Category: Downsize

In today’s real estate market, buyers shouldn’t shop for a home with the expectation they’ll be able to negotiate a lower sales price. In a typical housing market, buyers try to determine how much less than the asking price they can offer and still get the home. From there, the buyer and seller typically negotiate and agree on a revised price somewhere in the middle.

Things Are Different Today
Today’s housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are:

Receiving an average of 3.8 offers
Selling in just 17 days
Homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers highlights how competitive the housing market is right now. This is due, in large part, to the low supply of homes for sale. Low supply and high demand mean homes often sell for more than the asking price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more. Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains how these stats can impact buyers:

“The imbalance between robust demand and dismal availability of for-sale homes has led to a continual bidding over asking prices, which reached record levels in recent months. Now, almost 6 in 10 homes listed are selling over the asking price.”

You May Need To Rethink How You Look at a Home’s Asking Price
What does that mean for you? If you’ve found your dream home, you need to be realistic about today’s housing market and how that impacts the offer you’ll make. Offering below or even at a home’s asking price may not cut it. In today’s market, the highest bidder often wins the home, much like at an auction.

Currently, the asking price is often the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. If you really love a home, it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking. That’s important to keep in mind as you work with your agent to craft an offer.

Understand An Appraisal Gap Can Happen
Because of today’s home price appreciation and the auction-like atmosphere in the selling process, appraisal gaps – the gap between the price of your contract and the appraisal for the house – are more frequent.

According to data from CoreLogic:

“Beginning in January 2020, nationally, 7% of purchase transactions had a contract price above the appraisal, but by May 2021, the frequency had increased to 19% of purchase transactions.”

When this happens, your lender won’t loan you more than the home’s appraised value, and the seller may ask you to make up the difference out of pocket. Buyers in today’s market need to be prepared for this possibility. Know your budget, know what you can afford, and work with a trusted advisor who can offer expert advice along the way.

Bottom Line
Bidding wars and today’s auction-like atmosphere mean buyers need to rethink how they look at the asking price of a home. Work with a real estate professional who can advise you on the current market and help determine what the market value is on your dream home.

The housing market keeps sailing along. The only headwind that could take it off course is the lack of inventory for sale. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that there were 410,000 fewer single-family homes for sale this March than in March of 2020. The key to continued success in the residential housing market is for more listings to come on the market. However, many homeowners are concerned that selling their homes could be challenging for several reasons.

Recently, Homes.com released the findings of a survey that identified these concerns, as well as what it will take for homeowners to feel comfortable selling their houses. Here are the four major homeowner concerns and a quick explanation of what’s actually happening in the housing market today.

1. Homeowners don’t know if they’ll be able to secure their next home before selling.
In negotiations, leverage is the power that one side may have to influence the other side while moving closer to their negotiating position. A party’s leverage is based on the ability to award benefits or eliminate costs on the other side.

In today’s market, buyers have compelling reasons to purchase a home now:

To own a home of their own
To buy before prices continue to appreciate
To secure a mortgage at a historically low rate, while they last
These buyer needs give the seller tremendous leverage. Most already realize this leverage enables the homeowner to sell at a good price. However, this leverage may also be used to negotiate time to find their next home. The homeowner could sell their home to the buyer at today’s price, which will enable the purchaser to take advantage of current mortgage rates. In return, the buyer might lease the house back to the seller for a pre-determined length of time while the seller finds a new home or has one built.

This gives the buyer what they want while also giving the seller what they need. It’s a true win-win negotiation.

2. Homeowners don’t know if their current home will sell for the asking price or top market price.
This is the perfect time to maximize profits while selling a house. NAR just released a study showing that bidding wars are at an all-time high. The study reveals that when comparing the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year, the number of offers on homes for sale doubled from an average of 2.4 to 4.8 offers.

Whenever there’s a bidding war, the price of the item for sale escalates. Bloomberg recently reported:

“For the first time ever, the average U.S. home is selling for above its list price.”

If a seller is looking for a top-dollar sale, there’s no better time to sell than right now.

3. Homeowners don’t know if they will get an offer without their home requiring work or updates.
Again, leverage is the greatest strength a seller has in this market. Due to the lack of homes for sale, many buyers are more willing to take on home improvement projects themselves in order to get the home they’re after.

A recent post on whether or not to renovate before selling notes:

“It may be wise to let future homeowners remodel the bathroom or the kitchen to make design decisions that are best for their specific taste and lifestyle. As a seller, your dollars and time might be better spent working on small cosmetic updates, like refreshing some paint and power washing the exterior. Instead of over-investing in your home with upgrades that the buyers may change anyway, work with a real estate professional to determine the key projects that will maximize your listing, without overdoing it.”

If a seller is worried about doing work or updates on their home, they must realize that today’s historically low inventory likely renders these projects less critical to the sale of the house.

