Archive for the 'Seller Tips' Category

A Secret Weapon for Lake Martin FSBOs

Screen shot 2011-05-19 at 9.06.34 AM

Are you selling your Lake Martin waterfront home “For Sale by Owner” (aka FSBO)?

Then let me tell you about a secret weapon. is the best way right now to market your Lake Martin home, condo, or lot on the internet.  I agree with its legions of fans that use it because it is SO easy.  Once you set up your free account, it’s like having your own blog.   It’s simple to add new info and update pages about your property, and it’s also easy to get that valuable information in front of potential buyers.

I use Posterous myself as a way to distribute pictures and quick videos.  I’m such a big believer in Posterous, I’ve actually taught a couple of classes to Lake Martin area small business owners on how to use it to help their marketing.   Lake Martin FSBOs  can also use Posterous to help them sell their homes.

Surveys by prove what common sense tells us – internet marketing is a huge part of the real estate industry90% of home buyers use the web before they ever call a Realtor.  So if you choose to sell your lakeside home yourself – you need to tap into this marketing engine.

4 cool things about

Screen shot 2011-05-19 at 9.18.54 AM1.  FREE – it’s free to get an account.  Once you have an account, it’s like having your own blog.
2. Easy to add info – if you can send an email, you can add web pages to your Posterous blog.  Take a few pictures of each room. Attach them to an email, let the subject be “kitchen” or “lake view” or whatever.  Type description in the body of the email.  Send the email to [email protected]  Do this for every room or vista of your lakefront property.  Each email will create a new blog post, and thus go a long way to describing your property.
3.  It cuts down on a lot of curious types and can also serve to qualify your buyers. When those tire kickers, or even legitimate buyers, call you for a showing, refer them to your Posterous blog first, so they can check it out before they come physically.
4.  Email a video, too! Shoot a clip and email it to your Posterous blog.  Posterous will embed the video.  So easy.

Granted, a free blog like this will not gain the instant attention from the search engines and social media that an established site like Lake Martin Voice will.  Years of work and hundreds of posts have built up credibility for Lake Martin and my related pages on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  I don’t blog for vanity, I do it to sell homes, lots, and condos.

Obviously, I would love to help anyone on Lake Martin. But hey, if you choose to sell your Lake Martin home yourself, Posterous is a great tool.  So great, in fact, that I rank it as a secret weapon.

If you think you might need some help selling your Lake Martin property, we would love to hep.  Contact us here or call at 334 221 5862.

Tags: , , , , ,

Real Estate Tours: When Video is NOT a Video

I love to use full motion video tours to market Lake Martin homes.  I think it’s a cool use of today’s technology, but mostly I love video because buyers and sellers love it.

Screen shot 2011-05-17 at 4.04.13 PMI know buyers love it, because they constantly tell me.  I have been blessed with many people calling me and choosing me to help them find a home around the lake.

Sellers like it, too.  When I show them how much a full motion video tour helps spotlight selling points, give context (how do you get to the lake from the kitchen?), and keep buyers’ attention, it’s a no-brainer. They want a video.

When a video is not a video..

Again, I realize all of this is pretty obvious.  People want video of homes on Lake Martin or any other real estate market for that matter.  Realtors everywhere are interested in doing more video, hence the (very flattering) invitation that ReTechSouth gave me to teach this class on real estate video at their conference in Atlanta.

With so many agents now trying to provide video, sometimes you encounter a slide show that is put in the “Video Tours” link on the Lake Martin MLS.  These photo slide shows are also known as “Virtual Tours.”  Not the same thing.

Screen shot 2011-05-17 at 4.05.16 PMDon’t get me wrong, Virtual Tours aren’t bad per se.  They are better than nothing.  But most of the time when you click on it and watch, you are seeing a photo slide show of the pictures you just viewed, only set to Yanni /John Teshian muzak.

Why would you want to watch a slide show of pictures that you just saw on the MLS, only set to muzak?  I don’t know.  Like I said, it’s better than nothing and I certainly don’t fault other agents for using them.  Just don’t call it a video.

That’s why I take pains (often) to point out that I do FULL MOTION video tours. I shoot them, walking through and around the lake homes WITH A VIDEO CAMERA.

Can you tell the difference?

