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Is The Market Is Recovering…It’s Hard To Tell

I know you hear every day on the news that our market is recovering…right? I also know you hear every day on the news that our market is declining…right? What to believe? Who knows!

I can tell you the numbers. Like we can look at the Notices of Default (NOD’s) for the month of April and discover they were 30,799 units. That means that lenders have noticed property owners that they were in default and the lender intends on foreclosing on the home. That number is down from March 2011 (33,955) and much lower than our all time high in December 2009 of 47,606.

And actual foreclosures are also down. There were 5,451 in March of 2010…and 4,512 in April 2011.

Now let’s talk about my last week as a Realtor. I had two buyer clients make offers. One home was in the Central Phoenix area...a fix and flip…had been on the market for 32 days…and had three offers on it at the time we made our offer. List price was in the 130K range. We did end up getting this one…but still…we had to go in pretty high to make it happen. NOT an example of a “buyer’s market” is it?

The second was really interesting. The house had been on the market for 77 days. Listed in the high 200’s. My clients liked the home and were planning on paying cash. We offered $275K. The listing agent called and said they were “taking offers” through the weekend…and he already had two others…so a total of three. Mind you…this is NOT a bank owned home…where they typically make up their own rules…this was another fix and flip. A “traditional” sale if you will.

This morning we got a communication from the listing agent that they (the sellers) wanted 10K earnest deposit (this is HIGH from my experience in this price range). AND they wanted 5K of the money to go “hard” after the inspection period.  Hard really just means that it would be non-refundable. AND…they countered at full price. AND…they wanted us to cut our inspection period down to 5 days. Why? Because they COULD. They had a situation where the seller’s were in the drivers seat.

WHAT? But…it’s a BUYER’S market isn’t it? Well…this week my real life experience tells me no. It is NOT a buyer’s market.

Just because you hear on the news…or read in the paper… that prices in Arizona are “half-off”…that does NOT mean you can make an offer at 1/2 the listed price and expect to get the house. What this means…is that many homes are selling for 1/2 of what they sold for in 2006 or 2007. As a matter of fact many areas are priced at the level they were 10 years ago. They are ALREADY priced 50% off!  If you want a good house at a good price…make sure you know your market and LISTEN to your agent. They are experts at providing you data to help you make a reasonable offer…that gives you the BEST chance of getting the home you want.

As always… if you are looking for a GREAT agent to help with your real estate needs please e-mail me at or give me a call (or text) at 602-504-3898 or 888-897-7821 x 114. Plus, I have a GREAT search tool on my web site that gives you the ability to search the entire MLS…just like agents do. Very COOL! ;) Go to Metro Phoenix Homes and check it out! YOU can create and save as many searches as you would like…and it is THE SAME SEARCH I DO AS AN AGENT! You will LOVE it!


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