The real estate market, specifically focusing with condos, tic, and co-ops for February continues to be hot. In the past few months, the market has seen much increased activity with the number of pending and sold sales. If you are considering buying or selling your condo or home, there is no better time than now! Feel free to reach out to discuss the current market, or for any advice!
Today’s homebuyers are faced with a strong seller’s market, which means there are a lot of active buyers competing for a relatively low number of homes and condos available. As a result, it’s essential to understand how to make a confident and competitive offer on your dream home. Here are five tips for success in this critical stage of the homebuying process.
Listen to your Real Estate Advisor
An Article from Freddie Mac gives direction on making an offer on a home. From the start, it emphasizes how trusted professionals can help you stay focused on the most important things, especially at times when this process can get emotional for buyers:
“Remember to let your homebuying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must- haves and future financial stability.”
2. Understand Your Finances
Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to get pre-approved for a loan early in the homebuying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective homebuyers are planning to apply for pre-approcal, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. Doing so make it clear to sellers you’re a serious and qualified buyer, and it can give you a competitive edge in a bidding war.
3. Be Prepared to Move Quickly
According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property sold today receives 3.7 offers and is on the market for just 21 days. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and alert in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to submit an offer as quickly as possible.
4. Make a Fair Offer
It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can be lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t make an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it is received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive: “Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sales prices in the area.”
5. Stay Flexible in Negotiations
After submitting an offer, the seller may accept it, reject it, or counter it with their own changes. In a competitive market, it’s important to stay nimble throughout the negotiation process. You can strengthen your position with an offer that includes flexible move-in dates, a higher prices, or minimals contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized) Freddie Mac explains that there, are, however certain contingencies you don’t want to forego: “Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold as-is which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”
Bottom Line: Today’s competitive market makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Let’s connect to make sure you rise to the top along the way.
Last year, many homeowners thought twice about selling their houses due to the onset of the health crisis. This year, however, homeowners are beginning to regain their confidence when it comes to selling safely. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index by Fannie Mae shows that 57% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell.
Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae Explains:
“Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgages rates, high home prices, and low housing inventory as their primary rationale.”
Normally, spring is the busiest season in the housing market- the time when many homeowners decide to list their houses. While this is obviously not a normal year since the pandemic is still very much upon us, experts are optimistic that consumer positivity around selling will lead to more homeowners making moves this year. Duncan continues to say:
“We will pay close attention to see if this newfound optimism develops into a trend.”
What does this mean if you’re thinking of selling your house?
The fact that there are so few houses available for sale today is one driver that’s encouraging consumers to think more positively about selling. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states:
“Total housing inventory at the end of the January amounted to 1.04 million units, down 1.9% from December and down 25.7% from one year ago (1.40 million).”
With so few homes available to buy, your house will be more likely to rise to the top of an eager purchaser’s wish list in this competitive market. Today’s high buyer activity is creating upward pressure on home prices and more multiple- offer scenarios. According to the Realtors Confidence Index Survey from NAR, the average home for sale is receiving 3.7 offers today, up from 2.3 offers just one year ago. This makes selling even more enticing.
In this kind of seller’s market, you have a huge advantage in the process. And here’s another win- you can also use your equity toward a down payment on a new home when you move.
Wondering where you’ll go if you try to move while it’s so challenging to find a home to buy? Well, in many areas, there are more homes available at the higher end of the market, so finding a move-up home may be less of an issue if you’re ready to search for your dream home this spring.
If you pressed pause on selling your house last year, now may be the best time to put your plans back into motion while inventory is so low. Let’s connect today to get the process started.
In today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of recording- low mortgage rates and purchases a home, housing inventor dropped even further. Experts consider this to be the biggest challenge facing an otherwise hot market whole buyers continue to compete for homes. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explains:
“With buyers active in the market and seller participation lagging, homes are selling quickly and the total number available for sale at any point in time continues to drop lower. In January as a whole, the number of for sale homes dropped below 600,000.
Every month, realtor.com releases new data showing the year- over-year change in inventory of existing homes for sale. As you can see in the map below, nationwide, inventory is 42.6% lower than it was at this time last year:
Does this mean houses aren’t being put on the market for sale?
Not exactly. While there are fewer existing homes being listed right now, many homes are simply selling faster than they’re being counted as currently inventory. The market is that competitive! It’s like when everyone was trying to find toilet paper to buy last spring and it was flying off the shelves faster than it could be stocked in the stores. That’s what’s happening in the housing market: homes are being listed for sale, but not at a rate that can keep up with heavy demand from competitive buyers.
“Time on the market was 10 days faster than last year meaning that buyers still have to make decisions quickly in order to be successful. Today’s buyers have many tools to help them do that, including the ability to be notified as soon as homes meeting their search criteria hit the market. By tailoring search and notifications to the homes that are a solid match, buyers can act quickly and compete successfully in this faster- paced housing market.”
The Good News for Homeowners
The health crisis has been a major reason why potential sellers have held off this long, but as vaccines been more widely available, homeowners will start making their moves. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, confirms:
“Some people will feel comfortable listing their home during the first half of 2021. Others will want to wait until the vaccines are widely distributed.”
With more homeowners getting ready to sell later this year, putting your house on the market sooner rather than later is the best way to make sure your listings shines brighter than the rest.
When you’re ready to sell your house, you’ll likely want to sell as quickly as possible, for the best price, and with little to no hassle. If you’re looking for these selling conditions, you’ll find them in today’s market. When demand is high and inventory is low, sellers have the ability to create optimal terms and timelines for the sale, making now an exceptional time to move.
