If you are a REALTOR® anywhere, you've probably noticed that business has slowed down. If your company does not provide you with monthly market stats, you may be wondering what is happening.
If you are a seller, your property may not be showing as often as it did when you first put it on the market. If you just put it on the market, you may be surprised that it is not showing as often as you expected. You may attribute this to the time of year.
Our last market shift occurred not long after I first got into the business in 2005. Many agents left the business at that time because they could not make a living. Business was not as good as it had been previously. After the market shifted back a few years later, agents returned to the business.
Another market shift has been anticipated for quite some time. It looks as though it is here. Sales have slowed nationally, regionally, and locally. NAR statistics as presented to me by our leadership a few weeks ago showed sales down 19% over this time last year.
It is quite frustrating to all of us that perfectly good listings are not showing often if at all. Why are buyers not buying? Is it uncertainty with the rise in interest rates? They are still not outrageously high. Unemployment rates are down, but is there still doubt in the consumers' mind that this will last? Did they get so far in debt or did their debt to income ratios get out of balance during the higher period of unemployment? I do know that even a short unemployment span can mess things up for a long time.
How do we handle this shift?
- As sellers, listen to your agent and make changes to your property as recommended and as possible. Make your property more attractive than your competition. Price where you need to be from the beginning. Be IN the market rather than ON TOP of it. Yes, you can always reduce your price, but as you CHASE the market, the listing gets STALE. Be realistic. It may take quite a while longer to sell. Be prepared for that possibility.
- As buyers, follow the process. Get pre-approved BEFORE viewing properties. If you have selected your buyer representative, ask for lender recommendations. You are looking for a reputable lender who will inform you in detail about what you need to do. Follow instructions precisely. Furnish requested financial documents immediately. Remain loyal to both the lender and your buyer representative.
- As agents, study the market. Use techniques you know will work to generate business. Don't get discouraged. The market will eventually shift back. We pray it does not take too long. Encourage each other. Study to be the market expert.
If you have any feedback to share that will help others or if you have any questions, please share.