Red Hot Real Estate: Competition soars in the Buffalo housing market

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The red-hot housing market in Buffalo is competitive. That’s the word from brokers across Western New York.

Prices are at all-time highs, and bidding wars take prices tens of thousands of dollars above asking. The pace is intense.

Realtors say waiting even one day can mean the difference between a sale, and a missed dream home.

It’s a battle of supply and demand. We’re seeing too many buyers and not enough sellers. And now those buyers are finding creative ways to get their dream home:

Broker, Renee Moran with Red Door Real Estate said it’s a sign of the times. She said, “People want to stay in Buffalo, there is a renaissance, the redevelopment of almost every neighborhood is happening.”

From Elmwood Avenue to the Town of Tonawanda, our housing market is booming no matter where you’re looking.

Moran said the day a house hits the market, it’s already almost too late. She said, “I haven’t seen a house sell in the last four months that didn’t have multiple offers on it.” But there is a shortage of inventory here. “If a house comes on the market, we need to be in it within 24 hours.”

She says buyers flock to the same homes and open houses look like circuses these days. The result? Record numbers of home sales and near record prices too. Moran says sometimes paying up to $40 thousand dollars over the asking price. And buyers are willing to foot the bill:

Ricky Maluping, a buyer from Tonawanda, said, “One of the houses I went to go look at the other day sold. It had ten offers over asking price. It’s just kind of the nature of the beast right now. Maluping has been looking for more than six months with no luck.

The time he spends looking, is like taking on a second job. He said, “Hours a day, hours. If i’m not at the gym, or working or eating, I am on my phone looking at listings, It’s been real tough.” He knows the competition is fierce, often wondering how high he’ll have to go to beat his rivals out for that dream home, or what else he can do to seal the deal.

Tim Riordin with Keller Williams Realty encourages his clients to think outside the box, in one case, adding something extra to their final offer.

Riordin said, “We decided to sweeten our offer, by offering the seller two tickets, regular season, to any NHL game in the United States, and Canada too.”

House. Sold.

But that’s not all. Riordin said he’s heard of a buyer offering a seller pizza for a year. He said, “Wherever the seller went for pizza, they offered to buy the seller pizza for an entire year, wherever they wanted.”

These brokers say, it’s so competitive, buyers are taking risks, like waiving a house inspection. Moran said, “We are seeing cash offers come in, we are seeing no inspections come in, and a first time buyer can’t compete with that.”

Riordin said, “Often times, we’ll find out why we didn’t we get the offer, and they’ll be like, “well because somebody else made a cash offer with no inspection, over the asking price.”

Waiving inspections is not something these brokers recommend. But, building a relationship with the homeowner is.

Moran said, “I’ve had a seller take a lower offer because they liked that particular client.”

Riordin said, “Some personalities want that emotional connection, that maybe they would’ve done the same thing if they were in the buyers shoes, and anything that you can make a connection with that seller you have to try.”

The numbers speak volumes, the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors says inventory is down almost 30 percent across our area from last year.
First time buyers are up against cash buyers, and investors from out of time who have money and time to burn.

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