Selling Your House

Asheville Market Update | May 2020

Since March 2020, stay at home orders, health and safety concerns, and the events surrounding the novel coronavirus have had an impact on daily life in the United States (and across the globe). It is no surprise that questions about the economy, including the health of the real estate market, have naturally surfaced as well. As North Carolina and other states begin stages of reopening and we enter "the new normal," many are wondering what "the new normal" is for buying and selling real estate.

While the answer to that question will likely vary depending on what part of the country you are living in, the Asheville area market remained relatively stable in the early spring and has even gained momentum and remained strong going into the late spring. The quick answer is: It's still very much a seller's market in Asheville due to the market continuing to tighten with fewer homes coming on the market and buyer demand remaining strong. If you've been considering listing your home or property, this is a good time to make the move. 

In Buncombe County, the number of new listings year to date compared to 2019 has decreased from 1,866 to 1,527, an 18% decrease. New listings in April were down a staggering 39.5% compared to April 2019. This has created a decrease in the supply of inventory -- there is simply not enough inventory to meet the demand of buyers looking to purchase homes and property in the area. This decrease in inventory has impacted key metrics in favor of the seller. List to close days has decreased by 5.6% while days on market have decreased by 16.4% -- going from an average of 61 days on the market to 51 days. Sales to list prices have increased by 0.4%. The tighter market has driven the average sales price up 9.5% year to date. 

Other regional markets are showing similar trends to Buncombe County and Asheville. McDowell County's inventory of homes for sale has decreased even more than Buncombe County from 8.4 months supply in April of 2019 to 4.1 months in 2020, or a decrease of 51%. Burke County decreased from 3.6 to 2.3 months, and the median price is up 13.7%. Yancey County is showing the same trends. Inventories are down 12.2% with months of inventory decreasing from 15.3 in 2019 to 10.5 in 2020. The average sales price in Yancey County is 34.9% higher compared to 2019 for the month of April.

Real estate has remained an "essential business" in North Carolina throughout the stay at home orders, and GreyBeard has remained committed to serving buyer and seller needs, safely. These safety initiatives have included:

  • Utilizing contact-free signature software for documents
  • Offering simple video tours and 3D virtual tours of listings
  • Video conference meetings
  • Following CDC guidelines for physical distancing for in-person showings

As we enter phases of reopening, GreyBeard Realty and our agents remain committed to the health and safety of our clients. We have joined our community to support the "Asheville Cares Pledge" which includes wearing face coverings around customers and clients while showing homes and property in Asheville, frequent hand washing, following CDC standards of cleaning and sanitation at our office locations, and conducting wellness screenings of employees. The health and safety of our clients, employees, and community remains our top priority. 

 As always, please let us know if you have any questions about selling with GreyBeard or would like to connect with a GreyBeard agent. Stay well, and stay safe. 

 

Greybeard Realty Welcomes Realtor Amanda Berryhill

Greybeard Realty announces the addition of Amanda Berryhill as their newest broker. Realtors need to manage multiple details simultaneously, and Greybeard Realty’s newest real estate agent, Amanda Berryhill, has a strong history of success in that area, from many facets of her life. 

Originally from Lincoln County, Amanda relocated to Rutherford County in 2016. Long committed to working within her church and with her five children, she has found her next calling in real estate.

“I really wanted to do something to help my family while helping others as they invest in their future by the buying and selling of their home,” Amanda explains. And with her previous responsibilities, Amanda seems well-prepared to tackle the specifics and initiative that successful Realtors need.

As the homeschooler for her five children for 20 years, Amanda understands the need for organization and careful to attention to details. With her background, Amanda feels uniquely able to address the needs and concerns of each of her clients as they go through the home buying and home selling process.

In her free time, Amanda continues to enjoy time with her children as well as her two grandsons. And as the wife of a pastor, she also enjoys teaching Sunday school. She also enjoys crocheting, reading, history, and spending time with her two cats and two dogs.

