Tom’s flip looks inviting when you can spend over a million about a mile away, as the crow flies:
Tom’s flip looks inviting when you can spend over a million about a mile away, as the crow flies:
Market conditions are favorable throughout the NSDCC. Here are stats on the individual areas:
It used to be that 6 months of inventory was considered normal. Can we say the new normal is more like 3.0? Areas that are performing very well are 2.0? Those on fire are 1.0?
The onslaught of new-fangled ways to sell homes is getting bogged down in their own zeal – there are so many choices now, which way do you go? You have the sexy off-market package driven by celebrity realtors above, or the typical new-age mobile app at a discount below:
The scarcity of sales should drive more agents out of the business, and the those agents who remain will be increasingly focused on putting their own buyers and sellers together.
We have the listing agents who hold listings off-market in order to find their own buyer, but there are also agents who will do ‘sold before processing’ with an outside agent. This happens quite frequently.
If a listing agent isn’t going to round-trip the commission, and instead let a second agent represent the buyer – why wouldn’t you do what is best for your own client (the seller), and expose it to all agents via the MLS?
An old veteran agent told me that he hoped he would sell his new listing before MLS input, and he did – and an outside agent represented the buyer. The house had been vacant for years so there wasn’t an occupant who held up the showings – all he had to do was install a lockbox, take a few photos with his phone, and spend 15-30 minutes doing the MLS input.
He did input the listing onto the MLS after he found the buyer, so was it the installing of the lockbox and taking a few photos too much of a burden?
Why wouldn’t he do what is best for his seller?
He must either be flat out lazy, or he wanted everyone on the MLS to see that he was the latest to breach his fiduciary duty. It is like a badge of honor!
The realtor business is slowly eroding right before our eyes.
It’s one thing to offer above the list price, but would you waive all contingencies too?
I think a judge would be reluctant to have a buyer lose a deposit. Listing agents who might keep a deposit should do a pre-listing home inspection, and give a copy to anyone making an offer with no contingencies, just in case.
Homes are selling fast in Seattle, spending about 25 days on the market, down from 65 in March 2012. It can be hard to find parking at open houses and some are so crowded that it’s hard to move around to see the home.
Sellers are seeing some of the biggest price gains in almost a decade, and they know they’re in the driver’s seat.
“You put a house on the market you will have 100 people through the open house on the weekend and maybe 15-20 offers,” said Patti Hill, a real estate agent who has worked in the Seattle market for more than 17 years.
To win a home, buyers are putting in aggressive offers.
“Some of them are kind of scary because they’re waiving contingencies that puts earnest money in jeopardy if something happens,” said Hill. It’s common for Seattle buyers to waive inspections and appraisals and go above list price.
When Harris and his partner found their soon-to-be new home, they did everything they could to come up with the winning bid. They waived all contingencies, went above the asking price and had an escalation clause.
“Buyers are totally at the mercy of whatever the sellers wants,” he said. “If you want the house, you do whatever it takes.”
The pair also talked to the listing agent to find out about any special circumstances about the owner and incorporated that into a personalized letter and also offered a 30-day rent-back-to-owner for free.
Their winning bid was $425,000 — $60,000 over the asking price and above their original budget.
Yesterday it was Seattle that had the highest increase in their Case-Shiller Index, rising 12.2% Y-o-Y. You know that frenzy fever is high when the quotes barely make sense:
Andrea Conway’s home selling story has become the norm for Seattleites. She bought her Ballard home for a little under $500,000 around Easter 2014 and just sold it for more than $750,000
From the time they listed to the time they sold, the Conways, who are moving to California, had multiple offers and closed within a week. Realtors say that is very common right now for Seattle sellers. The buyers paid in all cash.
“Sellers are putting houses on the market, and it’s just normal for things to sell above list price and in some cases well above list price,” John L. Scott Realtor Carl Shaw said. “In a lot of cases, you’re seeing anywhere from four-to-eight, up to 15 or 20 offers on houses.”
The Conways say they may move back to Seattle in a few years, but right now they have decided to leave the city.
“We love it. We love the Seattle vibe, but the real estate market is so hot right now that we’re not comfortable, and we really can’t afford to put our money in this market right now,” Conway said.
She has this advice for buyers.
“Be prepared to spend considerably more than the asking price, especially if it’s in one of the hot neighborhoods like Ballard, or Fremont, or Wallingford, or West Seattle,” Conway said.
Shaw told us that buyers should be prepared to have as much cash ready as possible or have complete loan approvals.
Shaw has been doing this for 28 years and says the only other time when he saw this hot of a job and housing market was in 2006.
“In that market (2006) we had a ton of inventory, we had builders with a ton of inventory, and the difference now is that we have really strong job growth and next to no inventory,” Shaw added.
Next to no inventory is a tough reality for buyers, but for the Conways it is a blessing.
“We’re thankful, and we’ll see what the next adventure holds for us,” Conway said with a smile.
Spring homebuyers are pounding the pavement at a furious pace, but the pickings are getting ever slimmer.
Even as more homes come on the market for this traditionally popular sales season, they’re flying off fast, with bidding wars par for the course. Home prices have now surpassed their last peak, and at the entry level, where demand is highest, sellers are firmly in the driver’s seat.
