Buying When Inventory is Low

Tips on Being a Buyer in a Low Inventory Market

Tips on Being a Buyer in a Low Inventory Market

It's mid-March, the temperatures are barely creeping above freezing during the day, and there is still enough snow on the ground to go over the top of your highest boots.  Everyone is getting spring fever and part of that is thinking about the warmer days ahead and wanting to check out all of the "dream" lake properties that are available.  

Where's all of the inventory?

Right now, there are only 20 lake homes listed between $300,000 and $1,000,000 on lakes over 100 acres in our area.  That isn't much to get excited about.  In fact, it's very frustrating for buyers who are ready to buy, but don't have any options.  If this is how you're feeling, you're not alone.  This blog is meant to give you some optimism for the coming months and to give you some tips to be a successful buyer in a low-inventory market.

There are three things a buyer needs to be successful in this market:
     •    Patience
     •    Diligence
     •    A working relationship with a good real estate agent/brokerage (I bet you know who I'm going to suggest)

I know.  We all want what we want and we want it NOW, but a little patience can pay off.  It doesn't matter what the market is like, every year the phone starts ringing in March with buyers ready to see more listings.  Yes, they will be trickling on soon, but remember that many sellers (even those that know they will be selling) aren't prepared to list their property at this time.  They want to put out the yard furniture, install the pier, show off their sandy frontage and, most importantly, get quality pictures to best showcase their homes.  It's easy - especially for the anxious buyer - to get the feeling that they won't have many opportunities and feel the pressure to make a lot of compromises to make something work.  You should know that the snow will melt and the ice will come off the lakes and the sellers will be ready to sell again.  It happens every year.  Patience will pay off.

Don't mistake being patient for being lackadaisical.  There may not be a lot of inventory currently and when more start to hit the market it will likely be more of a trickle than a flood.  That doesn't mean you should dismiss any listings that are currently available or stop watching for new listings to come up.  There are still a lot of buyers competing for the same properties and when good ones become available, they go quickly.  You may not be willing to outbid all of your competitors, but you do want to have a chance to do your due diligence on a property and make a decision on whether to pursue it or not while it is still available instead of finding out about it when it's already under contract.  When listings come up, look at them quickly.  When you see one that’s intriguing, ask your questions right away.  Time is of the essence.  Pursue it until you decide it’s not worth pursuing.  Don’t be discouraged by the “bad” listings.  Instead, be encouraged with the knowledge that you made the decision to pass on a property and it wasn’t an opportunity that passed you by.

Working with a Good Real Estate Agent/Brokerage:
Yes, this is a shameless plug to encourage you to work with Gold Bar Realty.  Having a relationship with an agent is important, though.  Remember that there are lots of buyers out there and agents who want to work with all of you.  So, it's more than just reaching out to get added to a mailing list or to share your search criteria (although that is a very good start).  Asking questions, sharing feedback, and simply touching base with your agent can go a long way toward showing your agent that you are committed to finding a property and serious about your search.  It's also a way to keep you front-of-mind.  

As an agent, I try very hard not to be a nuisance to my customers and clients.  Your time is valuable, and I think the website provides enough tools for you to browse to your heart's content.  I'm happy to step back and let you browse without interference with the trust that you will reach out when you have a question or when you're ready to schedule a showing.  However, the buyers that are very serious about properties and reach out frequently are the ones that I know will want me to communicate as often as possible with any information that may be helpful to them.  

Even if it's just an email to say that you're still watching the new listings and waiting for the right fit, it is still helpful to know that you're a buyer that is ready to pounce at the right opportunity.  You want to be the buyer that comes to mind when the perfect property hits the market.  And I want to be the agent that helps you stay patient and diligent in the meantime.

If you're a buyer in this low-inventory market do not be deterred.  There will always be opportunities that come up.  Be patient and diligent and be sure to reach out to us at Gold Bar Realty so we can help you as much as we can.

Posted By: Adam Gohlke - March 13, 2023, 5:41 p.m.