Multiple offers but picky buyers

Jun 7, 2011

The good news is that some sellers in the current real estate market are getting multiple offers on their property but buyers are being much more choosy when it comes to deciding on a new home.

Seattle-area real estate appraiser Richard Hagar tells KPLU's John Maynard that in a slow housing market - which we still have in the Pacific Northwest even if it's far healthier than other parts of the country - houses with flaws don't sell very well. Hagar says when the market is really booming, then virtually everything sells. (Remember the years 2000 - 2007?)  But that's not the case today.

What does Hagar mean by a "flawed property?"

Basically, if the property is next to a busy street, brushing up against a commercial district, in a flood zone, on land that's vulnerable to land slides, or in need of cosmetic or foundational repair, then it's considered "flawed."

Hagar adds that not enough bathrooms and no garage are also considered negatives. But, like any property that you want to move, he says it's all about price, terms, and conditions.

Over the last few years, Hagar says there's  been a large reduction in the inventory of available properties. Why? He puts it down to the fact that a lot of people are still in the foreclosure process. And a number of people who would like to sell their homes aren't in the position to do so because their mortgage is more than their house is worth.

As for those "flawless properties" that are getting multiple offers, Hagar says you'll find many of those in Bellevue and a smattering of Seattle neighborhoods including Queen Anne and Magnolia. But it's not just any house, he says. They have to be in really good condition.  Notice he didn't say "perfect." We all know nothing's perfect, except for the word.