To help navigate the ever-changing world of real estate, we reached out to a few of Dallas’ top realtors to learn all about the good, the bad and open inventory in today’s market.
By Jef Tingley
Dallas City Center Realtors
Inventory is the biggest thing affecting the market right now. The average supply of home inventories in Dallas are between 4.5 and 5 percent, and in some neighborhoods, inventory is lower. We haven’t seen low inventories like this since 2006. Real estate analysts and experts consider low inventories to indicate a “seller’s market.” With a lower supply of inventory, buyers are scrambling to get to new listings on the first day they hit the market. Since early spring, I have personally been involved in at least 10 transactions where my clients have been in bidding wars with other potential buyers for the same home. These multiple offer situations give the sellers the upper hand in the transaction, as they are more likely to get the listed sales price, or higher, for their home and they are not having to pay closing cost concessions to the buyer.
The Waller Group, LLC
There is a lot that is good in real estate right now: Prices are rebounding, mortgage interest rates are still at historic lows, FHA guidelines related to condominiums are being loosened up a bit. I think we’ve seen the worst for our in-town neighborhoods. Builders are building again; things are looking up. Banks are also loosening up their requirements on homeowners that are underwater on their mortgages, they are more freely approving short-sale transactions and expediting their processes so the approvals are coming quicker, therefore potential buyers aren’t having to hang in there for months and months waiting on a response. Of course, this isn’t true for all the banks, but there are some banks out there that have recognized the benefits of shorter wait times and avoiding the foreclosure process, so that is a huge improvement.
Jenni Stolarski & Robb Puckett
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
Here’s our advice for buyers and sellers — buyers should take note! Coming out of the strong buyer’s market of the last four years, prices are still relatively low. Add to that the low interest rates and it makes a perfect storm for buyers. We have four different buyers who are ready, willing and able, but can’t find a property to fit their needs. So sellers who may have rented their home in the last four years or postponed putting it on the market because of economic factors have a real opportunity now to sell their property. The big thing is using a professional to help price and market the home correctly to these buyers.
If you have the cash and the resources to buy and renovate homes, then now is a great time due to the ridiculously low interest rates. But the inventory is misleading. Most of the homes currently on the market are in need of a lot of work. The problem is that their list price does not reflect the need for those improvements. Deals are harder to come by these days because many sellers are strapped for cash, or they are underwater on their mortgage.
And like most buyers, investors don’t have a sense of urgency to buy. They will wait for the right deal to come along. Or they’ll simply wait until you reduce, reduce, reduce.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 5, 2012.