What a wonderful winter we’ve enjoyed so far! More snow than even the old timers can remember, staying on the ground longer than anyone can remember, and a bit of a snow melt happening has helped many to realize that spring is actually going to happen and it’s not that far off. Roads have cleared and people are moving about again and looking at homes. Many yards and roofs still have snow preventing their inspection, but it won’t be long and they, too, will be visible.
With things getting back to normal, buyers and sellers are getting on with their lives. More homes are being listed than we’ve seen in a while and offers are flowing with regularity. We are even seeing multiple offers again, albeit in limited quantity, not the 30-70 offers per house during the frenzied market of 2021-22. That’s a good thing for that type of market caused people to do things that maybe they shouldn’t have done.
One such thing that occurred was buyers not getting the home inspected during the course of escrow. Inspections are important as they establish the condition of the home according to a licensed, bonded, trained independent third party. In their deal to buy people were foregoing the inspection. Quite often when big things are wrong with the home the seller has no idea of their existence. By buying “blind” the buyer is taking the chance that there could be a major malfunction with the property that they will soon be the proud owner of.
Pricing is also stabilizing. With the exception of the scam sales where the fraudulent “owner” prices the property too low, homes are being priced realistically and reduced appropriately. Offers are fair and there is a calmness in the process. There is a bit of concern among buyers as the inventory is low, but the frenzy factor is not present making for reasonable offers being made.
The escrow process is faster now that the volume is reduced. Appraisals and inspections can be done in a few days rather than the many weeks it was taking at the height of the frenzy. Escrows had to be written longer than customary so as to accommodate for the delays in getting these essential escrow components completed. We are back to a comfortable 30-day escrow for most transactions involving a loan.
One area that is still difficult is getting repairs completed in a timely manner to close escrow. That has caused many transactions to be completed with credits in escrow rather than repairs being made. The future may involve fewer repairs because of the new offer and acceptance contracts elimination of an agreed-on repair dollar amount. Most homes will be sold “as is” with an adjustment made in the pricing, either by the buyer or the seller, depending on the property and who has the advantage in that particular negotiation process.
This is a comfortable time to buy or sell for the above reasons and more. If you’ve been thinking of doing either, you might put your thoughts into action. In the couple of short months that we have until spring you will have the opportunity to work with minimal outside pressure and its accompanying confusion. When spring comes you will have competition as the “fair weather” buyers and sellers venture out to see what’s going on. You could be sold and moved by then ready to plant your garden, or whatever you will enjoy doing in your new home, rather than beginning the process of buying in a crowd.
Real estate is a long-time investment and is best made with full knowledge, understanding and perspective of what you are buying and how it will work for you and your family. Don’t let the media guide your real estate future, work with your agent, formulate a real estate plan and work your plan. You will be pleased every day with your sensible investment.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your Real Estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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