Reporting a recent story on how Realtors are coping with the housing slump, Ardell DellaLoggio, a broker in Seattle, told me one of the big changes is how much more work it now takes to close a home.
“It takes ten times as long to do to the same sale as two years ago,” she says. “In a hot market you’ve got two or three bidders. You didn’t have to deal with inspections in a normal manner.” In the past, she said buyers would forget about minor issues that popped up during inspections. In really hot markets, buyers would sometimes waive their right to inspect the property and ask sellers for concessions if major problems were discovered.
Now, DellaLoggio says, “it’s like a second round of price negotiation.” Buyers are now trying to chop tens of thousands of dollars off the already-agreed-upon price. And agents such as DellaLoggio have to go over inspection reports line by line, giving the seller’s responses. “This is the kind of work you need to do now to keep a sale in play,” she says. Here’s a link to her own blog.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.