Amanda joins the other 24 Greybeard Realtors who work at Greybeard Realty and Rentals, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In addition to its original Black Mountain office, located at 204 East State Street, Greybeard Realty has additional offices in Asheville and Old Fort. Please check Greybeard's exclusive listings and for more information, please contact Greybeard Realty at 828 669-1072 or on line at greybeardrealty.com.

Realistic Pricing Assists Asheville Area Home Sales

As recent real estate statistics indicate, Asheville area home sales are on the rise. With the housing market improving across the nation, some homesellers are overestimating their homes' value. Establishing an appropriate market-based price for your home can contribute to a timelier sale of your property. Greybeard Realty Asheville Home for Sale

According to the National Association of Realtors, the gap between what homeowners say their home is worth and what value appraisers put on the home has risen for seven straight months. Right now, homeowners place their home value at 2.65 percent higher. The pricing difference can lead to longer days on the market as potential buyers negotiate or walk away from the price differential. Realistic home pricing is just one element that factors into putting your home on the market.

At Greybeard Realty, we will walk you through the whole selling process. A few simple steps can make a big difference in preparing to put your home on the market. First of all, get your own home inspection completed. Don't wait for the buyer's inspector to make the list of what needs to be done; tackle the inspection list or at least know what needs to be done so there aren't any surprises. Work on your home's curb appeal. "You only make a first impression once." Make sure your home looks its best from the outside. Also, have a professional photographer take the photographs. With internet use for marketing, your home potentially will be seen by thousands of viewers. Make it look its best. And finally, have the plans for your next move sorted out so you know when you will be out of your old home. When a buyer makes an offer, you want to be able to tell them when they can move in.

For assistance in selling your home, please contact Greybeard Realty. And if you have questions about how to prepare your home for sale, our Realtors can assist you. Let us help you put your Asheville area home on the market.

Exterior Projects Open Doors for Asheville Home Sellers

Asheville homeowners who wonder which home improvement project has the best return for the money only have to recall the trite but true adage, "you only make a first impression first." If you go by that saying and a recent study presented on the website houselogic, you will know that exterior projects are among the most valuable to consider.

Solid exterior projects sell well.

Solid exterior projects sell well.

The website mentions that 8 of the top 10 most cost-effective projects, for people hoping to recoup their costs, are exterior projects. Specifically, replacing a front door with a steel door entry and adding a wooden deck top the list for projects. The two interior projects that make the list are adding an attic bedroom and making minor kitchen adjustments.  The idea that a home's exterior is a huge selling point is not a new one.  A Greybeard blog on how to prepare your home to sell pointed out that the so-called curb appeal goes a long way toward making that all-important first impression.

Another important factor to consider when planning any home improvement project is the timing of it. While some sellers often wait until they are preparing to put their home on the market to tackle that home project, it seems better to move forward with it when you can. After all, doesn't it make more sense to complete the home improvement project as soon as you can so you can enjoy the latest project for a while prior to moving on to your next home?

That being said, as recent market numbers indicate, the supply of homes on the market is tightening. Right now could be a great time to tackle that long-planned project so you can list your Asheville home by summertime. For more information on how to prepare your home for listing, please visit Greybeard's sellers' page for some tips. And don't forget; when considering home improvement projects, it is important to think outside the home!

Decided to Sell? Declutter Before Showing Your Home.

It may seem as if the biggest decision was whether to put your home on the market to sell it.  In fact some of your more difficult decisions may come as you prepare your home to sell.  What do you need to have on hand in your home and what can you put in storage until your present home sells? Realtors agree that overcoming clutter is one of the biggest obstacles to selling a home.

 

Don't take it with you.

Reduce and remove before relocating.

 

Greybeard has a whole page on how to prepare to sell your home which you can check out the seller's tips page here. Perhaps the most challenging for many people is de-cluttering your home. Everyone seems to understand that a home should be clean and well kept. Successfully preparing your home goes beyond sweeping the floor, however. You really need to pare down and remove most personal items so that potential buyers can imagine themselves in the home.  That's really hard to do if the house if full of personal photos, including the ones in magnet frames on the refrigerator door.

