Category: For Sellers

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Things To Consider If Your House Didn’t Sell

Things To Consider If Your House Didn’t Sell Simplifying The Market

If your listing has expired and your house didn’t sell, it’s completely normal to feel a mix of frustration and disappointment. Understandably, you’re probably wondering what may have gone wrong. Here are three questions to think about as you figure out what to do next.

Did You Limit Access to Your House?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when selling your house is restricting the days and times when potential buyers can tour it. Being flexible with your schedule is important, even though it might feel a bit stressful to drop everything and leave when buyers want to see it. After all, minimal access means minimal exposure to buyers. ShowingTime advises:

“. . . do your best to be as flexible as possible when granting access to your house for showings.”

Sometimes, the most determined buyers might come from far away. Since they’re traveling to see your house, they may not be able to change their plans easily if you only offer limited times for showings. So, try to make your house available as much as you can to accommodate them. It’s simple – if no one’s able to look at it, how will it sell?

Did You Make Your House Stand Out?

When you’re selling your house, the old saying matters: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Putting in the work to make the exterior of your home look nice is just as important as how you stage it inside. Freshen up your landscaping to boost your home’s curb appeal so you can make an impact upfront. As an article from U.S. News says:

“After all, if people drive by, but aren’t interested enough to walk through the front door, you’ll never sell your house.”

But don’t let that impact stop at the front door. By removing personal items and reducing clutter inside, you give buyers more freedom to picture themselves in the home. Plus, a fresh coat of paint or thorough floor cleaning can work wonders in sprucing up the house for potential buyers.

Did You Price Your House at Market Value?

Setting the right price is key. While it might be tempting to push the price higher to maximize your profit, overpricing your house can actually turn off potential buyers and slow down the selling process. Forbes notes:

“Pricing a home too high could lead to a slower sale or force the seller to drop their price.”

If your house is priced higher than others like it, it may discourage buyers, resulting in increased time on the market. Pay attention to the feedback people give your agent during open houses and showings. If lots of people are saying the same thing, it might be a good idea to think about lowering the price.

For all these insights and more, rely on a trusted real estate agent. A great agent will offer expert advice on relisting your house with effective strategies to get it sold.

Bottom Line

It’s natural to feel disappointed when your listing has expired and your house didn’t sell. Connect with a reliable real estate agent to determine what happened, and what changes you should make to get your house back on the market.

3 Keys To Hitting Your Homeownership Goals in 2024

3 Keys To Hitting Your Homeownership Goals in 2024 Simplifying The Market

If buying or selling a home is your goal for 2024, it’s important to understand today’s housing market, know your why, and work with industry experts to bring your homeownership vision for the new year into focus.

Over the last year, the economy had a big impact on the housing market, and likely on your wallet too. That’s why it’s critical to have a clear picture of not just the market today, but also on what you want out of it when you buy or sell a home. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.comexplains:

The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, so that you can stay in your home long enough that buying is a sound financial decision.

Here are a few things to think through as you define your goals for 2024.

1. Know Your Why

You’re dreaming about making a move for a reason – what is it? No matter what’s happening in the market, there are still many compelling reasons to buy a home today. Your needs may have changed in a way your current house can’t address, or you could be ready to step into homeownership for the first time. Use your why and your motivation as a guidepost in partnership with an expert advisor to make sure your move gives you a lasting sense of accomplishment.

2. Figure Out What Your Next Home Needs To Look Like

You know you want to move, but how would you describe your dream home? The number of homes for sale has grown recently, and that could mean more options to choose from when you buy. But overall housing supply is still lower than more normal years in the market, so you’ll have to work closely with a pro to find what you’re looking for. Just be sure to keep your budget in mind as you balance your wants and needs. The better you understand what’s essential and where you can be flexible, the easier it will be to find a home that’s right for you.

3. Determine if You’re Ready To Buy

Getting clear on your budget and available savings is essential before you get too far into the process. Partnering with a local agent and a lender early is the best way to make sure you’re in a good position to buy. This could include planning how much to save for a down payment, getting pre-approved for a home loan, and assessing your current home equity if you’re selling your existing house.

