It’s no secret, Cecil County’s real estate market is hot right now and it has nothing to do with the weather. If you’ve been looking for a home in Cecil County, you’re probably frustrated by the low inventory (homes currently for sale) depending on your price range. I’m finding that Cecil County detached homes properly priced at 250K or less are going under contract almost immediately. But at the same time, the current seller’s market has proven equally frustrating for many trying to sell a home.
Cecil County’s shortage of listings didn’t happen overnight. Potential home buyers have been keenly focused on the favorable aspects of the county’s housing market for 2 years or longer. Why the increased demand for Cecil County homes? Property values remain comparatively lower than nearby housing markets. Much of Cecil County is eligible for the highly desirable USDA loan which requires zero money down. Often, commuting is not a big deal due to easy access to I-95. And, there’s a surge in employment opportunities due to the opening of distribution facilities along the Route 40 corridor between the towns of Perryville and North East.
As Cecil County becomes the hot spot for more homebuyers, the supply of homes for sale can’t keep up with the increased demand. Home values continue to rise in many parts of Cecil County as buyers compete for their dream home. In short, Cecil County is experiencing a textbook case of a seller’s market. But, there’s a twist we haven’t seen in the past.
After searching frantically to find a home, buyers lack confidence in their choices when making offers. In many instances, only one or two active listings check the boxes of a buyer’s search criteria. Then there’s the pressure to decide immediately or risk losing a newly listed home. Even after having an offer accepted, some buyers continue to actively look for fear of missing out on a more suitable home or one that’s better priced.
Buyers are tying up listings by offering top dollar (usually more than asking price) for homes they aren’t even sure they want. They look to the home inspection to make unreasonable requests of sellers for price reductions, to fix/replace virtually everything in the house, or to terminate the transaction. Home inspections are intended to identify major problems and to offer practical information about the property. Home inspection reports for existing homes are not “punch lists” like we see in new construction where every little detail should be perfect. Contracts are falling apart because sellers are refusing to give in to overly demanding buyers. By the time the house is back on the market, the seller has often lost 2 or more valuable weeks. To make matters worse, the “failed” home inspection must be disclosed to potential future buyers which often raises concerns about the property’s condition.
There really is no way for sellers to completely safeguard themselves against buyers abusing the home inspection process. One option might be to have a home inspection completed before a property goes on the market. Any issues revealed could be corrected before potential buyers step foot in the house. But like most things in the world of real estate, home inspections are subjective work products. Buyers are still likely to bring in their own home inspector and can ask for anything listed on their inspector’s report.
The best protection for anyone selling a home is an experienced Realtor. Successfully selling a home involves so much more than location, price, staging and condition. The true test of a skilled listing agent is to negotiate a contract that protects the seller as much as possible and to get that contract to the settlement table.
Thinking about selling your Cecil County home? to provide your address and contact information. I will get back to you with a free valuation of your home after researching current listings and recent sales activity in your neighborhood. Or feel free to reach out with a phone call or an email to discuss the of marketing of your home.