It's December 1st, but here in Lawrence, KS it's almost hard to believe. The thermometer is reading 65 today and it's supposed to be 75 tomorrow! Is the real estate market here in town still red hot as well? Or is it showings signs of cooling. Like an up-and-down Kansas December, it's a little bit of both. Here's the market rundown for November:
Average Sales Price of a home in Lawrence surged to $307,000!
There were 13 fewer home sales in November 2021, compared to last year. The Lawrence market is down 38 units overall compared to 2020.
Average Sales Price YTD is $293,000.
Homes are still selling over asking price at 100.9% of List Price.
Median Days-on-Market in November was 6 Days.
Dollar Volume in November was steady compared to last year; YTD Dollar Volume is up 10% in 2021.
A Word on Bad Realtors and Overpriced Commissions:
The stats I quote in my market updates are taken directly from the Lawrence MLS. This presents a few problems. Not every home sale within the city limits is reflected on the MLS. Some agents list homes on a different MLS like Sunflower (Topeka) or Heartland (Kansas City). I can't capture all of that information, as I don't subscribe to all 3. Furthermore, some home sellers market and sell their homes themselves, without the help of a Realtor (For Sale By Owner). Others market their homes themselves through word-of-mouth or sell to someone they already know.
It's hard to accurately quantify how much of the market these sales account for. There are statistics that attempt to do so, and from my research they tend to hover around 10% of the total market. At different times, in different locations and different market climates, this figure can go up or down. In a strong Seller's Market, there is an argument to be made that more home sellers will try to sell themselves, because homes are selling so easily and quickly.
I work with a multitude of real estate professionals that aren't Realtors. Think lenders, inspectors, appraisers, contractors, title companies, insurance providers, etc. I've been more-or-less surprised to hear from some of them that they're seeing quite a few off-market transactions. However, the more I think about it, the less surprised I feel.
I've also seen quite a lot of discussion at the national level about bad Realtors. I tend to agree with much of this discussion. I think there are too many Realtors. It's far too easy to get a real estate license, and in some cases oversight is lax at the state, local, and brokerage levels. Because of this, too often, the home buying and selling public pay the price.
And according to many voices I hear out there, and my guess is a majority of those who choose not to use a Realtor, those prices are steep. Commission is far-and-away the largest expense associated with selling a home. The desire to avoid paying a 5-6% commission continues to drive disruption in the real estate industry and the attempts of some sellers to bypass using an agent altogether.
Who's to blame? I'd say two things primarily come to mind: Bad agents and overpriced, one-size-fits-all commissions. There are 1.5 million Realtors in the United States today. I think that number should be half that. At least. And while commissions, on average, have come down in recent years, it's not by much. There are some voices in the industry that are calling for a more diverse set of models available to drive down costs for home sellers and buyers. I include myself in that discussion.
Realtors say, and rightfully so, that we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Yet, too often it seems, that standard isn't actually being met. The public suffers. Home costs are artificially inflated. The Realtor brand suffers. Consumers look elsewhere, or feel trapped in by a system that doesn't offer the choices they wish they had. We should stive to do better.
Such is the basis for why I, along with my wife and business partner Katie, decided to open our own real estate brokerage and do something different. Full service real estate for vastly reduced commissions! So far, it's been a tremendous success here in Lawrence. 2021 has been an outstanding year for our model. And as awareness of what we do increases, we expect our model and our company to continue to grow!
Help us spread the word that there is a different model available to buyers and sellers in Lawrence. Our past clients are already doing this for us, and we are forever grateful! I've said it before and I'll say it again and again: I belive in the Law of Abundance, that there is room for all models in the marketplace, and that consumers benefit from having access to those models. Join us as we usher in the future of real estate!
To find out more about how we help home sellers, click here.
To find our more about how we help home buyers, click here.