The year 2022 started off and running just like 2021. Real estate agents were seeing record numbers during the holidays, and seller expectations were for a quick contract to sell in one day or off-market. For buyers who still had the energy, their one silver lining was the ability to finance at historically lower rates. For buyers in most of 2020 and 2021, the market was fast-paced and certainly not kind. Victory for a buyer meant beating out multiple offers bidding a recommended 10% over list price. How can I tell this story? Well, I have lived it with my clients.
As I sat at my desk each morning, I felt the nerves, exhaustion, and held up prospective buyers and their agents with all the strength I could offer. My position was one of disdain for a market that required buyers to make decisions with speed on their biggest financial investment. Service among lenders for the last two years has been about speed. “How fast can you get an appraisal? How quickly can you underwrite the loan and close?” I can confidently say my team answered the need for speed 110%. BUT speed is a fleeting asset and commodity. No race runs forever. There is a finish line.
Personally, I am relieved for buyers now. Yes. The silver lining of low rates has been replaced. However, buyers can write in protections into their contracts. They are not required to offer well over the list price. In fact, buyers are offering below list prices. Let’s pause and process the bigger picture. Paying less in price may even mean more savings than financing higher prices at lower rates.
The story of the 2022-23 buyer is someone who likely saw the low rates early in the year. The 2022-23 buyer has also seen the market shift in their favor. Buyers in the market now have opportunities those who purchased in 2020 and 2021 did not. They have time AND they have leverage to negotiate a price. Buyers in the current market see beyond the higher rate markets because they understand the bigger picture of cost.
I am grateful to have the trust of my referral partners and clients who value personalized consult and strategy. The speed of the past market was not sustainable. Neither were the interest rates. Service, communication, and respecting the magnitude of a new home purchase is back. And these assets are NOT a short-term trend. The story of the 2022 buyer and the buyer of 2023 will be one that endures. And that story will begin with realizing the opportunity.