Forgotten, But Not Gone.
March 6, 2012
Some Sell, Some Sit.
It's kind of interesting to see that despite all of the hype of such a perceived red-hot real estate market that we're seeing in San Carlos right now, that not all houses are flying off the market in the first week with multiple offers. Certainly there have been well documented accounts of homes that received a plethora offers in the first week (919 Woodland Avenue), or those that simply sell off-market without ever seeing the light of the MLS. But this phenomenon does not appear to be gripping the entire real estate market in San Carlos.
Before the handful of new listings hit the market on Monday, the average days on the market (DOM) for the active homes in San Carlos was a whopping 76 days. There's a variety of reasons why these homes haven't sold in such a hot market, whether it's location, condition, or price…or some combination of all. That in itself is not news — every city has its own collection of homes that aren't selling. But the effect it has on the psyche of the buyers is indeed interesting.
Now that DOM information is readily available to consumers on virtually every real estate website, it has had an interesting effect on how some buyers approach the market for the first time. When choosing which homes they'll target during an open house weekend or with their Realtor on a private tour, they'll often skip the homes that have been on the market for more than 45 days or so.. Why?
Prospective buyers often jump to the conclusion that something must be wrong with a house if it hasn't sold in the first 2 weeks in San Carlos. Some homes definitely have their challenges as far as condition and location — things that may buyers may not be willing or able to change. But inevitably, there are always some homes that languish on the market simply because they're priced too high. Right or wrong, when a house sits on the market for an abnormally long period of time in a strong market, it suffers from what we call the “Damaged Goods Effect.”
And once they drop off everyone's radar screen, they're essentially forgotten.
If you're just stepping into the real estate market, make sure to see the older listings along with the new ones — it shouldn't be that difficult since there are only 31 homes for sale in ALL of San Carlos right now. You may find that sellers are far more willing to negotiate since they've missed that honeymoon period of the first two weeks on the market. Who knows? Your diamond may indeed may be in all of that rough. And you may not have to compete with a bunch of other buyers to get it, either.