4 Signs You Should Halt Your Home Search for a Few Months

published Jul 27, 2021
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Folks, we’re in the midst of a seller’s market. As you probably learned in your first economics class, when supply can’t keep up with demand, sellers can set their own prices — and buyers tend to acquiesce. Housing inventory has been low for several years, and now demand is in overdrive. It’s led buyers to take what would normally be considered desperate measures. For example, during the height of the pandemic, many pandemic buyers were purchasing houses sight unseen. Now, some buyers are also choosing to waive home inspections.

This might actually be a good time for you to take a giant step back from the housing market. Here are four reasons why you should consider halting your home search for a few months.

You’re looking for a steal of a deal.

If everyone is looking for a home at the same time, you might feel pressure to hurry up and find a house before they’re all gone. But according to Vivian Yoon, cofounder and Realtor at Highland Premiere Real Estate in Los Angeles, FOMO can sabotage your home search. Examining your motive is a particularly important step for first-time homebuyers.

“If your goal is to find a home at a lower price and you plan to keep it as an investment, your best bet is to hit the pause button on your search,” she explains. “With record-breaking sale prices due to low inventory and fierce competition, deals are hard to find in this market.” 

In fact, Yoon says she advises buyers to resist being a part of this “historical home-buying frenzy,” knowing that the home of your dreams will still be there when this is all over. “Sometimes the best view is from the sidelines,” she says.

You’re getting priced out.

Another sign that you need to take a break: you’re not finding anything in your price range — even if you’re not looking for a steal of a deal. “Low mortgage rates certainly offset higher home prices, but you may want to halt your home search if you are getting priced out,” advises Dennis Hsii, cofounder and Realtor at Highland Premiere. You may have to make compromises, but he says you need to make sure that you’re making the right compromises. “Remember that historically, when interest rates go up, borrowing drops and home prices come down,” he says.

It’s the wrong time of year.

You may also be shopping during the wrong season. “It’s open season — open house season, that is,” Hsii says. He explains that spring and summer are typically the busiest times of year for homebuyers, sellers, and Realtors. “Open houses were prohibited for most of the past year because of the pandemic, and since open houses have resumed, this summer is warming up to be the hottest and most competitive season for real estate,” he says.

It might be a good idea to hit the pause button for a few months. “My best advice is to let the market and the weather cool off before restarting your home search later this year,” Hsii says.  

You’re burned out.

The stress of competing in such a crowded housing market can certainly lead you to get tired and discouraged. Jose Laya, broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty in Miami, says he will actually recommend that buyers pause their search if they’re emotionally and mentally drained.

“Buyers are still living their lives — meaning they still work, they still have their family life, try to maintain social lives, celebrate birthdays, holidays, etc., and they’re trying to get back to normal, all while trying to find their dream home,” he notes.

And when busy buyers are spending their weeknights and weekends looking at houses and submitting offers — and losing out on bids — he says it can take a heavy toll. “I recommend pausing for one to two months just to catch your breath and relax a bit — almost like taking a vacation — so you can come back recharged and stronger.”