No One Should Have the Upper Hand


By Kay Wilson-Bolton

June 18, 2006

Ah! It feels good to feel normal again. With the home sale market in our area changing from a hot, seller’s market to a more balanced market, we find that fairness is now the standard. A balanced market is one in which neither the buyer nor the seller has the upper hand.

When this sort of shift in home sale market occurs, we find a larger inventory of homes for sale. Therefore, it generally takes longer for homes to sell, there are fewer multiple offers and fewer listings sell for more than the asking price. None of this is bad.

As the inventory of homes on the market increases, buyers have more choices–and they tend to be pickier.

Sellers will be toning down their expectations as the market shifts. With more inventory, pricing homes for sale will be critical.

The price of a home is not known exactly until the buyer has worked through any inspection contingencies. In a market that’s racing higher price wise, inspections get less attention. When the market slows, buyers will take more time with their inspection considerations, and sellers may not be able to count on a quick sale and more than one offer to consider.

In general, buyers find less competition. This doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no competition. This will depend on where you’re buying and in what price range.

The recent increase in interest rates has been a major factor in the changing market. When rates first started to rise, buyers rushed into the market, and a buying frenzy ensued. This pushed prices up to record highs in some places. As sellers became convinced that the good times wouldn’t last forever, many decided to sell. And, the inventory of homes for sale increased.

This creates a dilemma for many buyers. Since more listings are on the market, should buyers take their time and wait to buy until something they like better comes along? Or do buyers move now to lock in an interest rate that is likely to be lower than it will be in the future?

The best advice is the same old advice. When you are ready to buy a home, buy it. Sellers who have owned their home for more than a year could still sell and likely make a profit.

The best thing REALTORS® can do for our customers is to stay steady, take our feet off the emotional gas pedal, and continue to do our job.  We also need to mind our manners with each other as there is less business to go around.


Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025.

About Kay Wilson-Boltonhttp://www.kaywilsonbolton.netWith a full-time career in real estate, I can add to your bank of knowledge, not only in real estate but in many areas of life that deal with people and relationships and choices. My real estate career has taught me many lessons about planning ahead and looking forward. I believe in helping along the way so that they can be the best they can be in any situation. I serve as a Fire Department Chaplain and Coordinator for the Many Meals Project which serves homeless and hungry families in my community. The event is far more than many meals. As a result of my work with the homeless population in my community, I received the Good Neighbor Award 2017 from the National Association of Realtors and named as a Champion of Homes in 2015 by the California Association of Realtors. I make pastoral visits to the inmates in the County Jail System and offer them what God says about "all things being new" and His remarkable plan for our lives. I have served my community as Mayor and in many volunteer capacities. I serve others by serving God first. My husband is involved in prison ministry and is a graphic artist. We live a simple life in Santa Paula with an office cat named Scout, three rescued poodles and a cat named Tony Diane at home.

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