The Secret Behind Multiple Offers for Home Sales in 2008~ Grand Rapids, MI Fall Market Update



I’ve been watching the statistics for Foreclosures and Short Sales in the Grand Rapids, MI area pretty closely since the real estate board began to track the numbers in 2007. 

 Recently, there have been some trends that I initially felt were alarming. 

September and October sales numbers have seemed to mirror the wild roller coaster ride that we have witnessed on Wall Street in recent days.

In September, the percentage of homes sold in distress as either Foreclosures or Short Sales jumped to almost 52% and represented almost 41% of the Total Dollar Volume of Home Sales for the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors.

The numbers didn’t get prettier in October, 2008.  At the last check, the percentage of homes sold in distress is now at almost 62% and represents almost 45% of the total dollar volume which by the way was 33 Million dollars less in September than the recorded sales volume in August.

But, in the midst of these seemingly dire numbers, I am witnessing an amazing phenomenon.  It’s the RISE of Multiple Offers on properties.  Yes, it’s true that many homes are simply sitting there with absolutely NO activity…often for months or years.  But, there are several homes that our agents have Sold recently and homes that our Buyer Clients have made bids on which had MULTIPLE OFFERS.  In some cases as many as 3 or 4!

What’s going on? 

Well, here’s my take.  I think that much of the inventory on the market right now in Grand Rapids, MI is over-priced.  By this, I am referring to the pricing that the Market has dictated it is willing to pay for the product which in this case is a home.  Over-pricing is a phenomenon which can be brutal to witness if you are a homeowner who needs a certain dollar amount from a home right now.  In this market, needs are simply not the criteria which govern the sale.

Best Value Deals…

Today’s home sales are primarily Best Value Deals.  Homes that are priced competitively and where home owners have equity will Sell.  Homes that are in distress will Sell.  Homes that are Bargain Basement Deals will Sell.  This is NOT the market for everyone, and home owners should recognize that the total volume of dollars that I mentioned before indicates that home prices are still dropping overall.

However, I think that we’re starting to scrape the bottom.  The projections nationwide indicate that there will be about a Million homes in Foreclosure and for Sale by the end of the year.  The good news is that the number of Foreclosure/Short Sale homes in the Grand Rapids area actually have stabilized and seem to be trending downward.  We have to Sell the excess inventory of these homes for the market to stablize, so this is a very good thing.

In Summary…

In light of this, looking at the increase in the number of distress sales takes on a different perspective.  As more of these homes move out, there will be fewer bargains and prices should gradually begin to increase.  I’ll continue to watch the trends and report back to you the latest in the Grand Rapids real estate market place.

This is a great time to buy for many reasons.  If you’d like to talk more about investing in real estate or enhancing your portfolio, please contact us @

Autumn by the Grand Traverse Bay…

Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City Michigan

Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City Michigan

View of the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan in Fall of 2008.  Empty beach chairs herald the arrival of fall and cooler weather.  But, it’s still beautiful to look at.  Picture taken from my balcony while attending a real estate seminar in Traverse City, Michigan. 

Fall Real Estate Blogging and Technology Continuing Education Classes ~ Michigan

Lola Audu, CRS, GRI e-Pro, owner of Audu Real Estate and founder of Blogging Seminars will be teaching and Speaking at the following events during the course of the next couple of months.

On October 29, 2008, Lola will be teaching a total of 4 credit hours of real estate continuing education to members of the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors®. 

 The course titles are Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals (K1061) and Blogging Ethics for Real Estate Professionals (K1062). 

Please Contact the Clare/Gladwin Board of Realtors® at 989-246-0714 for further information or the Education Committee Chairperson at 989-429-2600.

On November 13th, 2008 Lola Audu will be speaking at the Grand Rapids chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors® during a luncheon on the subject of ‘Social Media…Connecting with New Tools’.  The luncheon will be held at the Watermark Country Club and the cost is $20. This is NOT a Continuing Education offering, but the talk will provide important information and insights for those who want to understand how to utilize the technology of social media to build their personal networking relationships and leverage their online business.

On December 11, 2008, Blogging Seminars/Lola Audu will be teaching Continuing Education classes to professionals in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.  The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors® is Sponsoring two continuing education courses:  Blogging Basics for Real Estate Professionals (K1061) and Blogging Ethics for Real Estate Professionals (K1062).  

