Scratch That… Top 5 Clues the Sellers Market Is Borderline Crazy!
1 Showing phone calls before it’s listed with the showing service
The Listing Agent puts the listing data into the MLS and hits the ACTIVE button, which generates the new MLS number unique to this property and fires the new listing out into the interweb. Then the Listing Agent logs into their account with their showing service to supply said showing service with the MLS number and give them all the info needed to set showings – The restrictions, instructions, lock box number and location etc.
In this market, sometime between hitting the Active button and transferring the pertinent showing info to the showing service, Buyer’s Agents are already calling the showing service (phone number is on the MLS listing) to set a showing and the showing service is already calling me/Listing Agent to ask what the showing instructions are! Ten minutes… I swear, I just need 10 minutes to complete the process! I have not forgotten, I just can’t work at the speed of Google.
2 Offers sight unseen
The listing went live today but showings are not permitted to start until 2 days from now to accommodate the Seller getting the condo ready or the existing lease requirements and arrangement with the tenants. The first offer (of several) is received just a couple of hours after the property hits the market. A short chat with the Buyer’s Agent goes like this: “You have not seen the condo yet. Did your Buyer want to do that before the offer is reviewed?” BA: “Not particularly. We know exactly what we are looking for.”
3 Threats and negative phone calls toward the Listing Agent
Sounds awful, right? It is! Buyer’s Agents of disappointed Buyers sometimes feel the need to call or email a Listing Agent and voice their anger/disappointment/frustration. After all, they didn’t get the chance to see the place before it went under contract and that MUST be the Listing Agent’s fault. Some ask questions hoping to discover impropriety on the part of the Listing Agent, others just flat out threaten to have their clients lodge a formal complaint with the Real Estate Commission. Another group (bigger in number) suggest ways that I might be able to “improve” my business that would make it easier for them to explain their clients why they missed out. I have a whole ‘nother post on this scenario. It’s a doozy!
4 Professional real estate pictures and video tours are ready after the listing is under contract
This unfortunate situation has not been me, thank goodness. But I have seen several cases where the listing went live without pictures recently. A “Pictures coming soon” placeholder is just not the same when it comes to advertising and it’s not doing the seller any favors to get it listed super quickly, if the cost is no pictures. Priced right, the house will still go under contract… But will it get the same competitive offer attention? Not sure. Really not sure I’d want to risk it either. In one case, my clients had a great house under contract for about a week when the listing agent sent me the link to the virtual tour. It was stunning and my clients were over the moon at being able to share the link and show their friends and family the house they were buying. My heart went out to the Listing Agent though. These things are not cheap and had the tour arrived early enough to showcase the house before it was under contract, it might have changed the price it sold for. You never know.
5 Cash closings
I had to ask myself what the deal was with all the cash offers. How can so many people have access to so much cash? I thought Americans were not very good at saving? Turns out that a boatload of people are buying with cash then refinancing their new property just after closing… To pay back mom and dad (or whomever) loaned them the cash. Why? Because in a competitive market a quicker closing with no loan or appraisal contingencies means lower risk to seller that the deal will terminate en route. Where are mom and dad getting $500,000 in cash? It’s equity in their homes. Equity that can be borrowed using a HELOC and repaid quickly. Of course there is a cost, but their kids would be happy to pay the $2000 if it means they can compete successfully for the house of their dreams and possibly pay less for it too! It’s hard to fault people who leverage all their resources… And it’s hard to compete with them too!