Show - 01/08/24

Jay Day:

Good morning, WFMD listeners. I'm Jay Day.

Christina Day:

And Christina Day.

Jay Day:

With Real Talk Real Estate. We appreciate you tuning in since we're only in here once a month. Just to give you a little bit of an update on what's happening. So one of the big things that I think you wanted to chat about is anyone who has been listening or hears any of our radio advertisements, or if you happen to be on our website, we now are Jay Day and the Day Home Team at LPT Realty.

Christina Day:

Yes.

Jay Day:

So same great people, same team, same location, just a different association with the brokerage.

Christina Day:

Yes, and I think that it's really important for us to talk about it because this is a really big deal for us. I mean, we were at the same brokerage for what, seven, eight years. And I would say consistently, I have always said your brokerage brand doesn't matter. And I think you would agree prior to this move, we both would've consistently pounded to the drum that the brokerage brand didn't matter because 99% of the time the brokerage isn't bringing anything to your party. If you have a standalone team that kind of functions and operates under its own brand and has all of its own systems and all of its own marketing, most brokerages aren't providing any of those types of services as far as marketing goes for an agent who has experience and an agent who has brand.

Jay Day:

Yeah, I was going to say the ones that do provide something, it's still so much less than what we've been doing. So it didn't really make any sense to pay extra money for things that we already have in place and most of the time have a better system in place for.

Christina Day:

Right exceed. So people have asked me, a lot of our clients who were with us during this transition have asked, why did we make this change? Because we are so standalone and have such an established brand. And there was a couple of reasons, and I think it's important to share with those who are listening be buyers, sellers or agents who are in the market as to why we made this choice. And it's because they are bringing things to the party for our clients and for our marketing. And it's not impacting our bottom line in a negative way to add these enhancements. We have these super cool listing power packs now that our broker brand is providing, and that is a nice enhancement to all of the other things that we were doing.

Jay Day:

And it's not going to cost our clients any more money either.

Christina Day:

Exactly.

Jay Day:

So we're able to add some extra pieces that we had not been doing, and it's a benefit. It gets more exposure, it offers different pieces of marketing that we were not doing at a high level. And listen, at the end of the day, we're able to provide this and still have the same costs associated with everything with our clients. So it's a win across the board.

Christina Day:

Absolutely. And it also gives our team agents an opportunity to bring something to your kitchen table that other agents aren't going to have. So that's a win for our team. It's a win for our clients. And so we're super excited. The other really cool thing was we have friends who are top teams and brokerages around the country. And how this all kind of came to be was we saw a good friend of ours, Jeff Cook down in the Carolinas, had made this move and Jeff had his own independent brokerage and he has over a hundred agents with his brokerage and runs a very successful business. He's one of the people who I look up to in the real estate industry. He's creative, he's innovative, he knows how to run a business, he knows how to sell real estate and he knows how to service his team and take good care of his people. So when I saw Jeff made this change, my eyes kind of twinkled and I thought, oh, there must be something here. I'm going to talk to Jeff and see what's going on. And then we saw other friends of ours also doing it who had one, had a RE/MAX franchise, one was at EXP and very successful at some of these other franchises. So we had an independent and some other franchise folks. And I said, well, if they're looking at doing this, what do you do? You follow successful people because they usually have a good successful plan and if they see something magical and special here, it probably is. So we talked to them and we said, okay, this sounds like a win for us, for our clients and for our agents. And they said, we aren't open in Maryland and West Virginia yet.

Jay Day:

And we just opened in Virginia and we are just opening in Pennsylvania. And we're like, well, let's do it.

Christina Day:

So

Jay Day:

Let's break the mold, let's get it open and let's do what we need to do.

Christina Day:

So the exciting thing is, is we are sponsoring the hub here in Maryland that'll service Maryland, West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania, Northern Virginia. If you're in our area and you service those areas, our hub office is a place where you can work from, come in, meet with clients, that sort of thing if you're an agent. So that's super exciting too, to actually be a part of something that's a little bit outside of the box of what we've always done just with our team. And we have such a beautiful office space over there near the airport that it's pretty exciting to see it turn into something a little bigger.

