Friday, October 30, 2015

A Health Care Benefit While Selling Your Home?

Some property listings and advertisements for listings provide information about the local school district, most likely when it is a school district worth bragging about to potential buyers.

While that makes sense and has its merits, so does providing helpful information about what is nearby to the appropriate demographics. Other than schools, that doesn't seem to happen, and that needs to change.

Of course, the quality of a school district is important. But not if it is a smaller home which does not have room for a family with children, and/or a home in an area which does not cater to school age children.

Just as the school district is a concern for potential buyers with children, there are aspects of a community which appeal to different age groups, even though they are rarely pointed out in a sales situation. Not doing so can cost some home sellers an edge they may have when buyers compare with another property.

Listing agents need to find and utilize more factors about the community when promoting a home for sale. The idea is to sell "this" home ahead of "homes" in general.

These days, the information needed is more readily available than ever before, and should be taken into consideration.

For example, for potential buyers either without children, with grown children, or whose children do not live with them, could very well be in need of convenient health care. To that point, the quality of the local hospital is as important to some potential buyers and sellers as the school district is to others.

Why can't home sale listings include something like "close to 'A' rated West Central Hospital" within the description?

To further the point, here are the recently updated statistics for the 100 largest hospitals within the State of Illinois:

This information is generally available for every state. Right now, your home could be close to the top hospital in your region.

If you are looking to sell your home, and it is nearby to one of the top hospitals in the state (or within 50 miles, for example), shouldn't that be pointed out to potential buyers? If you didn't know about it, how do you expect them to?

Frankly, that might be more helpful to a potential buyer than learning about the "vaulted ceiling in the upstairs bedroom".

Providing a possible health care "benefit", especially at no additional cost, to a potential buyer just might make the difference when the potential buyer compares their needs vs. other properties they might be considering.

If you are a realty agent, this should become an element of your presentation. If you are a potential or current seller, you should research this ASAP in hope of finding another solid reason for a buyer to make an offer. It could be better for your health.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Why Are Las Cruces Home Sales Really Better Than "Reported" ??

The idea should be to promote the sales of homes and not break it down by category if you don't have to. However, this report for Las Cruces NM fails to do so. Even worse, it is the Las Cruces Association of Realtors which issued the report.

It shows that "new" home sales are up, and prices up an impressive 10%. However, the same report shows that "existing" home prices decreased over the same period, even though sales were up slightly. This report also shows that short sales and bank owned property sales are also down over the same period.

What could and should have been a positive report for the market instead becomes a negative for current and potential home sellers in the area. This report should have been ALL homes, whether they are new or "existing".

There is no "total" figure, so we don't know for sure, based on this report, whether or not home sales in total are up, along with prices. As a guess at interpreting the statistics, they are, but it is not worth doing the math that we (as consumers) should not have to do.

I'm sure that some agents will argue with me that with existing home prices being down that it makes those a better buy. However, from the standpoint of a potential seller, this means they likely won't get a more realistic (and higher) asking price than they would have if ALL home sales and prices were "up".

If it were the local home builders association putting out this sort of publicity, I could understand that they want to bring more appeal for their new construction. However, this is a report through the Association of Realtors, which is supposed to be representing home sellers just as much as buyers.

They don't have to lie. Just tell the public that "home sales and prices are up", and not break them down publicly to the detriment of a larger segment of the local population.

It's time to turn a positive into a positive.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Never Mind The Forecast - Stick With The Facts

Here is another example of why there are still so many problems, which should not be "problems", plaguing the real estate community.

I'm finally seeing positive results from certain parts of the country. The key word is "results". More and more communities are able to show that both home sales and home prices are on the rise. This shows that the particular community has a demand, and that a buyer stands a chance to actually be able to profit if they choose to sell in a few years. If not, real estate becomes less of an investment for the future and more of a way to gain tax benefits from basically paying rent with control over the "lease".

Then, I see "reports" such as this one. Leslie Appleton-Young has been a real estate expert in California for many years, and is well respected around the country by experts in the business, including myself.

However, the "story" from this week (10/8/15) does exactly what drives me nuts in this still challenged real estate market.

This story features "projections" for the coming months and into 2016 over and above the number of homes which have actually sold and where prices are going. Furthermore, her quote of “We still have a slightly troubled housing market” doesn't exactly make investors drop everything and call their real estate agent.

The "We still have problems, but expect them to get better" approach is, frankly, one of the things that is hurting the real estate process. And this one is not necessary.

