1.      Selection, selection, selection.  The inventory of homes is our local market has almost tripled.  Regardless of the price range a buyer desires, there are plenty of houses from which to choose.  There is a great selection of single family homes, condos and townhouses.  Homes in every price range are for sale from banks.  There are lots of options and opportunities in this market!

2.      No bidding wars.  In 2005 we had one client that made an offer on four homes.  They lost the first three to the ''feeding frenzy'' that existed.  Other buyers bid the properties up substantially from the original listing price.  There were escalation clauses where buyers authorized their agents to outbid other offers by thousands of dollars.  There is rarely competitive bidding in this buyer''s market!

3.      You can make an offer.  A few years ago when you made an offer, the only question was how high above the list price could the buyer reach in hopes of being the best offer on the table.  Today the sale price list vs. price ratio is widening.  Sellers appreciate when an offer comes in and are not insulted by lower offers!

4.      Patience is tolerated.  In the hot seller''s market that existed everything was rushed.  Find a house before other buyers did.  Hurry up and make the offer.  Today a buyer can take their time, look at several homes and evaluate the choices available!

5.      Due diligence is welcomed.  In 2005 many buyers waived contingencies in order gain an advantage with multiple offers.  In this market, a buyer is encouraged to obtain a home inspection, radon inspection and appraisal!

6.      There are plenty of specs.  In the not too distant past buyers had to ''play games'' if they wanted a new home.  There were lotteries and waiting lists in order to obtain new construction.  Some buyers slept in their cars in order to get to the head of the lines.  Today builders have many spec homes ready for immediate occupancy and with the help of a buyers agent, price reductions and incentives can be obtained!

7.      Repair requests are welcomed.  After a buyer completes a home inspection, they are allowed to submit a repair request to the seller.  In the past a seller might insist the home was sold ''as is''.  Many times, there were back-up buyers waiting for the first buyer to upset the seller whose home was increasing in value almost daily.  Many contracts were cancelled and hearts broken when sales were cancelled.  Today many sellers are having pre-listing home inspections and completing repairs before coming on the market! 

8.      Few, if any investors.  It is estimated that one third of all sales in 2005 were to investors.  These non-owner occupied buyer caused rapid price appreciation and affordability to decline.  Mortgage fraud became commonplace.  It''s a great time to buy without having to compete with investors!

9.      Location, location, location.  Today''s buyers can find homes without having to compromise on the location.  In this market you don''t have to buy the home on a busy street, across from a garbage dump next to railroad tracks!

10.   Real financing is available.  The ''wink, wink'' zero-down, no documentation, adjustable, sub-prime loans are gone.  Fixed rates are back.  FHA financing, first time homeowner bond programs, special loans for teachers, and police officers are back in business.  Home loans are still at historically low rates and it''s a great time to buy real estate!


Published by Pickard Group