Friday, July 23, 2021

Huge Surge in Listings, Boosts Inventory Levels

It seems the pandemic has subsided enough to bring out all those missing listings. The local MLS saw a massive surge in new listings over the last two weeks. This is good news for buyers as the tight inventory led nearly every transaction to a bitter bidding war with one lucky winner and half a dozen disappointed losers. Many buyers have become disenfranchised from the process after numerous failed attempts to land an accepted contract.

This buyers should come back as things have definitely cooled off a tad. The market still favors the seller, but buyers may find a little more options available and fewer offers on houses that are not top drawer. This plays right into the article I wrote last week about watering the lawn. Sellers need to keep the house and grounds looking sharp, because buyers have more to look at now that they have at anytime in the last half year or so.

I won't have to total stats until the MLS releases July's figures next month, but I am certain it will show a major surge in listings as preliminary data suggests. We needed this and it should tip the scales back a tad towards neutral offering buyers a little more opportunity to own their own home.

I listed a lovely three bed, two bath home last week for $435k and was shocked when the first two days had no showings. That's when I realized that a dozen new listings had come up at the same time within a mile of the property! Well by Monday showings picked up and the home was in contract by Wednesday. But this house had an advantage. It was dated but immaculate inside and out. The owner had that old girl shined up like new. Buyers in this day an age tend to favor move-in ready homes that do not require a lot of work. Our society today has become busy, houses have gotten so expensive that buyers often have to work long hours to afford them. So keep in mind that often the best looking house wins the day.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Even in this Tight Market, Water the Lawn!

With the market seeing a half dozen or more buyers for every listing, sellers may feel complacent and just let the front yard go this summer. Sure, you will sell the house and you may even get multiple offers, but you won't get top dollar if your house looks unkept.

No matter what the market conditions are, human nature doesn't change with real estate trends or whether buyers or sellers are favored. People have impressions that can be hard to overcome. The very first impression if the drive up to the house. A nice and tidy front yard and clean look is a positive start to the showing experience for the buyer. That should continue as much as possible. Ideally the first three impressions ought to be positive before the buyer starts looking closely. There are often going to be negatives for the buyer even if the house is emaculate because they may not like the layout or other fixed design elements. Having three positives before encountering any potential uncorrectable negatives sets the seller up for a better offer.

People are people and they tend to make decisions based on how they feel as much as the pure logic of the decision. Not every buyers agent is effective at mitigating the buyers emotional side of the decision making process or the logical side, and sometimes they are lousy at both. Setting up the buyers with mostly positive 'feelings' about the house will generate higher offers.

In short, sellers should still keep the yard up, keep the house clean and tidy, and show it often to ensure good market penetration.


Friday, July 9, 2021

Condos and Assessments can be quite the drag

Recently I noticed a large scale drop in listing activity and cancelations in a local condo tower. I decided to 'sniff' around and discovered that the building was originally plumbed with the dreaded Qest Polybutylene plumbing and a large scale assessment was likely for all the homeowners in order to get the building replumbed. This is a pretty large building and it looks like each homeowner is facing a sizable assessment from the HOA. Whenever I show a property my client seems interested in builtin the 1990s window, I check under the counters for that gray color pipe and fittings. If so my standard beware disclaimer is forthcoming. 

The piping has a tendency to abruptly fail in rather catastrophic fashion usually leading to a burst pipe or fitting and lots of water going everywhere. It is a problem that can be remedied but at a cost. Selling units that are facing this situation is not as hard as people might think, and there are strategies depending on the sellers financial disposition to make the process seamless. But for buyers looking at properties be it condos or houses, checking for polybutylene pipes is important, because it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when the flooding will happen.

There could be opportunity for a "deal" if there really is such a thing right now, in this building because a certain percentage of buyers will simply run away from these because of the perceived problem associated with the assessment and the timeframe for remedy.

Sometimes a bad thing can be a good thing.