I'd really like to stay on topic and hear the opinions of others that care to comment on the townhome vs single family investment decision in this tough market.
Michael and Karoline - thanks for the replies! Yes, I feel the same about the investment and quality of life and have shared the thought with them. You can't expect the 2 homes to follow the same value path - homes with unique features will retain their value better (and homes in our neighborhood have proved this over time!)
I spoke with them today, found out that they haven't really taken into account "new construction" costs for washer / dryer / fridge / microwave / window treatments / etc. they would need to spend on the townhome. I pointed out that when they sold, buyers would typically expect those amenities to stay with the home (especially in a bad market) - so they would essentially be starting $4k-5k in the red when they moved in! We're offering all the appliances, another advantage of chosing our home.
They have a 1 yr old, and our neighborhood is just full of families with babies and little kids - it's just perfect for them (and I think they know it!) They've been back for 4 showings, and they have an incredible price in front of them. They even get to keep the swingset :) Really a great couple, we would love to see their family in this home.
Hopefully we'll get them to take a step back from the spreadsheet and look at the bigger picture! Was very suprised at their approach to buying this home - assuming a certain percentage loss in value (from the expert projections) and basing their decision to buy on the bottom line number of how much they would lose when they sold...
Buyers IMO are not thinking with their hearts like they did previously. They are worried about what the experts are saying, and there are less qualifed buyers now then there were before August this year.
What I think you have to remember here is that this is a business decision for the buyer - and you need to take the emotion out of it yourself and remember that it is business move for you as well. As experienced agents, we know that you can't "sell" someone a house. You will drive yourself crazy trying to do so.
All you can do is market the home to as many people as possible, make sure it is clean when buyers come through and price it where homes in your area are selling.
The right buyer will find you - and you won't have to talk them in to buying your house. Good luck.
Now is a great time to buy a home. Inventories are high, and prices are still tumbling. Interest rates, although a bit higher now, are still a good deal. It is a great time to buy. Deals are out there to be made. If you need a good realtor to help negotiate one of these excellent deals for you, please call. Don Bradbury 215-536-6777 x 329 http://www.bradburyteam.com
For my buyers - in the end, they were not serious buyers. The best number they would offer was 30K less than the lowest fair market value of the home and they justified it by, and I quote: "you paid $270K for this home 4 years ago, you're making plenty on this sale.") They also asked "what happens to my earnest money if we decide to back out of the deal?" Ha, thanks, we'll pass. Kids these days....
The shame of it is - they are well qualified buyers, a ton of money in the bank, and good credit scores. But qualified buyer does not always equal good buyer!
Signing on my realtors tomorrow, we've taken this FSBO as far as it can go...
Dallas is tearing down old buildings, warehouses, etc. and building too many townhomes. There is no end in site. There is always another old building. They also don't resell easily because the new prospective buyer always wants to buy the "new home". Buyers also needs to consider the hidden cost of HOA fees. They're not deductible. Your salesprice on a townhome is limited by the sales price of the identical town home.
The exception...I once owned a townhome in Old Town Alexandria...outside DC..they couldn't build any more and it's worth 30 times what I sold it for because of the close in location
The value is in the single family home...with a yard. Homes can be made unique.
They have pre-approval and the downpayment, they sent copies yesterday. They're just working off really bad assumptions on their spreadsheet. They are first-time homebuyers and I don't think they really fully understand the financial advantages of owning. It's a leap of faith from renters mentality. I can only try to educate them at this point and go from there...
I understand the need to keep consumers motivated and positive, but we also need to be honest with them. Maybe the original list price is a bit higher in our area, but the average sold price is lower. Check out the Market Statistics in Trend/MLS.
For William and this thread - the statistics below are for Richland Twp only, Bucks County PA for the 11 months January - November 2006 compared to January - November 2007 :
Units Listed: 149
Units Sold: 54
Average DOM: 57
Listed Average: $375,969
Sold Average: $362,391
Original List Price (Average): $371,733
Sold Price (Average): $362,391
Units Listed: 109
Units Sold: 46
Average DOM: 74
Listed Average: $376,547
Sold Average: $358,036
Original List Price (Averages): $379,399
Sold Price (Averages): $358,391
They claim to be pre-approved and are putting 20% down on the mortgage - if this is true it will be tough to pass over them if they can qualify these statements! Honestly, would probably prefer to be dealing with a buyer using a realtor in this instance... but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth either. Our offer on the table for them expires at the end of this week, if they're serious they'll hop off the fence.
In the end, I have a spreadsheet with the numbers that work for me, an acceptable timeline, and criteria for my sale - as much as I like these buyers, the deal hinges on my bottom line.
But you can't help but cheer for these guys and hope they get their dream house! As a realtor, it has to be fun every once in a while to see that look in your clients eyes when they walk into the perfect home.
Congratulations! Sell it yourself!
You know, I really appreciate posts from a fellow that is so detail-oriented.
Let's take two tracks:
1) You are right one with your questions....you just need "a little help" for free from Trulia.
Based on your need to sell (which is unknown-"that's a hint') You have a buyer that is not certain on what to buy, not sure that your home is that best option, or whether they should by at all.
2) Your problem is that you are trying to solve people's problems with the sale of their home. The truth is that buyers do not care about YOUR situation. That is why you need someone to represent you in the sale of your property. That means someone that knows what they are doing.....
No offense, but based on your post, you do not. Buyers do what is in their best interests. So, by selling FOR YOUR BEST INTERESTS (without representation) , you are in a no win situation. If 90% if buyers buy with a REALTOR representing them, then YOUR theory is that by offering your home to only 10% of the buyers, you will maximize your profit?
Go for it.
I am selling stock...let's say, Google. I offer is to only 10% of the buyers. Will I get the best price? Sure, for MY CLIENTS! Ha Ha!