The real estate market is strong with existing home sales continuing to rise in value. In 41 states, prices were higher last month than at the same time a year ago. Price gains were largest in the West. Nevada, Arizona, California and Idaho each saw gains exceeding 15 percent according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Tight inventory and strict mortgage lending standards are still issues. Let’s look at inventory. Historically, April tends to be the month for the highest inventory available each year. This April was no different with more inventories and more sales than any other month this year. The median days for a home on the market were 46 days. 44 percent of all homes sold within 30 days last month.
If you are thinking of selling, now is a good time to evaluate your options. Pricing a home well can result in multiple bids and drive the price up. Bidding competition is a phenomenon that usually fades away in the summer. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Q: When making an offer on a property, does it help to write a letter to the seller?
A: It may not help, but it never hurts. Here are some points to cover:
- Tell them how much you like specific things in their home – “We love to barbeque burgers on the patio, walk to Burgess Park…”
- Don’t tell them any remodeling that you may want – “Your taste is so like ours, I feel like we are already at home.”
- Show stability – “We are easy to work with and will help make this an easy transition for you.”
- Don’t tell them about other homes you tried to buy and lost out on.
- Show thankfulness – “We would be honored to live in your home.”
- Close with appreciation – “Thanks for the opportunity.” Or, “Thanks for your consideration.”
By appealing to the seller as a person, as opposed to a contract, may give you an emotional edge.
Bidding wars are back. A once stagnant market has been sizzling for the last few months. When sellers price competitively, multiple buyers make offers and drive the price up. This is encouraging for those who have seen their home values dropping in the past and now see prices rising.
The competition has been most intense in California where 9 out of 10 homes that sold in San Francisco, Sacramento, the Silicon Valley and cities in Southern California drew competing bids in March, April and May. At least two-thirds of all listings in Boston, Washington D.C., Seattle and New York also generated bidding wars.
Buyers are eager to purchase before home prices and mortgage rates rise. Inventory is low because sellers are holding out until comparable sales support higher prices. New construction is slow as builders’ costs rise.
The question is, will this frenzy continue through the summer months? Most professionals I know see a slowing down on offers as families travel. Let me know what you think. And have a wonderful summer with your family and friends.