The market looks as if nothing changes, but this is a false impression. Yes, prices are still good, and some are just incredible… Sellers are still outnumbering the buyers.
Sellers are more and more coming to terms with the reality, and you can see properties not on short sale, priced competitively, while buyers often become unreasonable in their expectations of freebies, and become feeling more and more deserving… a dangerous notion…
What many do not notice is that inventory is decreasing. Take condo-hotels. About 2 years ago we had 366 units for sale in al condo-hotels in Daytona Beach area. Today there are 172. The number is so close to “normal” market of 2004 when we had about 160 units for sale and the market went crazy.
Can it happen now? Who knows… maybe any minute now…
Look at sales of one-bedroom units in the best condo-hotel in Daytona Beach – Ocean Walk Wyndham Resort. We only look at sales in 2010 and 2011. Prices varied from $132K to $155K. Would you think that about $140K is a fair price? Think again. There are two units for sale and both are priced at $209K. My buyer looks at the numbers, does not believe me and offers $161K.
There is no counter. My Buyer is frustrated. I explain that no counter simply means that he is too far of acceptable offer. But he can’t not look at what the sales were there. Another offer at $168K. I warned that it was very unlikely he would get a better reception this time, but he insists. Within hours we receive an e-mail, asking us not to send offers, which are not at least very close to the asking price.
And they are asking me to make sure that Buyer knows about the request. A bit unusual, but it is in writing, so I am forwarding it to the Buyer. He is understandably upset, but he has hard time accepting the reality. He again and again tells me how much similar units were selling a year and even 4 months ago.
It does not matter. The Seller is no obligated to accept anything except what he wants. You do not have to offer him more, but he is not obligated to accept less even if you can justify it based o all the numbers…
Call the seller stubborn, but he does not owe the buyer anything. What people were selling their units for was their business, not his. If someone sold a unit for $132K, it does not mean that this seller will do, or has to do, something similar.
What are the options? Wait? It is quite possible. Until the market start moving fast, there is still a chance that someone else puts a unit on the market and would be more agreeable on the price. But this option is only good in a slow market. The minute it starts moving, the prices start escalating, and there is nothing but frustration for people who waited a minute longer than needed.
There is still time and there are still units. In Ocean Walk Wyndham Resort and in other condo-hotels and residential condos. But good deals are not steals, they are reasonable deals. Working with reasonable Sellers and Buyers, not with dreams magic.