Real estate marketing often misses the most important factor in home buying and selling decisions.
Real estate agents are great at proclaiming when the best time to buy, or sell, a home may be. And, if we’re just talking about hard numbers–quantitative market data–they’re often correct. What’s missing in all the numbers and the talk is the prime mover in nearly every real estate transaction.
Major life events are what drive real estate transactions. A new job that requires relocation. An ailing parent that needs a little extra help nearby. Retirement. Or, sometimes, just a change of scenery.
But low inventory and rising prices aren’t reasons enough for most people to put their homes on the market. Unless they’re investors ready to move to their next project, or they have another home to move into, or they’ve decided now is the perfect time to hop in the RV and see the country.
Likewise, buyers are not necessarily going to buy a home just because inventory is flush and prices are low. They have to feel good about their job prospects and income, and be willing to put down roots in the area. And they need to be ready to make the commitment to owning a home.
Is it a seller’s market right now? Most places, yes. But if you happen to live in a newer community where there’s still a lot of new construction going on, it actually may not be a great time to sell. When buyer’s can look at resales, then walk down the street to the builder who can offer them $20,000 in incentives and a brand new home, it’s hard for a reseller to compete. So much for the seller’s market in that scenario.
Numbers can certainly be a part of the equation for home buyers and sellers. But if it’s the only thing we’re looking at as a driver of sales, we’re missing the bigger picture…life.