To Renovate or Not to Renovate before you sell?

Wondering if you should renovate your home before you sell it? Here is some advice for you.

When thinking about selling, homeowners often feel they need to get their house ready with some remodeling to make it more appealing to buyers. However, with so many buyers competing for available homes right now, renovations may not be as vital as they would be in a more normal market. Here are two things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of selling this season.

There aren’t enough homes for sale right now.

A normal market has 6- month supply of houses for sale, but today’s housing inventory sits far below that benchmark. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there is only 1.9 month supply of homes available today. As a result, buyer competition is high and homes are only on the market for about 21 days, during which time many receive multiple offers from hopeful buyers.

In a competitive market, that’s moving so quickly, it makes sense to sell your house when buyers are scooping homes up so fast as they’re being listed. Spending costly time and money on renovations before you sell might just mean you’ll miss your key window of opportunity. While certain repairs on your house many be important, your best move right now is to work with a real estate advisor to determine which improvements are truly necessary, and which ones are not likely to be deal-breakers for buyers.

Today, many buyers are more willing to take on home improvement projects themselves in order to get the home they’re after, even if it means putting in a little extra work. Home advisor explains:

“When it comes to the number of home improvement projects completed, Gen Z homeowners are leading the pack, completing an average of 3.5 projects. Millennials closely follow Gen Z, taking on an average of 3.3 projects, followed by Gen X at 2.8 projects. Boomers completed an average of 2 projects, and the Silent Generation completed the fewest projects, on average, at 1.8 per household. Compared to 2019, millennials are spending 60% more on home improvements and doing on average 30% more projects.”

In this market, it may be wise to let future homeowners remodel the bathroom or the kitchen to make design decisions that are best for their specific taste and lifestyle. As a seller, your dollars are time might be better spent working on small cosmetic updates, like refreshing some paint and power washing the exterior. Instead of over- investing in your home with upgrades that the buyers may change anyway, work with a real estate professional to determine the key projects that will maximize your listing without overdoing it.

Focus on getting a good return on your investment

When planning any bigger project to tackle, you and your real estate agent will want to discuss the potential return on your investment and if those projects are worth the cost. Some homes do need a kitchen or a bathroom renovation, roof repairs or other major work, but not all of them. You might be surprises by how well your house could fair in today’s sellers’ market. Hanley Wood states”

“The 2020 Cost v Calue reports shows a predictable increase in costs for all 22 remodeling projects but a consistent dip on the perceived value of those projects at the time of home sale, as estimated by real- estate professions in more than 100 metro areas across the U.S. This results in a slight downturn on the return on investment for nearly all projects relative to the trends we saw in last year’s report.”

Ideally, homeowners getting ready to move should try to avoid over-investing in big renovations if they won’t make that money back when they sell their house. According to the 2020 state of home spending report from home advisor: “The average household spending on home services rose to $13,138, an increase over last years survey results, where homeowners who did projects spend $9,08 on average in 2019.”

Before you renovate, contact a local real estate professional to see if it’s the best course of action. You may find out that putting your house on the market as-is will help you sell quickly, and it may result in the best return on your investment. Every home is different, but a conversation with your agent is mission-critical to make sure you make the right moves when selling this season.

Bottom Line

We’re in a string seller’s market and that means you have the leverage to sell your house on your terms. Let’s connect today to determine if renovating is really the best way to spend your time and money before you sell.

What Does 2021 Have in Store for Home Values?

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.

Housing Supply:

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:

  1. As the health crisis eases, more homeowners will be comfortable putting their houses on the market.
  2. Some households impacted financially by the pandemic will be forced to sell.

Housing Demand:

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:

Bottom Line:

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.

Looking Ahead… 2021 Home Market

Experts have forecasted an optimistic year for the 2021 housing market!

While 2020 came with many unknowns, the housing market continued to stay strong. Experts have weighed in on what is to come with 2021, and they believe the market will continue to be a strong force.

Mortgage Interest Rates are projected to remain at or near 3% in 2021, fueling strong buyer activity.

Home sales are forecasted to increase in 2021 while interest rates continue to remain low.

Home Prices are also expected to continue appreciating as more people buy in the coming year.

The Path to Homeownership

Do you feel ready to embark down the path to homeownership? Read over these steps to familiarize yourself with the process!

The journey to becoming a homeowner today can seen overwhelming but these listed steps are here to simplify the process for you. The first step down the path begins with saving money for a down payment. The second step is to understand your credit score and clear up any outstanding debts. The next step would be to find a real estate agent who can guide you through the process. After, make sure to get pre-approved for a loan, to suggest that you are a motivated buyer. The fifth step would be to work with your real estate agent to find a home that meets your needs, which leads you to making an offer. Once the offer is accepted, make sure to have a home inspection to find any hidden issues with the home. After the inspection make sure to get a home appraisal to ensure the property is worth the price you would be paying. Once these steps are completed with your trusted agent by your side, close the sale by scheduling a date to sign all of the final paperwork! The last step being to move into your brand new home!

Key Terms to Know in the Home Buying Process

Thinking about purchasing a home but feel overwhelmed by all the terms and the process? Let this infographic help you to better understand some common terms that might come up.

