Sprinting but…

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Anthony: Who’s feeling a little bit frustrated, feeling like you’re burnt out, feeling like you were cooped up for eight weeks, and now you’re out hustling every single day, writing offers, working with multiple clients and not making enough deals, who feels like that? A lot of realtors are feeling like that. It’s not going to last forever and I’m here to talk to you about it before the holiday weekend.

I’ve been thinking about it all week. I’ve been thinking about talking to you all, and there’s a lot of really frustrated realtors right now. There’s a lot of realtors that are feeling the heat from their clients. Their clients are feeling like, “Well, what the hell is going on here? How many offers can I make on houses? Why can’t I get an offer accepted?” Realtors are having to write eight offers to get one accepted. Some of the best agents that I know in the business are telling me, “Anthony, I can’t even get offers accepted.” This is crazy.

Well, it’s not surprising that this has happened. For those of you that paid attention to my updates through COVID, if you remember, I talked about the fact that there would be a frenzy. I’m not here to say, I told you so or any of that. I’m here to talk to you about the way the market flows. I’m here to talk to you about why I knew that was coming and how it actually ended up worse than I thought in a certain sense. That’s what I want to talk to you about.

See, every single year, and I’ve talked about this millions of times, buyers come out in droves before sellers do. When you come around the end of the year you go into the first of the year, right when the clock clicks midnight, many, many, many buyers are dying to buy homes.

The number one day of the year for log-ons to Zillow is January 1st, every single year. It never fails. That’s because buyers get new year’s resolutions in their heads, they get excited and they’re just dying to get out and buy. We always start the year with this low inventory, and then you have way more buyers and the buyers are in action and they’re making offers and getting impatient and saying, “Oh, I want to buy this year.” Then they see something they like in February so they dive on it. Then when they don’t get it, they get fired up to buy more.

You got to remember, everybody wants what they can’t have. There’s a certain period of time in the beginning of the year that buyers, they want it because they feel like they’re having trouble getting it. We had that happen throughout the winter and things were clicking like normal. Listings were going up and up and up and then COVID hit, inventory went down, then inventory stayed low.

Now that things opened up again, yes, inventory has gone up a bit. We were down at 10,000 homes for sale in Massachusetts. Now we’re at 12,000. More homes are getting listed, but I’ll be honest. They’re not getting listed at the level that I expected or the level I predicted.

If you look at all my predictions throughout COVID I was right about most of them, the one I was wrong on, is I thought more people would list. What happened is a double whammy. There was more sellers than I expected that said, “Forget it, I’ll wait till next year.” I think that’s particularly true among the people that want to downsize. I think that that crew is like, “If I downsize this year or next year, it doesn’t really matter. I’ll just wait a year, I’ll wait two years, whatever it may be.” Those people held off.

Then you also, because of the COVID reasons, then you have people who they’re like, “Well, I don’t want to list because where the hell am I going to go?” The move-up sellers that are also buyers. We ended up in a situation with the market that the inventory got even tighter than we expected. Here we are today, 12,000 homes in the market and really there should be 18,000 or 19,000 on the market like there was the last three years, but keep something in mind that was low historically speaking. Now we’re excessively low.

We’re talking inventory being down 30% to 40%, depending on where in Massachusetts. That is substantial. That’s why it’s happening. Now, part two of what I want to talk to you about, what’s going to happen, is it going to stay like this? No, it’s not. Every day that goes by, more buyers find homes. Buyer demand does not go up in the summer. It does not happen. Buyer demand goes down in the summer.

Now, right now, what is it? July 2nd is the equivalent of May 15th. That’s about where we are in the year. There’s about a 45-day delay here. Because of that, we’re dealing with a lot of frustration. Clients that are frustrated and throwing their hands up. Buyers that are starting to say, “You know what? I’m going to just sign a lease for another year.”

