The summer of 2010 will be remembered by folks in the real estate
business as a long vacation from serious, qualified buyers. Since the
tax-credit deadline of April 30th, the number of active buyers in my
market, Philadelphia, has been very slim, and I've heard similar stories
from people in other parts of the country. This has been great for the
few serious buyers who were looking this summer - they were able to
negotiate great deals in a once-in-a-lifetime buyers' market. On the
other hand, sellers have been having a very tough go of it the last few
months with even the nicest properties sitting on the market for months
without solid offers. It might be a little soon to say that things are
turning around, but two pieces of anecdotal evidence give me some hope
that serious buyers are coming back to the market as summer turns to
1. I've been getting more calls the last couple weeks from first-time
buyers ready to start looking with hopes of finding a place and moving
in before the end of the year. While I still haven't seen a bump in
'move-up' buyers, if more first-timers start to buy up currently listed
properties, that will have a domino effect allowing the sellers of those
properties to become move-up buyers of higher-end houses.
2. The hits on my online listings have jumped up in the past week.
This could be a random anomaly, but I'd rather see more people looking
at online real estate listings than fewer, so it's something I'll be
watching to see if it continues.
If you've been thinking of selling in Philadelphia
I'd say it's still the type of market where you should only sell if you
absolutely have to, but maybe it's time to start tackling some of those
little fix-up projects so that your home will be ready if the buyers
keep coming back over the next few months.
If you're thinking of buying it's time to really get moving. It looks like the longer you wait the more competition you're going to have from other buyers.