Takeaways from Buyer Trends Panel

Last week I participated on a panel of agents from around North America at Keller Williams’ Family Reunion convention in Dallas.  Represented were an agent team from Ottawa, Ontario that closed over 300 transactions last year among nine agents.  Also on the panel were agents from Nashville and Chicago whose teams closed between 50-100 each last year and myself who closed 25 as an individual in 2012.   The idea was to discuss “Buyers, who are they and what are they buying?” in a variety of markets.

It was interesting to see that the West (eg. Southern California) is by far the strongest “seller’s market,” characterized by extremely low inventory, competitive offer situations, and low days on the market.   Nashville and Chicago are transitioning from strong buyers to seller’s markets, much as we were last year.  Ottawa is fairly balanced, but leaning towards a buyers market, however Canada did not participate in the sub-prime

Many of us had the same experiences with demographic trends skewing towards first time buyers and relocation buyers.  Move-up buyers who constitute a large portion of a healthy, slightly increasing market and very few and far between.  Prices have yet to increase to a point where many who purchased between 2004 and 2007 have increased equity significantly enough to purchase a more expensive home.  Many of these people purchased with little to no money down in the first place, so even if they managed to keep their homes, it may be a while before there is enough equity to make a new purchase under current down payment standards.

Another interesting fact, three of the four agents on the panel and all pictured in the photo below have been in the business for 8 years or fewer.  The panel was a great experience to get a feel for other markets and to see what some of these rock star agents are doing to succeed despite starting in the business at a difficult time.

Reid, Nina from Nashville, and Lee from Ottawa.

Reid, Nina from Nashville, and Lee from Ottawa.