Tag Archive for: Ann E. Cappellini

Last year had its challenges, no doubt. The sales volume coming from all the companies associated with the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® was down about 11.7% year-over-year in relation to the previous one (2022). The number of transactions was down about 5.4% year-over-year and surprisingly, the average sales price also decreased from $202,511 in 2022 to $189,148 in 2023 (-6.6%). Yet, many still found success in a market that had begun to turn. Our region still favors sellers (no doubt), but those days appear to be coming to end for the immediate future. The months supply of homes is creeping in the direction of a three months supply. We’re still a reach from the lower side of average, around five months, but these trends can accelerate when the market is changing — it’s done it before.As challenges persist, there can be uncertainty about your situation as a homebuyer or seller when faced with the state of the local market. How is buying or selling different now than it was four years ago? One could argue, now is the time when (a) you don’t want to go at it alone, and (b) you should rely on those real estate professionals who deliver results and who have experience in various types of market conditions. We have many agents who have this pedigree! We have a wonderful “team” of professionals at Realty Network Group. Additionally, these are our top performers for 2023…

 

Top Producers
Ann E. Cappellini
$5,445,613

 

Top Producers
Halle Stevens
$5,029,288

 

Top Producers
Maria Muchal Berta
$4,503,750

 

Top Producers
Ann A. Sheroda
$4,084,800

 

Top Producers
Melissa C. LeStrange
$3,933,000

 

Top Producers
Scott J. Weiland
$2,433,260

 

Top Producers
Dana A. DeLeo
$2,228,960

 

Top Producers
Heather A. Luklanchuk
$1,960,350

 

Top Producers
Amy L. Kiesinger Bohenek
$1,492,400

 

Top Producers
Theresa DeMario Plisko
$1,475,800

 

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, these agents are a great starting point. Get started today by reaching out to one of our top performers!

When Buyers Get More Realistic

Homebuyers, 2023 may be your year! There’s no guarantee next year will welcome a buyer’s market, but recent indicators are trending in that direction. Though properties are still moving for sellers in our market, they need to be priced right and there must be an element of enticement for prospective buyers, such as its location or curb appeal. Buyers can start getting down to business. They can deal with the market at their own pace and with very little pressure.

Some never caved to outside influences, especially those who could be patient and didn’t need to purchase a home. The winds in our market are shifting. Yes, inventory is bleak, scarcer than it was only three years ago. In July of 2019, 1,387 active listings sat on the market, this past July only a fraction of that – 553 listings – down 60%. And even less today with 532 residential listings currently active.* Many professionals in the industry thought the housing supply would recover by now, but that remains to be seen. Furthermore, the national supply is up year-over-year, over a 30% increase, the largest jump since 2017.

So where is this shift occurring? First, buyers are beginning to see the housing shortage disappear (at least on a large scale). Secondly, there’s a seasonal shift to buying and selling, this is traditional and it’s obvious, it’s “back to school” and it’s the onset of the autumn season, but it’s also temporal. Next, the pool of buyers has dwindled in recent months, placing more tension back upon the sellers. Buyers have faced climbing interest rates since the beginning of the year when they hovered near 3%. Though recent weeks have seen decreases to the mortgage rates, they currently sit around 5.5-5.6%. Buyer as well as sellers have been affected by these increases. Finally, buyers are regaining the upper hand over sellers. Now, they’re looking back to contingencies and leaning on them when signing sales agreements. When competition was fierce between buyers for over two years, this rarely happened.

“It’s certainly a breath of fresh air,” explains Ann E. Cappellini, Associate Broker for Realty Network Group. “There’s a stronger sense of hope for those looking to buy a home, though obstacles still remain.” Buyers can get more realistic nowadays. As long as they have the means financially, the way is less burdensome. With less resistance, homebuyers can use contingencies, such as home inspections to weigh their options, if and when sizable issues present themselves.

When the financial risks of an escrow deposit arise, it’s in the buyer’s best interests they utilize inspections, mortgage and/or appraisal contingencies. According to Redfin, escrow is a legal arrangement where typically a third party will temporarily hold the buyer’s deposit (often used as a down payment or toward their closing costs) until the deal is consummated. In Pennsylvania, the listing Brokerage will generally hold the earnest money deposit (not a neutral third party), though this isn’t always the case. “Escrow matters in Pennsylvania, like many other states, are held in strict compliance with the Real Estate Licensing & Registration Act (RELRA) and the state’s agreement of sale, which has been formulated by the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (PAR),” emphasizes Cappellini. “During the homebuying escrow period of a sale, though the deposit might be held in the listing agency’s escrow account, the money may not be commingled with other funds and furthermore not released to either party, if the Broker is in receipt of a verifiable written notice that there’s a dispute over those funds and it’s subject to mediation or litigation.” Escrow is a serious matter in real estate, especially in our state, and as such, RELRA and PAR specifically outline how earnest money is to be handled from the beginning to the end of all transactions.

Yes, contingencies can kill a transaction and they certainly impact a deal, but they’re in place to protect buyers. These protections are good for both parties, even though it doesn’t always appear so for sellers. Perhaps a deal goes south due to one of the clauses employed by the buyer. It doesn’t go as expected and the buyer is able to receive their deposit monies back. On the flip side, if it’s understood that all the contingencies are met and the buyer walks away or defaults on the deal, the seller might be entitled to the deposit and can also sue for specific performance. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, make sure to discuss with your REALTOR® how contingencies in a real estate transaction can impact you. You’ll be glad you did!

Recognizing Our Top Performers

Through the first half of 2021, housing demand has been high and now listings are bouncing back as well. Since the “start” of spring selling season and the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions in Pennsylvania, we’ve seen inventory increase by +233 properties, 1,582 new listings versus 1,349 pending sales.*  This trend is a welcome sign for homebuyers in our region, especially first-timers.

Realty Network Group recognizes these ten top performers, who have outperformed many in the Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® thus far in 2021:

Ann Cappellini
Ann E. Cappellini | $4,646,615 (total sales volume**)

Lee Ann Julio-Mahalidge
Lee Ann Julio-Mahalidge | $3,720,542 (total sales volume**)

Ann Sheroda
Ann A. Sheroda | $2,720,900 (total sales volume**)

Christina Keller
Christina M. Keller | $2,398,695 (total sales volume**)

Scott Weiland
Scott J. Weiland | $931,901 (total sales volume**)

Melissa LeStrange
Melissa C. LeStrange | $911,640 (total sales volume**)

Maria Muchal Berta
Maria Muchal Berta | $836,825 (total sales volume**)

Amy Kiesinger Bohenek
Amy Kiesinger Bohenek | $730,900 (total sales volume**)

Dana DeLeo
Dana A. DeLeo | $717,100 (total sales volume**)

Dianne Montana
Dianne Montana | $717,000 (total sales volume**)

Our professionals are nothing short of that – professional and they continue to impress!

 

* Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® statistics March 1, 2021 through July 16, 2021
** Greater Scranton Board of REALTORS® statistics January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021