Today’s agents have had to shift messaging away from the price of the home to help buyers find a home that has an affordable payment. “I am telling buyers, ‘Let’s find the home that still has an affordable payment. Rates Will Go Back Down, and When They Do, You Will Be Positioned to Refinance,” said an Orlando, Florida-based Keller Williams sales associate, in RealTrends Q4 2022 AgentPulse survey.
RealTrends AgentPulse requests quarterly surveys from some 19,000+ real estate agents around the nation on market trends, opportunities, and challenges. Of the 202 completed surveys, 21% were from the Northeast, 15% were from the Southeast, 28% from the Southwest, 23% from the Midwest, and 12% from the Northwest.
“Marry the house; date the rate,” said a Coldwell Banker agent in Pacific Palisades, California. It’s a familiar refrain as interest rates rise. And, while 61% of agents surveyed expect home sales (61%) and home prices (55%) to drop more than 5% for the remainder of 2022, only 34% felt pessimistic about the market, up from 19% in the Q3 2022 AgentPulse. Most (43%) felt neutral and 23%, down from 36% in Q3, felt optimistic still.

Data is King

According to the survey, agents are overwhelmingly using market data to help sellers price properties and inform both buyers and sellers about where the bright spots are. “I look at all active homes and pending homes,” said a Palo Alto, California-based Compass sales associate. “Sold homes are too old to look at in a changing market.”
Most of those surveyed are using their local MLS for this data, but other sources include ReMine, state association data, Redfin, Zillow, Realtors® Property Resource (RPR), and more so they can give buyers and sellers a comprehensive and comparative view of sales and pricing. “I use sales from the last 12 months within a one-mile radius from four different sources — RPR, Redfin, Zestimate, and the MLS,” according to a sales associate with an independent firm in Flagler Beach, Florida.
“We look at on-the-market inventory in a much broader area as inventory is still low,” said a sales associate with Ebby Halliday Realtors® in Dallas, Texas. “Appraisers are starting to discount sales earlier in the year that was high.” His advice is, “Do not overprice.”

New Challenges Arise

When asked what their biggest challenges are, some 46% said interest rates and inflation are at the top of their list, this is up from 31% last quarter. Next was low inventory, which 19% of respondents selected as a top challenge.
Not registering on past AgentPulse reports was reluctant buyers and sellers, which in Q4 2022 was listed as the No. 3 challenge by respondents. Rounding out the top five are getting listings and mindset.
Today’s market requires agents to learn new techniques, consistently prospect and find innovative ways to get buyers off the fence and sellers to list.
When asked about proven strategies for handling price reductions, agents aren’t waiting very long to recommend them. “If I don’t have any offers after 10 showings or 10 days on the market, I reduce the price,” said an agent with an independent brokerage in the Northeast. Another agent, who works with luxury buyers in the Northeast, said that they, “Re-evaluate our position in the market after the first two weeks a home is on the market.”

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When working with The Sarah Leonard Team, clients can expect constant communication and guidance. Real Estate can be stressful and very personal for many clients, so the Sarah Leonard Team’s agents and staff treat each seller or buyer as if this were they were their only client; with hands-on attention from start to finish. Staying in touch each step of the way and explaining the process to make it as seamless and enjoyable as possible.

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