What is the 2011 outlook for the Knoxville, TN real estate market?

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 2:28 pm, November 15th, 2010  

Hindsight is always 20/20 and in November of 2011 it will be very simple to just review the past year and see what actually did happen. But since it’s now November of 2010 we will have to look to the past years and the current economic data to make a future prediction. It’s always interesting to me to revisit my past predictions and see how I did.

Here’s my prediction for the 2010 Knoxville area real estate market. For the first three quarters of the year Knoxville area Realtors have sold and closed 7,862 residential units, that’s single family homes and condos combined. For the entire year of 2009 that total was 10,511. I don’t think there is going to be another 2,649 sales before 2010 ends so using the best available data it looks as if we will be down in 2010 compared to 2009. I predict total Knoxville area homes sold in 2010 will end up around 9,000 to maybe 9,500; down a little from 2009 levels.

NOTE: The chart below only contains sales data for the first three quarters of 2010.

Knoxville homes sold

9,500 sales in 2010 will put us roughly around the 2001 levels. I’m basing this prediction on past sales and the current state of the US and local economy.

Sales in 2010 were somewhat artificially inflated by the $8,000 dollar tax credit that has now expired for most buyers but there are still exceptions, i.e. military personnel serving outside the US. That credit served to prop up the market a bit this year and will not be available in 2011. I predict, if we’re very lucky, home sales in 2011 will hopefully equal 2009-2010 numbers and we will sell around 9-10,000 homes in the greater Knoxville area.

I also believe the bulk of sales in 2011 will be in the lower price ranges as they are now.

Year to date there have been at total of 16 closed sales of houses priced over one million dollars; that’s 1.6 sales a month. Currently there are 83 houses for sale at that price level. To get the absorption rate (time to sell) for that price you divide the monthly sales into the current inventory and you get 51.8 months, or over 4 years to sell just those 83 houses assuming no new listings come along. THAT is a sluggish market.

Contrast that to the “hot” price range now of $120,000 to $139,999 where you find 347 closed sales of in 2010 or 34.7 per month. There are currently 242 active listings in that price range so that would make their absorption rate 9.86 months. Lower priced homes are selling but the time to sell is still high signaling a buyer’s market for those homes as well.

Here are some things I base my prediction on:

  • JOBS: Jobs continue to be an economic problem, especially for housing. People with no jobs don’t usually buy houses and unfortunately, people with no jobs also get foreclosed on as well. The unemployment rate is officially 9.6% now and is essentially unchanged since May of this year. I believe the true unemployment rate is more in the 15-20% range because a lot of people have exhausted their unemployment insurance and are no long counted in the statistics. Also people like Realtors and other self employed persons are usually not eligible for unemployment benefits and are never counted whether working or now. Jobs will continue to be a drag on the housing market in 2011.
  • Economic uncertainty will continue: “Says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: “Consumer confidence, while slightly improved from September levels, is still hovering at historically low levels. Consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy is relatively unchanged, primarily because labor market conditions have yet to significantly improve. And, despite the uptick in Expectations, consumers continue to be quite concerned about the short-term outlook. Both present and future indicators point toward more of the same in the coming months.” I can’t say it better than that.
  • Interest Rates: While interest rates are as low as I’ve ever seen them in my 30+ years in real estate, jobs, available mortgage money, and consumer confidence will continue to keep buyers away in 2011. Anyone qualified and sitting on the fence waiting for lower prices, lower rates, whatever, should probably go ahead and buy now. Mortgage rates cannot go any lower and most sellers are taking a beating now when they sell. The time for qualified buyers with a stable job  to buy a home has never been better than it is right now.

Living…er, not large, and loving it | Knoxville, TN

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 7:17 am, July 17th, 2010  

This is an amazing story about a guy that lives in an 89 SQUARE FOOT house!

Yep, that’s 89 square feet.

To give you some perspective a 10 X 10 room is 100 square feet.

Even more amazing is the fact that he’s turned this into a business. Seems the demand for tiny houses is larger than you would think.

To find more ‘normal’ sized houses in the greater Knoxville area visit KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com

For questions or advice on buying or selling a home in the greater Knoxville area Jim Lee is the ‘go to’ Realtor in town.

