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You’ve probably heard the talk. In the grocery line. Walking down the street. Waiting for the Zoom conference to begin. Our long run of runaway seller-market conditions is coming to an end.

The San Francisco market stats for May are telling a different story than April’s. That’s because the houses and condos that went into contract back in March closed in April. But the houses and condos that went into contract in April and closed in May are telling a different tale.

Increased inventory + higher interest rates + longer days on market + decreasing demand will eventually mean that prices will probably decrease in the months and years ahead. (It scares me to actually write those words…)

The sooner we all get the message, the better. Sellers need to adjust their expectations. Buyers need to act instead of waiting for “the bottom.” Agents need to be candid instead of hopeful.

And yet, it’s early in this new cycle. It’s summer and inherently a tad slower. It’s all uncertain. It’ll unfold slowly. But I’ve been around this block a few times in my 30+ years of agenting and I can tell you how we’ll all know exactly when the market has truly shifted:

  1. Nobody will ask you to kindly remove your SHOES when you visit a property. (At least not if they’re smart.) Instead, agents and sellers will be waving you in like the yellow shirts on an aircraft carrier – regardless of what’s on your feet (stilettos and cleats aside). There will be no booties in sight and no pile of stinky shoes by the front door.
  2. We’ll see a marked uptick in catering at brokers tour. The less seller-oriented the market is, the more cash agents spend on FOOD to lure agents and buyers in. I learned long ago that if you build a shrimp tower, they will come. Although they will also come for donuts, sushi, mini-burritos, bun mi sandwiches, cookies, bagels and just about anything they can carry back to the car.

We aren’t there yet. I’m still taking my shoes off and going hungry on Tuesday property tour, but that’s probably about to change!

Photo Credit: Sander Dalhuisen

Author and RealEstateTherapy curator Cynthia Cummins has been devoted to homeowners and homebuyers for three decades and counting. Visit KindredSFhomes.com for more information on San Francisco real estate.