It is neither a Buyers Market, nor a Seller’s Market. So, what is it?

In real estate on January 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

For a while, during the boom, we were on a Seller’s market – a time when sellers have the upper hand and dictate the price and terms of sale. Mostly. Well…pretty much they did. For a while.

Then, BUST! Everything stopped. Like when you’re in the back seat of a taxi and the cabbie decides he can’t hear you very well so, HE SLAMS THE BRAKES and makes you eat the dividing wall…almost getting you to sit right next to him in one swoop.

During this time, Buyers went (RAN) away and sellers were left waving signs as if to say…”Wait!…I’ll drop the price $1,000…! $10,000…! COME BAAAAAACK….! sniff” :-[

Finally, came the buyer’s market. But…which buyers? Not the first-time buyers. Not the new-home buyers. Not even buyers who could still get financing.

Banks may have been saying “we lend” – when in reality, they were just filling out applications and figuring things out. Those with cash…bought and BOUGHT CHEAP. At prices not seen since the early nineties.

Now…though many still approach me asking for those “deals” they missed, and prices remain relatively cheap, those deals are mostly gone – mostly, gone to the bulk buyer part of a REIT or some fund scooping up hundreds, if not thousands of properties direct from Fannie or Freddie or your neighborhood bank, trying to get back on their feet.

Most “regular” sellers were shunning away from that market with the typical…”I’ll wait. My property is worth more than those measly $200,000! HEC…here…take a look at this $600,000 offer I received in 2006!!!

Yet, not even low, low…super low, interest rates have been able to quite turn this market around. Without government guarantees from Fannie, Freddie, FHA or VA, most banks would not touch most borrower – not even with someone else’s 10-foot pole.

More recently, in the last 12 months or so (and escalating), buyers have been waking up. Sellers have been waking up. Lenders have been waking up. Even real estate agents who had been (though many, many are still) slumbering, are beginning to wake up.

The tables are turning. Deals are being made. Offers are being committed to writing, lenders are slowly (though still holding on tight to the check before releasing it), beginning to lend and sellers are beginning to shrug their shoulders as if to say, “what the hec…if I wait any longer, I wont be able to buy this cheap in my remaining lifetime”.

However, we still can’t call it a Buyer’s market, and we certainly can’t call it a Seller’s market.  Not even a lender’s market. So, what is it?

What name would you give to this strange, interim market we now face?


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