Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Skaneateles Real Estate - The Weekly Update

As Bob left the house this morning wearing a hat and his longjohns, bringing gloves with him, I was reminded once again that winter is coming. I think this weather has more to do with the pro golf tournament being held out at Turning Stone. The weather gods want to keep Central New York pristine, so it dis-encourages people coming to this area. In Seattle there was a popular bumper sticker: "Have you been mean to a tourist today?" Of course, more than half the population had come from somewhere else, and we all knew that Seattle was not the rainy city that has always been promoted. The same with here. A week from now it will be 70 degrees again with brilliant October sunshine. Just have to get those golfers out of here first!

Currently there are 154 active listings in the Skaneateles area as defined by the multiple listing service. Only one new one came on this week, a 3 bedroom under $200,000 in the Jordan-Elbridge School District. No, I take that back. A second property came on and was marked contingent two days later.

More on this. The house had six bedrooms, in the town of Skaneateles but with Marcellus schools, and was priced $80,000 under its assessed value (over $200,000). It looked to be in good shape and sat on two acres. And, as I said, it sold.

Two reasons come to mind. One is that there may be issues with the area and perhaps the people felt it would be devalued soon and they needed to sell quickly. The second that I prefer, is that the agent tried what I call a "California listing." Back in the halcyon days when everything in that state sold for 5 times what it sold for previously, and on the second day of the listing, agents would throw properties on for less than the owner wanted to receive. They then sat back and waited for the offers to flood in, often over 10 the first day. Obviously a bidding war ensued, the owners waited it out, and the buyers set the market price through their bids. The lack of supply of homes dictated the conditions. Of course now there are a glut of homes and prices are falling, these precipitous buyers are "under water" (homes are mortgaged for far more than their worth), and there's a housing crisis. But those were the good old days - always with a price!

California listings didn't work as well here. For waterfront, perhaps, because there was so little for so long. For regular homes, if an agent put the home on the market for much less than the home appeared to be worth, it was suspicious, just as I was suspicious of this sale. And generally because these type of listings weren't done, offers came in under the asking price. We just don't have the oversupply of buyers to create the conditions necessary.

There was another home marked contingent - a beautiful waterfront well over one million.

A new closing brought the year-to-date numbers to 59. We are almost there to our third group of 20 when I will post the addresses and sale prices. The new one was listed for years with different Realtors. When it was a quiet for sale by owner I was told the price was $425,000. The last listed price was in the mid-$200,000 range, but the closed price was almost $30,000 higher. I am sure there's a story there, but congratulations to the owner!