My best advice to my shoppers: get ready. Be flexible. Be persistent. It takes a lot of no to answer yes.
Realtors Rosemary “Rosie” Lumberson and Freddie Paulsrud of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty are seasoned experts in Flagstaff’s dynamic real estate market. With 80 years of experience, Rosie and Freddie share their valuable knowledge as Golden Girls in Real Estate.
FBN: For buyers and sellers, the past year and a half has been like riding an extreme roller coaster. How would you explain where we have been and where we are going in the real estate market?
Rosie: A lot has happened in the last year! Forget the slow start of 2020 with all the unknown pandemic outbreaks that made home buyers and sellers a little shy about pulling the trigger. Right now, there is strong demand with ultra-low stocks, interest rates are low, and constrained buyers are trying to enter the market. Here’s what’s going on. We also have jaded buyers who have given up. It’s just that it’s hard for everyone right now. Housing prices are rising for many reasons: demand outstrips supply, building prices are rising due to rising costs of building materials, and people are moving here because they have learned they can live and work anywhere.
Freddie: Plus, buyers come from high-end urban centers like Los Angeles and New York, where they sold their 1,200-square-foot home for $ 1.5 million. So buying a 2,500 square foot home for less seems like a bonus. Plus, baby boomers are shrinking and coming with cash, making them fierce competition for first-time homebuyers looking for a home of the same size. Because of all of this, some sellers are now drinking Kool-Aid in this frantic buying and inflating their homes, thinking they are going to sell no matter what, and they end up with no testimony.
Rosie: I just spoke to a realtor and asked how things are in a particular house. He said he was still on sale and he didn’t know why. Well, it’s listed at over $ 300 per square foot. Home should be priced at market value based on our estimates and an estimate of what the market will hold up. Often, when we talk to our salespeople, they understand this. This may not be the kind of conversation that everyone has with their salespeople.
Freddie: I totally agree. I think some sellers overvalue their property because things sell very quickly. But if you go back and look at homes that sold quickly, it’s because they were priced correctly and buyers raised their prices. When you say, “Well, my neighbor had 15 offers for their house at $ 400,000, so I can ask for $ 650,000,” well, we might have to remind them that the house with all the offers was neat and at a good price. You cannot raise the price of the same floor because none of these 15 buyers will come and buy your home. Sellers who overcharge their homes shoot themselves in the foot even before we put up a sign in the yard. If we have a great listing and a good price, we might have 10 offers. That’s when I will prepare a spreadsheet for my salespeople showing the pros and cons of each offer.
FBN: Is there an end to this intense seller market?
Rosie: One thing about the market: it’s not easy for buyers or sellers, even though the sellers are driving. According to forecasts, this will continue for a very long time. Flagstaff is surrounded by the National Forest as always. I love showing my customers the forest service map. With all of the state lands, national parks, and federal lands, we have very little private land space, and this always drives up prices. And then when you put in the demand for steroids, we were actually discovered. We have a vibrant active community. Young people come here. People who can work from home come here.
Freddie: I think it’s interesting that due to climate warming our winters practically cease to exist in some years, and I see that many more pensioners come here. They said, “We don’t want to live in the snow.” But in Flagstaff, you don’t have to live in the snow. These are just random inconveniences.
Rosie: That’s right. And at any time you can go to Sedona or another place that is simply stunningly beautiful.
Freddie: What I’ve noticed too, especially in our secondary home market, is that buyers who might be taking their families to Hawaii or on a cruise say, “I just want to have a home that we can bring to our family. … to both spend time together, and do not need to fly to get there. This means people from Phoenix come here and buy second homes.
Rosie: We are definitely seeing this no-fly trend during the pandemic. People have simplified their lives and found they can have a wonderful situation without getting on a plane.
Freddie: And not having to fly with your whole family to Hawaii gives you a lot more discretionary income to get to Flagstaff!
FBN: How can home buyers improve their chances of a successful bid and compete with cash bids?
Rosie: Buyers can make sure they are eligible for a loan, know how much they can afford and where they want to live.
Freddie: They must have a wishlist. They can tell their real estate agent, “Here’s my top 10, and here are 10 more that I can be flexible about.” In this market, they never get 100% of everything they want. If they get it first …
Rosie: … then they’ll live in Flagstaff! “
Freddie: My mantra is, “Make it easy for the salesperson to say yes.” Show that you are prequalified and that you have the money to pay the difference if the house is not being rated at the level of your offer. Conduct a quick inspection. Be flexible with a closing date based on the needs of the seller. Work with an experienced professional.
Rosie: I had this situation just recently with two cases. I had 12 proposals for one house and 20 proposals for another. None of the sellers chose the money supply. I want to give buyers hope that this will actually happen. Some buyers have been looking for more than a year, and this is very frustrating for them. It’s hard for us too, because we interfere.
Freddie: When your customer starts crying, it’s just heartbreaking. Sometimes a personal letter to the seller helps. If I raised my children in this house and received two offers that were roughly the same, I would most likely be attracted to a buyer who would like to preserve the wonderful memories that I leave behind. My best advice to my shoppers: get ready. Be flexible. Be persistent. It takes a lot of no to answer yes. FBN
For more tips from The Golden Girls of Real Estate, follow the link flagstaffbusinessnews.com/tags/freddi-paulsrud/…
Rosemary “Rosie” Lumberson is a real estate agent for Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. Its office is located at 1750 S. Woodlands Village Blvd., Suite 200, in Flagstaff. You can contact her by phone 928-853-3626 or email@example.com…
Freddie Paulsrud is an associate broker at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. Her office is located at 219 N. Humphries Street in Flagstaff. You can contact her by phone 928-853-3737 or firstname.lastname@example.org…