What the Availability of Smaller, Affordable Homes Means for the Market

Modern Custom Suburban Home Exterior

Good news for agents working with first-time home buyers on a budget: after nearly two years of ultra-low inventory and rising property values, small, affordable homes are starting to hit the market at a steady rate.

According to a recent article in Business Insider, the month of July saw a 6.5% rise in new listings, most of which were reasonably priced for buyers looking to break into the market after getting pushed out during the 2020 real estate rush.

Even better?

The median listing price rose slower in July than the month before, keeping the median housing price in the U.S. at a cool $385,000.

Although it’s not enough data to declare an end to this unprecedented market, here are three big reasons why this seemingly small shift is important.

#1: The shift presents an opportunity for new real estate agents to hit the field

To nearly everyone’s surprise, it only took a few months into the pandemic to see one of the most competitive seller’s markets in history.

Although the competition proved beneficial for listing agents, new agents hoping to work with buyers had a more challenging time tracking down available inventory to show potential buyers — if they could even find potential buyers who could afford to buy in at the exorbitant market prices.

Now, new real estate agents may have an easy opening to work with first-time buyers or buyers on a budget as smaller, more affordable inventory opens up. Fortunately, this is a common demographic for brand new real estate agents to start out with anyway, which creates a win-win situation for both new buyers and new agents.

#2: Sellers may be more open to feedback — which could mean a higher commission

With the scales starting to tip towards the buyer’s favor— even ever so slightly — sellers may be more open to their real estate agent’s feedback on getting their homes ready for market.

During a hot seller’s market, it can be tempting for sellers to list their homes quickly without much concern for curb appeal and other finishing touches that can significantly raise the quality of offers because they know their home will sell either way.

As a real estate agent, it can be frustrating when clients are resistant to those finishing touches, considering they can raise the value of the property, and in turn, produce a higher commission.

As inventory continues to open up, sellers may be more receptive to best listing practices.

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#3: The good news is it’s a great way to re-engage leads in your pipeline

If you primarily work with buyers, sending out an email blast, social media post, or even making a few calls to your warmer leads to let them know things are starting to shift can be a great way to re-engage those relationships.

Now is a good time to ask leads if their goals have changed, how they might feel about a smaller “starter home,” and if they’re ready to take a look at anything that’s opened up or may open up in your area.

The bottom line? Though the market isn’t quite “back to normal,” there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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