Talking Stats: How to be a competitive buyer {in a seller’s market}

If you haven’t bought or sold a home in a few years or are a first time home buyer,
don’t worry—we are here to help you!

Our team of Kelly Blanchard, Kim Nix, and Shannon Reppard are experienced at helping walk both buyers and sellers through markets that are low on inventory.  We want you, our buyer, to be well-educated, so we asked our very own Kim Nix to share some insight with us on the art of being a competitive buyer:

One thing that is beneficial for you, as a buyer, is to take a peek at some of the market trends and statistics.   In Richmond, the housing landscape has shifted to a Seller’s Market in many areas.  Why, you ask?  There is a shortage of inventory and surplus of purchasers.  Lets take a look at what the statistics show about some of our favorite Richmond neighborhoods:

The chart below shows monthly inventory in the Central Virginia region for the past several years. As you can see, the inventory has been declining since peaking in the 2009/10 time frame.  If you follow the trend of the blue graph-line downward with your mouse, it will show you 2016/2017 details and the percentage of change from the previous year.

The chart below illustrates the seasonality to the absorption of homes–or, the number of homes pending on the market. Understanding the absorption of homes into the marketplace is key in establishing the correct strategy for making an offer and thinking through your process as a buyer.  Pending homes are homes that are “under contract” and they help to provide an idea of “market velocity” for an area.  Follow the blue graph line closely to see statistics through January and to see the percentage of difference from the previous year (place your mouse on the graph and scroll to the right to see more data from recent months).

What does this mean for you as a Buyer?

It’s important to have your ducks in a row so that when you find the house that you just can’t live without, you can imagine moving right on in!  Before that, however, you will need to move quickly to put in a strong offer that the seller can’t refuse.  With inventory low, it is more important than ever to be a savvy and smart buyer, and here’s how to do it . . .

Go Pro:  

Hiring a knowledgable, experienced Realtor Buyer’s Agent ensures you have qualified representation and guidance in this complicated and important personal transaction.  Using a Realtor gives you up-to-date, “real time” information on new listings through the Multiple Listing Service as soon as information hits the market.  When your agent is a wise networker with other agents, you may just get a heads up and a lead on something perfect just before it hits the market!

Talk Numbers:  

Talking to a lender in the beginning stage accomplishes two very important things:  it shows you exactly what you can afford and secures a pre-approval letter.  Having a pre-approval letter in hand prior to looking at properties is a key component to being able to move quickly.  In this market, timing matters, and you can lose a house in a matter of hours.  If we have all these pieces in place before we look at properties, then you will be poised to make your offer and make your move . . . and, this just might give you the edge you need over other interested buyers.

Know the market:  

Do your research and watch the market in the area that interests you most.  Being an educated buyer, in concert with a professional Realtor’s knowledge and expertise, will help you recognize a well-priced house when it hits the market so you can confidently, quickly move forward.

Tie up your kicks and get your foot in the door:  

In such a competitive market, when a property pops up that might be “the one,” it is vital that we get in that front door as fast as we can–even if that means leaving work in the middle of the day–or convincing Fido that you will take him for a walk later that evening.  In some of these hot areas in Richmond, houses hit the market and have an offer in a matter of hours—and, of course, we want that offer to be yours!

Have more questions?
Want to talk more about the process?
Let us know!  We’d love to chat!

Interested in reading more about this?

Check out this article about mistakes that Buyers make in a Seller’s Market.

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