REO or Short Sale?

So you want to purchase a distressed property? While you might find a smoking deal, you may also wind up with a splitting headache.

The conditions of distressed properties can vary significantly. Some people have taken care of their properties while others were unable to afford repairs and maintence. Some properties have been vandalized or fallen into disrepair during vacancy. Understand that most distressed properties are sold As-Is, meaning that repairs will not be negotiable. Make sure your cash on hand or loan product will cover anticipated repairs if they are needed.

REO’s, which are lender-owned properties, are fairly straightforward transactions because you only have to deal with one party (the lender). Because of their appeal and value, you might find that multiple offers have been received on an REO. In that case, the lender may request highest and best offers or choose to negotiate with the top offers and reject the rest.

Short Sales, on the other hand, have to be approved by a third party. You will need to have the owner accept the offer and the lender approve the price. Pre-approved transactions tend to move faster, but the biggest complaint with short sales is the amount of time it takes to get an approval after an offer has been submitted. If you need to move into a home within 90 days, a short sale may not be for you.

So… REO or Short Sale?  Either one could be a nice deal, and with a little patience and perseverance you might just avoid that headache.


Kendra Wilson is a Broker, REALTOR®, and Certified Investor Agent Specialist with Century 21 All Seasons in Asheville NC.


Flipping is Out.

Remember the television shows featuring people that would purchase a house and “flip” it in a matter of weeks or months. One would think that those opportunities no longer exist in today’s market. Yet, investors are still buying these properties, but this time they are planning to rehab them.

Why the term rehab? Well most of the former flipping opportunities now exist in the distressed segment of the market. These properties historically need work and I am not talking about the cosmetic upgrades of the flipping generation. Holes, leaks, broken windows/doors, missing flooring, a few dead critters and mold are just a few of the things I have seen. When the listing advertises that you should have your contractor “take a look” before submitting an offer, you could have a winner.

These properties can be purchased for seemingly unbelievable prices until you add in the cost of repairs. Investors take risks when purchasing these properties, but in doing so they perform a needed service in today’s market. The properties they rehab are typically resold to owner occupants. This can help stabilize a neighborhood and boost comps.


Kendra Wilson is a Broker, REALTOR®, and Certified Investor Agent Specialist with Century 21 All Seasons in Asheville NC.

Market Trends: Year to Date

We saw some impressive results for the month of August, but what about Year To Date results?

YTD, 4BD homes are still shining with a 7.8% increase in unit sales. With the impressive unit sales from August, 3BD homes are down only 1.5% YTD. 2BD homes are lagging with an 8.2% decline in unit sales. Overall, our YTD unit sales are only down 1.7%.

Volume sales YTD continue to gain ground. Currently volume sales are down 7% thru August, but definitely better than the 10.8% decline thru July.

4BD homes are leading the way with a 4.5% increase in median selling price YTD and are currently hovering around $350,000. 3BD homes are down 6.7%, but have been steadily increasing every month this year and are currently at $186,070. 2BD homes are down 9.4% and have been decreasing month over month. Overall, the median selling price is down 5.2% from last year to date, but after settling in at $185,000 for the past several months, the overall YTD median selling price increased to $185,850.

So will we see the continued positive trend for 4/BD homes? Will 3/BD median selling prices continue to increase this year and chip away at their decline from last year’s prices? Only time will tell.


Kendra Wilson is a Broker, REALTOR®, and Certified Investor Agent Specialist with Century 21 All Seasons in Asheville NC.

Market Trends: August was a Scorcher!

Asheville Area Market Trends for August 2011.

The Buncombe County Real Estate Market had some notable results for the month of August.  We experienced a 22.4% increase in unit sales vs. August 2010. 3BD homes led the way with an impressive 47.9% increase, followed by 4BD homes with a 13.2% increase. Underperforming were the 2BD homes with a decline of 11.7%.

Both average and median days on market increased as older inventory continues to turn and the residential months of inventory decreased in all but 1 of the 8 price categories. The market is tightening in the <$100,000 range with 4 months of inventory and the $100,000-$200,000 falling to 9 months of inventory.