Got a lowball offer on your Knoxville, Tennessee home for sale? Here’s how to handle it best

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 8:59 am, July 16th, 2010  

Fielding a Lowball Purchase Offer on Your Home

By: Marcie Geffner

Published 2010-06-10 09:53:36

Consider before you ignore or outright refuse a very low purchase offer for your home. A counteroffer and negotiation could turn that low purchase offer into a sale.

When you receive a low offer on your house, the best response is to counter with a price you’re willing to accept.

You just received a purchase offer from someone who wants to buy your home. You’re excited and relieved, until you realize the purchase offer is much lower than your asking price. How should you respond? Set aside your emotions, focus on the facts, and prepare a counteroffer that keeps the buyers involved in the deal.

Check your emotions

A purchase offer, even a very low one, means someone wants to purchase your home. Unless the offer is laughably low, it deserves a cordial response, whether that’s a counteroffer or an outright rejection. Remain calm and discuss with your real estate agent the many ways you can respond to a lowball purchase offer.

Counter the purchase offer

Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay, or they want to test your limits.

A counteroffer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counteroffer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.

Consider the terms

Price is paramount for most buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.

Review your comps

Ask your REALTOR® whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.

Consider the buyer’s comps

Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comps. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counteroffer information about those homes and your own comps that justify your asking price.

If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps.

Get the agents together

If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your real estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counteroffer would make sense. Also, ask your real estate agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel freer to reject the offer.

Don’t signal desperation

Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer.

If you can remedy the situation, maybe by renting furniture or asking your agent not to mention in your home listing that you’re motivated, the next purchase offer you get might be more to your liking.

More from HouseLogic

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Purchase Offer for Your Home

6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

Marcie Geffner is a freelance reporter who has been writing about real estate, homeownership and mortgages for 20 years. She owns a ranch-style house built in 1941 and updated in the 1990s, in Los Angeles.

“Visit Houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”

Visit KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com to find great homes for sale in the Greater Knoxville, Tennessee area.

9 ways to make your Knoxville house sell faster without cutting the price.

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 6:59 pm, June 27th, 2010  

You hear a lot these days about lower price, lower price, and lowest price as the only way to get a house sold.

Here are 9 things you can do that will make your house stand out from the crowd, appeal to more potential buyers, and probably sell faster. None of them have anything to do with cutting the price.

  1. Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal! I can’t emphasize this one enough. Buyers have to be attracted to your home to want to see it. I’ve had lots of buyers say: “Let’s pass this one buy.” when we’ve pulled up to a home that was not attractive from the street.
  2. Bright, shiny, and inviting entry. Once you get buyers out of the car and walking up to your front door, you want to continue to set a good tone for your showing. Make sure your front entry is spotless, sweep away the cobwebs over your door, clean front door, paint if necessary, bright, shiny new door hardware if necessary, a new light fixture if the old one is rusty. All these things go a long way towards keeping the mood for showing positive.
  3. PAINT! Biggest selling bang for your buck possible. Neutral paint is the word of the day, no bright or funky colors. A fresh, uniform coat of paint throughout your house if needed will bring a faster sale and more dollars in your pocket.
  4. Your kitchen. Lots of Realtors and buyers say the kitchen is what caused the sale. De-clutter your counter tops, cabinets, pantries, and storage space so buyers can see it.
  5. DEEP CLEANING! It’s gotta be not just spotless but “white glove” inspection clean. No grease on kitchen appliances, bathrooms including tubs, showers, and sinks spotless and clean smelling, all light fixtures wiped down or washed including  the bulbs, clean the blades on your ceiling fans, cobwebs from along ceilings and underneath. In fact it will likely pay you to hire a professional house cleaner to do the job for you.
  6. Straighten up,  “lean out” and neaten all your storage areas especially your closets. Don’t forget the fresh paint here too.
  7. Let the sun shine in. All blinds and shades should be open for showing even in the evenings. Of course your windows need to be included in the deep cleaning too.
  8. Get a pre-sale home inspection. This will alert you to potential problem areas you might not be aware of and let you fix or repair them at your leisure and also prevent a buyer from using some minor issue as a negotiating tool.
  9. No funky odors or smells. This one is tough because you live there every day and some odors might not be apparent to you. Ask a friend, neighbor, or real estate professional to give your home the “smell test” to see if there might be something there you’re not picking up on. Don’t get carried away with scents to mask odors; too much is almost as bad as the odors you’re trying to cover up. Get rid of the cause of the odor.

