Observations from an Unpredictable Market

Observations from an Unpredictable Market

We fielded offers on two listings this week - both sellers are thrilled with the outcomes for their homes. Each were on the market for only 8 days…one is pending at 30% over asking and the other is in contract at over 70% of asking!

But just down the street from our listings, we see many homes sit vacant and without viable offers for a long, long time. This market is variable and inconsistent.

The number one question we get from friends and family is, “how is the market?” Here are some observations:

  • An increase in cash! Since borrowed money is rather expensive these days (interest rates are near 8%), buyers are increasing their down payments and offering all-cash. One of our listings received five offers this past week and four were all-cash!

  • Proper market preparation is everything. We can’t emphasize this enough…if a seller’s goal is to net as much as possible from a home sale, making smart choices in preparing that home for marketing will be the dividing line between no offers and a competitive multiple offer scenario. Buyers are much less excited about homes that are not move-in ready, sold vacant and staged, and lacking charm. Of course we represent every kind of seller, and 5401 Hillside (sold at 43% over asking) is a great example of how we can bring fantastic outcomes for sellers who need to remain in the home and limit the market preparation. But as a whole, buyers truly value a fully prepared home and it remains our highest recommendation to increase the sales price.

  • It feels like we are seeing two different markets. One that speaks to retirees and one that speaks to younger buyers. A home that appeals to an older buyer - one that is move-in ready, with no or few stairs, and conveniences like laundry on the same level and a garage, is highly desirable to a buyer set that has cash and knows their way around the negotiating table. These homes sell quickly with multiple offers. A home with stairs, that is less “cute”, will be less interesting for both buyer groups, so the best way to navigate a home with multiple levels is to up the charm and market preparation. Knowing your market is of the utmost importance.

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