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No, not my house. My neighbor's house was sold in less 7 days. A sign proudly claims this fact in the yard. We'll ignore the "coming soon" sign in the yard for the last 3 weeks. It seems to be a trend around here with real estate agents. Place "coming soon" signs in the yard for a period of time. Then place "for sale" sign in the yard and a few days later brag about the quick sale. Several homes by different agents have sold in my neighborhood this way. If you want to impress me, sell a house in less than 7 days without presale advertising.

PSU
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Its like that in my part of St. Louis County too. Most houses get multiple offers at open house first weekend, and many go from coming soon to sold signs.

The market is hot and prices are strong. But especially its the starter homes priced at under $300K. 20% down requires $60K. That has to be someone with a good job if moving from a rental. Or they start with something older or smaller or a fixer-upper.

Once they accumulate some equity, moving to something larger seems no problem. Starter homes start the moving chain most of the time.
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But especially its the starter homes priced at under $300K. 20% down requires $60K. That has to be someone with a good job if moving from a rental.

I think there's still a *lot* of first-time home buyers that don't do 20% down. They do less than that and pay PMI or do a 2nd mortgage/HELOC.
The mortgage industry has become more cautious/risk-averse and I think is doing fewer <20% down mortgages than they did in ~2000.
But they're still doing them for well qualified buyers.
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"Coming soon" is a tricky strategy.

The reason agents use it is to determine optimal pricing before officially listing in the MLS (now Bright-MRIS). Optimal pricing at initial listing is critical, because if you over-price, even a tad, then no one buys, and after a few weeks you have to reduce the price.

It used to be that reducing the price would bring in a new cohort of buyers, but now reducing the price stigmatizes the property and brings out the low-ballers. So if you post a "coming soon" house and price on zillow, without officially listing the house for sale in the MLS, you can presumably tell from the feedback whether your proposed price is too high, adjust accordingly before listing, and never suffer the kiss of death of a price reduction.

The wrinkle is that if you put the house into the MLS with "coming soon" status, then you aren't allowed to show it. When I interviewed agents for my house sale, most said they don't use the "coming soon" strategy, because, "If I say a house will be for sale, other agents want to see it, and they get frustrated when I say no. Then later, when the house is listed, it's already a little stale; and buyers who might have been interested have moved on. Better to have it ready to show when it first appears online."
One agent said, "If I put it into MLS as 'coming soon' and someone wants to see it, I just remove the listing for a day to show it, then after the showing(s) list it again."
None would put it on zillow without also putting it into the MLS.

So the problem is that as a seller you'd be using "coming soon" feedback, but the feedback means nothing since people can't see the house (unless you use a dishonest agent).

I'm not too enamored of the "coming soon" strategy, myself. It's just a tool for agents, so they can point to that to justify a price, and not do the work of combing through comparables.
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Really depends on your market. Around here houses often sell within the first week or even first day, particularly in the under $400K price point. Inventory has been lower than low for several years. Since buyers do not have the luxury of not putting in a contract immediately, often over ask and for cash, a Realtor will put up a "Coming Soon" sign on a house that is not yet ready to open it's doors, in an effort to notify potential buyers that there are other options that will be available to them shortly.

There is a delay in getting a listing into your automated search email. Even not waiting for the notification, going on to my searches multiple times a day to see what was new, the listing often comes up pending when it comes on the MLS. Around here Realtors have been using their Facebook page and signs in the yard to let people know about the soon to be listing. I've never seen it on the MLS that way. Particularly makes it tough when you are buying from out of town.

IP,
feeling fortunate to have found her house
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Really depends on your market. Around here houses often sell within the first week or even first day, particularly in the under $400K price point. Inventory has been lower than low for several years. Since buyers do not have the luxury of not putting in a contract immediately, often over ask and for cash, a Realtor will put up a "Coming Soon" sign on a house that is not yet ready to open it's doors, in an effort to notify potential buyers that there are other options that will be available to them shortly.

Yes, our market is hot. Demand outstrips supply. There is a lot of traffic through the neighborhood on a weekend. I live on a cul-de-sac and while working on the yard or house, I see a steady stream of cars circling the cul-de-sac. If some house is coming soon or for sale, there are a lot of cars stopped to look and grab a flyer.

PSU
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I have not seen that exact thing in my area, but something similar. Some listings are showing up on realtor.com/MLS with only a picture of the front of the house. Then they won't take showings until 2 days later. One of these had many offers the first day of showing. It was one of the cheapest in a very nice neighborhood. The winning offer was way over list price, no contingencies (not even appraisal), no inspection, no repairs. We can't compete against that. How long can it really keep up like this? I've never been in a market like this before.
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I have not seen that exact thing in my area, but something similar. Some listings are showing up on realtor.com/MLS with only a picture of the front of the house. Then they won't take showings until 2 days later. One of these had many offers the first day of showing. It was one of the cheapest in a very nice neighborhood. The winning offer was way over list price, no contingencies (not even appraisal), no inspection, no repairs. We can't compete against that. How long can it really keep up like this? I've never been in a market like this before.

