Archive for Idaho” “Real Estate” “Idaho Panhandle” “Highland

Meet Coeur d’Alene Realtor – Kevin Bennett

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Where Did All the FSBOs Go!?

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Coeur d’Alene Idaho’s real estate market is a typical four climate market wherein many Sellers take their homes off the market for the Holidays and then judge the best time to bring them back on, typically when the snow is gone and the grass is green.  Personally, I think this strategy is over played.  I have preached the benefits of leaving your home on the market in my past blog posts.  The main points here is the fact that the majority of your competition is off the market and those Buyers looking in the winter months tend to be more serious than those that like to tour homes as part of their Idaho vacations.  But I digress – this is not the topic of this blog post.  Instead I want to focus on the big decision each Seller has to process when considering the use of a locally Licensed Realtor® or going out on-their-own.

Only 9% of the Sellers Nationwide go the “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) route and 40% of those knew their Buyer in advance.  They generally sold their homes to neighbors, friends, business contacts or family.  If you carve out the remaining 60% of those FSBO sales 18% of those Sellers were directly contacted by Buyers who expressed an interest in purchasing their homes.  While I don’t have the local Coeur d’Alene real estate sales stats for this arena, I would estimate our ratios to be similar.

As you can image the FSBO strategy took a big hit in the depths of the recession as it became harder and harder to attract qualified Buyers.  But now that the North Idaho real estate market has completed its second full year of recovery, we have continued to see the number of FSBO attempts diminish.  Steve Cook published a great piece on the “Six Reasons why FSBOs are Fizzling in the Housing Recovery”.

Cook uncovers many of the pitfalls associated with trying to market and sell your own home.  From the legal ramifications of not understanding the laws around disclosures to breaching the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, just to name a couple.  Also, Seller’s often times don’t know how to price their homes, stage them to make them more appealing to potential buyers, or market them for the best outcome. 

Marketing is expensive and we use over 15 different websites to market properties in addition to print, flyer, direct mail and open houses.  We as Realtors® also interact daily with a sphere of other agents all representing Buyers.  FSBO Sellers don’t understand that in many cases these interactions lead to showings and ultimately sales.

I feel though that the two biggest reasons success in the FSBOs market has diminished is access to qualified Buyers and pricing.  Most Buyers have a basic understanding about the State Agency Laws and recognize they can benefit by having an agent represent their interests in the sales process.  This is really amplified in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho as we have so many people traveling to the area from other markets.  They want someone who knows the market and can help them find the best home in the best location.  The other big reason that Buyer’s seek out local Realtors® to represent them is because their Buyer’s Agent’s fee is usually paid for by the Seller of the home.  Therefore I believe that if the Seller has not been directly contacted by a Buyer in advance, or has a Buyer they know already in the wings they are likely to have a tough time attracting a qualified Buyer who has not already hired an agent to represent them in the home buying process. Ultimately most FSBO Sellers agree to pay the Buyer’s Agent’s fee to have access to their qualified Buyers.   

Finally, Pricing….  Often times Sellers rely on the fact that they don’t think they will need to pay any commissions when they price their home.  Their biggest strategy is to price their home aggressively to the market to generate Buyer activity.  We know that in 2013 the median home sold FBSO was $174,900. Whereas those homes sold though Realtors® in 2013 had a median sales price of $210,000. What compounds this reality even more is that many of the FSBOs end up paying the Buyer’s Agent’s fee so they netted even less.

As more Sellers understand the realities they too are leaving the do-it-yourself crowd to hire an experienced agent to professionally market their home and represent their interests in the process.  If you are looking to sell your home in the Coeur d’Alene area give us a call or contact us through our website at for your free market analysis and consultation.

Source: 2013 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, (National Association of REALTORS® – Research, 2013).

Kootenai County Labor Market Perspectives

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

I get a lot of questions about the labor environment in Kootenai County. One of the strongest aspects of the Coeur d’Alene area is the diversity employment options. No one industry makes up more than 20% of our overall labor force. We are truly a well rounded economy which has helped stabilize our real estate market. Also we are an attractive prospect for new businesses relocating to the area because of our burgeoning labor force and relatively low cost of living and employment. See the full report on North Idaho’s Labor market from the Idaho Department of Labor here.

If you need any detailed information on local real estate trends or prospects please visit

Great news!…. The trends continue to show signs of improvements.  For those of you that have been following our real estate markets here in the Coeur d’Alene area you know that we have been been stabilizing for the last four months or so and that trend seems to be continuing.  I am a big supply and demand guy coming from my old econ roots and we have consistently reported stronger sales (Demand) and lower inventories (Number of homes on the market) and over time that can only mean one thing ….. prices will begin to stabilize or improve. Last month was no exception.

In February 2012 as compared to February 2011 we saw the number of home sales increase 14.5% and looking forward for the same time period the number of pending home sales increased 21.3%.  Another important note as it relates to demand is that we are seeing more sales above $300,000, a segment of the Coeur d’Alene real estate market that was relatively weak the last few years.

As far and inventories go, we continue to see marked improvement there as well.  The number of listings on the market in February 2012 as compared to February 2011 is down 7.6% and the number of new listings that have come on-line last month is down a whopping 15.9%.

So what has this done for prices?  Well the average sales price was up 1.63% and the median sales price was up 6.22% in February compared to the same month last year.  Yes, I said it prices are UP!  One big caveat though, these are the average and median sales price this does not mean that a particular home has gone up in value from this time last year, but that more expensive homes are selling pushing these numbers higher.

So what is the take away?  Prices are still low, interest rates are still low, so if you are on the fence and waiting to see what happens there is a good chance you are going to miss the unique opportunities that have been presented to you.  One complaint I am hearing is there is less to choose from or that the one we were following is now pending or sold.  The deals won’t last forever so if you are serious about purchasing a home in beautiful North Idaho the time is now. READ ENTIRE REPORT HERE

Please shoot me an e-mail or give me a call should you wish to learn more about the Coeur d’Alene market or visit to search for all the listings in Kootenai County currently available

Post Falls Real Estate – – Presents 730 Dundee, Post Falls, Idaho.

Have you ever imagined living in a Thomas Kincaid painting?

Well you can and you will also be located in one of Post Falls, Idaho’s best neighborhoods, The Highlands.

This home was built in 1998 and was a Parade of Homes winner. The Post Falls Home for Sale is a spacious 3,650 square feet, has four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half bath room.

Custom features, quality & elegance abound throughout, including a gourmet French country kitchen with an island, granite counter tops, gas range & three fireplaces.

The Master suite has a sitting area, private deck, twin vanities, a jetted tub & a walk in shower.

Formal living room, formal dining room, a family room, a home office and powder room are all included.

Located on the Second fairway of the Highlands Golf course, you will enjoy fairway views from this golf course home’s large multi-level decks!

The Highlands Club house, Highland Grill & Tap Room, Highlands Day Spa and Fleur de Sel French bistro are all close enough to drive your golf cart home.

Interested in learning more about this property and other properties for sale in the Coeur d’Alene area? Visit to search all homes for sale in Kootenai County and request a free Coeur d’Alene relocation packet or call Kevin Bennett direct at 208-818-0002.

View this Post Falls Real Estate listing –…

Kevin Bennett, Coeur d’Alene Realtor
1924 Northwest Blvd.
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
(208) 818-0002