Inconvenient Real Estate Buyer Truths


There's just no way around it, this is a tough time to be a buyer in North Redondo Beach and many other South Bay and Westside markets. I've been writing about the reason for quite a while: low housing inventory.

So here's what it looks like to be a buyer today.

Sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday or maybe as late as Thursday morning some new listing pops up on whatever mobile app you use. Probably you see it before your Real Estate Agent. Either you are immediately encouraged because it appears to be in your price range or it is just over priced. Either way you make plans to go to the Open House that weekend (there's just not that much to look at so why not) and if you are my client we check it out on the Broker's Open on Thursday.

Then comes all the analysis, comps, putting together the proof of funds and pre-approval letter, making the offer and waiting. And then a few days later you get the SMCO (Seller Multiple Counter Offer) asking for you "best and final" or however it is worded, plus requiring you to agree to some onerous terms (as-is, no termite work, waive the appraisal contingency, etc). Maybe you submit a best and final, maybe not. Then you get the call from your agent that tells you someone else submitted an offer that was just way better than then everyone else and they got it. The home you wanted.

But by now its Tuesday or Wednesday again and your mobile app has alerted you to some new listings and on it goes.

So what's going on?

I've heard of some listings recently getting 10-12 and even 15 offers. Wow. So you are not the only one who didn't get the deal. There's over 10 competing buyers still looking. Well a few will drop out or start looking in another neighborhood. But there's still competition. And that means that until you, as a buyer, decide to step up to pay whatever it takes you will continue to lose out.

Here's why this isn't the worst decision in the world and the answer is not that once you buy a house your life can return to normal instead of endless open houses and offers.

The next Seller isn't going to be happy just selling for what the home you just missed out on sold for. They want to sell for more. And the one after that and that. That's the inconvenient truth and here's what you should be asking yourself: is it better to lock in a price now instead of chasing the market up or settling for less for the same price.

Your call.