How is the market doing? We’re in the middle of a very hot selling season.
If you’ve seen my videos in the past, then you know that inventory starts to grow in March. By May and June, there are a lot more homes on the market than there are in the winter.
As inventory grows, buyers have more options. As buyers have more options, demand tends to fall. This market is pretty active and aggressive in certain parts, and it’s very unpredictable. When inventory has gone up in the past, the market stabilized and slowed down. That hasn’t happened yet, and only time will tell when—or if—the market will slow down at all.
Still, whether you are buying or selling a home, you have some great opportunities in this market. I have three tips for homebuyers and three tips for sellers to help you succeed.
As a buyer, you need to:
1. Get pre-approved. Sit down with a lender and get educated on what loan options are available in order to understand which one is best for you. Figure out what your monthly payment will be so that you know exactly what you’re getting into. You don’t want to purchase a home and then be surprised by an uncomfortably high mortgage payment. Get the pre-approval process started before your home search so that you know your options and have a lot more certainty when you do enter the market.
2. Understand exactly what you’re looking for and why. When I sit down with my clients to talk about what they’re looking for, they’ll rattle off a list of things they want in a home. I always dig deeper by asking why they want those things. Usually, they start to realize that some of the things they are looking for aren’t necessarily important when it comes to the big picture. Understanding why you’re looking for something can help you whittle down exactly what you want in a home. After all, when you have too many options, it can be difficult to make a decision and find the right home.
3. Have a huddle with your Realtor before you start looking at homes. Sit down with your Realtor and put together a strategy to find your home. Every minute you spend planning saves 10 minutes in execution. If you spend a week putting together a plan, you will save about 10 weeks on your actual home search. You may even avoid getting outbid or missing out on a home that you love. So, sitting down with your agent for 30 or 45 minutes before you start the process will definitely go a long way.
If you plan on selling in this market, you need to:
1. Make sure that your home shows well online and offline. You need to be open to staging and decluttering your home. An interior designer can come through and tell you how to maximize the space in your home. Not every home is perfect; some rooms are smaller than others, so you need to use the right furniture and staging to make your home appeal to buyers.
A good agent will make sure that you get professional photographs taken of your home. Other options include a video tour of your home or a virtual walkthrough. Many buyers come from out of the area, so they aren’t able to see your home in person. Photos and videos are a great indication of what it would be like to live in your home.
2. Price your home right. The market is aggressive. Homes are selling quickly and in many cases, with multiple offers. If a home is overpriced, buyers will focus on a seller with a more realistic price. Again, there are more options on the market and your home is not the only one. It’s important that you understand the market, your active competition, and the current inventory in your area. What did homes sell for in the last month versus three months ago? Pricing your home correctly will allow you to sell quickly without leaving any money on the table.
3. Hire an agent with the right marketing plan. Don’t just hire an agent based on commission. Generally, an agent who charges more can help you sell for a higher net price. Instead of focusing on what you will pay your agent, focus on what they will do for you and your home. How much will they sell your home for? How will that affect your bottom line? At the end of the day, hire an agent with a strong presence in your area, a great marketing plan, and strong negotiation skills.
If you are an investor, buying or selling a property can be a bit more complicated, so give me a call if you have any questions about navigating the current market.
As a homebuyer or seller, those three steps will help lead you to success in this hot market. If you would like to learn more about buying or selling a home, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you!