Monday, September 17, 2012

The market: Views from the trenches

Metro Phoenix's housing market is showing signs of a real recovery: higher prices, more regular home owners and buyers, and fewer foreclosure and short sales.

The market's rapid changes, peculiarities and frustrations draw many comments from homeowners and people in the real-estate industry. Here is some recent correspondence from readers:

I've been trying to sell my house for four years. Anyway, I listed my house (again) in June, except this time my agent was far more optimistic, and our asking price was far more reasonable -- that means I won't end up owing money but not making money. Within a week, I had a full-price offer and accepted it. I was happy until the appraiser came in, undervalued my home and got the deal canceled. To keep and stay in my home has not been easy. I cannot see how the appraisal process has any value. I'm relisting.

-- Jan Paulson

Realtors should allow their client to decide if the price is right after they show the property. Many Realtors pull up the MLS sheet; look at square footage, price, lot size and commission. If (real-estate agents) don't like the commission, they throw the listing away. The buyer never gets to see it or view the property. What business allows the sale person to determine the sale price?

Also, who really made the profits from the housing crash? How come no one went to jail?

-- Ralph Block

Have you researched how sellers of short sales are asking buyers for a side offer for the appliances, window treatments, water softener, and other items that do not convey? Many buyers need to overbid for these items in order to get their original offer submitted to the bank. This side offer is an out-of-escrow offer and is cash in the seller's hands. It is not illegal. However, the seller chooses which buyer's offer to submit. We are new to the Valley and a traditional well-qualified buyer. We have lost bids due to the side-offer issue. This doesn't seem right, does it?

-- Ryan Hall, discouraged buyer

My girlfriend and I just bought a new Pulte house because the used housing market didn't have any single stories available in ZIP code 85085. We also didn't want to compete with any investors since we have to make offers with a 30-year conventional mortgage instead of cash. With interest rates so low, we were able to get a lot of house.

-- John Stafford

We have had a four-bedroom, three bathroom house in Ahwatukee on the market since May 14. We did have one offer that was $25,000 less than asking price, and they wanted our appliances. We countered $5,000 because our washer and dryer are brand new. We never heard back from the potential buyers or their Realtor. Since then, we have had about three dozen showings and no offers. Other Realtors constantly say our house is beautiful, clean and shows well, but they think it is overpriced. The inventory in Ahwatukee is very low.

Our house was completely remodeled in 2006, and we paid $440,000. We are selling for $350K and are not underwater. My husband was transferred to California, and I want to get the kids out there before school starts in late August.

When Realtors say our house is overpriced, is that really a cover for a reason why they don't really like our home? I can't understand why it is not selling. I don't really believe in open houses. What other way is there to market a house?

by Catherine Reagor - Aug. 10, 2012 The Republic

The market: Views from the trenches

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