It’s important to select a Realtor with extensive experience selling in your area. Market conditions are changing fast and you’ll need the assistance of a professional who can assess your property in the context of recent sales and available inventory. In a limited inventory situation, comparable sales and pricing data from six months ago may not be as relevant, so taking the time to research current market conditions is an investment of time and energy that is likely to pay off.
Pricing your home competitively will attract more interest and will strengthen your negotiating position as offers come your way for consideration. In some cases, this may translate to a higher purchase price, but it can also mean more favorable terms in the contract—giving you more flexibility as you transition to your next home.
Resist the urge to over-price your home as you only have one shot to be new to the market. It’s a delicate balance to get pricing right, which is why you’ll need an experienced Realtor to work with you on a strategy that fits your property and goals.
In areas with limited inventory, buyers are keeping a close eye on new listings coming on the market, according to our sales professionals. You’ll want to make sure that your home or property is in “showing worthy” condition as soon as you list it. Depending on market conditions in your area, you may have showings right away, and you’ll want to be prepared to put your best foot forward to focused and interested buyers.
Look at your home through potential buyers’ eyes—the total value proposition is a combination of pricing and the condition of the property. Work with a professional who can tell you which investments will make your property stand out among the current competition on the market.
BUYERS: BE EDUCATED, PREPARED
With moderated prices and historically- and impressively-low mortgage rates, today’s real estate market presents some once-in-a-generation opportunities for well-qualified home buyers and investors. But as many markets are shifting from the buyers’ market of the last few years to a more balanced environment, it is advantageous to be prepared and educated about the local housing market as it exists today.
Just as sellers should reference current, local market information when determining competitive listing prices for their homes, buyers should also be educated about the market in which they’re hoping to conduct a transaction. Just because a friend or co-worker benefitted from a short sale or foreclosure transaction last year to receive a discount on an investment property does not mean that a similar opportunity or price discount would be available today. Having clear expectations will help buyers understand what they’re likely to pay in today’s market, and adjust their investment tolerance threshold accordingly.
The good news is that historically-low mortgage rates help buyers stretch their buying power with lower total cost of ownership and lower monthly payments.
Contracts with competitive offers and fewer conditions are likely the ones that will stick in many of today’s housing markets. Buyers with financing already in place are likely to be a safer bet for sellers than buyers who have yet to secure the financial side of their offer.
Our sales professionals also point out that money is not the only way to stand apart from a crowd of competing buyers. Sometimes bringing flexibility to sellers—like a later move-in date or a faster closing date—will be more valuable than a slightly higher sale price offer.
It’s easy to understand why some well-qualified buyers are finding themselves frustrated in some home search situations—the financing scenario is ideal, prices have moderated from historic highs, and the perception of distressed/underwater sellers certainly suggest a potential bargain and easy transaction to be had. The lack of quality inventory—which is significant in some areas—has left many buyers to discover that they’re working harder to find a home that meets their expectations. With the support of a real estate professional, however, many buyers are finding options worth evaluating.
Today’s buyers can still take advantage of historic homeownership opportunities, especially if they are equipped to prioritize and focus on the “must haves” of the ideal home or investment property. These priorities coupled with a knowledgeable Realtor who has a solid understanding of current market conditions in the local area can provide buyers and investors with a strategy for knowing when to jump in with an offer and at what price.
Buyers should keep in mind that while pricing has moderated, many experts believe prices will rise—making this still a good time for many to consider buying or moving up to their dream homes.