Residential Real Estate On the Up & Up

March was a month that took many real estate professionals by surprise. According to Austin Kilgore with Housing Wire, national housing sales rose 6.8% over February’s sales. The New York Times reported that the Western Region of the country did exceptionally well as sales rose 17%. Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices came out this week and showed that the overall home prices were up in the month of February.However, a report in Agent Genius Magazine says, “Where it gets mixed up is that despite this being the first time since 2006 that the annual rates of change for both [the 10-city and 20-city] composites are positive, more than half of the cities in the larger composite experienced price declines.”

Real estate professionals are speculating this recent uptick in sales is greatly due in part to the federal home buyer tax credit that expires at the end of April 2010. Prospective home buyers are moving off the sidelines to cash in on the low interest rates and potential $8,000-$6,500 tax incentive ending soon. However, Alan Ziebler reports “doubts remain about whether the momentum will be sustained in the second half of the year when federal support is gone.”

States such as California, are initiating their own home buyer’s tax credit in an attempt to maintain the momentum of residential real estate sales. According to the California Franchise Tax Board, “These tax credits are limited to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000 for a qualified principal residence.” Though this incentive can provide eligible home buyers more than the federal tax credit, the California state tax credit will not last forever and is scheduled to end on August 1, 2011.

Obviously, there is a short window where buyers can capitalize on some real estate deals that probably won’t present themselves for several decades to come. Interest rates are at record lows and tax credits are offering those in a financial pinch a lot of help. The real estate market is overstocked with a supply of REO’s and short sales just waiting to get off the bank’s books. With so many factors piling up in the buyer’s favor, what else would it take to get more buyers to move forward with purchasing in the market?

Will the market continue its gradual stablization or will the real estate market take a double-dip once the government stops offering incentives? What are some of your market thoughts and speculations?

Reaching Out to Cities Using Social Media

Every time the LFC Group of Companies begins an online auction, I’ll write a blog post describing the city and region for that specific property. This requires some extensive research, which is often helped by the increasingly common social media presence of many towns across the country, both big and small. Towns like Spartanburg, South Carolina, Bemidji, Minnesota, and Paso Robles, California are doing a fantastic job utilizing social media to connect with local residents and visitors, and of course, simultaneously aiding real estate professionals like myself (a much appreciated unintended consequence!).

Take a look at the quality of material, the consistency in appearance across all of their accounts, and, most importantly, their engagement with followers/fans/viewers.

Resources such as the chamber of commerce, visitor’s bureau or a city’s home page can be a huge help to better understanding all of our auction locations from a local’s perspective.

What are some of the ways your city is participating in social media? What do you like/dislike and why?Related Posts

Signage comes with the territory

While taking on the responsibilities of social media for our company has become the highlight of my work, sometimes good old fashioned manual labor comes with the job of being the communications manager. I am also in charge of managing the majority of outdoor signage, and when we host auctions locally that means I get to do the advertisement installations myself.

I love working with my hands and being active, not to mention getting outside to enjoy the warm weather and California sunshine. On top of installing our company’s generic signs, the company founder and chairman is a huge advocate for any kind of guerrilla marketing we can implement into our auction advertising.

For example, I have had to go as far as putting up 40 directional signs for a single home during its open house and I have also designed advertisements for a truck to do some mobile marketing.

Some ideas work and others do not. But the beauty of Guerrilla marketing is that it’s cheap to do and does exactly what an advertisement is supposed to accomplish; to grab people’s attention.

Take a look at this ad I saw on from a printer company in Paris, France Billboard for printer made with sheets of paper.

The City of Newport Beach is hosting its 101st Christmans Boat Parade this year and the parade does a u-turn right in front of the condos we are auctioning. We are allowed advertise on the seller’s yacht and I had a very interesting experience trying to get the signs up in a hurry.

Here are a couple of shots from the yacht ads but I want to know if you have done any crazy guerrilla advertising before! Should we have gone for more festive colors or maybe even added Christmas lights instead of our traditional yellow and black combo?

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About this author: Casey Flynn is the Communications Manager for the LFC Group of Companies. He also coauthors on and You can follow his Twitter account @LFC_Auction.

