What an interesting time to be a real estate broker. Is the market sizzling or softening?
The Home Buyer Tax Credit had a lot more to do with our March and April sales than I expected it to. I naively thought there was enough pent-up demand to see us through the end of the year.
I thought buyers weren’t going to sacrifice the “right home” for a tax credit. In retrospect, I may have been wrong on that count.
One thing I was right about was the trickle up effect, boosting sales in the higher price ranges that didn’t qualify for the credit.
Now, all price ranges have slowed down. Showings have dropped off and it seems that we pushed the June and July business forward into the first quarter of 2010.
What does this mean for Buyers? Great time to buy. You’re a wanted quantity. But do your homework and don’t assume you can just negotiate the Dickens out of any deal. Some houses are already priced right. My partner just had buyers go $15,000 over asking in a bidding war – in the low $400,000 price range. The house was on the market for 5 days, was in a unique and beautiful setting and nothing else like it was on the market. It had also been updated and was ready to go. They still need to get it to appraise, but the buyers saw the value.
What does this mean for sellers? Stay on the top of your game. Showing condition has to beat out the competition and the price has to be aggressive enough to launch you to the top of the list.
Last month we had 3,883 properties under contract, which bodes well for June closings. But this is a 41% decline from April! We were busy in April. These numbers didn’t actually come as a complete surprise. We expected a slowdown when the credit ended, but not 41%.
Look at sold properties year-over-year. Denver experienced an increase in sales of 20%. The market in 2010 is very different from 2009 and 2008. We’re plugging along – the tax credit helped. Low rates are helping. When employment picks up steam, property markets will continue to pick up too and that’s when we’ll see prices rising.
I’m happy to be in my chair and looking back at last year. I’m happy that sales are up 20% since then. I’m also hopeful that the drop from April to May will be a slight bump in an otherwise excellent real estate trend.
If you’re a buyer looking for the “right home” look no further than www.GretchenRosenberg.com.