Friday, May 29, 2009

Ready for Sale (Part one of four)

This week I begin a four-part series on getting your home ready for sale. This week I will share some current local market trends that can help you get mentally prepared to sell your home. Over the next three weeks I will interview several experts in various professions and share with you their best tips on getting your house ready to sell quickly and for the maximum dollar amount.

Foreclosures: Sorry to start off with the worst news, but this information is important to stabilizing the market. According to ( Oklahoma saw 1,177 new foreclosure filings this past April. Year to date that figure is 4,299. Sounds dismal doesn’t it? So let’s compare it to a couple of our neighbors.

This past April, Arkansas saw 1,864 new foreclosure filings and that figure year to date is 6,919 according to With 22% fewer residence than Oklahoma, Arkansas saw 58% more foreclosures in April and a staggering 62% more than our state year to date.

In April, the OKC metro area saw 199 total new foreclosure filings. Edmond realized 35 of these, Bethany had 10, Choctaw 9, Spencer 5, Harrah 3, and Arcadia showed only 1 new filed foreclosure. Compared to Tulsa which saw a total of 419 new foreclosure filings, our market is quite a bit more stable.

Housing Sales: Data from this section is taken from the OKC Metro Realtor website ( Thus far through April, the OKC real estate market has seen 4,258 home sales. In January 741 homes were sold for an average sales price of $146,639. 997 homes were sold in February with an average sales price of $139,491. March saw and average sales price of $141,071 of 1,259 homes. And April realized 1261 home sales at an average price of $142,166.

Compared these figures with the same month last year and you have very little other than a snapshot of our market from one year to the next. April of 2008 saw 202 more homes sold than this past April. In April ‘08 the average sales price was $146,511 or $4,345 more than the same month this year. But the average interest rate this year is less than last year; 5.41% in 2008 and 5.18 in 2009. Homes selling last April were on the market for an average of 83 days while those selling in April 2009 were on the market an average of 91 days. And the % of selling price to list price was down only 2% in April 2009, down from 98% in April 2008.

Current Listings: A brief comparison of numbers of houses on the OKC market completes the snapshot for this article. In April 2008 there were 9,528 active listings on the OKC Metro MLS. In March of 2009 that number had dropped to 8,659 and again this past April that number dropped to 8,422. There is any number of reasons for this drop in active listings. For some sellers the number of days on the market without a reasonable offer has proven too much, prompting them to remove their home from the MLS. For other sellers, they have come to realize that if they are going to sell their home, there are some improvements that must be done.

Over the next three weeks I will share with you insights from experts who can help you address the most pressing needs your home has in order to be ready to sell. We will discuss recommendations for the outside of your home and the interior space as well. And finally we will discuss several of the mechanical aspects of your home and how even these things that are out of sight can actually help your home sell faster and get top dollar while doing it.

(Trey Bowden is a licensed mortgage consultant in Edmond, OK.)