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The Best Time to Buy is ALWAYS Now!

Posted on February 24, 2008

It has been a very interesting (tongue in cheek) week in the world of real estate. First, I had a couple looking at attached villas and carriage homes in gated communities in the north end of town. They were very specific in outlining to me their “wish list”. I planned on it taking at least 3 trips out looking at condos before they would be clear on where they would end up mainly because I qualified that they didn’t want to look at more than 5 to 6 condos in any one day. I had arranged a lovely rental for them through a past customer (normally I do not handle rentals). They were referred to me by an out of town agent who was familiar with our (The Harris-Peppe Team) success and work ethic — After our 2nd outing I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from them informing me that they were ready to make an offer on one of the properties they saw the day before. The offer was approximately 20% below the already reduced price and considerably less than the last closed sale. Well, as it happened the seller accepted their offer! Probably a prudent decision based on the number of listings on the market in that area, the price point plus the fact that it is nearing the end of February and I’m sure the seller thought it best to sell at a discount as opossed to holding the property until next “season”. I bet you can’t imagine what happens next? Right! The BUYER has a change of heart. It seems after sleeping on it, he (the wife still wants the place) doesn’t want to go home and confess to friends and family that he bought a place in Florida anticipating the responses from all that he should have waited until prices come down some more! Now, mind you, he’s not planning on selling the place any time soon, so even another 5 or 10 percent decrease would not effect his purchase other then the fact that now he’s on his way home (I hear the wife took another flight) to the bitter cold, and like his friends, he also doesn’t own a winter retreat in paradise!

Just a few days later I received an offer on a listing that had just been reduced signifigantly to encourage offers. The seller’s initial response to the offer was to counter. I strongly urged them to consider the offer because the terms (cash, no contingencies, quick closing) were excellent and currently there were about a dozen homes for sale in their neighborhood and only one under contract. I spoke with the other agent who informed me it was a firm offer as they had two other properties they were considering, but they would give the seller overnight to decide. By the time I called the seller back they had decided to accept the offer (which again, by the way, was approximately 20% off the already reduced asking price)! By the time I called the other agent back, the BUYER changed their mind and recinded their offer! Ahhh!

No kidding, in 27 years of selling real estate in Naples I’ve never had 2 different buyers back out of contracts in such a short period of time. It’s a bit epidemic. In truth, the smart buyers ARE making decisions (and sticking with them). The smart buyers don’t care what their friends back home will say (afterall, they know it’s those very same friends who will be the first to arrive on their doorstep next season), The smart buyers are out today lounging around the pool at their new condo (it’s about 88 degrees outside right now–a nice breeze–perfect)..or they’re at the Art Show in Cambier Park…or they’re having lunch at a sidewalk cafe’ downtown, or maybe even out picking out furniture and paint colors. All I can say is they’re a much happier bunch then the buyers going home afraid they’ll overpay! Guess they never hear the old adage, “The Best Time to Buy is ALWAYS Now!”