What Inventory Shortage?
Twice in the last week I have had individuals, who are either not licensed real estate agents or not full-time professional real estate agents, want to educate me and other top real estate agents in the Northern Virginia market that the inventory shortage they hear us complaining about doesn’t exist. There is little more frustrating than someone who doesn’t do what you do, day in and day out, tell YOU what is happening. When the frustration passes, I am left wondering why people on the periphery of performing agents would think we are not experiencing an inventory shortage.
In the case of a licensed agent who works a full time job preparing resale documents for an HOA management company, and who has sold only one home in the last two years, she was exasperated at the talk of an inventory shortage in an online real estate group when in her full-time job, she’s never prepared as many HOA resale package as she has this year. The thought process there being, if she’s doing more resale packages than ever, then clearly, there are more sales closing than she has seen recently, therefore an inventory shortage can not exist.
Believe me, this has been one of the busiest years I have ever had in real estate. To date, I have closed twenty-six homes in 2020. That doesn’t mean that buyer demand is being met. For each home that goes under contract in the Bristow/Gainesville/Haymarket area, there are probably five to ten buyers who are still looking for a home.
Tonight, I met another “expert” in the real estate market. A buyer represented by an agent who is refusing to show him homes that are occupied. (Don’t get me started.) He was clearly upset that I was showing his rental home tonight, which has been listed for sale by the owner and which he must comply with by the terms of his lease. Just because he has been looking to buy and been able to see at least four homes each time he goes out, he thinks there is not an inventory shortage. Meanwhile, he is looking in the same area and same criteria as the buyer I was in Woodbridge with tonight. There are ten houses on the market. TEN! I ran into buyers coming and going from five of the six my buyer wanted to see. One of the properties went under contract before we could have three hours to get an offer together! While there are multiple Woodbridge townhouses for sale in the Lake Ridge area, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more buyers than the number of homes for sale.
My feeling is that buyers who have become frustrated with the multiple offers that have been happening all year long may be stepping back from the market during the holidays. And sellers who are bit uncertain of what our future holds after the election is finally certified and done next month, are holding off until the New Year. As I told my buyer tonight, November and December are going to be a great time to make a decision and get a home. Sellers in Lake Ridge don’t seem to need multiple offers to make them happy. They seem to be okay with getting a good offer and accepting it.
The inventory shortage is likely to continue into 2021. And once the dust settles from our over-wrought political Presidential election, the same thing is going to happen that always happens.–the phone will be ringing off the hook in January. It is unlikely the number of sellers our market needs to satisfy the buyer demand will list.
If you want to know what the market conditions are in your area, ask a full-time, professional real estate agent that is out there beating the street day in and day out. If you live in Bristow, Gainesville, Woodbridge or any of the surrounding areas, I can help you understand what is actually happening in the marketplace. And I’m happy to show you ANY home that is listed.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not Long & Foster.