That is probably the question I am asked most these days. My personal opinion, after 20 years as a real estate agent, is that we seem to be approaching that point. Here’s why:
1. Over the last month, I have started to see a dramatic change in the way banks are treating their bank-owned properties (REOs). Just a few months ago, some of the banks with which I work were listing their foreclosures at prices higher than recommended. Now they are starting to list them for sale at prices under market value.
2. We are starting to see multiple offers on foreclosed homes. Last week, a client I represent was competing against 11 other offers for the same property. Fortunately, my client’s offer was the one that the bank accepted.
3. Multiple offers on foreclosures is driving the prices up. In other words, in order to secure the home they want, buyers are offering more than list price. That is a big sign that we may have reached bottom.
4. The federal government is very anxious to do things that will help the economy and reduce the large number of homes on the market. Interest rates are a big part of that, and they are very low right now. However, that can’t last forever. As soon as they go up again, we are likely to see a slowdown in real estate buying activity.
5. There are a lot of active buyers right now. People have a general sense that the time is right to jump back into the real estate market.
6. Sellers of homes that are not in any stage of foreclosure are very willing to negotiate terms of sale right now. They are willing to pay for things such as closing costs (normally something that the buyer and seller split) or provide an allowance for repairs.
If you are seriously looking to take advantage of the real estate opportunities out there right now, my biggest piece of advice for you is to meet with your lender and get a prequalification letter. Many of the banks who own foreclosures will not consider an offer without it. If you need some recommendations for experienced, reputable lenders, please check out our recommendations at http://www.homescentralcoast.com/mortgage-rates.html.