Jay Day:

And a lot of people were like, well, what is this company? Who are they? What's on? And it's funny because we've been through that before when we went into certain areas, who's real estate teams? Who's this, who's that? Who's whatever the other brokerage is. And we're like, well, we're launching in the area, but however they are, we, they're the fastest growing real estate company. They're based out of Florida and now they're in 20 states soon to be more. And it is just very exciting. And I was super pumped because I normally having my own space, my own office, and I was like, no, no, no. I think we need to open this up. And then working with the corporate office down in Florida, getting all of the stuff done in our office of mixing the day home team, but also having stuff that's LPT specific as well was I enjoyed it, getting it all set up. I know you were questioning all the crazy things I was doing.

Christina Day:

Yeah, you got a little excited about the redecorating.

Jay Day:

Yeah, and I think it turned out well, a couple other things we'll probably end up doing over the next couple of months, and the challenge for people is with the market, the way that it changed from an agent perspective, what are you getting for what you're paying for? And there's a time and a place for a lot of these brokerages will have set fees per month. And I know when I talked to different places in the past it was, oh, if you have administrators, you have to pay for this. If you have this, it's the cost for this. Nothing is very simple. And when you do all the math, it gets so convoluted, you're like, this just isn't even worth it. This isn't really what it was supposed to be. So what LPT decided they were going to do was they were going to make something that was beneficial for the client, but also the agent had choices. Here, you can do this or you can do this. And it's simple math. It's nothing overly complicated. And I think it's going to be a big win as it's grown in other states once people get an idea of what this is all about. So if you happen to be an agent listening to this and you have any questions, you can reach out to us directly. You can go to our website. On the bottom of the website, we have a careers thing. The careers thing is not just about joining the team, it's actually just if you were an independent agent and also wanted to just figure out some answers of what LPT is all about, you could do that. Any conversation you have with us is 100% confidential. We'll not share that with anybody. Anyone that knows me knows you can tell me stuff and I'm like a vault. No one will ever find out about it.

Christina Day:

You're like a priest and a confessional.

Jay Day:

Yes. There we go. That's a good way to do it. Bringing back my old,

Christina Day:

Your roots.

Jay Day:

My private Catholic school roots. I love it. So anything else you want to add to that?

Christina Day:

No, no. I really wanted people to understand why we made the change. I think sometimes when you make change, it can either be exciting or it can be scary for the people that we serve. And so I just want people to really understand this is truly an enhancement to what we were doing and we're so excited about being able to bring more to getting your house sold or more to helping you find the right house. And it's just going to be a really exciting year in 2024. So that being said, let's talk about what 2023 did.

Jay Day:

Yeah, why don't you get into the stats. I'll let you have the fun part of that since you spent all of the time trying to pull all the data.

Christina Day:

So it was really interesting looking at the statistical data for Frederick County. And like I said, we serve as such a big area. We do Frederick County, we dip into the surrounding counties, even go down into PG County. We do southern Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, Northern Virginia. So there's a broad area we cover, but since we're based out of Frederick, I like to focus those numbers right there. The other thing that I like to focus on is resale, not including new construction because new construction is a variable with listings that it becomes a skewed statistic. You can't really tell exactly how many homes they're truly building and selling. They don't always put in the right data. And they have,

Jay Day:

Yeah, sometimes they'll put 'em in just as they sold, it took zero days. Other times they'll have a listing that's been in there for a year that wasn't a real house, and they just make that, they'll change the address and put that as one that's sold. So it just doesn't give you real,

Christina Day:

It messes up the data. So looking at resale, because most of our clients are going to be selling a home that they have lived in or had it as an investment or something to that effect. So looking at the resale numbers, in Frederick County, there was 2,954 resale properties that sold under the residential category. And that was across 2023. And that actually was like 250 ish a month on average. So if we think in terms of the amount of homes that sold, that seems like a lot. But when you're talking about the entire county and you're talking about all price points, that's your lowest end condominium. That's your highest end single family, which by the way, the highest sales price in 2023 was 1.8 million in Frederick County, and it was a nice looking property. So I thought that was an interesting number and it didn't look like anything that would've been for land development or subdivision, things like that. It was just a nice property.

