First Quarter Market Report from CAAR

I just wrapped up my third radio interview about the first quarter market report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. It’s a regular gig for the CAAR President and I was nervous about it at first but kind of like it now. It’s fine to read and get comfortable with the data but the richness comes from the discussions that ensue about what they really mean. First of all, having access to past presidents, current CAAR leaders, state and national movers and shakers and 30 of the finest minds in the business at the Nest Realty office is like having access to the Library of Congress when it comes to expertise in all the different market segments. What has become most obvious is that even in as small a market as ours, these broad statements cannot and should not be expected to apply universally. Each neighborhood, each region, has different dynamics and different levels of supply and demand. Ask the experts within those individual neighborhoods and you’ll learn even more about the best streets, the best builders,  the differences that truly apply to each home or property.


Audio not loading? Click here to listen to the interview on SoundCloud.

I have a few takeaways from not just this report but also my outlook, having soaked in CAAR leadership for a while. First, it’s a confidence that great Realtors are a vital part of our marketplace. When we have the opportunity to listen to true, experienced experts discourse on their area of expertise it’s obvious how much they can help the process and how blind one would be jumping in without that expertise at your side. Secondly, on a personal level I find myself much more of an expert than I was before I took on this leadership role. Being part of the process, looking over our market with a broad interest and even feeling some level of responsibility for it has turned me into a different Realtor, a better Realtor. There may never have been a more unlikely CAAR President than the John Ince most of my farm and estate colleagues have known for thirty years but I will say this now for anyone who thinks volunteering at CAAR is a waste of their valuable time: You’re missing something!

Charlottesville farms selling quickly

Orange County farm with mountain view and pond

For the second time this year I’ve had a new listing go under contract after the first showing.

This may not seem that remarkable to a residential agent specializing in homes close to Charlottesville in the $350,000 to $450,000 range where median days on the market are less than 50 days but for country properties it’s definitely noteworthy. The first was an Orange County horse farm on 18 acres listed for $795,000 and just last week a lovely Greene County farm with 85 acres listed for $849,000 went under contract within 5 days.

What is important to realize is that the instant the listing goes live, every buyer’s saved search that brackets the new listing lights up. This is no time for an overpriced listing or poor photos. This is the all important first impression. This is where that sense of urgency comes into play and a good listing, priced right, will get the attention and will sell. If the first impression is less than the best it can be, this one chance is past and can never be regained. There is a pent up demand right now as we unwind from four years of slow sales. For sellers, getting off to a good start has never been more important.