“I’ve been selling real estate for 25 years and this is the strongest seller’s market I have ever seen in my entire real estate career,” said David Fogg, a real estate agent with Keller Williams in Burbank, California. “A lot of our sellers are optimistically pricing their homes in today’s market, and I have to say in most cases we’re getting the home sold anyway.
Fogg listed a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,240-square-foot home in Burbank for $789,000 and had three offers before the first open house Sunday. In the Los Angeles-area market, that is considered an entry-level home. The open house drew more than 100 potential buyers, most of them already weary of the competition.
“It’s very tough. Most of the listings are intentionally listed a little low to get a lot of attention, and it’s not uncommon to get 12 to 16 offers on one property,” said Jilbert Mosessian, who has been renting in the neighborhood but wants to buy. “In three properties recently, we did our best, we went considerably over the listing price, and we were told that there were still five people above us and they were only going to deal with them.”
Mosessian said he will have to try another neighborhood and cut his expectations.
Remember when we thought six months’ worth of inventory was normal?
We haven’t been close to that for six years!
How about 1-month’s worth?
Read Rich’s latest data rodeo here (signs point to higher prices!):
The market is sizzling, and it could kick up to another level if there were just more homes to sell! Here is a comparison of today’s inventory to previous years (the lower-end is selling fast!):
NSDCC Active Inventory – Second Week of April
NSDCC Pendings Today
Without more homes to sell, it’s like a freeze-dried frenzy on the lower end – very dry but it’ll keep you alive!
Anyone eager to buy a home this spring probably has reasons to feel good. The job market is solid. Average pay is rising. And mortgage rates, even after edging up of late, are still near historic lows.
And then there’s the bad news: Just try to find a house.
The national supply of homes for sale hasn’t been this thin in nearly 20 years. And over the past year, the steepest drop in supply has occurred among homes that are typically most affordable for first-time buyers and in markets where prices have risen sharply.
In markets like San Diego, Boston and Seattle, competition for a dwindling supply has escalated along with pressure to offer more money and accept less favorable terms.
“Sellers will have the edge again this year,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for Trulia, a real estate data provider. “Homebuyers are really going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as housing choice is concerned.”
The intensity of the competition this spring has surprised even sellers like Kathleen Mulcahy, a 37-year-old product manager in Seattle.
Within a week of listing her one-bedroom, one-bath condo, Mulcahy received 21 offers – all above her asking price of $398,000. Most of the offers came with built-in triggers to automatically rise in case a rival bidder sweetened a bid. In the end, she accepted an offer of $500,000 – all cash.
“A lot more than I expected,” Mulcahy said.
Yet the changed landscape cuts both ways: Facing higher prices and competition herself, Mulcahy has decided for now to put off buying another home.
“There’s very little available, and it’s just too expensive right now, so I’m going to wait,” she said. “I’ll probably rent for two or three years.”
About 1.75 million homes were for sale nationally at the end of February, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s down 6.4 percent from a year earlier and only slightly up from January, when listings reached their lowest point since the association began tracking them in 1999. All told, the supply of homes for sale has fallen on an annual basis for the past 21 months.
Read full article here:
The only thing harder than getting a listing is helping buyers win a house.
Last week I mentioned how there still isn’t any uniform process to sell a residential resale home – it is the wild wild west! Even when a listing agent tells you what they are going to do to you, it is always subject to change!
We found this fantastic video by a Colorado guy who outlines the best ways to handle a bidding war. Because I know that hardly any agents actually have a bidding-war strategy beyond spreading out the offers on the dining-room table, I have since been sending the video along with my offers. Because the video is done by a third-party guy, hopefully it is viewed as a powerful new solution by agents who tend to think they know it all just because they’ve sold a few houses in their life.
Here are my results:
Wouldn’t every party be better served if there was a uniform process?
Wouldn’t a live auction be the best solution for sellers and buyers? It would take all the uncertainty out of the equation, and allow all bidders to compete face-to-face, and be driven by the animal spirits to pay what it took to win!
A side note, and fourth example: Buyers who are moving here from out-of-state put their current multi-million-dollar home on the market last week in a town that has had a similar frenzy environment as San Diego. They were impressed with the immediate buyer traffic, and on Sunday an agent reported that he had a buyer who wanted to make an offer. He, like me and every other buyer’s agent, was inquiring how the listing agent was going to handle the process, to which she responded, “We’ll be reviewing all offers on Wednesday”. The buyer didn’t like that response, and went away. Here we are on Thursday, and no offers have been received.
While I need to keep getting listings just to maintain my own sanity, I will always have time for buyers who are blog readers here! Congrats to our frequent commenter Eddie89! We made offers on five houses before finally succeeding on the sixth. We offered 9% under list price – a daring low offer on a new listing – and when the sellers countered 3% below list it was close enough – we’re in escrow!
An article from cbsnews.com – get good help!
“Home buying is about substantive economics, but it’s also got an element of ‘animal spirits,’” said its President Steve Udelson. “In some of the hottest markets, we’ve seen a double-digit run-up in prices.”
The website surveyed 1,289 prospective buyers nationwide, and its findings suggested that most prospective homeowners already had their feet in the starting blocks for the spring selling season. More than half were willing to go beyond their budget — by an average of nearly $38,000 — to get the property they desired.
And like most competitive athletes, they were hopeful as well as scared. Not surprisingly, about 60 percent of those surveyed feared:
Read full article here: