What Could Go Wrong?

I just took a listing that when it sells (and I definitely will get it sold) will result in a severe “haircut” for the sellers. Let’s not sugarcoat the pain; ultimately, the sellers will lose thousands of dollars.

What could possibly go wrong? There was a time when housing prices for homes in Hattiesburg were appreciating at a steady clip of 5% per year, year after year. Even a sophisticated buyer could become lulled to sleep by the melodic sound of that type of appreciation. Unfortunately, around 2008 (the year this home was built) the “music” stopped. These owners were playing musical chairs, and when the music ended, they were left standing.

What could possibly go wrong? If you have plenty of money (and sometimes even when you don’t) it’s fairly easy to get a loan to build a home. Everyone wants to own their own home, and the fact is that the only limiting factors to home ownership on any scale is one’s imagination and money. If you have plenty of money, you can build whatever you want, wherever you want.

What could possibly go wrong? Let’s say you moved to Hattiesburg and needed a home in 2008, shortly after Katrina destroyed thousands of homes on the coast in 2006. Pickings were mighty slim for homes in Hattiesburg because demand was high, and inventory in the $400K+ price range was low. This couple couldn’t find what they wanted, so naturally they decided to build a dream home and hired a builder.

What could possibly go wrong? Location, location, location. If you’re going to build a $400K+ home, it should be built in a $400K+ neighborhood, not in a $250K+ marginal neighborhood, as this home was. The plan when buying a home in Hattiesburg, or in any neighborhood should be to buy the least expensive home in a more expensive neighborhood, not the other way around.

What could possibly go wrong? When the plans were drawn, did you really need to add the $35K detached shop? Shouldn’t you have sprung for hardwoods in the main living area instead of carpeting? Why add 2 rooms and 1000 sq ft upstairs without a bath or even a closet?

What could possibly go wrong? So in sum, an expensive home was built at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and with the wrong finish-out. The home is lovely, and has been well maintained during the tenure of the 3 years and 4 Realtors that have been responsible for it’s care and sale. The differential between the original list price and what this home will eventually sell for is staggering. I can’t calculate the financial pain that the sellers have and will endure based on the eventual sales price and 3 years of carrying costs.

Therefore, when you decide to build a house or buy a house; work with a knowledgeable and competent Realtor, someone you can feel comfortable with an individual who will answer the question, “what could possibly go wrong” long before you ever might have to.

Digital Showings

Ask any real estate professional if they have sold a house without the buyer having physically seen it and they’ll most likely tell you they have. While it may have been an unconventional sale, it is more prevalent today than it was twenty or even ten years ago. iStock_000060465576_Small.jpg

The digital world of the Internet has changed the process of buying a home. It is evolving as people have become more comfortable with the reliability of the information available.

Getting in a car and driving around all day looking at homes that may or may not fit your needs or wants is not productive for buyers or the agents.

The quality and the quantity of pictures has dramatically improved in the last twenty years. Buyers and agents alike can view a property online and get a fairly accurate idea of the condition and layout of home and whether it warrants a physical visit. Videos can “walk” you through the house to be able to assess if the floorplan will work for you.

The 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reports 89% of all buyers cited an online website as an information source with real estate agents being a close second at 87%. 42% of all buyers looked online for properties for sale as the first step taken during the home buying process. Here is a quick look at trending patterns among those buying a home in Hattiesburg.

Interestingly, 87% of buyers in 2015 purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker compared to only 68% in 2001. The agent services deemed most valuable to buyers were help finding the right home to purchase (53%) and help to negotiate the terms of sale (12%) and the price (11%).

A challenge for sellers is to understand that the digital showings are a critical part of today’s process. They save time and money for both buyers and sellers and are convenient because they can be done at any time of day and from anywhere. The difficulty is the seller’s feelings of inactivity when they believe their home is being shown frequently.

Agents can share statistics that show a variety of digital activity like number of unique visitors, length of time spent on the listing site as well as the other features that were accessed. 65% of all buyers walked through the home they purchased after they viewed it online.

Our New Hattiesburg Home in Oak Grove

Our Dallas Home

We are getting quite excited about moving to Hattiesburg. Our new home in Oak Grove will be ours on Friday! Our old home in Dallas (pictured) will no longer be ours upon closing on 5/2/2012. Of course the move is bitter sweet as we say goodbye to old friends. Son Michael was in town over Easter from NYC. He’s sad at the prospect that he’ll never again be inside our Dallas home, and concerned that when he visits us in Hattiesburg, his friends won’t be there.

Our Lovely Den
Dining Room

Moving to Oak Grove in West Hattiesburg, MS

Here’s a picture of our new home in the Oak Grove section of West Hattiesburg. We’re excited about the move, but we are a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of moving. Fortunately, I discovered a  couple of GREAT web sites that deal with the subject. If you’re making a move, these sites just might keep you from going bonkers! I liked the WikiHow link the best. It provided a great deal more detail.

Our new soon to be Home Sweet Home in Oak Grove!



Of course reading it is one thing. Doing it is another. Dixie and I have never been collectors of “stuff”. We still have TONS of items we plan to unload in a huge garage sale. Here is one moving tip I discovered on my own which you won’t come across on the web. If you expect that you’ll have a lot of things left over after your garage sale, things that didn’t sell, call Goodwill or the Salvation Army ahead of time to schedule a pickup after your event. These organizations run tight ships, resulting in a week or more delay for pickup if you don’t plan ahead!

If you have some moving tips, please share your comments!