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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Like listening to the crickets...

The real estate market right now in this area is a little like a summer evening when you can sit out on the porch and listen to the crickets - it's quiet. That's not a good thing! It's quiet because we are literally running out of homes to sell. I have lots of buyers right now and nothing much to show them. The properties that we do look at are going fast, most with multiple bids and lately many of them for cash. Anythng under $100,000 is probably selling for cash and maybe a quarter to a third of the ones between $100K and 200K are being snapped up with cash offers. Most have multiple bids on them within days of listing. Many are being bought up by investors, unless they are restricted by HUD rules that favor owner-occupants.

This crazy, short supply market is really hard on would-be buyers, many of whom get discouraged by the whole process. I just lost my fifth bid with one young buyer who bid above asking price but has to finance in order to buy. That puts him at a considerable disadvantage against the investors/cash buyers in the price band that he is competing in. Not only are these cash buyers making at or above asking bids, they are specifying in many cases that there will be no inspection - they are taking the houses "as-is". That means theat they are speculating that they saw enough during a walk-through to be able to estimate the repair costs and/or they see enough upside in the investment to cover the risks involved in that type of bid. It's a bit crazy right now.

For would-be sellers this market is the perfect time to jump back in and get the top market dollar for their home. That still may not cover all of the losses from the recent recession; but for those who didn't buy for top dollar at the pre-bust market peak the recent run-up in prices may have made selling possible again. Many owners just don't know what their homes are worth today, because it's been 6 months to a year since they had their last appraisal or market analysis. Now is certainly the time to take a peek out of the bunker and see where you are at in terms of current market price. Give me a call, I can help with that.

We have pent-up demand that is manifesting itself in buyers out looking. The market should be jumping, instead of being quiet. So get your house on the market and make some noise!

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