Westport, Connecticut Moves


If It's a Buyer's Market, Why Aren't They Buying?

Inventories are up, prices have eased and interest rates remain near historic lows.  Clearly, it's a Buyer's Market. So, why aren't the buyers buying?

In my market, Westport, CT, activity appears to be picking up.  Listings are receiving showings and anecdotal evidence indicates that agents are not lacking buyers.  Yet, statistics, for the past two months (March and April), show units sales down, to half the pace of a year ago.

Certainly, some buyers are facing real obstacles:                          
   *Their current home may be on the market, but not yet sold
   *They may be having trouble arranging financing

Yet, that doesn't explain the whole picture.  Clearly, more factors are influencing the market.

The extensive reporting, on the collapse of the housing market, may have led buyers to unrealistic expectations. While the current environment certainly provides an opportunity for buyers to move to communities and/or purchase homes that were previously out of their reach,  it does not mean that properties are being given away.

More than once, I've reminded clients that "This is a Buyer's Market, not a Fire Sale".  The media has convinced buyers to make really low offers.  So even when prices have been significantly reduced, sometimes below market value, I've seen offers come in an additional 10 or 20 percent lower.  No matter how low the price, they've been conditioned to believe, they should pay less.

Some buyers are afraid to make a decision, because the market may go lower.   While they are trying to "time the market", they may miss out on some truly good buying opportunities.  Finding the bottom can only be done in hindsight.  By then, the house they wanted will no longer be available and prices of new listings will be higher.

If the house is right and the price reflects market value, the time to buy is now.




Marilyn Katz

      Marilyn Katz

    Berkshire Hathaway Homes Services New England Properties    
  Servings Westport, CT
  and the surrounding communities  

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Copyright © 2013 Marilyn Katz, All Rights Reserved

Comment balloon 13 commentsMarilyn Katz • May 09 2008 11:47AM


The problem is not with inventory.

The problem (one at least) is that lenders are taking a bath right now and have tightened their restrictions...even if you have great credit and a good job money is tougher to get...there are many more hoops to jump through...and probably more to come...

I hope things loosen a bit very soon

"A Quick Note"


Posted by Shannon Ziccardi, A+ Mobile Notary/"A Quick Note" (A+ Mobile Notary / "A Quick Note") almost 11 years ago

I have found two things.  Sellers still don't recognize that it's a buyer's market.  Second, buyers think it is more of a buyer's market than it really is.  They still want it 50% off.

Posted by Gary McAdams (GMAC Schwartz Property Sales) almost 11 years ago

There will be a price point for every home where it will receive offers.  Buyers determine the price - the listing price is just an opinion.

Posted by Adam Brett, The Adam and Eric Group, Fullerton's Finest (The Adam and Eric Group) almost 11 years ago

Sure, buyers can be unrealistic. You need to sort them out by getting them pre-approved for financing. Then focus on the sale of REO homes and submit multiple offers. Buyers sometimes need a little experience to understand the market.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 11 years ago

I 2nd Adam's comment.  I'll add that the elephant in the room is it's actually better for buyer to buy in the beginning of a seller's market.  You might miss the bottom by a bit but the potential downside is not as great.

Posted by Joe Virnig, No Ordinary Joe (RE/MAX Gold Coast REALTORS, Ventura County, California) almost 11 years ago

I love your line "This is a Buyer's Market, not a Fire Sale". This is what some of my buyers need to hear.

Posted by Betty Knowles, TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Vanguard - www.teamknowles.com) almost 11 years ago

MArilyn, According to some listing agents it is not a buyers market.  So, they are playing hardball.  But my real thought is that credit has gotten so much tighter and harder for people to buy.

Posted by Jimmy McCall, The Ex-Mortgage Consultant (JimmyMcCall.com) almost 11 years ago

Shannon- Our inventory is up, but many of those homes have been sitting for months.  Well priced listings do sell.  I've just seen some buyers, who do have the financing, missing out on homes they like,  because they were afraid to "pull the trigger."

Gary - "They still want it 50% off."  My point, exactly.

Adam- Certainly, the market determines the price, but when I receive offers $100,000 apart, you've got to wonder.

Roy- Sometimes, they need to lose a few before they understand the market

Joe- Unless, they plan to move in the next few years, if the buyers find the house they love, they should buy now and not wait for the market.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 11 years ago

Betty- Intellectually, they may know it, but they still don't believe it.

Jimmy- It's not up to the listing agents to decide that it's not a buyer's market.  The market will determine the price.  Playing hardball will just hurt their sellers. 

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 11 years ago

Your post is spot on.  I am so frustrated with buyers trying to get steals right now.  Our market is not dead or even declining at the moment, but buyers seem to think sellers should take a bath.  This isn't about lending either.  The two worst culprits I have seen lately were cash offers.  The cash buyer seems to think the fact that they are offering cash means the seller should reduce 10% or more.  That is not going to happen on a house that is priced correctly here.

Posted by Brenda Carus (Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Brenda- How right you are.  In reality. from the sellers' perspective, all deals are cash deals.  The mortgage details are between the buyer and the lender.

It's true that a cash offer eliminates the mortgage contingency.  However, if a buyer has financing in place and the home is in no danger of not appraising, then there is no reason to accept a lower offer, because it is from a "cash" buyer.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 11 years ago

In my market (Phoenix area) the logjam appears to be breaking... nothing like multible offers to turn buyers into serious bidders.

Posted by Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me, Utah Homes (Utah Homes) almost 11 years ago

Chuck- Hopefully, that trend is contagious.

Posted by Marilyn Katz, ABR, e-PRO - WestportCTProperties.com (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 11 years ago