I have long desired take the same property and to put a full motion video against a cheesy virtual tour, just to show the difference.  But the problem is, I don’t do virtual tours.  I would have to use someone else’s Virtual Tour as a comparison to my video.  I’ve never done it because I don’t want to appear to be negative about another agent.  Nor would another agent allow me to post their virtual tour on my blog.  So I’ve never had a side-by-side comparison. Again, my goal here is not to criticize but to explain why I go to so much trouble to (attempt to) do a nice video.

Now we can.

Unit 202C in Harbor Pointe is one of my current listings.  Therefore I have a full motion tour of it.  Coincidentally, I had the same unit listed back in 2006.  So – for illustrative purposes only – I have gone back in time and grabbed my pics from the initial listing.  Nobody should get their feelings hurt – these are my old pics taken with my old point and shoot.  No wide angles, no nothing.

I have created a typical Virtual Tour, and will let you be the judge.

Which one do you like the best?  If you were a buyer, which gives you more information? Context? Makes you want to take the next step?

If you were a seller on Lake Martin, which would you want to be used for your home, lot or condo?

Here’s the typical slide show.  Now, PLEASE keep in mind – I DON’T DO THESE! It’s for illustrative purposes only!  You may want to turn your speakers down a bit – Yanni doesn’t allow any voice overs to mar his sultry Virtual Tours’ insomnia fighting tunes.

What did you think?

Next, here’s the full motion video tour that I did for this condo, and also one I did a few years ago about Harbor Pointe in general.  Turn your speakers back up –  you can hear a narration description.

How about it?  Can you please vote below?

You won’t have to give any personal info. It’s completely anonymous.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Lake Martin Waterfront Lot Sales: 2010 Year In Review

2010 proved to be a pivotal one for waterfront home sales on Lake Martin.  But what about waterfront lot sales? Would they follow the pattern set by homes? That is, would our real estate market see an increase in number of lots sold, then finally a halt to the drops in prices?

Well, first we have to see an increase in the number of waterfront lots sold on Lake Martin in a year.  Prior years have seen that number slide. So what happened in 2010?

lake martin waterfront lot sales

2010 was a great year on Lake Martin for waterfront lot sales. Lot sellers saw that the number of lots sold jumped from a bottom of 18 in 2008 and 19 in 2009 to a healthy 27 in 2010.

Lake Martin waterfront lot sales history

Market Shift in Waterfront Lots

I think that this increase signals a market shift for Lake Martin waterfront lots. Tracking the number of lots sold should tell us that changes in prices are not far behind. We have studied this theory, and now seen it in practice with waterfront homes on Lake Martin.

While waterfront home sales bounced back in 2009, it took until 2010 until prices quit falling, as we saw in this market report.

Similarly, I think that 2011 lot sales will display that same trend. I think that if – that’s if – we see continued strong lot sales, prices will stop declining in 2011. Therefore my best guess is that it will be 2012 before we have any real chance of seeing lot prices of up. Obviously, 2011 sales will dictate that.

At the end of December, 2010, the Lake Martin MLS showed that 162 waterfront lots had the status of “Active” – aka are for sale. That means that at the sales rate of 27 per year of 2010, it would take 6 years to sell all of the lots. That’s 72 months of inventory. Tons. That’s my one reservation for predicting too quick a stop of slide on prices. The “months of inventory” number needs to be drastically reduced before the market will exert any upward pressure, in my opinion.

Waterfront Lots Sold: Price Distribution

It’s always interesting to see how the prices of lots sold on Lake Martin look.

prices of waterfront lots sold on Lake Martin Alabama in 2010

A Word On Price Per Waterfront Foot

In my opinion, the single BIGGEST screw up that Lake Martin buyers, flippers, appraisers, real estate agents, and bankers made in the “boom times” was estimating a lot’s worth at price per waterfront foot. Maybe it didn’t hurt the average lot buyer too bad but I can think of 3 or 4 specific incidents where people bought, say, 1,000 feet of Lake Martin shoreline and applied some vague price per square foot to it, and assumed they made money when they bought it.


Many of those parcels of land are in foreclosure now, but they are in the form of failed subdivisions. This method IS WAY TOO INACCURATE to be used. To wit:

In 2010 the least expensive waterfront lot was sold for $30,000 – a 100 foot lot north of the 280 River Bridge. Yes, $300 / waterfront foot.

One of 2010’s most expensive lots sold was one in the Russell Lands development of Trillium. The Lake Martin MLS stated it had about 427 waterfront feet and sold at $900,000 – or about $2,100 per waterfront foot.

