My Blog

Selling Season?


I often get asked, "When is the best time to put my house up for sale?"

The answer may surprise you. Most think it is best to wait until mid-spring when the flowers are up and everything looks beautiful....Wrong! In our area, by mid-May you have missed the opportunity.

It's now early February and we soon will be coming up to the best time of the year. It is weather dependent but usually happened in early March. Why?

At this time, the current buyers (that have been looking) know oh so well the winter inventory. They are anxious for a new property to become available and are ready to move on it! Also with that, creates the best time of the year to get top dollar for your house!

Besides less competition, there are other advantages. When you do have a showing the buyers will be serious (not summer time "tire kickers") so the time spend prepping the house won't be in vain. Also, because of the lingering snow, you won;t have to fuss over having the yard and landscape looking perfect. Just have the summer time pics ready!

So then I hear "But I don't want to move when it is still cold and snowy..." :) Relax, even if you were to get a buyer pretty quickly (say the first 2 weeks) you then typically would have an additional 45 days until closing...Now you're talking a nice comfortable May time to move...(and that's if there is no possession time negotiated for after closing).

Enjoy the rest of your winter!




Dean. A Baker

RE/MAX Bayshore Properties


The Traverse City Real Estate Market is Changing


Housing demand in the Grand Traverse area has come full circle in the past year. Starting with too much inventory and selective purchasing to less inventory and high demand!

During the time of late winter into spring (if that’s what the weather was…) the real estate demand peaked. Buyers were waiting for fresh inventory to appear as they had seen what was on the market through the winter. During late March & April it was common to have multi-offers on new listings that sellers made available at that time. Take a look at the graph below. This shows the Days on Market (DOM) for residential properties in Grand Traverse County. You can see what I am talking about.

Now that we are moving into summer, more houses are becoming available, which is bringing a more balanced sales activity. Don’t get me wrong, activity is still strong. General inventories remain on the low side but not as it was earlier in the year.

As you know our area continues to show up on several national top ten lists relating to “The Place To Be” for many reasons (Retiring, Boating, National Lake Shore, and now the “Top 10 Foodie City”). Factor in local real estate prices that are now starting to rise (from the past 4 year low) and interest rates are very, very attractive, we are poised for an active real estate market in the Traverse City Area.



Dean A. Baker

RE/MAX Bayshore Properties



Are Your Property Taxes Too High?


Have you looked at your recent property tax assessment and noticed it seems higher than you think it should be?

If so, now is the time of the year to try to get it changed!

The Michigan State Tax Commission requires all townships to have a annual "Board of Review" meeting for the purpose of hearing property owners that want to dispute their assessed values.

These meetings are generally to be on the second Monday in March ( so this year's meetings will be on March 10th ) and the scheduled times of the meetings are required to be offered both during daytime hours and at least 3 hours of evening time ( after 6pm ).

Non-resident taxpayer's may file a protest in writing and are not required to make a personal appearance to the meetings.

The members of the Board of Review do have the authority to change an individual property's current year assessment, but do not have the authority to change any prior year’s assessments or Principal Residence Exemption status (previously known as Homestead exemption).

Though the formula that an assessor must use to assess property values is complicated, it generally uses the previous 2 years of comparable sales data to determine value.

If you feel your assessment is higher than it should be, let me know and I can help provide past sales data for you.


Mobile House Search


Ever drive by a house you see for sale and wonder how much it's asking price is?

Renee & I were recently on a trip down south and on one of our days found ourselves driving on a self guided historic house tour through Mobile Alabama (there are amazing houses in the historic district in downtown Mobile.... ).

So when I saw one for sale and was curious on the asking price, I pulled out my smart phone and with literally 2 screen "taps" had all the information in my hand... ( Being associated with the largest Real Estate company in the world has it's benefits.... )

The good news is that you can get this free app on your phone as well.

To do so, either go to to download


On your phones App Store, type in Remax Mobile

Once loaded, it uses GPS to your current location and with one touch to "See Nearby Homes" you'll have all the nearby homes info in your hand! ( a neat way to keep current on the houses for sale in your neighborhood... )

Also, you can search by a map, get turn by turn directions, save your search and share what you've found with a friend.

Thought you would like to have this "trick of the trade".

Blessings on your day,



Real Estate in 2013?


2012 was a busy year!

Statistically in our area, there was a 21% increase in the number of homes sold in 2012 compared to 2011. Along with that, because there were more high-end priced homes that sold in 2012, the average sales price rose by 11%.

So whats predicted for 2013?

You will see more houses coming on the market this year because of the past years of being pent up.

Additionally the inventory of distressed properties will continue but should start to top out.

As for mortgage rates, they are predicted to remain low throughout at least the first half of the year but lending requirements will remain tight.

Heres how the 2012 local housing compared to previous years.


With the expected increase of housing inventory, buyers will continue to pick and choose and sellers will need to be in tune with the market.

If you know someone that could use my help to buy or sell in this market, have them give me a call.


Do Houses Sell in the Winter?


Do Houses Sell in the Winter?

This is a common question I get asked this time of the year.

Though it may not be the most convenient time to make a move, real estate transactions do happen year round.

There are many reasons why to buy or sell in the winter. Some of the benefits of selling is that there are less tire kickers! If buyers are out looking at houses during the winter, they are generally serious ( or they wouldnt be out braving the elements ). This helps cut down on the most inconvenient part of selling the showings. When you do have them though, they will be meaningful.

The other benefit is less competition. Many people wait til May when the flowers and yard are looking at their best but by doing so, they have now just put themselves in a more competitive arena. Its already a buyers market, no sense in making it even harder to sell.

So how many houses sell in the winter?

Well, looking back at our areas past 12 months, here is a break down by percentage per month. 

Jan 4.7% April 9% July 9.2% October 10.7%

Feb 5.8% May 8.5% Aug 11.2% Nov 7.3%

March 6.7% June 9.9% Sept 10.7% Dec 6.3%

So, how many houses does this represent?

Taking February as an example, 5.8% equals 165 houses!

That is over 5 houses selling every day!

As you can see, many houses do sell in the winter months.

Safe travels to your Thanksgiving gatherings,


If I'd Only Bought


If I'd Only Bought

Talking with clients and friends, I hear it all the time. "If I would have bought that property back then...." or "Back in 19xx I could have bought such&such property for xxxxx!" Or maybe some would say "We should have bought Apple stock in 2002 for $8.50 or gold in 2000 for $300....


Years from now, if we look back at 2012, it may be clear that this was the best real estate buyer's market ever.

The prices are down nationwide 20-40% from four years ago & mortgage rates have never been this low,

The housing affordability index which is considered to be good at 100 has increased to over 200! This index has been used since the 1970's and has never been at this level ( above 200 ).

This 'buying" opportunity applies equally to acquiring a home to live in or to rent as income property. It is estimated that about one-third of the homes purchased last year were done by investors.

The question we're all faced with this year is whether we'll be saying we seized or missed the opportunity.

If you know someone that is considering buying, encourage them to start moving forward soon before prices begin climbing and have them give me a call!


"Keep the chin up'


I have always kept in mind the vision that for every adversity that is encountered in life, there is a Blessing to be found!  Always keep your eye's, ears and vision looking for that fruitful seed!



"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."  -Winston Churchill

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