Some publicity is not better than no publicity. This kind of publicity could have, and should have, been a lot more positive. You don't have to be a respected expert to realize that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Agent's Newspaper Quote Hurts His Own Business

Obviously there are still some realty agents around who think that any publicity is good publicity. When I provide Media Coaching for agents I always stress the importance of being ready to say the right thing at the right time.

Unfortunately, an agent in Washington provides an example of why. Skagit County home sales showed a decline for the month of September. A local agent, given the chance to comment on the story, clearly didn't think before he spoke.

He is quoted in the local newspaper saying: "People do not want to list through the winter months,” “The perception is that things slow down. You don’t have as many buyers during the winter months.”

No wonder they "don't have as many buyers"! If I was a potential buyer within that area reading the local paper or reading it online, I would now think that there won't be any properties to choose from over the next four months.

If I were an owner in that area and considering selling soon, this agent just told me there "aren't as many buyers". According to him, I'd be stuck.

Although this is one small news article, the point is that it is another instance of an agent doing more harm than good.

I can't help but think of the large number of stories in the media about a property up for sale or just sold, especially involving celebrities, in which the agent "would not comment". Those are lost opportunities for major publicity.

This time, the agent was getting publicity for himself and his company, and blew it by not thinking. If that were me, my response would have been "With all of the desirable properties in this area, I'm confident that more people will be looking to come here", or something to that effect.

We need more positive thinking when it comes to getting more homes sold.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Movie "99 Homes" A Revealing Real Estate Adventure

I saw the movie “99 Homes” last night and find it to be one of the most compelling movies to come out in a long time. The writers most definitely know the seedy side of real estate, giving precise attention to how much the big banks and the government have screwed up the industry and the impact it continues to have.


While set in Central Florida a couple years ago, the film clearly has the element of “this could be in your community” as it shows what happens when people are at risk of losing their homes. We see the realty agents wanting their next commission, the banks wanting to close out “bad loans” they originally chose to make, and how the government gets ripped off in the process.


“99 Homes” also raises several moral questions, addressing the angle of “They stole from you, so you need to steal it back” and the pro and con of the choice. At the same time, we see how much the real estate industry still needs to be cleaned up.


This is how movies should be made. The writing is superb, and the acting is equally as excellent and convincing, especially during the many emotional scenes. Although some of the camera work is too shaky, in this instance it adds to the impact of making this seem like “real” experiences throughout this highly believable film.


The directing is solid, and the lighting is excellent as well. More importantly, this film shows that we don’t need special effects or name actors to make a film great. The only music was in the background and for impact, and not a bunch of popular songs to keep the audience awake and tapping their feet, like too many other films find necessary. It is the writing and how it is conveyed that make all the difference.


That is also without considering my personal emotional attachment of knowing two people who have lost their houses within the past 18 months. Every home owner can clearly relate to those portrayed in the movie on some level.


My only complaint would be that, at just under two hours, there should have been more time so that the story could have been carried out. As much as I liked the ending, this did not have to be one of those films where you know what “probably” happened. There were a couple of plot related questions not answered while the film should have easily been over two hours.


However, what turned to be the end was an ideal finish to an excellent plot. This film is clearly worth leaving home for!



Monday, September 14, 2015

A Poor Reflection on Coldwell Banker

Real estate advertising and marketing has enough challenges these days, but this incident in Orange County reflects even more poorly on the entire industry. The story in the Orange County Register showing two upscale realty offices in the same area taking jabs at each other hurts on several levels.


This is supposed to be a story about a couple of managers and an undetermined number of realty agents moving to a local competitor. First of all, this happens quite frequently and in many parts of the country on a regular basis, and more often than not and is not “reported” via the local media.


What this tells me is that someone provided the reporter with information in a serious effort to get this “story” out there. The core of the story is that two managers reportedly left First Team and went over to a three office group of Coldwell Banker offices.


This story goes as far as quoting Jamie Duran, the President of CB’s Orange County and San Diego operations, as saying that one of the managers they hired “was working for a non-luxury brand”. In the next paragraph, Jeff Gibson of First Team points out that company’s position as a luxury brand.


In addition, the story quotes representatives from both offices as disputing the exact number of agents who have “moved” from First Team to Coldwell Banker, with one side claiming it was 45 agents and the other claiming it was “only” 15 agents that he knew of.


We are not talking about an assembly line here. Having two executives of competing real estate companies acting like this is kindergarten is another poor reflection on the industry as a whole. Coldwell Banker’s competitor did not do anything illegal or unethical, yet their highest ranking executive has no problem taking a jab at a rival?

