Here’s what’s happening in the marketplace compared to this same time last year:

  • The number of homes sold increased by 33%, meaning all those properties went into escrow in December and January. This made January a very strong sales month.
  • Pending sales increased by 9% over last year, showing that buyer demand is still strong. In fact, we probably had more buyer inquiries than I’ve ever seen in my history in the industry.
  • Inventory is down by about 14%, which isn’t necessarily encouraging to buyers. However…
  • New homes are up by 9%, meaning that we’re filling up the supply a little faster than we were last year.

So what does this all mean?

Homeowners are beginning to understand that now is a great time to sell your home. Plenty of buyers are out in the market looking for a home like yours to buy.

At the same time, right before recording this video, the Federal Reserve just announced that they’re dropping the rates again, which will have the positive effect of increasing buyer affordability.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, here are five tips to help you succeed:

  1. Make sure your offer isn’t contingent on you selling your current home. That leaves you with two choices: either get your current home in escrow or get it sold outright. This way, you can buy a new home without a contingent offer, which increases your chances of getting accepted by the seller.
  2. Shorten your time frames for contingencies, inspections, loans, etc. The shorter those periods are, the less time the seller is kept waiting and wondering whether the sale will go through.
  3. Offer a fast closing, but be flexible enough to give them more time if they need it. You can do this with a longer closing period or just by allowing the sellers to rentback so they can transition between their own homes easier.
  4. Put down a strong earnest money deposit. 1% is low, and 3% is on the high side; the stronger the deposit, the better.
  5. Write a personal letter explaining to the sellers why you’re excited about the house, what you like that the owners have done, and so on. That personal connection can oftentimes change it from a business transaction to more of a personal transaction, which can be an effective strategy.

If you have any questions about the market or buying a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. And once again, thank you all for helping this to be one of the best starts to a year we’ve ever had.