The word being spread around is that it is a buyer’s market. In some cases this may be true, however, in the Treasure Valley it all depends on what you are looking for. Inventory right now is at an all time low. In fact, there are over a thousand less homes available now than at this time last year.
The market for “nice” homes priced under $200,000 are hard to find, especially if you are looking for a non-distressed sale. Many buyers are faced with having to deal with multiple offer situations, where the home ends up selling for thousands more then the asking price. I’ve seen a lot of buyers coming in with cash. Because of the difficulty in obtaining a secure mortgage right now, buyers with cash have a lot of pull in real estate transactions.
When I acquire new potential buyers, I explain to them current market conditions and I’m given the “are you serious?” look. Many customers do not believe me until we have placed several offers on homes, end up in multiple offer situations, get out bid, and only then do they realize this is really the case. It can be exhausting searching for a home in this market. I check the MLS multiple times a day for new listings which might meet my buyer’s criteria. During this past week, I showed some clients a home that was listed the day I showed it to them. When I called the agent to let them know my buyers were interested in making an offer on the home, I was told they had already accepted an offer and were not willing to look at other offers. Remember, this home was listed for only four hours before my clients viewed it.
Lately, I have noticed banks are purposely marketing REO’s (bank owned properties, ie; foreclosures) at significantly lower prices. This is a strategy for the bank. They will list the home on a Thursday with the “First Look Program,” which means the home must be marketed for three business days before they will even look at offers. This gives them the entire weekend to collect offers. Recently, some clients of mine submitted an offer on an REO on a Thursday, the first day it was listed. We were already the second offer submitted. By Monday morning the bank had seven offers on the home and it ended up going “highest and best.” This home in question was priced significantly lower then what it should have been. I’m guessing it will sell for quite a bit more than the asking price as my clients offered more then asking price and still another bid was accepted. It will be interesting to see the final sales price of the home.
My best advice to potential buyers looking for a home in this market is to be patient! Do not settle for something other then what you’re really looking for when purchasing a new home. It is easy to become frustrated and end up just buying a home to get a home, but please take your time, find a real estate agent who is diligent and committed to you. With the right real estate agent and patience you will find the home that is perfect for you and your family. Although it may take longer then expected, you will be glad you didn’t rush into it and make the wrong decision.