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  • Ed Elam

So, can I still buy a house in Boise?

I have friends and clients asking me if it is still possible to buy a house in Boise and the correct response is Yes, No, and Maybe! Nice answer huh? With our continued low (or NO) inventory it truly is challenging to get an offer accepted on houses lately. Typically, this would be the time that our market is starting to show some life and increased activity after the winter months, however…our market has not slowed down at all. With the arrival of spring and the normal increased activity associated with that it is getting even more challenging.

So, back to the Yes, No, and maybe scenario….


The first response of Yes is not for the faint of heart. I am educating my buyers that to be successful you need to be prepared to lose at least 10 houses before it is your turn. What does this mean?

  • Be prepared to look at a house the DAY it comes on the market.

  • Be prepared to offer full and above list price.

  • Be prepared to offer higher than you think is reasonable.

  • Be prepared to entertain an escalation clause with your offer.

  • Be prepared to waive your appraisal contingency and be asked to make up the difference between appraised value and offer.

  • Be prepared to purchase a home “As-is” or perhaps even waive your inspection contingency.

  • Be prepared to have the seller sit on your offer, (even if you are first through the door and first offer in) to collect more offers.

  • Be prepared to wait several days for a response to your offer.

  • Be prepared to be asked if you want to revisit, amend, or increase your offer.

  • Be prepared to write your highest and best offer up to the point where you will not second guess yourself if you lose it over $500 dollars.

How about the No you cannot buy a house in Boise right now? Here is what that might look like.

  • You want to offer full price and that is it.

  • You want to ask the seller to pay some money towards your closing costs.

  • You want to “think about it”.

  • You want a quick response.

  • You want to negotiate cosmetic repairs.

  • You want to wait till the weekend to see the new listing.

  • You want to play hardball on a counteroffer and hold your line.

Then there is the good ole Maybe…. What does that look like?

  • If you are willing to write offers and get rejected and somehow not get discouraged.

  • If you can jump on new listings the day they hit the market and write a clean solid offer.

  • If you can find a seller that has some specific needs, you can accommodate. Such as extended close, rent back or close and stay for a couple months as no cost.

  • Find a property that you hear might be coming on the market through family and friends and have your agent negotiate a win-win for everyone!

  • If you are a cash buyer.

  • If you have the reserves to make up any shortage between appraised value and offer value if there is one.

  • If you have some reasonable flexibility in your wants/needs to be able to accept a house and make the necessary changes after closing to make it yours.

  • If you do not have a strict timeline you have to be in a house.

You see, there is hope and ability to buy in the crazy Boise real estate market, it just depends on what your expectations are and where you fit in the Yes, No or Maybe buyer pool. I cannot tell you how many of the same buyers and agents I have seen while showing houses lately. It is nice to see some familiar faces and I plan on giving them a call to let them know when my buyers get their house and encourage them that their buyer’s house is just around the corner. Agents are working extremely hard on their buyer’s behalf and do everything they can to educate, advise, and even console during this frantic time.

So, are you thinking of buying or selling? I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to talk with you and through the logistics so you are an informed buyer or seller! On your mark, get set, Go!


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