4 Pieces of Good News for Tri-Cities Homebuyers

If you’re thinking about buying a home in the Tri-Cities, there’s some good news you should know. We’re still in a sellers’ market, but it’s a more moderate sellers’ market than we’ve seen in a couple years.

Today, you should have more choices during your home search. You’ll probably face less competition from other buyers. That’s because bidding wars are less common. If the intensity of the market and its strong leaning toward the seller’s favor has been keeping you on the sideline, here are four reasons to reconsider.

1. Tri-Cities Home Prices Are Steady/Declining

In August, 363 homes sold across the Tri-Cities and the median price was $420,000. That’s more than $30,000 lower than the month before. It’s also the same exact median price we saw back in January, which means prices have been essentially steady all year long.

2. Price Reductions are Common

When we did our Tri-Cities market snapshot earlier this month, a whopping 38% of homes in the area had gone through at least one price reduction. Sellers may not be aware how much the market has changed, but buyers aren’t biting on their high asking prices. And because buyer demand is down and bidding wars less common, you might be able to wait things out if you find a home you love that’s priced above what you want to spend.

3. The Return of Contingencies

During the pandemic, many buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or inspection, to try to win a bidding war. But now, fewer buyers are doing that.

New research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the percentage of buyers waiving their home inspection and appraisal is declining. And a recent survey from realtor.com confirms more sellers are accepting offers that include these conditions today. According to their August study:

  • 95% of sellers reported buyers requested a home inspection
  • 67% of sellers negotiated with buyers on repairs as a result of the inspection findings

This goes to show buyers are more able to include these conditions in their offers today and negotiate as needed based on the outcome of the inspection.

4. Sellers Are More Willing To Help with Closing Costs

Generally, closing costs range between 2% and 5% of the purchase price for the home. Before the pandemic, it was a common negotiation tactic for sellers to cover some of the buyer’s closing costs to sweeten the deal. This didn’t happen as much during the peak buyer frenzy over the past two years.

Today, as the market shifts and demand slows, data from realtor.com suggests this is making a comeback. A recent article shows 32% of sellers paid some or all of their buyer’s closing costs. This may be a negotiation tool you’ll use as you go to purchase a home. Just keep in mind, limits on closing cost credits are set by your lender and can vary by state and loan type. Work closely with your loan advisor to understand how much a seller can contribute to closing costs in your area.

Bottom Line

Regardless of the extremely competitive housing market of the past several years, today’s data suggests buyers are regaining some leverage in the home buying process. 

– Cari

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