as the accompanying headline to his nationally syndicated housing column in the Saturday, January 6 Seattle Times, I think it best that homeowners, and buyers, sit up and take notice.
SELLERS: Diana and I have professed for last six months that if there ever was a time to sell, now is the time. That is not to say that we are going to reach 2007 peak value levels anytime soon, but we are well on our way out of the hole that was 2009-2010. The best news for sellers today amounts to two simple things:
- Interest rates are low
- Housing inventory is low
Does this mean you can gouge a buyer with an overpriced property? No. Most folks still need to get a mortgage in order to buy, and a property must appraise at the purchase price in order to close the sale. Appraisers are slightly flexible, but the criteria of requiring at least 3 closed sales of comparable properties within 90 days is the norm. It is possible to get appraisals that are slightly above your comparable sales, but don’t expect to get more than a 3% lift. Remember, appraisers absorbed a lot of blame when things got out of hand before. They do not intend to repeat as scapegoats for an overheated values as the market recovers, but they do not wish to be an impediment either.
BUYERS: Most of today’s buyers know that they missed the bottom. They are reluctantly adjusting to “recovering values”. Multiple offer scenarios are playing out daily in popular, close-in areas. We don’t feel sorry for those that missed out when “the deal” wasn’t good enough in 2011 or 2012. Values are still far better than 2007, if you can find a house that doesn’t already have an offer. If you blew it in 2012, get over it. Too many factors are pushing the market forward to expect a back-slide anytime soon.
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