December 27, 2017
I?m excited to announce that next spring John Bethell Title will be relocating to 2626 South Walnut Street. (That?s behind Chase Bank where Cellular One and the AT&T Store used to be.) You may recently have noticed that our current downtown location is going to be redeveloped. We?ve known this for a while and I spent much of this year locating and securing a new location for the JBT World Headquarters. J
While much work needs to be done, the location offers us plenty of space for more closing rooms, ample parking and pizza next door! How cool is that?!?!
Look for occasional updates throughout the winter and early spring.
Nearly 5000 people allowed us to help them buy, sell or refinance their homes in 2017. We couldn?t be more grateful for the opportunity to participate in their important moment. Thank you to all for helping make 2017 such a rewarding year for us. We expect 2018 to be just as awesome!
~ John Bethell
I?m happy to announce that Sarah Doering, one of our awesome real estate closers, recently accepted a promotion to Closing Team Manager. Sarah joined our team about two years ago with significant supervisory experience in banking and financial services. She quickly learned to provide an outstanding experience to our clients. This past summer Sarah directed most of the Closing Team?s processes contributing to one of the best summers that we?ve ever enjoyed. In addition to her current responsibilities, Sarah will directly manage the Closing Team. Sarah will also join our Leadership Team and represent the Closing Team as we pursue strategic and operational opportunities.
Our team continued to shine in October. Our closing team set a new bar excellence by providing seller side closing statement two more days before closing for every single transaction that we closed! Just incredibly outstanding! We helped 447 people buy, sell or refinance their properties. Our title team just missed out on pie by posting an average turn-around time for new Monroe County title work of 3.17 days with 86% turned around in four or fewer days.
~ John Bethell
In the third quarter, the purchase market continued to show little change from the 2016 market. (charts pages 13-15) Sales of property which are not the buyer?s primary residence enjoyed the strongest third quarter since sales disclosure data became publicly available ? about 6 years. This made up for softening in the market for properties that became the buyer?s home.
Recorded mortgages however came in with the second weakest third quarter since 2009. (page 7) Counter to the overall trend though, mortgages between $200K and $424.1K were much stronger compared to smaller loans in prior years. (charts pages 9 & 10)
It?s a ?no news is good news? market. And I?m more than OK with that!
Team Member Changes at John Bethell Title
I?m happy to announce that Julia Francke joined our closing team at the beginning of October as a pre-closing processor. Julia had been a Realtor? in Florida and became a JBT title team member in April 2016 after relocating back home to Monroe County. Prior to becoming a Realtor?, Julia did mortgage processing for nine years. Combined with Julia?s year and half on our title team her skills and experience are a perfect fit for her new role. Julia will be working with Rebecca Spencer?s and Amy Thomas? closing team.
Julia succeeds Willow Spencer in this role. Willow recently left us to for the challenges of becoming a Realtor? with Millican Realty. We will miss Willow. She handled her role exceedingly well. We wish her all the best in her new profession and we?re looking forward to working with her as a successful client!
September wasn?t quite as dynamic as the prior four months but it was busy nonetheless. We helped 406 people buy, sell or refinance their properties. Our closing team delivered seller side closing statements two or more day prior to closing for 95% of our transactions. And our title team continued to rock and produced Monroe County title commitments in four days or less 91% of the time with average turn-time of 2.94 days.
~ John Bethell
We?re already starting to get questions about the November real estate taxes so I thought that I would touch on that this month.
As we approach the due date, lenders require that the November 10th installment of real estate taxes be paid at closing. If the seller is currently escrowing taxes and the closing takes place shortly before the 10th, we are not always able to confirm payment. This usually occurs because the lender?s payment from escrow is in transit and unable to be verified with the Monroe County treasurer. In these situations we will hold in escrow from the seller an amount equal to the tax payment plus ten percent. Post-closing, if we confirm that the payment was made on time, we?ll refund the escrow to the seller. If the payment was not made, we?ll pay the taxes due plus the penalty from the escrow.
Our team enjoyed a terrific August. The title team?s average turn time for Monroe County orders was 2.81 days. Eighty percent of our orders were sent out within 3 days and ninety two percent in four days. Because the average time was less than 3.14 days, everyone in the company will enjoy some pie!
For the four weeks ending September 1st, the closing team produced seller side closing statements 93% of the time 2 or more days prior to closing. And we helped 511 people buy, sell or refinance their properties.
Have a great fall!
~ John Bethell
This month?s report includes the quarterly market recap that I was unable to include last month.
The purchase market is a bit down from 2016, but not significantly. (chart page 7) Existing housing inventory is still tight, and that?s probably what?s holding the market back. Given the low inventory levels, it?s somewhat remarkable that sales are not off more. Sales of non-owner occupied properties were actually better that a year ago. (chart page 9) After a closer examination of the sale disclosure data though, that appears to be a result of an increase in higher end vacant lots being sold this year.
Overall the market for the last two years seems to have arrived at a point of equilibrium between transactions and inventory. (Factoring in seasonal differences, of course). As always, our market is at risk from events happening outside of Bloomington, in Indianapolis, Washington D. C. or elsewhere. But absent any such shocks, it looks to me like its ?steady as she goes.? That?s good thing!
We are delighted to have helped 1089 people buy, sell, or refinance their properties during June and July. For all of 2017 we?ve helped over 2700 people so far. During the same two-month span, our closing team produced seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing for more than 95% of our transactions. Just outstanding! Our title team kept up too and averaged 5.4 days turn time on Monroe County transactions in June, and 4.5 days in July.
~ John Bethell