Ebbing and Flowing


Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what the meaning of this pic is…but it’s really pretty cool. Plus, if I do just a little mental gymnastics I can make it fit the Ebb and Flow imagery. This year started with a bang. Actually, last year ended that way. December was as hot as any December that I remember. The first two weeks in January seemed wild as well. I had a couple of listings that got a gazillion offers and sold WAY over asking. The the stock market started to contort,and folks were talking about China having difficulties and then there was how oil was impacting the world economy. I don’t know…it just seemed to me that things slowed a bit. Nothing radical mind you, but a bit. Instead of 16 offers and $300,000 over asking there’s 4 offers and $100,000 over asking. If you’re looking right now I’m sure you’ll notice that there isn’t much to see. Inventory is still a big problem…isn’t it?

Somehow, in my tiny mind at least, the idea of paying less for a place seems a bit more appealing than what we were experiencing last year. Oddly, this idea of mine seems to conflict somewhat with human nature. I’ve said this before (actually out loud to clients too)…buyers would rather pay $300,000 over asking and compete with 20 other people than pay the asking price without competition. I think there’s several reasons for that but primarily I think buyers have gotten so used to the feeding frenzy around here that if it’s not happening folks think it’s a catastrophe. They don’t know what to do without the frenzy. Secondly, if there isn’t a frenzy the assumption is…what’s wrong with the place? If all those people we saw at the open houses aren’t writing…what do they know that I don’t. Just how much should I trust my agent anyway? Maybe he/she is hiding crucial info that would make me automatically run screaming into the night. I better avoid that house.

That’s just my weird little private suspicion. I’ve seen this now for 27 years. In 2006 people couldn’t wait to go hog wild on their offers. In 2008 I couldn’t get buyers to write offers $100,000 under asking. When they could have gotten it for that price. Again…since we have diddly for inventory it’s probably not going to mean these houses won’t sell. The simple fact of less buyers though (cuz they’re scared this week) should mean that values are lurking out there. Just sayin’.

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