Once in awhile, properties listed for sale on the MLS instruct real estate professionals that the home cannot be seen until and unless there’s an accepted purchase offer on it. The way it reads in the multiple listing is this: “make offer subject to inspection“. That translates to “make your offer without seeing it, but the home buyers can have a contingency that if they do not like the way it looks, they can back out of the deal”.
The idea that an contract would be written without seeing the house, townhouse, condo, duplex etc.or that someone should plunk down hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home “sight unseen” is absolutely shocking to most Silicon Valley home buyers. But it is the way that apartment buildings and many investment properties (duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes) are sold.
Think of it this way: if one is buying a tenant occupied property that is being sold as investment property, whether it’s 1 unit or 2o, the main thing is not so much how it looks physically, but how it looks on the books. How’s the cash flow? How good is the return on investment?
It is unusual to find a house for sale where the showing restrictions are limited to this extent. But it’s not unheard of! In the last 90 days in Santa Clara County, 2100 single family homes sold and closed escrow. Of those, 42 had the showing instructions of “make offer subject to inspection”. It’s a scant 2% of closed sales. (There were 219 sold this way in the last 365 days.) Of the actives, or available homes not under contract, right this moment the MLS says there are 766 single family homes (houses and duet homes) and 21 of them have this instruction, or about 3%. Most of these times, the house, condo, etc. will have renters inside. But not always.
Most buyers cannot see risking this – writing an offer “blind” as it were (read about blind offers here). Many of these are short sales, in fact of the 219 sold in the last 365 days, 154 were short sales. The 61 “regular sales” sold with this showing restriction averaged 37 days on the market.
In a crazy market where many homes sell fast, homes with showing restrictions may provoke buyer anxiety, but that same thing may prove to be a buyer opportunity. If you want to buy in this market, seek out the home that not everyone else is seeking. This could be the ticket for you.