Last year, the real estate market was so hot that many buyers had to pay over asking price and struggled to get favorable terms. But today’s housing market is allowing buyers more room for negotiation and discounts.
This sets the stage for a potential opportunity. There are signs that inflation is beginning to ease, and long-term rates tend to follow inflation. If interest rates decline, home prices would become affordable to more buyers.
At the same time, inventory levels remain well below historical averages. If the level of buying activity increases in a market with tight supply, prices will be well supported. And remember, there are ways to bring your payment down today with a temporary or permanent buydown.
You May Have More Negotiation Power When You Buy a Home Today
Did the frequency and intensity of bidding wars over the past two years make you put your home search on hold? If so, you should know the hyper competitive market has cooled this year as buyer demand has moderated and housing supply has grown. Those two factors combined mean you may see less competition from other buyers.
And with less competition comes more opportunity. Here are two trends that may be the news you need to reenter the market.
1. The Return of Contingencies
Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or the inspection, in hopes of gaining an advantage in a bidding war. But now, things are different.
The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the percentage of buyers waiving their home inspection or appraisal is down. And a recent articlefrom realtor.com points out more sellers are accepting contingencies:
“A year ago, sellers were calling all the shots and buyers were launching legendary bidding wars, waiving contingencies, and paying for homes in cash. But now, the shoe is on the other foot, and 92% of home sellers are accepting some buyer-friendly terms (frequently related to home inspections, financing, or appraisals), . . .”
This doesn’t mean we’re in a buyers’ market now, but it does mean you have a bit more leverage when it comes time to negotiate with a seller. The days of feeling like you may need to waive contingencies or pay drastically over asking price to get your offer considered may be coming to a close.
2. Sellers Are More Willing To Help with Closing Costs
Before the pandemic, it was a common negotiation tactic for sellers to cover some of the buyer’s closing costs to sweeten the deal. This didn’t happen as much during the peak buyer frenzy over the past two years.
Today, data suggests this is making a comeback. A realtor.com survey shows 32% of sellers paid some or all of their buyer’s closing costs. This may be a negotiation tool you’ll see as you go to purchase a home. Just keep in mind, limits on closing cost credits are set by your lender and can vary by state and loan type. Work closely with your loan advisor to understand how much a seller can contribute to closing costs in your area.
Despite the extremely competitive housing market of the past several years, today’s data suggests negotiations are starting to come back to the table. To find out how the market is shifting in our area, let’s connect today or call us to review opportunities in your local market today and let us guide you HOME with Aloha!