I hold a lot of open houses and work with a lot of buyers, and I keep hearing the same thing: the inventory of available homes is just not cutting it. While he statistics show there IS inventory in the area, what is actually available is just not so desirable to today’s buyer. Here are my thoughts….
1) Home needs more work/effort than the buyer is willing to put into the place. Buyers are pretty savvy these days and most would like to move right into a place with minimal effort on their part. They feel like they should be able to do so in this market.
2) Not another short sale!! Buyers are attracted to the price of these homes, but are not attracted to the fog of unknowns they get into with a short sale. Many are now turning their nose up at them after being misled or burned by the process.
3) There really is not much for sale in a given neighborhood. A lot of sellers are hanging on to their homes, trying to sell at a time more favorable to sellers. Well…that time may be now with inventory so low or at least perceived to be low.
4) Buyers have unrealistic expectations. The educated buyer wants it all and feels they are entitled to it. They hear this is a buyer’s market, that they can have their choice of prime properties, and so they hold out for perfection. The result is that choice properties get multiple offers while others sit. Thus the perception of low inventory. In truth, the inventory of perfect homes is low.
I have seen the inventory get better over the past 12 months, and buyers have waded in in greater numbers. My belief is that the inventory will slowly slowly continue to improve, attracting more and more buyers. The short sales and less desirable properties will get sold, too, over the coming months, clearing the decks and marking the return to a more normal market.