Some Important Points To Consider:
- The latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey reports the 30-year fixed rate at 3.7%.
- Freddie Mac’s projection for Q2 2016 is that the rate will be 4.7% (a full percentage point higher)
- The Home Price Expectation Survey predicts that home prices will appreciate by 4.4% during this same time
The impact waiting a year to purchase your dream home can make on your monthly payment is significant. Contact me today to discuss your options before the experts’ predictions become reality!
In today’s market, where demand is outpacing supply in many regions of the country, pricing a house is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals face. Sellers often want to price their home higher than recommended, and many agents go along with the idea to keep their clients happy. However, the best agents realize that telling the homeowner the truth is more important than getting the seller to like them.
There is no “later.”
Sellers sometimes think, “If the home doesn’t sell for this price, I can always lower it later.” However, research proves that homes that experience a listing price reduction sit on the market longer, ultimately selling for less than similar homes.
John Knight, recipient of the University Distinguished Faculty Award from the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific, actually did research on the cost (in both time and money) to a seller who priced high at the beginning and then lowered the their price. In his article, Listing Price, Time on Market and Ultimate Selling Price published in Real Estate Economics revealed:
“Homes that underwent a price revision sold for less, and the greater the revision, the lower the selling price. Also, the longer the home remains on the market, the lower its ultimate selling price.”
Additionally, the “I’ll lower the price later” approach can paint a negative image in buyers’ minds. Each time a price reduction occurs, buyers can naturally think, “Something must be wrong with that house.” Then when a buyer does make an offer, they low-ball the price because they see the seller as “highly motivated.” Pricing it right from the start eliminates these challenges.
Don’t build “negotiation room” into the price.
Many sellers say that they want to price their home high in order to have “negotiation room.” But, what this actually does is lower the number of potential buyers that see the house. And we know that limiting demand like this will negatively impact the sales price of the house.
Not sure about this? Think of it this way: when a buyer is looking for a home online (as they are doing more and more often), they put in their desired price range. If your seller is looking to sell their house for $400,000, but lists it at $425,000 to build in “negotiation room,” any potential buyers that search in the $350k-$400k range won’t even know your listing is available, let alone come see it!
A better strategy would be to price it properly from the beginning and bring in multiple offers. This forces these buyers to compete against each other for the “right” to purchase your house.
Look at it this way: if you only receive one offer, you are set up in an adversarial position against the prospective buyer. If, however, you have multiple offers, you have two or more buyers fighting to please you. Which will result in a better selling situation?
The Price is Right
Great pricing comes down to truly understanding the real estate dynamics in your neighborhood. Look for an agent that will take the time to simply and effectively explain what is happening in the housing market and how it applies to your home. You need an agent that will tell you what you need to know rather than what you want to hear. This will put you in the best possible position.
Whether you are a first time or a move-up buyer, there are two factors that will impact the amount of house you can afford in your price range: home prices & mortgage rates.
Let’s look at what the experts are predicting over the next twelve months for these two areas:
The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, and the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Existing Home Sales Report this week.
Inventory Levels & Demand
Amidst reporting on the fact that sales of existing homes rose 1.2% from January, and outpaced year-over-year figures for the fifth consecutive month, was the news that total unsold housing inventory is at 4.6-month supply.
A recent Demand Institute report revealed “nearly half of all American households plan to move at some point in the future.”
Seventy-five percent of those surveyed in the report cited one or more ‘location-related reasons’ for their eagerness to move. Here are the top 5 reasons:
- Safer Neighborhood – 30%
- Closer to Family – 27%
- Change of Climate – 26%
- Closer to Work – 25%
- For a New Job – 23%
While the majority of Americans (74%) will move within their home state, for the 26% planning to call a new state home, it is important to know that prices in each state are appreciating at different rates and waiting to buy or sell your home could cost you more in the long run.
The map below was created using the FHFA’s latest Home Price Index and shows year-over-year price gains in each state.
If your plan for 2015 includes relocating to a new state, meet with a local real estate professional in that area who can help you find the best fit for you and your family’s needs.
After the housing market bust we experienced across the country in 2008, many experts have been quick to warn that a new bubble may be forming in some areas.
One particular example of this is a recent article pointing toward the California Bay Area’s price gains over the last 18 months.
The quickest and easiest way to show how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go in regards to the ‘Peak’ is to share CoreLogic’s Price & Time Since Peak figures, used to create the map below.
Even with the high performance of prices in the Bay Area, the state of California as a whole is still -14.4% below their Peak, experienced in May of 2006.
The biggest challenge facing the housing market’s recovery right now is the lack of inventory available for sale. Prices are determined by supply and demand. Right now buyer demand is out-pacing seller supply, across many price ranges, driving prices up.
Traditionally the Spring months have been the most popular dates sellers choose to list their homes. With additional inventory coming to market soon, meet with a professional in your local market to evaluate your best course of action.
In a recent post, we explained that the supply of homes for sale in December was at its lowest level in over a year. The January National Housing Trend Report from realtor.com now reveals that inventory in January has decreased another 6.7% month over month and 8.7% year over year. This is occurring at the same time that buyer activity (demand) remains strong.
This prompted realtor.com’s Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke to report:
“January’s inventory data suggest a continuation of the tightening trend we identified last month in the December data, and with a shortage of inventory typically comes increased home prices. Half of the 200 markets realtor.com tracks experienced year-over-year price increases of at least 6% in January.”
This after the National Association of Realtors (NAR) had already reported in their latest quarterly report:
“The majority of metropolitan areas experienced steady but slightly stronger price growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, behind a decline in housing supply and an uptick in demand fueled by lower interest rates and a stronger job market.”
Whether you are a first time buyer or a move-up buyer, now may be time to purchase a home – before prices increase any further.