$300 to $2,100 – that’s a pretty wide spread. Don’t be tempted to dumb things down and use averages. Avoid that method all together and use the comparable sales method like we do for homes.

Do you own a waterfront lot on Lake Martin and are wondering how this news affects you? Or maybe you are looking for one.  We can help.  Please contact us here or at 334 221 5862.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

Tags: , , , , , ,

2010 Lake Martin Home Prices Suggest Bottom Has Passed

Big News For Lake Martin Real Estate

Lake Martin waterfront home prices did not drop 2010, suggesting “the bottom”  arrived sometime in 2009 or 2010.

About this time every year, I take an in depth look at waterfront home sales on Lake Martin as reported by the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors’ MLS(*) (of which I am a member). Prior years’ market reports have shown us that, in terms of number of waterfront homes sold, 2008 was the low point.  2009 showed an over 40% increase in homes sold at 194, and 2010 topped that amount at 195.

The final piece of the recovery was to figure out when prices would finally quit dropping. I think the below chart gives evidence that we are there.

lake martin waterfront home sold 2010

Once again, we see that the bell curve of prices remains the same in 2010 – essentially even with 2009 and 2005.

“Big deal” – you might say.  Stagnant home prices? What’s to brag about? Plenty…..

total lake martin waterfront homes sold

The First Step In Getting Out Of A Hole: Stop Digging

Anyone who follows Lake Martin real estate (or any market for that matter) and is who is watching for a change in the market focuses on two trends: number of waterfront homes sold and price of waterfront homes sold.

1. Number of Homes Sold Bottomed in 2008 – check this one off of the list. 2009 showed us by tallying over 40% more sales that 2008 was the bottom. Similarly strong sales in 2010 showed us that 2009 was no fluke.

2. Price of homes sold bottomed in 2009 – 2010 – I think we can check this one off, too.  True, 2011 could see a drop in prices, but I doubt it.  Why? Because of number #1 above.  The number of homes sold is the leading indicator of average prices. We have been over and over Nicolai Kolding’s research that proves this.  We have a lot of momentum with the number of waterfront home sales – too much momentum, in my opinion, to turn prices back down.  At any rate, even if prices do drop in a double dip maneuver, we will have plenty of warning from the number of homes sold.

Why This Is Big News

To Buyers:

Quit waiting for the bottom. It is here.  Make your move now before prices start going up again.

I can’t tell you how many times over the past 2 years I have helped someone find something they like, only to have their lake home plans be put on hold by the phrase “I think it’s going to get worse. I will wait.” Understandably, some buyers have hesitated based on fears that the Lake Martin real estate market will suffer more price cuts, and to these buyers, it was worth the wait.

No more.  The day I have been predicting since 2009 is here. It’s hard to refute the numbers.

Are some Lake Martin waterfront homes, lots, or condos still overpriced? Absolutely. But that will be the case in any market, at any time. But the key here is that it should remove the fear that another market wide adjustment is looming.  It also reassures us that as long as we keep focused on year to year monthly sales, we will have plenty of warning to market shifts.

To Sellers: The End Is Near

You can’t raise prices just yet, but it should be reassuring that at least the slide is over.

lake martin real estate waterfront homes sold by month

See also:

cumulative lake martin waterfront homes sold 2005 - 2010

This is the first post in a series that will cover the 2010 Lake Martin Real estate market reports and statistics. I will do my best to present the data clearly.

Please stay tuned to my real estate blog to keep up with my future posts on the 2010 year end review.

As always – I welcome your comments below or on my Facebook page, or my Twitter feed, or my Youtube channel. While numbers are hard to dispute, everyone has their own opinion about what they mean. I know that I constantly learn a lot from everyone out there when we talk privately.

Please help me and the rest of the readers out, and comment publicly!

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – November 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cherish The Cabin

lake martin waterfront cabinAccording to this article in the Wall Street Journal, there is a “golden window” in the US Tax Code that allows taxpayers to gift more this year without being taxed. Quoting directly:

For the next two years, the gift-tax exemption jumps to $5 million from $1 million for individuals and to $10 million from $2 million for couples—meaning people can give away that much without paying a penny in taxes.

What’s more, the tax rate on gifts above those amounts fell to 35% from a scheduled 55%

Normally I don’t consider tax code law to be interesting fare for a blog focused on Lake Martin real estate. Today I certainly don’t want to imply that anyone should make a decision to buy or sell a lake house based primarily on tax reasons.  Secondarily, maybe.

