Helping Buyers Navigate Inventory Issues

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Just about any real estate professional today knows that it's not easy for would-be buyers to find the home of their dreams without dealing with significant interest from other shoppers. With this in mind, it's important to help them navigate through the market making the process as stress-free as possible.

In today's market, this is challenging with so few homes up for sale relative to demand - even during slower winter months - Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff explained in an earnings call that most people are likely to face bidding wars for just about any home they try to buy, according to Business Insider. The reason this is a problem for would-be buyers is clear enough: Greater competition can drag out the shopping process, lead to other shoppers' bids being accepted and drive up prices.

This situation can also lead to problems for agents because it could create a backlog of buying clients who may take a few months - or more - to find a home.

Navigating the sellers' market
At this point, anecdotal evidence suggests that for some homes for sale - particularly those carrying lower price tags, which are far more affordable for first-time buyers, who now make up a near-record chunk of the buyers' market - get a lot of bids. Some agents have seen properties receive at least several bids, leading to some hopeful buyers bidding on more than a dozen homes. That environment creates a lot of extra work for agents, as well, and can be quite discouraging to first-timers who have never faced this kind of frustration in the home buying process.

Helping with expertise
Fortunately, agents can use the credibility they've built up over their years facilitating real estate sales to help buyers find deals with as little fuss as possible, according to The Washington Post. For instance, if agents can identify homes that have been on the market a little longer than other properties, that insight might help them connect shoppers with more motivated sellers, which can expedite the process.

Along similar lines, agents might be wise to start showing their clients more "fixer-upper" properties if asking prices come in below the buyers' total budgets. While shoppers might not be excited to live in a house that needs a bit more work, the money they save on the sale can be invested directly into those renovations and make buyers feel as though they're living in a home that's truly their own.


Generally speaking, the more agents can do to get out of the traditional listings market and find buyers suitable, low-key options, the better off they're going to be when it comes to getting those sales handled quickly and helping buyers avoid stress that might otherwise crop up given today's market conditions. That, in turn, may lead to more referrals down the road, because if agents can ferry clients through stressful times, those people may be more likely to recommend an agent to friends and family.

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