Real estate companies are under close government scrutiny, in addition to held to Realtor Association standards on both a local and national level. That should include being factual when making a public comment!

Perhaps Duran also overlooked the fact that agents representing home buyers can help clients buy homes listed by ANY real estate firm. The quote from Duran should have been more along the line of “We are happy to have these quality people on our team…” and shown some class.


Then there is the matter of the number of agents that followed the managers over from First Team. Unfortunately, the reporter failed to clarify which person was right (or if either was) and tell us how many agents joined Coldwell Banker as a result of this.


As a result, we have management people from two “leading” real estate companies, which serve the same communities, each telling us a different number with regard to the same situation.


If these companies can’t count their people accurately for a newspaper story, how can they be trusted to handle millions of dollars in real estate transactions? How do consumers know that the agent they are supposed to trust with their home will be representing the same company a week from now?


What happens the next time an agent from one company is negotiating a sale of a home with an agent from the other company? Will a buyer get screwed because the manager has another hissy fit?


We cannot and should not have it come public that upper management can become so unraveled over something that is common within their industry. But in this instance it did. Here’s hoping the real estate community will learn from this mistake.


Keep the comments positive, and more importantly, accurate. That is not a "luxury". It is a necessity.










Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How The Garbage Could Help Sell Your Home

Some communities have begun to consider increasing the frequency of garbage pickup, including the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, which has a heavy concentration of single family homes. If there are more pickups, it would likely mean an even cleaner community, perhaps "cleaner" than certain nearby communities with less frequent pickups.

If you are looking to sell your home, and your community has (or is going toward) more frequent garbage pickups, you should research and find out if any of the surrounding communities pick up as frequently or not, and document it. Why?

Chances are that potential buyers for your home will come from outside of the community. They may be looking at other similar homes in nearby communities, developments, or cities. It could very well be to your advantage if you can provide potential buyers with factual information as to why your home has the "cleaner" surroundings.

This is just one example of what home sellers need to be doing to get their home sold. Frankly, your real estate agent is highly unlikely to provide your potential buyers with this type of information, which could help tip the scales in your favor.

It's because agents are looking to sell "houses", whether it is yours or someone else's. If the community you live in has a distinct edge over a neighboring community, YOU need to point it out. Your agent either has or will have homes to sell in the "rival" communities, so he/she can't be out bad-mouthing the other areas. The fewer distinct advantages you have to point out about your home for sale, the longer it will take to get it sold.

An additional weekly garbage pickup leads to a cleaner community, perhaps "more clean" than the development a few blocks away, in the same school district, which also has similar homes for sale at the same time. Even though you cannot control how "clean" your neighbors keep their homes, an additional community garbage pickup, which the rival development does not offer, means that your buyer will gain a cleaner environment, perhaps for less money. (It's always good to compare prices of similar homes even while yours is listed.)

Too many sellers forget that the agent they hire works for them, and should include as many specific reasons to consider their homes as possible. For communities such as Arlington Heights, they could have an edge on nearby suburbs very soon:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tucson Market Shows Positive Signs

This is more like it! Tucson home prices continue to rise. Many consider the part of the report that says home sales were "flat" during this time to be bad news, but that's hardly the case.

The overall rise in home prices sends the message that this area is becoming more desirable. More importantly, it sends a message that current and hopefully future home owners in Tucson (and wherever else this trend is happening) can actually consider home ownership as an investment and make the right moves to be able to profit from an eventual sale.

That's how it used to be, and how it needs to be again. The market can't bear any more distressed property sales to kill home values for everyone.

Here are the specifics for the Tucson market:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Try On This Problem in Tryon Area

If it's not one thing it's another in some real estate markets. In this instance, home owners near Tryon NC have no power to sell for the time being and it is because of the local electric company. Although they have electric power, the placement of power lines and a study about future electrical service has literally put home sales on hold until area residents get a clear picture of what will happen next.

Here is one of the impacted local agents explaining the situation: 

We understand this impact on home sales is not intentional. However, this is a public utility creating an issue toward the local economy.

Hopefully the local government(s) impacted by this will exercise some "power" of their own and remedy the situation sooner rather than later.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Analysis of Denver Homes Market

Denver home prices appear to have stayed around the same for the month of July (2015), while home sales dropped nearly 10% since the previous month of June.

Granted, this is only for a one month period, but it still is not good news. The current home owners want to think that their home will finally show some additional value in hopes they could actually make a profit if they choose to sell at some point.

