from a week ago.  With good credit, you can get a loan in the very low five percent range, while 15-year fixed rates continue to hover between 4.5 and 5%…

David

Seller’s Choice: Lead The Market, or Chase It?

“It’s the sluggish economy.”  That’s what I hear a number of Sellers say when their home fails to sell here in Shelby county.  It’s an easy explanation to fall back on.  But is it accurate?  Many more times than not, the answer is no.

If everyone in the Birmingham area deciding to sell completed a simple one page question sheet with two answers, it would really help determine, up front, whether their home is going to sell successfully, and whether it sells sooner, rather than later.

Here’s what the question sheet would look like:

It’s amazing how many folks have to learn this most basic rule of real estate.  If you don’t know it, not to worry … you will learn it when you try to sell.

If you choose to make your home as attractive as it can be (yes, that can take some work for many owners), and if you commit to setting a price that piques the interest of potential Buyers, you’re automatically positioning yourself to sell sooner, rather than later.  You’re leading the market.  How do you know if you’re doing this?

By gauging response.  Response is everything.

In the current economic climate, if you get an Offer on your property within 30-45 days of putting it up for sale, you’re doing well.

In the area extending from Hoover in north Shelby county across Pelham, Helena, Alabaster and south into Chelsea, Calera and Montevallo, 2,286 homes are listed for sale at the moment, according to the Birmingham Multiple Listing System.  With all this available inventory, Sellers have competition.

As a Seller, you must make your home enticing to potential Buyers, price-wise and appearance-wise.  If they find it tempting, you will no doubt find yourself signing a Sales Contract soon.

But what if your home has been on the market for, say, a couple of months or more, and hardly anyone has even looked inside?  What if you’ve not yet had a single offer?  The response you’re getting—or lack of it—is the market speaking to you.

Planning to lead the market or chase it?  Your decision means whether you will sell sooner or later.

Planning to lead the market or chase it? Your decision means whether you will sell sooner or later.

Many Sellers may wind up not liking what they hear.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes I don’t like what I hear a lot when I listen to the market, either.  But, like it or not, it’s valuable input.

The sooner we accept what the market is telling us and adjust accordingly, the sooner we’re likely to see a successful sale.  And if that’s been our goal all along, why prolong getting there?

We know Sellers who, in essence, checked the ‘Lead the Market’ box.  We know this because they got their property sold successfully, and without being on the market a particularly long time.

We also know Sellers who choose the ‘Chase the Market’ option.  They do this by pricing their home higher than is recommended.  Some neglect to take the steps suggested to make their property aesthetically pleasing.

Market chasers pay a price for their decisions.  They may believe they’re going to get closer to their asking price when an Offer finally does come in, but this often doesn’t happen.  Market chasers can expect to have their property remain for sale with few showings for a long time—other homes will no doubt come on the market and likely get Offers and possibly sell before theirs even gets a nibble.

Some market chasers won’t see their homes sell, at all.

In short, Sellers who say they want to sell, but who are actually market chasers, need to be prepared for frustration.

Which box would you check?

David

Homes For Sale in Birmingham & Shelby Co. Area

As we start off May, here’s a look at current inventory for the Shelby County and Birmingham areas, as indicated by the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service:

Number of homes available:

Helena & Pelham area (Shelby Co.): 518
Helena & Pelham area (Jefferson Co.): 58
North Shelby/Hoover area (Shelby Co.): 776
Chelsea: 279
Altadena/Cahaba Heights area: 72
Liberty Park/Vestavia area: 492
Alabaster, Maylene & Saginaw area:  382

Calera, Montevallo & Wilton area:  346
Columbiana, Westover & Wilsonville area: 93

Number of homes with 3 or more bedrooms for sale:

Alabaster/Maylene/Saginaw area: 362
Chelsea area:  24

Number of homes with swimming pool for sale:

Alabaster/Maylene/Saginaw area: 116
Chelsea:  24

Bottom line:  There continues to be an excellent supply of homes in a wide variety of styles and price ranges.  The good time to buy rolls on!

David

Birmingham/Shelby Co. Homes For Sale

Here’s a look at current inventory for the Shelby County and Birmingham areas, as indicated by the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service. To help you with an idea of trends, the numbers in parentheses show the count as of March 9th, 2009 (one month ago today):

Single family, town homes and condominiums available:

Helena & Pelham area (Shelby Co.): 519 (521)
Helena & Pelham area (Jefferson Co.): 59 (58)
North Shelby/Hoover area (Shelby Co.): 739 (701)
Chelsea: 298 (324)
Altadena/Cahaba Heights area: 67 (62)
Liberty Park/Vestavia area: 492 (446)
Alabaster, Maylene & Saginaw area: 373 (372)
Calera, Montevallo & Wilton area: 360 (356)
Columbiana, Westover & Wilsonville area: 93 (89)

Number of homes for sale based on current selling price:

Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw area:
$150,000-$200,000: 132 (131)
$200,000-$300,000: 90 (86)

Helena and Pelham areas (Shelby Co.):
$150,000-$200,000: 169 (166)
$200,000-$300,000: 127 (124)

Helena and Pelham areas (Jefferson Co.):
$150,000-$200,000: 2 (2)
$200,000-$300,000: 22 (21)

Chelsea:
$150,000-$200,000: 82 (99)
$200,000-$300,000: 118 (120)

David

Birmingham/Shelby County Homes For Sale

Here’s a look at current inventory for the Shelby County and Birmingham areas, as indicated by the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service:

Number of homes available:

Helena & Pelham area (Shelby Co.): 521
Helena & Pelham area (Jefferson Co.): 58
North Shelby/Hoover area (Shelby Co.): 701
Chelsea: 324
Altadena/Cahaba Heights area: 62
Liberty Park/Vestavia area: 446
Alabaster, Maylene & Saginaw area: 372
Calera, Montevallo & Wilton area: 356
Columbiana, Westover & Wilsonville area: 89

Number of homes for sale based on current selling price:

Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw area:
$150,000-$200,000: 131
$200,000-$300,000: 86

Helena and Pelham areas (Shelby Co.):
$150,000-$200,000: 166
$200,000-$300,000: 124

Helena and Pelham areas (Jefferson Co.):
$150,000-$200,000:   2
$200,000-$300,000:  21

Chelsea:
$150,000-$200,000:  99
$200,000-$300,000: 120

David

Current Birmingham/Shelby Co. Homes For Sale

Here’s a quick look at some current numbers for the Birmingham and Shelby County housing market as we approach mid February, courtesy of the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service…

Number of homes available:

Helena & Pelham area (Shelby Co.): 497
Helena & Pelham area (Jefferson Co.): 60
North Shelby/Hoover area (Shelby Co.): 665
Chelsea: 320
Altadena/Cahaba Heights area: 54
Liberty Park/Vestavia area: 438
Alabaster, Maylene & Saginaw area: 374
Calera, Montevallo & Wilton area: 360
Columbiana, Westover & Wilsonville area: 88

Number of homes for sale based on current selling price:

Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw area:
$150,000-$200,000: 120
$200,000-$300,000: 89

Helena and Pelham areas (Shelby Co.):
$150,000-$200,000: 161
$200,000-$300,000: 121

Helena and Pelham areas (Jefferson Co.):
$150,000-$200,000: 3
$200,000-$300,000: 20

Chelsea:
$150,000-$200,000: 93
$200,000-$300,000: 122

Bottom line: There are still lots of choices!

David