I often have to laugh anymore when I contemplate the overall attitude difference between buyers in this current market vs buyers just a few years ago. Unless I've become completely wacky and out of touch, I really don't think there's been any significant change in human genetics that's made folks a whole lot different in 2010 than they were in 2004...but sometimes I think that could be the case. What I mean by this is the entirely different approach and perspective that home buyers have now. They didn't have these points of view awhile ago. In 2004 I saw multiple offers on houses with gapingholes in roofs, foundations that literally had fallen over, unsafe exposed wiring, mold that was so thick it felt like shag carpet as well as houses with $30,000 in dry rot. I saw homes on Edgewater and Hillsdale get multiple offers for crying out loud! For years there didn't seem to be any problem significant enough to prevent a home from selling!
These multiple offers I'm talking about were not written under the asking price. They all went way over asking during those years. It was a frenzy...nobody cared about anything! they just wanted a house! Preferably with 4 walls and a roof. If it didn't leak that was a plus. I sold a house in Palo Alto without a foundation! It was wood frame built right on the ground circa 1900. $40,000 in dry rot. The buyer didn't care. He hoisted it up and put a foundation under it. No big deal. I sold a house in Belmont that raw sewage backflowed into the house during heavy rain storms and filled up the tub and sinks. The sellers never fixed it...they had lived with it this way for 35 years. They just disclosed it when they sold. I got 4 offers on that place, "As Is" and over asking.
It's 2010 though. In this year alone I've seen buyers not buy houses because of cracked entry tiles, a cracked stove top, worn or scuffed hardwood floors and power lines that are 3 blocks away. I had a buyer back out of a contract because it was discovered that there are cracks...in the street! Yet another buyer backed out because it was discovered that the neighbor had a dog. There wasn't an issue with barking...they just had a dog. Next door. Honestly, I have an escrow currently where the buyer requested the seller replace a burned out light bulb! I heard a story about some buyers who refused to go through with a transaction because, during their walk through, they discovered that the sellers child had scribbled on a wall with a marker. They didn't ask for it to be remedied...they backed out!
Maybe it sounds like I'm whining or complaining. I don't think I am...I'm simply fascinated by human nature. How can people not care at all about a house without a foundation or one with running sewage, yet just a few years later other folks freak out about cracks in the street? What a business! It really is amazing.