Why Aren’t More Sellers Selling?

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More Discussion About the Downsize Dilemma…

Today’s big question:  Why Aren’t More Sellers Selling? Very few folks would disagree with the notion that historic low inventory has been the driving force in the marketplace for the last five or six years. But what’s unclear is the WHY behind it all. What factors have contributed to the huge crimp in the supply-side of the market equation? 

Let’s continue deciphering this riddle wrapped in a mystery inside of a market enigma by looking at one of the prime suspects:  Move-Down Buyers (aging baby-boomers and their Octogenarian parents) who have the following things in common:

  • They’ve owned their homes for a long time and have lots of equity.  
  • They are at transition points in their lives.
  • They’d be happy to put their houses on the MLS tomorrow, if only…

If only they could figure out how to do it in a way that makes sense and feels right. If only they could think their way past the push-pull of the Chinese finger-trap, torture-puzzle that comes with aging. If only they could learn the secret Jedi Mind-trick that would allow them sell their home in seamless fashion while simultaneously buying a smaller, less expensive one, better suited to the future.

At first glance, you wouldn’t think it would be that hard to sell a big house and buy a small one in Santa Cruz. But, if it were that easy, then hundreds of would-be Sellers I’ve talked to over the last few years, would have already found answers to their “Downsizing Dilemmas”. Their houses would already be on the MLS. They’d be in escrow, moving on to smaller and better things in life.

And of course, the inventory of homes for sale would be much higher than it is now and presumably the market would be a much happier place to buy in. So what’s the hold-up? What makes it so hard to downsize in Santa Cruz? Are people asking for too much? Their priorities look pretty simple:

  • They want smaller single level houses
  • They want to be closer-in to community and conveniences
  • They want to free up a chunk of equity for their retirement

These are all desirable qualities of life that everyone can relate to right?. Which is part of the problem of course. Buyers young and old are competing for the same kinds of houses in the same price ranges and that makes the transition between Selling and Buying anything but seamless.

More on the Downsizing Dilemma next week…

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