It Happened Again!
We are off to a great start in 2008 and I personally have 10 contracts closed or pending already this year – Thank you Lord! That’s the good news but there is also bad news. Many of our area’s real estate agents are suffering from no business at all. There’s a pretty simple reason why many real estate agents (and agencies) are not seeing many (or in some cases ANY) sales.
Even if you tried diligently not to see all of the bad news about the real estate market it is very hard to miss. In fact, based on what has been on the evening news and in the newspapers, you would almost have to be a fool to buy real estate at this time in history. Of course, that is when seasoned investors make great gains, by buying when no one else has the courage. Buyers understandably expect to get a great bargain because that is what has been spread all throughout the news media. It is after all a buyer’s market so they should (and can) get a bargain if they are looking to buy.
From a Sevier County seller’s point of view however, things are often looked at a little differently. Yes, it is a buyer’s market and there aren’t a lot of buyers availalble. But most Sevier County seller’s are selling second homes, not primary residences. Our sellers usually have sizable assets under their control and in some cases the home they have here may be just one of many homes they own around the country. To own a second home, you naturally must already own a first home, and although this seems ridiculously simple, it is an important point. Second home owners are generally in better condition financially (the old expression was “better heeled”) and this means that they probably have other sources from which they can obtain funds. Also, adjustable rate mortgages are very rare on second home properties so there generally isn’t that sort of problem. In sum, our sellers often aren’t as motivated as single property owners and especially first time home owners who have been made nervous by this historic real estate market downturn.
When you combine a buyer (looking for a great price because of the current much publicized nationwide buyer’s market) with an unmotivated seller (who doesn’t have to sell and understands that all markets eventually change direction) you get a “non-sale”. Low bids and unmotivated sellers will not often find common ground and that is exactly what happened again today. We received a low offer for one of our listings on which the seller has NO mortgage. They don’t owe a dime on this property. The seller’s comment was “Jeff, I appreciate the offer but you as you know I don’t HAVE to sell!”. The buyer will move on to another property hoping to find a more motivated buyer and the realtor’s will try to find their next sale somewhere else. The seller will wait for a kinder market or maybe a less savvy buyer – She doesn’t have to sell.
If you are considering buying during this exceptional opportunity, please understand that many of our Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge sellers aren’t willing to give their property away. If you want a really great price you will need to consider a foreclosure property which we do occasionally have here in the Smokies. In fact I specialize in bank owned properties and sometimes they WILL negotiate aggressively. In fact, the aggressively priced properties are nearly the only ones that are selling and that is why I am blessed with such a great start to the year.
We currently have several foreclosure listings available for sale and some of these houses are in fact vacation home type properties. In Tennessee, the deed of trust is the instrument that is used in the foreclosure property and these do NOT give the bank the right to retain furniture or other contents of a foreclosed property. This is the reason why many foreclosures here no longer have any furniture or decor items present. For this reason it will be necessary to budget for furniture and decorating in addition to the purchase price. Don’t let this dissuade you however because the values are pretty compelling.
There are currently several foreclosure properties that are listed at sharp discounts to what they sold for two or three years ago. In the most dramatic cases, the houses can be bought for HALF of what they sold for two years ago. To learn more about the foreclosures currently available please contact us as the inventory changes rapidly and properties that are accurately priced by the banks sell quite quickly – even in a slow real estate market.
If you aren’t willing to accept the challenges of working with foreclosure properties please understand that most Sevier County real estate sellers aren’t easily frightened and aren’t very motivated currently. If you are thinking that you will come in and “steal” a property you will likely be disappointed. If on the other hand you are merely looking to get a good price on a home here you will likely be rewarded if you are patient. Just realize that not all of our sellers are interested in fire sale prices…