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Real Estate Market in Sedona, Arizona

With incredibly low sale prices, interest rates hitting 5%, the lowest in decades, and Congress expected to set aside $50-$100 billion to help homeowners, we’re optimistic about the Sedona market in 2009. Here are some facts to consider:

Homes Sold: In 2008 a total of 302 homes sold in Sedona compared with 350 in 2007 for a decline of 14%. Though the market did slip some, it slipped at a rate lower than what we saw at the beginning of the downturn and at rate lower than in other markets in Arizona.

Inventory moved slightly lower suggesting some stability. There were 595 active listings in December 2008 compared with 606 in December 2007. The 595 active listings represent a 22-month supply. At the height of the Sedona market, the monthly supply was 3.5 months, a big difference. This over-supply has brought prices down, luring a significant number of home buyers back into the market.

Foreclosures and Short Sales. As Sedona is home to many upscale retirees and second homebuyers, it is less prone to speculation and sub-prime loans or unscrupulous lenders. Nevertheless, it has its share. As of January 2009, 76 out of 595 active listings were foreclosures or short sales (13%).

As Foreclosures Rise, More Sellers and Lenders Consider Short-Selling
What is a short sale? A short sale is a sales transaction in which the seller’s mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance due on the loan. A short sale may or may not involve a property in foreclosure. Some lenders do not require seller to be behind in mortgage payments in order to qualify, however, most do.

Buyers who can find a short-sale can get a good deal. The advantages of buying a property through a short sale include buying at a discounted price and buying a house where the sellers are still motivated to sell the home and may take care of it until it is sold.

Should you go the Short Sale route and find a home, and the seller agrees to your offer, your agent will need to send it to the lender for approval along with the numerous required documentation. You will not have a deal until the lender OKs it, The whole process can take as long as 90 days or more.

If you bid too low, the Lender will sit on your application for weeks or months in hopes of getting a better offer, so working with a realtor who knows the Sedona market is crucial. The lender pays the realtor’s commission and in some cases the buyer may be asked to pay part of it. Typically, the lender will not bear the cost of items that are usually paid for by sellers, and the lender will agree only to sell the property, if the buyer agrees to buy it in “as is” condition.

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