Tag Archives: Home Sellers

What Makes Today’s Real Estate Market So Competitive?

Key Takeaways

  • This year’s housing market is shaping up to be the most competitive on record, but the pandemic isn’t the only thing influencing the national real estate boom.
  • There are actually quite a few factors contributing to today’s hot market, including unfettered buyer demand, historically low supply, and steady interest rates.
  • Have questions about buying a home in 2021? Get in touch with us for even more personalized advice.

3 Factors That Make 2021’s Real Estate Market More Competitive Than Ever

If you’re planning a move, you might be wondering how the real estate market will change this year—and the predictions are pretty eye-opening. Existing home sales are expected to increase by 9%, home prices could rise by a whopping 8%, and mortgage rates should stay well below 4% for the foreseeable future. 

For buyers, this means you may have to work harder than usual to find the perfect place. However, this extra effort will pay off if you have a home to sell or want to take advantage of extraordinarily low interest rates. 

Need help making sense of today’s market? Here are a few reasons why real estate is more competitive than ever in 2021. 

The ongoing pandemic

Buying a home during the pandemic

A year ago, real estate experts had no idea how the COVID-19 pandemic would impact the housing market. While many predicted a crash akin to what we saw in 2008, we actually saw the opposite: a pandemic housing boom.

During last year’s lockdowns, many renters and homeowners grew unhappy with their living situations and wanted a change. This caused demand for homes to spike—and as panicked sellers pulled their listings, prices rose higher and higher.

The pandemic might slowly be coming to an end, but we’re still seeing remnants of 2020 in today’s market. And while more sellers are finally warming up to the idea of listing again, available housing supply is still at its lowest point ever.

Record-low interest rates

Dice changing rates

In late March, interest rates for 15- and 30-year mortgages hovered around 2.5% and 3.3%, respectively. Although these numbers aren’t quite as low as they were in 2020, buyers can still score a once-in-a-lifetime deal by moving now.

To put things into perspective, let’s say you’re thinking about buying a $300,000 house with a 20% down payment. Back when rates were nearing 4%, you could expect to pay around $1,200 per month for your mortgage. However, if you were to buy that same home with a 3% interest rate, your payment would drop to just $1,012—and that difference can save you tens of thousands of dollars over time.

Low inventory & unprecedented buyer demand

Sold sign

Real estate is all about supply and demand. And in today’s competitive market, an inventory shortage and swelling buyer demand have created perfect conditions for sellers. In particularly popular areas, it’s not uncommon for homes to sell just days after they’re listed, sometimes in bidding wars that go above the original asking price.

If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, be prepared to act fast. Many agents recommend getting pre-approved, limiting your contingencies, or even setting an escalation clause to automatically outbid other buyers.

Bottom Line: Now Is the Time to Move

Navigating 2021’s one-of-a-kind real estate market may seem like a daunting task, but the right agent will help you through every step of the process. Today’s buyers can capitalize on shockingly low interest rates, while sellers stand to make an impressive profit should they decide to list soon. And if you ever have any questions, we’re always here to help!

Buying or Selling Soon? Let’s Talk!

Don’t let the market keep you from making a move. If you’re ready to achieve real estate success in no time at all, drop us a line to get started. We’d love to offer you one-on-one buying or selling advice that’s tailored to your unique needs.

Exposing the 4 Factors Agents Use to Price Your Home Right

Key Takeaways:

  • Before you list your home, it’s crucial to understand how much a buyer would be willing to pay for it.
  • Your agent will use a variety of factors to determine a competitive list price—and some of them might be a little unexpected.
  • If you’re looking for a fast and accurate way to price your home, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a complimentary estimate!

4 Surprising Factors That Go Into Pricing a Home

Pricing your home to sell quickly—even in today’s hot real estate market—is all about balance. You want to price low enough to attract potential buyers, but high enough to profit from your equity. And while it may be tempting to use automatic estimators, it’s best to leave the number-crunching to your agent.

