Widespread low inventory is leaving homebuyers and their agents frantic during this spring’s market. Listings without multiple offers are becoming a rarity, and as a result, buyers and their agents are scrambling to submit offers in time so they can still be competitive.
Inman Staff Writer Jim Dalrymple II recently tackled the inventory shortage in his “Inventory Insanity” series while Inman Founder Brad Inman took to the Inman Coast to Coast Facebook page to ask the community for their tips and words of wisdom about handling this time of crazy low inventory.
Here’s what professionals out in the field had to offer, both in response to Dalrymple’s stories and Inman’s query on Facebook.
“Take 5 breaths before you say or do anything. It feels like everyone is stretched beyond the breaking point. The socials are filled with frustration and rage against anyone other than themselves.” – Kendyl Young, broker/owner at DIGGS
“Frustration is a matter of expectation.” – Dan Smith, principal at Anvil Real Estate
“Hope! Three of my family/friends/clients all went into escrow in the past two weeks after bidding for months. Each one took a home that wasn’t their first thought on where they ended up, but shifted locations and all are just happy to be moving this month.” – Julie Chancerelle Ziemelis, co-founder/owner at Movetohawaii365
“Focus on homes that have been on for 2 weeks or more….that’s a lifetime in this market…may need some love like carpet and paint but who cares….you’ve got a chance at getting a home. Also stop waiting to harp on New Actives like everybody else…..look at Back to Actives first…..something fell through and sellers will be desperate for a contract….may be able to slip one to them quickly and they’ll accept it right away.” – Traci Madison, broker/owner at Madison Real Estate, Inc.
“Be relentless in your efforts to find new listings… go outside the box, leverage data, sphere and relationships to find opportunities.” – Jeff Lobb, founder and CEO at SparkTank Media
“On a recent transaction we had to offer the seller a 60 day closing and a 60 day rent-back because the seller was so worried about finding their next property.” – Sina Mollaan, senior vice president of The Mollaan Group at Compass
“What an opportunity we have in this market to show true professionalism. Always acknowledge the hard work that is put into each offer. Stay classy, friends! It’s a great opportunity to show your worth!” – Amber Salmon, Realtor at RE/MAX Concepts
“Stop being emotional about it. I presented 9 offers to a seller last Friday. She didn’t care about the squishy letters. Cash is king. It’s not always the highest offer that wins. Faster isn’t always better — find out what matters to the seller. Keep the offer as clean as possible. Don’t ask for furniture.” – Laurie Weston Davis, co-owner at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyle Property Partners LLC
“There would be more inventory if people weren’t talking homeowners into selling off market. ‘We’ll privately market your home,’ is an oxymoron. Those sellers are walking on a lot of money … Dark listings, pocket listings, are an emerging underground economy. I think it also raises fair housing questions.” – Linda O’Koniewski, CEO at Leading Edge Real Estate
“Be an advocate for homeownership. Get involved with your local government and your local REALTOR® association. The nation needs 1-million new homes — who better to promote and steward the supply of homes than you?” – Edward Barrios, broker at Vista Sotheby’s International Realty
“I am losing listing after listing to other Sellers agents that allow or encourage their customers to shoot for the moon and I just don’t feel comfortable encouraging that behavior. In normal times, my explanation of the comps had some rhythm and predictability. Now, the comps are CRAZY with ridiculous prices that desperate and wealthy people are willing to pay cash for. I’m having an ethical issue with that! Not sure if I’m being foolish — because these agents that are indulging their Sellers are often getting those prices that are completely disparate with the Comps! I imagine they are laughing all the way to the bank but how happy will that buyer be with them in a few years when they go to sell?” – Allison Callas, Realtor at Downing-Frye Realty
“As a broker, I think it’s BAD business to let a seller take all those offers! … I am also a listing agent and have been running into so many of them, who are refusing to be realistic about their property and [its] value. I err on the side of being HONEST and saying, ‘Sir/Ms. Your house should sell for this amount based on current market values and the condition of your property.’ I am also telling my buyers not to overbid too much because if the market changes and values fall, then you’ve paid too much for a property, that will be more difficult to sell in the long run because you owed to much at the start!” – Kaye Thompson, principal broker at Best Real Estate Company
Read the full Inventory Insanity series here:
- Part 1: Why are there no homes for sale in America?
- Part 2: Notes from exhausted agents on the front lines of the inventory shortage
- Part 3: The secret economic forces fueling the housing shortage
- Part 4: What it’s like being a homebuyer when there are no homes to buy
- Part 5: When will this supply shortage end?