Market update provided by Claudia Armbrister of RE/MAX Savannah in Savannah, Georgia.
With more than 8,131 active home listings (not including more than 5,000 new homes for sale under construction & spec homes) as of 1 October 2008 – the trend has been towards a “BUYER’s market” – with a definite increase in sales overall!
We averaged approx. 1,000 new listings per month in 2007 and thus far in 2008 the same applies, plus some. More supply than demand – great for home buyers, not so great for sellers. Higher end homes are languishing in this “SOFT” market. Homes priced to sell (not overly priced) and in great condition are usually under contract in 1-3 weeks, while others linger or incur increasingly lower offers, due to time on the market and the rising costs for seller(s) to “hang on” for that offer they “want”, and ultimately negatively affecting the bottom line.
If sellers want top dollar and to get their home sold in under 60-120 days, they need to price according to THIS more cautious market and have it Model Home perfect and seriously entertain ALL offers – even if it might be lower than they had desired.
Listings are more in demand for homebuyers of homes under $175K. Some homes may be lingering due to location, need and demand in their specific community, pricing too high with NO flexibility on the seller’s parts, deferred maintenance, cleanliness or curb appeal – buyers are sensitive to this and are demanding pristine condition for their dollars and want closing costs assistance as well OR tend to make much lower offers than in the past.
(Some offer 20% off list price, which is crazy in my opinion, but the reports from hard-hit sectors in the United States lead buyers to believe we suffer the same hardships.)
After many months on the market, with fewer and fewer showings after the initial 45 days, sellers may be willing to negotiate more readily (also seen is the seller pricing ABOVE and beyond the market and what might be seen in the appraisal – trying to “cash in” on what they remembered as a rapidly appreciating market – that was the past and over.
Or trying to give themselves more “wiggle room” to negotiate … pricing the property to sell is the focus, not simply to get shown. Appraisals are coming back “short” in some cases, which is a problem for all parties.
The strongest advice I can give to my homeowner clients who want to sell their home is to wait until 2009-2010. I believe the market will rebound more rapidly with less competition. So unless they really have to sell – I advise them not to do it!
To home buyers, I tell them to do what they do best – BUY a home now and take advantage of the home sellers who have no choice and will negotiate to lower prices than in many recent years, and invest in your home and future by obtaining immediate equity in a home that’s priced below a normal market.