You’re hearing it from agents, lenders, builders, analysts, and industry experts: we’re in uncertain times. But that doesn’t mean people stop going through life transitions.
If we look at the years following the global financial crisis of 2008-09, arguably one of the most dire times in the market, home sales remained steady in 2010 and 2011 and then began to see an uptick in 2012. Whether they are changing jobs, growing their family, downsizing, or simply looking for a refresh, as people enter new stages of life, they will always need to move. And it’s the industry’s job to provide support and certainty when people are looking to sell their homes so they can make their next life transition as smoothly as possible.
Now we’re in another period of uncertainty and change. While we don’t have a crystal ball, here are three things we’ve seen that will increase your odds of providing certainty for your clients looking to sell.
Cash offers are still powerful
With homes taking longer to sell than they did this time last year — and economists dropping bread crumbs about the housing market shifting in a buyer-friendly direction — sellers are increasingly feeling uncertain about their prospects and the economy. One way to ease those concerns and provide more certainty for a seller is with a cash offer. While 25% of homes purchased are now all-cash sales, there’s no guarantee your client will get a cash bid. That’s where we come in. A cash offer from Opendoor enables sellers to skip months of making repairs, stagings and showings, lengthy negotiations and uncertain timelines. And if your client is among the two-thirds of sellers also looking to buy, a cash offer can help both sides by removing contingencies. Your client can take the cash to quickly and seamlessly make their next move.
Options abound and your clients know about them
If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that customers want more options and flexibility across all areas of life: how they shop, order food, and where and how they work. Buying and selling a home is no different. A decisive 71% of sellers are likely to consider selling their home to an iBuyer, with or without the support of an agent.
And clients can easily research options themselves. The National Association of Realtors reports that 97% of home buyers, regardless of age, use the internet in their home search. Show your clients that you’re ahead of the game by presenting every possible option up front. Agents can partner with companies like Opendoor to present their clients with choices to help make the best decision that meets their needs.
Flexibility is key for client (and self) care
In an uncertain market, coaching your clients to stay flexible — and practicing what you preach as an agent — can make all the difference. A recent Fannie Mae national housing survey revealed that the percentage of consumers who believe it’s a good time to sell has fallen to its lowest point since 2011. Talking to your clients about flexibility is a safe bet. While selling a home on the open market may yield a higher sale price, sometimes the convenience and certainty of selling to a cash offer buyer may better suit a seller’s timeline and expectations. As an agent, staying flexible will help ensure a client works with you, instead of with your competitors. This is a growing concern within the industry as there were more than 156,000 new real estate agents joining the profession in 2020-2021 (up nearly 60% over the previous two years).
While no one can predict when and how market conditions may change, we can guide our clients and customers by providing a cash offer, showcasing multiple options, and coaching and practicing flexibility in order to ease some concerns and provide greater certainty in these unstable times.