What makes this a story is that these statistics were released by the Association of Realtors:

Since its release, researchers (myself included) and market analysts now have a lower value placed on the Denver market. Those that invest in properties regardless of location might scratch Denver off their list, at least for now.

The Denver Post, the most widely read publication in Colorado, has already published a story about this, which is, obviously, not positive.

All the Association had to do was keep this quiet. Local home owners, and possibly some potential investors, would never have known there was a decline, even though it is minor.

Whether in Denver or not, home values need to be on the rise across the board. Reporting the negative doesn't help.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Real Estate "Contest" That Costs Entrants $150?

A Phoenix TV station is calling a supposed house giveaway a "contest" when it costs $150 to enter. There are issues with this on several levels.

Let's leave FOX KSAZ-TV channel 10, ABC15, and CBS5 calling this a "contest" (when it is not) for the media and legal folks to challenge.  The station aired and published their "news" story about a local investor "giving away" a $500,000 house as if he is trying to help with the housing market.

This story admits that entering with an essay of 250 words or less about "why you would love to win this house" requires a cost of $150. There is also a published "limit" of 5,500 entries, which is really to encourage consumers to enter this so-called "contest".

When you do the math, and project that 5,500 people would be "willing" to spend $150 for their chance at a $500,000 home, you realize this would project to a take of $825,000 by the "contest" holders. For the "prize" valued at $500,000?

If half that many entries show up, the "take" would be $412,500. Consider that there would be no commissions, appraisals, and numerous other costs associated with a legitimate real estate transaction, and you will find that a true sale at $500,000 would leave the seller with an actual amount in that vicinity.

Upon reading the fine print in the web site set up for this house, the "winner" would technically have to purchase the house for $10.00, in addition to having to pay title and other transaction fees which could total more than $3,000.

However, the legal concern about holding this as a "contest" (not to mention a TV station reporting this as legitimate!), is only some of the problem. The rest, unfortunately, relate to the current real estate market.

This so-called "news story" claims that this is a "home valued at $500,000". Again, none of these TV stations (along with radio station KTAR) bothered to check into this "story" any further.

Where is any proof that this home is valued for that amount?

In researching local properties, I came up with TEN homes, also 5 bedroom 4 bath (as is this one), listed at UNDER $450,000, all within the same zip code as this house being "given away". (My source was on August 4, 2015)

If the investors plan to "give away" this house were to actually happen, having a $10.00 purchase price showing for this home would, naturally, kill home values within the area. Just wait until a potential buyer in that same neighborhood puts in a bid of $12 to $20 for another 5 bedroom house based on a recent comp!

I'm sure some of you think that won't happen, and that I'm being ridiculous. If you are among those who do, consider this. When homes are sold for partial value due to foreclosure or short sale, those low "sale" prices count within home sales statistics and have served to reduce home values significantly in many parts of the country. This is the cause of millions of faithful home owners going under water with their mortgages, and leaving them, to quote U2, stuck in a moment they can't get out of.

Yet, we have TV and radio stations in one of the nation's most important media markets "reporting" this so-called contest, and possibly contributing to a local real estate disaster.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who is concerned about this..........

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Real Estate Advertising Analysis - Madison WI

Reader feedback goes a long way with me. As a result, I’m going to share even more of our market research geared toward reviewing advertisements by market and doing some comparison analysis.


Our market research of advertising and marketing of single family homes in the Madison WI area shows that realty agents are doing a slightly above average job in comparison, with good possibilities for improvement in the near future.



The listings reviewed are each three bedroom one bath single family houses (in Dane County) priced between $100,000 and $200,000, which range from fixers to ideal at the low and high end.


Upon doing a random search, based on Dane County 3 + 1 in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range, we reviewed the first five homes shown with this criteria starting at the low end of $100,000 and then the first five working down from $200,000 to $159,900. These advertisements are then compared against each other (in same range) and then against the ads for the other price range within the same area.


$100,000 to $110,000:


#1) 140 South St, Sun Prairie, $104,900 1,583 square feet



The photo spread exterior shot shows the big yard, which, however, makes the house look distant. The interior photos show too much of the bare floors, some with debris on them, in empty rooms. Combined, these photos make the reader want to keep his/her distance and fear for walking inside onto bare floors.


The description copy tries to counteract the photos, admitting the home “has flaws”, and highlighting “Tons of great features, covered front porch, main floor office & laundry….”, etc.


However, this home has more square footage than four of the five properties we reviewed which are priced between $50,000 and $90,000 higher and in the same region. A more flattering photo spread and minor copy revisions needed.


