WHAT IS BUYER FATIGUE?
We are currently experiencing a hypercompetitive seller’s market with low inventory and many active buyers. This quickly spirals potential homebuyers into the frustrating realm of buyer fatigue. Buyer fatigue refers to buyers who have seen so many properties, written too many unsuccessful offers, and are flat out exhausted with the buying process. Searching for the dream home can be an exhaustive undertaking and when you are losing out time and time again you start to feel like you will never win a bid.
Conversely, while all of this is great news for sellers because it means an increased sale price and shortened transaction time, it can be overwhelming for Listing agents and homeowners as well. Sellers and agents having to slog through a dozen or more offers within days of listing a home for sale is increasingly common. Homeowners are being inundated with calls from eager agents looking to sell their homes because there simply is not enough inventory to sustain the housing market at the current level. At the current rate, every home for sale in the greater Seattle area will be sold in less than 2 weeks if new listings are not added to the market. The only answer to these issues on both buyer and seller ends is increased inventory.
WHERE DOES THIS FATIGUE COME FROM?
Buyer fatigue sneaks up on house hunters that want to start slow and take their time feeling out a hot market. Possibly based on their family or friends’ advice, they may make a cautious initial offer on a home with the hopes of strengthening it if it’s rejected. Unfortunately, listening to someone who is not familiar with the market can lead you into disappointing territory.
When buyers are skeptical of market advice and don’t capitalize on opportunities to write winning offers, they can waste crucial weeks, or even months, in a damaging cycle of submitting offers, getting rejected, modifying offers, getting rejected again, then starting all over with the next property. Listening to a knowledgeable Realtor can help you navigate through this process in a more efficient way.
The Western Washington housing market is extremely competitive. The current market value in most neighborhoods is quickly increasing and the sale price of each condo, townhouse, or single-family home sets the precedent for the next one in that neighborhood. New home buyers can fear overpaying when advised to bid above the asking price on their first offer. The cold hard truth is that some houses are selling for upwards of $100,000 over the asking price. Sellers have the leverage and the luxury to pick whichever offer has the highest price and the fewest subjects.
Buyers have to learn quickly! If you take too long adjusting to the market conditions, buyer fatigue is going to set in. Unfortunately, desperation can also kick in at this point.
The biggest bummer of this whole process is that when the buyer finally does buy a home, they may long for the one that got away!
To the point above, however, I have spoken to several of our agents this week and we are definitely noticing a change in the market. Between homes that have rapidly appreciated, buyer fatigue and increasing interest rates the number of multiple offers has decreased.
Homes are still certainly selling at the top of the market prices, but we are not seeing $100’s of thousands over on every single listing any longer either.
5 TIPS TO BOOST YOUR DEFENSE AGAINST BUYER FATIGUE:
- Hire an experienced agent you can trust! Choose an agent who can balance writing a winning offer and protecting your interests. Select someone who clearly communicates and takes the time to explain the risk in waiving subjects. Never underestimate the importance of having a well-trained agent who not only understands how to compete in a seller’s market, but also truly cares about their clients and the outcome. This market isn’t for the faint of heart, so to be successful you have to be determined yet patient, and you need an agent who will put together specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. It requires total transparency and, at times, brutal honesty.
We looked at the data on thousands of offers agents for The Cascade Team wrote and received in the last two years to see how the strategies we track affected buyers’ odds of winning a bidding war:
- Speak with a mortgage specialist to help you get the most out of your money. They can walk you through the best type of financing for your individual situation and share helpful tips based on their knowledge of the industry.
- Get fully and thoroughly pre-approved! Get pre-approved before making an offer. Make sure to complete all the paperwork you can ahead of time.
- Don’t be afraid to go ALL IN with your first offer. Know that it is okay to fall in love with the first house you make an offer on. Remember that subjects can be removed if due diligence was properly done before writing an offer. Having an experienced agent to guide you through these decisions is vital.
- Consider updating your wish list. If you have lost out in previous offers, speak with your agent about reevaluating your wish list. You can increase the number of potential homes by broadening your preferred neighborhoods or updating the minimum property size (just to name a few). Additionally, the properties in less popular areas may have reduced audiences which lowers the amount of competition.
NEXT STEPS FOR SUCCESS
While waiting for a showing or in preparation for your next offer, check out these post to equip yourself with the information you need to help land your dream home:
It is important to know that buyer fatigue can happen to anyone, even experienced buyers. Align yourself with a proven and trusted team. Our hope is that you will find the home of your dreams before the fatigue sets in!