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Archive for the ‘Selling’ Category

I talked before about what you can do to whip your home into shape for less than $100. Now we’re going to look at a few finishing touches  you can add if you’ve got a little more cash-ola in the old bank account. These will make a world of difference if you’re trying to sell.

Replace light fixtures

From lighting to faucets to door knobs, fixtures can date your home like almost nothing else. Most are pretty simple to replace. If you don’t know what you are doing, call in a pro.

Maybe you can picture your name in lights with that old used-to-be shiny-brass Broadway style vanity light. You know the one I’m talking about. It points its bulbs straight at you with the intensity of a thousand suns (OK, maybe only with the intensity of its 10 big orbs, but still – NOT flattering).

Or perhaps your ceiling fan sports a nice wicker insert and squeaks like the swinging door in a John Wayne film. Replace those suckers with something simple and neutral but most of all….manufactured in this millennium.

Total cost? As little as $100 or as much as you can afford.

Replace bathroom counter tops

Cigarette burns, a swirling kaleidoscope of colors, or just downright ugly. Whatever the reason, it may be time to replace the vanity tops. These days you can get a granite counter with built in undermount sink for a couple hundred bucks. Throw in another hundred for installation. Boom! Instant update.

New Faucets

Maybe you have the ever lovely not-so-shiny chrome vanity faucet with gorgeous faux crystal (i.e. dirty looking plastic) control. Nothing says cheap like that faucet. It probably leaks a little anyway. So replace it with a brushed nickel or antique bronze fixture for an instant update. Find a simple new light fixture that matches that spiffy new faucet you just put in. Total cost of your bathroom makeover? About $200-500 depending on what you pick out and whether you’re handy enough to do it yourself.

Replace worn kitchen counters

If you are in a high end market, you’re going to need to splurge to update your kitchen to the standards expected but if you’re in a middle of the road sort of development, getting rid of those mauve counter tops will make a world of difference for a modest amount of money. No need to get some crazy custom color, just a nice neutral, new, clean looking counter. Costs are going to vary widely but installing new laminate counter tops in a  typical smallish kitchen can be done for as little as $500.

Take down that nasty wallpaper

Even if it isn’t actually nasty, chances are it isn’t attracting any buyers. They walk in the door and automatically take a couple grand off the price because they KNOW what a pain it is to take down. And that’s why I’m including it as a $500 makeover item. If you do it yourself, it won’t cost anywhere near that much in dollars but it might be twice that price in aggravation. So spare your buyers and do it for them. They, and your asking price, will thank you for it.

Total cost: Maybe $100/room for removal supplies and paint.

Remember – Elbow grease is always free!

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Julia Odom enjoys long walks on the beach, debating the restoration vs. renovation question and hanging out with plumbing inspectors

Visit her website to search for homes.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given),

a community event to promote or maybe even a crime to report?

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Another brand spanking new report, this one for my St. Elmo neighbors.

All St. Elmo Real Estate Sales through the Chattanooga MLS

All active listings as of 1/5/09: 23

Pending or contingent listings (under contract) as of 1/5/09: 1

Residential listings closed (sold) during December 2009: 2

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: a respectable 11.5

And because everybody is a nosy neighbor, here’s what actually sold in December:

DOM= Days on Market

Notice anything there? Not much sold (although it’s a fairly small area without a great deal on the market) but what did sell, went awfully fast. I’m not saying that everything in St. Elmo goes that quickly but that just goes to show you that if you price it right it will go, and quickly.

Want to know more about this charming little community? Click here for a recent blog post or see what’s for sale right now.

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Brand spanking new report for your viewing pleasure. I haven’t done a downtown market report before. Many of these sales are going to be condos & lofts with a few single family homes sprinkled in for good measure. These statistics are for the downtown, MLK & Southside areas. The boundaries I’ve used are the river on the north and east, I-24 on the south & Central Avenue to the west.

All Downtown & Southside Chattanooga Real Estate Sales through the Chattanooga MLS

All active listings as of 1/5/09: 140

Pending or contingent listings (under contract) as of 1/5/09: 9

Residential listings closed (sold) during December 2009: 2

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: Mmmm, looks like about 70

Downtown & Southside Chattanooga Real Estate, Under $150,000

Active, residential listings: 16

Pending or contingent listings: 1

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 0

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: I’m going to use the one pending and call it 16

Downtown & Southside Chattanooga Real Estate, $150,000-350,000

Active, residential listings: 88

Pending or contingent listings: 6

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 2

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 44

Downtown & Southside Chattanooga Real Estate, $350,000-600,000

Active, residential listings: 19

Pending or contingent listings: 0

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 0

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: Ad infinitum – this price range is where it hurts.

Downtown & Southside Chattanooga Real Estate, $600,000+

Active, residential listings: 17

Pending or contingent listings: 1

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 0

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: Again, I’m going to pretend I don’t see that goose egg and call it 17.

