Because my wife and I are in the home buying market, we've learned a few things about the Dallas home market and I thought I'd share just a couple of our experiences in the Dallas housing market and what I've recently learned. Banks have a lot of REO's (Real Estate Owned, or foreclosed property) right now and are unable to unload them quickly enough. Only the very nicest homes are going for full retail value but a lot of very good homes are going for seriously reduced prices. A Real Estate agent I use specializes in distressed properties and told me that the banks own so much property they are actually afraid they may flood the market if they release everything right away. The result? Fire Sales! (A term used for a ridiculously low priced but good home.) And, they are also selling foreclosed properties at their regular reduce prices as well. Keeping that mix helps the bank unload property but seems to be driving prices down at least a little, and a lot in some areas.
For homeowners who are trying to attempt a "normal" sale for job or moving reasons, they are finding a lot of competition. Many are on the market for a long time or they resort to reducing the price so they can make the sale. Buyers are happy of course, but there's a drawback...I looked at a house ( a bank REO) a week ago. It was on the market for 7 days. Very nice home in a very desirable area. The market value was about $145,000 and the price tag was $115,400. No major work to be done, it was ready to move into. We looked at it on Sunday. We offered full price for it Monday morning, just to find it was already under contract with a contingent buyer waiting in the wings. Another house I looked at was on the market for 3 days. Beautiful bank owned house worth $149,000 marked down to $115,900. By the time I got there, my agent told me there were 9 offers on it and the selling agent was going to submit the highest offers to the bank the following morning.
So if you're in the market for a good house at a good price, you may want to consider bank owned property. It's tough out there, and I assume the competition comes primarily from investors, but if you are quick and have the tenacity to keep pace with other buyers, you can end up with a very good deal.