As a St. Petersburg Realtor, daily I hear comments like these from Buyers. It’s okay, I try not to sweat it. Many times its a matter of educating first time homebuyers or out-of-state relocation buyers who may not have a knowledge of the local St. Petersburg real estate market. Listen to your Realtor!
1. Buyer: “It’s a Buyer’s market. The Sellers need me more than I need them. My sister’s boyfriend’s brother who has his real estate license but works at McDonald’s told me so.”
Realtor: Not so much in many areas and price points. The market has flipped the other way, inventory is low, and we are seeing multiple offers out there, often over asking price… i.e. Seller’s market.
2. Buyer: “I can get a mortgage with no problem. Let’s go see these 25 houses first, and then I will get a pre-approval letter once I have found the one.”
Realtor: We only put pre-approved buyers in our cars, and inside our Seller’s homes. This way we know for sure what price range you are in and no one gets disappointed. It’s also gotten tougher these days to get a mortgage if you have some flaws on your credit report or high debt-to-income ratios, so its best to find out what’s on your credit report by doing the mortgage pre-approval up front. Then you’ll be able to make an offer on the spot if you find “the one”.
3. Buyer: “What do you mean there are closing costs on top of the down payment for my mortgage?! Can’t the Seller pay that? I have $1000 saved – that’s enough, right?”
Realtor: Yes, there are closing costs too! No, $1,000 is not going to cover it! You’ll want to talk to your mortgage professional about how much you have saved towards closing costs and down payment. Sometimes the Seller can contribute a portion towards the closing costs, but it depends on what type of loan you are getting, and generally Buyers will up their offer if they expect the Seller to pay closing costs. The lowest down payment option available is on an FHA loan – 3.5% of the purchase price, plus closing costs can be several thousand additional.
4. Buyer: “We know the roof checked out fine even though its 8 years old in the inspection but we would like the Sellers to install a new Spanish tile roof for us. We love the way they look.”
Realtor: Refer back to answer #1. This is not a buyer’s market, its a Seller’s market so if you love the home, don’t make outrageous requests of the Sellers or you might lose the house! Asking for things like repairs to a leaking roof are one thing, cosmetic changes are another completely.
5. Buyer: “I would like to make the Seller an offer 50% of the asking price and don’t plan to go up a whole lot.” (True Story! I almost died laughing!)
Realtor: The average discount in Tampa Bay hovers around 4 to 6%. See the latest market statistics above. This ain’t 2009! Most Realtors will not waste their time with a buyer who wants to make such lowball offers.
6. Buyer: “I would like a condo on St. Pete Beach for $250,000. Oh, by the way, it needs to have an unobstructed ocean view.”
Realtor: Still ain’t 2009, my friend. Prices have risen, but there are still some great deals out there to be had. But $250,000 for an ocean view isn’t happening. If it was out there, I would have bought it.
7. Buyer: “We want a newer home on an at least half an acre lot, with a water view within walking distance of downtown St. Pete for $400,000, max.”
Realtor: Again, if it was out there, I would have bought it! St. Pete’s historic Old Northeast is full of mostly older homes (many have been completely gutted and remodeled) which are within walking distance of downtown. However, the homes here are generally on zero lot lines or close to it. If you want to be within downtown walking distance of downtown, with a larger than average lot size and a water view, the only place you are going to find something like this is in Coffee Pot Bayou or Snell Isle… and probably at a cost of $1,000,000+.
Realtor: Probably not. Lease options and Rent-To-Own scenarios are, in this Realtor’s opinion, not really beneficial to the tenant and generally require a sizable deposit. These are risky transactions, and in a Seller’s Market, no ones really doing them much if they can easily sell to a ready and willing buyer with cash or a pre-approved mortgage.
9. Buyer: “I plan on moving down to Florida in 2 years, but want to look at some property now on vacation. Can we see these 15 homes this weekend?”
Realtor: I’ve got buyers who are going to be homeless if I don’t find them something immediately that are #1 priority. The market will have completely changed in 2 years time as will the properties that are listed. Go and drive the neighborhoods now. Find what areas you like. Then call me in 2 years when you are ready!
This blog was written a bit tongue in cheek. My former grammar teacher mom would be mortified if she knew I was using the word “ain’t” in a blog post for my real estate business! 😉
Image via Dailyecho.co.uk