A Professional Will Guide You Through Every Step of the Process

Buying or selling a home takes expertise to navigate. If that feels a bit overwhelming, that’s normal. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back from your goals this year. A trusted expert will help you bridge that gap and give you the facts and advice you need about today’s housing market.

Bottom Line

Work with a local real estate agent and build a team of industry professionals to be sure you hit your homeownership goals in 2024.

Retiring Soon? Why Moving Might Be the Perfect Next Step

Retiring Soon? Why Moving Might Be the Perfect Next Step Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking about retirement or have already retired this year, it’s a good time to consider if your current house is still a good fit for the next chapter in your life.

Fortunately, you may be in a better position to make a move than you realize. Here are a few things to think about as you decide whether or not to sell and make a move.

How Long You’ve Been in Your Home

From 1985 to 2008, the average length of time homeowners typically stayed in their homes was only six years. But according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that number is rising today, meaning many homeowners are living in their houses even longer (see graph below):

When you live in a home for a significant period of time, it’s natural for you to experience a number of changes in your life while you’re in that house. As those life changes and milestones happen, your needs may change. And if your current home no longer meets them, you may have better options waiting for you.

How Much Equity You’ve Gained

Additionally, if you’ve been in your house for more than a few years, you’ve likely built-up significant equity that can fuel your next move. That’s because the longer you’ve been in your house, the more likely it’s grown in value due to home price appreciation. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) illustrates that point (see graph below):

While home price growth varies by state and local area, the national average shows the typical homeowner who’s been in their house for five years saw it increase in value by nearly 60%. And the average homeowner who’s owned their home since 1991 saw it more than triple in value over that time.

Consider Your Retirement Goals

Whether you’re looking to downsize, relocate to a dream destination, or simply be closer to loved ones, your home equity can be a key to realizing your homeownership goals. NAR shares that for recent home sellers, the primary reason to move was to be closer to loved ones.

Whatever your home goals are, a trusted real estate agent can work with you to find the best option. They’ll help you sell your current house and guide you through buying the home that’s right for your lifestyle today.

Bottom Line

Retirement can bring about major changes in your life, including what you need from your home. Connect with a local real estate agent to explore the available homes in your area.

Sell Smarter: Why Working with a Real Estate Agent May Beat Going Solo

Sell Smarter: Why Working with a Real Estate Agent May Beat Going Solo Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking about selling your house on your own, called “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO, there are some important things to consider. Going this route means taking on a lot of responsibilities by yourself – and that can be a bit of a headache.

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found two of the most difficult tasks for people who sell their house on their own are getting the price right and understanding and performing paperwork.

Here are just a few of the ways an agent helps with those difficult tasks.

Getting the Price Right

Setting the right price for your house is important when you’re trying to sell it. If you’re selling your house on your own, two common issues can happen. For starters, you might ask for too much money (overpricing). Alternatively, you might not ask for enough (underpricing). Either can make it hard to sell your house. According to NerdWallet:

“When selling a home, first impressions matter. Your house’s market debut is your first chance to attract a buyer and it’s important to get the pricing right. If your home is overpriced, you run the risk of buyers not seeing the listing.

 . . . But price your house too low and you could end up leaving some serious money on the table. A bargain-basement price could also turn some buyers away, as they may wonder if there are any underlying problems with the house.”

To avoid these problems, it’s a good idea to team up with a real estate agent. Real estate agents know how to figure out the perfect price because they understand the local housing market. They can use their expertise to set a price that matches what buyers are willing to pay, giving your house the best chance to impress from the start.

Understanding and Performing Paperwork

Selling a house involves a bunch of paperwork and legal documentation that has to be just right. There are a lot of rules and regulations to follow, making it a bit tricky for homeowners to manage everything on their own. Without a pro by your side, you could end up facing liability risks and legal complications.

Real estate agents are experts in all the contracts and paperwork needed for selling a house. They know the rules and can guide you through it all, reducing the chance of mistakes that might lead to legal problems or delays.

So, instead of dealing with the growing pile of documents on your own, team up with an agent who can be your advisor, helping you avoid any legal bumps in the road.

Bottom Line

Selling your house is a big deal, and it can be complicated. Having a real estate agent can make a huge difference with setting the right price and managing all the details, so you can sell confidently. Connect with a local real estate agent to make the process smooth and take the stress off your plate.

