Well, here is how the market works. It is like the food chain, and first time buyers are the bottom feeders (no offense-just mean you guys are the entry point that drives the whole thing. You are really the most important people out there!) The entry-level houses get bought by people who don’t have to sell a house, which enables the sellers of entry-level houses to move up, which allows the mid priced home seller to move up to a more expensive house, and so on and so on. The bottom line is that the bases are loaded, and the first time home buyers get to be the ones that hit a home run and clear all the bases. Without them, everything gets stuck since most other buyers need to sell first.
So, this first time home buyer tax credit comes along, starts pushing through a lot of sales. Just about any first time buyer who was going to buy this year wrote an offer by April 30th. The entry-level seller got to be a mid priced home buyer, and the mid priced home seller got to be a higher end buyer. Since most closings seem to take place about 30 days after an offer is accepted, that means a lot of activity for everybody in a short period of time……a time that is past.
Right now, the amount of houses on the market is rising. Personally, I think we have seen an increase in listings because many sellers saw all that activity in the early summer and thought they’d jump in. More listings and fewer buyers means……well, that it sucks to be a seller right now.
Where is this thing going? Lexington has always had a pretty stable market. I figure that if we weathered the past few years and came out with only a few scratches and bruises, we can survive anything. This can’t last forever you know…..and all the people who put their house on the market and priced them based on what they need out of it aren’t going to sell their houses anyway. As long as there is a market, the best houses will always sell.
What is a seller to do? If you read my blog, you know I am thinking about great pictures and marketing remarks to make it stand out online……but the SINGLE thing that buyers are attracted to now is P-R-I-C-E! In the past, sellers could throw in closing costs, a TV, vacation, or offer a bonus to the buyer’s agent to get attention. Those things are as yesterday as solid surface counter tops. Here are some truths about this market: You can have a beautiful house that won’t sell if the price is wrong. You can have a fantastic location, but never get it sold if the price isn’t right.
When I typed that last sentence, it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood shows, The Price is Right. I always got a kick out of the people who made it to the Showcase Showdown, then over bid the value of the showcase, lost, gave the winner a hug, and walked away. Just like the showdown, you either win or get to hug the person who did. If you’re a seller, which person do you want to be?