Hopping Into the Spring Market: Tips for Buyers, Sellers and REALTORS®
April 8, 2022
Spring is here and so are the home buyers and sellers. For REALTORS® it’s that most wonderful time of the year when families – especially those with schoolchildren – search in earnest for a new home. The fast-pace, bidding wars and double-digit percentage increase in home values of 2021 are expected to give way to a more normal pace in 2022. But available home inventory is still low and demand remains high. In a busy spring market, home sales that used to take months can happen in weeks or even days. Here are some tips for buyers, sellers and REALTORS® heading into the spring frenzy.
Planning early is the key to maximizing your sales price. Meet with a REALTOR® now to determine a listing price and whether repairs or other home improvements are needed. Supply chain issues affecting both availability and cost of materials, coupled with labor shortages, could mean project delays before a house hits the market.
In a busy market with lower-than-normal inventory:
- Be prepared to sell quickly by having an exit strategy in place. In case of a quick closing, have a place to move lined up along with a potential mover and temporary storage space.
- Go ahead and pack items you don’t need on a daily basis and get a cleaning service on standby.
- Get a pre-inspection to identify potential problems.
- Be ready to show as soon as you list.
Spring typically offers buyers the best selection as more homes become available. But, like 2021, demand for homes is expected to exceed supply making tougher conditions for buyers. Your ability to make a solid offer that will close is key. Your REALTOR® can navigate the listings and help you find a home as long as you take care of these tasks:
- Assess your finances and talk with a lender before you shop for a home.
- Know your credit score and work to remove anything derogatory or inaccurate to keep your financing on track.
- Determine your limits for a down payment and closing costs and carefully consider the impact of exceeding them.
- Gather documents a lender will need: bank statements, tax returns, proof of income, photo identification, rental history, etc.
- Get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified – and don’t make any major changes to your finances.
- Know in advance how you can enhance an offer. Renting back to the seller, a fast or a delayed closing date and more cash down may tilt an offer in your favor.
First-time homebuyers especially must be prepared to act when they find their perfect home. Listen to your REALTOR® who has a grasp of market realities. Be decisive and know what are your must-haves in a new a new home and what items are optional. A fast-paced market doesn’t allow much room for procrastination.
In a busy sellers’ market, relationships with listing agents are vital. Forbes.com advises real estate agents to carefully consider how they ask questions about listings to avoid sounding negative.
- Key questions should focus on the seller’s expectations and how your offer can be successful.
- With an offer deadline, make yours last – just before the deadline. If there’s no deadline, make your best offer the first one the seller receives.
- Remind clients not to make negative comments during a showing. According to Forbes.com, sellers often have video or audio equipment in their homes and a negative comment could derail an offer.
- Stay on top of market changes to keep clients focused on getting the most from their listing or offer. In a multiple-offer climate, convincing a seller to list at a lower price may ultimately produce more lucrative offers.