Is now a good time to sell? Should I buy now or wait? How are you making it in this market? The list goes on and on and on.
I know that all the people currently in the real estate business have heard these questions and sometime they have felt like a barrage. I have really come to understand these questions a bit better in recent months. Not that I did not get them before, but the “tone” when asking them has changed and caused me stop and reflect.
It seems today that the fear and negative emotion is not as pervasive in the body language or voice. In fact, there seems to be a more focused sense of urgency in the actions of buyers and sellers. This was not, nor did it feel like, the case this time last year as we headed in to “moving season” which fires up each Spring.
The biggest change I see right now is a gradual return to that long-eye mentality. The quick-eye days of living somewhere for less than two years seem to be the exception these days rather than the norm. In fact, first-time buyers and/or newlyweds are looking 5-10 years down the road to make sure that not only the space will meet their needs, but the surrounding area for when they have kids in a few years. Ironically, this is the model that works and is more sustainable over time. How we got away from it is too long a story to tell, but a return to a goal-oriented, needs based model is quite encouraging.
There is also a high demand for what many of us call “A” space. That is, a move-in ready, I don’t have to do anything to it right now property. Inventory is much lower than it has been in recent years. The rental market prices have either crossed, or are rapidly approaching, the tipping point where owning makes much more financial sense. All very encouraging signs.
Are we out of the woods? No. Could that light at the end of the tunnel not be a train? Yes. Bottom line, people still have to move for a variety of reasons. It is, however, real nice to be having conversations lately with buyers, and sellers in particular, who are not in as bad a shape as they feared. Let this trend continue, and we might just be able to call it the norm sooner rather than later.