The Sweet Spot
Is it possible to have both a buyer’s market AND a seller’s market simultaneously?
Actually, yes. And that time is now. Here’s why: When there are fewer homes and
lots of buyers, prices rise. When there are lots of homes but fewer buyers, prices fall.
Supply & demand. But what happens when supply keeps pace with demand? We get
a more balanced market. The screaming deals go away, as do the sky-high prices.
The scale is balanced, and prices stay consistent with the current real estate market.
So how should one proceed in the current market? As a seller, it’s probably not the
time to break someone’s bank. Although home inventory is low, buyers still have
other choices. And if you’re listing your home above market value, you’ll need a
compelling reason why (compelling for the buyer, not for you). While you might
think that the new carpet you installed should command a premium, the buyer
might simply view that as a cost of doing business. Remember this: Opinions are
subjective, but market values are not. Stay within the confines of the market and
you’ll do fine.
For buyers, inventory is more limited than in past months. Not quite as limited as,
say, a grocery store in Cold War Russia…but limited nonetheless. If you’re extremely
particular about what you want, then be smart when you’re shopping. If you find
what you’re looking for, don’t kill the deal with lowball offers, excessive
negotiations, or pulling a wait-and- see. It just might cost you that dream house.
Another option would be to expand your criteria. Going a little bigger or a little
smaller increases your choices. And think about being open to less than perfect
design features. Mauve walls can always be painted beige.
Back in 2009, homeowners were turning the proverbial screws on the buyers. A few
years later, the pendulum shifted and the homeowners were the ones getting
worked over. But we’ve finally returned to a harmonious real estate market where
nobody has to get screwed to get a deal done. So let’s enjoy this time while the scales
are balanced. It’s a perfect time to buy – or sell – a home!