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It’s tough out there and ever harder with the wrong attitude.

It’s tough out there.  That is for fucking sure.  I know motivated sellers with stunning properties that appear to be priced appropriately…yet are not moving.  I’m also running into bidding wars with more than half of my borrowers submitting offers.  It’s definitely a unique time as interest rates and home prices have impacted affordability so drastically while at the same time there are buyers and sellers who simply need to make a move now, regardless of market conditions.  That’s the nature of life, which directly impacts the nature of the real estate market. 

But, you know what? 

There are people out there winning right now. 

I want you to be one of them.   

Here is the one thing we have seen that is not serving the consumer: 

  1. Waiting. 

If you want to make a move this year, waiting to get started might be the single most worst strategy.  Let’s talk about if you need to sell a home.  Unless you’ve spoken with a realtor, ideally one that you trust, you likely do not have a clear picture of the market.  The media is not painting the most accurate depiction, surprise-surprise.  You might think that homes aren’t selling without sellers offering major concessions and that could be completely false for your neighborhood. 

You might not be aware of your options to facilitate a seamless transition and avoid you being homeless while you secure the next home.  I often speak to sellers who didn’t realize they could negotiate for a rent back in their home until the next place is ready.  We also have our HomeSimple cash purchase program that will literally ensure that you sleep at night, instead of stressing about the buyers of your home’s loan or the contingency you have on your next purchase.  These are all legit options that should inform your decision, rather than the hearsay and noise out there. 

The most important thing you want to discuss with your realtor is your timeline and pricing your property accordingly for that.  I may not be realtor, but here is what I’ve learned about pricing properties over my 11 years in the industry: 

  • The truth is that a lot of it comes down to luck.  That’s right.  Not your fancy realtor or their even fancier marketing.  The right buyer, needs to show up at the right time, with the right amount of money.  Sometimes that requires patience, not price reductions. 

  • That being said, if I want to take the very risky step of generalizing, the market is not tolerating a home that is overpriced.  I’m assuming this is because buyers already feel the pinch of interest rates and the pressure of a higher monthly payment.  So if a seller and their agent decide to “test” the market and come on a bit high, they run the risk of the home sitting and once it’s sat for about ten days – your odds of a full price offer without any seller concessions built in start falling fast. 


Now let’s talk about waiting if you’re a buyer. 


Throughout market cycles I will meet with buyers who for whatever reason, and typically it stems from a lack of confidence on how mortgages and real estate investing works, are dead set on “waiting this out.”  They’ll say things like: 


“I’m not buying with prices where they are.” 

And then prices continue to go up, even higher. 


“Interest rates right now are atrocious.” 

Meanwhile, their friends buy at the current rates, simply shopping in a price range they can afford the monthly payment.  They focus on that instead, because that’s what you’ll actually feel on the first of the month – the payment you have to make, not the interest rate.  Over time their friends’ income increases through career advances and their wealth does too, as equity builds in their home.  At some point they refinance the home to a lower monthly payment too and are even happier.  Then a couple years later they tap into that equity and move up to better house.   


“I don’t want to buy at the top and then the bottom falls out.” 

That’s highly unlikely given the current loan quality and the trillions of dollars of equity that homeowners have.  But let’s say it does.  What would happen to you?  What would happen to your house?  Nothing.  You’d keep making your payment in the exact same way you pay rent right now. 


“I’ll buy when interest rates come down.” 

So will everyone else.  That market is going to have its own challenges.


That’s the real truth of this real estate game.  Every market has its challenges. 

Right now, the biggest hurdles for buyers are higher interest rates and limited inventory.  Coupled together, that is resulting in bidding wars in some situations.  However, if we look at the data – about 20-25% of homes are selling for above list price.  Which means we should still be attempting to get you some kind of seller concession using one of the following strategies: 

  1. Price reduction.  The ole fashioned concept: you marry the price you paid for the home and have to live with that.  The mortgage you take out can be changed (through a refinance or recast or payoff). 

  1. Temporary Buy Down – Asking the seller to subsidize your mortgage payments for the first few years though a seller credit. 

  1. Permanent Rate Buy Down – Also through a seller credit and using that to pay points to buy down your interest rate and improve the monthly payment. 

  1. Closing Cost Assistance – Another seller credit tactic to reduce your cash to close if you are tight on funds. 

Each of these strategies should be considered for each home you are interested in.  You can’t make a decision based on opinion here, you have to look at a total cost analysis and see what the numbers say is the best way to save money in the short term and long run. 

One weekend you might be outbid on a home and have your heart broken.  The worst thing you could do is go into the next house with a defeated mindset and make a full price offer when you actually had room to negotiate this time.   

Every house is different. 

And there is no room for a victim mindset. 



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