Today’s housing market is a big win for sellers, but these conditions won’t last forever. If you’re in a position to sell your house now, you may not want to wait for your neighbors to do the same. Let’s connect to discuss how to sell your house safely so you’re able to benefit from today’s high demand and low inventory.
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1. How Can I Better Understand the Process, and How Much Can I Afford?
The process of buying a home is not one to enter into lightly. You need to decide on key things like how long you plan on living in an area, school districts you prefer, what kind of commute works for you, and how much you can afford to spend.
Keep in mind, before you start the process to purchase a home, you’ll also need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial track record, one of which is your credit history. They’ll want to see how well you’ve been able to minimize past debts, so make sure you’ve been paying your student loans, credit cards, and car loans on time. If your financial situation has changed recently, be sure to discuss that with your lender as well. Most agents have loan officers they trust and will provide referrals for you.
2. How Much Do I Need for a Down Payment?
In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment is another critical step. Thankfully, there are many different options and resources in the market to potentially reduce the amount you may think you need to put down.
If you’re concerned about saving for a down payment, start small and be consistent. A little bit each month goes a long way. Jumpstart your savings by automatically adding a portion of your monthly paycheck into a separate savings account or house fund. AmericaSaves.orgsays:
3. Saving Takes Time: Practice Living on a Budget
As tempting as it is to pass the extra time you may be spending at home these days with a little retail therapy, putting that extra money toward your down payment will help accelerate your path to homeownership. It’s the little things that count, so start trying to live on a slightly tighter budget if you aren’t doing so already. A budget will allow you to save more for your down payment and help you pay down other debts to improve your credit score.
A survey of millennial spending shows, “68% reported that shelter in place orders helped them save for their down payment.” Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, also notes:
“If there is any silver lining to the current economic landscape, it’s that mortgage rates are hanging around record lows…Additionally, shelter-in-place orders helped many who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs save for a down payment — one of the largest hurdles of buying a home. The combination of low rates and the opportunity to save is enabling many millennials to move up their home buying timeline.”
While you don’t need to cut all of the extras out of your current lifestyle, making smarter choices and limiting your spending in areas where you can slim down will make a big difference.
If homeownership is on your dream list this year, take a good look at what you can prioritize to help you get there. To determine the steps you should take to start the process, let’s connect today.
According to the latest CoreLogic, Home Price Insights Report, nationwide home values increased by 8.2% over the past twelve months. The dramatic rise was brought about as the inventory of homes for sale reached historic lows at the same time buyer demand was buoyed by record low mortgage rates. As CoreLogic explained:
“Home price growth remained consistently elevated throughout 2020. Home sales for the year are expected to register about 2019 levels. Meanwhile, the availability of for-sale homes has dwindled as demand increased and coronavirus outbreaks continued across the country, which delayed some sellers from putting their house on the market.
While the pandemic left many in positions of financial insecurity, those who maintained employment and income stability are also incentivized to buy given the record low mortgage rates available; this is increasing buyer demand whole for-sale inventory is in short supply. “
Where will home values go in 2021?
Home price appreciation in 2021 will continue to be determined by this imbalance of supply and demand. If supply remains low and demand is high, prices will continue to increase.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the current number of single- family homes for sale is 1,080,000. At the same time last year, that number stood at 1.450,000. We are entering 2021 with approximately 370,000 fewer homes for sale than there were one year ago.
However, there is some speculation that they inventory crush will ease somewhat as we move through the new year for two reasons:
As the health crisis eases, more homeowners will be comfortable putting their houses on the market.
Some households impacted financially by the pandemic will be forced to sell.
Low Mortgage rates have driven buyer demand over the past twelve months. According to Freddie Mac, rates stood at 3.72% at the beginning of 2020. Today, we are starting 2021 with rates one full percent lower than that. Low rates create a great opportunity for homebuyers, which is one reason why demand is expecting to remain high throughout the new year.
Taking into consideration these projections on housing supply and demand, real estate analytics forecast homes will continue to appreciate in 2021, but that appreciation may be at a steadier pace than last year. Here are the forecasts:
There’s still a very limited number of homes for sale for the great number of purchasers looking to buy them. As a result, the concept of supply and demand mandates that home values in the country will continue to appreciate.
It is exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces. However, despite the anticipation of what’s to come, we can still have deep sentimental attachments to the home we are leaving behind. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale depending on how we manage them.
When it comes to the bottom line, homeowners need to know what it takes to avoid costly mistakes when its time to move. Being mindful and prepared for the process can help you stay on the right track when selling your house this year.
1. Price Your Home Right
When inventory is low, like it is in the current market, its common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask when setting a listing price. Believe it or not, that’s not always true. Don’t forget that the buyer’s bank will send an appraiser to determine the fair value for your house. The bank will not lend more than what the house is worth, so be aware that you might need to renegotiate the price after the appraisal. A real estate professional will help you to set the true value of your home.
2. Keep Your Emotions in Check
Today, homeowners are living in their houses for a longer period of time. Since 1985, the average tenure, or the time a homeowner has owned their home, has increased from 5 to 10 years as seen in the graphic below.
This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If its the first home you bought or the house where your child grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and its hard to detach from the sentimental value.
For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate and separate the emotional value of the house from the fair market price. Thats why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations along the way.
3. Stage your home properly.
We are generally quite proud of our decor and how we’ve customized our houses to make them our own unique homes, but not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you stage your house with the buyer in mind.
Buyers want to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it could be their own. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes- not your pictures and decorations. Stage and declutter so they can visualize their own dreams as they walk down the hall. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your home ready to stage and sell.
Today’s sellers’ market might be your best chance to make a move. If you’re considering selling your house, lets connect so you have the help needed to navigate through the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.