Tag Archives: highlands

Market Rises as Leaves Fall

For your home value or up-to-date Market Report, contact the agent on Top of the Market.

Median Home Sales

September Home sales in Highlands and Cashiers real estate
Median Home Sales Price

While the Median sales price had been hovering around $250,00 for quite some time, September held for the second month in a row above $300,00. This may be due, in part, to an increase of over 35% more home units sold compared to August.

Homes sales rose during September, 2015. September of 2014 saw 61 homes sold whereas this September showed 77 homes sold. A positive sign, indeed. Even land saw an increase of units sold. While the overall swing is in the up  mode one must remember a few vital factors in this market area:

  • This is nearing the end of the busy season.
  • There is a definite down swing in the winter months.
  • Inventory is still high, which will continue to keep prices low.

Just as we do not know if we’ll have a great color season on our leaves, we can not anticipate what the market will do at this point. We’ll just have to wait and see.  Still, hopes are high. Marketing will continue.

Below are the stats for September, 2015:



HOME SALES-LAND SALES (Click on Chart to see Larger Image)

Recent Home Sales in Macon and Jackson County, NC

Total homes listed in Highlands/Cashiers MLS: 1544

Homes Sold This Month:  77 – This is for the entire MLS  for the Highlands/Cashiers Board of Realtors (BOR).  There are approximately 73 offices in our BOR.

Average Sales per Month 1 Year Average: 49 (unchanged)

Inventory: 20 months – This is another slight decrease, which is good news for sellers. A healthy market is considered by many to be less than 6 months. Inventory is still high.

DOM: 357 – This number continues to drop. The continued market sales increase will help to lower this number. Here, again, as we move into our “slow season” this number is expected to rise.

Average DOM (YOY): 468 – Sellers should position their homes well to increase their opportunity to sell.

Median Sales Price: $310,000  This is not average, but where the middle of the market was shown.

Average List/Sell Ratio: 90.52% – Homeowners should consult with their broker to determine a realistic selling price.  Buyers determine the market. If your home is not being shown, perhaps you’re priced to high, as this ratio shows. One should not use Tax Assessment to determine Market Value. Consult with your Broker or hire an appraiser. CLICK HERE to get an estimate of your home value.


Synopsis: Sellers may want to consider a re-evaluation by their broker. The total number of units sold in comparison with the current inventory available suggests one needs to position competitively.




Land Units Sold: 23

Total listed in all MLS: 1313

Average Sales per Month YOY Average: 16 Unchanged.

Inventory: 57 months.

Average List/Sell Price Ratio: 82% Overall prices remain  above what the market will sustain at this point.

Synopsis: There continues to be no real demand for land.  The huge housing inventory allows one to purchase a home without the need to develop land.


Overall Market View:

52% of home sales ranged from $200,000-$750,000.
63% of those home sales were above the $300,000 mark.

Homes are clearly out selling land by nearly 3 ½ : 1

Sellers should carefully consider pricing. While the leaf season attracts visitors, only attractive pricing will encourage buyers to make a purchase.

Buyers, this is still a great market for you. However, as the market continues to rise in many places, anticipation for such may encourage sellers to hold out. Delays in purchasing may mean higher prices later.
If you’re considering listing your home for sale or purchasing a home in NC,  please feel free to contact a local agent.  They can make a specific report for your area in our MLS (Sapphire, Norton, Glenville, Highlands, Toxaway, Clear Creek, Breedlove, etc). You can then make an informed decision on how to sell or buy your home.




This material is based upon work performed by Rick Creel, Broker. It is intended to provide an overall view of the real estate market for Highlands, Cashiers and surrounding areas of the Highlands/Cashiers Board of Realtors. It is composed of data from the HCBOR and NAR for this MLS only. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations are those of the author and do not reflect the views of any others. There can be no assurance that this information is complete, accurate, or includes all available market data; all information is subject to change. Users of this information are advised to consult with their financial experts about the interpretation and usefulness of information contained herein. It is unlawful to duplicate or distribute the information contained in these reports without written permission by its author. For more information or to consider listing your home with an agent or buying a home CLICK HERE.

Open House Benefits


Not really, but I bet we got your attention! Still in some markets, open houses are better for the brokers and agents than they are of benefit to the seller.  In our area, more brokers attend open houses than buyers. Many open homes are not attended by either. Why?

“Back in the day” the Internet did not exist. I know, it’s hard to believe. How did we ever survive such primitive times? But we did. I am a survivor and the stories I can tell. Still, during that era, the only way many of us new about homes for sale were when we read it in a paper, talked to a real estate agent or picked up a MLS catalog with page after page of hundreds of homes. We then had to set up appointments, drive all over the country to view homes or look for the “OPEN HOUSE” signs. The OPEN HOUSE was much easier because you didn’t need an appointment. What about today?

Open House in Highlands Csahiers area.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ah, the Internet! What a wonderful tool. We can browse online for almost anything and have it delivered to our doorstep. Well, maybe not a house, but we can still look at homes that are of interest to us. We then contact a top agent in our area to have him set up appointments and help us find the best deals.

