|Real Estate Ruminations...

Why are there so few homes for sale?

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That’s what a new client asked me yesterday.  “How come there are so few houses for sale?”  In a nutshell, the number of buyers coming into Seattle looking for a home, coupled with the number of local buyers who want to make a move is far outweighing the amount of attractive, well priced housing inventory.  If a great house in a sought-after area comes on the market and 8 buyers make offers on it, 7 of those buyers are going to be disappointed to learn they did not prevail in the offer review process and will go on to look for the next house that fits their needs in that area.  Each house that sells with multiple offers ends up with disappointed buyers who are added to the pack of “serious shoppers” looking for something right now.  Since only so many homes come on the market each week,  the number of buyers interested in a certain type of home in particular neighborhoods continues to expand and the competition grows.  If a home is well priced, has buyer appeal, great condition and in a great location, you will find that most of the buyers want it and will seriously consider buying it.  Their agents will help steer them towards the homes they think are good values in good neighborhoods, so as a result we all show up at the same new listing ready to pounce on it if it fits the shopping criteria.   If the home is overpriced, or is not all that attractive either because it is dated or needs a new kitchen, or even if it is amid a block of average homes and it’s the best one on the block, that home may be passed over by the pool of buyers.  So, as a seller, is it a good time to sell?  Absolutely!  The combination of little inventory and a heating up and enlarging pool of buyers makes it a perfect time to sell.  As a buyer is it smart to buy a home that has multiple offers on it?  I’d say yes, because those homes that have strong emotional and practical appeal now will continue to have those very same elements when you decide to move and sell it.  If a home is an “A” home, it is nearly always an “A” home and will be considered hot when it reenters the market.  A home that is a “C” home due to odd architecture, a bad location or a combination of problems may never have that something special that makes it “hot” when it’s time to resell it.  If our area continues to appreciate in value, the price of the home you want as a buyer will likely cost more in the future.  As you already know, location, location, location . . .

 

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