I’ve been thinking a lot about the market lately and how challenging it is to be a first time buyer right now. I was talking to a loan officer recently and he was commenting on how nothing seems to be going smoothly. Now, in my 9 years of selling real estate I can tell you that nothing about a real estate transaction is *easy* but buyers today are facing a compilation of crazy circumstances that lead to really challenging transactions.
Here’s a small sampling of things I’ve seen…many that are just commonplace now:
- Buyers waiting upwards of 6 months to a year to hear back on a short sale offer for their dream home
- Having to buy your house “As Is” and not receiving any disclosures (even though the seller may have lived in the house)
- Approval on short sales requiring quick closes
- Appraisals not coming in
- Receiving an approved offer on a short sale and then not getting enough time to complete the loan
- Multiple offers and bidding wars
- Crappy investor flips (with no water to the kitchen and no hot water to the house whatsoever)
- Fannie Mae accepting an offer, collecting earnest money, requiring inspections to be ordered and then a week in deciding that they were canceling and going with another offer
- Sellers accepting multiple offers and submitting them to a lender while keeping you waiting months
- The house you are trying to buy going to foreclosure before you can close on it
- Appliances going missing prior to closing
- Crazy lender requests
- Ridiculous fees from unscrupulous REALTORS and their 3rd party short sale negotiators
I get to the closing table sometimes and the buyers look like they’ve been through the ringer. Because they have. They’re weary and frustrated. They’ve spent sleepless nights wondering if they’ll ever get a home. And I’m tired of having to look them in the eye and hug them and say “This is not normal.” And I’ve decided that I’m actually lying to them and myself because this is *normal* for now.
It’s got me wondering if we’re *creating* a whole generation of homeowners who are going to be scared senseless at the thought of selling a home and buying again when they’re ready to move on. Do they understand that this distressed market where the banks call the shots and sellers don’t care about their homes isn’t how it should be? Will they ever want to buy real estate again?
The loan officer encouraged me not to quit (for the record I wasn’t planning on it) because that’s just how things are right now. I chuckled inside. I couldn’t quit if I wanted to. I love helping navigate the craziness and doing everything I can to anticipate and avoid complications. And I REALLY love sitting across the table from clients hugging them and giving them their new keys.
I’m going to pass that advice on to buyers and sellers right now…don’t quit!
And remember: it’s not always like this.