A real estate "sleeper" is a home that is priced fantastically and is a great deal but few people, if anyone, is paying attention to it. It is a solid property, in a good location, structurally sound and priced well but has not sold. In a buyer's market where there is significant home inventory but few buyers, sleepers are abundant. And surprisingly, while inventory has gotten tight with few new listings coming on the market, there are still some sleepers out there too!
How does this happen? Maybe the home was originally over priced and though price reductions have brought it into line, it is continues to be overlooked. Some buyers only look at just listed homes and avoid houses that have high days-on-market statistics.
Possibly several very similar homes went on the market at the same time and maybe this one just didn't compete as well in decor. Picture for a second, three homes listed during the same week in a cookie-cutter development where all the homes have roughly the same floor plan. All the home are the same age, condition, and priced very well, but only one homebuyer comes through the neighborhood during the first few weeks. So after 30 days, there are two sleepers left that didn't sell. Since the two houses are essentially the same as the neighboring home that sold, it's wasn't because the homes aren't properly priced. This is another scenario that will cause a sleeper.
But if you are sitting on the sidelines and just watching your perfect home for another price reduction, beware. I have recently had a buyer working through the numbers and watching a sleeper in northern Washington County. In this case, nothing was happening on the property but there was one price reduction, then another and suddenly the home was SOLD straight into pending! In this particular cases, if wasn't the cookie-cutter variety either. It was a beautiful new construction model in Scandia. The home was in a perfect location with a nice private lot.
And then are my listed homes after being on the market for a few months suddenly will have over half a dozen serious buyers take a look at the home. Agents and their buyers are nonchalant when I stress the home has had a sudden surge of interest. Many even "pooh-poohed" the idea and mildly accused me of trying to coerce an offer. When the first offer came in, sellers don't want to wait and see if another offer might materialize. They make their decisions and the homes are suddenly sold!
If the sleeper phenomena had happened only one time this past year, I would consider it a fluke but I have experienced this situation on homes throughout Ramsey, Washington, Chisago and Anoka Counties recently. In some cases I was the listing agent and others I was representing buyers.
So homebuyers heed my warning, if you are on the fence watching a sleeper, now might be the perfect time to make your move...Before someone else beats you to it!