Greenwood Village Colorado Luxury Home For Sale

4070 East Chestnut Court, Greenwood Village Colorado Luxury Home For Sale

Colorado Luxury Home For Sale

With more than 5,700 square feet of masterfully-crafted living space, 4070 East Chestnut Court perfectly blends rich Tuscan style with its breathtaking Rocky Mountain backdrop. Built on nearly an acre of land in the Greenwood Village community “The Preserve”, this stately estate features four bedrooms; including a sprawling master suite; four full and two half bathrooms, a four-car garage, and both a library and private study.

With a gourmet kitchen, a formal dining room, an outdoor fireplace, and three large common rooms, there is no questioning that this elegant home was designed with entertaining in mind.

Careful attention was also paid to everyday practicality in the planning of this home. Front and rear staircases grant access to the well-planned second-floor living quarters. Inside the master suite, a private sitting area and adjacent wet bar provide a welcome refuge, while a generous master bath and walk-in closet echo the stately theme of this lavish home. A private fireplace and deck round out the master suites many upscale amenities. Also on the second floor, three additional nicely-sized bedrooms are paired with their own full bathrooms. A laundry room and centrally-located open loft with views of the first-floor family room complete the second floor living area.

The full details for this Online Real Estate Auction can be viewed at

Minimum Bid: $1,900,000

Golden Colorado Home For Sale

4826 Isabell Court, Golden Colorado Online Real Estate Auction

Golden Colorado Home For Sale

The outside of this majestic home reflects the care and attention to detail put into its building. Rich wood and stone accents relate the architectural design to the surrounding countryside, and hint at the rugged nature of the Colorado mountain backdrop.

An inviting walkway and covered entryway greet you as you near. Inside, the home boasts over 4,000 square feet, with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The home has a surprising, unique floor plan, with the living spaces and master suite on the main floor and the other two bedrooms downstairs, below the main level.

When you first walk inside you are welcomed by a large living room and family room (with built-in entertainment unit), separated by a peninsula fireplace that affords the enjoyment of its heat from throughout the bottom floor. Beautiful wood floors stretch from these rooms and into the spacious chef’s kitchen, which features wood cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel Kitchen Aid® appliances (refrigerator not included), and Kohler fixtures. A large cooking island, with space for barstools, directs the kitchen out to a dining nook, with a pantry and built-in workspace.

The master bedroom includes a large bathroom with tile countertops, dual sinks, large windows with beautiful views, a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, as well as a walk-in closet (with wooden bureau island for storage). The main floor also features a formal dining alcove, second bedroom, laundry room, and study.

Downstairs, there are two bedrooms with walk-in closets, a recreation area, an exercise room, and an unfinished basement area. Other amenities in the homes include a 3-bay garage, recessed lighting and built-in spotlight fixtures, carpeted bedrooms, and a “forget me not” system that reminds you if the garage is left open.

The full details for this Online Real Estate Auction can be viewed at

Seller’s Suggested Value: $975,000

Denver Colorado Estate Homes For Sale

9897 East 31st Ave, Denver, CO Online Real Estate Auction

Denver Colorado Estate Home For Sale

Step into this gorgeous 5 bedroom, 5.5 bath, 4,000 + square foot house with a 3 car garage in the Stapleton area of Denver Colorado. The full details for this Online Real Estate Auction can be viewed at

Seller’s Suggested Value: $1,500,000

Denver Colorado Brownstone For Sale

8814 Martin Luther King Blvd, Denver, CO Online Real Estate Auction

Denver Colorado Brownstone For Sale

This beautiful 3 bedroom, 4.5 bath 4 story Brownstone for sale in Denver Colorado offers great indoor living as well as outdoor living spaces. The full details for this Online Real Estate Auction can be viewed at

Seller’s Suggested Value: $1,075,000

Palm Desert Condo For Sale

1315 Via Fortuna, Palm Desert, CA Condo For Sale

Palm Desert California Condo For Sale

This beautiful condo located in Palm Desert, California offers over 2,200 square feet of living space with 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a 2 car garage.

Seller’s Suggested Value: $625,000

>> See Full Property Details for this Palm Desert California Condo