When markets move in a positive direction, youâ€™ll hear it from real estate agents first. They see busier open houses, quicker sales or even multiple offers. By the time the news finally hits the mainstream media, buyers start to feel the pull to get back in the market.
Thatâ€™s what weâ€™re seeing in many parts of the country right now. With all signs tilting toward a sellersâ€™ market for the first time in years, itâ€™s helpful for buyers to understand todayâ€™s seller. No two sellers are alike, of course. But thereâ€™s a certain mindset that many sellers these days share, and itâ€™s a grateful one for many. Understanding that mindset can help buyers more successfully and easily navigate through the process of purchasing a home. The same holds true for sellers. They should be mindful of the buyersthat stand before them.
Here are three things home buyers should know about todayâ€™s sellers.
According to Zillowâ€™s negative equity report, 28 percent of homeowners with a mortgage today areunderwater. Many sellers have been hoping and wishing for prices to increase just a little bit. Some have outgrown their current home, are forced into an hour-long commute (or longer) each day or simply want to move to a new town or area. But due to negative equity, theyâ€™ve been stuck. The emergence of a sellersâ€™ market provides them with a glimmer of hope. They just may be grateful for any offer that will allow them to get out at last.
Often, sellers feel the same amount of stress or excitement that buyers feel because theyâ€™re somewhere in the buying process, too. Though some sellers will become renters after their sale is complete, many will get back in the homeowner game soon after the sale goes through, sometimes immediately. Sellers, as would-be buyers, want to capitalize on low interest rates and home values. Getting the home sold quickly and at todayâ€™s value may be all a seller needs to make a purchase. Though it may be a â€œsellersâ€™ market,â€ these sellers usually arenâ€™t greedy. They feel the buyerâ€™s pain and likely want to get out cleanly and quickly so that they, too, can buy.
Even the sellers who are above water or own their homes outright are well aware of whatâ€™s happened in the real estate market over the past five years. Theyâ€™ve watched their friends and neighbors lose their shirts on real estate, forced to do short sales, or even have their homes foreclosed. They welcome the news that the market is changing, and in their favor, at last. Theyâ€™re more hopeful than they were even six months ago. Generally speaking, however, sellers who arenâ€™t stuck in their homes (because of depressed home values or other reasons) are still feeling conservative and cautious. Theyâ€™re more likely to take a bird in the hand than to risk losing a sale because of greed.
Real estate is a game, in a sense, in which both sides hope to achieve their goals, which is why it always helps to understand your â€œopponent.â€ When youâ€™ve found a home you like, figure out who the seller is, how they got there and why they want to sell. Donâ€™t make assumptions. Take a step back. Put yourself in their shoes.
Sellers arenâ€™t the same as they were around 2005, when many were driven by greed as the marketâ€™s rise seemed endless. Theyâ€™ve just weathered the worst real estate market crash in decades, so donâ€™t go into this market, which is very different from even six months ago, assuming sellers are looking to take advantage of you. Donâ€™t let your real estate agent convince you thatâ€™s the case, either. Even though you might think they have a hot property that will sell quickly, the seller is usually willing to negotiate. They may even be grateful to receive a reasonable offer, especially if it at least comes close to the value their home had before the crash.
Fred Yancy, Broker