It’s no secret that people are feeling insecure with the real estate industry today. Determining if it’s wise to buy or sell a home is a question many are struggling to answer. The question of how slowly or quickly a home will sell, or for a buyer, wondering if there are enough homes listed at a price they can afford, all contribute to the anxiety people feel as they contemplate these real estate decisions. We understand the confusion. Thankfully, we have some encouragement to offer you.
First, it may seem like housing has been more limited due to increased mortgage rates, or appear that people are not listing their homes for sale, but the truth is that active listings for the past two years have actually grown. “Active” means a property is for sale, and the seller is looking for offers. The economic fluctuations have paralyzed some individuals from knowing what to do, but it’s freed others to move forward with a change. For those who’ve been thinking about downsizing, being able to sell their home for a good price and then move into something smaller while still maintaining some savings has been very appealing. For the renter who has seen their monthly rent continue to increase, it’s been easier to consider buying a home since in some cases, the mortgage is close to what they’re paying in rent already.
Secondly, though things have cooled down slightly for sellers compared to the last couple of years, there are still many homes being sold every day all across our nation. For buyers that have put their dreams on hold with all the volatility in the market and the increased mortgage rates, the good news is things seem to have begun to settle down. While expert forecasters don’t all agree on the direction things are headed, some saying home prices are continuing to appreciate while others say they are beginning to depreciate, what they both agree on is that there are no indicators there will be any big decreases in home prices in the foreseeable future. What does that mean for you? You can feel confident moving forward with a decision. Waiting a year or two to buy or sell may not really be that advantageous to you. For the potential buyer, rather than continuing to hold out for price drops that may not come anytime soon, this may be a good time to consider alternative methods of financing that are currently availabl
Two financing methods to look into right now are the ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) and the temporary buydown option. Rocket Mortgage defines it this way, “An adjustable-rate mortgage, also called an ARM, is a home loan with an interest rate that adjusts over time based on the market. ARM’s typically start with a lower interest rate than fixed-rate mortgages, so an ARM is a great option if your goal is to get the lowest possible mortgage rate starting out. The interest rate won’t last forever, however. After the initial period, your monthly payment can fluctuate periodically, making it difficult to factor into your budget. As a prospective home buyer, you can choose between a fixed-rate mortgage and an adjustable-rate mortgage. So what’s the difference between the two? A fixed-rate mortgage offers more certainty because it retains the same interest rate for the life of the loan. That means your monthly mortgage payment will stay constant throughout the loan term. By contrast, an ARM may charge less interest during the introductory period, thus offering a lower initial monthly payment. But after that initial period, changing interest rates will impact your payments. If interest rates go down, ARMs can become less expensive. However, ARMs can also become more expensive if rates go up.”
Another alternative financing method to look into is the temporary buydown. “A Temporary Buydown reduces your interest rate on your mortgage for the first year or two of your loan. The seller is required to contribute to your loan to lower the rate during the initial period, and then payments go back up after that initial period is over.” (Rate.com) The primary advantage of the temporary buydown is you can make smaller payments on your loan over the first few years. This can also mean paying less interest over the life of your loan due to the initial savings. You may also be able to qualify for a higher mortgage which can open up more options for homes you may want to buy.
If you listed your home this past year but your home didn’t sell and you ended up frustrated, don’t give up! The new year is a great time to reassess and evaluate your situation. There are some specific things you can do to help you have a more successful chance of selling your home at the listing price you would like to ge
If you haven’t already, one of the first things to do is to find a trusted agent. Ask the agent what their strategy is for selling your home. You want someone that has a well thought out marketing pla
Next, evaluate the condition of your home. Look at other homes that are for sale in your area. Do you need to make some repairs or updates to be in the same category as other houses in the same price range? Often it can be something as simple as upgrading your counter tops or a fresh coat of paint to make a room look clean and brighter.
Find out from your previous listing agent what reasons were given that people did not consider your home. See if you can make any changes that will remove these objections the next time around.
Remember, you can talk to several agents and ask them to give you an assessment, marketing plan and recommendation for how they’d go about selling your home. You don’t have to pick the first person that comes along, you can shop for an agent that will work for you.
If you are evaluating your options and would like an honest assessment, please contact us! We’d love to talk with you and share our expertise. Our passion is working together with our clients to make you feel confident and comfortable and to do whatever we can to help you meet your real estate goals.