You can find lots selling tips as well as get a free copy of my 52 page e-book titled “450 Ideas To Help Your Home Sell Faster” at www. KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com or just send a blank email to [email protected]

New Tennessee REALTOR® License Plates “Celebrate Homeownership”

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 3:59 pm, March 25th, 2010  

The new, specialty REALTOR License Plates for Tennessee REALTORS — “Celebrate Homeownership!” are in. I picked mine up today and it’s on my car

tennessee realtor license plate knoxville tn real estate jim lee

Tennessee REALTOR license plates

Very cool and very colorful.

If you pre-ordered one they should be at your local county clerk’s office. To pick yours up you will need a copy of your state real estate license and the current license plate on the vehicle you plan to put your Realtor plate on.

I didn’t know that when I went after mine and had to get my secretary to fax a copy of my license down.

I also didn’t know about having to turn your existing license plate in to get the new one either so of course I didn’t have mine with me.

If your current license isn’t due for renewal yet you will get credit for the remaining time left on it so you won’t lose any money by getting your new Realtor plates right away.

And of course if you’re looking for a new home in Tennessee, especially east Tennessee, www.KnoxvilleHomeSearcher.com is a great place to start your home search.

Knoxville, TN real estate transfers for the week of January 31st

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 9:35 pm, January 31st, 2010  
Play VisualTour

West Hills all brick rancher in absolute move in condition. $209,500, call to see it today.

Today is the last day of January 2010 and the last published real estate transfer report for that month from the Knox County Register of Deeds. So how did we do? Let’s take a look.

knoxville tn real estate listings property homes and houses sole

Knox County TN real estate transfers

I count 108 property transfers for the past week. In 2009 we were averaging around 150 or so a week.

Historically Knoxville area real estate sales have started to rise early in each new year, building to a peak in the summer before starting a dip down as fall and winter approaches. Will the same thing happen this year? The next couple of months will tell that story and I’ll keep you posted right here.

visit www.KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com to see all of the greater Knoxville area listings for sale as well as great selling and buying tips.

Listing price – Knoxville

Knoxville Homes For Sale

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Knox County real estate transfers the week of November 8th.

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 4:33 pm, November 8th, 2009  

World class screened porch on this 4 bedroom Gulf Park beauty, move in condition.

Play VisualTour

Another week has passed in Knoxville, Tennessee and here’s the passed week’s real estate transfer report form the Knox County Register of Deeds for Knoxville area and Farragut real estate sales.

It appears from the statistics below there were 160 Knoxville area real estate transfers recorded, the breakdown remains typical of the year, we’ve averaging around 150 transfers per week to date in 2009.

The vast majority of sales are lower end properties with the higher end very slow to move. The 2 sales over 1 million dollars were the Lanesborough and Derby Run apartment complexes in the town of Farragut so no single family residential sales over a million bucks this week.

Some good news for the Knoxville market for a change, Congress passed an extension of the $8,000 tax credit for qualifying buyers.

The credit was scheduled to expire at the end of November but it is now officially extended until April 30th of 2010 and buyers still have an additional 60 days past that date to get their home purchase closed. With financing and appraisals taking much longer than normal in today’s Knoxville area real estate market you sometimes need every one of those 60 days to get your transaction to the settlement table.

Some additional changes to the tax credit were that it has now been expanded to include current homeowners who sell their existing home and then buy again. They are now eligible for a $6,500 tax credit when buying if they have lived in the home they sell for at least 5 of the past 8 years.

Listing price – Knoxville

Some new limits on income (higher) and requirements when filing for the credit, I wrote a recent post about that here.

Knoxville Home Center.com remains your ‘go to’ web location to search for real estate in the greater Knoxville, TN area. NO REGISTRATION required and all listings are updated daily.
Please feel free to comment here or email me with any questions.
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