You could miss an opportunity if you’re not looking for it. Whether it’s looking for a partner, a job, or the perfect outfit, keeping your eye out could mean the difference between finding something perfect or settling for something that’s just “almost.”
Homebuyers, whether actively searching or permanently on pause, may feel exhausted after a couple of years of crazy competition for houses. Now, they’re not jumping into the market, as high interest rates and the lack of inventory have been discouraging, to say the least. But those waiting to start looking for a new home until the rates drop or inflation is curbed should know the waiting game doesn’t always pay off.
Inventory is anemic, but it will stay that way even when interest rates drop and more sellers are enticed to enter the market. Why? With more sellers entering the market, the number of buyers and competition for those homes will also increase.
Plus, home prices are not making exceptions for climbing interest rates or an economic outlook troubled by inflation. Instead, they are a part of inflation’s big picture, and while there haven’t been huge year-over-year price gains, homes in Western Washington, particularly in Madison Park and our surrounding neighborhoods, continue to climb.
This may sound like bad news, but I assure you, it’s not all negative. It’s an opportunity for the savvy buyer. Let’s reevaluate the points above from a different outlook. There aren’t a lot of homes for sale, but inventory is starting to go up, especially among higher-end homes. So, if you’re ready to make a move, start looking for the perfect house now.
Home sales prices haven’t come down. They’re only expected to go up. If you find the perfect home now, you can lock it in for a price that’s less than what you may pay a year from now. If you are using financing to purchase the home, you may have heard of “date the rate, marry the house” — well that’s exactly what this is. Because when the rates come down, you can refinance.
And, if there are fewer offers on your dream home, you also have room to negotiate with the seller.
Over the past 10 years, there haven’t been many occasions when I’ve told my clients they could save money by waiting. But I have seen them find the perfect home because they’re open to the opportunity of what’s next.
Laura Halliday is managing Broker & Senior Global Real Estate Advisor at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.