Monday, January 29, 2024

Flat is here to stay, for now.

 A flat real estate market isn't that bad and it isn't that unusual.  In the nearly 20 years I've been a REALTOR(R), the market could be characterized as flat at least half of that time. I believe a flat market is a good opportunity and is the most capitalist market cycle we experience. It truly is a free market!

From 2005-2008 the North Texas real estate was balanced between sellers and buyers. Sellers competed for offers and buyers had reasonable leverage in transactions. However, nationally and also in Texas, sales were unnaturally boosted by bad political policy and irresponsible lending practices that all came crashing down.  Texas recovered sooner than most states and by 2015 demand soared and prices followed--homes sold in hours, not days!  That hot, seller's market just got hotter until the big Covid-19 blast 5 years later. In Texas, that barely slowed us down but the fire did seem to run low on fuel.  Severe inflation and recession-like conditions have extinguished that inferno and we are in a constricting but balanced market.

The biggest change was the erosion of the seller's invulnerability. High prices and multiple offers are now rare.  There is a home in my neighborhood that has been for sale for nearly 2 years!  That's unusual and not really the market's fault.  Contracts now encounter buyer terminations over home repairs, property conditions, and fatal negotiations.  More than ever, Your Broker Matters™!  

These market forces are fair to both sides. A seller must put forth a solid product and be flexible over any deferred maintenance (home repairs).  Home inspections are as vital as ever.  Buyers have to have their financing clear and a local, reputable lender is a must.  Homes that are rare, or in extraordinary condition will still sell quickly.  Homes that lack, will sit.  Buyers who have cash will have some muscle but a solid lending strategy is very competitive since sellers have more concern over their vulnerability.

Wow.. if you've read all of this, you are either related to me or on my payroll! 

I hope that this post serves to enlighten, clarify and inspire both buyers and sellers that now Is a great time to sell and buy. I didn't say an easy time, but a good time it certainly can be.  

...if you have the right broker.

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