Reflections on Greater Hartford's Real Estate Market

This real estate market really has me scratching my head.

In the past two days, I have been in two multiple offer situations with different buyers. In each case, my buyers “won,” but of course it was a stressful time for my clients and me. The first house was on the market for 3 days. The second house was on the market for 1 day. The houses were in different towns. We found two properties that were priced realistically.

Right now, just about everyone thinks the real estate market is sucking. The national news media says it’s sucking. The local news media says it’s sucking. But for some people, it’s not sucking. Sellers can and do price their homes realistically in some cases. They take the advice of their real estate agent and do not have pie-in-the-sky ambitions about what their home is worth. Their houses sell quickly and they move on with their lives.

On the other hand, some buyers think they can automatically offer 10%-15% off the asking price of a home. It does not matter what advice their agent gives, they hear the market is sucking and they want to get a deal. They love deals.

Unfortunately the lowball strategy does not always work. In fact, often times it just upsets and insults the seller and they will not respond. Agents are working hard to try and get buyers and sellers to talk in this type of situation, but sometimes it’s just not worth it. If a buyer does not seem serious about a property, and the seller is not desperate, it may be to the seller’s advantage just to tell the buyer to go away.

I’m finding that I am spending a lot of time these days doing market analyses on different houses. I’m trying to price them realistically for sellers and help buyers understand if the houses they’re interested in are priced fairly. There are no gross generalizations that every house is overpriced. If I were to take that philosophy, my two recent buyers would not be progressing towards closing on houses that meet their needs.

If you’re a buyer out there, take some time and listen to your agent’s advice. You decided to work with them for a reason, respect the advice they’re giving you. And if you can’t respect the advice they’re giving you, maybe it’s time to find a new agent. Or maybe it’s time to stop looking for a house. If you’re a seller out there, take heed, if you price fairly, there will be a buyer (or maybe more than one) that finds you. And you can begin moving on to your next home.