In today’s real estate market, “interest rates” has become something of a dirty term. The truth is, interest rates shouldn’t be the deciding factor in your buying or selling decisions. You date the rate but marry the home anyway, so don’t let rates stop you from realizing your real estate dreams!
While factors impacting rates are complex, we do know in the next 18 to 24 months, we’ll see change because today’s situation is temporary. That’s just how the ebb and flow of the real estate cycle works, and together we can absolutely make it work for you.
So, if you’ve been thinking about buying or selling, the key is finding those creative ways to identify advantages within the marketplace that will allow you to accomplish your real estate goals.
Oh and spoiler alert: This guide outlines all the tips and techniques to help you do just that.
Ready? Let’s get creative!
To set the stage, today’s sellers have to be realistic about the price of their home. Gone are the drunken prices of 2021 and in their place are more realistic values.
In mid-October, the L.A. Times reported that for the first time in 10 years, home prices are falling, nearly 6% below the all-time high reached in May 2022.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Six percent?! That’s a dramatic drop!”
Maybe. Orrrr maybe prices were so unnaturally and unsustainably high that this is a welcomed normalization as the pendulum of a 10-year seller’s market finally swings the other way. The market is balancing, just like it always does. Buyer’s and seller’s markets typically last 5-7 years. Our latest seller’s market, which was perpetuated by intense buyer demand and low inventory during the pandemic, is finally adjusting back – even if it’s about 2-3 years late. We’re past due for a change in the market and that’s what we’re seeing today.
“I’ll wait it out and see how things are in two years.”
Today’s buyers and sellers are thinking long-term; they want to relocate, rightsize, buy their dream house, invest … and is no guarantee the perfect market conditions will happen two years from now. If you want to make a move, and you find the right house in the right location, don’t let the unknowable future dictate your timing.
You don’t want to be outside looking in, you want to be in your dream house looking out the window at the beautiful future in front of you.
OK, you’re convinced to enter the market but how can you creatively work with buyers who are a little hesitant without adjust the price of your property? Let’s count the ways …
1. Offer to pay for some of the buyer’s closing costs (escrow, title, potential loan fees, etc.).
2. Offer to “buy down the interest rate” by making an upfront payment. (It’s a bit like pre-paying the interest). This buy down can be a credit from a seller’s proceeds or a set amount you give to the buyer, which in certain formulas can lower the interest rate by 0.25 or 0.5 — and that adds up! While the buy-down tactic isn’t common today, I predict we’ll see it gain popularity in today’s market. Oh and yes, this is completely legal! A seller can commit by amendment to credit the buyer a certain amount, which would lower the buyer’s month payment. See!? How creative is that?!
It’s all about making a buyer feel comfortable.
Like “interest rates,” the term “monthly cost” is also a hot-button topic for buyers. With creativity, a seller than make them feel more comfortable about the monthly cost of owning the home without reducing the price.
To sum things up: Buyers, don’t be afraid of jumping in and don’t let interest rates deter you from your dreams! Sellers, let’s get realistic. The days of “name your price” are over, friends. In this market, it’s about getting creative to get the most value for your home. As I always say, well-priced homes continue to be in high, high demand.
Questions? Contact me to schedule you free real estate consultation!