As leading experts in our fields, we are constantly asked what impact the Coronavirus is having on the residential real estate market in our area. It’s certainly a complicated matter. Real estate is more of a skill rather than a science. In all my years of experience, I can assure you that we’ve faced many challenges. We went from the height of the market in 2005 to the crash in 2008 which suddenly slowed the residential side of real estate and flipped the switch from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market instantly. In 2011 we started to see another change to a neutral market and since 2013 it’s been growing into a seller’s market once again. It’s also shown a moderately healthier increase than the market has seen before. Nonetheless this is not a scenario the market has battled previously.
WHAT ARE WE EXPERIENCING TODAY We are still busy. The most popular price ranges that buyers are still visiting zealously is $600,000 and under. While “open houses” have essentially ceased, the private showings in that price range are still high in numbers. People are certainly more cautious about what they touch and how long they stay in each home but it remains active. In some cases when homes have been priced right, we are still seeing bidding wars. The people that still have to buy and sell right now are continuing to buy and sell but, motivation is becoming more of a factor. People that have been casually looking have completely stopped and they will likely be in hibernation mode until this is over. The more affluent buyers of our area are showing to be a bit more secure in their jobs at this time. Homes from $600,000 to $1Million are still getting views and offers, the difference is we are seeing more negotiations taking place. Over $1Million is seeing the least amount of action right now. Having a strong team that communicates or even over-communicates is vital. Attorneys and lenders are working with us harder than ever to keep things moving along, keep closing dates on schedule, following any daily changes to rules that apply and making sure homes still close. It’s important to know there may be a bump or two along the way but, closings are happening daily. Everyone is doing their part to adjust, stay focused and achieve the same outcome before the virus knocked on our doors.
REGARDING NEW CONSTRUCTION Most builders (depending on their size) become timid in times like these because they don’t want to carry a project through any delays, never mind one with so many variables and moving dates such as what we are experiencing with the Coronavirus. As a result, some local builders may want to wait this out. We encourage our builder clients not to be afraid as our seasons are going to be delayed and we will be busy through 2021 playing catch up.
PREDICITIONS MOVING FORWARD In our area of residential real estate, we have seasons. March through June 30th is our busiest season for putting homes under contract. July and August slow down dramatically due to seasonal travel between school years and many at their 2nd homes. It picks up again in September through the end of November and slows down again December, January and February (depending on the weather). This year was unseasonably warm and unusually busy through February but, things gradually slowed down in March as the fears of Coronavirus stepped in. Once the virus is “under control” and restaurants and shops re-open, it won’t take long before consumers regain their confidence. With that said there is a moving date on the calendar as to when everything will be “under control” and allow the start of our true busy season to begin. When this is over, we predict the inventory will grow quickly. If you are considering putting your home on the market, now is the time to talk about that and be ready to act fast so you can be one of the first ones available to home buyers.
DISCLAIMER As previously stated, this is uncharted territory for most industries but especially ours which is dependent on so many outside factors. These predictions are based on experience compared to research in urban, suburban and rural areas specific to Massachusetts and our feeder markets. There are no guarantees during these times of uncertainty. Feel free to give me a call if you’d like to discuss this further.
Remember…when nothing is certain, anything is possible
MEDIAN HOME PRICES RISE!
YOUR NEW HOME AND YOUR PETS
2020 FIRST QUARTER SINGLE FAMILY HOME SALES dON'T SEE YOUR TOWN? WANT TO KNOW THE STATS? GIVE ME A CALL
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BENEFITS TO OWNING vs RENTING
WHY YOUR REALTOR WANTS YOU TO BOTHER THEM
Real estate agents hear this all the time… “I wish I had called you before. But I just didn’t want to bother you. I know you’re busy…” …after it is too late.
There are times when you might feel like you shouldn’t “bother” the real estate agent you know. (Could be your friend, a neighbor, your brother-in-law, cousin, your sister…) Maybe you’re truly trying to be considerate. But, maybe it’s because you’re not even aware that you should. Or, you just don’t want to feel obligated or pushed into doing something. (Despite what many people think, most agents are not pushy. Most are the exact opposite.)