Need help determining the perfect price? Here are a few factors your agent will take into consideration when valuing your home.

Your home’s size and condition

House with coin stacks

This may seem like a given, but a home’s size, condition, and features play a huge role in how much it’s worth. Before you list, your agent will perform a walkthrough of your home to thoroughly evaluate its saleability. If your space is move-in ready and well-maintained, you’ll have more luck setting a higher asking price.

Many sellers are under the impression that big-ticket upgrades will drastically increase their home’s value, but this isn’t always the case. Before you make a significant change, ask your agent for their professional opinion. Believe it or not, smaller touches (like updating hardware or repainting) can have a better return on investment than a full-scale renovation.

Location

Map with pin

Real estate is all about location, and there are a few general factors that tend to boost property values. Typically, agents will price a home based on local schools, nearby employment opportunities, and proximity to amenities. Houses in more desirable neighborhoods or communities also tend to command a higher list price.

Above all, most buyers are looking for homes that offer the perfect blend of privacy and convenience. Being close to (but not right next to!) highways or public transportation is another huge plus.

Other recently sold homes

Sold home sign

One of the best indicators of your home’s value is the sale price of other listings in your neighborhood. Your real estate agent should conduct a comparative market analysis—abbreviated as CMA—to see how your home stacks up against the competition. By looking at recently sold homes that are similar to yours, they can calculate a fair and accurate price.

After your agent has assessed your home, they’ll likely send you a CMA report that contains their projected price, along with data from other comparable homes. A great agent will also be available to answer any questions, too!

Current market trends

Houses on a graph

Even if your home is in perfect condition, in the best location, and boasts quite a few upgrades, the current state of the market can have a huge impact on its overall value. And in today’s seller-driven market, homes are now worth more than ever before.

Just last year, home prices surged by 15%. To put those numbers into perspective, that’s a $45,000 increase for a $300,000 home. If you want to take advantage of these unbelievable conditions, now is the time to list—and we’d love to help!

Get Your Updated Home Value

Whether you’re just curious or are ready to sell, you can trust our team to calculate your home’s true market value. Request a free home valuation today, or reach out to us to learn more about 2021’s hot real estate market. There’s never been a better time to list!

Why You Shouldn’t Use Automatic Home Estimators to Price Your Home

Key Takeaways:

  • Automatic estimator tools are popular amongst homeowners and sellers, but they aren’t always the most reliable.
  • In some instances, these estimators can be off by thousands of dollars due to inaccurate data.
  • If you’re looking for a better way to determine your home’s market value, give us a call to get started!

Exposing the Inaccuracies of Automatic Home Estimators

If you own a home, you’ve probably wondered how much its value has increased since you first moved in. And while using an online estimator might seem convenient, you could end up with some pretty inaccurate numbers—and that’s bad news for sellers in today’s competitive market.

Want to make the most of your equity and find out how much your home is really worth? Here’s why working with a local real estate agent will always be better than trusting an “automatic” estimate.

Most estimators rely on user-reported data or algorithms

Home value on a laptop

Many homeowners believe that instant estimates are similar to a professional appraisal, but this simply isn’t the case. To generate a possible selling price, these real estate sites rely on potentially outdated algorithms that use property tax assessments, historic sold data, and user-reported information. Some estimators even use AI to scan photos of your home, which leaves ample room for error.

Estimators won’t take recent improvements into account

Couple renovating their kitchen

If you’ve made any larger improvements to your home, they may not get calculated into your instant estimate. Generally, most estimators will include any permitted work that’s noted on your latest tax assessment. But if you completed a project that didn’t require permits, it probably won’t influence the estimate.

For example, if you recently finished a kitchen renovation and didn’t have to take out a construction permit, an estimator could value your kitchen based on how it was before any upgrades. And if you rely on these incorrect numbers, you could shortchange your equity without even knowing it!  

