Forget the Whites of Their Eyes, Prescott. Fire Early and Often

avatarthumbnail.jpgHere’s the basic process … a buyer finds a home, either because it is sent to her by her agent or through her own search online, and wants to take a look for herself. After carefully inspecting the home, as much as one can on a first visit, and elects to take a day to mull over the pros and cons before making a decision.

You know what happens next … she calls her agent, who checks the MLS only to discover that the home went under contract the day before. In fact, there’s a good chance it was already under contract when she first viewed the home even as it showed Active in the Arizona Regional MLS.

And so she selects a few more homes, takes a look at them the following day, elects to sleep on the decision … and discovers those homes also are under contract.

What is a buyer to do?

Welcome to the Phoenix real estate market circa 2009 where, like it’s cousin 2005, buyers can’t afford to wait until they see the whites of their targets’ eyes. It’s advice I really would prefer not to give but it’s almost mandatory in this kind of market, especially if a buyer is looking at bank-owned homes – fire early, fire often, see what gets accepted after the point and use the inspection period to decide if it’s really what you want.

The big difference between now and 2005 is offers then often required buyers to waive the contract’s appraisal contingencies; nowadays, appraisals aren’t nearly as much as a problem with banks often pricing homes well below list price in hopes of spurring some open bidding on the properties.

Most buyers aren’t prepared to face such a reality after the sellers’ market of the past few years. In this respect, they are much like the Germans awaiting Patton’s “true” invasion of Europe, all the while believing that Normandy was the decoy. There was sound logic – why would you use your best general to lead a feint – but it also was thoroughly incorrect.

This is the Phoenix real estate market as it stands now … a place where competition for bank-owned homes (and similarly priced properties) is stiff, where multiple offers on the first day listed often are present and where list price often isn’t the final price if buyers are in the mood to get aggressive.

Different facts require different tactics. The question is whether you as a buyer will either see the signs or believe your eyes sufficiently to adapt a winning strategy.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Portland Real Estate 9 years ago

    And oh boy do clients get mad when they find that the house they chose is not available. Most of the time the client does not push the blame, but I have had a couple of incidents where the client attempted to pin it on me that the house changed status that very same day.

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