A Tale of Three Markets

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

You ask, "How's the Market?"  Every REALTOR® is asked that question numerous time each day, and the answer always depends upon what the questioner wants to accomplish:  Buying or Selling?

As a general rule, our market in San Antonio is still robust and balanced, with qualified Buyers treated to a large inventory (7,817 homes), and well-prepared Sellers able to find a Buyer in reasonable time (92 days average). But the seemingly large inventory is really three inventories, and one of them is going nowhere.

In the last six months, according to the San Antonio Board of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service, 1,532 listings expired, unsold.  They were rejected by the Market.  Here's why:

Most Buyers, whether they are First-Time Buyers taking advantage of the $8,000 Tax Credit or Move-up Buyers who are getting bargains on their Dream Homes, want a home that is Move-in ready, sparkling clean, well-maintained, and priced right.  (Ask yourself, when you are grocery shopping, do you buy dented cans?)  The Buyers generally don't have extra funds or time available to do substantial repairs or remodeling, and they think what they can see is only the tip of an unmaintained iceberg. 

Homes which are priced right (average list price to sale price ratio for the last 6 months was 96.1%), in top condition, well-staged for showing, and advertised effectively, move almost immediately and command top prices.  Those which are in sad shape, but are priced as distressed properties will attract their share of Investor Buyers.  They compete with Foreclosures and Lender-Owned homes, and price is the name of that game.  Investors snap up those bargains almost as soon as they appear.

In the middle are the bulk of homes that sit for months, maybe getting a few showings, but generating little excitement.  They are priced too high, and they are not ready for prime time.  After 60 days, Buyers start wondering "What's wrong with that house?"  If they make an offer, it will generally be a "low-ball", to allow for repair and redecorating money.  Or, more likely, they snap up something new on the Market which is in the first group.  Eventually, the Seller either lowers to price to market expectations for a lack-luster house in that condition or gives up altogether.

If you are thinking about Selling, ask for our FREE booklet 97 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster.  You may also request at no obligation our FREE Market Snapshot, which shows all the homes in your neighborhood which are for sale or have sold in the last three months.  Ask your REALTOR to professionally stage your home.  It's almost always worth the extra effort, and it may mean the difference in Selling and not selling.  If you need specific information, your calls and e-mails are always welcome.

Comments (1)

Erica Crowell
eRealty Inc. - Wake Forest, NC

I'd be interested in seeing your 97 Way to Sell book...I know I hear this questions daily too!  If you're not showing in TIP TOP shape, you're getting lowballed here in Raleigh, NC too.

Oct 11, 2009 06:14 AM