Housing inventory is low, but there’s a catch

Inman News

Low inventory doesn’t guarantee quick sales; buyers in 2023 have unique needs and demands

The 2023 real estate market has been a bit of a conundrum for agents and brokerages. Mortgage rates are high, listing prices are elevated, and housing inventory is limited. Construction of new homes is largely stalled or at least not meeting the high demand, and many homeowners who locked in record-low interest rates during the pandemic simply aren’t willing to leave their homes and sell.

As a result, housing inventory has plummeted to record lows. While it has been trending downward over the last several years, 2023 has been a low point. For this year alone, housing inventory is about 46 percent below the historical average that dates back to 1999. While there is a noticeable shortage of houses up for sale for many buyers on the hunt for their dream home, it is not the same sellers’ market of years past. There is a catch that agents need to be aware of if they want to still be successful.

Beggers can be choosers

Traditionally, a market with low housing inventory is associated with quick sales, higher asking prices, and sometimes multiple offers, but this isn’t always the case in today’s market. Although housing inventory is limited, buyers aren’t willing to settle for just any old home on the market. Currently, it is a seller’s market with an important caveat.

According to our recent industry report, 77 percent of buyers won’t even consider a home that isn’t move-in ready. For real estate agents, this means that if your listings aren’t hitting this gold standard, they won’t sell, even with such few homes available.

The reality is that to get those listings off the market, they have to be fixed up and updated according to what buyers are looking for. Any listings in need of repairs or with seriously outdated features will be ignored by potential buyers and will sit on the market. This can not only make for unhappy clients but also can be bad for your business.

Offer a solution, or your business will struggle

With such a demand from buyers for move-in ready homes, pre-listing updates are becoming a necessity for every listing regardless of the type of market. Unfortunately for agents, our report also found that 90 percent of home sellers don’t want to spend the time, money, and stress on home updates before they sell. If you can’t get your clients on board, it is a lose-lose situation for both of you.

To avoid stale listings and unhappy clients, you need to provide your sellers with a viable solution. Look for a pay-at-closing option for pre-sale updates, like Curbio, that helps eliminate the barrier of finding funding for upfront costs that many homeowners cannot afford when they are about to move. A turnkey concierge service that also manages and streamlines these home improvement projects can remove worries about time and stress for sellers and you.  

Offering a solution can not only help you move houses faster but also help you win listings. We found that 72 percent of homeowners chose agents who came to listing presentations with options. It is a win-win situation.

Curbio is the leading pay-at-closing home improvement service that helps homeowners get their homes market-ready without the upfront costs. Work is completed 50 percent faster than traditional general contractor work, and homes spend less time on the market. As a turnkey solution to pre-listing updates, Curbio is the agent’s choice for general contractors.