Which month do you think most people who are considering buying a home actually start their search? If you’re like most of us, you probably think the surge happens in the spring, likely in April. Not anymore. According to new research, January 2019 was only 1% behind February for the most monthly views per listing on realtor.com.
So, what does that mean? The busiest season in real estate has just begun.
The same research indicates,
“Historically, April launched the kickoff of the home shopping season as buyers would come out of their winter hibernation looking for their new home. However, the spring shopping season now starts in January for many of the nation's largest markets.”
With the reality of fewer homes on the market in the winter, and that supply naturally increases as we head to the spring market, waiting for more competition to list in your neighborhood this year might put you behind the curve. Perhaps now is the time to jump into the market.
George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com says,
“As shoppers modify their strategies for navigating a housing market that has become more competitive due to rising prices and low inventory, the search for a home is beginning earlier and earlier.”
There is a lot of speculation in the market about why the search for a home is shifting to an earlier start. The one thing we do know is if you’re thinking about buying or selling a home this year, the earlier you get started, the better.
Reminder: When should you sell something? When there is less of that item for sale and the greatest number of buyers are in the market. That’s exactly what is happening in real estate right now.
The new spring market for real estate is underway. If you’re considering buying or selling, let’s connect, so you have the advantage in this competitive market.
Now that the warm summer months are behind us, it’s time to prepare for winter. Regardless of whether you expect to see sub-zero temperatures this season or you live in one of the warmer climates, preparing your home for colder weather can save you money and hassle this winter. So before you dig out your fall sweaters, take a weekend and prepare your home for the cold weather to come. Save Energy Fall is a great time to seal drafts in the home which can suck energy out. Check around doors and windows and replace worn weather stripping and caulking. If you use your fireplace for warmth during winter, this is the right time to have the chimney cleaned and checked for safety. Arrange a furnace tune up complete with replacing the filter and vacuuming the vents to make sure you are warming your home efficiently. Outdoor Tasks Before the chill turns to freezing, head to the yard to winterize the exterior of your home. Check gutters for clogged leaves and other debris and examine the roof and siding for any repairs which could create leaks or drafts in the cold. If the gardening season is at its end, drain water from outdoor faucets and garden hoses. Make sure the sprinkler system is off and reinforce any exposed pipes which could burst with the cold. Fall is here. Along with the smell of baking and falling leaves, you can ensure your home is ready for winter by taking a few steps now to prepare. Save energy and the hassle of an unexpected repair by getting some routine maintenance done before the cold months come.
One of the main gripes that people have with real estate agents is their commission. Many homeowners (mistakenly) think, "Why should I pay a real estate agent to do something I’m perfectly capable of doing myself?" The reason people avoid working with agents is because they think it’s going to cost them money. But in reality, working with a qualified real estate agent is worth far more than what you’ll pay in commission. In fact, working with a real estate agent can actually make the process of selling your home less stressful, less time consuming, and less expensive. Here are three ways real estate agents more than earn their commission — and can actually save you money — during your home sale:
As the old real estate saying goes, when it comes to selling your home, it takes a village. And if you don't have the right villagers in your corner, the process of selling your home can get expensive, fast. During your home sale, there's all sorts of vendors you'll need to work with: contractors, landscapers, inspectors, tradesmen, professional stagers, movers... depending on your needs, the list can be lengthy. Finding all of those vendors on your own will take a lot of time — and there's no way to ensure you're getting a good deal when you hire them. But when you work with an agent, they have professional contacts across the board and can recommend the right vendors at the right price. Having access to your agent's network is a huge time and money saver during the sale of your home.
Pricing your home is tricky business. If you don't price it high enough, you'll be kicking yourself when you get less than what you believe your home is worth. But price it too high and you won't get any offers, leaving your house on the market — possibly stigmatized as "having something wrong with it" — and costing you money in the process. When you try to sell your home on your own, pricing your property can feel like a guessing game. But when you work with a qualified real estate agent, their deep market knowledge will help you price your home in a way that works for both you and potential buyers. It's an agent's job to know what's going on in your market. They know how much homes are selling for, how long homes are sitting on the market, and exactly how you need to price your home if you want it to sell quickly and profitably. This information will significantly speed up the process of selling your home AND help you fetch a higher price — both of which put money right back into your pocket.
Many sellers who try to manage their home sale on their own start the process thinking that it's going to require a minimal time investment. They think posting a few ads on home listing sites, hosting an open house or two, and signing a contract are all it takes to get a house sold. But unfortunately, that's not the case. Selling a home is a full-time job. That's why there's an entire industry built around it! Homeowners who go the sale-by-owner route in an attempt to save money often find their time, and lives, completely monopolized by the process. And, as they say, time is money. If you're spending all of your time trying to get your house sold, it's taking you away from your life — your family, your job, your hobbies. And there's no price tag for what that's worth. Working with a real estate agent takes all that time burden off of you. Selling your home is their full-time job, and they can devote the time and attention necessary to get it done quickly. The amount of time and hassle this will save you is invaluable. Not working with a real estate agent to save money on commission fees makes sense... in theory. But in practice, working with a real estate agent saves you immeasurable time, energy, and cash. Any good real estate agent will more than earn their commission — and then some — before the time comes to sign the closing papers.
