Raise your hand if you have ever read “Who Moved My Cheese.” Ok, put them down. If you haven’t read it, here’s a brief synopsis. Take a minute and read this.
Now, let’s get down to the cheese. The main points of the book are that cheese always gets moved and the more open you are to finding new cheese, the easier and faster you will adapt to that change (moved cheese). Nothing could be more appropriate in today’s normalizing real estate market than the idea that cheese moves with or without you being ready for it. Any time the cheese moves, there are opportunities created. The faster you adapt to this new market, the faster you find the opportunities in this different environment.
What are the opportunities for buyers now?
1) possibility of getting closing costs covered
2) Possibility of having a seller cover a rate reduction
3) Possibility of a price reduction and MAYBE a little bit lower price than would have been the case in the spring.
4) NOT competing with multiple people for the same house.
5) Probably getting a normal home inspection and appraisal with reasonable accommodations by the seller (making repairs, etc.)
6) You might even be able to get a home sale contingency accepted
Some would say if there are opportunities for buyers, there are fewer opportunities for sellers. This is just not true. There are opportunities for sellers too. You just have to look. Here are a few
1) Buyers are more and more qualified right now. Very few are just testing the water. In the spring, we had so many deals fall through because the buyers were not fully qualified.
2) Your opportunities to make your next purchase are outlined above
3) Prices have not dropped much at all, in some cases, none.
4) If you are sitting on a low interest rate, in some cases, it is assumable and that could be a huge selling point.
I don’t think this window will stay open. If rates go back into the 4’s, pent up demand will cause buyers that are sitting on the fence to flood back in. I think rates will go back to that point before the end of 2023. So, if you can buy at the current rate, with seller concessions and not a lot of competition AND drop your rate at the end of next year at a steep discount on refinance, why not do that? It is a solid plan that you can enact right now.
Originally published on December 19, 2022.