The past year and a half has been like nothing the housing market has ever seen. Beginning in March of 2020 to now, buyers came out in droves due to low interest rates, but sellers were (and most still are) holding off on listing due to the uncertainty of being able to find a new home and the lingering effects of COVID-19. With Summer 2021 predicted to be the busiest summer ever, buyers and sellers need to be ready to strike at any time and get everything in order so they are prepared when the right home comes around or it’s time to put their home on the market. There are many things that can be done ahead of time to ensure you’re protected and ready to go when the time comes around for you to make a move. It’s also important when selling to keep your price in check! You never want to be in a situation where you end up selling for less because you listed for too much and lost out on buyer interest.
Whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both at the same time in the next few months, there are some things to know as you begin the process during this pivotal time in the real estate market.
Buying and Selling at the Same Time
If you’re planning on selling your home and need to buy at the same time, you need to be more prepared than ever before. With such low inventory, it is important to set yourself up for success and ensure you are covered throughout the entire process. There are two roads you can take:
- List your home with protections and contingencies in place
- Get completely ready to list and wait until the time is right
But what do these mean and how do these processes work?
Get Ready and Wait
Another option is to completely prepare yourself to list and buy, to the point where you could go on the market at any time and put an offer on a home. With this option, you should work with your Realtor to get your pictures done and prepare your MLS sheet to almost completion for your sale. On the buying side, have a full and complete conversation with a mortgage broker so you can get that pre-approval or pre-commitment in hand. By doing these things, you will be absolutely ready to go when it’s time to start the process.
Listing with Protections
When you list with protections, your Realtor can work with you to set up MLS disclosures and contingencies which cover you during the selling process. These can be things like advocating for a late closing date or stating that the sale is subject to the seller finding suitable housing. A rent-back is also an option where the buyer closes on a property, but the seller stays in the home past the closing date for a month or two to allow them to move into the home they want in a timely fashion. If the process has moved quickly and you’re home already went under agreement, you may be in a place to make an offer with minimal or no contingencies. Your Realtor can guide you in deciding what is best for you based on the situation.
The Art of Pricing Your Home During This Time
In this market, now more than ever people are selling their homes for well over asking. But this does not mean you should be overpricing your home because in the end, you’re only costing yourself more.
In a normal year, we see many multiple offer situations from the beginning of the year to about March due to the fact that the number of buyers exceeds the number of sellers. With people being scared to list due to the lingering effects of COVID-19 and people worried that if they sell they won’t be able to find a home, the increase in the amount of was delayed to April of this year. With the slight increase in sellers, the number of buyers has slowly decreased but it’s predicted that sellers will still maintain more leverage for the rest of the year.
It’s key in this market to price your home accurately. For example, if a home in your neighborhood sells for $600,000 at the beginning of the year, that price may not be a good reflection of the market come July. Instead, consider listing a little bit lower than comparative properties around you as you’re more likely to sell for more and create some competition among buyers.
What’s to Come
As we head into the next few months, we’re already seeing trends that the number of buyers will slowly decrease and the number of sellers will gradually increase, relieving some of the pressure on the market in place the last year and a half. But sellers will still have the upper hand overall. With the concerns of not finding a home once a property sells, there is still some hesitation about placing the home on the market as buyers are still eating up properties very quickly.
If there is nothing else you take from this, keep in mind It is VERY important that you hire an expert agent who is highly trained to maneuver this 2021 housing market. With all the uncertainties over the past year and a half it is crucial to have an expert on your side who will advocate for your best interests and help you navigate this unforeseen time. Hang in there, it will get better.