Your estimate could be off by thousands of dollars

homes on coin stacks

Perhaps the biggest issue with automatic home estimators is their overall accuracy—or lack thereof. While most claim to be within 10% of a home’s real market value, that 10% could equal tens of thousands of dollars. When you look at the numbers, that’s a potential difference of $30,000 for a home worth $300,000!

Above all, it’s important to remember that these estimators will never substitute a professional valuation. If you’re really serious about selling your home or learning its value, it’s better to work with a local real estate agent instead—and take an estimator’s opinion with a grain of salt.

Bottom Line: Only Price Your Home with a Local Agent

Couple getting a home valuation from an agent

Want to know your home’s true value? Don’t trust a computer—start by consulting your local real estate agent! As area experts, we know how to calculate just how much your home could sell for in today’s competitive market. We can even take your renovations and recent sold data into account for an added level of accuracy.

Get Top Dollar for Your Home

Whether you’re thinking about selling your home or just want to know its value, you can trust us to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to request a complimentary home valuation, or just give us a call with any questions—we’d be happy to chat!

3 Reasons All Buyers and Sellers Should Use Listing Alerts

Key takeaways:

  • Listing alerts send new homes straight to your inbox as soon as they hit the MLS, and they’re the easiest way to keep up with the competitive market.
  • Listing alerts aren’t just useful for buyers—they can also help sellers stay up-to-date on other current and sold properties in their neighborhood.
  • Signing up for listing alerts only takes a minute, and you can always contact us to schedule a tour if you see a property you love!

Why Every Buyer and Seller Should Sign Up for Listing Alerts

Today’s real estate market is more fast-paced than ever—in fact, it’s not uncommon for a home to sell above asking price not long after it’s listed. So if you’re serious about buying, you need a to-the-minute resource to help you stay ahead of the competition.

This is where listing alerts come in handy. Just use our fully customizable filters to narrow down your search, and you’ll receive an email right when a home matching your criteria hits the market. And if you’re thinking about selling, you can also use listing alerts to scope out the competition in your neighborhood. 

Want to learn even more about the benefits of signing up for listing alerts? Here are three additional perks that every buyer and seller should know about.  

You’ll immediately see listings that match your criteria

Couple searching for a home online

Your home is likely one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, which means it’s okay to be a little picky. Our listing alerts can be customized to your exact parameters, so you’ll know as soon as the right property becomes available. Take a look at our easy-to-use search tool to get started—we have filters for price, size, neighborhood, and even specific home features!  

You can create a portfolio of your favorite homes

Couple using a tablet to search for a home

When you sign up for our listing alerts, we’ll automatically create a personalized property organizer to help you keep track of all your favorite homes. Not only is this feature easy to use, it also allows you to save the listings you want to see in-person. You can even use your property organizer to schedule a showing, take a virtual tour from the comfort of your couch, or get in touch with a local agent for more information.

Sellers can keep up with sold listings, too

Recently sold home

If you’re like most buyers, you probably have an existing home you need to sell before you make a move. That’s why we designed our listing alerts to work with both active and sold homes. All you have to do is set your desired criteria, and we’ll send over listings right when they go under contract.

Wondering how listing alerts benefit you as a seller? By scoping out sold homes in your neighborhood, you’ll get a better idea of how fast and how much your home could sell for—you might even pick up some staging tips along the way, too. As if that isn’t enough, you can also browse other current listings to get a better idea of your competition!

Get the Latest Homes Sent Straight to Your Inbox!

Ready to sign up for listing alerts? We’re here to help! Contact us today to set up your first alert—we’d be happy to guide you through the process if you have any questions. And if you’re thinking about buying or selling soon, drop us a line for even more helpful information. We’re always here to lend our expertise.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Spring to Sell Your Home

Key Takeaways:

  • After a turbulent 2020, many homeowners are holding out until spring to list their properties.
  • Though spring is usually the busiest season for real estate, now is the time to take advantage of high prices, low interest rates, and skyrocketing demand for homes.
  • Not sure when to list? Get in touch with us today to explore your options!

