Redfin reports that nine in 10 agents agree that now is a good time to sell a home (based on 800 of their agents), a number that appears to be in line with other studies as well as what we’re hearing from our readers. The results rose from 83 percent in agreement last year to 89 percent this year, marking the highest reading since they began the survey in 2012.
That’s great news.
So what’s the challenge disrupting the market?
The same study indicates that only 34 percent believe it’s a good time to buy, the lowest recorded result in the study’s history, down from 45 percent last year. Ouch.
What’s making it so seller-friendly but buyer-unfriendly? Inventory. In the last four months, the survey went from one in six saying this is the primary challenge, escalating to one in three this March.
This echoes the National Association of Realtors’ countless mentions of restricted inventory remaining a top challenge to the industry (as well as affordability).
“Many of my prospective home-selling clients start the process by shopping for a replacement home first before they pull the trigger on listing their home,” said Redfin real estate agent Sabrina Booth. “Once they experience how competitive the market is for homebuyers it gives them pause, and some choose not to sell. There are options for these folks though. One way my clients have solved this problem is to take a home equity line of credit and use it as a down payment for their replacement home before listing their current home for sale.”
So where’s the good news?
So if someone wants to sell a house while buying another, they’re simultaneously at an advantage and a disadvantage. Interesting.
“The lack of existing and new homes for sale has fed a vicious cycle of low supply for the past year,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “Builders still aren’t providing enough new construction to satisfy demand, which means the market is desperately relying on homeowners to decide to sell. The good news is we are seeing some improvement with a 12 percent increase in new listings this February, a trend we see continuing into March as well.”
Redfin notes that the good news is that sellers are currently less likely to have unrealistic expectations about their home’s value.
In areas experiencing bidding wars, Redfin suggests that buyers not offering all cash consider waiving contingencies (nearly half surveyed noted that making concessions is the most effective strategy for getting an offer accepted).