Spring is usually the busiest season in the housing market. Many buyers wait until then to make their move, believing it’s the best time to find a home. However, that isn’t always the case when you factor in the competition you could face with other buyers at that time of year. If you’re ready to buy a home, here’s why it makes sense to move before the spring market picks up.
Spring Should Bring a Wave of Buyers to the Market
In most years, the housing market goes through predictable seasonal trends in activity. Winter is typically a quiet point in the year, while spring sees a surge of buyers begin their search. And experts project that this year will be no exception.
Right now, buyer demand is low due to a combination of normal seasonal trends and a reaction to last year’s rise in mortgage rates. But rates have started to come down since last November, which has more and more potential buyers planning to jump into the market. That means right now is a sweet spot if you’re in a good position to buy, before more buyers reappear. Affordability is beginning to improve, but demand is still low — for now. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), shares:
“. . . expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”
If you’re ready to buy a home, right now is the best time to do so before your competition grows and more buyers enter the market.
Today’s Sellers Are Motivated
Low demand from buyers often means sellers are more motivated to work with you, and that can set you up to buy a home on your terms. In fact, sellers have been more willing to negotiate this winter because there are fewer buyers in the market. According to a recent article from Forbes:
“. . . sellers gave concessions to buyers in 41.9% of home sales in the fourth quarter of last year.”
But keep in mind, the advantages buyers have this winter won’t last forever. The competition you face could be greater if you wait until spring to make a move, and increased buyer demand means sellers will have less motivation to negotiate with you. Be sure to work with a trusted real estate professional to learn what you can expect in your local market right now.
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you likely have a lot of factors on your mind. You’re weighing your own needs against higher mortgage rates, today’s home prices, and more to try to decide if you want to jump into the market. While some buyers may wait things out, there’s a reason serious buyers are making moves right now, and that’s the growing number of homes for sale.
So far this year, housing inventory has been increasing and that’s making the prospect of finding your dream home less difficult. While there are always reasons you could delay making a big decision, there are also always reasons to consider moving forward. And having a growing number of options for your home search may be exactly what you needed to feel more confident in making a move.
What’s Causing Housing Inventory To Grow?
As new data comes out, we’re getting an updated picture of why housing supply is increasing so much this year. As Bill McBride, Author of Calculated Risk, explains:
“We are seeing a significant change in inventory, but no pickup in new listings. Most of the increase in inventory so far has been due to softer demand – likely because of higher mortgage rates.”
Basically, the inventory growth is primarily from homes staying on the market a bit longer (known as active listings). And that’s happening because higher mortgage rates and home prices have helped moderate the peak frenzy of buyer demand.
The graph below uses data from realtor.com to show how much active listings have risen over the past five months as a result (shown in green):
Why This Growth Is Good News for You
Regardless of the source, the increase in available housing supply is good for buyers. More housing supply actively for sale means you have more options as your search for your next home. A recent article from realtor.com explains just how significant the inventory growth has been and why it’s good news for your plans to buy:
“Nationally, the inventory of homes actively for sale on a typical day in July increased by30.7% over the past year, the largest increase in inventory in the data history and higher than last month’s growth rate of 18.7% which was itself record-breaking. This amounted to 176,000 more homes actively for sale on a typical day in July compared to the previous year and more choice for buyers who are still looking for a new home.”
The growth this year is certainly good news for you, especially if you’ve had trouble finding a home that meets your needs. If you start your search today, those additional options should make it less difficult to find a home than it would have been over the past two years.
We’re in the middle of a hot market. With historically low inventory and soaring prices, it might seem like a great time to sell your home yourself. My house will sell itself, right? Not exactly. Here’s why it’s best to let a professional handle the biggest transaction of your life.
1. Agents will help you avoid emotional sales
Working with an agent can help you effectively negotiate what is often the biggest transaction of your life. Sellers are likely to be emotional about the process (it’s your house after all!) Yes, selling a home is a BIG deal, so let’s try and keep a level head : )
2. Correct pricing
Overpricing is a common mistake FSBOs make. Pricing it correctly will help attract the right buyers for your home. The money you think you’re saving by not paying a commission, may end up costing you. Ironically, the National Association of Realtors estimates FSBO homes sell for as much as 11% less than those who sold with a real estate agent. In the end, FSBO sellers often end up accepting a lower price for their home than they would with an agent.
3. Effectively negotiate and show your home
It’s important to have someone on your team who understands how to fulfill contracts and negotiate on your behalf. Added to that, having the seller present for showings makes everyone a bit uncomfortable. A much better showing experience for all is when buyers have the freedom to take their time going through a house.
4. An agent will help weed out unqualified buyers
It’s more than just pricing and accepting an offer. Working with an agent will help limit the risks of selecting a buyer who is unprepared to purchase your home and will help you identify the strongest offers.
5. Are you ready to make this your full-time job?
From marketing, to the open house, showings, inspection, appraisal, paperwork, phone calls, offer deadlines, and everything in between, selling a home is a full-time job. Agents help hold it all together and make sure you meet the commitments that are essential to the final sale of your home.