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Opinion

January 10. 2014 3:08PM

Redfin Survey

Homebuyers willing to pay more for less, real estate agents say


Donald, right, and Stacy McCray, pictured December 2013, plan to put their two story home in Orange Park Acres on the market sometime in January, joining what forecasters say will be an increase in the number of people selling their homes in 2014. (Sam Gangwer/Orange County Register/MCT)

Real estate agents, who deal directly with buyers and sellers, are in a position to know firsthand what's on the minds of both groups when it comes to home sales.

A new report from Redfin, the real estate brokerage, found buyers in the fourth quarter continued to be frustrated by the slim pickings among inventory, were willing to pay more than a seller's asking price, and were willing to settle for less when it comes to home features.

Redfin's national survey of 468 agents provides insight into a housing market that continues to experience tightening inventories, rising home prices and mortgage rates that continued to trend upward.

Most agents continued to think it's a good time to buy a home (56 percent versus 55 percent in the third quarter), even if 63 percent believe sellers have “unrealistic expectations” about the value of their properties.

Among other findings:

• Eighty-seven percent of agents said limited inventory was buyers' biggest challenge.

• Fewer agents think now is a good time to sell a home — 65 percent in the fourth quarter compared with 72 percent in the third quarter and 86 percent in the second quarter — even if the overwhelming majority still think the time is right.

• About 30 percent said buyers were “flexible on features” and were “prepared to waive contingencies” to win a bid.

Ennis Antoine, associate broker at Better Homes and Garden Real Estate Metro Brokers in Atlanta, said some buyers are settling for less house because they may face a time crunch in finding a place to live. Others aren't compromising on location, but may settle for a home that is smaller or a little dated.

Antoine said he's advising clients to be patient. “You have to understand there's not a lot of inventory, and when you find the home you want, you have to give your best offer initially because there's no haggling. You can't bargain down.”

The Redfin survey also found agents were concerned that rising interest rates would limit home sales, with 39 percent believing that if rates exceeded 5.5 percent sales and price growth would suffer. Other agents put the threshold at 6 percent.

Federal Reserve policymakers plan to do less in stimulating the economy by keeping interest rates low, which means mortgage rates, which have already been on the rise, will continue to trend upward.




Real Estate

State Real Estate Commission chairman resigns his post

Travis York of Griffin York and Krause holds architectural plans for the redesign of the Sullivan Cigar building he purchased on Canal Street in Manchester.

New owner of Manchester landmark brings building back to the family

Brady Sullivan Properties closed on an all-cash $19.75 million deal Tuesday for the 20-story building at 900 Elm St.

Brady Sullivan corners Manchester skyline with its $19.75m purchase of City Hall Plaza

Originally deisgned as a 100-foot tall building, The Surf has been pared down to 70 feet,and realtors are already selling the projects 36 residential units that start at $239,000 and run up to about $500,000.

Some are critical of recent construction at Hampton Beach

As part of the process to build a new police station and a municipal parking garage, workers from Burke's Tree Service in Rochester removed trees from around the existing lot on Orchard Street in Dover Thursday. Further tree removal is planned to affect parking in the lot Friday.

Work begins on Dover police station, garage

Home & Garden

A newly renovated kitchen designed by Meagan Collins of Goedecke Decorating Center in Bedford shows cleaner lines in the transitional decorating trend. Every space is used to add storage for spices, utensils and every day items.

Decorating trends: Transitional style blends traditional and contemporary

READER COMMENTS: 0

If you want to give your home an updated and timeless look, consider transitional style — an interior designing trend that blends classic traditional and contemporary looks.

Windham may auction off unused properties

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The Windham board of selectmen will meet again in November to finalize details on the future sale of unused town lands.

Double amputee Iraq War veteran Matt DeWitt and his fiancee, Catrina Peck, stand outside their new home in Hopkinton with sons Levi and Reed. The specially adapted home was donated by Homes for Our Troops, and on Saturday, volunteers gathered to landscape the property.

Community comes together to work on custom dream home for NH veteran's family

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A local military family is one step closer to having their dream home ready, thanks to the help of a non-profit organization dedicated to providing custom houses for veterans, the Home Depot, a...

After learning embroidery as a child, Rhonda Besaw of Whitefield began doing beadwork in 1996, which opened her eyes to the rich handcraft traditions of her ancestors.

Whitefield artist's beadwork is a tribute to her Native American ancestry

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Rhonda Besaw specializes in traditional and contemporary Wabanaki beadwork.

Bedford Planning Board tables Wayfarer approvals again, citing traffic issues

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After being tabled by the Planning Board in August, two final approvals for the proposed John Goffe Plaza on the site of the former Wayfarer Inn were delayed once more by the board at their Monday...

Salem senior housing project could require encroachment into wetlands buffer zone

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The Conservation Commission is looking for more information on where a detention basin can be built on a proposed 16-unit senior housing project off Pleasant Street before it considers granting a...

Salem mausoleum owner looks to develop housing on site

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The owner of a mausoleum at 23 Pond Road is looking to develop senior housing on the 18-acre property.

Rosaly Bass moved to New Hampshire with her husband, Perkins, in 1973 and immediately started gardening.

Rosaly Bass' Peterborough kitchen garden grew to a certified organic 25-acre farm

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It starts with a plot of dirt and hope. For 77-year-old Rosaly Bass, that hope took her from a quarter-acre kitchen garden to a 25-acre career and two books.

Some remnants of the Wayfarer Inn, including the footbridge, will be removed by TFMoran in the renovation process. Others, like the mill building, will remain.

Proposed development on Wayfarer site gets green light from conservation group

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The new John Goffe Plaza, a mixed-use development being built on the site of the former Wayfarer Inn and future home of the Bedford Whole Foods Market, is one step closer to fruition after receiving...

The Salem Planning Board recently approved the site plan for a botanical garden at a former miniature golf course on North Broadway.

Former mini-golf course to transform into botanical gardens

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Salem gets more than its share of retail stores and restaurants approved by the Planning Board along Rte. 28, but the latest plan approved for 350 North Broadway should bring more than a touch of...