WAITING FOR GOOD DOUGH

Tis the season. But specially this year. Specially this market. Specially now. A lot of you Sellers are either pulling it off or holding it back – aren’t you? You are waiting for good dough. Better dough. In fact a lot better dough than the measly bucks you’ve seen getting tossed around the marketplace lately. ( Can you believe what they actually sold that bank-owned property down the street for!!!!??)

The question is: When exactly are you waiting for? And how long are you prepared to wait?

The traditional answer this time of year is almost always: “We’re going to wait until next spring.” And that phrase “next spring” usually assumes the vague persona of some mythical place in time and space. Somewhere far away. Over the next hill. Beyond the current valley of the shadow. Where the flowers are blooming. Where the grass is a lot greener and so is the money.

There are only nineteen shopping days left until Christmas but I suspect that means a whole lot more when it comes to the fast-selling inventory of flat screen TV’s and some of those new techie little apps for your I Phone than it does for local Sellers who have slightly higher ticket items known as homes for sale. We are reminded constantly by the the hyped up stats that more homes are selling this year than last year, when we honestly feared the economy was going to collapse like a house of cards. But that’s not much consolation if your house isn’t one of the ones that has sold.

The pressure to buy that arises around those Dionysian revels designed for shop-aholics -like Black Friday and Cyber Monday – doesn’t translate well to erstwhile home buyers who we suspect must be out there somewhere hovering on the radar but who don’t seem to feel any kind of biological imperative to show up any time soon and own a new home by the end of the year.

If there was a sense of urgency, the extension of the first time buyers tax credit through next June, has lessened it. Ditto for the extension of the conforming jumbo loan limit. The time horizon got moved back. Not forward like the ubiquitous Cash for Clunkers. Plenty of people may be over at Kohls right now looking for a new set of dish towels but they simply aren’t going to be getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning to wait in line for tomorrow’s open house on the average $900,000 listing.

So a number of you who have been on the market for a little while, or even a longer while than a little while, are temporarily raising the white flag, calling a cease flyer and deciding to take a vacation from what seems like the full time vocation of trying to show and sell your home. A sign of the times that signs are coming down.

It’s been a double edged sword lately, hasn’t it? On one hand, you hate getting up every morning for another day of living in a listing. Making sure everything is ship-shape. Cleaned and preened. Nicely pressed and all addressed up and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

What’s worse is, when you keep doing it and not enough of those moments of notice ever come? What if you keep staging a party at your house and no one shows?

It’s confusing. You hate the fact that no one is coming. But you love the fact that no one is coming. It is easier when no one comes. It is less hassle. You can let down your guard. Relax and lower your hopes and expectations.

And then…all of a sudden…like a rude noise that wakes you up out of a peaceful slumber, the phone rings and someone wants to see your home. Simultaneously you are thrilled to have a showing and horrified that you didn’t put away all the groceries or take out the trash.

You want to cancel the showing. But you can’t cancel it. You want to move but you don’t want to move anymore. You really do want to sell your house. But you hate selling your house.

It was all so much easier back in the day, when everything sold in two weeks with multiple offers. Escrows got done in 30 days or less and it was all over so fast you didn’t have time to think. We could use a lot more of that. Less time to think about it that is.

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