Here’s Why Sellers Should Capitalize on 2021’s Hot Winter Housing Market

It’s safe to say that 2020 was a challenging year, both in real estate and for the world as a whole. And as we celebrate new beginnings, many homeowners are pondering a move at some point during 2021. Traditionally, spring is considered the best time of year to sell a home—but thanks to a number of factors, this is no longer the case.

Still not sure if now is the right time to move? Here’s why you shouldn’t wait any longer to put your home on the market.

You won’t have much competition

Modern for sale sign

If you haven’t seen as many “For Sale” signs in your neighborhood recently, you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors, available inventory has plummeted by nearly 40% over the last few months, which is fantastic news for today’s sellers. 

Dwindling supply and high buyer demand will put your home in the spotlight if you decide to list this winter, and it means you’ll be in the driver’s seat during negotiations. Because there are fewer homes on the market right now, you also won’t have to compete with other sellers waiting to move in the spring. 

Interest rates are still low

House with coin stacks and percentages

Interest rates reached record lows in 2020, which tempted many buyers to enter the market even amidst a pandemic. In November, rates actually dipped below 2.3%—that’s the lowest they’ve been in recorded history!

Most experts believe interest rates won’t spike during 2021, but we’ll probably see some slight increases as the economy continues to bounce back. Listing your home before rates go up comes with a lot of benefits, and it might even be the smartest financial decision you ever make.

Low interest rates help drive buyer demand and make homeownership more affordable. As a seller, that means you’ll draw in a larger audience of financially-qualified buyers and maybe even sell faster than you expect. If you plan on buying another home, you’ll be able to secure a great rate, too.

Home prices keep rising

Calculating home prices

If you’ve lived in your current home for more than a few years, now could be the perfect time to sell and cash in on your equity. In a recent study, the National Association of Realtors found that home prices have increased by a whopping 13.4% since 2019. In 2021, prices are expected to increase by 8%—and in 2022, that projection drops to just 5%.

While it may be tempting to “time” your sale to get the best possible price, selling your home when you know the market is doing well is a surefire way to yield an impressive profit. And if you’re ever curious about how much your home is worth right now, you can always ask your agent for a free home valuation.

The market could change before spring

Aerial shot of a suburban neighborhood

As the market continues to recover, it’s still hard to know what will happen in 2021—after all, nobody predicted last year’s pandemic and economic collapse! Most experts aren’t expecting another sudden crash, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until spring to list your home.  

Right now, we’re seeing a record amount of home sales, as well as a surprising number of motivated winter buyers. So if you want to be smart about your move, it makes sense to sell sooner rather than later.

Get the Most Out of Your Home Sale

If you’re thinking about selling your home this winter, contact us today to get started. We have plenty of resources to guide you through every step of the process, and we can even help you buy your next home after you sell.

Want to know how much home prices have risen in your neighborhood? Be sure to ask about our complimentary home value assessment!

4 Bright Ideas for Staging Your Home with Lighting

Key Points:

  • When it comes to selling your home, staging is the easiest way to make a great first impression both online and during an in-person tour.
  • Focusing on the smaller touches can really impress buyers—and lighting is an important detail you should never overlook.
  • Looking for more easy tips to transform your home and get top dollar in no time? Drop us a line for even more staging advice!

Staging Before You Sell? Don’t Overlook Your Home’s Lighting!

You’ve probably heard that staging is an essential step to drawing in buyers. Most real estate agents will tell you to stick with neutral decor and depersonalize as much as possible before your home hits the market. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a few subtler changes, too.

Looking for an easy way to accentuate your home’s best features? Try framing them in the right light—literally. Bright, ample lighting will give your space a glow buyers will love, and it can even make your house seem larger and more open. Here are some easy ways to ensure your home is perfectly lit before your next showing.

Choose the right bulbs

Screwing in a light bulb

The quickest way to boost your home’s brightness is to swap out low wattage incandescents in favor of LED (light-emitting diode) or CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs. They’re slightly more expensive, but the payoff is worth it—your rooms will feel much more spacious, and they can last for up to 50,000 hours.  

