Well, not if you look outside (or step out into this crazy weather), but doing my normal Open House sleuthing, it was pretty apparent that the pent-up demand is driving buyers in droves into the market.
I looked at three disparate properties; a small ranch in the Lincoln school district, a larger contemporary home overlooking Gallup Park trails, and a mid-century modern on the west side of Ann Arbor on a semi-busy road. On each of these visits, there were not quite wall-to-wall buyers – quite surprising for March 1st.
The Ypsilanti Twp (Lincoln school) property had three sets of buyers at the house already when I got there and as I was leaving another was coming in the door and two cars were pulling up. Not shabby for having opened only ten minutes earlier. The house overlooking Gallup had two sets of buyers at it, another one leaving, and a couple of people waiting in a car, likely waiting for their agent to show up. The listing agent, who is a personal friend of many years, had little time to actually talk because he was busy fielding questions. This is an excellent sign. The last house was crazy. It had come on the market two days before and apparently already had three offers (it showed up as under contract today). I got blocked in the driveway and couldn’t leave for a while, and potential buyers were having to park down the street to come in.
Why do I write about this? Because I think it is important, as an appraiser, to stay in touch with your market. How better to stay in touch than to see it from the perspective of buyers, as well as agents who are active in the market. Agents may tell me they are busy, but I can see it first hand if I am at Open Houses and can barely get through. The opposite can also be true, as agents could tell me they are getting a lot of activity, but be happy to have a visitor at the open house.
Right now it looks like our early spring market has hit. This is common in the Ann Arbor market in March, but it feels a couple weeks earlier than normal.
Now if only the actual weather would follow…