That’s another reason that you’re going to see demand ease. Again, demand doesn’t go up in the summer, it goes down and as it goes down, inventory goes up. I can tell you with certainty, there will be more homes for sale on August 15th than there are today. I will not be wrong about that. I guarantee it. I won’t. That’s just history. The only caveat to anything I’m saying to you all right now is if, God forbid, COVID goes crazy again. If we end up in like a Florida situation, then it goes up again, which by the way, I do think it’ll go up again as we fully open, but if it ends up bad and they have to pull back, that could throw part of what I’m saying in a tizzy.

If that doesn’t happen, what’ll happen as the summer goes on, is buyer demand starts to go down as seller inventory goes up. What you need to do is take control and you need to be honest with your sellers. I’m sorry, your buyers. You need to just tell them the truth and show them how inventory works. We’re going to be putting a blog out next week that we normally put out in the middle of May. The name of the blog is Don’t Worry Buyers. This Won’t Last Forever.

We put that out the last three Mays and every year we update it with new data and things like that. We delayed it because in May it didn’t make sense, we were still on lockdown. Frankly, I think we should’ve put out a week or two, but we’re going to put it out next week. Our marketing team has been very busy.

What that blog talks about is just what said, demand going down, inventory going up. You need to explain this to your buyers. Don’t let them throw their hands up. Talk to them about how that’s going to happen. Don’t let them think that it’s going to be like this forever. That’s not how it works. Sorry. My wife called. We’re not going to be this insanely busy with this much demand for a long, long period of time. It’s not going to stay like this.

I will tell you it’s going to be tighter and there’s going to be more and multiple offers and more friction and frustration this year than normal. It’s not going to loosen up as much as it normally does, but it is going to improve. I’m 100% sure that it’ll improve.

As far as sellers go, what you have to do is you also have to talk to them about what’s expected in the market. Seller inventory in the summer goes up. The only time in the summer, it starts to dwindle a little bit right before July 1st, July 4th, where we are right now. Week after July 4th, a lot of inventory will come on and it’ll get eaten up quick, so it might not feel like it. Then about August 20th to August 31st, you also see a decrease in homes listed until after Labor Day.

If you fast forward to August 15th, there’s going to be more inventory, there’s going to be less buyers. We’ll get through this. You got to hold yourself together. You’re the professional. You’re the doctor. The client is the patient. If you’re freaking out, can you imagine going to the doctors, going to the emergency room, your arms falling off and you cut your arm off somehow and you go to the emergency room and the doctor goes, “[scream]”, what would you do?

You’d be like, “I’m in the wrong place. I don’t want a doctor that’s freaking out.” I don’t want a doctor that’s freaking out to fix my arm. I want a doctor that goes, “Okay, calm down. I’ve dealt with this a hundred times, lay down.” That’s what you want. You can’t be that person. Honestly, in the last two weeks, both inside our company and outside, I’m hearing about too many realtors that are starting to lose their minds, getting down, getting very, very– I understand, frustration. Even in my job, I get frustrated. We all get, but you need to put the game face on.

When you’re dealing with the clients, you need to remember you’re the doctor, you need to remember they’re looking up to you. It’s very, very important that you act like the doctor, you act like the professional and you explain the facts. Look out for that blog that we’re going to put out next week. Again, it’s called, Don’t Worry Buyers. This Won’t Last Forever. We’ve been putting it out the last three years. I have a feeling next week it’ll get more views than it ever did, but that’s going to come out probably by Tuesday or Wednesday and we’re going to send it to our agents to show to their buyers so that they can see exactly what’s going on.

Again, don’t be that doctor that you’d never want to see in the emergency room that goes, “[scream]”. Be the professional, explain to your clients, be factual, hold their hand, make them feel better. They insist on resigning a lease, okay, go ahead. That’s part of what’s going to decrease buyer demand if that does happen. If you can save them from doing that and get them to understand that they just need to have some patience, you ought to do that.

All right, my friends? Great to see you all, appreciate your watching. I hope you all have a wonderful fourth, have some fun, and if you’re taking some time off, enjoy it. It’s been a rat race here for the last few months but if you’re taking the weekend off, enjoy yourself and take care. Happy fourth.