Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Q: Your web site is great and has a lot of helpful information, but we don’t find many houses listed there.

We went into your multiple listing link and were really disappointed at the number of places for sale. Is that because you don’t have access to everything on the market? We are specifically looking for a vacation home on the water.

A: Alas, that’s all there is. We always have a small inventory of homes for sale but in the last eight to twelve months we’ve had an unusually small number of homes available. Particularly with waterfront, we’ve had no more than three or four houses for sale at any given time for many, many months.

The lack of supply and the increased demand makes for a very hot sellers market. With the exception of really overpriced properties, homes are moving very quickly. We are seeing multiple offers that can even go into a “bidding war” between competing buyers.

As a purchaser you need to step back a little bit and see things as clearly as possible. It looks like some people are “throwing caution to the wind” and making offers without the contingencies and conditions that can protect them. Of course it’s tempting to do that if you really like a particular home.

As an exclusive buyer’s representative I feel it’s my duty to point out the pitfalls of buying a “pig in a poke.” Tossing out the inspection contingency, financing contingency (unless you are paying cash from other sources) and examination of title contingency can lead to a place you may not want to go. Unless you are financially prepared for unexpected repairs and possibly title issues that are hard to live with, you had better keep those contingencies in your offer.

In order to position yourselves to be competitive in our current market be sure that you have your pre-approval for a loan in hand, are ready to come out and look at a place as soon as possible and be clear enough about your priorities to make a fast decision to buy.