There’s no way around it: inventory is down. Across the board, we’re seeing less and less homes than are able to meet buyer demands. Per Zillow inventory is down overall 25%, with new build startups down even more. It’s a challenge for increasingly more markets, and it has been especially rampant in my own, the Greater DC area, for a number of years now.
But there are many ways and various tips you can use to combat and navigate this market of low inventory. In “The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent” as well as the Companion Guide I offer countless solutions that I’ve found successful, but I’ll offer a few for you here today.
You can do this by looking online, because a lot of sellers will try and list their home either for sale as a coming soon or a make-me-move on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, and even for sale by owner.
Another way to try and find homes off-market is by targeting specific owners. When doing this, really dial down in on what your buyer wants, what specific type of home or condo or townhouse – whatever it may be – and filter it down. Sometimes there’s a dozen or more possibilities on the low end; sometimes there’s a couple hundred. Send letters to those homeowners and tell them – you’ve got a willing and able buyer, that inventory’s low, and that they can be flexible, potentially, with the terms and the timing. By doing this for them, you’ll save them the time, stress and hassle of going on the market.
Of course, you should also be targeting the top agents in the area for exposure to the best array of options. Usually, certain neighborhoods will be dominated by two or three agents. Don’t hesitate even to ask them outright if they’ve got any listings that’ll be coming up in the next three, six months, or however long your buyer’s timelines is. It’s about proactively taking the initiative to get the job done.
So those are great ways to look into more specific details on how to do that but, you know, the bottom line is that if you can help your buyers find a home that no one else can, and help them win out in situations without necessarily being the highest offer, you’re going to be able to attract and retain and win more buyer clients and build a better business.