Welcome warmer temperatures and hopefully a warm selling season! In spite of a colder than typical winter, things have finally started warming up for your All-Star Team! After a sluggish start to 2014, market activity has strengthened in the last few weeks of the first quarter, and we anticipate the Greater Hattiesburg market tracking almost even in total closed sales volume when compared to First Quarter 2013, with some increase in average sales price ($139,000 versus $149,000). Of course, this means the actual number of sales for First Quarter 2014 are lagging those of the same time period in 2013 (379 versus 363 total recorded Single Family home sales). The increase in average sales price is mostly attributed to increased activity in upper price ranges of our market in the last several weeks. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the needs of sellers and buyers in neighborhoods throughout Greater Hattiesburg. In fact, by March 31st, we anticipate we will have been involved in 50% of the recorded 1st quarter sales in all of Canebrake (3 out of a total of 6 sales - including the two highest dollar volume sales), over 50% of the recorded sales in Trailwood and Trailwood West subdivisions, and 100% of recorded sales in Longleaf Acres/Northfork/Southfork subdivisions! (Source: HAARMLS.)
We’re doing a lot of learning, too! Earlier in March, the team hired John Phillips of the Mississippi REALTOR Institute to present a training session on Exclusive Buyer Agency Representation Agreements. Our team of agents completed an in-depth session refreshing ourselves on the history and advantages of Exclusive Buyer’s Agency. The representation agreement functions the same way as an Exclusive Listing Agreement does for our sellers, and it allows our Buyer Specialists to provide the same kind of allegiance and service to which sellers have become accustomed. Many states, such as Georgia, require them by law, and they are commonly used to define the relationship between our company and the buyers we serve. Our agents increasingly provide this “All Star Buyer Service” by written agreement with our buyer clients. Don’t hesitate to ask one of us to better explain the benefits that you receive as a “Listed” buyer client of our team!
But that’s not all the learning we’re doing. We have also scheduled one of the industry’s most renowned instructors, Pat Zaby, to provide exclusive training to our team members in late April. In the coming months, several of our team members are completing designation courses, and by August they will be enrolled in classes at the National Association of REALTORS Annual Convention in New Orleans. Add to this the learning we do daily, as every single sale we handle creates new lessons for us to capture and apply to our business. It all equates to a tremendous advantage for the friends and clients we represent each day, in terms of overall experience and knowledge of current market trends and best practices. This continual commitment to learning is one of our key points of difference. We thank you for allowing us to serve you again...and again!
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the passing of a very dear friend, professor, and brother in Christ, Dr. Milton Wheeler. Dr. Wheeler gave his life to the most worthwhile endeavors that exist: his Lord, his wife, his community, and his college (amongst other things). I had the fortune of having Dr. Wheeler as my Western Civilization professor at William Carey. He was one of the hardest teachers I’ve ever had. I took his class as a challenge because my advisor told me it was so hard. In the end, Dr. Wheeler gave me my first B, I believe - what equated to a 94.5 (95-100 was an A). When I asked him why he didn’t round up like I’d always known professors to do, he simply said, “a 94.5 is not a 95.” And, of course, he was right - like he was on almost everything. He led dozens of trips abroad and impacted the lives of thousands as he taught nearly 50 years at William Carey and relished his work as a Rotarian. He and his wife, Donna, provided an example of a godly marriage. Mrs. Donna passed only a few months ago. I praise God that they were not apart for very long at all. I thank God for creating Milton Wheeler and for using him to bless and impact this community and world in a way few people do. Farewell, Dr. Wheeler, until we are reunited once more.
With gratitude,
Adam & Team