What’s it all mean?

Over the last few years we have been providing you with information on the real estate market that we believe is valuable to you and helps aid you in your decision as to whether or not to buy and sell real estate.  Also, our thought is it gives you something to talk about around the office, with your neighbors or at cocktail parties! 

  • But what do all the numbers and terms mean you may ask?  Well, here is a quick guide for you going forward.  The numbers we quote are for the areas our offices conduct a majority of their business.  These areas include Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, and Fauquier Counties plus all the cities in between like Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park. 
  • Active inventory or resales are the number of houses for sale where the owners are selling their homes and not a builder. 
  • Month’s supply of houses is the absorption rate or sales of homes divided into the number of active properties on the market.  Basically, if no other houses came on the market, it would take that many months to sell all the houses that are for sale.  As a general rule, 6 months is considered to be a balanced market – neither a buyer or seller’s market.  Less than 6 months is considered to be a seller’s market and more than 6 months is a buyer’s market. 
  • Days on the market are the average number of days on the market it takes for a house to sell after going up for sale.  Again, typically the fewer the average days on market the more likely it is to be a seller’s market and the longer the average days on market is typically indicative of a buyer’s market.  In addition, the fewer the days on the market of a particular home, the more likely the sellers are to receive a full price offer or even multiple offers. 
  • This brings us to multiple offers.  It is what it says.  The owners received more than one offer to purchase the home when it was put on the market for sale.  How does this happen?   Typically it is because of high demand for an area because of the school district, location to commuter routes, shopping, etc. along with the sellers pricing the property properly, getting the home in the right condition and the staging of the house that makes this possible.
  • Distressed property inventory are houses that represent short sales and foreclosures.  A short sale is when a home owner owes more money on the house than what the house is worth and they are trying to get their lender(s) to approve a sale for less than the amount owed to them.  A foreclosure is where the owner of the house stopped making payments and the bank took the property back through a series of steps required by the state and allowed through the deed of trust.

If you have any other questions or concerns about the numbers or the terms discussed monthly, feel free to contact me.  As Sy Sims used to say, “An educated consumer is our best customer”.

Shakespeare said it then, Scott says it now

To blog or not to blog – that is the question.  My answer is to blog. There is business to be gained by blogging.  What is important to keep in mind when posting is what is the purpose of your blog?  Are you looking to pick up buyers or sellers, be a neighborhood expert or do have another goal in mind?   Whatever it is, keep this as your focus in every blog you post.

My belief is it is our job to let the consumer read what they need to read, hear what they need to hear and learn about what is really happening in the market from the experts and so they don’t get wrapped up in what the media wants them to read, hear and see.   The media’s job is to sell negative information and not plant the right seed.

What can you blog about?  Neighborhoods, client interactions, success stories, your listings, homes you have previewed – deal of the day or week, life experiences, your interactions with others or anything else you find interesting or think someone else may find interesting. 

Why is it important?  It is important because the consumer goes to the internet to get information on everything – not just houses.  This being said, when they are looking to make one of the biggest decisions of their life, don’t you think they will do more research on this topic than not?  This is why blogging is important.  Get your word out to others on where the market is – don’t be afraid to make your opinion known.

Who is reading blogs?  As previously mentioned, the consumer but also other are people you will invite to read it – past clients, other Realtors and real estate professionals, your sphere of influence and people interested in the neighborhood or area you are blogging about.  If you make it interesting, keep it up to date, and do it consistently, you will gain readership.  Why are Realtors and other industry professionals reading blogs?  To find good referral sources for their relocating clients.  If you have a relocating client, do you help them find a Realtor where they are moving?  How do you narrow down the selection?  Typically I look at production, what their hobbies and interests are and if they match my client’s hobbies and interests, if they have a website and if they blog.  If they blog, I read their blog to determine if they are positive or negative, on target with the market and generally what their knowledge is in real estate.  The more they know in what they say and how they say it, the more likely I am to refer them.

Pitfalls – time, writing ability, how to come up with new ideas, where to get started, to pay or not to pay for your blog site, and does your company have a policy on blogging?

Good examples

Bad examples

What to avoid – negativism, writing about a specific case as it is in process, defamation of character issues

What to include – add pictures, hyperlinks and video.  Have a good title, insert good metatags and keywords.  Solve a problem or provide valuable information (housing stats, trends, pricing, DOM, companies moving/relocating into the area), say it simply and in layman’s terms not in our language, again, have a call to action (subscribe here, click here for free home search, follow us here, email me for more details here, click here for a free home buying/home selling consultation, etc. and as always, make it about them – not you!

It’s all about results and ROI on your time.  Be sure to work with a site that will allow you to track numbers such as total page views, average page views per day, unique visitors, bounce rates, referral websites and most popular pages.  Also, ask for people to share and comment on your blog and you in turn should return the favor.  Give in slices, get returned in loaves!

Things to consider now that we have reviewed blogging…How do you benefit?  What can happen?  How do you do it?  It can only produce results.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!