New Real Estate Market Reality

Today’s Seller is much more aware of real estate market conditions than Sellers of the past. Unless you live in a cave, it’s impossible not to know that property values have declined significantly and the future is uncertain. I am asked daily to gaze into my crystal ball and "see" when we can expect a turn around.

My answer is this: markets like ours in Prescott Arizona that saw massive increases in values over the first half of the decade, were fueled by the frenzy of speculators, investors and irresponsible lending. We’ve seen a decline of 40-50% in property values, fed by short sales, foreclosures and repos. We are at least close to values bottoming out, but any appreciation is likely to be slow and cautious. It could take a decade or two to rise to the values of 2005-2006. Facing this new reality is the challenge.

Banks Are Responding Quicker To Short Sales

The Short Sale transaction process has taken a turn for the better. A process that once took as long as six to ten months is now whittled down to as many weeks. Banks are realizing the importance of responding more quickly to submitted offers, and they have increased their staffs to meet the rising demand of distressed home owners who owe more than their homes can fetch in today’s market.

I recently opened two Short Sale escrows and both banks, National and Chase, ordered and had appraisers in the homes within ten days. Each promised to respond to the offers within ten days of receiving these appraisals. It should make the Short Sale process much less of a nightmare for folks already stressed by economic conditions.