And while you're in the kitchen, be sure to remove everything from the counter tops.  Put the small appliances out of sight and be sure to take any old, unusable food out of the cupboards.  Even if you've found the kitchen storage space to be limited, you need to create the appearance that there's more than enough room for the new owner's canned goods! And please don't just put the toaster into the coat closet.  Potential owners open closet doors.  Closets should be neat and organized, again giving the appearance that there is room for everything in the home. Are there clothes out of season or out of favor in the closets? Box them up, label them, and put them into storage. Just think, it's one less thing you'll have to do once the home sells and you're ready for moving day.

If it all seems overwhelming, choose one room at a time and really be thorough with that room.  Consider removing furniture and putting it into storage as well.  Do you need his and her recliners right now? Having less furniture in a room makes it look larger. While you're taking the other boxes to storage, take some of your furniture as well. Box up the knick-knacks that are meaningful to your family but clutter for new home buyers. And think about the fact that whatever you pack up, you will have to unpack at the new house.  Can you part with some of the items and perhaps donate them somewhere?

With the tracking we do, we know that the real estate numbers are improving in the Asheville market, you need an edge to sell your home more quickly. When preparing your home to sell, just remember that less is better, especially when it comes to furniture, personal items and photos, and items on the kitchen counter. And again, doesn't it make sense to downsize on some possessions now and reduce what you have to pay the movers to transport? All of your hard work prior to showing your home will make your own transition to a new place that much easier. So go out and get those boxes. And don't forget the sharpie markers to label the boxes.

Asheville Real Estate Benefits From A Greenway Path

A recent article in the Asheville Citizens-Times discussed the plans for expanding the greenways throughout Black Mountain and talked about the inherent benefits of greenways, including recreation opportunities and attractiveness to new businesses.  In addition, it's important to note the real estate advantages to having greenways throughout a community, and the Asheville area real estate sales may see a positive effect from the greenway system.

 

Peaceful Greenways Benefit Asheville Real Estate Market

 

Greenways are trails of open space preserved for recreation and conservation.  In many instances, the paths connect common areas and provide safe passage through communities with limited exposure to vehicular traffic.  Greenways often offer protection for native plant life and can help in flood protection as well.

National studies indicate that greenways have a positive effect on real estate sales.  In several studies, days on the market (dom) are reduced when the property is adjacent to a greenway. One particular study indicates that houses adjacent to the greenway sold in just over half the time properties further away from the pathways stayed on the market.  In addition, home values increase on those cites adjacent to the pathways, and sales prices were significantly closer to asking price for those homes as well.

So while Asheville and Black Mountain residents can take advantage of safe, beautiful areas for recreation, the Asheville real estate market can also expect to see some benefits in terms of prices and fewer days on the market for homes in proximity to the greenways.  For more information, please contact Greybeard Realty.

 

Want an Asheville Real Estate Sale? Get the Picture!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  In the case of the real estate market, a good picture can be worth thousands of dollars.  In a recent Wall Street Journal report, the use of nicer, professional photos increased home sale values anywhere from $934 to $116,076. The article details the specifics of how the figures were calculated. Professional quality photos of a listing can increase the sales price.  In addition, listings across all price tiers with such photos receive an average of 61% more views than home listings taken with point and shoot cameras.

 

Try to use a professional photo for your listing

 

Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is that only 15.4% of the homes in the data set were marketed using professional quality photos.  While homeowners and brokers may balk at purchasing a DSLR camera ($500-$1,000+) for the simple purpose of illustrating a listing, consider that a professional photographer can do the work for you for $100-$500, a worthy investment considering the potential payback.

Homeowners often spend funds preparing the home for sale yet overlook investing in the photos to illustrate the beauty of their home.  It's important to note that potential buyers these days often begin their home search on-line.  In most cases, the first vision they have will be the photo posted with the listing.  To quote another well-known adage:  You only make a first impression once.  Why not spend a little extra, or choose a broker who does, to get a good quality photo that illustrates your home's true value.  For more information, please contact Greybeard Realty.

Will National Home Sales Jump Extend to Asheville Real Estate Sales?