How to Search for a Home

It’s all there. The photo’s, number of bedrooms, size of the lot, association fee’s and so much more. Searching for homes to buy on line is the tool that the majority of people use to find a home. Here are a few of the statistics for 2014 (source – NAR 2014 survey):

  • 92% of buyers used the Internet in a home search
  • 98% of buyers used an agent while searching for a home
  • 43% of buyers 1st step was looking on line

This raises a valid question. Is an Open House worth it? Depends.

Open House Highlands
Keep Spaces Open

Open House Comments

For some markets like San Francisco, New York and Houston, they work. Rural areas do not fair as well. In our area homes located in a country club or near town may see a few buyers, but mostly agents.  Those in outlying areas will often have “0” in attendance, regardless of advertising and effort.  Notice these quotes:

  • “…open houses are less useful than ever for selling a home.” – realtor.com
  • “The truth is, open houses are a waste of time.” – Chrystal Caruthers – Chicago native and a former Realtor, TV news producer, and newspaper reporter.
  • “Most sellers think holding open houses increases the market exposure of their house. The reality, … is that 95 percent of buyers are using a broker. So they can get in every home any day of the week at a time that’s convenient for them. The majority of the prepared marketplace doesn’t need the open house.” – Angies List, Press Personal Real Estate Support Services
  • “What may be a real shocker is the fact that less than two percent of all homes sold nationally are a direct result of a buyer visiting an open house…” – House Call

… and the list could go on.

Open House Not For Everybody

In all fairness, Open Houses do work (in some areas). Your broker should know what works best in his real estate market. Don’t get caught up with “puffing” that some agents may do to make themselves look better. Find an agent that is from the area, knows the real estate market and is willing to show you the data to support his comments. You don’t need a salesman to sale you just so he can get your listing. You need an agent that is honest and will tell you what you can expect in reality.

Click Here to read more on  Pros and Cons of an Open House

Home Value

How Much is My Home Worth?

To determine the value of your home you should contact a real estate agent. However,  it’s not “Rocket Science”.  Still, you need to know the determining factors for a  Current Market Analysis. The key word here being “Current”.

How to Determine Current Market Value

Housing Index Rising
Image courtesy of cool design / FreeDigitalPhotosdotnet

The “Sales Comparison Approach” is probably the simplest method to determine the value of your home.  However, this requires having access to current data and knowing how to interpret trends. Here is some information you will need:

Comps – This is just short for “comparisons” or “comparative”. In other words, you try to find a home that is similar to yours, the “subject property”. Unfortunately, unless you live in a “cookie cutter” subdivision chances are pretty good you’re not going to find a home just like yours.  Also, these need to be “sold” comps, not those currently listed on the market. This is what real estate agents and appraisers use from the MLS.  DO NOT COMPARE YOUR HOME VALUE TO LISTED PRICES.  It is the “sold” price that determines what knowledgeable  buyers are willing pay.

Adjustments – Once you have found a comp similar to your property, it’s time to start making adjustments. Things to consider are:

  • age of home
  • condition of home
  • number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • square footage
  • garage/carport (attached, detached)
  • size of lot (wooded, cleared)
  • frontage (views, lake, street, etc)
  • location (near town, country club, remote, gravel or paved road, HOA, etc)
  • landscaping
  • other improvements (generator, a/c, etc.)

You can use a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report to help you see how determine the value of your home.  However, unless you are familiar with these values and their differences it may be unwise to try to make such adjustments.

Unfortunately, sentimental value carries no monetary value. This is where most homeowners have a hard time separating their feelings from the reality of what a home buyer is willing to pay.

Tax Assessment – This IS NOT a good factor in determining the value of your home. For example, here in Macon and Jackson Counties of NC, property tax does not have to be re-assessed for every 8 years. Property values may rise or fall and current assessment can be quite different from the current market values. Macon County just raised their tax rate in 2015. Jackson County may also show an increase in millage rate coming soon.

Real Estate Market Trends – You should know the current market trend. Is it rising, falling or holding steady.  This, too, will help you determine the current value of your home.

Motivation – Why are you wanting to sell? How soon do you want your home sold? These are factors to determine as well.

Selling Your Home

Finding a good real estate agent
Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your Real Estate Agent is the best source for helping you to determine the value of your home. Remember, they’re not your enemy. They want to sell your home for as much as possible. Their salary and profession depend upon that. However, an over priced home does no one any good. It sits on the market, becomes known as an overpriced home and other agents may not show it. It wouldn’t be fair to their potential buyers. So what do you do? Hire a Professional.

A Real Estate Agent is here to help you. Their knowledge and activity in the Real Estate World is what helps you get your home sold. Yes, they do charge a fee for their services, but think of it this way; you can hire a professional painter to paint your house or you can get your neighbor to do it and maybe save some money. However, which would give you the better and/or desired results?

Hire a real estate agent to help you determine the value of your home.

Please share your comments below on how you determine the value of your home.