I've written before about how many sales are now for cash. It's ironic, because mortgage rates are still really low; however, it's hard enough for most people to get a mortgage, both because of credit issues and because of the paperwork requirements and timing, that many are choosing to go the cash route. Some of those people may go back and refinance later, but they are showing up at the closing table with cash. 56% of our sales in the first four months of the year were for cash! And that's true around the country, although in some places, it's due to multiple bids on insufficient inventory, leading to cash offers as a tactic to secure the property by nervous buyers.
We never thought we'd say this, but the change in closing dates has brought challenges that we couldn't imagine. One of those is that personal checks, given by buyers as deposits on sales, don't always have time to clear our escrow accounts before the closings. The big rush to close has been exacerbated, both for weather reasons (a slow start to the selling season and the need to close during the summer), and because many more people are choosing to cut out contingencies as a bargaining chip, so they have fewer things to do before they close. Also, there are lots of investors, who are buying at what they perceive to be bargain prices, and who may be planning to renovate anyway.
That's what we love about real estate--there's a new set of challenges in every kind of market!