The UPSIDE To A Down Real Estate Market

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Buyers in the new market now have more choices.  How many of your buyers were sidelined for months or even years, waiting to have more than one house to choose from?  How many buyers opted to not have to be in a bidding war? How many of those buyers also have a home to sell, who told you they would have listed, but where would they go?  When was the last time you spoke with them?

Inventory has inched up over the past 90 days, if only slightly.  Some homes are taking longer to sell, and as days on the market increase, so do the number of choices. 

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2.     Buyers don’t have to guarantee appraisal gaps anymore.  Homes are selling at or close to the list price, not massively above.  No more worries for you about deals dying because buyers don’t have the downpayment PLUS the appraisal difference!  This means each buyer’s savings actually goes further toward a stronger down payment, or keeping more reserve cash.

3.     Sellers actually need you.  Homes aren’t selling themselves anymore, pricing is more challenging, and staging matters.  No more beating down your commission because they really didn’t see your value.  The temptation to be a for sale by owner, or to not be particular about whom they list with, or to list with a discount broker is now waning.  

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4.     Commissions are going up on both the listing side and the buyer’s side.  Caring, competent and skilled agents are now in high demand. Fear of missing out (FOMO), plus scary headlines = sellers need your guidance to figure out what is actually going on in the market.  Be the problem solver, the leader in an otherwise confusing market.

5.     Builders love you again.  Commission bonuses are already common, as high as 6% or more paid to buyer’s agents.  If you’re not talking to builders right now, you’re missing out on opportunities for both your buyers and yourself! Identify new construction neighborhoods in your area, visit the model homes, get the list of promotions, and get your buyers the house they’ve been waiting for.

6.     Builders also love buyers.  Most builders are now offering in-house financing with loan buy-down programs, which start at an introductory low rate, adjust 1 to 3 times, and then lock in the rate on year three.  This means buyers can afford more, still get a low rate, refinance later if they wish, and have a new home by the holidays.

7.     Homes are still appreciating, and rents are still high.  Thus being a homeowner still makes more sense than renting.  Real estate is still one of the best, most stable, most predictable investments you can make.  Thanks to inflation, you can still count on between 3 and 5% appreciation, year over year, according to the latest reports from many economists.  Remember that ‘appreciating less’ is different than ‘depreciating’.

8.     When you personally carry more listing inventory, your lead generation becomes easier, not harder.  Having just 30 days on the market changes everything.  Now you have sign calls, open houses, lead follow-up, just listed and sold campaigns, and doorknocking to generate around each listing.  Every listing should produce a minimum of one more immediate listing for you in the same or competing neighborhood when you take advantage of slightly longer days on the market.

9.     No more wonky, as-is contracts for your buyers.  This means more buyers will have confidence in their purchase since they’ll know something about the house they’re trying to buy. Yes, this means YOU will have to have a higher level of skill in negotiating on both the buyer and listing side with regard to inspections.  Refer to our podcast series about how to deal with inspections!  The percentage of buyers who are waiving inspections continues to drop, month over month this year.

10.     Sellers are much more compliant regarding both the price and condition of the home.  It’s not enough to just be ‘available’ on the market; now your listing has to be the best choice amongst the competition in order to sell, particularly if you have new construction popping up near your listings.  Again, sellers need you more and appreciate your expertise.  No more wondering why they’re paying a commission!

11.     Prices coming down are a ‘wash’.  Yes, sellers will sell slightly down from the peak, however, remind them that they also will BUY at less than the peak.  As they say, ‘it’s a wash!’  This is still better than taking the highest bid, making yourself homeless, and then spending money to rent until you can get into the next bidding war!

12.    Weaker agents will wash out of this market.  Why is this good? The quality of offers and contracts, as well as ease of negotiating, should get easier when skilled agents are working together.  This also allows for the rise of new top producers like YOU, who embrace the change and take advantage of the opportunities.

13.     More Expired, Withdrawn and canceled listings.  It’s easier to identify sellers who have the desire to sell and who have been willing to list their homes.  Pricing is easier because the market has already tested the previous price.  You can choose your own inventory when you get great at helping expired sellers!  Expired listings have fewer days on the market when they re-list.  Be the listing agent when it actually SELLS.

14.    More For Sale By Owners.  (Unrepresented owners) Many of the for sale by owners on the market today were expired listings last month or last quarter.  They’re trying it on their own because they don’t know what else to do.  If they don’t sell in the first couple of weeks, these motivated sellers are generally willing to list with a skilled agent.

15.     Luxury homes just become more affordable! According to Redfin, Luxury homes have suffered a 30% drop in the number of sales in the last 90 days, reaching a 10-year low.  Look for Expired listings.  Find out who still ‘has-to’ sell versus who’s giving up and list those properties! Which buyers have you spoken to in the past 1-3 years who would have moved UP but there was little to choose from? Now may be their time!




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