What really interested me about this article was that it went on to say that many people are using this opportunity to reduce their estates, and perhaps successfully pass on assets to their heirs so they won’t get hit so hard with estate taxes or higher gift tax rates in the future.  Furthermore, authors go on to say that:

“Some also may want to put “sacred family assets”—a beloved vacation home or pieces of furniture, art or jewelry—into trusts to preserve them for future generations.”

Did you just see that?  Sacred family assets.  The first thing they mention is a vacation home.

But isn’t that part of the appeal to owning one? Maybe the end pursuit isn’t necessarily sacred family assets, but sacred family memories, traditions, and time spent together. Lake Martin is a great place for all of those.

Coincidentally, I was talking Saturday with a guy whom I helped find his own sacred family asset. He admitted although he bought in “the peak” of the market in 2007, he wouldn’t trade one weekend, not even one second, of the time he and his family have spent there. Even now, in the dead of winter, his family couldn’t wait to get back to their Lake Martin home.  There is too much fun they could be having.

Can we help you find your sacred family asset?

Or maybe it’s time to let go of it, and you need someone who realizes what this means to your family.  We understand the need to make sure that the next family enjoys it as much as you have.

We can help.  Call or contact us here.

Tags: , ,

Lake Martin Sales Slump In September

Lake Martin waterfront home sales stalled in September 2010. Only 14 homes were sold through the Lake Martin MLS*, as compared to 24 in 2009 and 20 in 2008.

If you add this month to the previous year to date total, what does that tell us about the Lake Martin real estate market as a whole? We see that number of homes sold so far through September 30, 2010, is 158. This puts 2010 slightly behind the Sept. 30, 2009, number of 162.

The good news is that it puts 2010 far ahead of the entire 12 months’ worth of sales in 2008 and 2007, thus ensuring us against the fabled, never-seen, yet dreaded, double dip.

Lake Martin Market Momentum

If we compare this month’s waterfront home sales to the same month last year, we see that 2010 has been on a losing streak. We have had 5 straight months of either losing to (4) or tying with (1) 2009.

Should we be worried? Is this a legitimate trend now? I mean, come on. I used this graphic to prove that the Lake Martin real estate market had bounced back in 2009. Shouldn’t it now show us that we are headed back downhill after 5 “lousy” months? Let’s be honest!!

I don’t think so.

The main reason is that I am writing this Market Report for September so late (November 2). I have the luxury of looking at waterfront property sales results for October 2010, which tells me that October is going to be a really big month. Probably the best October in 4 or so years. If preliminary indications hold, it will be so much better than October 2009 it will just about erase the last 5 months’ lukewarmness. In fact, it may put 2010 in position to beat 2009 when it’s all said and done on December 31.

I hate to call a downward trend when we are still beating prior year.

I guess many September scheduled closings have been pushed to October due to lending red tape and inspections. I know that personally I have been blessed to have signed more business (closings and listings) this fall than ever before.

Inventory of Lake Martin Homes for sale

The number of waterfront homes for sale in the Lake Martin MLS decreased again this month. No surprises here, it’s a seasonal thing. I am considering publishing this chart only once a quarter, or near peak or trough times.  I don’t think it’s necessary to mention each month.

Why Do You Report Sales So Late?

As I have said in countless disclaimers, I take all of my sales numbers from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors’ MLS. Each sale must be recorded and reported by the listing agent. That means if you have a closing on September 30, the sale will show as a status of “Pending” until the agent goes into the MLS and changes it to “Closed.”

Many times it takes a couple of business days, if not weeks, to do this. That’s why I try to wait at least until the 15th of the next month before I do a Lake Martin Real Estate Market Report. Granted, for this month (September 2010) I waited a lot longer than that. Sorry.

Be on the lookout for the October 2010 report sometime the week of November 15 – 19, 2010.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – June and July 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

I Clean Lake Martin Homes For Free

The other day a person called me about selling their waterfront home on Lake Martin.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted to sell or not, and wanted my realtor’s opinion on the price, how to market it, and if any improvements need to be made.

I told her I would head on over to her house and check it out.  While I was there I told her I would go ahead and take about 75 pictures and shoot some video for a home tour, just in case she decided to sell.

“Wait!” she said. “It’s not clean! My sister was there last weekend. Let me call a cleaning service.”

