Would-be home buyers: follow the lead of dance moves — and take advantage of the the pause that refreshes.
The personal stories of one Realtor’s battles and triumphs in the highly-competitive Bay Area Real Estate Market, seeking to illuminate and humanize the very real ups-and-downs of homeownership.
Quick, quick, slow . . . quick, quick, slow . . .” the dance instructor said. “Watch me; the combinations fall on one, two, three, and on five, six, seven,” he continued, “which means, what happens on counts 4 and 8?”
“We pause?” I asked.
“Correct! And this is her very first class,” the teacher said, pointing at me with delight and approval. (Not exactly my first rodeo, but I’ll take the compliments where I can get them.)
“Forward, step, back . . . side, step, together . . . step, pivot, turn . . . “ (At which point, Cliff was lost.) “Rotate!”
And then we were on to the next partner.
“You’re leading,” one man said to me with stark disapproval. (I know, but YOU have no rhythm.)
The point of the pause
Because it’s salsa, the steps essentially stay the same – 1,2,3, pause, 5,6,7, pause – no matter the pattern. Salsa has a rhythm that’s undeniable and non-negotiable. If you step on the one and the five, you can pretty much fake your way through the rest. The important thing is to register the PAUSE, so you and your partner can stay in step with one another.
Staying in step is true for the market as well. We are quickly moving into the holiday season, and as is typical for November and December, the market is taking a seasonal “pause.” That’s because few people move during the holidays, preferring to cozy up at home with family and friends. Homes that do sell between November and January usually do so because of death, divorce, or job displacement. (The other “Ds” that often predicate a move are diamonds, diapers, diplomas, and with an increasingly aging population: dementia.)
If a home hasn’t found its buyers in the Fall Market, Realtors® tend to give it a rest and reintroduce the property come the spring. (Take note, in California, the Spring Market arrives right after the Super Bowl.)
Given that the final sales price on a property is likely going to be determined by the level of competition it attracts, this seasonal “pause,” while not necessarily great for Sellers, is an excellent time for Buyers to step in and capitalize on some overlooked opportunities. In other words, the winter market can be a fantastic time to buy. That being said, it’s also the market that is most often dismissed.
The benefit to buyers
Because no matter how much Buyers say they hate buying in competition, Buyers tend to only buy in the herd. With 84% of Buyers “pausing” (according to a recent Fannie Mae poll), it can be unsettling to watch the crowds disperse – especially if one needs the affirmation of others to commit. But for the 16% who will step in at this time, you’ll often see significant savings and far better terms by being the only interested party at the table.
Moreover, with news that markets reacted positively to the Fed’s decision this week to continue its “pause” on benchmark rate increases, a slight decline in interest rates was a welcome respite in what’s been a brutal year for Buyers regarding rapidly rising interest rates, not to mention sky-high insurance costs.
So if a new home has been on your radar, now may very well be the opening you’ve been waiting for.
Step, step, step, pause. Step, step, step, pause . . . (I’ll lead).
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner & Sarah Abel | Compass Realty
Not just Realtors, but consultants in all things house and home, we’re here to educate, explore, examine and refer . . . In short, you may count on us to take care of your home as if it were our own and anyone who knows us, knows we take pretty darn good care of our homes.