Yesterday I received an email from a buyer who expressed that they were discouraged by the market and were considering taking a year-long break from the house hunt. They thought the time off would be good to reassess things and watch what happens in the next year with the housing market. I completely understand their feelings. In my experience, one of the biggest causes of frustration for buyers is the list price to sold price ratios. When you see that a home sold for 30% to 40% over the asking price it is sure to be a huge wet blanket. Often times in those vast scenarios, the house was dreadfully underpriced. It would be less discouraging if you saw something priced at $1.250 million and then see it close at $1.4 million as opposed to (this real life example of a recent sale in Montclair) a list price of $928K and selling over $1.4 million.
In regards to my buyer taking a break for a year, I support whatever decision is best for my clients. I am a big believer in buying smart and only when a house really fits your needs. My best advice would be to line up your financing and be open to what the market may bring, but not feel pressed to buy for the sake of buying. Next year may bring us a different market and we will not know until we are actively in it. Perhaps set a pause button but stay open to the possibilities that may come.