Should you buy a home in your 20s? Good question. There's no single, sure-fire answer to it. Okay, there is...if you consider "it depends" to be a solid answer. You can search the Internet and find as many reasons to buy a house in your 20s, as you can find to not buy a house in your 20s. But you have to consider the source of every article. (As I'm sure you do.) What's the author's motivation? All you're really doing is confusing yourself, or convincing yourself what you already want to believe. So, the better question is... Do you want to buy a house?
Maybe ask yourself a couple of other questions.
They sound like the same question, just turned inside out. But they aren't really. Not if you really stop and think about them and how they relate to you. These are deeper questions not everyone in their 20s cares to ponder. And that in and of itself is probably a pretty good answer to the question. If you can't, won't, or don't want to think it through on a deeper level, then you probably aren't ready — whether you want to or not, you probably shouldn't. So, if you're the type that cares to ponder those questions, please do. We can move on when you're done. The words below will still be here in a few minutes.
It's true. Most 20-somethings don't buy houses. And if you ask around, most 20-somethings will give totally legit sounding reasons why they can't, won't, or don't. But that doesn't mean they truly can't...or shouldn't. What it probably means is that they haven't given it all that much thought. They're probably just spitting out answers that they've assumed or overheard from their peers. Or they're just unconsciously following the crowd. This is nothing new. This happens generation after generation. Trends happen. Right now, it just so happens that most people in their 20s follow a different path. Most first-time buyers don't buy until their early 30s. And that's why you might want to give the whole buying-a-house-in-your-20s thing some serious thought...
At some point, people stop wanting to "play house", and actually buy a house instead of renting or living at home. It never gets easier. At any given moment in time, the interest rates matter. Housing prices matter. The job market matters. One's lifestyle matters. Everything always matters. But everything is always relative. Sure, all of that dictates what you can purchase. However, first homes are rarely ever as awesome as someone hopes for. They're called "starter homes" for a reason. It's rare that a first-time buyer is buying their dream home. Buying your starter home, condo, or multi-family home earlier on, gives you a leg up amongst your peers. You get a head start. You'll be a step ahead in getting to your dream home. And maybe you'll even be able to keep the first home as a rental property.
Obviously, if you want to buy a house, you'll want to do your research. It's easier now than it ever has been to find information online. But as misleading as the information out there is on whether you should even buy a house in your 20s, so is the information on the best way to approach it. Lots of people make mistakes when they buy houses. Not just first-time buyers. The Internet has certainly made a lot of information available. But it has not necessarily made everyone who looks at the information an expert in the process, or analyzing the options. It has simply made it easier to avoid dealing with the experts.
Many people want to avoid dealing with real estate agents. There are good reasons for that; not all real estate agents are great. Some are pushy. Some will sell you on doing something. Some don't have any more clue than you do. But some are great. And that should be your first, and most important step in buying a house.
A great real estate agent will essentially cost you the same to work with as one that's not so great. And, whatever agent you hire won't cost you a dime until and unless you buy a house. So you might as well choose the best one you can.
Too many people don't make a deliberate decision on the real estate agent they hire. People tend to just stumble into working with a real estate agent they meet along the way who is "nice enough". I can't or won't say I am the best, or that I'm the right real estate agent for you. But I can say that I take pride in building trust with my clients and doing the best job possible. And I'd like a chance to show you that. I don't mean call me and let's run out and start looking at houses. I don't even mean give me your email address so I can spam the heck out of you forever. What I mean is this... Send me an email and I'll send you a short series of 9 emails (no more, no less) that'll help you decide if you should buy your first home, or not. n the least, you'll get further along the way to buying your first house, and perhaps we will build a trusting relationship. Or not. If we do, great. I hope to help you decide if you should even buy in your 20s or not. And if you do, I want to help you make the best purchase possible. And if we don't, I won't be bugging you or pushing you to buy a house beyond this series of emails. So what's the harm? Send me an email with the subject line, "Please send me your first-time buyer tips" and I'll send the first one over to you. (NOTE: It includes names and phone numbers I don't publish publicly, which is the reason for doing it via email.) You can find my email in the right column of this page (if on desktop) or down below (if on mobile). Hope to hear from you!
If you are ready to start your buying or selling process
give us a call at 770-616-1208 - We´re happy to answer all your questions.