How can the Cabbage Patch Dolls of the 1980's and Real Estate in 2021 have anything in common?!?!
The real estate market is moving like a gulf breeze as we head into Spring. AWWWW! Doesn’t that sound lovely? Truth is that homes are flying off the shelves (or like little drink umbrellas in a hurricane glass). It brings a flashback to when I worked in retail at Montgomery Ward back in the 1980’s (do you remember Montgomery Ward?). In addition to working the sales floor I also managed the shipping and receiving department. One Christmas we had a crazy, unforeseen season. This was the year when the “Cabbage Patch Kid” doll came out. Every parent thought that their girl child had to have one. The doll company, Coleco, completely underestimated the demand for these dolls. Of course, Montgomery Ward had a catalog, so people thought they could order one when they were not able to find one in a store. Sure, they could order one but then they received those horrible words in catalog /on-line shopping—back order. The reality that these doll orders were not going to be filled was happening just weeks before Christmas. And according to many parents; I single handedly would be the reason their little girl would have a terrible Christmas—unless I could produce a Cabbage Patch Doll by December 24th. Our store received a top-secret shipment of dolls, I am sure it was due to the fact corporate was tired of hearing from this 20-somehting calling every single day saying, “Where are my CABBAGE PATCH DOLLS!”. (I couldn’t let my customers down!) Truth is there were not enough dolls in the top-secret shipment for all those who ordered. I had to quietly call customers one-by-one and arrange a time for them to come to store, through the back door of the store, walk them to the special bin of dolls, and allow them to pick out one doll and pay for it there; then leave by the back door, promising me to keep it a secret. It was nuts!
How does that tie in with real estate? Like the parents and the dolls; we have more people looking for homes then those who are selling homes. The Sunshine State is flourishing! According to one STELLAR MLS statistic(that is where all our listing date is entered) listings are down 58% from February 2020. All real estate professionals are calling folks to see if it is time for them sell, simply put we need more homes on the market. That is the only way to get the market back in balance. We know that if the house is priced right for its condition it will go under contract in days, if not hours. Buyers are making straight no-nonsense offers. But keep in mind It’s not all rosy dollar signs for sellers, they need to know what their next step is as well. They will most likely become buyers in this sellers’ market. Ray and I are researching the market continually watching the inventory and analyzing the market. When we are working with buyers, we are providing them with current data allowing them to make an informed offer that makes sense to them. With Sellers we discuss pricing and condition. We are frank with them; Buyers will walk away if they feel they are being taken advantage of. For Sellers it is better to set the price according to the comps and let the Buyers make their offers and when priced right Sellers are seeing multiple offers within days of coming on the market. Many homes are being purchased with low interest rate mortgages which means it will still need to appraise. Sellers take note. Sellers need to be prepared for if the home does not appraise for that amazing “over list” offer price. Also, interest rates are beginning to creep up which means buyers may need to look at a lower price point due to the rate increase. Is there a top-secret shipment of houses coming on the mark? Will this market newsletter prompt an outpouring of listings? That would be great for the market, for buyers, and for sellers. In the meantime, you can trust we are keeping our nose to the grindstone for all our customers!
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