My day began with a phone call cancelling my showing of a home listed 3 days ago. The appointment was cancelled because the house was already under contract, in 3 days! This didn’t come as a huge surprise as the home was well priced and in great condition. Last night I wrote an offer for a home that was listed 7 days ago, and my buyer is one of three offers! Two weeks ago clients rushed to put an offer in on a fabulous home in just 4 days because the seller already had second showings and was expecting an offer. This is after their “number one so far” had gone under contract, receiving 3 offers following a necessary price reduction and a weekend of heavy traffic. A few months ago in the middle of winter (typically a time of decreased activity in real estate) a wonderfully maintained Ambler twin received multiple offers and went under contract within a week.
Yes, this is contrary to what the market has been and what you have heard in the media for the better part of the past three years. Why, you ask? The increased activity, competitive atmosphere and multiple offer situation is being spurred on by the first time home buyer tax credit. To take advantage of the current government tax credit (potentially $8000 to those who qualify) buyers must be under contract on a property by April 30,2010. This has been common knowledge since November 2009 but clearly many buyers have been dragging their feet. Although that is not the case with all buyers looking to take advantage of the credit, for many there just hasn’t been a good amount of decent inventory. Hence the rush when a properly priced home that shows well enters the marketplace.
How does this help you?
If you are a first time buyer looking in the entry to mid level housing market, first and foremost you need to have carefully considered what you want and need out of a home. You also need to be pre approved for a mortgage within a price range where you are comfortable and know your bottom line. If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation sometimes emotion can take over and you may find yourself paying too much or making other concessions that you normally wouldn’t. It is extremely important that you are represented by a Realtor who has your best interest in mind and will advise you with regard to individual properties and current market value of a home prior to writing an offer. That being said, it is imperative that you get out and visit any home of potential interest as soon as it is listed.
If you are considering selling your home and you fall into the entry to mid level price point you need to contact a Realtor asap to see if there is time for you to take advantage of the activity created by the tax credit. Spring is always a busy time in the world of real estate, but coupled with the expiration of the tax credit this Spring is an ideal time to have your home on the market. If you are thinking of selling your home but are unsure of current market value give me a call and I will be happy to provide you with a free market analysis.