At a regional sales meeting yesterday with fellow Prudential Fox and Roach's top selling agents, the topic of discussion centered around the following details of the current real estate market:
Home sales have seen a bit of a slow down following the end of the first time buyer and Repeat buyer Tax Credit. Year to date home sales for 2010 are still ahead of 2009. Economy has stabilized somewhat, positive signs for growth, stock market has been up over past 12 months.
Home value appreciation will come eventually. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to know where the bottom is. The bottom of the market can only be identified when it has already begun to increase. Some parts of the country has seen prices on the increase.
Locally it’s still a tremendous time to buy. Interest rates will not remain at or below 5% indefinitely. Home values are the lowest they’ve been in 6-7 years, and will go up again as they always have. As long as someone has plans to remain in an area for at least 5-7 years, buying a home now is a much better investment strategy than renting.
Sellers can still sell their homes too. “Life events” such as: job transfers, marriage, divorce, retirement, downsizing, etc. will always provide demand for homes.
However, in order to sell a home in a market where Buyers have the “Get the Deal” mentality, Sellers need to clearly “price separate” their homes from the competition to attract offers. Realistic expectations for what home is worth, and pricing ahead of the market is the key to a settled transaction. If market value for a community is $300,000, don’t price the home at $315,000 thinking you will negotiate down to $300,000. Price it at $295,000 (which is just 1.66% below market value), and it will guarantee Sellers the best chance of selling in the shortest amount time. The longer a home languishes on the market, the less it will eventually sell for. It may also be a good idea to have an independent appraisal done before listing the home when it is a unique property or one where nearby comparables are not available or recent enough.