After three times it's getting old. It's like walking into a jewelry store with cash and no sales clerks will wait on me.
Between the bidding war games, the foreclosures, the short sales, the not-quite short sales, prices all over the map, and the half-finished flips, shopping for a house right now is very frustrating. If I had a choice, I would wait a year or 18 months, till the market stabilizes.
At this point I have changed my strategy. I'm not looking at any more new listings. I don't have the time to get in another bidding war and waste another week! I am only looking at places that have been on the market at least 30 days, and am preparing to make low-ball offers on a few places. I'm not looking at any short sales. Just bank-owned and probate sales. I am so fed up with this process!
We have gotten in EIGHT bidding wars over foreclosures now. We keep losing out because I'm not willing to pay 2006 prices for a house in 2008... yet apparently some people are. We did finally get a house, by making a low offer on a probate sale that had been on the market a long time at a price that was too high. I just hope that the probate process does not hang up the closing for too long. We've already moved to Sac and are jumping from sofa to sofa while waiting to move in... Can't believe it took us four months and some fifteen offers to finally get a house.
We are trying to go along the lines of buying the worst home on the best street - even though the home really isn't bad.
We are in the new home for the long haul and we will rent out our existing home. It's our step up home. We love it. I think we are the exception though.
If I were an investor or had lots of money to play around with, perhaps I would get one of these homes cheap (even if they are fixer-uppers), hold onto them till the market improved and sell or fix them and rent them out.
Short sales ofcourse are a different story. I wonder if the banks just keep these homes on the market long enough to disgust potential buyers by the delay and then they go on and sell it cheap to their own pals! I know of a beautiful short sale home listed for 600K and the bank did not respond to a 575K offer for weeks! What are they thinking - the banks? what kind of offer do they want? Full price on short sales? but that is a totally different topic!
The tactics that are being used to sell the homes are dictated by the BANKS. It is not the agents.
Listing agents would prefer to price homes at their market value.
It is not the agents. It is not the agents. It is not the agents.It is not the agents.
The agents don't choose to play the stupid games. The BANKS are the ones who choose to play the stupid games.
It is the BANKS. !!!!
All of you consumers will forget this piece of advice (if you don't immediately reject it now.) in a few years when you go to sell your houses. At that time you will reject your agents advice to price low and aggressive from the start of your listing. You will price it above market value (to have room to negotiate, har har ) then receive less for it than you would if you priced it a market value (or slightly below in a buyers market )
Short sales in the valley had a 15% success rate last year. That meant five frustrated would-be buyers for every happy ending. I predict that success rate will double this year. Worth the hassle only if that short sale is the one and only for you, and there are no comparable foreclosures, probates, or regular listings.
At todays inventory levels, that would be unusual.
So, I will reserve my vitriol for the BANKS!
How do they choose their listing price? I know it is not by the amount owed. One of the houses we bid on was listed for $50K less than the amount owed. One was listed for the exact amount. And one was listed for $20K more. All three listed by different banks.