Jay Day:

It was funny, I actually got an email this past week from the Frederick News Post asking if they could advertise the highest sale price, which was one I had over in Lake Linganore. And I'm like, absolutely, definitely put it in there. It was the highest sales price for the week, just under a million dollars.

Christina Day:

And that was a beautiful home. And actually interestingly enough, it is "new" construction, but it's one of our custom home builders who does not necessarily big community production. They do do a couple houses a year, individual properties, and they do beautiful work. You have a couple of those types of clients who are custom home builders. So if you are thinking you'd like a custom home, we have connections with builders who do beautiful work. And we truly, I don't even know how to say this, we truly only work with custom builders who we would trust to build a home for us. We've had other builders ask us to do their marketing for them or to partner with them on listings. And if it's not somebody that we would trust to build a house with our money and live in, it's not somebody that we would recommend to our clients.

Jay Day:

And I mean, both of the ones we deal with are family companies as well, and they just do a great job. Both of them have done work for us at our house, haven't built anything, but they've done a lot of modifications for us and personal work.

Christina Day:

Yes, shout out to New London and Beachy companies for all the beautiful, wonderful things they've done in our home. So the average price, this was interesting. We talk about average versus median. I always like to go with median because median removes the high end, it removes the low end, and it really truly gives you the context of what's happening out there as a whole. The median end of the day price was 435. Now comparing that to their prior list price of 465, homes sold about 93% of their list to sale price across the board in the county. Now, interesting thing with that. So that doesn't necessarily mean that values dropped because everybody was under this. Our value's going to go down. And I don't know that I would say values have gone down, but I will say they have kind of stabilized. And what we've seen is sellers who push the market on price usually end up sitting on the market longer.

Jay Day:

And have to do, and they sell for less.

Christina Day:

And they sell for less. They have to do a price reduction, or they end up having somebody come in with a lower offer and they end up taking the lower offer because they've been on the market long enough that they have seen that price isn't actually going to work. And we've talked about this many times on our show, if you listen to our show regularly, that we talk about pricing properly, pricing where you're going to generate the right amount of traffic, the right amount of interest, and you're going to have strong offers that are going to be at list or better. Your best chance of that in the market that we've been in is pricing right. If you price higher, yes, and you say, I want room to negotiate, guess what? You're going to manifest that you will definitely be negotiating.

Jay Day:

Yeah, it's interesting because people weren't saying that for a while and then they started again and oh, I need to have room, or why won't people just submit an offer? And we were in a market where offers weren't happening, then all of a sudden they were happening, but they were happening at crazy percentages that didn't make any sense. And there's a lot of investors that were throwing things up against the wall too. Hey, we'll pay 80% of a value if your person really wants to sell it.

Christina Day:

Yeah,

Jay Day:

For those listening, we do a guaranteed sale, which is very much similar to a wholesale versus retail situation. We'll buy something wholesale all day long just like the investors will, but that's not going to get you the most amount of money. It could definitely do it much faster and easier. And if you just want quick and easy and don't care about your net, we can take care of that as well.

Christina Day:

So the average days on market, well, lemme go back. Median days on market average was 20, median was seven. So we did see an uptick in the average days on market, and we saw that largely on the higher priced homes this year. And I think that was absolutely impacted by the cost of borrowing money on those larger priced homes. We saw the days on market extend out on that. We saw those more moderately priced and more universally appealing and attainable prices still moving if they were priced and they showed they were moving at a quicker pace.

