Thursday, January 31, 2008

In the mind of a buyer...

There was a great house on tour today: 748 Elm in El Cerrito. 6 bedrooms, 3 baths, partially updated, nice neighborhood, 2100+ square feet, $645,000.

So WHY is it still on the market?

It has been on for quite some time and has seen numerous price reductions. I spoke with the agent today to get a glimpse into what he was seeing, or wasn't.
He has had two buyers interested, but as soon as they saw the disclosures decided that the $15,000 of foundation work needed wasn't worth their time. They both felt this way. I am sorry, but $15,000 in foundation work is nothing, especially when the tradeoff is a 6 bedroom home!

So what are buyers looking for in today's market? One buyer I spoke to said that he is looking for a deal, something that doesn't need work, and something in a good neighborhood.

Aren't we all?

I think what it is really coming down to is that buyer's are waiting for the "bottom" to happen. I so wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you when that will be. Unfortunately the only way to know is when we start heading back up.

There are some really great deals out there now. Rates are the lowest they have been in 4 years and inventory is high. And just because it needs some work doesn't mean it isn't a good deal.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Welcome back

After returning to work from a nice, long holiday vacation, what do I see in the headlines?

1. "Feeling Misled on Home Price, Buyers Sue Agent."
2. "Foreclosures are up by 67.8% nationwide."
3. "World Braces for Subprime Fallout."
4. "Hold on for a Recession."

Wow, this is depressing. No wonder the housing market is in trouble. Look at what the media is doing to it.

This is what my client sees first...the headlines. Most of my clients are internet saavy and begin a lot of their research online and can't help but see the headlines. What is my response? Don't believe everything that you read. Sure, there is truth to a lot of it, but if the media didn't make it "interesting," then no one would read the papers anymore.

For me, this opens the door for conversation.

Our market is still a unique one, a "boutique" market if you will. I am still seeing multiple offers out there. Sure, they are no longer a dime-a-dozen, but they are there. In fact, one client just lost out on a house in the Temescal to 4 other offers...and she was all cash and over the asking price.

So go ahead and read those headlines, but remember that the media is also a business, and without intriguing headlines to get people to pick up the paper, they would have no business.