It Takes More Than Money
It’s a seller’s market. We have more buyers than sellers. If you’re a seller, that’s great. If you’re a buyer, it makes house hunting a real pain in the ass.
In real terms what this means is that buyers have to be prepared to look at houses the day they come on the market, and make an immediate decision on whether or not to put in an offer. If you don’t do this, you’re not going to get a house. It is inconvenient, time consuming, and frustrating, but that is the way it is.
It also means you have to be prepared to not get the house even if you put in a good offer.
Some Portland Metro buyers are putting in 3 or 4 offers before getting a house. It’s not because they are making bad offers, or because they have bad brokers, it’s just the market.
It’s often not even the highest offer that gets the house. In fact, Portland real estate prices have been flat for 2017(1). Buyers have to be prepared, and brokers have to ask about, non-cash seller compensation.
A few years ago I never would have advised buyers to agree to doing rentbacks (letting the seller stay in the house after closing), but these are routine today, and often the key to getting an accepted offer.
Thirty day closings used to be normal, but today, letting the seller close on their schedule, instead of the buyer’s, can be the key to getting an accepted offer.
Some buyers are even waiving the inspection contingency – something I would not recommend under any circumstances. Have your broker ask the buyer’s broker about any known issues with the house. They’ll usually tell them – the one thing both sides hate more than anything else is a deal that goes south because of problems the buyer was not aware of.
Make sure your broker asks the simple question “What does the seller want out of this deal besides cash?”
(1) Zillow, January 2017 to June 2017 Sales Data, Portland, Oregon.