The foreclosure backlog is large, and with foreclosure filings up 33% in August over July, analysts think the real estate market has yet to hit bottom.

What does this mean for Baltimore real estate?

Well, it could mean that Baltimore house values could see further drops.

As more foreclosures come on the market in any area, the surrounding houses often see values drop. Technically, these “distressed” properties are not used as “comparables” for appraisal purposes, but the buyers/consumers see value in their own light.

Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. Let’s say there are 30 houses on the market in one Downtown Baltimore neighborhood. 15 of those houses are foreclosures or short sales, so they are at a reduced price. Let’s say of those 15, three of the foreclosures are in decent condition, need little work, and were rehabbed just seven years ago.

Buyers are savvy and know that the banks will often negotiate on price if there are not many offers on the table.

Why would they buy a more expensive house in the same neighborhood if they can get a deal on that one?

Yes, there are some buyers who need to find homes that are in good condition due to their type of financing, especially if using the CDA program and an FHA insured loan. That buyer, though, will not be willing to overpay (and due to their loan type cannot overpay since their appraisal must come in at the contract price!) and can wait for another deal. With a large number of houses on the market, they have plenty to choose from.

With the foreclosure filings up, this still doesn’t include those in the early stages of the foreclosure process, according to RealtyTrac and a NASDAQ article.

Baltimore home sellers need to price their homes aggressively to get them sold, and stage them to make them stand out. Contact me for help. I know how to get your Baltimore home sold!