Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Lodi Agent Debunks Bad Weather Excuse

To what extent does weather influence home sales? Well, agents (and the newspaper) up in Redding keep talking about the rain to explain declining home sales and falling prices. The latest from the Redding Record Searchlight.

Home sales drop off, Weather keeps buyers away during January
Winter continues to cast a chill on single-family home sales in Shasta County. Homes sold in January fell about 42 percent from a year ago, industry tracker DataQuick Information Systems recently reported. Single-family home sales last month in the county also were off -- about 15 percent -- from December, the sixth straight month of decline...

DataQuick reported that 95 single-family-home sales were recorded in Shasta County in January, down from 162 in January 2005 and 111 in December 2005. The median sales price for a home in Shasta County last month was $257,000, up from $228,000 in January 2005 but down from $269,000 in December 2005. The median price that homes in Shasta County fetched last month was nearly $30,000 less than in August 2005, when prices in the county peaked at $285,000...

Real estate agent Brad Garbutt, past president of the Shasta Association of Realtors, said the decline is a combination of the weather and a market that's cooled. Both December and January were wetter than average in the north state. Rain typically dampens the enthusiasm of potential buyers, Garbutt said..."It may take until we get to spring, past the rainy season. It seems like when the rain stops, the buyers come out."

A Lodi agent has a different perspective on the rain. From the Lodi News-Sentinel.
It was a dreary Sunday in Lodi, but more than 20 homes up for sale were hosting open houses. That doesn't count the homes featuring open houses in Galt, Acampo, Lockeford, Woodbridge and Morada.

Potential homebuyers weren't coming in droves Sunday. Two houses had three come in, while another had seven groups of people...Visitors checking out homes on Sunday tended to be quiet while walking through the house...

"The weather is a killer," Century 21 Realtor Surinder Bains said Sunday as he anxiously awaited the opportunity to show a spacious two-bedroom home on LeBec Court, near the Mokelumne River.

But Re/Max Realtor Traci Hicks disagrees. "I've had a lot of people come in today. Six groups of people came," Hicks said Sunday afternoon at a home she was showing in the 600 block of West Daisy Avenue. "People are more likely to go to the mall or the park on a beautiful day. I usually get more on lousy days."

Hicks and Prudential Realtor Tonya Freeman agree that bad weather definitely brings the serious buyer out instead of the browser.
Tip for California real estate agents: you could always try blaming it on the "distractions from the Super Bowl and the Olympics."

11 comments:

Lander said...

I also liked the agent "tricks" mentioned in the Lodi article:

Another trick in the Realtors' trade is to play soft music, often classical. Freeman turned on the TV to make it looked lived in, but she was only looking for classical music to add to the furnished home's ambiance. Only problem was that the seller has Comcast cable instead of a satellite. Therefore, Freeman turned on Country Music Television.

"The choice was this or rap," she said.

Realtors often leave refreshments, such as cookies, brownies or doughnuts. Visitors tend to feel more comfortable if they're munching a cookie while walking through the house, Hicks said.

capitalme said...

My favorite realtor trick is the line "please, I'm desperate, I'm paying three mortgages...make an offer!" I heard that last weekend while I was "browsing" an old roseville neighborhood.

It's starting to get sad out there...

arizonadude said...

Turn out the lights, the parties over!

Anonymous said...

Bad weather? The Olympics? The Super Bowl?

I wonder what other creative excuses will be used. Here are my predictions for the next few months:
1. March-St. Patrick's day OR the full moon on the 14th
2. April-Stockton's 21st Annual Asparagus Festival (Easter is too obvious)
3. May-May day

Anyone else have any predictions?

Happy Renter said...

Great line from Jimmy Castro at Realty Times.

"Speaking of which, you'll need to settle on an asking price. In doing so, forget what you originally paid for the house, how much you've spent on renovations or remodeling, and even how much money you need to move on to your next home. When it comes to pricing your property, the only thing that matters is what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood now -- which may be less than you sank into it."

capitalme said...

Poor Jimmy Castro...his magical sacramento economy is fading fast.

Lander said...

Welcome NYTimes.com readers.

Anonymous said...

Interesting change I'm seeing in my local area (Loomis) is the closing of real estate offices. A few months ago the C21 office on the corner of Horseshoe Bar Road and I-80 closed. Then just last week the ERA office just down the street appears to have folded (see http://tinyurl.com/p55fm ). I tried their phone number during regular business hours and no one answered.

I'm thinking we are going to see tough times for real estate offices with a lot of them disappearing. What will take their place? I suspect possible replacements will be credit counseling services or soup kitchens.

Happy Renter said...

Or Pawn shops. :)

ocrenter said...

Poor Jimmy Castro...his magical sacramento economy is fading fast.

but all those elite community colleges, and Cal State Sacramento... oh, and let's not forget those trade schools... what happened to their Harvard-like status that propelled Sacramento the real estate greatness?

Anonymous said...

Poor Jimmy Castro? He is a great agent! His team helped me sell my house in less than 40 days at a fraction of what others would charge me to sell it and found me a new house $40k under asking price and got all my closing costs paid for. His team also got me a no point, no fee loan at a half a point less than what I could find shopping other lenders. This guy will be in business no matter what happens with the market!