It seems that there are many buyers who believe that media real estate experts who are giving the impression that on a national basis, buyers can literally steal any home on the market. These buyers are looking at homes and writing offers that are in some cases off the wall.
But in the last 12-months, on TWO occasions, a low ball offer has helped a 2nd buyer move off the fence and write an appropriate offer. For me, that's a beautiful thing. It takes the frustration out of an uninformed buyer writing something that doesn't have any chance, on a listing that is in great condition and is priced pretty close to where it belongs.
There's a certain satisfaction (that I probably should not enjoy as much as I do) that not only do they not get the home that they sorta want (not bad enough to get real apparently, but bad enough to write a bad offer on), but someone else who is informed gets the house that they want at the same time, and of course the sellers have been very happy in both cases.
So is there a lesson there? I'd hope so, but like in so many cases, the people who most need the professional assistance and advice, seem to be the least likely to listen to it.
My suggestions for buyers?
- Work exclusively with an agent you've selected to represent you
- Be pre-approved by a reputable lender and have a strong pre-approval letter
- Throw out the 'national rules' you're hearing on TV- there is NO NATIONAL- all real estate is local
- Learn to recognize a home that is grossly overpriced from a home owned by a seller who understands the current market and has prepared their home for the market and priced it accordingly
- If you want to write an offer that's significantly below list price and ask for everything that isn't nailed down, and some things that are, go ahead! You're likely helping a SERIOUS buyer get down off the fence
- Ask questions, look at the differences between homes, understand how values work and learn to recognize the homes that are a great deal because they are in top condition and are priced appropriately
- Buy one of those homes.
It seems like all of the fence sitters may be getting tired of the points of the fence slats poking them in the butt. Activity levels in Grand Rapids, MI are on the increase since January 1, despite some of the coldest, snowiest weather I remember in a long time.
I believe that the recognition that prices are GREAT, Interest rates are GREAT and there's a large inventory to choose from are combining to make a market where a buyer who is looking for a home to live in, raise a family in and establish some roots in should be hopping off the fence, pulling some splinters out of their butts and getting serious about moving forward.
How's it in your world?
Fence photo from Flickr.com Ll'sWorld's : Wall photo flickr.com by windscreen fly