If you are looking for a home anytime between Thanksgiving and the end of January, the housing inventory takes a deep dive. And that is above and beyond the historically low inventory market we have been in for the past two years!
With hardly any homes on the market, you might be wondering what are the best strategies to find a home if you need to or want to move during this time of year?
I understand that many of my clients need to move for a vast array of life changes, from relocating, getting married, having babies, or recently selling homes themselves.
There are ways to still find a great home during this low inventory winter lull. This season calls for house hunting strategies that are even more proactive and creative than the rest of the year.
So if you need to move forward with buying a home during this typical lull in the market, don’t worry! You can still find a great home!
Domino Effect on Buyers and Sellers
Remember that low inventory impacts both buyers and sellers. Even if buyers are ready and able to purchase a home (good down payment and good credit!), they have very few homes to see.
And with few homes on the market, there is nowhere for sellers to go if they need to move at this time. See how both of these groups feel the impact of low inventory, which many consider a roadblock to moving forward with their life plans.
However, buyers (and sellers) need to stay positive and use this quieter time of the market to their advantage. Fewer bidding wars and less competition is a huge factor for buyers to keep in mind!
Out-of-the-Box Strategies to Find Your Home Now
To better deal with the lack of supply, there are strategies I use more this time of year when the inventory is low to find my clients homes. Plus, there are some actions you as a buyer need to take on as well.
And for those of you selling and buying, you need to shift your perspective and strategies too.
For buyers —
- Be very clear about what you are looking for in a home. Having more clarity can help us look for off-market homes for you. That is, homes that aren’t officially listed.
- Understand that this isn’t your usual market. Your plans will still come to fruition; they just may be delayed, but not forever.
For sellers —
- Be open to new strategies. We can come up with a plan that matches the right buyers for your home, who aren’t casual buyers but determined buyers.
- Stay positive about price negotiation. Know that prices can remain strong since inventory is limited, and you may still receive multiple offers.
Matching Buyers to Potential Sellers
When inventory is low, it’s time to get creative and be more proactive in finding a home that’s the right fit and criteria for you. Matching potential sellers with determined buyers can be a win-win for everyone!
1.) Off-market forums and groups. Posting my buyer clients’ needs and working with other top agents in the area who may have listings that are not on the market yet can be a productive way to find homes.
2.) Reach out to my homeowner clients. I reach out to past clients who have expressed interest in selling at some point and are prepping their homes for sale. This is another way to find homes that match your criteria. Keeping these potential sellers’ plans moving forward can help bring more homes to the market.
3.) Letter writing campaign. For my buyers who want to live in a specific neighborhood or building, I use a letter writing campaign and proactively reach out to homeowners.
Once we know exactly where you want to live, we can use this letter writing campaign effectively any time of year, but especially this time of year since so many sellers hold off from listing during the holidays. There could be eager sellers who don’t want to wait!
4.) Being proactive vs. waiting around. Sure, we could sit around and wait until something comes on the MLS, but this time of year, that strategy doesn’t typically lead to the best possible home for your criteria. That’s why it’s best to take an even more proactive stance when looking for homes when inventory is low. This includes calling other agents who specialize in certain areas or price points, contacting past clients, posting on community boards looking for anyone who might have a home that fits a client’s needs.
As you can see, being more strategic and having a plan of action that is more proactive can work when inventory is typically low during this time of year.
If you are looking to move during this very low inventory season, reach out so we can put some of these strategies and others I have as well to work for you!
Hi, I'm Kim Crouch, and I help people who want to live in Wilmington near Wrightsville Beach, and aren't quite ready to move yet, figure out how to buy their NC coastal home now.
1001 Millitary Cutoff Rd Suite 101
Wilmington, NC 28403
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