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Looking to move up to a luxury home? Now's the time!

by The KCM Crew

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

 

The All-Star Team, Realtors Update from DeLois

by DeLois Smith

Dear All-Star Team Clients and Friends, 

      Thanks to so many of you who helped make our 16th Annual July 4th Celebration a “best ever” event! Your great patriotic spirit, participation, enthusiasm, and encouragement made us all feel enriched and uplifted. Special appreciation to our program presenters: our veterans’ voice of the Pine Belt, Ted Tibbett; Dr. Nathan Barber, MS State Guard Chaplin; Brittain Allgood, dance performer; Joey Fillingane, State Senator; Dr. Taylor & Kerrin Hightower and Sam Bruton, USM Music Department performers; Joe “Val” Overstreeet, Commander US Navy, Retired, keynote speaker; William “Bill” Thomas, Commander US Navy, Retired and wife Sally and 32 members of the Thomas extended family, Great American All Star 2016 Honoree. Adding to the fun and festivities were boat cruises around Canebrake Lake made possible by the sharing of his beautiful boat by Judge Prentiss Harrell. 

      The beautiful Canebrake setting offered a great opportunity to make memories and we were able to take snapshots that will be remembered. We are sending some of these snapshots to our guests sometime very soon. Also visit us on Facebook to enjoy the participation all over again! C.D. and Mary Johnson said it best, “Many thanks for another special July 4th celebration. It was so inspirational and I’m sure we all left with renewed feelings of patriotism.”

      Team Name Change . . .  We are changing our name! To our long time friends, this change may seem odd. The truth is we should have done it quite some time back because of the participation of so many within our team. We are officially The All-Star Team, REALTORS®. Adam Watkins now takes on a major roll in administration and Steve Floyd has top leadership in our new Commercial Division. This change is NOT in any way directed towards my retiring. I will probably await my promotion to my Heavenly Home first. All it means is that we are working toward more growth under the banner of The All-Star Team, REALTORS®. 

      Team Work . . . Special Team recognition has been announced recently by REAL Trends via The Wall Street Journal. The All-Star Team, REALTORS® transactions were ranked in the top 1% nationally of residential teams. Ranking #117 out of the Top 1000 for 2015. This translated into exceptional productivity for Hattiesburg, MS - with current average sales of $156,053, contrasted with high-end markets in cities in New York, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut with average sales at more than $1 Million. 

      One of our team’s early repeat clients made us especially proud this week. Riki Hyde’s husband built their house, causing a great amount of sadness as she began to prepare to sell the property. She says that she is not sure she could have made the move if it were not for the capable assistance of our Staging Professional and Color Expert, Vickie Iverson, who so capably helped plan for the Estate Sale. Following the sale, Vickie helped Riki update the floors, complete the painting, and get the exterior of the home washed down. The pre-sale effort helped secure the contract and close the sale in 90 days – even with the “slowed-down” closing process our market is experiencing.  Riki’s statement to me was that we have a “full team of specialists who perform with amazing harmony.” Thank you Riki for the honor of serving you and your family!

      40th anniversary . . . Lavon and I will be celebrating with an Eastern European River Cruise down the Danube in mid-August. This will be a Dr. Milton Wheeler style trip led by Robert Byrd, who traveled dozens of Dr. Wheeler’s amazing trips. Thankfully, Robert has elected to extend Dr. Wheeler’s life experiences to us and we are grateful. Our last trip with Dr. Wheeler and Donna was also their very last - 2011 to Turkey. 

      Our team is blessed daily by you, our loyal clients. We remain grateful for your support and encouragement. 

Blessings to you and your family,
DeLois and Team


        For decades our team has had the privilege of serving and growing as the Greater Hattiesburg Area has grown.  Since the late Nineties and Early 2000’s, we’ve spent significant efforts growing our unique team model to serve the residential needs of thousands of clients throughout our region, extending our specialities into the Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, and surrounding markets during that time.  Along the way, we’ve spent thousands of man hours developing systems to deliver unparalleled service to our clients - sellers, buyers, and also many investors of residential real estate in the Pine Belt.  Increasingly, DeLois and I began exploring the idea of using those well-developed support systems to provide service in the area of commercial real estate sales and management.  After all, we have hundreds of clients who have commercial interests that warrant the best possible representation - and we certainly have clients with the need to include commercial real estate in their investment portfolios. In considering the possibility of developing a commercial division, there were several things we were certain we needed when selecting the appropriate broker to lead its development - experience, integrity, and the desire and excitement to work as part of a team.  We believe we have found all of those attributes in Steve Floyd.

       Many of you are familiar with Steve’s work.  He is no stranger to Hattiesburg or commercial real estate, opening Steve Floyd Properties in 1997. For nearly 20 years, Steve has represented sellers, buyers, tenants, and owners of commercial real estate both in the Greater Hattiesburg Area, Mississippi, and around the country.  So, it is with great excitement that we announce our newest Broker Associate and team member who lead in the building and growth of our Commercial Sales and Leasing Division.  We believe that combining Steve’s wealth of experience and contacts with our unmatched support system and established client relationships will be a win for him, our team, and our clients.  He and his wife, the former Toni Tadlock, make their home in Oak Grove.  You could say real estate is a family business for them.  In addition to Steve’s many years in commercial real estate, Toni is the daughter of Joyce Tadlock, a long time broker and fixture in our area’s real estate market.  So, we feel quite honored to welcome the Floyds to our team!

