Sellers Paying Buyers To Buy Their Homes?
That headline would’ve seemed impossible a year ago, but it’s true: the real estate market is finally tilting back toward buyers, and with a vengeance. With concerns about the economy mounting, plus the prospect of escalating rates for home mortgages, it would appear at first sight to be an unfavorable time to buy a home. However, the few qualified buyers who are determined to stay in the market are being courted by equally determined sellers.
In fact, home brokerage firm Redfin reports that sellers are making concessions barely conceivable during the long-lived seller’s market of the past few years. Not only are we seeing price reductions, but also more money being offered to buyers for home repairs. Some sellers are even agreeing to mortgage rate buydowns, a financing technique in which the seller pays a fee at closing to reduce the buyer’s mortgage rate. Sellers are finding they must compete for buyers, which is empowering the once-powerless home buyer.
The latest market data for the greater Charlotte area echoes the national trends. As of December 31, 2022, the number of homes for sale mushroomed by 2,273 to a total of 6,479 homes for sale. That’s an unheard-of increase in inventory of 54% from December, 2021. The most telling indicator of a cooling market is in the number of days on market until sale, which grew by 105%, reflecting an increase of 21 days to a new total of 41. The sole holdover of the quickly vanishing seller’s market is the slight increase in home prices. The median sales price of a home that closed last month saw an increase from last year of $23,635, or 6.8%, to a new total of $373,625.
The bottom line is that people will find a way to get what they need. Growing families have to upsize, people will have to relocate for their careers, and at a certain time in those careers, many will decide it’s time for that first home.