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Buyers’ market or sellers’ market?

Is this a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market?

For years buyers have been told that they rule the market. Sellers have been aggressively pricing and staging and everything that they can think of to be competitive against all the other homes on the market, many of which were foreclosures or short sales.

Things have changed.

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Since October inventory has been decreasing by 3-10% per month. In October, 2012 we had 4,739 residential homes on the market and at the end of February, 2013 we are down to 3,732 (down 21% in 4 months). This is a very rapid change and one that is catching many buyers by surprise.

So, how does that affect things for sellers? Things that are priced well sell quickly. If you’ve been sitting on the fence considering if you want to sell or not, this is a great time to try. Interest rates are still very good (which is probably good as you go to purchase the next house) and the market has gained quite a bit of speed.

How does that affect things for buyers? Things that are priced well sell quickly! Really give thought in advance to what is a good fit for you so that when you see it you can make a decision quickly. Many buyers have said to me “Isn’t this a buyers market? My friends didn’t have to make a full priced offer that was competing with other offers.” When you look at a decrease in inventory over just the last 4 months it’s easy to see why buyers are confused. Their friends were in a different market.

So, the mindset needs to change for buyers:
– Make decisions quickly.
– Make strong offers.
– Be prepared that you may have to offer on more than one home and your offer will be competing with other offers.
– Learn about rehab loans so that you can consider homes that need work.

This is still a great opportunity to purchase a home: prices have not skyrocketed and rates are low. Just be prepared that things are not as they used to be!