The chart below shows what is under contract now or sold in December

S=Status, either Pending, Sold or Contingent; TYP= Type of Home, either residential (single family), townhouse or condo; DOM= Days on Market; Prices shown reflect list prices – not contract prices

The numbers look pretty dismal but that’s a little misleading since we’re looking at such a small, high-end inventory. Like North Chattanooga real estate, the nature of the sample size you’re working with results in some big fluctuations. And upper end real estate is suffering all over Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Since that’s the majority of what you have in this area, it only makes sense that the market here would be a little soft.

If you look at November, there were 4 sales in this area, 7 more for October. What conclusions can we draw from this? Here’s what I think. This area has been a little overbuilt for current demand in this economy but that demand is going to start catching up to the supply within the next year or so, especially as the economy & upper-end market improves.

This is overwhelmingly a lifestyle driven area, much more so than any other place in the metro Chattanooga area. Want to stumble home from the local watering hole or walk to Riverbend? – can’t really do that unless you live here. Jefferson Heights is probably the only single family community that truly is an easy walk from a commercial area (some parts of North Chatt would also qualify). Clearly, there are a limited number of buyers who want a condo/loft but those who are willing to put up with little parking and no personal green space really, really want to live in here. Life is a trade off.  As Chattanooga starts to draw more residents who are accustomed to urban living (it’s already happening, we just aren’t quite there yet), this area is going to take off like a rocket ship.

Think you might be interested in this up and coming area? Check out what’s available right now.

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Julia Odom enjoys long walks on the beach, debating the restoration vs. renovation question and hanging out with plumbing inspectors

Visit her website to search for homes.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given),

a community event to promote or maybe even a crime to report?

Don’t want to miss a thing?? Subscribe to Chattanooga Real Estate.

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Stats listed are coming from the 37405 ZIP code. In other words, if you’re a North Chatt snob purist be forewarned that this is going to include Stringer’s Ridge, a little of Red Bank and some of Signal Mtn Blvd too.

All Northshore/North Chattanooga Real Estate Sales through the Chattanooga MLS

All active listings as of 1/5/09: 125

Pending or contingent listings (under contract) as of 1/5/09: 19

Residential listings closed (sold) during December 2009: 8

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 15.6

North Chattanooga Real Estate, Under $200,000

Active, residential listings: 59

Pending or contingent listings: 13

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 5

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 11.8

North Chattanooga Real Estate, $200,000-400,000

Active, residential listings: 35

Pending or contingent listings: 5

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 1

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 35

North Chattanooga Real Estate, $400,000-600,000

Active, residential listings: 8

Pending or contingent listings: 1

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 2

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 4

North Chattanooga Real Estate, $600,000+

Active, residential listings: 23

Pending or contingent listings: 0 (ouch)

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 0 (double ouch)

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: A hair past forever?

North Chattanooga definitely took a bit of a nose dive for December – click here to see November’s stats. Not anything that you don’t expect in this industry, there just aren’t that many people out there looking to move right around the holidays. The most striking issue is that there weren’t any sales at all in the over $600k range (and nothing pending right now either). Does that mean that the high dollar love affair with Forest Ave is coming to an end? Probably not but North Chatt has been one of the few areas where you could count on some of these upper end homes to sell. Looks like that’s at least slowing a little.  Of course, when you are dealing with a very small sample size you really aren’t going to see steady numbers so these fluctuations aren’t cause for too much alarm.

On this chart, DOM = Days on Market, everything else is pretty self-explanatory.

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Julia Odom enjoys long walks on the beach, debating the restoration vs. renovation question and hanging out with plumbing inspectors

Visit her website to search for homes.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given),

a community event to promote or maybe even a crime to report?

Don’t want to miss a thing?? Subscribe to Chattanooga Real Estate.

Read Full Post »

These stats are pulled from the 37363 ZIP code. Click here to see what was goin’ on last month.

All Ooltewah Residential Real Estate Sales through the Chattanooga MLS

All active listings as of 1/4/10: 330

Pending or contingent listings (under contract) as of 1/4/10: 58

Residential listings closed (sold) during December 2009: 39

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 8.5

Under $200,000

Active, residential listings: 91

Pending or contingent listings: 29

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 16

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 5.7

$200,000-400,000

Active, residential listings: 186

Pending or contingent listings: 24

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 20

Number of months to sell current actives at November’s sales pace: 9.3

Over $400,000

Active, residential listings: 54

Pending or contingent listings: 5

Residential listings closed during December 2009: 3

Number of months to sell current actives at December’s sales pace: 18

What does all of this mean? Not any big changes since last month’s report which is actually pretty good news. I was expecting a drop off given the expiration of the first time buyer credit, not to mention the typical seasonal slow down. Even though the credit ended up being extended, lots of sales were being pushed through for the end of November supposedly leaving the ‘pipeline’ empty for December. Doesn’t seem to have happened.

