Prices are up. Time on market is down.
There are opportunities both on the buy and sell side of the market. Time for a checkup on your real estate strategy?
Rather than throw a bunch of stats at you, I’ll keep this short and sweet:
Its tough out there right now and people do “fight” over in-demand properties, but I can help you get through it.
If You are Buying:
Thinking of Selling?
Is the Real Estate Game the new Spy Game?
I’ve been meaning to get a post out about this for some time now, but a “wardrobe malfunction” last week put it front and center of my mind.
Allow me to set the scene:
Its 3PM on a beautiful autumn Thursday in the city of Atlanta. My out-of-town client is flying in to view several houses over the weekend. They texted me about a specific property and wanted more information on a couple of features in the home. The house was vacant, so I ran over to get a better look at what they were asking about, take some pictures, and to decide whether to add that property to our itinerary to view on Saturday.
I arrive at the home, make my way to the front door, and bend down to activate the lockbox and retrieve the key. Upon performing this completely reasonable, harmless, and relatively risk-free action, my belt decides that it can no longer take the strain, and explodes right there on the front porch. In what can only be described as clothing carnage, the buckle lay scattered across the battlefield in 4 different pieces.
Two things go through my mind:
1. I am so glad the client isn’t with me.
2. I really, really need to find the time to get into shape.
Now that I am very much reliving a high-school nightmare where my clothing stops functioning, I hurry my now-very-awkward-self inside to get situated. I fumbled with the belt for a good minute or so before surrendering to the sad fact that nothing could be done to fix it. As I gave up the fight, I looked up to see that I had been performing this embarrassing ritual dance directly in front of their DIY internet security camera.
So, a couple of big things to be learned here:
I do attempt to emphasize this to all of my clients, but a best practice during home shopping is to wait until you are safely back outside to discuss your feelings on price, condition, and your overall desire to purchase the property. Don’t give the seller the advantage in future negotiations by telling them exactly how much you love the property, and how much you may be willing to pay, before we ink the initial offer. With today’s technology and connectivity, you can never be sure that you are not being monitored.
I tried to keep this as brief as possible, but there is a lot of information to cover for a comprehensive look in a six minute video. If I moved too fast or if you have questions, I’d love to hear from you.
Inventory continues to be constrained and the market is still very competitive for properly priced homes.
Median Days on Market. Properly priced and marketed homes are still moving very quickly.
Median Sale Price and Median List Price are Moving in lockstep. Homes are still selling very close to list price on average.
Housing inventory is still very limited. New listings have crept up, but not nearly enough to flip us into an overall buyer’s market. Some of that inventory is going to get snapped up as we move into the next busy cycle closing out 2017 and into the early months of 2018.
Just a quick update for YTD market stats in Atlanta. Thinking of buying or selling? Opportunities abound.
Inventory is still low and properly priced properties in great condition move fast, but there are deals to be had.
Thinking of selling? The upward sales price trend has flattened somewhat heading into the late summer. Its impossible to precisely time any market, be it real estate, stocks, or virtual currency (get at me, Bitcoin millionaires). If the time is right for you and your life situation, the market is still at its highest level in years.
Time to buy? The right home is out there. Low inventory just means I have to work a little harder to lock it down for you. That’s what I’m here for.
Its important to be honest with yourself, and with potential buyers, about how many functional bedrooms your home offers. That 10 ft x 10 ft attic expansion with no closet, or the dark basement room with no windows and the nearest shower access 2 floors away that you are marketing as an extra bedroom may be turning off more buyers than its drawing in. Presenting the features of your home in the best light possible is an elementary and bedrock principle of marketing your property. However, this must be done in an accurate and honest manner.
Imagine a qualified buyer who has a legitimate need for three functional bedrooms comes to view your home. This person has spent his or her valuable time to show up and evaluate your property for purchase. If your home is not what was represented to this buyer in the listing information, you have wasted their time, their agent’s time, and quite possibly your valuable early days on the market by trying to sell your home to the wrong buyer. This example of a potential buyer was never going to make an offer on your house because it did not meet their needs. You have now created two unhappy and dissatisfied parties who could spread negative information through word of mouth about your home while it is listed for sale. The better choice would be to market your home to buyers who are open to a two bedroom house with space for a home office, creative space, or bonus room.
A common must-have from clients looking to buy in the city is the ability to create a functional home office. Many of the older houses in Atlanta have unique small spaces that were created or have accidentally emerged from decades of remodels, rehabs, and expansions. That small room in the converted attic space that people weren’t quite sure what to do with in the past (and often ends up being added to the listing as an additional bedroom) has suddenly become much more useful and marketable as technology has evolved and the only space many of us need to work is somewhere to sit with our laptops and a smart phone. There is no shame in playing to this strength and getting a premium price for your home by offering this functionality to the correct buyer.
Trying to sell that space as a bedroom may be a mistake that could cost you more money and time on the market than it gains you. Is a bedroom more valuable than an office? Yes. But if you don’t have a third bedroom, you don’t have a third bedroom. The market will punish you for trying to sell something that just isn’t real.
I see this while showing homes with unbelievable frequency. Walking through an open house in a renovated older home listed as a three bedroom where potential buyers are milling about and commenting that “oh, this is really a two bedroom. I couldn’t use this space as a bedroom” as they walk right out the door makes me cringe for both the property owner and the other agent. You will command the highest and best price from your property from the market by working with me to target the right buyer and presenting your home for what it truly offers.