Tuesday, June 25, 2019

July Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate Update

2019 YTD Sales
     2019 YTD sales are almost identical in number of properties sold as 2018.  The first quarter of 2019 was lagging behind but May saw a large increase in sales compared to May 2018 as well as considerable increase from April 2019 to May 2019.  Inventory continues to remain low and the total new listings are 1.3% lower so far this year.

     As of May 31, a total of 1219 properties have sold this year (2018 sales were 1215).  The number of agent members in our local board of Realtors also continues to climb.  Currently, we have 733 members.  There were also 46 sales involving a non -member agent.
     As I discussed previously, there are not enough sales to support the number of Realtors currently working at Lake of the Ozarks.  While I know that the situation will be self-correcting to a certain extent, I have concerns about the level of service that the public is receiving.  There are a vast number of agents with little to no broker supervision currently holding themselves out as a real estate professional.   Experience, knowledge and training are all extremely important criteria when deciding which agent to hire.  I don’t feel this criterion eliminates agents who are new to the business, but I do think it is important that unexperienced agents have a broker or mentor available to assist them.
     When a licensed real estate person in Missouri works with a potential customer, they are required by law to provide a document called the Missouri Broker Disclosure Form before discussing personal and financial details.  This form explains all the possible types of client relationships (known as agency) that are recognized in our state.   It also tells you which types of agency is offered by the brokerage firm where the licensee you are dealing with works.  This form will also show you the correct name of the brokerage firm, the name of the designated broker responsible for the oversight of the licensees and the location of the physical brokerage office.   If you want an agent to work on your behalf, you will need to sign a contract spelling out the terms of your relationship.  
     I’ve heard a lot of horror stories over the years from clients who had bad experiences working with agents (some new, some not so new).  Much of the time the clients feel they have no recourse other than to hire an attorney and proceed with a court case that will potentially cost more in attorney fees than they could hope to recover.
     The Missouri Real Estate Commission is the state government agency that issues and oversees real estate licensees.  You can obtain complaint forms and contact information at https://pr.mo.gov/realestate.asp.  You can also view disciplinary actions and check that an agent has a current real estate license with the brokerage firm and location they advertise they are doing business.
     Real Estate Licensees who are a member of the Association of Realtors adhere to a Code of Ethics.  This code requires them to follow all state and national laws as well as additional ethical criteria.  Members of the public can also file a complaint via the Association.  For information on filing a complaint in this fashion for a Realtor licensee in the lake area, you can contact the local association board office at 573-348-4288 or the Missouri Association www.MissouriRealtor.org.
     My advice to you is:  Be sure you receive the Missouri Broker Disclosure Form prior to discussing any of your personal needs and information with any licensee.  Unless you choose to enter an agency relationship in which the licensee represents you, please be aware that any information that you share with the licensee may not be kept private. Just because you are working with an agent doesn’t mean they are working FOR you.  Take the time to check with the Missouri Real Estate Commission to be certain you are working with someone whose license is in good standing and that you know who their broker is and where to find them if you need help.  If you are mistreated by a licensee, consider filing a complaint.  This could help prevent another buyer or seller from experiencing the same.    
     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 cme@yourlake.com  or stop by C. Michael Elliott & Associates, 3738 Osage Beach Parkway.  View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com.  You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com.  Real Estate data obtained from the Lake of the Ozarks Multiple Listing System for the years 2018 and 2019.