I’ve been showing homes in Sequim to a wonderful couple who just moved here, and we’ve had an interesting experience, one that keeps repeating itself in these past couple of months. Of the small list of homes my clients and I selected for viewing, three of them have sold while we have been in this process.
One would think that in this real estate recession and in this buyer’s market that there is all the time in the world and that the huge inventory gives buyers all the options they could ever want. It turns out that is not the case.
It is a buyer’s market, prices are down, and the inventory is up. But the best houses, which are the houses in each price category that the vast majority of buyers are looking for, are in high demand. These are the houses that satisfy the parameters that the majority of buyers want, such as a nice area, a nice lot, a nice looking home from the outside, a reasonable price, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, a good basic floor plan without any weird features, and a home that is not so old that it needs major work.
These features may seem quite normal, but believe it or not, these features put you in the top 5% of homes in the inventory in each price category. That means that of the 20 buyers who are looking to buy a home here every week. they are narrowing the list down to the same 50 homes or so, with the same dozen that you are looking at.
If nearly every one of my seven buyers this year had not been experiencing the same thing, that houses they wanted to look at were sold while we were looking at them, you might think I was making all this up to motivate you to buy a house now.
This is what I have called “cherry picking the best of the best.” That’s what buyers are doing, and in that group of buyers there is competition like there is in a normal market. For these buyers you would not know we were in a real estate recession. That’s because the real estate market is segmented into categories, and the nicer homes are in a segment of their own. Buyers are cherry picking the nicer homes, and when those homes go off the market, they’re gone for a long time.
Last Updated on September 5, 2009 by Chuck Marunde
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