Lancaster County’s September Real Estate Market – By the Numbers

As we wave goodbye to the 3/4 mark in 2017, the beautiful fall foliage is rapidly appearing all around us.  There have been lots of interesting developments on the real estate front this past year.  The market that has shown a steady recovery from the Great Recession which has been good for Central Pennsylvania.  Let’s take a look at the numbers to see what they reveal.

(Click on any of the images for a larger view or to download)

2017 09 September Market Stats - Avg Sales Price

The average sales price year over year shows prices are up 4% to just over $206K.  This relatively modest appreciation rate is good news for sellers who are slowly recovering the lost equity from the economic downturn.  This number should also send a message to potential buyers who are on the fence about purchasing.  Waiting to buy equals higher prices and interest rates that are potentially on the rise (more on this later). Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of E-Sign in the Real Estate Transaction

In the world in which we live in today, if you haven’t been asked to electronically sign something, you’ve been hiding underneath a rock.  Our comfort level with E-sign has rapidly evolved in the last ten years. Electronic signatures in real estate transactions are fast becoming the norm instead of the exception.

For purposes of simplicity in this post, I am going to refer to electronic signatures and digital signatures as one in the same, although they are different.  Digital signatures are used in the real estate business and are much more secure than electronic signatures.  If you’re geeky and want to read about the differences, click here to learn more.

Before we touch on the pros and cons of e-sign, a common misconception needs to be cleared up.  I often hear from consumers and agents alike, “Are they legal?”  The short answer, “Yes.”

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) was introduced in 1999 and has been adopted by 47 U.S. states (Pennsylvania is one of them), as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  UETA allows electronic signatures in real estate transactions as long as the parties to a contract agree to proceed electronically.

The ESIGN Act is a federal law passed in 2000 and grants legal recognition to electronic signatures and records if all parties to a contract choose to use electronic documents and to sign them electronically.

UETA and the ESIGN Act solidified the legal landscape for use of electronic records and electronic signatures in real estate transactions by confirming that they carry the same weight and have the same legal effect as traditional paper documents and wet ink signatures.

Now that they boring legal stuff is out of the way, here are the pros and cons:  Continue reading

The Clock is Ticking

A User’s Guide to Meeting the 14 Deadlines in the Agreement of Sale

When a property goes under agreement, Buyers and Sellers typically breathe a collective sigh of relief.  Real estate agents on the other hand know that the true work is just beginning.

If a standard PAR (Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS®) agreement of sale is used in a transaction, there are 14 deadlines that must be met in order for the parties to be in compliance with the terms of the agreement.  Missing any one of these deadlines can have dire consequences to the party that fails to live up to their end of the bargain. Continue reading

Lancaster County Real Estate Market Statistics for February 2017

And you thought Old Man Winter had taken a vacation.  I think it was just a coffee break before he decided to really get to work.  Oh well, on to the numbers.

(Click on any of the charts to enlarge and/or download)

2017 02 February Market Stats - Avg Sales Price

A steady rise in average sales price bodes well for the real estate industry.  This past month, the benchmark inched closer to the $200,000 mark and was up 4% over last year at this time.  Homeowners across the board are finding that the equity in their homes that had been lost during the Great Recession, is making a steady comeback.  In fact, according to Core Logic, just over 1 million borrowers moved out of negative equity during 2016, increasing the percentage of homeowners with positive equity to 93.8% of all mortgaged properties, or approximately 48 million homes.  As the economy strengthens, this will only get better.  Continue reading

A lot happened in the Lancaster County business world this year that will help shape its future for decades to come.  Real estate made a huge comeback with residential housing leading the way.  More consolidation in the banking industry and new entrants into the market vying for customers’ attention.  Lots of approved expansions in local health care facilities.  And on top of all that, you can now buy your favorite adult beverage at local grocery and convenience stores.

Read the Top 10 business stories of the year here as published by Lancaster Online.

All the best!