Picky first-time buyers losing out on great housing deals

Picky, picky, picky! Are today’s first-time home buyers passing up great deals because they insist on flawless “move-in ready” houses requiring little or no changes – even at the starter-home price levels at which shoppers traditionally have been willing to factor fix-ups and renovations into their offers?

Or are they simply reflecting market realities? They see record inventories of houses sitting unsold, and they may not have the money, time or inclination to do fix-ups after making the purchase.

Large numbers of real estate agents consider this a significant and perplexing issue, one that’s having a negative effect on the housing recovery. New research suggests that they may be on to something. A survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate of 300 first-time buyers found that a startling 87 percent said that “finding a move-in ready home is important” to them.

A posting about fussy buyers on the 203,000-member “Active Rain” online real estate network in late February drew strong support from agents nationwide. Holly Kirby Weatherwax, an agent based in Reston, who wrote the original blog post, said in an interview that some shoppers are so picky that they walk out of well-priced houses solely because of relatively minor imperfections such as:


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