So, let’s go over a few times that you should “bother” your real estate agent. Because it really isn’t a bother. In fact, we’ll get into why it will bother them if you don’t reach out to them for any of these things.
1. YOU JUST WANT TO CHECK OUT A HOUSE. You see a house online. Or a For Sale sign. Maybe even just stumble across an open house. You’re not all that serious about buying a house. Maybe you’re only just starting to think about it. Or, maybe you have no desire at all to move, and you’re just curious and want to take a peek. So, you don’t want to “bother” the agent you know to show you the house. Instead, you call the listing agent. Or some random agent you don’t even know. Or just walk right into the open house. Next thing you know, you love the house. You’re making an offer. The offer is accepted. And then you regret it. Or problems come up. Or the process is miserable. Or you don’t feel like the agent you’re dealing with is giving you the best advice. And that’s when you call the agent you know. Too late. At that point, the agent you know can’t help. (Or at least shouldn’t…) Because now you are represented by another agent. The agent you know can get in a lot of trouble for even giving you friendly advice. As innocent as it seems, when you just want to go see a house… you are inadvertently making a bigger decision than you think — you are deciding who will represent your interests, advise you, and help you through the process. Even if you just go see a house with another agent, and before you even make an offer you decide to have the agent you know write up the offer and represent you… the agent who simply showed you the house could claim you as their client. It’s called “procuring cause”. I won’t get into the details here, but it can become messy. You’re better off calling the agent you know to show you the house in the first place. You won’t be considered a bother. What will bother him is to have to bite his tongue and not give you the help you want further into the process.
2. YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH A HOUSE IS WORTH. Maybe you’re just curious about how much your home is worth. Or, maybe you’re actually thinking of selling. It might be because you want to get a feel for your net worth. Nowadays, you can hop online and check out any number of sites that will give you the value of your home. So, why “bother” the agent you know about this? Because most of what you will find online is highly inaccurate to begin with. They are “automated” valuations. They are based upon data and algorithms. They have never even seen the inside of your home. They do not take into account your local market conditions. And if you base your hopes, dreams, and decisions off of an inaccurate value, that can hurt you quite a bit. Again, asking the agent you know to do an analysis and give you a true market value… not a bother. But, it would be bothersome to hear that you’ve based important life decisions off of an inaccurate value once it’s too late.
3. YOU ARE CONSIDERING A HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT. The real estate agent you know probably isn’t an architect. Or a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a painter, etc. So, they probably can’t advise you about the ins and outs of a specific project or costs. But once you have a sense of the proposed cost of a project, before you just pull the trigger and move forward, you really should “bother” your agent for their input. Putting on an addition? That will surely increase the value. A kitchen or bathroom remodel? Yep, your house will be worth more. But will the value increase more than the amount you spent? Will that matter in your situation? Will the choices you make in decor, layout, or fixtures appeal to a buyer down the road? Does that even matter, given your future plans? All questions and thoughts your agent can get into with you. Before you spend the money and go through the headaches of a huge project. On the other hand, if you go forward with a home improvement project and spend, let’s say $60,000, and then call your agent… You could seriously regret how much you spent, or even doing the project at all. Your agent doesn’t want to break the news to you that your home is only worth $38,000 more after you spent $60,000. There is no joy in that. There is nothing that can be done at that point. That’s just three examples. There are certainly more. But you get the point…
So, reach out to your agent before you do anything real estate related… and just trust that it isn’t a “bother”.
EQUITY AND YOUR HOME!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE THE MOVE TO A LARGER HOME? Your home equity is the difference between the current market value of your home and your current mortgage balance(s). The more equity you have, the more financing options may be available to you. Interested in a free custom market analysis (CMA) of your home to see what it's worth? Give me a call and let's see if you can MAKE THE MOVE.