OK, so for those of you Stranger Things fans, the real estate market right now is a little bit like “the Upside Down.” It looks familiar, but at the same time, kind of scary. Some people might think there are alien monsters lurking.

The Good News is for Buyers…

Yes, prices have been adjusting from the absolutely bananas highs we grew accustomed to over the last few years. Here in the PNW, homes are staying on the market now for longer than a hot minute. Maybe even a few weeks! The normal contingencies are back in style again. Buyers can have their inspection, and maybe even negotiate for some concessions.

Sort Of.

While there is now more inventory, more time to shop, and more wiggle room on prices, the bad news for buyers and sellers is the rise in interest rates. Since this time last year, rates have doubled. Which can sound worse than it is. For those of you who don’t follow rates super-closely (OK, most people), we’re talking rates rising from 3% to 6%. In a nutshell, that can mean the difference of hundreds or thousands of bucks each month of mortgage payment.

Buyers who have been shopping for a year or more have been shocked to find out that they can no longer afford the price point they had been shopping at and are backing out of contracts. This impacts sellers too, who must now put the home back on the market that has cooled.

Is the Sky Really Falling?

While it’s true that the number of canceled contracts has been rising the last few months, this is not cause for panic! It’s just a reminder that as always, you need a good team to get the job done.

Buyers: Keep your lender updated. Make sure your pre-approval is CURRENT. Rates are changing faster than ever and you need to know what you’ll qualify for and lock in your rate when the time is right. Ask your lender to give the listing agent a call on your behalf. A good lender will be more than happy to share, and this really does go a long way toward reassuring sellers that you won’t have to back out because you didn’t have your ducks in a row.

Sellers: Expect contingencies including financing and inspection. Don’t be shy; ask your listing agent to have a conversation with the buyers’ lender about their qualifications! This happens all the time and is very helpful. Be prepared to negotiate repairs or offer some amount towards the buyers’ closing costs if something comes up in the inspection. And for the love of all that is good and holy, now is NOT the time to overprice your listing. Get solid comps from your listing agent, and be smart when pricing.

Thinking of Making a Move?

We are here to help home buyers and sellers in Kitsap County and the Seattle area. Contact Megan today with your real estate questions.

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