By Jan Conwell
There is an assumption that a real estate agent’s job is easy. That anyone can be a successful real estate agent. Even working in the administrative end of real estate before becoming an agent I might have agreed, that is until I became an agent myself.
I thought my real estate career was over with my first sales contract. Fresh out of Real Estate school and having been the bookkeeper for Homestead Real Estate since the day it opened, my self confidence wasn’t lacking. Being married to an attorney that practiced Real Estate law didn’t hurt either… and then my first contract started to go off the rails.
First the property was an estate that had riparian rights issues, and with the home being in an estate, there were estate taxes due. Throw in that the house was in the historic district of Cape May and on an undersized lot, I felt my lack of experience would affect the transaction. My resolve to become an agent began to crack.
Of course my husband was a big help, especially with estate taxes and riparian rights but it was my fellow agents at Homestead and my Broker, Dagmer Chew, that helped me through many of the other issues. Be honest was the best advice she gave me. Dagmer gave me a lot of guidance, things like Tell them you are not sure but will find out and get the answers for them…Communicate… Don’t leave them hanging in limbo.,, Tell them what is happening and how soon you expect to get an answer… Stay in touch… The client is relying on your knowledge and connections in the area to help them accomplish their goals of owning or selling their dream home at the shore. All great advice for any real estate agent let alone a new agent handling their first contract!
If honesty was the key to communicating with the client, the cooperation between the agents in the office was an overwhelming benefit to me. Homestead is dedicated to hiring full time agents and the benefits that allows. The relationships that the seasoned agents in the office had built over the years, and were willing and able to share with me, were immeasurable in my ability to grow as a well rounded agent. There is no substitute for the experience and information shared between professionals.
From that first contract I wish I could say it was smooth sailing afterwards but as life goes it hasn’t always been calm seas. In the course of my now 20 year career I have had my share of crazy contracts and quirky circumstances. Unfortunately, I have had some unusual circumstances including a Seller who passed away in the middle of a sale, a Buyer pass away, a client whose family member was accused of murder. I have learned all about the varied mortgage options, septic systems and well testing. FHA/USDA qualifications, termites and mold. I’ve even had the adventure of buying and flipping property and owning rental property.
This experience has made me a good agent, but the honesty and cooperation within Homestead has made me Successful. The saying at work is “A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships” and it could not be truer in Real Estate, especially here at Homestead.
When choosing an agent look for one that considers Real Estate their full time career and is ready to assist you on your real estate adventures.
CAPE MAY COMMUNITIES 3rd QUARTER 2022 vs 2021 RESIDENTIAL MARKET STATS
Recently the National Association of Realtors (NAR) published the 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The data collected spans from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. This specific time frame has seen the market change from low interest rates, and low supply with high demand resulting in multiple bid offers to a market with higher interest rates and a continuing low inventory situation.
According to an article written by Jessica Lautz, the Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at NAR, there are multiple takeaways from the report. We’ve listed a few of Jessica’s takeaways:
First-time buyers drop to an all time low of 26% from 34% just a year ago – potential first time buyers also face a rise in rental costs making it challenging to save for a down payment.
The age of first-time and repeat buyers hit all-time highs – For repeat buyers, the age has risen to 59 years, up from 56 years in last years report. Americans feel confident taking on a mortgage later in life and purchasing a primary residence.
How far a buyer moved jumped to an all-time high of 50 miles from a range that had been steady between 10 to 15 miles – Another factor is remote and hybrid work settings. In January 2021, many headlines touted that CEOs provided employees with permanent remote work. This allowed buyers to separate themselves from city centers or inner suburbs and migrate to farther areas.
The share of all-cash repeat buyers jumped from 17% to 27% in the past year – Homeowners have accumulated tremendous housing equity in the last decade and hold about $210,000. This has allowed many to avoid holding a property mortgage and pay all cash for their purchase.
Buyer and Sellers use and want the help and expertise of a real estate agent – Eighty-eight percent of buyers used a real estate agent to purchase their home. Buyers are most satisfied with their agent’s honesty and integrity, and knowledge of the purchase process. For sellers, 86% used an agent to help sell their home. Sixty-three percent of sellers used an agent that they had worked with before or that was referred to them. Sellers most wanted their agent to price the home competitively, help market the home to potential buyers, and sell within a specific time frame.
As we can see from the NAR Profile, and local Cape May Real Estate stats listed below, the market has made a shift however inventory remains low which allows for a continuation of a sellers market without the frenzy of the last two years.
Cape May – 3rd Quarter 2022
- Number of Transactions: 38
- Average Sale Price: $1,248,257
- Average Days on Market: 154
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $47,433,800
Cape May – 3rd Quarter 2021
- Number of Transactions: 38
- Average Sale Price: $1,043,914
- Average Days on Market: 159
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $39,668,744
Cape May Point – 3rd Quarter 2022
- Number of Transactions: 10
- Average Sale Price: $1,206,899
- Average Days on Market: 115
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $12,068,999
Cape May Point – 3rd Quarter 2021
- Number of Transactions: 9
- Average Sale Price: $1,007,222
- Average Days on Market: 187
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $9,695,000
West Cape May – 3rd Quarter 2022
- Number of Transactions: 5
- Average Sale Price: $873,020
- Average Days on Market: 72
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $4,365,101
West Cape May – 3rd Quarter 2021
- Number of Transactions: 4
- Average Sale Price: $663,250
- Average Days on Market: 146
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $2,653,000
Lower Township – 3rd Quarter 2022
- Number of Transactions: 122
- Average Sale Price: $443,727
- Average Days on Market: 88
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $54,134,774
Lower Township – 3rd Quarter 2021
- Number of Transactions: 152
- Average Sale Price: $377,647
- Average Days on Market: 87
- Total Value of Real Estate Sold: $57,402,378
Data is from the MLS. All information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.