Monday, November 2, 2009

Buyers Overcome Adversity

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We’re inching our way towards the end, possibly, of the $8,000 tax credit later this month.  Once the credit expires we’ll get a chance to look at the sales data to see how much of an effect the credit had on the overall market activity.  Part of me thinks it didn’t have much of an impact at all.  If it was a major driver for behavioral change, we would have been insanely busy showing homes over the last couple of weeks, but instead our buyer-business has been slower than the last few months.  But that’s only half the story..

The last 6 months have been insanely busy, with a number of buyers qualifying for, and looking forward to receiving, their $8,000 next spring.  It hasn’t been easy, for anybody involved.

We’ve had buyers:

  • Go out to look at homes multiple times per week over the course of several months, just to get one house under contract.

  • Spend an afternoon seeing homes in 117 degree heat, only to find out the home they liked best changed to Pending status while we were looking at it.

  • Wait patiently, or at least as patiently as possible, for the bureaucracy at the bank which had approved our offer on a short sale, to come back 4 months later and tell us they had gone in a different direction.  Sorry.

  • Write offers to purchase on more than a dozen homes, at or above the list price, before finally getting an offer accepted.  (multiple buyers on this one, actually.)

  • Take sellers’ (banks’) verbal word on parts of the negotiation, since we weren’t able to get what was agreed to in writing in a timely fashion.  (yes, we discussed the risks, and covered ourselves as best as we could with emails & voicemails, and fortunately nothing went wrong.  This was stressful for everybody, a true sign of the times.)

  • Find out they didn’t have the internal constitution to make six-figure decisions at a moment’s notice, and realized they would need to wait for a more ‘normalized’ market

  • Find flaws during the inspection period which would, in a normal market, be enough to walk away from the home and make an offer on another home in the same neighborhood.  Instead, buyers are more likely to consult with a contractor (or 2) regarding the required “fix”.

Happy Homeowner

In the end, however, our buyers this year as a whole have been more happy with their new homes than any other year we can remember.  It’s been a challenging year, but it’s been a rewarding year.  And there’s still 2 months left!

Your enjoyed the short break, but now ready to finish 2009 with a flurry Realtor,

Chris Butterworth