The real estate market is showing some really small signs of slowing down right now. It’s been crazy, so this slow down really only means that we are moving from a strong sellers market to a sellers market. Mind you, we are only on the cusp of that change right now, but it does seem that tiny steps are being taken to move the real estate market into more balanced territory.
The slowing down we’re seeing in the real estate market right now might only be seasonal adjustments, but with the craziness we’ve been experiencing lately, who really knows? Bear in mind that school starts around here next week, and that usually means that the height of the selling season is behind us. But homes are sold here year-round. The famous summer selling season is really not as dramatic as you might think.
Sellers, pay attention!
I’ve been noticing a few things lately that really stand out with our drastically reduced inventory. These are things that happen all the time, but are now really, really visible. They can all pretty much be combined and filed under the heading Even in a strong market, you don’t make the rules.
Allow me to explain.
One of the things I do fairly regularly — usually about twice a week — is to preview the new listings that have come onto the market. Lately, a good number of them have gone under contract before I can even get to them. At the beginning of the summer, only a smattering of properties would still be available five days after they were first put on the market. That is stretching out to 10 days or so right now, but some properties just seem to stay on the market much longer than average.
Your first inclination might be to say that they are obviously overpriced. Without doing an in-depth pricing analysis — and I don’t just to preview properties — I can’t refute that. On the other hand, even in a strong sellers market, sellers cannot just dictate their price. It’s true that sellers set the price, but buyers determine the value. When price and value do not match up, it’s the price that is far and away the more likely to be adjusted.
Even in a strong sellers market.
It doesn’t pay to keep buyers out
One thing I have noticed that has been quite common with the properties that stay on the market longer than average, is that access is often limited. Sometimes, a seller will only allow showings for a few hours at the end of the day, or only a couple of days a week, or attempt to reschedule showings after they’ve been set. I’m not sure if the sellers are trying to force all the buyers into the property at the same time, so they’ll generate some kind of feeding frenzy, or if they’re simply trying to limit the inconvenience of having their homes on the market.
Either way, this tactic has backfired in every case I can recall. Even in a strong sellers market, these sellers are ironically forcing buyers to buy other homes. Why? Because the buyers know they can’t mess around. They don’t have the luxury of coming back to a property later, and miss the opportunity to pursue the one they have found. The bird in the hand will win every time, because there are simply not enough birds to go around.
Ya gotta be all in
Sorry, sellers, but you don’t get to put your property on the market kinda. If you’re really serious about selling your house, you need to be all in. Trust me, if you go all in, the inconvenience will be over quickly. You see, when we talk about a sellers market or a buyers market, we’re not talking about who makes the rules. In a nutshell, we’re talking about how fast the market is, and a sellers market is much faster than a buyers market. If you, the seller, really want to enjoy a strong sellers market, you only need play by the rules.
Randall Brennan, REALTOR
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