Good deals in a seller’s market? (Depends on the seller)

The market isn’t hot enough for buyers to accept two things:

  1.  A nasty house.
  2. An over ambitious asking price.

If your house is nasty, no buyer is going to be able to imagine themselves in it.  I’m talking if it is dirty, messy, desperately needs paint or stinks.   Trust me, buyers just want to exit a house like this.  Even if you slashed the price in half, I bet most of the buyers would still say no.

I recently sold a nasty house.  It had been on the market for quite some time.  It was in a desirable neighborhood and actually priced right.  It has more updates than most in this nice neighborhood.  Problem?  It smells like dogs and has one of the nastiest bathrooms I have ever seen in a house for sale.  It was hard to get excited about the expensive tile in the remodeled bathroom when there was urine and hair all over the toilet.  Sorry to be so graphic…..I have a picture but decided not to include it, so I am holding back a little for those with weak stomachs.

My buyer is one of the rare people who can see past that and is getting a super nice house for a really fair price.  Added bonus:  It was one of the few times recently that I haven’t been in multiple offers with a buyer.  The house was so nasty that my client called me after the home inspection asking if I thought the seller was going to clean it when they moved out.  He just met with a home inspector and heard everything wrong with the house and the thing that was on his mind the most was how dirty it was.

Moving on, the next item is the overly ambitious list price.  A client bought a house for $400k that had been listed originally at $445k.  Nice house, just not a $445k house.  Maybe $410-415k based on the comps.  LOL, the way the market is going, it might be worth that now!  Anyway, it was reduced, reduced and reduced again.  By the time 170+ days had passed, it wasn’t on anybody’s radar.  Nobody cared?  Buyers today are focused on new listings.  If a house doesn’t catch their attention on Day 1, few will go back and reconsider a house.  They’d rather wait for tomorrow’s new listings.

My client actually passed on this house two times, then came back to it.  They were worried because it had not sold.  In today’s market, 6 months is an eternity of buyer’s saying “No” to a house.  Ironically, a house two doors down just sold for $405k the first day on the market.  It was 1200 square feet smaller and had a marginally more updated master bathroom.

While it is one of the hottest seller’s market ever, not all houses are selling immediately in multiple offers.  I always encourage buyers to seek out these good houses that are being held back by the sellers.  You can avoid multiple offers and get a good deal, even in a seller’s market.  My buyer with the nasty house might pay $400 to have it professionally cleaned but saved much more than that.  My buyer who made a reasonable offer on an overpriced listing didn’t have to immediately make a decision to buy it since there were no other buyer’s around.  It felt like a buyer’s market to them.

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