"HOT" Seller's Market is Fading Away

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Sitting on the edge of a lake fishing, time stops. Sometimes the fishing is great and the bucket is filled with fish. There are days when after fishing for hours, only one is reeled onto the dock. But, there are days, after trying every kind of bait, fishing produces absolutely nothing. A big part of fishing is all about using the bait that is working and being extremely patient.

Today’s sellers remind me of a kid that goes fishing for the very first time. After five minutes with their pole in the water they inquire, “How long before I catch a fish?” They quickly realize that fishing is not instantaneous and that it requires quite a bit of time and persistence.

Current sellers have heard about how great the fishing had been and how the housing market was generating instantaneous, multiple offers. For years, up until May of this year, sellers had been selling their homes at or near their list prices, and sometimes fetched even more. Yet, the housing market has evolved. The hot Seller’s Market is in the past and it doesn't seem to be coming back anytime soon.

Sellers need to re-calibrate their expectations. First, the best “bait” that is working today is price. Pricing at or extremely close to a home’s Fair Market Value is critical. Next, sellers must pack their patience. Often, sellers are required to keep their poles in the water and wait for the right buyer to come along. The market, for the most part, is not delivering instant success regardless of how well a home is priced. Another issue is that many sellers are still stretching their asking prices, either wishing they could achieve more than the most recent comparable sale, or they are leaving a little room for negotiations. Both strategies result in not accomplishing the goal in selling. As a result, price reductions are rampant. 44% of the entire active listing inventory in Orange County has reduced their asking price at least once. 

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