        In the coming months, you will begin seeing evidence of the launch of our commercial division as we begin integrating Steve’s currently listed inventory along with a newly developed commercial brand on the “For Sale” signs of commercial properties throughout our region.   Our website will also feature an added segment devoted to commercial real estate and its associated investment opportunities.  Additional features will be included in our publications and our social media presence.  Our mutual goal is to take something great and make it excellent, and we’re confident that Steve’s experience will bring an entirely new set of opportunities to all of our clients as we achieve this goal.

        Perhaps you have felt the need to add commercial real estate to your investment portfolio or know someone in need of professional assistance in this area.  Currently, Steve is preparing to close sales on several multi-year lease properties with reliable returns for investor clients he represents.  Perhaps such an opportunity is worthy of your consideration.  Or, maybe you have a piece of commercial property in need of maximum exposure or management.  Either way, it’s exciting to finally be able to extend our reach into a new area with someone as capable as Steve on our team to lead the effort.  So, if you or someone you know has need of commercial real estate services - purchasing, selling, leasing, or investing (both in and out of state), we are ready and able to provide the same All-Star Service you’ve come to expect.  Simply let one of our team members know so they can connect you with Steve, or reach out to Steve directly.  Our mission in residential, and now in commercial real estate, is the same as always: to serve you again....and again!

Excited about the future,  Adam & Team

Five Forces to Develop a Successful Selling Strategy

by Adam Watkins

      2016 has made its presence known, and this first quarter is promising to be quite active in the Greater Hattiesburg market.  Every Monday morning our entire team gathers for our “team huddle” to discuss market trends, learn about changes in the lending environment, share needs for buyer clients, and review every property that our team is marketing or that is currently awaiting closing. This past Monday, I made note that out of all of the properties we had listed in the Hattiesburg City Limits only two were not marked “Pending.”  I don’t recall ever seeing that before!  Perhaps it’s happened, but it was quite glaring this past week.  Hattiesburg wasn’t the only area where activity has increased since Christmas.  Approximately two dozen properties in our other submarket areas had the “Pending” notation beside their addresses as well.  Clearly, there are buyers active in our market, and they’re looking for well-maintained, functional, move-in-ready, and competitively priced homes in a variety of price ranges in stable and attractive neighborhoods.

      It’s important to recognize those parameters (listed above) desired by buyers and avoid the misconception that “anything goes.”  However, it is good news for sellers who are willing to pay attention to what the market is saying and develop a strategy for successfully selling their property for the highest possible value.  That’s where our team really shines - helping sellers develop a strategy and aiding them throughout the process to position their home in such a way that the probability of success is greatly increased. By the time one of our homes hits the market, many hours have been spent in trying to “get it right.” With the aid of our team of agents, home stagers, and trusted independent service providers (janitorial, painters, flooring installers, landscapers, and carpet cleaners), we help our sellers prepare their homes to stand out against the competition.  Our Marketing Department then creates attractive photographs for presentation and integrates each property into a marketing plan that has been developed by experience and guided by current trends.  Our Buyer Specialists prepare to present our homes to potential buyers, and our Support Team begins following up and reporting any feedback that is received throughout the process so adjustments can be made if needed.  It’s a fully integrated strategy to provide unparalleled service and success for our clients.

      If you or someone you know is considering selling a home, I’d like to share the “5 Forces” that we consider in helping our sellers develop a successful strategy.  They are: Market Conditions, Location, Marketing, Condition, and Pricing.  

1) Market Conditions - This is the only force that a seller has no direct control over.  So, I mention it first.  These are the conditions locally, regionally, and nationally that create the environment where a sale takes place.  It could be over- or under-supply, prevailing interest rates, local employment rates, etc.  It is our job to have an understanding of how these forces are playing out in our local market and provide insight to our clients on how it improves or impacts a potential sale.  Market conditions can develop slowly or rapidly.  For instance, Hurricane Katrina or 9/11, would be examples of events that had a rapid impact on prevailing market conditions.

2) Location - This is the first of the factors that a seller has control over. And before you say, "But, Adam, I can't move my house!"  I'll remind you that prior to purchasing your home or property, you did have a choice.  You could have chosen a different property in an alternate location.  It is true, however, that the choice has been made and can no longer be changed (at least not very easily, and you certainly can't move the legal description even if you uprooted the home that sits on it).  Thus, it becomes our role once more to help you understand the impacts of your location - both positive and negative - and help determine how potential buyers might respond.

3) Marketing - This is a factor that sellers control through the choice of brokerage and marketing team they select for their property.  I often tell my seller clients that this is what you are placing your trust in our team to do.  What will be done to ensure that the buyers in the market know about your property?  Our marketing plans answers this fundamental question.