Nowadays, LEDs and CFLs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. If you’re looking to add a warm glow or make a room feel cozy, try going for a soft white bulb. Cooler bulbs create an energizing atmosphere better suited for task lighting, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Swap out old fixtures

Pendant lights in a kitchen

Take a look at the light fixtures throughout your home—are they looking a little dated? You may not mind that old ceiling fan light or tarnished wall sconce, but buyers will likely notice them. While you don’t have to replace every fixture in the house, updating the ones in your main living areas will make your space appear more on-trend.

You want to keep your lighting neutral, and incorporate matching finishes wherever possible. If you’re not sure where to start, consider replacing your kitchen lights with stylish pendants. Swapping out an old chandelier for a lantern or orb-style fixture can breathe new life into your dining room. And when it comes to the bathroom, try to choose sconces with clean, simple lines.

Layer your lighting

Grey living room with lamps

Layering your lighting is just like arranging furniture; if done correctly, it can enhance the size and feel of an entire space. You should aim for three different types of lighting in each room: ambient (overhead), task (reading or desk lights), and accent (table or floor lamps). This forms a cohesive level of light throughout your home.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your lights. You can add both form and function with some under-counter lighting or by installing a dimmer switch on an overhead fixture for more customization. The possibilities really are endless—if you’re in need of some ideas, just ask your agent! 

Amp up the natural light

Window with natural light

Today’s buyers want homes filled with natural light. So if you have a room that gets a lot of sun, throw back the drapes and open the blinds before a showing.

Looking for additional ways to create a sun-bathed glow? Think about painting your walls in lighter colors—like white, grey, or beige—or using a higher gloss finish. You can also accessorize with mirrors or shiny decor to reflect light throughout a space.  

Looking for More Home Staging Tips?

Staging your home doesn’t have to be hard when you have the help of a top-rated agent! Contact us today for even more exclusive selling tips—we’d love to get your property market-ready and maximize your potential profits. And if it’s been a while since you checked up on your home’s current value, feel free to ask us for a complimentary equity assessment.

Be Our Guest: 4 Ways to Transform Your Home into the Ultimate Entertaining Space

Key Points:

  • Even in the middle of a pandemic, today’s homeowners are looking to make their spaces more conducive to entertaining.
  • Certain upgrades—especially those in the entryway, kitchen, and backyard—have the potential to boost your home’s resale value. And best of all, your guests will love them just as much as you do!
  • These projects might have a high return on investment, but you won’t have to break the bank to really wow party-goers…or potential home buyers!

4 Ways to Make Your Home Entertainment-Friendly

The holiday season is approaching fast—and while you may be adept at hosting an amazing get-together, your home could actually be holding you back. Seemingly minor annoyances, like a too-small kitchen or not enough seating, are exaggerated when your space is filled with guests. However, a few slight changes have the potential to transform your house into the life of the party. 

Ready to get your space looking its best for your next post-pandemic extravaganza? These four home upgrades are definitely worth the investment if you’re passionate about entertaining. Plus, they can even increase your home’s resale value when you decide to sell!

Spice Up Your Entryway

Art on a wall

When it comes to throwing a fantastic gathering, you want to make a good first impression from the moment guests arrive. So if your entryway is looking a little drab, it’s time to give it a little extra TLC.

Even if you have a small front porch, you can still spruce it up with a new welcome mat or seasonal wreath to set the tone for what awaits inside. From there, make your foyer more inviting by adding a few luxe, yet practical, touches. A small bench, mirror, or coat rack will help your guests feel at home right away. Don’t have a foyer? You can enhance just about any entryway with a statement rug or some wall art.

Focus on the kitchen

Kitchen with bar seating

Any memorable soiree almost always involves food. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a gourmet kitchen renovation to create a room that’s beautiful and functional.