There are some new housing numbers that may indicate an improvement in the home sales market in the months to come.  Nationally, new home sales jumped 17.5% in December which increased sales of new homes to their highest levels in 8 months.  Economists had expected a 300,000 unit increase for the period.  Instead, there was a seasonally adjusted unit rate of 329,000. The numbers, provided by the Commerce Department, seem to indicate some signs of life in the housing market.

It's interesting to note, however, that these numbers were influenced by a spike in home sales in the West which economists feel have skewed the numbers toward the positive.  Also, it's important to note that while there was in increase, it was still down significantly from its peak of 1.283 million-units in 2005.

 

Real Estate Graphic

What do the numbers mean?

 

With the surge in the West leading the way, the supply of new homes declined to its lowest level since last April.  In addition, the median home price for the period of $241,500 showed an increased to the highest mark since April of 2008. 

Closer to home, Buncombe County Realtors sold $49 million worth of homes during December which was the highest sales volume for homes in the last five months. 

These numbers alone are not enough to indicate a increasing trend, but coupled with the recent stock market rise and the decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the low interest rates available, it may be seen as a small sign of hope for the new home sales market. For assistance in the Asheville real estate market, please contact us.

Greybeard Realty Sales Boost

Greybeard Realty experienced a 14 % increase in home sales volume for 2009.  That figure in itself is impressive, but when it is compared with area sales volume overall it becomes even more dramatic.

Home sales volume declined 17% in Buncombe County in 2009.  In Black Mountain, home sales volume fell 8% for the same period.

 

Greybeard Realty, Black Mountain, NC

Greybeard Realty, Black Mountain, NC

 

For Greybeard founder Chip Craig, his company's increase in sales volume directly links with his company's focus on advanced technology and expertise.  He notes that nationally 87% of home buyers use the internet while searching for new homes.  In the last year, he has noticed a strong increase in web visits to the Greybeard website with 65% of his company's web traffic coming from outside of North Carolina.

"Our web traffic is up 85% for 2009," he says.  "In terms of page views, we are up 137% which means visitors are exploring more of our site.  We have done quite a bit of search engine optimization to ensure that our site appears at the top of Google and Bing (two heavily used search sites)."

Greybeard utilizes the internet to market itself through paid website banners and has increased this exposure in the last year while other companies have had to reduce advertising expenditures.

Also adding to the upward trend is the company's commitment to rental properties.  With more than 250 homes under the rental management division of Greybeard, the company also receives exposure to many potential buyers who have increased interest in home buying after a rental stay in the Asheville area.

While he can cite statistics that support the positive numbers during the difficult economy, perhaps the greatest company asset, Craig admits, is the intangible one offered by the company itself.

"Since the company started in 1999, we have focused on personal attention and trying to understand the needs of each buyer and seller," Craig says.  "While we are competing with large, national companies with hundreds of sales agents, we have made a commitment to have a small group of qualified, dedicated brokers.  We have 10 sales agents, each of them with direct ties to the community.  Some of them grew up here, and all of them have a genuine interest in the community."

With recent sales figures showing that the area real estate market may be trending toward more positive numbers, Greybeard remains dedicated to assisting interested buyers and sellers with individualized service.

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Is this the Beginning of the Recovery?

While Black Mountain may have been one of the last markets hit by the economic downturn, we believe it is one of the first markets to begin recovering.  While sales in Black Mountain and Buncombe County are down from the previous year by an average of 30%, statistics from the Western North Carolina Regional MLS show that we have may have reached the bottom and are beginning to rebound.

For the first time since March 2008, home sales (# of units) in Black Mountain have exceeded the sales from the same month in the previous year, and currently, 22 homes are under contract. And while the average cost of homes significantly dropped from last year, we are finally seeing an upswing --- the median price of homes in Black Mountain has increased by 2% year-to-date.

stats-through-July09

The good news continues for August.  In August 2008, there were 3 homes sold in Black Mountain.  As of the date of this posting (August 29, 2009), there have been 7 closed sales this month.