Jay Day:

Yeah, that's the big thing I would say in 2023 was if the house needed work, it was not flying off the shelf. It did the years prior. That was one of the bigger things of getting back into people having to deal with either pricing it, making price adjustments that were correct or dealing with carpet, paint, cosmetics that they may not have had to worry about in the market before.

Christina Day:

So let's look at December and what we're working with currently, right? Because December is also such a weird time. You have all the various holidays happening. You have people going into, I'm shopping for presents and wrapping presents and going to Christmas parties and traveling to see family, and it's just an outside of the box kind of situation. However, in December, there were actually 182 closed resales in the county.

Jay Day:

That all has to do, in my opinion, with the interest rate change. I mean, you and Brian were negotiating one on Christmas Eve.

Christina Day:

Yes, we were.

Jay Day:

The contract got accepted and ratified on Christmas Day. So for those people that would say, oh, homes don't sell over the holidays, I can tell you I was shocked. We've had a handful of 'em the week of Christmas go under contract with buyers, with our sellers, and that's right when we were making our move and I was like, oh, we'll pick this time because it'll be a little slower,

Christina Day:

Slow time.

Jay Day:

And sure enough, it did not disappoint with it not being slow. And a good December though means a great January. Yeah, it does. And start to Q1.

Christina Day:

Yeah.

Jay Day:

So as the rates are in these better ranges, I think we will continue to see a little bit of an uptick in sales as long as we can have the inventory to sell.

Christina Day:

Yeah, absolutely. So speaking of inventory to sell right now we have 154 ish active resales across all price points.

Jay Day:

Wow, that's,

Christina Day:

In the county. We had 18 in coming soon that I saw. Now I actually feel like this is somewhat promising because I know that this time of year is generally when things start to ramp up. We're coming out of people having their homes off the market. A lot of sellers have elected to take their home off the market for the winter, go back on in the spring. I am seeing this as potentially a good sign that we're going to have a really robust, and let's caveat that compared to the last year of inventory, we'll see more sellers if these interest rates stay at an improved level or continue to improve. We might see those sellers who were really nervous about letting go of their good interest rate making some moves because they realize this is probably our window of opportunity. And I actually have had a lot of that conversation where sellers are saying, okay, I see that this year being an election year, the interest rates are probably going to be better than they might be in the future, and I probably should take advantage of this opportunity because I don't know what's going to happen going into 2025.

Jay Day:

Because at one point everyone was so used to the numbers having a three for interest rate, and then when they hit eight and a little above eight, all of a sudden people were like, wow. And they saw values weren't dropping. They're like, okay, this isn't good. So seeing things with some of the government loans being in the upper fives and others being in the low sixes, I think that's sort of become a, hey, this is not that, and maybe we can get a little better. But what we had before was what some people call unicorn years, fantasy land, whatever you want to call it. It was definitely not the norm. And people should not expect that to be how things are going to continue. The rates in the fives and sixes is about average and not a bad place to be.

Christina Day:

No, not a bit. Now if we look at that 154 active and then we look at what's currently sitting under contract, it's 145 currently under contract. So we're just a smidge over a month's worth of inventory, right now. But let's also weigh that in with, we know that the last couple weeks of activity is not as busy as it might normally be. And we know if we look at last year with an average of 250 ish in that ballpark on average per month, that puts us back to a half a month or so, three quarters of a month of inventory. Now what that means when we talk about a month's worth of inventory, if nothing new went on the market, you would be done selling everything that's out there within that period of time. A healthy market is really more like a three to six month window of inventory available to choose from. And for the last couple of years we've been operating around a month or less. We're still seeing that limited restricted inventory for sellers. That's obviously a good thing. I always encourage my sellers, let's get on the market sooner than later because even though the skies are gray and the trees are bare and the grass is brown, the reality is you are going to have more competition when the flowers bloom.

Jay Day:

And when you have less inventory available, you have less competition. You may be able to get away with not being perfect, but just being good enough.