4) Condition - Here's where you really start to stand out from the crowd.  The combination of condition and price are paramount in creating that "shiny penny" that I often speak of.  Does the home smell pleasant?  Are the finishes worn or fresh?  Does the landscaping and exterior appear well-maintained, or does it send the message that a lot time and resources will be needed to maintain it?  You can't change a floor plan very easily, and it would be even harder to dig the house up and move it to another location, so making the effort make your property more appealing can be what makes or breaks the home for a buyer.  Having a more attractive and move-in ready condition, a seller can reasonably expect to fall higher on the value spectrum for their particular property and/or anticipate less time on the market.  Our home staging team and our agents provide tools and recommendations to help sellers present their home in the best possible condition.

5) Pricing - The final, and perhaps the most crucial aspect of the strategy that sellers will choose, is the pricing of their home/property.  Our team approach provides sellers with a well-vetted pricing recommendation.  In addition to the experience of our Listing Agents and the research performed by our Listing Manager, our entire sales team reviews our newly-listed properties following any condition improvements and critiques the proposed offering price for a final recommendation.  Once the property launches on the Multiple Listing Service, it's important to monitor the reaction of the market.  If all other forces have been considered, and the market is not acting on the property, it will be important to revisit the pricing strategy and/or use feedback to address any issues with condition that are within the power of the seller.

Understanding the method and rationale for how we develop our selling strategy often helps sellers proceed with confidence as we market and sell their home or property. But sellers aren’t the only ones who benefit!  Home Buyers in the market can have greater confidence when they select an All-Star Team listing and our Buyer Specialists have greater understanding and knowledge to evaluate any property being offered on the market on their behalf.  So, it’s a win-win for sellers and buyers!
It truly is a team approach!  

We would love to hear from you with any questions, comments, or referrals!!!  Feel free to email them to me at adam@deloissmith.com or info@deloissmith.com!                             


Here’s how to light up your Christmas light display safely and economically.

 

Christmas lights can be modest displays to show good cheer, or million-bulb light-apaloozas that draw gawkers from near and far. Here are some tips on how to get the most from — and spend the least on — your holiday display.

 

1.  Safety first. Emergency rooms are filled with homeowners who lose fights with their holiday lights and fall off ladders or suffer electric shocks. To avoid the holiday black and blues, never hang lights solo; instead, work with a partner who holds the ladder. Also, avoid climbing on roofs after rain or snow. 

2.  Unpack carefully. Lights break and glass cuts. So unpack your lights gingerly, looking for and replacing broken bulbs along the way.

3.  Extension cords are your friends. Splurge on heavy-duty extension cords that are UL-listed for outdoor use. To avoid overloading, only link five strings of lights together before plugging into an extension cord.

4.  LEDs cost less to light. LED Christmas lights use roughly 70% to 90% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can safely connect many more LED light strings than incandescents. Downside: Some think they don’t burn as brightly as incandescent bulbs.

5.  Solar lights cost nothing to run. Solar Christmas lights are roughly four times more expensive to buy than LEDs, but they cost zero to run. They’re a bright-burning, green alternative. Downside: If there’s no sun during the day, there’s no light at night. The jury’s also still out on how long they last; they’re too new on the market for results.

6.  Dismantle lights sooner than later. Sun, wind, rain, and snow all take their toll on Christmas lights. To extend the life of lights, take them down immediately after the holidays. The longer you leave the up, the sooner you’ll have to replace them.

7.  Plan next year’s display on Dec. 26. Shop the after-Christmas sales to get the best prices on lights and blowups that you can proudly display next year. Stock up on your favorite lights so you’ll have spares when you need them (and after they’re discontinued).

8.  Permanent attachments save time. If you know you’ll always hang lights from eaves, install permanent light clips ($13 for 75 clips) that will save you hanging time each year. You’ll get a couple/three years out of the clips before sun eats the plastic. 

9.  Find those blueprints. Instead of guessing how many light strings you’ll need, or measuring with a tape, dig up your house blueprints or house location drawings (probably with your closing papers) and use those measurements as a guide. 

10.  Store them in a ball. It sounds counterintuitive, but the best way to store lights is to ball them up. Wrap five times in one direction, then turn the ball 90 degrees and repeat. Store your light balls in cardboard boxes, rather than in plastic bags: Cardboard absorbs residual moisture and extends the life of your lights.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
Bringing you home...again and again!
4 Willow Bend, Suite 2A
Hattiesburg MS 39402
601.545.3900
800.335.6477

The All-Star Team, REALTORS brings you over 200 years of accumulated experience along with the most innovative marketing strategies in the real estate industry. We specialize in the real estate properties located in Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, Sumrall, Purvis, Columbia, and the entire Pine Belt region. Put The All-Star Team, REALTORS® to work for you as you consider your next home sale or purchase. Experience the team approach to real estate and make us your REALTOR® for life! See how The All-Star Team, REALTORS® really is bringing the Pine Belt home again and again.