As a real estate agent I would say that the most common question I get when people learn what I do for a living is “how’s the market”? When I first started working in the business I would say good and that was the end of the conversation. I spend a great deal of time studying the market as well as the numbers, percentages and averages that go with it. I have found that as you watch the numbers, you can spot trends and hopefully be a rock star agent that provides your clients with fantastic advice based on what they are trying to accomplish. So over time as I have polished my skills, here’s what you can expect to get if you ask me “how’s the market”?
First thing is first. We are definitely in a strong seller’s market. Inventory is at a 10-year low! In April of 2012 there were almost 14,000 listings on the market and if you fast forward to February of this year, there were just over 7,500 homes on the market. What does that mean for you? If you have a home and are considering moving up, now is a fantastic time. Home values are on the rise and inventory is so low that you have about a 50% chance to go under contract in less than 30 days. My last four listings were under contract in less than 10 days. The even better news is that you can expect anywhere between 97-98% of asking. Not bad at all!
The most important thing I would recommend you do is talk to a great agent (ahem!) and have them put together a professional equity report of your home so that you know the real numbers (no, not a Zillow zestimate) as well as a net sheet to let you know what you can expect to walk away with or put towards that home you have been dreaming about, in that neighborhood you have been driving by (you know the one).
Now you might be thinking, that’s wonderful, if you are a seller. But, I am not selling, I am buying and this means I should probably just wait and rent until the market changes. I have heard it before and I want to be real with you. It’s not the easiest time for some buyers out there. If you are searching for a home under $250,000, you’re facing a lot of competition. It’s not uncommon for a home to go under contract in just a few short days and receive multiple offers. If there is one thing I have learned in the past year, it’s that you have to be serious. If you like a home, you have to be willing to write an offer on it. I think sometimes when I tell a new client this they may think I’m just another realtor trying to push them into buying something FAST so that I can move on to the next and that is just not the case.
As your agent it is our job to help advise you of what a property is worth. An agent that has studied the market will be able to tell you want the comps are and what the house you love is worth. This is not the market to try to take $10,000 of the top. When I hear of people doing this it’s not uncommon to not get a response back at all. You can lose your negotiation opportunity all together!
If you are buying, the conversation I have with my all of my clients is that it is competitive out there, you need to know what you want and be willing to make a move quickly if the right house finds you. This is not the time to try to get the deal of the century. Here’s the BEST news though. Interest rates are so favorable right now that you can’t beat it. You can get locked into a rate under 4% which is NOT normal. My first home loan was just under 7% (with favorable credit). You have so much more buying power with a lower interest rate. Take advantage of that. There will come a point in time where we look back and go, WOW remember when you could get a home loan for 3.75%! If the money you will save on the financing side doesn’t grab you, maybe this will. If you bought a home for about $165,000 in 2012, that same home would be worth about $234,000 now. $67,000 is not a bad return on investment!
When choosing a real estate agent, you need to know that the person representing you has real market knowledge and will represent you in the best manner possible. Give me a call or send me a message if you would like me to review your current property or help you find your next home!