So I’ll say exactly what I said last month: If you have a home to sell in Ooltewah for under $200k there’s not much reason to wait around for the market to pick up. Even in the $200-400k range, there’s still only an 9 month supply (not completely optimum for definitely within reason). The upper end of the real estate market fares better in Ooltewah than in the rest of Hamilton County with only an 18 month supply compared to 28.5 for Hamilton County as a whole. If you’ve got a lower to mid level home to sell in Ooltewah and want to move up to a bigger house nearby…get your selling shoes on. If you’ve lived in your house for 5 of the last 8 years you might even qualify for the new $6,500 tax credit.

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Julia Odom enjoys long walks on the beach, debating the restoration vs. renovation question and hanging out with plumbing inspectors

Visit her website to search for homes.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given),

a community event to promote or maybe even a crime to report?

Don’t want to miss a thing?? Subscribe to Chattanooga Real Estate.

Read Full Post »

Are you one of those lucky people who has their home on the market to sell during the holiday season?

Should you or shouldn’t you? Decorate, that is.

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: It depends (that seems to be the long answer to a lot of the questions I pose)

We’ve all been told that the way you live in a house isn’t the same way you live in a house that is for sale. Holiday decorations can make a home feel more welcoming, and will help potential buyers see themselves not only living there, but also enjoying family traditions for years to come. Here’s the thing you need to ask yourself (be honest!), and I know you love your 243 piece collection of winter villages. Can buyers envision themselves sitting down to a meal amongst them? Probably not.

Do you live in a multicultural area, i.e. one with a big ‘ol melting pot chunky stew of different holiday traditions? If so, you should probably skip the 10 ft tall blow up menorah in the front yard. A Christian couple might not be able to look past it to see the great landscaping. That 6 ft diameter Christmas tree in your 12 ft wide living room? Those Muslim buyers won’t see it as a plus. It’s not about being politically correct, it’s about putting your homes best features on display without putting people in the position of thinking: I couldn’t live this way. Maybe you live in a place that’s pretty religiously monolithic. Even there, not everyone will appreciate 472 nativity scenes (I KNOW! Hard to believe)

It’s a festive time so put out your Festivus pole. In fact, most people will expect to see some holiday decorations this time of year and your home may seem austere or vacant without them. Some greenery – a wreath or garland across your rocking chair front porch is always nice and doesn’t keep people from seeing your home’s features. You don’t have to abandon all of your holiday traditions just because your home is for sale, just don’t let Santa throw up in your front yard.

Once you get settled into that new house of yours, feel free to reintroduce the live nativity scene (Now, with more camel than ever before!).

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Julia Odom enjoys long walks on the beach, debating the restoration vs. renovation question and hanging out with plumbing inspectors

Visit her website to search for homes.

Do you have a Chattanooga area image you’d like to share (credit given),

a community event to promote or maybe even a crime to report?

Don’t want to miss a thing?? Subscribe to Chattanooga Real Estate.

Read Full Post »

Stats listed are coming from the 37405 ZIP code. In other words, if you’re a North Chatt snob purist be forewarned that this is going to include Stringer’s Ridge, a little of Red Bank and some of Signal Mtn Blvd too.

All Northshore/North Chattanooga Real Estate Sales through the Chattanooga MLS

All active listings as of 12/7/09: 119
Pending or contingent listings (under contract) as of 12/7/09: 26
Residential listings closed (sold) during November 2009: 13
Number of months to sell current actives at November’s sales pace: 9.2

North Chattanooga Real Estate, Under $200,000

Active, residential listings: 50
Pending or contingent listings: 17
Residential listings closed during November 2009: 4

Number of months to sell current actives at November’s sales pace: 12.5

North Chattanooga Real Estate, $200,000-400,000

Active, residential listings: 39
Pending or contingent listings: 5
Residential listings closed during November 2009: 7

Number of months to sell current actives at November’s sales pace: 5.6

North Chattanooga Real Estate, $400,000-600,000

Active, residential listings: 9
Pending or contingent listings: 2
Residential listings closed during November 2009: 0

Number of months to sell current actives at November’s sales pace: Ummm, infinity? I’m going to call it around 5 based on what’s pending.

North Chattanooga Real Estate, $600,000+

Active, residential listings: 21
Pending or contingent listings: 2
Residential listings closed during November 2009: 2
Number of months to sell current actives at November’s sales pace: 10.5

North Chattanooga is definitely where you are going to see a disproportionate share of upper end homes selling. 10.5 months worth of inventory compared to a couple of years elsewhere in Hamilton County. After all there really aren’t any cheap ones left out there (if you’ve got one let me know and I can probably find you a buyer lickety split). Most of what makes up that under $200,000 market is probably in Red Bank. Not a bad thing, just not walking distance to Coolidge. If you’ve got a decent house – maybe even an indecent one – in North Chatt and you price it even reasonably well, it’s gonna sell.

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