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Patience is a virtue in local real estate market

by: Photo by Joe McHaney - Homes are selling in Jefferson County, but buyers, sellers and lenders are requiring the virtue of patience, according to area real estate brokers.

Joe McDonald of D&D Realty Group in Madras has been in the real estate business as a broker for just over a year.
   The one thing McDonald has learned is patience is a must.
   "Even when you are working with very qualified buyers, patience is mandatory," McDonald said. "Lending requirements change all the time and it can frustrate buyers, sellers, lenders and real estate agents."
   Dick Dodsen of Coldwell Banker Dick Dodson Realty in Madras has been in the real estate market for 25 years, he too says buyers and sellers must have patience.
   "It's the old adage, if a buyer has money, credit and a job there are loans out there," Dodsen said. "But, people must be patient."
   In Jefferson County, houses priced under $100,000 are selling, according to D&D principal broker Holly Booren, who has sold real estate for nine years.
   "Homes are moving under $100,000 and they are moving fast," Booren said. "The main challenge we are faced with is finding financing for buyers."
   According to data collected by the Central Oregon Association of Realtors, 23 homes sold in the month of August at an average price of $149,000 which is the highest average price since April of 2010.
   Through the second quarter of 2011, 60 homes sold at an average price of 75,900, lasting 151 days on average on the market.
   "It's definitely a buyers market, but sellers have to be patient because buyers are very specific in what they are looking for," Booren said. "Sellers are finding ways to be more creative, for instance, some are offering owner financing."
   In 2006, homes spent an average of 138 days on the market. That year, 261 homes sold at an average price of $170,228 compared to 2010 where 120 homes sold at an average price of $78,376.
   Prices are significantly lower than they were five years ago, causing some people headaches who want to sell.
   "What I'm seeing is those who have upper-end properties are under water," Dodsen said. "When they owe more than it's worth, it can be a real hard fact for a seller to realize."
   Short sells have also had a major impact on the market. People are often confused about the differences between a short sells and a foreclosures.
   "There are a lot of stereotypes about short sells," Booren said. "It's very important for buyers and sellers to educate themselves about short sells and foreclosures."
   Five years ago buyers could purchase real estate with no-document loans in 15-30 days and prices were upwards to 50-percent higher than they are now on some properties. Those scenarios have changes, but despite all the modifications, if buyers and sellers are patient, a real estate market exists in Jefferson County.
   "There is still a market our there, but we are looking at a new norm compared to what it was five, six or seven years ago," Dodsen said. "The market is leveling out some, instead of that steep decline we saw for a number of years."