Buyers are being picky — here’s how you can navigate it as a real estate agent

Key Takeaways:

– The market conditions in the real estate industry are shifting, favoring sellers over buyers.
– Interest rates are dropping, leading to increased buyer demand and a more competitive market.
– Low inventory levels are contributing to the shift in favor of sellers.
– Buyers will need to adjust their expectations and be more open to properties that may not be perfect.
– Real estate agents need to adapt their strategies and educate buyers about the changing market conditions.
– The increase in property values will lead to a seller-centric market.
– New construction can help increase inventory, but it alone cannot meet the demand for housing.
– Real estate agents should leverage new developments to meet the evolving needs of their clients.
– Managing client expectations will be an important aspect of the work for agents in this shifting market.


Change is on the horizon. For what felt like a moment in time, buyers enjoyed the luxury of being incredibly picky, carefully selecting what felt like their dream homes in a market that had shifted towards more favorable conditions. While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, that era is almost most definitely drawing to a close.

With the coming together of interest rate drops, the persistent, continued low inventory levels and 2023 being recorded as the slowest year for U.S. home sales in nearly 30 years as high mortgage rates frustrate buyers, the market is reshaping real estate once again, placing buyers on the back foot and swinging the pendulum back to favoring sellers.

The changing tides

Previously, buyers were able to look for over a month, as average days on market continued to climb. There was a more laid-back approach to the market with interest rates so high. Well into January, we are already seeing properties go under contract in the first weekend with multiple offers. While it is not to the level of our markets with 2% and 3% interest rates, it is a huge turnaround for those who were looking while the interest rates were hovering on or near 8%.

The era of buyers collectively being an exceptionally picky bunch therefore is approaching its end. Interest rates, a key determinant of the real estate market’s health, are on a downward trend. This decline, coupled with the aforementioned low inventory levels, is set to rekindle suppressed buyer demand. Real estate agents need to brace themselves for a shift as we witness a market more reminiscent of previous pandemic years.

As we get into 2024, if interest rates touch the 5% mark, we can assume a market that heavily favors sellers. Buyers who grew accustomed to taking their time and being discerning will find themselves in a more challenging environment. This shift is indicative of a return to a more balanced market, with sellers holding sway over the limited available inventory.

Will we get more inventory? 

The strategy has changed for buyers. Where previously we could look for a home on a scale of 1-10 that was a 8-9, now we are looking at 6-7. The perfect home doesn’t really exist and finding a forever home in a market similar to this one is extremely difficult unless a buyer is willing to pay.

It’s a delicate balance between interest rates and equity. If rates drop and equity levels rise, homeowners may be more inclined to release their properties into the market, capitalizing on the accrued equity to offset higher interest rates. This equilibrium requires strategic planning and effective communication with potential sellers.

The second avenue for expanding inventory is new construction. Unfortunately, we all know the demand for housing has far outpaced the ability to build at a comparable rate. The real estate industry must keep up with the big appetite for housing.

While building can contribute to increased inventory, it alone cannot bridge the gap between demand and supply. Real estate agents should keep an eye on new developments and leverage these opportunities to meet the evolving needs of their clients.

Managing expectations

The way to shift strategy is to move from looking for properties that are perfect for a buyer to looking for a great equity buy that makes sense for the buyer for the next 3-5 years, rewarding them at the time of sale with a large chunk of equity that they would have lost while renting.

Real estate professionals need to prepare for a year of appreciation, with property values likely to see an uptick. As buyers face a more competitive market, this shift once again requires real estate agents to adjust their strategies and comes with a hefty dose of managing client expectations. Educating buyers about the changing market conditions and helping them adapt to one that favors sellers will be a big portion of the work for agents.

The days of buyers being overly picky are ending, my friends, giving way to a seller-centric market driven by dropping interest rates and constrained inventory. Real estate agents must embrace this shift, proactively addressing the challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities it presents. That’s the name of the game in real estate. 

Bret Weinstein is the CEO and founder of Guide Real Estate in Denver, Colorado.

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Property Chomp’s Take:

is a fundamental component in web development. It is a container that allows developers to group and organize various elements on a webpage. In simple terms, it acts as a placeholder for other HTML elements, such as text, images, forms, and more.

With the ever-changing landscape of the real estate market, it’s important to understand how

plays a role in shaping the industry. In recent years, buyers have enjoyed the luxury of being highly selective in their home purchases. They had the freedom to carefully choose their dream homes from a wide range of options. However, it seems that this era of abundance is slowly coming to an end.

Several factors are contributing to this shift. First, there has been a significant drop in interest rates, making it more attractive for people to invest in real estate. Additionally, there is a persistently low inventory of homes available for sale. This scarcity of options, coupled with the slowest year for U.S. home sales in nearly three decades, is frustrating buyers and tipping the scales in favor of sellers.

Previously, buyers had the luxury of spending weeks or even months searching for the perfect home. However, this is no longer the case. Properties are now going under contract within the first weekend, often with multiple offers. While interest rates are not as low as they were in previous years, this shift is significant for those who were searching for homes when rates were much higher.

As we move into 2024, it is predicted that interest rates may reach the 5% mark. This would heavily favor sellers, putting buyers in a more challenging position. The days of being exceptionally picky as a buyer are coming to an end, as sellers regain control over the limited inventory available.

The question arises: will we see an increase in inventory to meet the growing demand? There are two potential avenues for expanding inventory. The first is homeowners capitalizing on their accrued equity to offset higher interest rates. If interest rates drop and equity levels rise, more homeowners may be inclined to sell their properties. The second avenue is new construction. However, the demand for housing has far outpaced the ability to build at a comparable rate, making it difficult to bridge the supply-demand gap.

Real estate professionals need to adjust their strategies to manage these changing market conditions. Instead of searching for the perfect home, buyers should consider properties that offer great equity potential over the next 3-5 years. This strategy allows them to benefit from appreciation and gain a significant chunk of equity when they eventually sell the property.

Real estate agents play a crucial role in managing client expectations during this transition. It is important to educate buyers about the current market conditions and help them adapt to a seller-centric environment. As property values are expected to rise, real estate professionals must be proactive in addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities presented by this shift.

In conclusion, the

element may seem like a small component in web development, but it serves as a metaphor for the changing tides in the real estate market. As buyers become less picky and sellers gain the upper hand, real estate agents must adapt their strategies to thrive in this evolving landscape. By embracing the challenges and opportunities that come with dropping interest rates and limited inventory, real estate professionals can navigate the changing market and continue to succeed in their field.

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