Posted by: Brian Powers | July 26, 2010

Metro Detroit Real Estate Market: Kind of Like a Yard Sale on Sunday

“It’s a buyers Market” is the common theme in today’s real estate world. And while fundamentally true (mortgage interest rates are low and prices are low), there is the underlying issue of listing inventory…or lack thereof.  Simply put, buyers do not have a lot of great listing inventory to choose from right now. And the good listings that do come on the market, go pretty quickly.

To put the listing inventory into the context of raw data, consider the following:

  • Macomb county listings at the end of June of this year numbered 4833.  That’s down from 6190 just a year ago and around 8300 at the peak a few years ago.
  • Oakland county listings at the end of June of this year numbered 10,762.  That’s down from 14,802 just a year ago and around 19,000 at the peak a few years ago

Let’s consider a yard sale. A yard sale is a place to buy something  for a great price today that was worth considerably more a few years ago.  Sound familiar (Real Estate)?  If you think about it, our current real estate market is kind of like a yard sale on a Sunday.  Most yard sales run Thursday through Sunday.  On Thursday morning around 10am, yards sales around town are bombarded with bargain shopping vultures looking for anything and everything as long as it’s “a deal”.  The most valuable items at a yard sale rarely see the end of the day on Thursday.  Friday is not much different from Thursday in that anything remaining that is really of value gets snatched up by people who couldn’t make it on Thursday.  By the time Saturday rolls around and those who don’t have the luxury of hitting yard sales on Thursday and Friday make it out, it’s slim pickings.  And come Sunday, you’re wishing trash day was Monday because all that’s left might as well go to the curb.  If it’s still there on Sunday, it’s there for a reason…nobody wanted it.

About 18 months ago there was a lot of listing inventory on the market for buyers to choose from.  The federal and state governments then decided to start subsidizing buyers to purchase real estate and it set off a flurry of buying activity.  Like any commodity, the most valuable listings were bought first and quickly.  Over the last year and a half just about any house worth being bought has been purchased, and most anything left that’s been on the market for a considerable amount of time probably isn’t worth looking at.  And new listings that hit the market, desirable homes that are priced properly, will fly off the market in less than 30 days.  Yes, even in this market.

So what’s it all mean?

Buyers, you must have a firm understanding of your wants and needs and be ready to react quickly when a good listing comes along.  If you are one to drag your feet, look at a house multiple times and then spend a week thinking about it before writing an offer, you are going to get eaten alive in this market.  This is not to say you shouldn’t do your due diligence, but the market is very fluid. Your agent must understand this as well and put you in a position to act. If your agent does not have you plugged into the MLS, and receiving new listings by email as they become available, fire them immediately and work with someone who understands the market we are in.

Sellers, even though it’s a buyers market, you can take advantage of the lack of inventory and possibly sell your home faster, and for more money than you could a year ago.  If you have been considering selling, this is really not a bad time to be on the market. Contact me to show you how to get maximum value in minimum time.

Buyers and sellers, get your FREE access to the MLS by signing up for a Listing Book account at my website.


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