Here are 7 tips for North Texas home sellers as the DFW housing bubble pops. The bond markets made another seismic shift last week with big implications for the housing market and home sellers. Mortgage interest rates are now close to six percent, and inventory is climbing quickly. Home sellers need to be aware of the huge shift in the housing market as the Fed normalizes policy.

Tip # 1 – Acknowledge the bubble for what it is

There are countless “experts” in the mortgage and real estate space who completely missed the tectonic shift taking place this year. Many home sellers and agents are still in denial of what’s happening. The days of instant home sales and bidding wars are coming to an end. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you will get where you want to go. Time is not your friend this summer. The Federal Reserve is your worst nightmare. The Powell Fed is actively working against you, draining the market of liquidity and demand. They have no choice with the out-of-control inflation we’re experiencing. They’re behind the curve, and attempting to correct their previous policy error during Covid.

Tip # 2 – Be honest with yourself

That means being honest about what you are selling and having realistic expectations. Let’s face it. Every property owner is a little house proud. We all have that friend who thinks their home is special, and certainly deserving of a market premium. That kind of mentality can be extremely costly in a rapidly shifting market. There is NO bigger mistake than overpricing your home when the market is moving against you. This is one of those times.

Tip # 3 – Find a professional agent

This one is harder than it should be, unfortunately. When I say “professional”, I’m not referring to one of the many sell-side spin artists and salespeople who seem to be so prevalent in the real estate industry. The pandemic, and the subsequent responses to it, drove a huge boom and asset prices. It also spurred massive growth in the number of unqualified agents who wanted to cash in on the gravy train of a rising market and fat commissions.
There are way too many agents who have never seen a down market. Some couldn’t even tell you the difference between fiscal and monetary policy. To make matters worse, many agents are still trying to stick sellers for a ridiculous six percent commission for the privilege of having incompetent representation. The consensus has been consistently wrong this year. Listening to sell-side spin artists can cost you dearly when you are selling a home.
Many agents and sellers became accustom to winging it during the pandemic in terms of marketing and contract negotiation. Super-charged demand from buyers spoiled many agents. Sellers enjoyed the outsized leverage and played their hands accordingly. Now buyers are calling their bluff and refusing to play along. You need an agent who realizes what the market is doing and why.

Tip # 4 – Get your house in order

Make the repairs and improvements you have been avoiding. No one wants your twenty-year-old termite-infested deck or the threshold on your back door that your dog tried to eat. If you still have dead plants and shrubs from the big freeze, get to work. Curb appeal matters when you are competing for buyers again. Don’t assume buyers will be foolish enough to waive an inspection, as many were doing during the market frenzy.

Tip # 5 – Details matter

Sweat the small stuff. Professional photography, a good deep cleaning of your home and other fine details matter, particularly when the available pool of buyers is shrinking faster than a puddle in the Texas summer heat. Sellers were able to get away with all sorts of things during the last 12-18 months that don’t fly in a normal market. Your $million-dollar view is worthless if buyers can’t see through the dirt and cobwebs on your windows. The market has changed, so deal with it! This is no time to be complacent. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so get it right.

Tip # 6 – Make your home accessible to qualified buyers

This should go without saying, but making your home available to a serious buyer is kind of important. Approving appointments and undergoing some temporary inconvenience could be the difference for making a sale. Your virtual tour may be helpful, but it’s no substitute for a live in-person showing. Unless you want to sell to an iBuyer or investor for a significant discount, make the effort necessary so buyers can see your home and all it has to offer.

Tip # 7 – Stay ahead of the market

That means staying in tune with the market and the tectonic shift happening under your feet. The bond markets made another massive move on Friday. Mortgage interest rates are now close to six percent. The supply of new homes in North Texas is rising rapidly. Overall inventory is much higher than the same time a year ago, and climbing.
If your agent isn’t monitoring inventory for you on a daily basis, you hired the wrong agent. All those fancy “systems” and marketing pitches from major brokerages and salespeople are no substitute for due diligence and timely market intelligence.
Price reductions in the current market are currently outnumbering price increases by a 10 to 1 margin. I’ve seen a number of examples in just the past week where sellers hit the market, and chopped their listing price by over 5 percent in just a few days. That’s happening because they completely misjudged the situation. Those sellers and agents completely ignored step one. There will plenty more making the same mistake this summer. If you need qualified representation to help you sell your North Texas home, pick up the phone and give me a call. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you and earn your business.

You can also listen to this post in podcast audio form here…

*Not intended to solicit properties currently listed*