Pocono Realty by the Numbers ArticleRight-pricing home sales for buyers and sellers has made a major technical advance at one Monroe County real estate company.

Better Homes and Gardens Wilkins & Associates is utilizing a software program marketed by Terradatum of Glen Ellen, Calit, that harnesses data subscribed from the Pocono Mountains Association of Realtors and interprets it into demographic categories to further define home prices off the market value.

“Buying and selling a home is such an emotional thing, but with this system, we’ll give Them a shot at what They’ll be able to buy or how much to sell for,” said Tom Wilkins, CEO of the company, who implemented the program after learning about it at a company conference in Parsippany, N.J., two years ago.

Wilkins President Dominick Sacci said it will save what takes up 25 to 40 percent of the office time manually collating the numbers. Currently, there are 2, 751 homes on the market in Monroe ,County. It filters out the other 650 homes listed in the Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors in the areas that it serves, which includes parts of Pike, Carbon, Luzeme and Lackawanna counties. Terradatum‘s database can limit the numbers to Monroe for a more accurate reading of buyers and sellers for that region.

It also saves the time for eager customers waiting for figures to compare housing markets in different areas of Monroe. With the click of a mouse, it gives a visual analysis in bar graphs that can be called upon in different categories,from sale price to units.

The program, installed five months ago, includes commercial real estate. Wilkins said his company has only begun to tap into That.

In a matter of seconds, you can learn what a home from Penn Estates can sell for or how much you’re expected to spend to buy a home in Sciota or Blakeslee. It also identifies communities, such as Lake Naomi That appeal to more affluent buyers for high home sales and negligible foreclosure activity.

“This will help us better plan for The future and be better prepared,” said Wilkins, who said it also can help determine whether a general area is hot enough in home sales for a real estate company to open an office in that region or to close an office in a region that may be sluggish. It also can monitor The progress of real estate agents.

The platform is divided into eight categories: market data, recruiting modules, market share, market growth, market dynamics, pricing analysis, median pricing and performance management.

Terradatum in visually friendly bar graphs gives a month-to-month analysis as well as comparative figures over six months, a year and two years and can be used to determine trends. It separates private sales fmm bank sales of foreclosures, which make up 35 percent of the market.

“We’ve done this manually for years, and I could never compete with what their formulas are,” said Wilkins. A component measuring rentals will go into full effect by the middle of the year.

It is another of the high-tech tools used more by local giants that include Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way in the residential market as well as Coldwell Banker Commercial Pennco Real Estate and Baxter and Associates on the commercial side.

“We are following the trends. We tend to follow behind a little, but we are quickly catching up and keeping the pace of the technology
that’s out There,” said Lisa Sanderson, president of The Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors. “These days, There’s just no getting away from it. Today’s consumer is digital, the expectations are growing of what we can provide, and we need to embrace it.”

The large number of bank sales have forced down the price of closed home sales in general, which slipped from $146,737 in 2009 to $139,00 last year, reveals Terradatum. Sacci said he has had customers come in wondering whether a house in foreclosure truly is a bargain, and Terradatum quickly measured The cost against other properties.

Homes sold strictly in bank sales fetched on the average $106,500 in 2009 and $86,000 in 2010, a 19.2 percent drop.

“Banks are becoming much more aggressive in sales,” said Wilkins Vice President Christine Scrofano.

Homes listed for sale saw the average prices drop from $185,000 in 2009 to $179,000 last year. The homes sold only privately were listed for sale at $197,000 two years ago and $189,000 last year.

But Sacci said the market has hit bottom and is stabilizing. He said home prices plummeted by 13.9 percent in 2009 from a year earlier, but 6.9 percent last year, and is expected to have ito 3 percent downward adjustment for 2011. “A lot of indicators say the trend will break even and may even increase,” said Sacc who noted that the activity between foreclosure sales and total sales stayed the same in 2010, which signaled the stabilization.

Sacci said the figure that “shocked and amazed” his office was cash purchases that
accounted for 45 percent of the sales in 2010. “That comes in the company’s worst
year in a generation,” said Sacci. “Echo boomers, children of baby boomers, do not trust Wall Street and are going back to old-fashioned values of owning a home.”

Half of those cash sales were for vacation homes, he said, and that included
lakefronts in the $220,000 price range. “That speaks ofpeople’s confidence in real estate,” said Sacci.

“It’s a great time to be in real estate,” said Sanderson. “The real estate industry is a leader across the nation on how to connect with people. There are so many great tools, and it’s changing so rapidly. The consumer has so much information at their fingertips, that one of the challenges for us as Realtors is to filter it for them. The technology helps piece it together and make good sense of it all to make good decisions.”