4. Homeowners don’t know if they can have a quick closing process.
When speed is important, there are two points sellers should look at:

The time it takes to find a buyer for the home
The time it takes to close the transaction
In the latest Existing Home Sales Report, NAR explains:

“Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in March, down from 20 days in February and from 29 days in March 2020. Eighty-three percent of the homes sold in March 2021 were on the market for less than a month.”

Eighteen days is fast, and it’s a new record. Here are the days the average house is on the market in each state:
4 Big Incentives for Homeowners to Sell Now | Keeping Current Matters
Regarding the time it will take to close the transaction, all-cash sales accounted for 23% of all home purchase transactions in March. All-cash sales can usually be closed in thirty days.

If a mortgage is necessary, the most recent Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae shows:

“Time to close all loans decreased in March. The average time to close a purchase fell to 51 days, down from 53 the month prior.”

If you’re looking for a quick closing process, there’s never been a market in which the two-step process (finding a buyer and closing the deal) has taken less time.

Bottom Line
Selling your house can be daunting, especially in a fast-paced market. However, the fact that we’re in such a strong sellers’ market clearly eliminates many common concerns. Contact a real estate professional today to learn more about the opportunities for homeowners who are ready to sell.

The housing market recovery coming into the new year has been nothing short of remarkable. Many experts agree the turnaround from the nation’s economic pause is playing out extremely well for real estate, and the current market conditions are truly making this winter an ideal time to make a move. Here’s a dive into some of the biggest wins for homebuyers this season.

1. Mortgage Rates Are Historically Low
In 2020, mortgage rates hit all-time lows 16 times. Continued low rates have set buyers up for significant long-term gains. In fact, realtor.com notes:

“Given this means homes could cost potentially tens of thousands less over the lifetime of the loan.”

Essentially, it’s less expensive to borrow money for a home loan today than it has been in years past. Although mortgage rates are expected to remain relatively low in 2021, even the slightest increase can make a big difference in your payments over the lifetime of a home loan. So, this is a huge opportunity to capitalize on right now before mortgage rates start to rise.

2. Equity Is Growing
According to John Burns Consulting, 58.7% of homes in the U.S. have at least 60% equity, and 42.1% of all homes in this country are mortgage-free, meaning they’re owned free and clear.

In addition, CoreLogic notes the average equity homeowners gained since last year is $17,000. That’s a tremendous amount of forced savings for homeowners, and an opportunity to use this increasing equity to make a move into a home that fits your changing needs this season.

3. Home Prices Are Appreciating
According to leading experts, home prices are forecasted to continue appreciating. Today, many experts are projecting more moderate home price growth than last year, but still moving in an upward direction through 2021.

Knowing home values are increasing while mortgage rates are so low should help you feel confident that buying a home before prices rise even higher is a strong long-term investment.

4. There Are Not Enough Homes for Sale
With today’s low inventory of homes on the market, which is contributing to this home price appreciation, sellers are in the driver’s seat. The competition is high among buyers, so homes are selling quickly.

Making a move while so many buyers are looking for homes to purchase may mean your house rises to the top of the buyer pool. Selling your house before more listings come to the market in the traditionally busy spring market might be your best chance to shine.

Bottom Line
If you’re considering making a move, this may be your moment, especially with today’s low mortgage rates and limited inventory. Reach out to us today to get set up for homebuying success in the new year.

Every day in the U.S., roughly 10,000 people turn 65. Prior to the health crisis that swept the nation in 2020, most people had to wait until they retired to make a move to the beach, the golf course, or the senior living community they were looking to settle into for their later years in life. This year, however, the game changed.

Many of today’s workers who are nearing the end of their professional careers, but maybe aren’t quite ready to retire, have a new choice to make: should I move before I retire? If the sand and sun are calling your name and you have the opportunity to work remotely for the foreseeable future, now may be a great time to purchase that beach bungalow you’ve always dreamed of or the single-story home in the sprawling countryside that might be a little further out of town. Whether it’s a second home or a future retirement home, spending the next few years in a place that truly makes you smile every day might be the best way to round out a long and meaningful career.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“The pandemic was unexpected, working from home was unexpected, but nonetheless many companies realized that workers can be just as productive working from home…We may begin to see a boost in people buying retirement homes before their retirement.”

According to the 20th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, 3 out of 4 retirees (75%) own their homes, and only 23% have mortgage debt (including any equity loans or lines of credit). Since entering retirement, almost 4 in 10 retirees (38%) have moved into a new home. They’re making a profit by selling their current homes in today’s low inventory market and using their equity to purchase their future retirement homes. It’s a win-win.

