What Rochester’s Record-Low Housing Inventory Means for Buyers & Sellers

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With mortgage rates hovering at historic lows, the Rochester and Finger Lakes real estate markets are expected to do very well in 2021. One challenge to the housing industry, however, is the lack of homes available for sale today. Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Existing Home Sales Report, which shows that the inventory of homes for sale is currently at an all-time low. The report explains:

“Total housing inventory at the end of December totaled 1.07 million units, down 16.4% from November and down 23% from one year ago (1.39 million). Unsold inventory sits at an all-time low 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.3 months in November and down from the 3.0-month figure recorded in December 2019. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.”

What Does This Mean for You?

If You’re a Buyer:

Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, however, be ready to move forward quickly by doing the following prior to starting your home search:
– Get pre-approved for a mortgage to show the seller’s that you’re qualified to buy the home. If you need some guidance on which lenders to talk to, we can help!
– Be prepared to make a competitive offer from the start, and know that a shortage in inventory could mean you’ll enter a bidding war. When you’re ready to make an offer, we’ll discuss how “competitive” yours should be.
– Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home. You can depend on us to advise you on what concessions you should and should NOT make in your offer.

If You’re a Seller:

Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there’s a shortage of an item at the same time there’s a strong demand for it, the seller is in a good position to negotiate the best possible terms. Whether it’s the price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to request more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.

Bottom Line

The housing market will remain strong throughout 2021. Know what that means for you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both.

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