Good housing inventory
Grand Valley Realtors say there’s a shortage of move-inready homes on the market and buyers want more than distressed properties to consider
By Penny Stine
Real Estate Weekly staff writer
Everybody knows there are tons of houses on the market right now …
nothing’s selling and anyone who’s considering selling a home but doesn’t have a compelling reason to do so should just sit tight and wait for market to improve, right?
Wrong, according to many local real estate professionals.
“This is the best moment in time we’ve had in the last two and a half years to sell your property,” said Dave Kimbrough with RE/MAX 4000. “I wish that everyone who is considering selling a house right now would go ahead and put it on the market.”
Although there are plenty of fixeruppers, foreclosures and distressed properties on the market, there aren’t enough homes that are move-in ready, nicely conditioned and updated. Some people don’t want to spend the next two years making their home livable. They don’t want to spend their weekends at home improvement stores, but they do want to take advantage of current low interest rates and low prices. Those buyers can’t find houses.
“I just cold-called a property owner,” said Jan Kimbrough-Miller with RE/MAX 4000. “The house wasn’t for sale but it was in an area where the buyer wanted to be.”
Although the process worked for Kimbrough-Miller in that instance, it’s not a practical method to use for every sale.
It takes more time and not every home owner wants to sell her house, even if a Realtor can bring a buyer to the door.
“I am pulling my hair out, trying to find houses that don’t have issues,” said Kimbrough-Miller. Issues can include anything from a bad floor plan to teal shag carpet throughout the house. “There’s an inordinate number of poorly conditioned homes in comparison to the number of homes in good condition.”
PHOTOS BY PENNY STINE/ Real Estate Weekly
TOP PHOTO: This home was listed on Feb. 14 for $129,500 by the Kimbrough team at RE/MAX 4000. The home has three bedrooms and two baths in 1,270 square feet. ABOVE: This home, built in 1997, sits on 1.3 acres at the base of the Colorado National Monument. Listing agent Marjorie Genova with RE/MAX 4000 thinks it may not stay on the market long, since the four-bedroom, three-bath home is priced competitively at $429,000.
Some prospective sellers are reluctant to put their house on the market, knowing how much it was worth a few years ago and reluctant to give up that perceived paper value. So they sit, hoping that prices will skyrocket back up and they’ll be able to cash in at some point in the future.
According to Kimbrough, lack of good quality housing inventory is the biggest problem real estate professionals face right now. There are plenty of homes that need work and attention, but there aren’t plenty of homes in desirable areas like the north or the Redlands that are available. Homes must be priced correctly, however, to get attention from buyers. “If something comes on the market that’s priced right, it gets lots of showings and it will get an offer,” said Marjorie Genova with RE/MAX 4000.
A professional real estate agent can be invaluable in determining the correct price for a home. He or she will look at what has sold in the area, what’s available in the area and the condition of comparable homes. A correct price isn’t a guess based on prices in Real Estate Weekly or the result of a dart throw.
Poorly priced properties will sit, perhaps attracting a few initial showings, but no offers. “If a house has remained on the market for longer than 120 days, the sellers need to do some adjusting,” said Genova. It’s not unusual to see multiple offers on properties that are priced correctly. It’s also not unusual to see them sell within a week or two of their initial list date.
“Choose your Realtor wisely,” said Genova. “Realtors talk to other Realtors.
We talk about real estate when we’re having lunch or getting our nails done.”
Realtors also compare notes, discussing pending properties that will be for sale or buyers who are desperately searching for a home they can’t seem to find. Those discussions can lead to a real estate sale.
Homeowners who want to sell don’t necessarily need to be discouraged about foreclosures in the neighborhood. A new listing at a good price in good condition will create a splash.
“When something good hits the market, people are excited about it,” said Lori Maser-Jones with RE/MAX 4000. “There’s more activity on newer listings.”
Buyers are ready to buy and they’re jumping on good deals and good value.
If you’ve got a house you’re considering selling, now might be a good time to list it with an experienced real estate professional.
PENNY STINE/ Real Estate Weekly
ABOVE: Homes that are priced correctly and are in good condition don’t stay on the market long. This home at 646 Golf Leaf Court was listed by the Kimbrough team at RE/MAX 4000 on Feb. 16 for $199,500 and was under contract by Feb. 26. BELOW: This home at 2421 Applewood Circle was built in 1981, but given a remodel in 2009. Marjorie Genova with RE/MAX 4000 listed the 1,760-square-foot property on March 2 for $224,000, and at that price, doesn’t think it will remain on the market for long.