Why These Homeowners Are Making Moves Now
The health crisis this year made us all more aware of the importance of our family and friends, and many of us have not seen our extended families since the pandemic started. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see in the same report that 32% of those surveyed cited the top reason they’re making a move is that they want to be closer to family and friends (See graph below):
Should You Buy a Retirement Home Sooner Rather than Later? | Keeping Current Matters
The survey also revealed that 73% percent of retirees currently live in single-family homes. With the overall number of homes for sale today hitting a historic low, and with the buyer demand for single-family homes skyrocketing, there’s never been a more ideal time to sell a single-family home and make a move toward retirement. Today’s market has the perfect combination of driving forces to make selling optimal, especially while buyers are looking to take advantage of low interest rates.

If you’re one of the 73% of retirees with a single-family home and want to move closer to your family, now is the time to put your house on the market. With the pace homes are selling today, you could essentially wrap up your move – start to finish – before the holidays.

Bottom Line
Whether you’re looking to fully retire or to buy a second home with the intent to use it as your retirement home in the future, the 2020 fall housing market may very well work in your favor. Reach out to a local real estate professional today to learn more about the options in your local market.

Does the idea of making phone call after phone call to screen real estate agents, moving companies, and contractors fill you with dread? Screening moving professionals by phone isn’t just tedious work, it’s also risky. Without the ability to compare pros side-by-side, read reviews, and solicit quotes in a no-pressure setting, you’re more likely to make a hire you’ll ultimately regret. Instead of searching for pros the old-fashioned way, use these websites and smartphone apps to hire trustworthy, talented pros for your downsize.

 

General Downsizing Resources

 

Downsizing isn’t an “easy” process for anyone, but there are ways to make it less challenging. Learn different ways to plug technology into the process to help you streamline and reduce your stress levels:

 

Your Move Simplified: The 9 Best Apps for Moving

Useful apps to help streamline each part of the moving process.

https://rismedia.com/2017/07/12/your-move-simplified-9-best-apps-moving/

 

Sell, Digitize, Organize, and Clean Up Your Junk with These Apps

Declutter your living space before putting your home on the market.

https://www.popsci.com/best-decluttering-apps/

 

Websites & Apps to Sell Stuff in Your Neighborhood

Learn where you can sell your stuff locally, and which websites charge commission and which don’t.

https://moneypantry.com/apps-to-sell-stuff-locally/#neighborhood

 

5 Steps to Prepare Your House for Sale

You want to sell your home for the best price; use this checklist to help make that happen. Don’t forget to plan each project in advance to give yourself time to complete (use your phone’s calendar and reminders to help keep to-dos on your radar).

https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/prepare-house-for-sale/

 

How to Take Real Estate Photos Worthy of a Magazine Spread

Learn tricks of the photography trade to ensure the photos of your home encourage (not discourage) potential buyers.

https://www.homelight.com/blog/how-to-take-real-estate-photos/

 

How to Sell Your House Online

Online visibility for your property is key since that’s the first place buyers look; learn about your options when it comes to selling your home online.

https://www.redfin.com/resources/how-to-sell-a-house-online

 

Senior-Specific Selling Resources

 

The downsizing process for seniors can be especially tricky, as it involves both physical and emotional challenges. Below, find resources specific to seniors going through the moving process.

 

How to Make Moving Easier for Seniors

Learn how to approach the moving process with sensitivity to ease the emotional tension involved.

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-make-moving-easier-seniors.htm

 

How Technology Can Help Seniors

While some seniors embrace technology, others may run from it. Either way, technology can help during the move – plus, it can have many other benefits as well.

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-technology-can-help-seniors/

 

Relocation Technology: How the Modern Moving Process Works for You

This resource illustrates how modern technology can make the tasks involved with moving more of a minor inconvenience rather than a massive hurdle.

https://www.moving.org/relocation-technology-how-the-modern-moving-process-works-for-you/

 

Best Cell Phones, Plans, and Accessories for Seniors

If a technology purchase or upgrade is necessary for your senior, find out what phones, plans, and accessories are best suited.

https://www.verizonwireless.com/articles/best-cell-phones-plans-and-accessories-for-senior/

 

8 Assisted Living Search Mistakes to Avoid

If your loved one is downsizing to an assisted living facility, it’s important to prepare for the transition. Here you can learn from mistakes others made to ensure you don’t fall prey to the same issues.

https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/assisted-living-search-top-mistakes-to-avoid-1-22-13/

 

 

Regardless of whether you’re downsizing during your 20s or 60s, when you hire downsizing professionals, you entrust them with your home, your belongings, and your money. As such, shouldn’t you feel confident you’re hiring the right person for the job? Instead of choosing your hires based on proximity or price, use the above tools to find the best pros for your needs, budget, and vision. When you team up with the right moving and real estate professionals, you’ll waste no time selling your old house and settling into a downsized home.

 

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