In this intense seller’s market, buyers need to know a few things.

If you’re a buyer who’s actively looking or getting ready to start looking for a home, it can be a little frustrating right now. Last year at this time, Orange County had over 7,500 properties available for sale, and it was considered a low inventory market. Flash forward to today, and we’re hovering under 5,000 properties for sale. 

You may think this sounds like a ton of homes, but when you dissect that inventory per city, house type, number of bedrooms, and price range, we’re finding there are really only about a dozen houses for what each buyer is looking for. If you’re a buyer and only have 12 properties to look at, that may not be enough to find the right one for you and your family. These days we’re seeing many buyers do the “ready, aim, wait” approach. This means they’ve spoken to a lender and have been pre-approved, but they’re waiting on the sidelines because they haven’t found a home they love yet. 

With all of these things at play, a ton of buyers feel as if they’ve missed the bus. Had they bought in the last few years they would have a lot more equity, and they’ve been seeing prices steadily increase, so now they’re waiting until the market turns before they buy. While that’s something to consider, keep this in mind: Most economists and top real estate agents believe prices will continue to rise for at least 18 to 24 months. 

You can certainly wait for lower prices, but how high are they going to increase before dropping again? How far will they fall once they do begin to decrease? There’s a chance that home prices may increase another 10% to 15%, then only fall 5% to 7%. Here’s the bottom line: No one has a crystal ball and knows exactly what’s going to happen. 

“Most economists and top real estate agents believe prices will continue to rise for at least 18 to 24 months.”

So here’s the best advice I can give to any buyer:

1. Be prepared. Speak to a lender, understand what you can afford, and know the kind of loan you’ll be applying for.

2. Work with an agent. Know the type of house you’re looking for.

3. Be flexible. 

4. Be patient. 

These four things together will put you in a position to find the right property. We could all sit back and wait for deals, or we can remember that life goes on, and we can’t put our lives on hold indefinitely. With interest rates where they are right now, it’s an excellent opportunity to get out there. It may not be the best time for everyone to buy, but it’s a fantastic time to build equity and set yourself up for future wealth. 

If you have any questions about buying a home or real estate in general, reach out to my us via phone or email. We would be glad to help you.