As we continue to adapt to this sudden market shift towards a low-inventory seller’s market, what we’re seeing more of is a sort of home buyer depression. I predicted this would happen in early spring as we saw what conditions were shaping up to be. As multiple offers become the norm and homes continue to sell within days of listing, more buyers are losing out on their perfect home. Eventually this leads to feelings of anger and depression that will drive buyers out of the market. One of our biggest concerns is combating this situation. Sometimes it’s unavoidable but in many cases, buyer depression and it’s cause – buyers losing out on homes – can be countered. Lets take a look at some of the reasons why this is happening and some of the steps we can take to prevent it.
1. Don’t lose your favorite homes. Sounds simple, right? The best way to prevent the problem is to avoid it in the first place. Yet we still have lots of buyers and agents out there contributing to the problem. Buyers not getting their ducks in a line for making an offer and buyer’s agents allowing their buyers to slack and still go see homes. I’ll tell you this straight: the market we’re in won’t be kind with the lazy or disorganized. Both buyers and agents need to be on top of their game – one day can make the difference between competing or being left out of the race. If you’re not in a position to see homes and get offers on the table within 24 hours of the house hitting the market, you’re with the wrong agent or are doing the wrong things (which also means you’re with the wrong agent).
2. Expect to lose a couple. Even with the best preparation, we may be up against buyers that are equally prepared and you may simply lose homes. Realize this may happen – don’t put your eggs in one basket and don’t get your heart set on a single home. This is one of the top causes for buyer depression in this market – really putting a lot of emotion into a home only to see it slip away. That can definitely be a kick in the gut but you have to be prepared to move on and not compare all other homes to the fish that got away. This can be extremely damaging because it will cause buyers to hesitate to pull the trigger on other great homes which further deepens the anger and depression as more and more homes slip away.
3. Be motivated. This will help you keep your focus. Remember, even though it’s more difficult to find a home now, the market is actually increasing and it’s going to continue this way for the foreseeable future, only prices will be rising. So eventually you’ll have to get in a position to buy in this market only prices will be higher. Those who buy now – this spring – will be the ones with the biggest value increase in the years to come. Buyers who are not in it and 100% committed to buying will be the most likely to grow angry, depressed and take themselves out of the buyer pool. In fact, low-motivation buyers are going to be the group with the highest number dropping out of the market. I had someone who contacted me a while ago about seeing some homes that began the conversation with, “I’m not really sure if I want to buy…”. At that point, I politely stopped her and asked her to spend some more time thinking and looking online and when she felt she was ready to contact me.