I told her that unless there was a fraternity party there, I would be glad to straighten up before I do the pictures and video.  She couldn’t believe it.  I insisted, for two main reasons:

1.   Full motion video tours of homes (not those cheesy “Virtual Tours”), in combination with many nice big photos of lake homes, sell.  The video and pictures are some of my most potent marketing weapons, so I want the home to look nice.

2. Lake Martin is big. It sometimes takes 45 minutes to drive from one spot to the other.  I owe it to my buyers and sellers to be efficient with my time.  There is no need to burn another half day to come back over there and take video and pictures after I have already been there once, especially if all it takes is a little elbow grease on my part.

So I went ahead and cleaned her home for free.  It took about an hour.  Really, it turned out to be not that bad at all. A little vacuuming, rearranging, and hiding the toys in the closet.

In other words, it was stuff that my wife wishes I did at home.

And for me, it was worth it. If she decides to sell, I already have my media work done.  If not – well, hopefully I have made a friend!

Tags: , , , ,

Does Your Realtor Play Nice With Others?

The waterfront Lake Martin real estate market is small by almost any measure:  number of homes sold, number of school zones represented, number of builders involved.

Lake Martin is not small by two other factors – price per sale, and number of real estate agents per sale. When you look at waterfront sales only, the average price last year was in the range of $200k – $299k, and for Alabama that is high.  Total Lake Martin waterfront homes sold in 2009 was 194. We have about 116 agents active, or almost 1.6 per home sold. I think this puts us in a “more than you can shake a stick at” category, despite that this is down from about 190 at the peak.

That means that the stakes are high for every sale.  Granted, the commission dollars are higher than average, but the number each agent can expect to sell each year is also lower, therefore the competition for each sale is also higher.

It matters that you have an agent that plays nice with others.

Reputation matters.

Yes, it does, even in an industry like real estate which can sometimes be as cutthroat as our urban legend suggests.

So why choose a nice guy?  Wouldn’t you want a shark?

Relationships matter.

Negotiations are fragile these days, especially for a second home or vacation market like Lake Martin waterfront properties. When I am dealing with another agent that I trust, that I know to be a truth teller and not a game player, I don’t have to second guess or filter their comments.  I can concentrate 100% on my client instead of worrying what the agent may or may not be doing.

Do I really want my agent to be cozy with the competition?

You don’t need to be good with a knife to serve your clients well. Sure, I have been in plenty of contentious, balanced-on-a-hair negotiations with agents that I know and like.  Was I too soft on them? Did I press it enough? No. Because we trust each other, we were able to get eyeball to eyeball much faster, without all of the needless agent posturing and preening.  I was able to state my case passionately, but clearly to them, as they were to me. We were able to focus on what matters: the clients and the properties, instead of what doesn’t: agent egos and barb trading.

Are the Lake Martin Realtors all one big happy family?

Unfortunately, no. Even inside the same large company, in any industry, there are always the people that you just are not sure about.  You know that when you deal with them, it had better be in writing, in triplicate, documented with voice mails, emails, and pony express.  It’s the same thing on Lake Martin, or in any real estate market, I assume.

What inspired this post?

Another Lake Martin Realtor (who will remain nameless) saw a FSBO advertisement and thought it was one of my active listings. He was concerned that my client was intentionally trying to be fraudulent with me and my listing agreement.  It turned out it wasn’t mine, but I really appreciated the fact that a member of “the competition” would be looking out for me like that, especially when he had more to lose than to gain by pointing it out to me.  So – Mr. Agent (you know who you are) – when you read this, thanks again. You are one of the nice ones.

Tags: , , , ,

Lake Martin Real Estate Stalls In August

Lake Martin waterfront home sales stalled slightly in August of 2010, selling only 27 waterfront properties as compared to 31 sold in August of 2009.  However, the cumulative total for Lake Martin in 2010 is still better than 2009.

Lake Martin MLS* Market reports for 2010 have seen spotty performance versus the prior year. This year, the Lake Martin real estate market has been like some of the SEC offenses I have watched so far this season. When it was good, it was very good, and when it wasn’t, it was tepid. Not horrible, just lukewarm.

That being said, when you look at total sales for the calendar year, 2010 is still ahead of 2009. Therefore it’s hard to complain too much when we are beating last year. Most real estate markets around the country, especially second home / vacation markets, would love to be able to say that.