Registration for the December 11, 2008 continuing education courses will begin at 8:30 a.m. with class commencing at 9:00 a.m.  Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and advised. Inquires about the class should be directed to Angella O’Keefe of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors®. (1-734-822-2264) or

Audu Real Estate Sponsor ID# K355

Grand Rapids Art Museum~ An Abstract

Courtyard~ Grand Rapids Art Museum

Courtyard~ Grand Rapids Art Museum

A couple of noteworthy photography exhibits have recently toured the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  I was able to catch the Gordon Parks exhibit which was striking and hauntingly beautiful.  If you’re there on a Sunday afternoon, there’s often live classical music concerts.  Best Value for a Sunday afternoon in my opinion.

Wealthy at Charles, A Delight for the Senses!

Wealthy at Charles, Grand Rapids MI

Wealthy at Charles, Grand Rapids MI

Although, it’s the start of fall, the garden is still open. This bountiful display of greenery is what initially catches my eye as we are cruising down Wealthy St.  

The plat is surrounded by a attractive wrought iron fence.  This segment of land, brimming with a variety of plantings is an unexpected respite in the city.

It is the garden which beckons me to stop into Wealthy at Charles and take a look around.  The store is situated within a beautifully restored  home which has been transformed into an intimate shopping experience for home style enthusiasts.  The wall colors are a dove gray and muted eggplant framed by burnished wood floors.  Very simple, very elegant…very calm.

The store features an eclectic and ever changing array of products for the home, gifts, accessories and stylish floral creations.  In between attending to clients, Mike one of the owners shares about the history of the home and the artistic accents which fill the store with elegance and color.

You feel as though you are in an artists’ studio…the displays evoke moments of unexpected spontaneity.  Luscious pillow displays and beautiful area rugs transition into whimsical mini statues and riotous bouquets of flowers.  You could spend an hour in this place and still have trouble deciding what to purchase.

I finally settle on my purchase which is carefully wrapped up with a bow and tissue.  This is certainly a store worth visiting…as much for the experience of first class service as the creativity which illumines every spare square inch of retail space.

wealthy at charles, llc
738 wealthy street se

grand rapids mi 49503


telephone: 616 458 6664


A Visit to Dégagé ~ Heartside Community in Grand Rapids, MI

Marge Palmerlee ~ Degage Ministries, Executive Director, Grand Rapids, MI

Marge Palmerlee ~ Degage Ministries, Executive Director, Grand Rapids, MI

This past Monday, our team at Audu Real Estate decided to take a fieldtrip.  Our foray out of the office took us to Dégagé Ministries, a Christian outreach ministry on 144 South Division Avenue.  It was a cold and rainy day, but Marge Parmalee, the Program Director greeted us with a warm smile. 

I had heard about the Dégagé Coffehouse ministry shortly after I graduated from college, but was unfamiliar with what the program did.  Today, Dégagé Ministries offers it’s patrons, many of whom are homeless and suffer from mental illness, a whole range of social services.  The focus of the mission is to ” To reflect the love of Christ to all who come through our doors by building relationships and offering programs that foster dignity and respect.”

Marge graciously toured us through the 5 story facility which includes the basement.  On the street level, the ministry has a large room with tables and chairs.  Patrons can recieve a warm meal for a minimal fee and some can earn vouchers for meals or other services by doing one of the 40 jobs which the facility offers.  We observed individuals in the kitchen cleaning up and others sweeping the floors.  Most of the cleaning in the facility is done by those who use the service.

We toured the women’s lounge where Marge indicated that approximately 30 women had slept on mats the night before and received follow up care and counselling.  Although empty during our visit, the lounge was spotless and this included the shower and locker area.  It was incredible to realise that for these women, this shelter was their only home.

The ministry provides a wide array of support tools such as mailboxes for people who have no address, showers, lockers and laundry facilities, a State ID program and referrals to area professionals such as doctors who offer their services at reduced or minimal rates.  And…there’s always the support of Prayer.

Marge shared the story of Karen, a woman who is featured in the latest newsletter for the ministry.  Today, through the work of God’s grace, Karen is gainfully employed and has gotten back on her feet.  We were reminded that with the economic crisis that is facing our nation, there are many people who are on the verge of falling ‘through the cracks.’

It is sobering to see the impact of the ‘other side’ of the housing crisis.  Homelessness is a crisis which impacts not just the individual, but the community.  And…the power of community is reflected in the work of ministries like Dégagé in which individuals and business leaders have come together to extend a hand to those who need a loving touch

Dégagé Ministries ~ 144 South Division
Grand Rapids, MI 49503