FeaturedNewsPressSotheby's International RealtyUncategorized April 7, 2023

Cherry Arnold Featured in the Wall Street Journal


Cherry Arnold, a sales associate with Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty in Rhode Island, echoes Leys’ sentiments about inventory. From her perspective, anyone who was considering selling did so between 2020 and 2021, flushing out a lot of the market’s supply.

“Once the interest rates started to go up, that gave some owners pause when thinking about selling,” Arnold says. “If it’s their primary home, they’ve likely got equity in it and maybe no mortgage left. Then they’re faced with buying another house where they’ve got to pay a much higher mortgage rate than just a couple of years ago.”

She cites this logjam as one of the reasons there’s so little inventory across Rhode Island right now, and likely the rest of New England as well. Arnold describes 2022 as divided into two very different markets: the first half with the ultra low interest rates, and the sec- ond with rates increasing incrementally but rapidly.

Tasked with not only finding homes for buyers, but also helping sellers find solutions for moving, Arnold says agents are thinking outside the box to satisfy both sides.

“Once you get past the headlines about the mort- gage rates, you will find that a lot of banks have very competitive rates on different types of mortgages,” Arnold says. “Adjustable-rate mortgages are definitely an option. And what’s great about them for both lend- ers and buyers is that when the rates do come down eventually, you can refinance. There are more creative financing options that lenders are making available to borrowers.”

On the opposite side of things, Arnold currently has a deal in which a property is under contract, but the seller needs to stay put until they find their next resi- dence. The buyer is giving them close to three times the amount of time typically given to sellers to find a new place.

“They need a one-level home and I have a little sweat on my brow thinking about landing the right home for them,” Arnold says. “But even if we don’t, we will find them a temporary rental. In this market we have to be creative with extended closings and a lot of rent-back agreements for a short amount of time. Structuring agreements so they work for both parties is different in every case.”

Read the full article, “Inventory Check,” here.