Is This Really a Buyer’s Market?

With falling home prices and higher inventories, most of the
public views real estate as a “buyer’s market,” in which buyers hold more of the
control and sellers will more eagerly accept lower offers just to sell.

Not so fast, say buyers and sellers. More
buyers are finding the sellers in the driver’s seat.

Buyer Young Hammack gave up looking for homes for a while after being
outbid on three properties in California. “It’s a false buyer’s market,” Hammack
says. “If you think prices are cheap, wait until you start putting offers

Many sellers may be unable or
unwilling to lower their home prices
mostly because they may be underwater on their mortgage so buyers are increasingly finding lower offers than list price
denied. Buyers, on the other hand, may be reluctant to agree to a deal if they
don’t feel like they are getting it at a deep discount, industry insiders say.

Traditional buyers also are finding even
buying a foreclosure can be difficult as they’re increasingly outbid by
investors who are willing to pay cash.

“There’s a shortage of attractive inventory,” says Glenn Kelman,
chief executive of Redfin Corp. “Customers just keep getting outbid on the
houses that they want.”

Real estate
professional Steve Capen with Keller Williams Realty in St. Petersburg, Fla.,
says that the homes most in demand among buyers often don’t require much repair
work and are located in good school districts and choice neighborhoods near
transit hubs.

“What’s selling is the cream
of the crop, and they sell fast,” Capen says. “If it’s not cream of the crop,
it’s getting hammered.”

“Buyers’ Market? Stressed Sellers Say Not So
The Wall Street Journal online
(April 25, 2011)


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