The real estate market is in a state of flux, to say the least.
Quickly we have gone from homes selling in just a couple of days with multiple offers to homes taking longer to sell—or simply just sitting idle without any showings happening.
We spoke to REALTOR® Christine Lovatt to find out what’s going on and where she thinks things may be headed.
“What surprised me the most is just how quickly showings went from over 750 a week to 450 or so. Clients quickly panicked. We are returning to a more normal market, but clients and agents are having a hard time dealing with it!” she says.
Some homes, of course, are continuing to sell—almost half of the current listings fall into this category. There are even some that are still selling for over asking price. What makes this all so challenging, for clients and agents alike, is that there doesn’t seem to be any real rhyme or reason to it. Why one home sells right away and another doesn’t is a mystery.
“It is still a Seller’s market, with two months of inventory. But I have noticed that a few of the homes that first-time buyers are interested in are listed for about $50,000 to $100,000 less than they were priced at during our fastest selling time,” says Lovatt. That at least is an important bright spot for buyers, as prices have been so high for so long and have been a real obstacle to entering the market.
Unfortunately, many Sellers purchased firm, they have not yet sold their current home and they are now in the unenviable position of having to finance both houses. “Some people can’t afford to do this and are walking away, but they don’t just lose their deposit, they can be sued by the Seller for any loss incurred,” says the REALTOR®. “It can be a domino effect with that Seller now not being able to close on a house they have purchased.”
The best course of action is a simple one. If you have to list a home in this market, make sure to hire a professional who has lots of experience.
Says Lovatt, “A different strategy has to be planned now. Homes have to be correctly priced to compete with the many listings on the market. They also have to be presented in their absolute best light and money may have to be spent to make them stand out from the rest.”
Finally, patience is required. In today’s market it may take longer to sell; it can help to know this in advance and be ready to wait.