With Valentine’s Day in mind, we want to talk about the epic love story that unfolded in the real estate world over the past 18 months. It has been a red-hot affair, with buyers pursuing sellers that’s led to both happiness and heartbreak.
But it all starts with love at first sight.
When it comes to first impressions, there are a few features or qualities that make buyers swoon
Some buyers who say “you had me at hello” focus on individual features, like a show-stopping entryway. Other love-at-first-sight buyers fall for overall qualities like character and potential.
Dressing up is always a good idea: more than 90% of agents believe that staging makes a big impact on buyers
Almost all agents agree that staging affects buyers positively, while about half believe that staging can actually increase a home’s value.
Heavy competition among potential suitors caused the number of offers received on each home to more than double in 2021
That number of offers that an average home receives recently decreased to below 4 from its peak of 5+ in April 2021. The most sought-after listings in competitive markets might get more than that on just the first day.
To find “the one” in 2021, most buyers had to make multiple offers
Finding a dream home became decidedly more difficult in 2021. Almost no one is successful on their first try anymore — especially first-time homebuyers, more than ¼ of whom made more than 10 offers last year.
More than 50% of homes sold for above asking price last year, as lovestruck buyers splurged
At the peak in July of 2021, more than half the homes in the country sold for above asking. That rate fell slightly to 41% as of last month. But those over-asking figures are significantly higher in the Bay Area and L.A., at 65% and 54%, respectively.
The proportion of all-cash offers increased in 2021 as buyers tried to sweep sellers off their feet
All-cash buying has actually been decreasing steadily since the Great Recession, but the pandemic brought it back in 2021 as buyers put all of their chips on the table.
Increasingly desperate buyers waived contingencies more frequently last year to woo sellers
By May of 2021, more than ¼ of all buyers were waiving appraisal and inspection contingencies. However, the proportion of buyers waiving contingencies has decreased since.
Even in a market this hot, buyers should think twice before trying to seal the deal with a “love letter”
“Love letters” written by buyers to sellers were banned in Oregon last year. Moreover, they are not recommended in many other states, including California, due to potential fair housing risks.
The truth is, love plays a major role in the housing market. Attraction, commitment, and “the ones that got away” are all part of the real estate industry — particularly over the past year when agents played matchmakers in an intense market. But that just makes it all the more satisfying when our clients can live happily ever after.