Yesterday we saw how the average market time has been dropping. It might worry some buyers that it looks as crazy (or crazier) then back when the money was free and easy. Here are three frenzy quarters to compare:
There is some explanation – the process has changed, and probably improved, especially for sellers who recognize the benefits:
The MLS has been programmed for years to automatically send new listings by email to prospective buyers – but now it’s widespread. Every website offers auto-notifications, and buyers can set their own parameters/programs.
2. Electronic signatures.
By clicking a few spots on your phone, buyers are able to submit offers with great ease – and maybe too easy.
3. Photography is much improved.
Ten to twenty high-res photos provide a quality experience of the home instantly – and buyers expect to make important decisions off the photography. Some crafty agents use youtube video tours!
4. Comps have never mattered less.
Because the data is so available – buyers get tired of reviewing it, and think they know enough. Their ego wants to win a bidding war for once, and they end up making price decisions accordingly. They must – look at some of the sales prices that bear no resemblance to recent sales nearby.
5. Buyers get tired of losing, and step their game up.
Add coffee or an energy drink after losing out on a few good buys, and pretty soon offers are flying all over town. You could make a case that the process is moving too fast, and buyers not giving enough thought to what they are doing. Indeed, many just want to end the hunt.
It is best that you and your listing agent are well aware of how fast the market works, and can take advantage of it. Those who throw their listings onto the MLS, but then refuse to show the house for days or weeks are doing themselves a great disservice – because buyers forget, and move on quickly.
Be ready to sell in the first few days, and read the market signals correctly. If you are getting multiple showings and offers in the first week, it’s going the way it should. If you fight it, know that the urgency wears off after 7-10 days on the market, and you’ll be quite lonely.
You search and hunt for weeks or months (or years) and finally you secure a contract. You start thinking it’s almost over, but the critical juncture is the home inspection.
Once a buyer has a property tied up and in escrow, then they go back with an inspector to see what they bought. The inspection, and ensuing report, both tend to be lightweight, glossing over the minor items, and pointing out a few of the more-major concerns.
Buyers’ remorse starts setting in, and a list of repairs or credits is requested – but the listing agent poo-poos the concerns, and does little or nothing for the buyers.
Faced with the daunting task of having to go back to the hunt, buyers concede and wind up buying the house in spite of the flaws, big or small.
Buyers, and their agent, need to be proficient at recognizing the flaws from the beginning, and don’t get swept up in the excitement. It is likely that the sellers won’t do much for you later – and you want to make sure that the price you agree to in the beginning, adequately reflects the proper value.
The fast market is here to stay – and will probably get faster. Get good help!