Overall volume sales for August 2011 vs. August 2010 increased 18.6%. 3BD homes held the top spot again with a strong 35.7% increase over August 2010 volume sales. 4BD homes increased 12.9% and 2BD homes lagged with a 13.5% decrease.

Overall median price decreased 4.7% vs. August 2010 coming in at $190,000. While still below 2010 levels, it was a nice increase over June and July of this year. June had a decrease of 13.9% coming in at $185,000 and July had a decrease of 12.9% coming in at $183,000 overall median selling price.

Next up: August Year To Date Results


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Kendra Wilson is a Broker, REALTOR®, and Certified Investor Agent Specialist with Century 21 All Seasons in Asheville NC.

Market Trends: July was HOT! (Part 2)

Asheville Area NC market trends for July 2011.

One theory behind the 4/BD unit and pricing increases in July 2011 vs. July 2010 is the “school’s out” theory. Think about it, do you want to move your family during the school year? What if you have to change schools, pack/unpack, paint or remodel? Summer is seen by some as an ideal time to move a family. The kids are out of school and the transition might be easier especially if they are moving into a new school district.  As for prices, some might be willing to pay more to secure their new home and get settled within their time frame.

The second theory–the “move up” theory–is based on the premise that at some point people want to move up to a larger home or even a different location. For example, a couple bought a cute 3/BD, 1/BA about 7 years ago. Everything was great until the birth of their second or third child. Some people might buy bunk beds or expand the attic/basement for the oldest child. (Thank you Mom & Dad – I would never have survived!) Others will decide it is time to move up and expand their space with a new place. Hey, if Dad gets a man cave out of the deal, why not?

The move up crowd has been squeezed during this market, but the recent trends in our area could point to change for these folks. 3/BD homes experienced a decline in median selling price, yet an increase in unit sales for July 2011 vs. July 2010. 4/BD homes experienced an increase in both median selling price and unit sales for the same time period. Could it be that the move up crowd are finally selling their 3/BD homes and moving up?

We will have to wait to and see, because one month of results does not equal a trend!

Note: Market trends could still be affected because of the artificial demand created by the tax incentive in the first part of 2010.

Next up: August Market Trends


Kendra Stahl Wilson is a Broker, REALTOR®, and Certified Investor Agent Specialist with Century 21 All Seasons in Asheville NC.

Market Trends: July was HOT!

Asheville Area market trends for July 2011.

July held some bright spots for the real estate market in Buncombe County.

We experienced a 33% increase in the number of units sold vs. July 2010 and a 15% decrease in the median days on market for the same time period. Translation – People were buying homes!

Question is – what were they buying?

4 bedroom homes experienced a 68% increase in units sold vs. July 2010. While they were the stars of July, both 3 bedroom and <2 bedroom properties also had increases. 3/BD units sold increased almost 29% and <2/BD units sold increased 16% vs. July 2010.

Wow–that sounds great, but what about the prices of these homes?

The median selling price for homes July 2011 vs. July 2010 decreased by 13 %. Yet 4/BD homes managed an increase of almost 9% during the same time period. Unfortunately this was not enough to boost overall median selling prices.

So what’s up with those 4/BD homes?

There are several theories out there, but the two I keep coming back to are the “schools out” theory and the “move up” theory.

Next post: Schools out and I want to move up!


Kendra Stahl Wilson is a Broker, REALTOR®, and Certified Investor Agent Specialist with Century 21 All Seasons in Asheville NC.

Where Does Your House Begin?

Curb appeal. Either you have it or you don’t.

If you don’t, you could be sending potential buyers to your competition before they even get out of the car.

You may think the house starts at the front door, but it starts at the front lawn. Some items that are often overlooked by sellers include the mailbox, house numbers, weeds, mulch, overgrown shrubs and an unkempt lawn.

It doesn’t stop there. Check the porch for peeling paint or loose stairs. And unless it is Halloween, knock down those cobwebs and sweep the porch.Don’t forget to clean any windows and check the front door for nicks, dings or worn paint. Last but not least, does the doorbell actually ring when you press the button?

Curb appeal. Either you have it or you get it. A quick trip to the home improvement store and a little sweat equity will give your house a shining start.


Kendra Wilson is a Broker, REALTOR®, and Certified Investor Agent Specialist with Century 21 All Seasons in Asheville NC.