Working in a low inventory market can be frustrating for all parties involved. Broker Julie Bubsy offers advice on how to create inventory for your clients when there is seemingly nothing there.

In a shifting real estate market, the guidance and expertise that Inman imparts are never more valuable. Whether at our events, or with our daily news coverage and how-to journalism, we’re here to help you build your business, adopt the right tools — and make money. Join us in person in Las Vegas at Connect, and utilize your Select subscription for all the information you need to make the right decisions. When the waters get choppy, trust Inman to help you navigate.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nationwide inventory is down 10.4 percent from one year ago, putting us at a 2.2-month supply. Depending on where you live, inventory may be even tighter. To put that in perspective, the market balances or neutralizes (is neither a buyer’s or seller’s market) at 6-7 months.

If it feels like there are no options for your buyers out there, this is why. So what do you do then, if you have an eager buyer without anything to buy? And how do you motivate a seller to get off the sidelines? Here are five ways to create more inventory.


For sellers, use leasebacks to your advantage. A seller often wants to sell, but is nervous about finding their next home. Explain how to use a leaseback to close on their existing home, lease back from buyers and then buy their new home with proceeds in hand.

This way, sellers have the time and resources they need to shop. This always works best in a seller’s market when buyers may have to be more flexible with contract terms. 

Get creative

Help your buyers create a broader vision of perfection. For example, could a two-bedroom plus den work for their needs? Or maybe a different location that they had not yet considered? Something like a two-bedroom plus den may cost significantly less, so funds can be reallocated toward a remodel or addition. 

Reconsider financing

Have your buyers meet with a creative mortgage lender that can help brainstorm ways to cut their monthly payments such as buying down a rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage. Armed with more financial flexibility, a buyer’s potential pool of homes may change and increase in size.

Old fashioned networking

Pick up the phone and call other brokers. Often, a broker works with a seller who wants to sell but is looking for a specific home. Understand the seller’s needs and wants and see if you can help make something work. 

Canceled and expired listings: Look through old withdrawn and expired listings to see if anything may work for your buyer. Always check to see if the past seller is relisted by a broker; if not, give them a call. 

As real estate brokers, our job is to help buyers and sellers realize their ultimate real estate goals, which sometimes means thinking outside the box. 

Julie Busby is the founder and president of Busby Group, and in the top 1 percent of Chicagoland brokers. Follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription