March 2013 Real Estate Update

THE BUZZ

 March 20th marks the first day of spring this year. And this spring is not only the start of the hottest real estate season, but may also very well mark a transition to a “seller’s market” for the first time in quite a few years.

According to Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors’chief economist, “Buyer traffic is

continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady. In fact, buyer traffic is 40% above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We expect a seasonal rise of inventory this spring, but it may be insufficient to avoid more frequent incidences of multiple bidding and faster-than-normal price growth.”

If you are thinking about selling your home, we should start to strategize now. Pricing makes a

difference. The goal is to create multiple offers that drive the value of your house up. If you want to buy a home, we need to seek not only properties on the market, but also properties that were taken off the market when it was slow. I work with a network of top agents who share pocket listings as they become available. Let me start the search for you.

Planning ahead in either instance is key to your real estate success.

 

JUST ASK

Q: How do I buy in a seller’s market?

A: In a seller’s market, there are many buyers ready and eager to buy one property. This can result in multiple offer situations. To make a successful bid in a seller’s market…

Know the comps and be prepared to offer over the asking price.

Be prepared to increase your earnest money deposit. Sellers are more confident when they

see you are putting up a good sum.

Submit a preapproval letter from a local lender and date it the same day as the offer. Also, be

prepared to show you have proof of funds to close.

If possible, offer to buy the property AS IS, while requesting a short inspection period. Then,

read all available disclosures carefully before you make the offer.

Offer to give the seller a few days to move after close of escrow.

I would work with a listing agent to see what’s important to the seller so we can customize our

offer. When we work as a team, we can hope for the best results.

 

MY TOWN

Have you ever driven to an Open House but just kept on driving after seeing it from the street? A

buyer’s first impression of a home has a significant impact on its salability. Consider this: Research shows that when you meet another person, you make eleven major decisions about that person in the first seven seconds of meeting. A similar correlation can be applied to selling your home: the buyer makes decisions about your home and its value within seconds of seeing it from the street.

Are the home numbers old and antiquated, or newly purchased from Restoration Hardware? Are

there cracks in the driveway, or newly-lain concrete? Does the walkway leading up to the house

have bright, colorful flowers alongside it?

It’s fun to go online and see what others are doing to boost their home’s curb appeal. Check out

www.pinterest.com and type “curb appeal”into the search bar. You’ll find hundreds of innovative ideas and pictures from people all over the world right at your fingertips. If you’re thinking of selling your house, or if you’d just like to upgrade its curb appeal, feel free to email me or give me a call. As an experienced agent, I’ve walked through many homes and have lots of ideas on improving first impressions.

 

FYI

For the past few years, we have been in a market that gave buyers the advantage in negotiations. But the real estate market could become a seller’s market in a matter of weeks. What’s behind the changes?

Imbalance between buyers and sellers. In the Christian Science Monitor, it’s being

reported that, nationally, housing inventory has contracted to its lowest level since 1999,

according to an analysis from J.P. Morgan. And it’s not just homes for sale: Rental

vacancies are at their lowest level in a decade, according to the US Census Bureau.

Lack of new homes being built. New home construction is recovering, but not quickly

enough to keep pace with demand and projected population growth. NAR is projecting 1.1

million total housing starts for 2013 –a vast improvement over the 781,000 in 2012.

Population growth. “The underlying demand based on growing population is 1.5 million

housing starts per year,”says NAR spokesman Walter Molony. “If we don’t see enough

construction, we will see pressure on home prices that we don’t want.”

More Lenders are loosening mortgage application standards, according to the Federal

Reserve, encouraging a seller’s market.

Shadow Inventory. Shadow inventory consists of homes that owners have put off selling

because of low values and foreclosed homes in their neighborhood. CoreLogic has estimated that number could account for 2.3 million homes. If many of these owners decide to sell, the

seller’s market may slow or even flip back to a buyer’s market.

If you are considering selling, we should talk. Timing is everything.

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