Appraisal: A professional analysis used to estimate the value of a home.

Closing Costs: The fees required to complete the real estate transaction. Paid at closing, they include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs and items that must be prepaid or escrowed.

Credit Score: A number ranging form 300-850 that’s based on an analysis of your credit history.

Down Payment: Down payments are typically 3-20% of the purchase price of the home. Some 0% down programs are also available.

Mortgage Rate: The interest rate you pay to borrow money when buying a home.

Pre- Approval Letter: A letter from a lender indicating you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount.

Real Estate Professional: An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes.

The best way to ensure your home buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate pro who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with the “the heart of a teacher” by putting your needs first.

Why Is It so Important to Be Pre-Approved in the Homebuying Process?

Why Is It so Important to Be Pre-Approved in the Homebuying Process? | MyKCM

You may have heard that pre-approval is a great first step in the homebuying process. But why is it so important? When looking for a home, the temptation to fall in love with a house that’s outside your budget is very real. So, before you start shopping around, it’s helpful to know your price range, what you’re comfortable within a monthly mortgage payment, and ultimately how much money you can borrow for your loan. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to do this.

According to a recent survey from realtor.com, many buyers are making the mistake of skipping the pre-approval step in the homebuying process:

“Of over 2,000 active home shoppers who plan to purchase a home in the next 12 months, only 52% obtained a pre-approval letter before beginning their home search, which means nearly half of home buyers are missing this crucial piece of paperwork.

This paperwork (the pre-approval letter) shows sellers you’re a qualified buyer, something that can really help you stand out from the crowd in the current ultra-competitive market.

How competitive is today’s market? Extremely – especially among buyers.

With limited inventory, there are many more buyers than sellers right now, and that’s fueling the competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are receiving an average of 2.9 offers for sellers to negotiate, so bidding wars are heating up.

Pre-approval shows homeowners you’re a serious buyer. It helps you stand out from the crowd if you get into a multiple-offer scenario, and these days, it’s likely. When a seller knows you’re qualified to buy the home, you’re in a better position to potentially win the bidding war and land the home of your dreams.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com notes:

“For ‘a buyer in a competitive market, it’s typically essential to have pre-approval done in order to submit an offer, so getting it done before you even look at homes is a smart move that will enable a buyer to move fast to put an offer in on the right home.’”

In addition, today’s housing market is also changing from moment to moment. Interest rates are low, prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals (a loan officer and a real estate agent) making sure you take the right steps along the way and can show your qualifications as a buyer at the time you find a home to purchase.

Bottom Line

In a competitive market with low inventory, a pre-approval letter is a game-changing piece of the homebuying process. If you’re ready to buy this year, let’s connect before you start searching for a home.

Homebuyers Are in the Mood to Buy Today

Homebuyers Are in the Mood to Buy Today | MyKCM

According to the latest FreddieMac Quarterly Forecast, mortgage interest rates have fallen to historically low levels this spring and they’re projected to remain low. This means there’s a huge incentive for buyers who are ready to purchase. And homeowners looking for eager buyers can take advantage of this opportune time to sell as well.

There’s a very positive outlook on interest rates going forward, as the projections from the FreddieMac report indicate continued lows into 2021:

“Going forward, we forecast the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to remain low, falling to a yearly average of 3.4% in 2020 and 3.2% in 2021.”

 With mortgage rates hovering at such compelling places, ongoing buyer interest is bound to keep driving the housing market forward. Rates also reached another record low last week, so homebuyers are in what FreddieMac is identifying as the buying mood:

“While the rebound in the economy is uneven, one segment that is exhibiting strength is the housing market. Purchase demand activity is up over twenty percent from a year ago, the highest since January 2009. Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to declining inflationary pressures, putting many homebuyers in the buying mood. However, it will be difficult to sustain the momentum in demand as unsold inventory was at near record lows coming into the pandemic and it has only dropped since then.”

There’s no doubt that even though buyers are ready to purchase, it’s hard for many of them to find a home to buy today. Mortgage rates aren’t the only thing hovering near all-time lows; homes available for sale are too. With housing inventory as scarce as it is today – a nearly 20% year-over-year decline in available homes to purchase – keeping buyers in the purchasing mood may be tough if they can’t find a home to buy (See graph below):Homebuyers Are in the Mood to Buy Today | MyKCM

What does this mean for buyers?

Competition is hot with so few homes available for purchase and low mortgage rates are helping to drive affordability as well. Getting pre-approved now will help you gain a competitive advantage and accelerate the homebuying process, so you’re ready to go when you find that perfect home you’d like to buy. Working quickly and efficiently with a trusted real estate professional will help put you in a position to act fast when you’re ready to make your move.

What does this mean for sellers?

If you’re thinking of selling your house, know that the motivation for buyers to purchase right now is as high as ever with rates where they are today. Selling now before other sellers come to market in your neighborhood this summer might put your house high on the list for many buyers. Homebuyers are clearly in the mood to buy, and with today’s safety guidelines and precautions in place to show your house, confidence is also on your side.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, there’s great motivation to be in the housing market, especially with mortgage rates hovering at this historic all-time low. Let’s connect today to make sure you’re ready to make your move.