Yes, segments of our market are getting multiple offers ... some even for more than the list price. We've written recently about the "perfect storm" conditions for entry level housing, and indeed, it has occurred. When the market shifted the last time in a big way we said it was like "the spigot was turned off". Now it is like the levee broke! If you are shopping in that market segment you might need to change your approach.
Here's what's happening. The inventory is rapidly being absorbed in the affordable home market segments. The other day we searched the Multiple Listing Service, MLS, for homes in the Gardnerville Ranchos, one of the impacted neighborhoods, for homes for sale under $200,000. We found twenty five ... but only two were not under offer and we've since sold one of those! The same is occurring all over the Carson City, Dayton and Carson Valley areas in the $225,000 and down price point.
The good news for Buyers is that the prices haven't gone up ... yet. So what do you do?
The first thing you should do is get pre-approved with a good lender. Don't try to save a buck with an online lender ...we've seen more disappointment there than results. Get with one of our great local lenders and get your loan lined out. When you do you it right you are shopping like a cash Buyer ... almost.
Make sure your agent knows what you want in a house. Your agent can't guess, or "try on" homes for you - you must be candid and they must be willing to do the work for your. Finding the home is very important in this market. New listings come up on the MLS system all day long. In this market your agent can't look at 9:00 a.m. and consider their job done for you for the day. They need to check repeatedly throughout the course of the day ... just like we did in ‘04/'05. Last week a home came back on the market that was perfect for one of our buyers. We called, they looked, we wrote ... all before noon. When we submitted our offer we were one of three ... by 1:00! There is competition out there!
Our Advice: Be ready to move quickly and buy now before the prices start up because of the lack of inventory. Know what you want and be ready to get it. Make your offer clean - don't try to get every last nickel in the deal - you are now trying simply to get the deal. There is no more waiting on the sidelines for the price to drop - you must take action. In a multiple offer situation the Seller is not obligated to answer every offer, or to act on the offers in the order in which they were received one at a time, or any of the other myths that surround this type of situation. They will do the best for them within their rights. Your challenge is to show them that your offer is the best offer all things considered. Remember, it isn't always price that separates the offers. Terms and conditions of the offers usually speak louder than price. Think about the Seller's net proceeds, time to close, allowing them to stay in the property after the close of escrow, repairs that you ask for, etc.
Don't compromise your financial investment in your zeal to get a home. You can get a nice home at a good price by being ready, having a good agent/lender combination, and paying attention. As much as we stress urgency here understand that you must be patient all the while.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs... Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.carsonvalleyland.com