We are very much into the traditional ‘High Activity Period' of the real estate industry and so far the results are mixed. While the showing activity has increased, for a variety of reasons, the push to close on a property seems muted. Buyers do not appear to have the same sense of urgency about making a home purchase as they had in the past in spite of attractive interest rates and the inducement of the $8,000 federal tax credit. It's as though they are still waiting for the better than ideal house to come on the market with the opportunity to steal it. Or else the fear of a lost job puts the buyer's in a cautious state and makes them proceed less aggressively.
Sellers on the other hand want to get it sold, whether because of traditional reasons such as downsizing, relocation or to avoid a mortgage default. Many sellers do not have a lot of negotiating room to sell due to the decline in values and lending practices that allowed borrowers to tap into a home's equity and now the homes are priced at their maximum limit without going underwater. So when is it the right time to accept an offer?
I know that hindsight being what it is sometimes the best offer is the first offer. If the property has been priced properly and activity for showings within the initial offering period generates an offer, is that the best offer to accept? Sellers are anxious to get the maximum for their home, and have been known to disregard the advise of their agent and try and grab the brass ring. They lose the buyer out of greed and then wait months and many price reductions before another offer comes their way. When the next offer does come in, it is well below the initial offer and even though all intentions are good, the seller's motivations lag because of the opportunity lost.
Buyers are cautious but ready to move when the deal looks good. Sellers want a great deal, but sometimes looking at a good deal may just be the right deal.