Above all, your kitchen should be an area where you’re able to cook while still mingling with visitors. If you’re a gourmand at heart, splurging on some higher-end appliances or extras—like a chef-caliber stove with additional burners—can make a huge difference. If you really want to go all out, consider adding a larger kitchen island for more seating that won’t disconnect you from your guests.

Do you relish in mixing the perfect drink for your party-goers? Try transforming a rolling cart or some extra counter space into a bar. Just set up some bottles, put out your best glasses, and accessorize with a decorative ice bucket or other bar tools. If you have the room, you can even install a wine fridge!

Create social zones

Set dining room table

One of the biggest misconceptions about party-planning is that you need a large, open space to entertain. Believe it or not, you don’t have to knock down walls to craft a layout that works well for gatherings of any size. Instead, focus on creating designated social zones that encourage your company to chat and explore.

In most cases, guests tend to gravitate towards the kitchen—but you want to have plenty of alternatives to avoid everyone crowding in the same room. Every social zone should have a distinct focal point that draws attention and creates a visual connection between each space.

In a living room, your focal point could be a roaring fireplace, your favorite artwork, or a large sectional sofa. A table of appetizers in a dining room can draw hungry visitors out of the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different techniques for each gathering!

Upgrade your outdoor space

Outdoor patio

Ready to take your celebration outdoors? Making improvements to your yard, patio, deck, or balcony will elevate your next get-together—and can also yield an impressive return on investment.

If you haven’t already, you might want to buy a table, chairs, or a couch able to withstand the elements. This establishes another social zone for visitors (and you!) to enjoy. A pergola, fire pit, new pavers, or outdoor lighting are a few other upgrades that help tie everything together. If you love to barbecue in the summer, you may even want to indulge in an outdoor grilling station with a sink and some counter space.

Want to Get Your Home Looking Its Best Before You Sell?

Making a few key updates to your home can impress guests and potential buyers. Whether you’re ready to sell now or just have a few questions, you can trust us to help you navigate your next real estate journey from start to finish.

Give us a call to learn more about selling in today’s hot market—we’ll even let you know how much your property is worth with our free home valuation!

Make Your Home Boo-tiful with These 4 Halloween Staging Tips

If you step outside on a cool October afternoon, you might just smell some pumpkin spice and freshly picked apples wafting through the air. That can only mean one thing: Halloween is just around the corner! And while this ghoulish holiday delights both kids and kids-at-heart, it also creates interesting staging opportunities for home sellers.

As tempting as it might be to pull out your most spine-chilling decorations, buyers probably don’t want to walk through a haunted house to tour your space. If you want to avoid a home staging horror story, we have a few tips to help you incorporate a little spooky flair without going overboard.

Here’s How to Add a Tasteful Touch of Halloween to Your Home Staging

While it’s totally acceptable to add a dash of Halloween-inspired decor to your home, your goal should be to stage for the season, not the holiday. That means using more fall-focused decor instead of going all-out with spider webs, skeletons, and other eerie touches.

Here are a few guidelines to get your home looking its best for autumn buyers. And if you ever have questions about what is and isn’t appropriate, just ask your agent for advice!

Start with your front porch

Pumpkins on a doorstep

If you absolutely have to add a bit of Halloween fun to your home, consider transforming your front porch into an area that both buyers and trick or treaters will love. Start by setting out some natural touches, like pumpkins, potted mums, or even a small bale of hay. You can always tone up the holiday spirit with a Halloween-themed welcome mat or wreath.

Try to keep all of your outdoor decor as low-key as possible. That means waiting to put out any inflatables, cobwebs, or light displays until you move into your new home.

Put out some pumpkins

Painted pumpkins

Looking for an easy way to get buyers in the Halloween spirit? Pumpkins are one of the most versatile fall accessories, and they work well inside and outside! Aside from the traditional jack-o’-lantern, you can also set out some smaller, uncarved pumpkins throughout your home. If you’re in the mood for a DIY project, paint some craft pumpkins in neutral tones to create little pops of Halloween cheer.