#2) 209 North St. Madison $104,900   1,575 square feet




Although the intent is there with this advertisement, the primary photo showing the wood porch and railings which do not match the color of the exterior kill the initial appeal. The description copy includes “Great opportunity for sweat equity or investment…”, which is fine. However, the copy begins with “Back on market, buyer finance fell thru”.


While we understand the desire to show the reason for ‘back on the market’, it should not be given as a priority. A “new” ad should be attracting “new” potential buyers who would not have known this is at least a 2nd attempt to sell the listing. To address those who have seen this property advertised previously, show an upgrade, improvement, or added feature not included in a previous ad instead.



#3) 549 State Farm Rd. Deerfield  $109,000   1,824 square feet



By far the largest home in terms of square footage in this group, but the advertisement fails to live up to this advantage.


The primary photo has blocked out part of a real estate sign, giving out a “this is an edited photo” message, as well as looking like the back of the home behind a tree and phone pole.


If anyone bothers to proceed and read the description copy, they would see more negative information, such as “Property was built prior to 1978 and lead-based paint potentially exists.”


Of course, the lead-based paint possibility should be disclosed under these circumstances. This, however, should have been addressed before an advertisement went public. Having an inspection to determine whether or not this issue exists would have been huge. If an inspection showed no lead-based paint, it could have been pointed out and made into a positive! If there definitely is a presence, the ad could state something like “Get the lead-based paint out and get a bargain in return!”.


Why? Because at an estimated 1,824 square feet, this home is also bigger than the five property advertisements we analyzed costing up to $90,000 more. Showing a definitive result tells a potential investor how much they could profit by fixing up, or what a bargain this is if they don’t have to deal with the paint issue. As it shows now (as of press time), this ad tells a potential buyer they have a major headache to deal with if they still want the home.


What might have been!


#4) 116 Cherokee Dr.    $109,900  1,374 square feet



If only the photo spread and the description copy were coordinated, this would be the best advertisement within the group.


The primary photo is very good, making this home appear larger than three of the other four properties within this $10,000 range even though it is not. Most of the remainder of the spread is quite flattering to the home.


However, the description copy starts with “Lake access home on 3 lots, have the rights but not the cost and enjoy the lake.” The “however” is that it isn’t until the final two photos that a potential buyer can see any evidence of a lake, and that is if he/she is still clicking away.


Either the copy needs to feature “Plenty of room with easy lake access” or the photo spread needs to show at least one picture showing both the house and the lake with a much better angle. This property is a good value compared with a couple of the ones priced much higher, but a conflicting advertisement does not convey the best message.



#5) 1738 Baird Street Madison   $109,900  932 square feet



This advertisement pulls down the others. The photo spread needs to be re-shot. The primary photo, even with the yard and garden, is at an angle that makes the house look small, even though it really is. The 2nd photo makes the 2-car detached garage appear to be larger than the entire house. Ouch. What hurts even more is that the remaining photos of the interior are very good and quite flattering. Removing the first two exterior photos would make a huge difference with this home.


The description copy wisely promotes the ability to bike or walk downtown or to campus, and (at press time) upcoming open houses. However, the copy included “Offers will be presented to seller Sunday evening”. While we realize the intent of urgency, this also tells an interested party that there is no rush to see the home ahead of time since an offer might not be considered ahead of time.


Especially when a potential buyer can easily find four other 3 + 1 homes for the same or a few thousand dollars less within seconds.



FROM $200,000 to $159,000:


#1) 5202 Kevins Way Madison  $200,000   1,644 square feet




This one is clearly the best advertisement of this group of ten. While the primary photo is slightly off angel, the 25 photos in the spread are excellent, flattering each room throughout the interior.


The description copy starts well with the “updated home in a desirable neighborhood” approach, while the “Well cared for by this owner of 31 years” is an excellent selling point. This combines to give potential buyers solid reasons to pay the same or more than comparable listings in the area, which the majority of these other ads do not.



#2) 108 N Jefferson St. Verona   $200,000   1,309 sq feet




Ad needs some touching up to be effective. The primary photo features the yard, which in turn makes the house seem distant. The description copy hits “Charming ranch home is the best value in the Verona area” but offers nothing to compare.


While the description copy does support the current primary photos by mentioning the yard and patio first, the photo spread further in features a very impressive interior, which appears to be an even better selling point.


This advertisement needs to feature the interior as the strong selling point, especially when you consider that three of five home ads we reviewed listed for at least $90,000 LESS, have more square footage.