There can be lulls in the market where buyers are less likely to be frenzied. Mid summer and around the holidays tend to offer windows of opportunity. Ask your buyer's agent when the lull times are in your area. If it's a college town then your competition gets much worse during the traditional student change periods and with a hospital it's all about the residents. Stay focused and get to know yourself and your area well enough that you know what you will pounce on without second thought. Keep the pending listings you like on your active list and track their sales so you know what to offer, or be prepared for the sale to fall through. Does happen.

Our area has seen a market like this before, shortly before the real estate crash. With the changes in mortgage lending I am hopeful that won't happen again, but am not worried since we do not ever anticipate selling and the property should pay for itself if we decide to rent it. Took us about 8 months of actively looking to find something that was a good value and checked off enough of our want boxes. Was not perfect, but close enough.

Good luck.

IP
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The standard in Seattle these days is to put a house on the market on Tuesday, have open houses on Saturday and Sunday, and review the offers that have been made the next Monday or Tuesday.

Typical provisions in offers are to waive any inspection, make all cash offers, and to make a "flexible" offer, to exceed that offered by others up to a fixed amount.

A friend of mine followed this strategy and got an offer $37,000 above the asking price when the offers were reviewed.



Seattle Pioneer
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Stay focused and get to know yourself and your area well enough that you know what you will pounce on without second thought.
Good advice IMO.

DW and I were spending weekends looking at open houses in the paper when we bought our first place.
Cheap way to spend an afternoon and we knew we'd want to buy before too long.
So we knew when we came across a bargain. It wasn't on MLS - was only in the paper.
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It wasn't on MLS - was only in the paper.

I think that is now called craigslist ;)
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"It wasn't on MLS - was only in the paper."

I think that is now called craigslist ;)

Probably true... I don't think craigslist was doing RE listings at that point. (Or at least wasn't yet as popular as it is now)
And now it'd be fairly likely to be listed on Zillow too.
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IP,

Thanks! We have been actively looking about 7 months now. We have developed a better idea of what's important to us and what's not. I'm hopeful that we will find one soon. Glad you found a good one!
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We have developed a better idea of what's important to us and what's not. I'm hopeful that we will find one soon.

Excellent. Lisa, I am not new at the home buying game and probably the best piece of advice I can give, something I figured out after many disappointments with contracts not going through, is that something better always comes up if you wait long enough. We were actively looking at properties in the last boom and many of my offers were turned down, most being shortly after the property went on listing. I followed those properties, (Zillow is way better for this than Realtor.com which will pull a listing without telling you which one it was when it goes off the market,) and looked at the eventual sales price vs my offer. With a few exceptions the sellers would have been better off taking my deal. Getting to know your market and how much you should pay for it is not something to leave to a Realtor, though their input can not hurt if you look at their data and not fall prey to their opinions.

Properties that looked better on paper, had more of our want boxes checked off and perhaps even a better value, came on the market shortly after we ratified our contract on our current house. But I am content here and would not trade my neighbors for anything. Opportunities will come up, or you can make some of your own by contacting homeowners with properties that interest you. You never know. Some Realtors will even do that for you, since it's a win/win for them. Pleases their buyer and might net them a seller.

Think outside the box, but consider how critical it is for you to buy NOW. With the 2018 tax law changes, owning a house doesn't give you the same benefits it once did.

IP
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We have been actively looking about 7 months now. We have developed a better idea of what's important to us and what's not. I'm hopeful that we will find one soon.

All real estate is local.

Do you have to sell to buy ? If so, you may be actively looking but you are not an attractive buyer, IMHO.

My market is insane and I will be selling something soon. In this market, for a median price house, it entirely possible to have a cash offer and that is very attractive. Also, in this market, as long as it stays this way(which seems likely but no one rally know), nothing else may come along.
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We found a house! As long as nothing terrible shows up in the inspection, we are set. We found that going up a notch in the price category allowed us to only have to bid against one other, not several other offers. We didn't have to sell to buy, but it was still tough competition.
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CONGRATULATIONS.

And if something comes up, talk to us. It's not always as bad as it may seem and an uninterested party can sometimes help you think things through.

IP
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Thanks IP! The inspection went ok and we put ours on the market right after that. Had a contract 4 days later! (No coming soon gimmicks.)

I do have a question... what is “effective age” on an appraisal?
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I do have a question... what is “effective age” on an appraisal?
My guess would be that it has to do with the condition of the item being noted. For example your roof may have been put in 5 years ago but perhaps you got hail, have tough sun conditions, had a branch fall on it....and now it's effectively 10 years old and has less time to replacement than anticipated. Or conversely it could be doing better than it's actual age and should last longer. But that's not a term I am actually accustomed to. If it's a concern your Realtor should know or call the appraiser. Lord knows enough was paid for that appraisal.

Very happy for you.

IP
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I do have a question... what is “effective age” on an appraisal?

The actual age is how old the building is. Around here many houses are well over 100 years old. The effective age refers to maintainance and improvements. Some houses have been completely renovated, plumbing and electrical modernized, new floors, roof, heat, ac, bathrooms. The effective age might then be a few years in a 100 year old shell.
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Thank you! That makes more sense now!
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