Pumpkins don’t all have to look the same, either. Head to your local pumpkin patch to check out different sizes and colors—there’s no better way to add a splash of orange, white, green, or brown to your space! 

Avoid over-the-top accessories

As you stage your home for buyers, it’s best to leave your most outrageous Halloween decorations in storage for next year. While you may love mummifying your living room or embellishing with spiders and bats, these additions can quickly morph into an unwelcome distraction during a showing. Instead, consider adding more subtle accents, such as dark-colored lanterns with votive candles, a fall-inspired tablescape, or candy displayed in tall jars.

You should also ensure that none of your accessories are gorey or frightening. The last thing you want to do is have buyers wondering if your house is truly haunted!  

Appeal to the senses

Votive candles

Autumn is filled with endless signature scents, sights, and flavors—and you can use them to your advantage when staging. To set the mood inside your home, try putting out some Halloween candy in a decorative bowl as a refreshment for buyers. Fall-inspired candles can add a sense of warmth, so don’t be afraid to bring on the pumpkin spice.

If you really want to go above and beyond, boiling a pot of apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla before a showing will help you invite some of the season’s best aromas into your home.

Leaves May Be Falling, But Home Sales Aren’t!

Don’t get spooked by the home selling process—our team is here to help! We have the tools you need to get top dollar for your home before the busy holiday season. And even if you’re still on the fence about selling, we’d be happy to give you a free report of your home’s current value. There’s never been a better time to cash out on your hard-earned equity, so just give us a call to get started!

What Increasing Home Prices Mean for Today’s Buyers and Sellers

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a whirlwind would be an understatement. And as we get closer to the end of the year, many buyers and sellers are wondering if it makes financial sense to enter the market. Although the warmer months are typically considered the best time to move, buyer demand continues to surge into fall, while the available supply of homes just keeps dwindling. This has caused home prices to skyrocket to one of their highest points ever.

Need some advice before breaking into today’s competitive housing market? We have a few details to consider before making any big decisions.

Buying or Selling Soon? Here’s How Rising Home Prices Will Affect Your Move

Real estate has always been about supply and demand. For example, during the housing market crash of 2008, home prices plummeted partially because of low buyer interest. Today, though, we’re seeing the opposite—prices are increasing due to waning supply and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates.

This is fantastic news for anyone looking to sell their home and cash out on their hard-earned equity. Buyers, on the other hand, may have to do more to stand out from the competition.

Why have home values increased?

Increasing home values

Even amidst a pandemic and national recession, buying a home is still a top priority for many Americans. In fact, according to a newly released report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the number of existing home sales reached a 14-year high this August. A similar report by Bloomberg states that if current demand holds strong, we could run out of housing inventory in around three months.

Wondering why so many people are clamoring to buy this year? Even in the face of rising home prices, low mortgage rates have enticed buyers to make a move. While record-shattering rates have helped to expand purchasing power, this intense desire for homeownership has caused prices to jump by a whopping 8.2% year-over-year.

Buyers can take advantage of lower interest rates to afford a more expensive home

Family buying a home

If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, you’ll need to be prepared to navigate a cutthroat market. Ever since rates started decreasing in late 2019, more and more buyers have decided to start searching for a home. Unfortunately, this means you could get caught in a bidding war or might have to make some compromises to secure a place of your own.

Although prices have soared dramatically since last year, buying a home is still an attainable goal. In fact, when mortgage rates sunk below 3% this summer, buyers found themselves with an extra $15,000 in purchasing power.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by today’s market, you’re not alone—and reaching out to an agent can help you get the answers you need. Consider contacting a real estate professional before you start looking for homes. They can provide the expertise you need to find your perfect place!

Sellers should expect to sell quickly and for top dollar

Today’s sellers are in a better position than ever before. Nationally, the housing market has struggled to keep pace with buyer demand for the last few years, but this deficiency has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. By listing now, you could take advantage of fierce rivalry amongst buyers, high home prices, and low competition from other sellers.

