Tight Inventory continues to Depress the Market and Agents
A tight inventory continues to depress the market. I am working with buyers who have cash or financing in place, are reasonable in their expectations and ready to close quickly but due to the lack of inventory are unable to secure a purchase. 2019 1st quarter total number of sales of all property types are down by 10% compared to 2018. Lakefront home sales under $1 million decreased 9%, Offshore homes decreased 13% and condo sales decreased 11%. Average sale prices are beginning to show a slight decrease in both lakefront homes and condos, while offshore home average prices are continuing to increase. At the same time, the number of new agents joining our local, lake area Multiple Listing System continues to accelerate.
To use a frequently used but true phrase: The Lake of the Ozarks is a great place to live, work and play. It entices so many to make the move here full time (plus more who dream and plan for the same). Many agents at the lake come from a variety of previous occupations and many embark in the real estate business as second careers. Quite a few undertake a part time real estate career and many still work other jobs. There are also a good number of agents who are initiating a real estate career at the start of their professional lives.
Our current roster in our Multiple Listing System (MLS) shows a total of 711 Realtor members. To put this in perspective, there have been 547 sales closed in the first quarter of 2019. I share this information not to dissuade you from embarking on a career in real estate nor to make you feel sorry for me or any of your agent friends. Although, you might want to take a moment to give your agent a hug. I am sharing this to inform you there is a level of service that is due to you by a real estate agent and to impress upon you how important it is to choose an agent with experience or that is backed by an experienced broker/mentor.
Licensed sales agents are obligated by Missouri State Statutes, guided by the Missouri Real Estate Commission, to provide you with a certain level of service and to be honest and forthright. Further, REALTORS are obligated to do more in the form of our Code of Ethics. Both exist to protect the public. The details are too numerous to include here but if you’d like more information, please let me know. I promise I will share them at no obligation to you.
While I am a proponent of a career in real estate, I am also a proponent of agents acquiring the education and knowledge necessary to truly be able to guide their clients in making the best possible decision in purchasing at the lake. The facts required to pass the real estate exam and obtain a license exist primarily of state and national laws and basic real estate terms.
To gain the additional working knowledge that I consider vital to do right by a customer can be achieved by obtaining additional education AND enlisting the help of an experienced agent as a mentor or choosing a broker willing to teach and guide. I assure you, from my own personal experience, this will make life so much better than hacking through each circumstance as it arises. I had a great mentor/broker at the start of my career and I still appreciate the time she gave to assist me.
There is not a course that I am aware of that teaches the specific knowledge needed to navigate real estate transactions in our unique lake location. Permitting for docks, seawalls, boat ramps, decks, etc. are just a drop in the lake compared to all items specific to our area that can occur during the sales process. It’s unfortunate but not surprising that the number of agents who fail in the first year is 75% to 87% depending on the source.
Real estate purchases are usually the largest a person will make in their lifetime. Choosing an agent to work with is every bit as important as the decision about a property purchase. Be sure you find one that has your best interest in mind and is capable of guiding you through the buying or selling process.
Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981. He is one of the most respected brokers in the area. If you would like to work with Michael in the sale or purchase of property, or have interest in a career in real estate, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway. View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.