Coping with Big Feelings in Kitsap's Hot Market
It's a stone cold fact that while the Kitsap Real Estate market has been SMOKIN' HOT for a good while now - specifically, what we call a seller's market since homes are usually selling for over-asking prices, and there is low inventory - it comes with a lot of ups and downs that amount to being on an emotional roller coaster. This is one commonality between buyers and sellers right now (and lots of you are BOTH, at the same time!)
It may seem on the surface as though sellers are sitting there like the cat that ate the canary, but the truth is that they are struggling too: for example, many buyers make attractive above-asking offers that fall apart when the property does not appraise high enough, and funding falls through. This accounts for many of the properties you see "Back on Market" each week.
All of this leads to a lot of Big Feelings surrounding our housing transactions, and it can come as a big surprise if you aren't prepared for it.
You are probably prepared for the feelings associated with moving - almost certainly these days, that's something you've done before. You understand that you'll have mixed and conflicted feelings about that - you'll miss the old place, maybe second guess moving, and it can take a little time for the new place to really feel like "home." Knowing that (and having experienced it before) you have coping mechanisms in place so those feelings don't totally derail everything else happening in your life: you visit special places for a last time (if it's a long distance move, like for so many of our Kitsap Military families!); you take pictures, eat in a special restaurant a final time, and so on. You start life in the new home with realistic expectations about how long it might take to feel "right" for you - until walking in the front door feels perfect again.
This last point is precisely what you have to do going into buying and selling in today's Kitsap housing market: manage your expectations. If you go in thinking it's going to be a lark, easy money, no sweat . . . you've just set yourself up for Real Estate Emotional Failure. You absolutely are going to find yourself frustrated, crying, angry, screaming at the telephone, and more. So that's the first step - understand that it will take time, and persistence.
Sometimes our sellers are suffering from the opposite issue: they are prepared for a sale to take a bit of time (perhaps the market climate when they bought the home) and instead they find that we capably get their properties listed very quickly from the time they first express interest, until the property is an active listing, and boom - they have a slew (dozens, perhaps) of offers in a matter of days. It can be very overwhelming, if you mentally paced yourself to have longer to say "goodbye" to a beloved property. It can feel like you've just been run over!
Obviously, a good realtor mitigates a great deal of these sorts of misplaced expectations. At Dupuis Team, we really emphasize keeping in touch with our clients and making sure they are understanding the realities of the market and how fast things might move.
In this hot seller's market, one Big Feeling we've noticed is dealing with jealousy: you write what you think is an amazing offer, and still - someone else gets YOUR house. That's a rough one, and can feel very pointed. Just know that you are NOT alone - everyone has been in this position, and it's hard to not think about The One That Got Away. It can be helpful to ask to be a backup offer (your broker can help you with this process) and you might get lucky - we do see a fair percentage of initial offers fall through for a number of reasons that will have nothing to do with your own enjoyment of the property as Second Choice. After that, you can think of it as helping narrow down what you are looking for - and think hard about the elements of that house that really drew you in. Chances are you can do some intensive time with Pintrest, and replicate a good deal of what you loved in ANY home.
Despair that you'll never get a home under contract is common - people are getting burned out at losing offer after offer. You're not wrong to feel that way - it's genuinely discouraging! We really feel for folks attempting to buy right now. Again, we can suggest some strategies: you can scale back the niche of market you're looking at, in order to offer a beefier down payment/bigger over-asking offer. You can take a week or two off looking and bidding for some time to recoup - that's fine! (We'll call you if something perfect hits the market anyway.)
Some people are coping with a lot Fear right now - basically, fear of not having a home. They are afraid they aren't going to find someplace to buy, that they'll get priced out of rentals (or already find themselves in that boat, and are finding their savings for buying a home eaten away) or are afraid if they sell, they still won't be in a position to buy. Homelessness is no joke, especially after the year we've all just been through. It's not an idle fear, for sure. Our advice for managing this type of Big Feeling is exactly the same: look at what is realistic, and set yourself up accordingly. It's fun to dream big, but right now might not be a wonderful time to mate that with a real-life housing search.
The whole thing can be seriously exhausting, and feel like it's taking every spare minute you have, and many you don't as well. It can feel like there is something new to tend to Every. Single. Day - and that's AFTER you manage to track down something and get it under contract! See it through, and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel - you will get a good rest!! And while promptness is always (ALWAYS) best in this market, you can certainly ask your Broker if something must be done today, or if you have a couple days. Pace yourself there if it's an option, and catch your breath.
Finally: if taking some measures to pad your expectations to account for the Big Feelings doesn't seem to be enough, and it's interfering with work, daily life, relationships - it's okay to seek out professional counseling along the way. Sometimes, it's not really about the House Search (or Sale) and more about learning to cope with Big Changes in general - and while we are super duper qualified to help you with the former, the latter is better left to a wonderful therapist - and Kitsap has many! Just ask, we never mind giving recommendations.
Here's to solid mental health, and surviving a crazy market with yours intact! Give us a ring at DupuisTeam today, we'd love to help you with your upcoming real estate transactions . . . and weigh in, if you need to know what's realistic in terms of expectations, too. We'll give it to you straight! Be well, everyone!