My adult son bought his first house over the weekend-you know-in this market where there are no qualified buyers. We (the women in our family) had started the search back in January while he was still serving in Iraq. The one house his girlfriend liked was very 1980's in feel and decor but she was interested. Before he could return home, house was taken off the market due to a lack of a sale.
He returned home at the end of June and we all continued to search. Collectively we have probably toured 50 homes. Last weekend he was able to tour a house before it was open to the public and he made an immediate offer! What was the difference?
The house was in great condition and was in the location he desired. The interior paint was neutral, each room "sparkled" (his words), and the home was properly staged. The owner was not a professional and did not hire a stager but my daughter (and partner) noted that it was completely staged. The house was also clean top to bottom. The house is move in ready and it was the only one we toured that fit that bill.
Imagine how this seller must feel that he had an almost full price offer before the home was even open to the public! All of this in a small town where some of the inventory has been listed since we began the search back in January.
So while it is true that the market is in turmoil and the competition is stiff, there are qualified buyers that are searching. Agents and stagers need to become more pro-active in teaching sellers how to meet the requirements of the buyers. How many sellers do you know that would like to sell their home the day before they invite the public in for a view?