Christina Day:

Yes, yes. And so when we're talking about getting away with, and those of you who did not get your house sold last year, and we know there's a lot of people out there who expired, withdrew, canceled, took their houses off the market, we saw a lot of frustrated sellers. 90% of the time it was because your house might've not been priced right. And the second piece of that is sometimes it doesn't show as it should for the price range that you're in. So when you're looking at going back on the market, if you truly are committed to selling, our conversations really need to be based on statistical data, comparing what's out there to what you have and giving you really good true expectations. Not I hope, I wish expectations, but look, based on what is sold around us, this is what I think your house might actually sell for. If we get lucky and somebody absolutely falls in love with it, or you happen to have a really strong demand because let's say interest rates dip that week and you get four offers and they're competing, that would be amazing and that would be wonderful. If that's the case, great. But the realistic expectation is it takes X amount of days on market to get things sold in this area. It takes X amount of square foot at this amount of a price, this amount of bedroom, this amount of bathroom, this amount of improvement. And how do we fall in line with that?

Jay Day:

Yeah, we see there's a lot of new construction around some of the areas that we're selling homes in and explaining to people that is going to impact their value. Now, I said, so the difference is if the majority of people have the time and the patience to wait, and they will pick new construction because it's brand new, no one's ever lived in it, everything is from scratch. But we can find that person that got their job relocation that needs to move, that cannot wait. And sometimes we're able to sell very close to what a new construction price is because we have the perfect scenario. Now, in those situations, we explained to our sellers that this could take a little longer because instead of appealing to the masses of the funnel, we're going down to the tighter part of the funnel. So where we could have 50 potential people, now we only have four, and it's a matter of being patient, or you make the adjustment enough that somebody says, wow, that's a big enough difference in my mortgage payment, that I'm cool with buying a house that's been lived in for three years as opposed to one that no one has lived in. And that's really what it boils down to, what they're going to pay for their mortgage payment. Is it a big enough adjustment if it's 20 bucks? Most people are like, and they don't have any rush. They're like, why would I buy something used if I can get it new for $20 more a month or a hundred dollars more a month, whatever that number is.

Christina Day:

And outside of your pricing strategy, who you hire matters. And we talk about this every month and we talk about it on the podcast, but your agent needs to be knowledgeable. They need to understand the market that they're selling your home in. They need to know the nuances, the features, the benefits, the pitfalls, the things that are going to be construed as a negative. They need to know how to best portray your home and to get it sold. And they also need to have a broad enough marketing capacity. Marketing in this age with the internet and things like that. It's all white noise. We had an interesting conversation, you and I, about the various marketing and social channels. Everybody has a YouTube channel, everybody has a Facebook page, everybody has an Instagram. But it's not that we have it, it's how many people truly follow it. How are you pushing that content? How many people are going to see your listing if it's posted on their social media? So a social presence, online marketing presence, print marketing, going back to the grassroots of print and things of that nature. And then good old fashioned legwork is your agent, like our agents on our team, we're going to go out on knock on doors, not afraid to knock on a door and see if somebody wants to sell their house. Because I have a buyer who's looking in a specific neighborhood

Jay Day:

Like, hey, we need to be in a townhouse with a garage in Spring Ridge. And guess what? Our agent is out knocking on doors, leaving door hangers saying, hey, we have a buyer who's rocking and ready to roll and wants to be here, and you have what they want. Are you interested? Or any of your neighbors, anybody looking to sell?

Christina Day:

And the same thing with the marketing aspect of the listing, right? Getting out there with the open houses and knocking on doors, letting your neighbors know we're having an open, who do you know wants to live here? So that good old fashioned legwork still goes a long way. I think it's gotten lost in the abyss of the internet, but we're out there doing it and you should really be asking those questions. So I think we are up. I think it's time.

Jay Day:

I know time has flown by. If you had any questions on anything you heard, you can visit our website dayhometeam.com. Again, dayhometeam.com. You can reach out to us directly at 866-702-9038, 866-702-9038. I'm Jay Day.

Christina Day:

Christina Day.

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