In this new series, we discuss some of the things that new home buyers in the home buying marketplace are usually surprised by. Today is the actual time a house is available in this market. Our definition of a new home buyer is someone who has either not ever purchased a home or hasn’t purchased a new home in the past 2 decades. And, they are buying an existing home. New home construction has its own intricacies.
New home buyer: We’ve found a house online we’d like to see. We both work during the day, can we set up a showing for next Thursday
Me: We can, but the house will probably be under contract by then
New home buyer: That’s fine, just set the appointment
Me: Unfortunately, the house has gone under contract. They only allowed showings for two days, Saturday and Sunday, with offers due Sunday evening at 5 p.m.
New home buyers don’t believe me when I tell them that houses are moving fast. They think that I’m just trying to force them to commit to something, as if it’s some sales technique I’m using for them to buy a house faster. It isn’t.
The average house in St. Louis County is listed for sale for about 5-6 days total before it is under contract. Why? There are many reasons. For one, the Coronavirus has made people realize that if they are going to have to work from home, maybe their current home is too small or doesn’t have enough quiet areas where they can work.
Another reason is that interest rates have been historically low for quite some time. Generally, the lower the interest rate, the lower the house payment, the more house someone can buy.
Finally, there just aren’t that many great houses out there for sale. In a given weekend, there may be 100 houses that go up for sale, and of those maybe 3 are priced right and fit what everyone is looking for. The rest either need work or are just really priced too high. Even then, because the market is so hot for sellers, the houses still sell quickly.
A common thought among home buyers when I tell them that houses are moving quick is that they will just wait it out. Prepare to wait months at that point. If a new home buyer can’t commit to physically seeing houses and making offers as soon as the houses are available to be shown, there’s no way to really buy a house in this market.
One of the things I have to constantly tell myself and my buyers is that I don’t make these rules. Ideally, it would be great to go and see a house, think about it for a few days, maybe have some coffee and a snack, and then make a decision. That’s not the market we are in though.
The housing market is in a boom. There is going to be a bust at some point, but no one really knows when or what will be the catalyst for it. Some thought the coronavirus pandemic would be what tripped up what had been a strong market for some time.
My advice is simple. If you are in the housing market now, or 10 years from now, work with an agent and find a home that you will be comfortable in today and if you had to, would stay for decades. This is the only way to guard against the housing market ups and downs.
This is our core philosophy at Deerwood Realty. Should you be in the market for a new home, let’s work together to find you the home of your dreams. The market is hot, but we do have experience dealing with this type of market and we can help navigate. The houses are moving fast. New home buyers need to realize that the actual time a house is available in this market might only be a weekend or less. If something comes to market that you think you might be interested in, don’t hesitate: schedule your showing at your first available opportunity.