According to a survey by Lending Tree, nearly 70% of home sellers responded that they would be willing to accept a lower offer than the original asking price for their properties.
Although there has been a recent revival in the housing market, with bidding wars among hopeful buyers heating up, the survey results show that sellers are feeling the financial pressure from COVID-19.
Even though sellers say they are willing to reduce their selling prices, the good news for them still lies in the fact that national housing inventory remains tight—having fallen by 50%—at the genesis of the coronavirus crisis. Also, to the seller's favor, buyers seem to have not shied away from the market as much as sellers seem to have eschewed it of late.
But despite these positive factors, sellers seem to have been shaken by the pandemic, making them unwilling to risk not selling their homes amid such uncertain times, and therefore, willing to take what they can get in order to move their properties and pocket some cash. In fact, an overwhelming majority of nearly 90% of 1,000 total survey respondents admitted that they were often consumed with fear that their homes wouldn’t sell.
The demographics of the survey respondents most worried about selling was also telling. According to Lending Tree, those more apt to accept lower bids belonged to the millennial set (78%), followed closely by Gen Xers (67%), and then baby boomers (55%). On the opposite side of the spectrum, one-third of the respondents divulged that their biggest worry was more that they would be forced to accept lesser bids than what their properties were worth.
LendingTree’s Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze offered insights on home seller anxiety, pointing to the fact that their concern—and their exercising caution—may be wise: “Although it may seem like the housing market has shrugged off COVID-19, as home sales show signs of recovering, it may prove a false dawn. The detrimental impact on jobs and, by extension, wages, will be significant and long-lasting. Demand will soften in the housing market, and sellers will likely need to make some concessions to reach the signing table.”