Despite the ongoing recession, home prices have actually climbed throughout most of 2020. Between May and July, existing properties appreciated in value by a whopping 2%, which is the highest month-by-month increase in three decades. If you’ve lived in your home for at least a few years, you could be sitting on six figures of equity.

Even if you aren’t interested in selling, there’s never been a better time to check on your house’s current value. A top-rated local agent should be able to perform a full home analysis and tell you how much you could sell for if you listed today. 

Bottom Line: Now Is the Time to Talk with an Agent

Buying a home

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling your home, you shouldn’t wait to connect with an agent who has plenty of experience in your desired area. They can help you keep up with today’s ever-changing market and answer any questions you might have.

Not quite ready to move? It’s still worth talking with an agent about your current home’s value, especially as we continue to see such dramatic price increases!

Ready to Take Your Next Steps?

No matter what your real estate needs might be, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Get in touch with us today and let us know what we can do for you. We can even conduct a comparative market analysis on your home to see how much equity you’ve gained over time!

These 4 Negotiating Tips Can Help You Sell for Top Dollar

Receiving your first offer is one of the most exciting parts of selling your home. And while it might seem like the hard work is finally over, the negotiation process is actually just getting started. 

Even in a seller’s market, negotiating with a buyer can require quite a bit of time, skill, and guidance from your agent. However, with the right strategies, you can remain in the driver’s seat and maximize your profits.

Here’s How to Negotiate with Potential Buyers

When buyers submit an offer, they’re trying to get the best possible price, secure specific contingencies and financing, and close on their ideal timeline. As a seller, you’ll want to take their needs into consideration—but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to every concession.

Ready to hone your negotiation skills? Here are four easy tips to help you leverage a deal that gets you the price you want while keeping your buyer happy.

Review every offer with your agent

Agent helping with a contract

Even if you have some home selling experience, it can be hard to decipher all the elements of an offer. Most offers are just a small part of a purchase and sale agreement, which includes everything from price to contingencies to deadlines, so it’s important to review every detail with your agent.

While it might be tempting to decline any offers below your asking price, you still want to consider the bigger picture. It may be worth sacrificing some equity for fewer contingencies or a cash deal. Your agent can guide you through the pros and cons of each offer, as well as answer any questions.

Don’t compromise on your must-haves

Talking at a table

Fortunately, low inventory and rising prices have given sellers a distinct advantage in today’s market. That means you probably won’t have to give up a lot of your must-haves—like a certain price or closing date—to secure your sale. 

While it’s okay to drive a hard bargain, you don’t want to appear unreasonable to buyers. In some situations, it’s common courtesy to agree to certain contingencies (such as a home inspection), offer credits for repairs, or even pay a portion of their closing costs.

Make a clear counteroffer

Making an offer

If you receive an offer that isn’t quite what you want, you have a few options. Most sellers choose to respond with a counteroffer, which proposes modified terms that are more beneficial to them. 

The biggest factor to consider is price—if a buyer offers less than you’re willing to accept, try countering with a more realistic number. However, you’ll also want to take financing, contingencies, and timing into account. For example, you may want to ask a buyer for a different closing date or say no to excessive contingencies, as they can slow down the transaction. Ultimately, the ball is in your court, so it’s worth weighing different options with your agent.

Don’t be afraid to say no

Signing paperwork

Generally, you should always submit a counteroffer to every reasonable offer. However, if it becomes clear that a buyer isn’t willing to budge on your deal-breakers, don’t be afraid to say no. It’s also best to automatically decline any lowball offers that are around 30% less than your list price.

While it may seem counterintuitive to turn down an offer, it’s not worth negotiating with someone who isn’t serious about your home. And because the market is extremely competitive right now, it probably won’t take long to find a buyer who’s willing to pay the right price.

Thinking of Selling Your Home Soon?

If you’re looking for the right agent to guide you through the negotiation process, we’d love to lend a helping hand! Get in touch with us today to learn the ins and outs of selling your home—we’re always on hand to answer any questions you might have.