#3) 3629 Dennett Dr.  Madison   $200,000   1,392 square feet 



Has a good primary photo and photo spread, even if it makes the home appear smaller. Only critique on this ad is that both the description copy and the photo spread could have more emphasis on the interior.




#4)  2415 Allied Dr. Madison  $199,900   1,450 square feet



In one word, this ad is “careless”. Not one actual photo, yet the description copy says this home was “built in 2014”, and this is July 2015. The description copy also promotes “Open House at Sales Center”, as if this ad has given anyone even the slightest hint of a reason why they should follow up. Especially when the same area has larger homes available for more than $90,000 less.


There is nothing in this ad to make this home distinct in any way, nor do we know if there is still a warranty or what condition it is in.



#5) 112 Bresland Ct. Madison   $199,900      1,110 square feet



More carelessness with this ad, in addition to two of the photos (including the primary one) showing a car in the driveway. Another of the photos shows grass growing at the garage door, which makes this property appear poorly groomed. The last of the (only) five photos shows some sort of street view with no description of what or why it is included.


The description copy includes “needs extensive work/remodeling”, while this home is at approximately 1,100 square feet, while priced at or above every other home in this analysis.


This listing office generally does better with promoting its listings. A check of the company web site produced a separate 3 + 1 home with unique features and a nice photo spread listed at $40,000 LESS:



However, consumers are far less likely to pursue a company web site after seeing ads as poor as the Bresland Ct. one, especially at the higher price.



NOTE: This survey is based on researching listed properties for Dane County (in which Madison is the largest municipality) via the WisconsinHomes .com site during the week of July 20 through 24, 2015. First In Promotions Inc., which provides the research, has no affiliation with WisconsinHomes nor are any of the listing agents or specific offices representing the various analyzed property advertisements current clients of First In Promotions Inc. This information demonstrated for research purposes only, and is not guaranteed to be accurate or current beyond July 24, 2015.


Our full reports for Madison and other markets recently surveyed by First In Promotions, both for our clients and independently, may be available to qualified realty agents and companies. Contact us if interested.




Monday, June 22, 2015

Phil Collins Helps To Drum Up Real Estate Business

The story may seem more like one of those entertainment blurbs and celebrity news, but the story about musician Phil Collins purchasing a mansion formerly owned by Jennifer Lopez is an important one for the real estate industry.

Never mind the entertainer aspect of this. The key point to the story is that the most recent owner spent a lot of money to upgrade and renovate the home, and sold it for a profit of millions of dollars in the process.

We must not overlook the key point that the seller increased the value of the home and sold it for much more than he purchased it for within the past ten years.

After constant stories about sellers losing money, or at best breaking even, on the sale of their homes, it is encouraging to know that the possibility of home owners once again being able to profit from their investment just might be on the comeback trail! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How NBA Star Kevin Durant Has Helped The Real Estate Market

While it is safe to say that the majority of us don't care what superstar pro athletes do with all of their money, this week's news is an exception to real estate owners and those who depend upon the industry for their income.

Way to go, Kevin Durant. This time, it's not because of his play on the basketball court. The sale of his Miami area multi-million dollar penthouse brings us what is truly the best possible real estate news. This is positive for all of us.

The fact is that Durant's penthouse has been sold for approximately $3,125,000. What makes this so special is that Durant purchased it back in 2011 - for $1,325,000 LESS than what he just sold it for only four years later!

This 3,800 square foot estate was put on the market earlier this year at $3,450,000. In this instance, I can't criticize the seller for accepting $125,000 less than the asking price. Not when the profit comes to more than $1.3 million over four years.

If it were up to me, this should be the lead story in every real estate related news source for the entire week. Here is why.

Stories like this one were commonplace for years. However, in recent times the number of distressed properties sold for lowball prices has destroyed this from happening in the majority of cases.

We need MORE stories such as this one. A seller made a handsome profit on a property purchased and upgraded over a four year period. Shows it actually can be done, even in today's market.

For a change, an agent didn't say "It won't sell for that much. You need to price it below what you paid for it!". Some appraiser didn't bring in comps using short sales of large mansions to make it appear that Durant's property had not increased in value. Yay!

Real estate needs to be made into an investment with promise once again. Those who are sitting there trying to come up with reasons why home ownership has declined over the past five years need to read this column again. If consumers had the legitimate chance to turn a profit within five to ten years (like it used to be) I'm here to tell you home sales would be back up again.

In the spirit of Kevin Durant, it would be a slam dunk.