I was at the Women's Council of REALTORS® luncheon today, and I heard a very interesting statistic from the guest speaker. He said that, on average, 45% of the 11,505 listings currently on the market in Austin, TX are vacant.
Why are they vacant?
Two months ago, this number was 52%.
For the most part, "people" are saying they can't afford to buy a new home without selling their current home first, but is that actuality? Are people really waiting to sell their current homes before buying? If they are, why are there so many homes vacant?
Then, the question was how many of these homes were new construction. Ok, so the numbers go down from there. However, new construction makes up approximately 20% of the listings in the MLS. That means, you still have approximately 25% of homes vacant.
Why does this matter? It gives the buyer leverage!!
If a buyer walks into a vacant home, the first thing they think is that the seller is desperate. Many sellers will say that they're not desperate. Another thing people say is that the home owner must be paying two mortgages. That's not necessarily true either.
Even though the seller isn't desperate and doesn't have to pay a mortgage payment on that vacant home, isn't he incurring costs month after month it sits there? He's paying taxes, insurance, utilities, upkeep, etc...
So, in essence, the seller is paying on two different homes, if not three or four homes.
It boils down to the buyer's agent putting those expenses in perspective for a buyer and showing the buyer how long it's been on the market, vacant, and how much longer it could continue to sit on the market, and then the buyer can write an offer accordingly... probably lower than a home that is occupied.
I'm not saying sellers need to live in their home until it sells, but make sure you're not giving off "desperate" vibes if you're going to buy a new home first. You could always stage the property with people or furniture. That's what I did, so perspective buyers have no idea that the people living there don't actually own the home.
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Austin, TX and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, Westlake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Whether you're buying or selling, I'll be with you through the entire process.