How to Find Housing Inventory When There Is None
Inventory is down dramatically from last year, giving buyers very little choice and driving up prices to arguably ridiculous levels. In Santa Clara County there are now only 699 properties available for sale. At this time last year, there were around 1400 (which was a record low at that time).
So how does a buyer navigate this terrain? We are living in a housing market where it pays to have connections. If you are not fortunate enough to have an altruistic family member or friend who is willing to sell their home to you privately (don’t we wish), a well-connected Realtor is the next best thing. Here are a few secrets to success:
Working at a large real estate firm:
The larger the company, the more off-market “exclusive” listings you will have access to.
Experience and Connections:
Typically an experienced agent who is friendly with other Realtors and who has a strong book of business is very well connected to other agents and can get inside information on other agents’ pipelines, and possibly also get tips during negotiations that can help you edge out the competition.
Mindset and Creativity:
Agents need to look outside the box for inventory and be willing to work hard to find it. I have sent out targeted mail for buyers and found very interesting opportunities for them. It can be a long shot, but it’s always worth a try!
Take a second look at old listings:
- Has it been on the market longer than about 20 days? If so, it’s likely listed too high and is due for a price reduction. Try to make your offer before they reduce the price.
- Was it listed for sale in the past but never sold? Your agent can look over expired and canceled listings and reach out to them on your behalf.
Finally, Don’t Forget to Consider New Construction:
Make sure you think about NEW construction. We have connections to builders who will build your dream home, and we have lists of new construction that are not always on the MLS. IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you bring your agent to the sales office the first time, or you might be waiving your rights to have your own representation!
Ok everyone, happy house hunting and call us if you need our help!