Brenda Kellen: What do you really think of the real estate market?
May 30, 2008
Q. As a real estate professional, what are you experiencing in today’s market?
A. Memorial Day has come and gone, usually triggering the most active months for real estate transactions. As schools close for the season and the snow finally gives way to green landscapes, buyers start sniffing around for a new home, investment property or second home.
The buyer will have many choices as inventory continues to rise. I am seeing buyers offering way below list price, testing the seller’s bottom line, and sometimes offering simultaneously on more than one property to position themselves as best as possible. The wise seller will not allow their ego to interfere with business and, when presented an undesirable offer, will take the time to write up a counter proposal with the terms acceptable to them. Rejecting a low-ball offer from a buyer is a losing proposition for everybody and may be a missed opportunity for the seller. Buyers are bombarded by the media’s “doom and gloom” approach to reporting and are very nervous about overpaying or making a poor property decision. Both buyer and seller will benefit from careful review of the market facts; past solds, days on market, list to sales price ratios. It is imperative to review these pertinent items before writing an offer or responding to an offer. Do not allow advice from friends or family to interfere with what the market facts dictate. Fair market value is what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to accept.
The seller may feel frustrated, beat up and disappointed. In the neighborhood where I live, inventory has gone from no listings on the market five months ago to eight homes for sale today. As a seller sees more for sale signs popping up around their house, they sense it may take longer to sell, since the buyer will have more choices. Don’t lose faith; be very sensitive to correct pricing and showing the home in the best light possible. Keep consistent communication with your realtor to be sure you are getting updates on showing feedback, market activity and pricing adjustments.
The lending industry continues to struggle with a high rate of default loans and the conservative qualifying requirements may be in place for some time. Buyers will need strong credit and down payment money. It is more important than ever for a buyer to get pre-qualified for a loan before looking at property. It is no fun to fall in love with a home, only to find out you are eight to twelve months away from having the lender requirements satisfied to fund the loan. Sellers will benefit from requiring a pre-qualification or lender approval letter with an offer.
Brenda Kellen has been selling for over 10 years with Omni Real Estate and helps buyers and sellers in both Grand and Summit County. If you have questions/comments or need assistance, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 485.1115.