There is one verse missing from the famous and well-worn song Turn, Turn, Turn written by the Byrds back in 1962. The one that should be added is “there is a time to buy, a time to sell…” Realtor’s Terri Williams likens it to a card game (which was also a song) about knowing “when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.”
Buyer’s vs Seller’s Market
Buyers’ markets and sellers’ markets are simply part of the economy journey, reflecting not just what is happening on a national level, but also what happens depending on supply and demand. They might also reflect tax laws and consumer confidence. It’s a mixed bag. When it’s someone’s “market,” that means the market favors them. So a buyer’s market means it’s a great time to consider buying. A buyers’ market usually means a period of six months or longer where prices steadily soften. Inventory usually rises, and interest rates drop to fuel the market. The bigger the inventory, the more negotiating there will be, including asking for perks such as help with closing costs, a credit in escrow for a new paint job, etc. It may also mean a quick closing if you need the place right away.
So how does this affect sellers? It’s not a happy time for them. It takes longer for homes to sell and hoping to get the price the seller thinks their house is worth is often a pipe dream. They can stack the odds for it, however by making sure their home is move-in ready and shows well both in person as well as in photos.
Rewards in the Market for Buyers and Sellers
For some time now, it has been the reverse of this. With little inventory, sellers have been reaping the rewards of the market with multiple offers and naming their terms. That is, however, now changing according to a recent CNBC article, which says that consumer sentiment in housing improved in August and that they believe mortgage rates will keep dropping. Say one Dallas-based real estate agent: “It’s not a seller’s market right now. Now is not the time for sellers to put out these crazy prices. Appraisals have gotten a lot harder, and buyers are a little more cautious. They’re more willing to take their time.” The article goes on to say that while mortgage rates are low, buyers are becoming more cautious. With competition cooling, sellers can no longer command any price.
“Unfortunately, much of the lower interest rate environment can be attributed to global economic uncertainties, which appear to have dampened consumer sentiment regarding the direction of the economy,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae in the article. “We do expect housing market activity to remain relatively stable, and the favorable rate environment should continue supporting increased refinance activity.” CNBC writer Diana Olick agrees that home prices are still higher than they were a year ago, but the gains have been moderating.
Source: Realtor, CNBC, TBWS