Do Buyers Need to Settle for Good and Not Great?

Do Buyers Need to Settle…?

How many homes should a buyer see before choosing one to offer on? This article seems to suggest no more than 8. I have found that I agree with this wisdom at some level. I observe in my own life that if I see about 10 homes that I am interested in, then I am usually at the point where I will make an offer. There’s no science to it, it’s just that with each home shown there is another check-off on the list of possibles and a realization of where the market is and what is priced appropriately. 


The contradiction is that one of our principles is to never pressure-sell anything. Not to hard sell. Not to encourage people to do anything uncomfortable. So, I have shown buyers 60+ homes over periods of 9-12 months. This is the contradiction I must live in if I want to get people the "right " home. I digress...

Sonora Real Estate is a market that is extremely limited at any point in time. Sometimes we we’ll have a plethora of downtown Craftsman’s available…but that means only like 3-5…not 25. In the Tuolumne County market (where inventory is low), you are lucky to have 1 of any style on the market in a given area.

The second problem with Sonora (or more broadly Tuolumne County) is what I would call "Areas". Many buyers I have worked with are searching for a hyper-specific area. They usually want “Downtown” or “Curtis Creek”. The upshot of this, is that often times they are not stuck on the style of the house, rather as the maxim goes…location…location…location. These types of buyers are all about location. However, these hyper-specific "area" markets are limited. At any point in time downtown Sonora area will have about 3-7 listings and Curtis Creek will have 2-3- or maybe none! That is not a lot of homes to choose from.

Then comes the pricing issues. Sonora pricing sometimes get’s a little out of hand. $325 per sqft?…not in Sonora!!!!! It seems to my buddy Jim Hildreth that at any point in time there are about half the listings on the MLS that are overpriced. I am not sure it is that high, but it can be a significant portion of the listings. The famous line from a seller is that they are "testing the market". This means that out of the 2-3 homes you have in Curtis Creek, there might be 1-2 that are overpriced and will never sell...bummer for someone who wants that area.

So, the downside is that you write offers that seem reasonable and yet are not because the owner and the agent have listed so high. It truly can be frustrating work. 

Anyways, there it is. Maybe as Mick Jagger says...You Can't always get what you want...

Nathan MilnikBuyers, Principles