Buyers, what are you waiting for?

By
Real Estate Agent with Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty

A year ago I was advising Sonoma County home buyers to move fast. Prices were rising and inventory was in short supply. The only update needed for that post in 2014 is to say that prices are still rising, but they're starting a lot higher than they were a year ago and that fewer homes are available. I don't have a specific person lined up for an "I told you so!", but there is no doubt in my mind that many of the buyers I meet today are kicking themselves for not jumping into the market a year ago.

Sonoma County HotsheetOne of my favorite demonstrations of market forces at work is to pull up a hotsheet of all the new listings in the last 30 days. I show an image of a 30 Day Hotsheet for Santa Rosa on the right. What will be immediately apparent to experienced agents is how many listings are already snapped up.

Nearly half of new listings are contingent, pending, or sold within the first 30 days of hitting the market. It's a graphic demonstration of a sellers' market and a powerful tool to encourage buyers to be prepared to move fast if something they like gets listed. 

Even for the fast moving buyers I am currently working with, the transition from last year's tight market to the current situation is marked by frustration. It's not unusual for them to encounter multiple bids, bids over asking, and all-cash offers for the properties they are trying to purchase.

There isn't a silver bullet or magic spell to help. Persistence and a willingness to write offers quickly seem to be the only route to success. That and finding a seller who thinks a school teacher should be able to find a house to buy.

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California Sonoma County Santa Rosa
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Diary of a Realtor

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Ambassador
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John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Dave, this is a great graphic to show people that moving to buy now is a wise choice.  We've been spoiled with a couple years of low prices & low interest rates, and I think people have been lulled into thinking it'll last forever.  Time to wake up and realize prices & rates are moving up.

Feb 03, 2014 07:15 AM #1
Rainmaker
741,189
Troy Erickson
Diverse Solutions Realty www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Prices increased significantly in my area during the summer, and many homes were receiving multiple offers, pushing the list prices even higher. When October/November hit, everything stopped. Now December saw an increase in home sales, and hopefully that trend will continue throughout this year. I just would like the increase in sales and home prices to grow at a slow, manageable rate.

Feb 03, 2014 12:45 PM #2
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTORĀ®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I did have to fire some buyers because after about 6 months they were still sitting on the fence complaining that every time I showed them the house of their dreams, some one else would buy it out from under them.

Needless to say, it was the period of time they waited to put their offer in not anyone else fault...

Feb 03, 2014 09:46 PM #3
Rainmaker
271,121
Dave Roberts
Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty - Healdsburg, CA

John - I think you are right about both low prices and low interest rates. It's not going to last.

Troy - I think everyone would love it if sales and prices would have a smooth, slow trend upward. It's this 25% a year price increases that freaks people out

Paul - Congratulations on repeatedly finding the home of their dreams for your clients. That's an art in itself even if we don't get paid unless they are willing to do something with it.

Feb 03, 2014 11:40 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,569,177
David Saks
Memphis, TN

Fine report. Many thanks for sharing. Have a terrific day ahead.

Feb 04, 2014 01:18 AM #5
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Dave Roberts

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