You know how a roller coaster is pretty much always going up or down? Well, it's the same with the real estate market. It's always either going up in favor of sellers or down in favor of buyers. For a brief moment, it is balanced between the two.
For the past year or so, Austin's sellers have enjoyed the hottest seller's market ever. There was so little inventory that, in some neighborhoods, they barely had to do more than clean the toilets and there would be a line of buyers outside their door. And the list price was just the starting bid.
Buyers struggled to move fast enough or bid high enough to secure a home for themselves. Many just gave up.
But they have reason to hope! It appears we have reached the highest point on this coaster and are headed back downhill.
The chart below, provided by Texas National Title, provides the proof...
1.Inventory is rising in all three counties in the Austin area.
2. Closings are up a little in Travis County but down in Williamson and Hays. These would be properties that went under contract in May, when interest rates were still pretty low, inventory started picking up, gas was affordable, etc.
3. Pendings (contracts) went down last week in all counties, despite more listings. Buyers can get picky and take their time again.
4. Price decreases ramped up in all three counties. The reality of the new market is hitting sellers and their agents.
5. Expireds and withdrawns are picking up, especially in Travis County. These are most likely sellers who decided they could and would stay put if they couldn't get a huge profit for their property. Or they may have blamed their Realtor and fired them, hoping someone else could 'get the job done'.
Unfortunately, neither sellers nor their agents really determine the price for a property. The market does. In this kind of market, a Realtor looks at the numbers/rates/trends for similar homes, especially the competition, and helps the seller come up with a price that doesn't 'sell' the other homes.
Buyers are savvy. If they can find what they need for less, why would they pay more? And with days on market increasing, they can look around a little more.
What can a seller do? Well, properties are still selling. There are still buyers. They just have to forget the past and accept that this is a new market. A sale will occur when the three points of the triangle - Price, Location, and Condition - are met. Since location is fixed, the other two have to adjust accordingly.
The good news? They will have a better chance of buying the property of their new dreams.
As always, contact me with any questions or if I can help you, or someone you know, with a real estate need. I appreciate your referrals!