Monday, May 13, 2013

Some Thoughts on the Current Market

Asking Price.

Well it's been quite a few months, sort of like a ride on that old wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone at Coney Island. I think I'll just rattle off a few things that have been on my mind, let's start with the asking price of an apartment. How relevant is it? That depends on who priced it and whether it was done based on math/comps or there is some other strategy at work like maybe price low and whip everyone into a frenzy. Or maybe just pick a number out of your hat, set the bar high with hopes of exploiting the current low inventory situation (especially for 2/3 bedrooms under $2.5mm).

We recently had a couple wind up $350,000 dollars over the asking price, of course we got there in fits and starts. My client was very sensitive to this, but once we got over the "shock" of getting there, at the end of the day the number that ultimately secured the home of their dreams still made mathematical sense, so that is what we stayed focused on. So don't just get stuck on their "number", look deeper to guide you in your bidding. In this market most likely you will be paying a premium to get the deal done, but at some point you have to just let it go if the bidding get's out of control.

Best and Final.

Is it really and truly a best and final? The short answer is no. We recently had two absolute lovely buyers, extremely qualified on all fronts "win" a best and final (or so we thought).We agreed to some terms and were promised that it was our deal, I of course mentioned to the listing agent we wanted assurances that if the other buyer came back with another offer the seller would honor our deal; we were told "of course". Well two days later while due diligence was being performed I got the call all buyer brokers dread. "Keith the other buyer threw an absolute silly number at the seller and he would be foolish not to accept it. That said we will give you the opportunity to match it and this time it really will be a best and final". This recently just happened again, but this time our clients stepped up and made an offer that the seller couldn't refuse. I guess this is just the nature of the (current) beast. I never take any of this personally but my heart does go out to my clients whom I have usually formed a bond with by this time. That said even when we "win" I don't necessarily celebrate as I know there is another party that "lost". It's one thing to make a bad trade with a security, but it is so much more emotional when you have  found that perfect home and are told no.

There is a part of me that thinks that there should be some sort of guidelines for "best and final" bids.