OK, so we are still ahead on the scoreboard. By the end of August 31, 2010 has sold 144 waterfront homes on Lake Martin versus 138 at this point in 2009. But what is the momentum?

In my opinion, the finest measure of the momentum, if not health of any real estate market is comparing the current month’s number of homes sold versus the same month last year. If you need convincing, read this post by Nicolai Kolding.

So how does Lake Martin’s waterfront real estate momentum shape up? See the below chart. Any area above the zero line means that month beat the prior year, which is a good thing.

I am not really sure how to interpret the above graph. I think it clearly shows that 2009’s hot streak has been cooled the last few months. I hesitate to call it a double dip as Lake Martin is still besting its competition of last year.

In short, we need more information. We need the sales results from last few months of 2010 to show us what is really going on with the number of homes sold, as well as any movement in average prices.

Number of Waterfront Home for Sale on Lake Martin

The above graph shows us that the inventory of waterfront homes for sale on Lake Martin has headed back down. This is the typical seasonal shift. Nothing really surprising about this, except that I am sure sellers wish it peaked a lot lower. Expect this number to decrease until January or so.

Looking Ahead

The Lake Martin MLS, at this writing, has scored about 15 waterfront homes sold so far in September, with about 22 under contract to close. We won’t know the real numbers until the middle of October or so, but my guess is that Lake Martin will have a good September. That’s another reason why I hesitate to call a shift in momentum. Again, we need more time, more information.

Waterfront Lots Sales Take Off

Another bright spot for the Lake Martin market is the surprising news that waterfront lot sales were way up in August.

I know I am going to sound like a typically self contradictory “economist” on the dole at NAR when I say this, but I think this is good news for everyone. I (jokingly) define everyone as:

1. Bankers – maybe they have finally found rock bottom prices at which their foreclosed lots will sell.
2. Buyers – has the news **finally** sunk in? They really have started to act on their observations that these lot prices are incredibly low, instead of just talking about it?
3. Builders – sure, not everyone will start building tomorrow. But at least it hints at a future where there will be some normal activity again.
4. Sellers – how can the same news be good for Lake Martin owners and buyers? When the news points to overall market health. If people are buying lots, that means they are not finding homes that they want, or at least have confidence in the market overall. It’s kind of like fishing – when you’re catching small ones, at least something is happening. When nothing is biting, you begin to doubt if there is anything down there at all.

Lot sales breed confidence.

Related Posts:

Lake Martin Real Estate Sales – June and July 2010
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Waterfront Lots
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2009 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2008 – Year In Review
Lake Martin Real Estate Sales 2007 – Year In Review

All Lake Martin Market Reports

(*)Disclaimers: All of the above info was taken from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Accuracy is not guaranteed but deemed reliable. The above does not include sales by FSBOs or developers that sell privately and not through the MLS. But, I do think that the above represents a very large majority of all waterfront sales on Lake Martin, Alabama.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

How We Use Video to Market Your Lake Martin Home

At Lake Martin Voice Realty, we believe video is one of the crucial ways to market a home for saleThe days of slide show picture montages with Yanni playing in the background are over.  Pictures are better than nothing, but these days, with the money involved in waterfront homes on Lake Martin, sellers and buyers deserve better.

Research has proven that about 90% of buyers use the internet to look for property.  Buyers and sellers alike want a more authentic way to tour property online.  Especially in a second home market like Lake Martin, where most buyers live hours away.

Below are two great examples of what video marketing can do.  We can’t take all the credit – these homes at Water’s Edge are really cool, and we were able to meet with the architect on site and let him do the talking.  But the result is an architect-guided tour at every viewing.

You be the judge:   A John Tesh slide show or our version?

Realtors must do video, and they must do it well.  There is just no excuse anymore.

It’s so easy to do an “OK” home video tour that I can’t imagine why everyone isn’t doing it. But, I’ll admit it. It is pretty hard to do an effective one, and I still consider myself an amateur.

I’m not saying I am Francis Ford Coppola, or even Errol Morris, but if I were a seller, I would want an (albeit imperfect) agent that not only is trying  (cliche alert) “cutting edge” marketing techniques, but one that is pushing harder and harder to get better at it every day.

If you need more convincing, here are two of our latest property listing videos:

190 Pine Drive

14 Elysian Way

If you are a potential seller of waterfront property on Lake Martin, and you like what you see, give us a callWe can do the same for you. If you’re a buyer, use our website for research, and then let us guide you from research to relaxation!

Tags: , , , ,