2 min read October 2023 — Invest: was joined by Jessica Averbuch, CEO and owner of Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty, to discuss how the influx of population and business into the Nashville region elicits a robust residential real estate market. “Our priority is staying true to our business model and philosophy to provide full service, white glove experience to our clients,” she said.
What have been your key takeaways from the past year?
This year is our 44th year in business so we have deep roots in Middle Tennessee. It is also the fifth anniversary of our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty. It is an important milestone for our brokerage because the impact has been profound. We are proud to be the No. 1 Sotheby’s International Realty in Tennessee and to have an average sales price that is 76% higher than the MLS. In the past year, we have sold properties at every price point ranging from $200,000 to $15 million. Despite the market shift, we are on track with last year in terms of sales volume and prices have remained steady.
In 2023, our agents sold homes in 20 counties in Middle Tennessee. Our agents live and work through the region and this allows our clients to rely on our market knowledge and experience. We recently launched our new website at Zeitlin.com where people can learn more about the market and available listings.
How is your organization leveraging the population influx to the region?
There are 100 new residents moving to Nashville every single day and we are the fifth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country. It is important for us to have a diverse group of agents throughout the region to serve our clients. There are so many reasons that people are drawn to our area including culture, quality of life, job opportunities and the friendliness that we take so much pride and pleasure in. Another significant attraction is our higher education offerings. We are known as the Athens of the South and our universities continue to expand in so many ways.
We are fortunate to be in an area that has attracted many newcomers in recent years. Our vibrant downtown now has 17,000 residents and 43% of the population moved there from out of state. Another fortunate statistic about our downtown is that the office vacancy is now only at 13%, which is far better than so many other cities.
What are some of the opportunities you’re seeing in the market right now?
As of September 2023, sales are down about 13% year over year but prices are up. It is still a seller’s market with about three months of inventory. The market dynamics have shifted significantly over the last couple of years. During the COVID years, most sales were essentially an auction with multiple offers, little to no contingencies and a swift sale was practically guaranteed. Today there is more inventory and buyers can perform due diligence. Sales contingencies are back which allows people to sell their current home to move to their next one. This helps everyone because sellers are usually buyers, too. Since some people may not be willing to leave their lower interest rates, new construction will fill an important void in supply in the coming years.
How is Zeitlin working with first time homebuyers?
One key component is financing options. While interest rates may take center stage, many first time buyers need to learn more about financing options that are available and can help them achieve home ownership. For example, there is a misperception that 20% down is required to get a conventional mortgage. The reality is there are many low down payment options, like FHA, and also niche local offerings that require little to no down payment.
Realtors are able to identify opportunities where sellers are offering incentives. Rate buydowns have become more commonplace for sellers and builders. Education and guidance are key to helping first time buyers achieve their dreams of home ownership.
What is your outlook over the next few years?
Our priority is staying true to our business model and commitment to providing a white glove experience to our clients at all price points. We are a full service brokerage offering a lot of support to our agents so they can provide the most value to their clients. We are focused on the customer experience and committed to training our agents on market conditions, negotiation strategies and world class marketing support. We can help our clients anywhere in the world and have a dedicated member of our staff who places referrals to other markets. We strive to be your agent for life, whenever and wherever you are buying or selling residential real estate.
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