Green. Gold. Sold.

February Existing-Home Sales Up Strongly From a Year Ago
March 22, 2012

While February existing-home sales declined from an upwardly revised January pace, they are well above a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Sales were up in the Midwest and South, offset by declines in the Northeast and West. NAR also reported that the median home price posted a slight gain. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.63 million in January, but are 8.8 percent higher than the 4.22 million-unit level in February 2011. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said underlying factors are much better compared to one year ago. “The market is trending up unevenly, with record high consumer buying power and sustained job gains giving buyers the confidence they need to get into the market,” he reports. “Although relatively unusual, there will be rising demand for both rental space and homeownership this year. The great suppression in household formation during the past four years was unsustainable, and a pent-up demand could burst forth from the improving economy.” NAR President Moe Veissi said market conditions are improving. “Supply and demand have become more balanced in more markets, but with tight supply in the lower price ranges – particularly in the West,” he explains. “When markets are balanced, we normally see prices rise one to two percentage points above the rate of inflation, but foreclosures and short sales are holding back median prices.” The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $156,600 in February, up 0.3 percent from February 2011. Distressed homes—foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts—accounted for 34 percent of February sales (20 percent were foreclosures and 14 percent were short sales), down from 35 percent in January and 39 percent in February 2011.

Home Sellers Fare Better in Getting Their Homes Sold Using a REALTOR, According to HomeGain Survey
March 13, 2012, an online real estate resource that connects home buyers and sellers with real estate professionals, announced the results of its For Sale By Owner (FSBO) vs. REALTOR survey. HomeGain surveyed over 1,000 homeowners asking whether they used a REALTOR to sell their home or whether they attempted to sell it themselves. Eighty-three percent said they used a REALTOR to sell their home and 17% said they tried to sell their home on their own. Fifty-nine percent of homeowners that used a REALTOR to sell their home were successful vs. 39% of FSBOs, reflecting a 50% higher closing rate for those home sellers using a REALTOR . Eighty-one percent of homeowners that used a REALTOR to try and sell their homes said they would use a REALTOR again for their real estate needs. Eighty-eight percent of homeowners who sold their homes using a REALTOR said they would use a REALTOR again. Seventy-one percent of FSBOs who managed to sell their homes on their own said they would try and sell their home on their own again. "It is especially striking that homeowners fare significantly better in selling their homes using a REALTOR than selling on their own," said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain. "Due to that relative success, the level of satisfaction in the home selling process is also higher for home sellers utilizing the services of a REALTOR than those who try to sell their homes on their own." The survey also pointed out that 24% of FSBOs eventually enlisted the aid of a REALTOR to help sell their homes. For more information, visit