Ready for more numbers?

 Posted by at 6:51 am
Jan 242011

The Maine Real Estate Information System has released December statistics. Shall we skip the spin? Unit sales of single family homes are down 10.68% from the previous year. (In December 2009 there were 852 sales–December 2010 there were 761 sales.) The median sales price is up by 4.24%.

We also have the full year comparsion. Statewide, sales are down 2.6% for 2010. A few counties that might be of interest:

Piscataquis County sales are down 2.47% with the median sales price flat–unchanged.

Somerset County sales are down 10.21% with the median sales price also down 9.58%.

Penobscot County sales are down 11.6% with the median sales price up just a bit.

You can access the complete press release here.  In the interest of being observantly curious… this press release mentions “over 4600 licensees inputing data.” (I suspect that number was higher in 2009, but allow me some latitude here.) I suspect this is ultimately going to a meaningless number but it might create perspective. In 2010, there were 10,213 single family homes sold. If we assume (which we shouldn’t) there are two licensees involved in every transaction–one representing the buyer and one representing the seller–that gives us 20,426 “sides” for the year. If those sides were divided equally among licensees, each licensee would average 4.4 transactions (closings) per year. 

Are your eyes glazed over? I confess I’m now tempted to use the median selling price and some sort of “average” commission rate (which there really isn’t)… but you get the idea, right?

Jan 202011

“Walter is an excellent instructor! The class was informative, interesting, and often fun! I looked forward to coming each week!”

This is the 60 hour course required of all licensed Sales Agents in order to continue practicing after Sales Agent licensing period.  (A sales agent license can’t be renewed–you must qualify for an Associate Broker License.) The fact  it’s required doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! There’s a course starting in Bangor on February 2nd — register while there’s till room! Call Stacy or Shelli at the school (856-1712) or visit the Arthur Gary School website for complete information. Sales agent and broker classes are also coming!



 Posted by at 10:02 am
Jan 162011

Two posts in a row that aren’t about real estate? This article was in  the last issue of my MoosePrint Newsletter… I got such great feedback on it I decided to add it here!

One day last year I was working with a second grader listening to her read. Dakota is a young scholar you quickly learn to admire. She works hard at learning. She was reading along and suddenly stopped dead. “I’ll never get that word,” she said.

 “Oh yes you will,” I countered. We both worked pretty hard, a syllable at a time. Simultaneously is a pretty big word for a second grader, but she finally got it. Of course then we had to work on the meaning, so I patted her on the arm with both hands “at the same time.” For some reason, the word and her accomplishment became big. When I would see her in passing I would look at her. Her brow would furrow as she concentrated and said “Sim-ul-tan-e-ous-ly.” Sometimes we would share the word with another teacher. “Dakota knows a big word!”

This fall Dakota came to visit the Grange Hall as part of the “Words for Thirds” program. The Grange I belong to gives every third grader in three school districts their own personal dictionary. One of my greater pleasures in life is getting to do those presentations. We talk about the grange, some history, and how to use a dictionary. Towards the end I ask the kids to share one thing they’ve learned. After a few kids gave the usual answers I called on Dakota who had been sitting patiently with her hand held high. She stood up, puffed out her chest and said, “Least year I learned the word sim-ul-tan-e-ous-ly. It means at the same time.”

This is one of those stories that no matter where you end it, it’s a great story. But the story isn’t over yet. Last week I was at school and walked by Dakota’s classroom while the kids were getting ready for lunch. She spotted me, ran out into the hall and grabbed me. “Mr. Boomsma, come in here. I want to show you something.”

I pretended to let her drag me into the room and waited patiently for her to return with her “show and tell.” She returned with one of her classmates in tow and pushed her friend in front of me. “Ok,” Dakota said. “Tell him.”

Her classmate looked quite serious and a bit hesitant, but after a moment of obvious concentration she said, “Sim-ul-tan-eous-ly!” I looked at Dakota to see her ear to ear grin. “I taught her that!”

 While I was confirming that Dakota’s friend knew what the word meant she was off to find another classmate. When she returned she informed me that she was teaching everyone in the class “her” word.

It is a pretty big word, even for a third-grader. As I’ve told the story, at least one person saw a parallel to the story of Johnny Appleseed. It’s also a great Christmas story. Heck—it’s just a good story. Hard-earned accomplishments are the best. And sharing makes them even better.


Shall We Do Some Classing?

 Posted by at 9:08 am
Jan 092011

Okay… This really isn’t going to have much to do with real estate.  Maybe.

I’m not particularly given to making New Year’s Resolutions, but if I were one for this year would have been “to write more.” I’ve been tempted to think that means I should be issuing a warning:

Warning! I’m a writer. Anything you do or say may be used in a future article.

My colleagues and clients do offer an abundance of topics and stories, but this morning I feel the need to rant and rave over a comment published by an alleged educational expert. He announced that he’d recently experienced some “learnings.”  This led me to spend some time wondering, “What the heck is a learning?”

I’ve begrudgingly accepted that some of my instructor colleagues are doing “trainings.” I suspect they mean they are conducting classes.

I’ve yet to hear any students announce they are going to a training to get a learning. (It gives me some comfort that my grammar checker wants me to change a lot of what I’ve written.)

I might start classing and seminaring.  I do, after all, understand the need and opportunity for growth and change. And it might actually be pretty cool to be the first instructor to offer seminaring.

I also understand the need for accuracy in communication.  That’s one reason I decided to do a writing.

No, I am not this intense about it.

Wait! I can make this have something to do with real estate. Let’s say you are in the market to buy a house… and let’s say we find one you like. When we head back to the office, we are not going there to write a contract. We are going to write an offer to purchase. In fact, it’s important to understand when and how that offer might become a contract. (The answer might surprise you.) This is just one of the learnings you’ll get if you come to one of my trainings!