If you have ever been to a bargain basement sale (picture ladies at a Vera Wang wedding dress clearance sale), you know the knock-down, drag-out, hair-pulling, foot-stomping rush that can happen when items of high quality are deeply discounted and in shorter supply. That is the only way I can describe the Prosper, TX suburban housing market at this point in time. Last year, it was first-time home buyers scooping up homes. This year, our buyer market is heavier with investors - grabbing up flips and investment properties to convert to rentals. Move-ups and move-downs are happening all over town. And, retirees are looking to Texas as an affordable part of the country with great weather in which to live on a fixed-income comfortably.
Exhausted yet? We are. The busiest price points we've had this year have been the under $350k price range. Resale homes and builder specs are in shorter supply in these ranges, and people have to make up their minds and get these homes under contract quickly, or the home becomes yet another one that got away.
There are certain things we're doing to help you get that home, and not lose that home, due to the competitive nature that exists in these price points at the moment. I won't give them all way, but I do have a couple of tips to share that buyers may find helpful:
1. Put on your tennis shoes and see more homes than you normally would over the course of a day. We have many people touring fewer homes, and touring for just one day rather than the traditional buyer who might search over 2-3 day period. We can condense the search because we have fully interviewed the buyer and they trust us as their agent. When you must move quickly, you must rely on the knowledge and expertise of the agent you consider the most knowledgeable in that market.
2. Draft the offer in such a way that you have considered the possibility of competition. Not giving away any trade secrets here, but you can draft a very attractive offer if you pay close attention to the terms. The offer is the combination of the terms and the price. Put a little more focus on terms and the offer that isn't necessarily the highest offer may come out ahead.
3. Have the agent bring the offer documents and sales comps for the area to the tour. Also, you as the buyer should bring your checkbook and pre-approval letter from your lender on the tour. Any wait for these items could cause you to lose the house. I've drafted more offers on the back window of my car this year than I can remember in the last ten years.
4. Hand-deliver the offer docs to the agent. I've met agents at or near their office or home. I've delivered docs to the parking lot of their kid's sporting event. Whatever it takes to be the one showing the most motivation to make the deal work. We want to show the other agent, just in case the offers are close, that we're the agent they want to work with. Sometimes, it comes down to the agent advising their seller which agent is going to make a successful deal happen, and which deal might be more risky. There are a lot of part-time agents out there these days. The full-time agent, who can draft an offer mid-morning and get it to the other agent during normal business hours is sending a message that they are more focused on selling real estate.
Okay, so I may have exaggerated about the pushing and shoving, but you get the point...be quick this Fall if you are buying in Prosper, TX. The old 'let us go home and talk it over' can lead you to lose house after house. The sale comps and speed at which the neighborhoods are selling will speak for themselves. Comps rule in our housing market, as I'm sure they do in all. Trust the comps, offer as soon as you locate the home you want, and request a same-day response. If the seller tries to stall overnight, I suggest you terminate your offer and move on. If they're motivated to sell their house, they'll respond on time, or it will be up to them to chase you down to see if you are still interested in what they have to say. The fully qualified buyer is still the hotter commodity everywhere, since there is still an adequate supply of homes in each price point. What the seller doesn't know is that agents have two sources of available homes to sell right now in the resale market - Active and available properties in the MLS (the smaller pool), and EXPIRED attempts from 2008/2009 (the larger pool). Finding a home for the buyer isn't a problem.
Now, start your home search in Prosper, TX (zip 75078) and have a blessed day!
Ronda Allen - Realtor
Certified Purchasing Manager - C.P.M.
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource - SFR
Texas Affordable Housing Specialist - TAHS
CEO of comingsoonhomes.com since 2005
Activerain.com #1 Realtor in Prosper, TX (2010)
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs #1 Office for RE/MAX in the North Texas region 2009 and first half 2010!