Expert Quotes on the 2024 Housing Market Forecast

Expert Quotes on the 2024 Housing Market Forecast Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home soon, you probably want to know what you can expect from the housing market in 2024. In 2023, higher mortgage rates, confusion over home price headlines, and a lack of homes for sale created some challenges for buyers and sellers looking to make a move. But what’s on the horizon for the new year?

The good news is, many experts are optimistic we’ve turned a corner and are headed in a positive direction.

Mortgage Rates Expected To Ease

Recently, mortgage rates have started to come back down. This has offered hope to buyers dealing with affordability challenges. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explains how they may continue to drop:

Mortgage rates have already retreated from recent peaks near 8 percent and may fall further . . .

Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“For home buyers who are taking on a mortgage to purchase a home and have been wary of the autumn rise in mortgage rates, the market is turning more favorable, and there should be optimism entering 2024 for a better market.”

The Supply of Homes for Sale May Grow

As rates ease, activity in the housing market should pick up because more buyers and sellers who had been holding off will jump back into action. If more sellers list, the supply of homes for sale will grow – a trend we’ve already started to see this year. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist at Bright MLS, says:

Supply will loosen up in 2024. Even homeowners who have been characterized as being ‘locked in’ to low rates will increasingly find that changing family and financial circumstances will lead to more moves and more new listings over the course of the year, particularly as rates move closer to 6.5%.”

Home Price Growth Should Moderate

And mortgage rates pulling back isn’t the only positive sign for affordability. Home price growth is expected to moderate too, as inventory improves but is still low overall. As the Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) from Fannie Mae, a survey of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts, says:

“On average, the panel anticipates home price growth to clock in at 5.9% in 2023, to be followed by slower growth in 2024 and 2025 of 2.4 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.” 

To wrap it up, experts project 2024 will be a better year for the housing market. So, if you’re thinking about making a move next year, know that early signs show we’re turning a corner. As Mike Simonsen, President and Founder of Altos Research, puts it:

“We’re going into 2024 with slight home-price gains, somewhat easing inventory constraints, slightly increasing transaction volume . . . All in all, things are looking up for the U.S. housing market in 2024.”

Bottom Line

Experts are optimistic about what 2024 holds for the housing market. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the new year, the best way to ensure you’re up to date on the latest forecasts is to partner with a trusted real estate agent. 

Why Now Is Still a Great Time To Sell Your House

Why Now Is Still a Great Time To Sell Your House Simplifying The Market

If you were worried buyer demand disappeared when mortgage rates went up, the data shows there are plenty of interested buyers still out there. The housing market isn’t as frenzied as it was during the ‘unicorn’ years when buyer demand was through the roof, mortgage rates were historically low, and home values rose like we’ve never seen before. But that doesn’t mean the market is at a standstill.

Nationally, demand is still high compared to the last normal years in the housing market and plenty of buyers are making moves right now. Here’s the data to prove it.

Showing Traffic Is Up

The ShowingTime Showing Index is a measure of how frequently buyers are touring homes. The graph below uses that index to show buyer activity over the past eight Octobers:

 

In the graph, the ‘unicorn’ years are shown in pink. You can see demand has dipped some since then. That’s in response to higher mortgage rates. But, when you compare 2023 to the blue bars on the left that represent the last normal years in the market (2018-2019), you can tell buyers are still more active than the norm.

But showing traffic isn’t the only way to see buyer demand is still high. The number of offers other sellers are getting and the average days homes are on the market tell the same story.

Sellers Are Still Seeing Multiple Offers

According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sellers are receiving an average of 2.5 offers on their houses. Let’s look at how that compares to recent years (see graph below):

 

It’s true that’s fewer than the number of offers sellers were receiving during the ‘unicorn’ years (shown in pink). But compared to last year, the number is up slightly. And it’s higher than it was in the more normal, pre-‘unicorn’ years in the housing market too.

Homes Priced Right Are Selling Fast

And it’s not just that sellers are still typically getting multiple offers more than the norm, they’re also seeing their homes sell fast. That’s a direct result of strong buyer demand. According to Zillow:

“. . . low inventory levels are spurring surprisingly strong competition . . . demand has remained resilient, and attractive, appropriately priced listings are moving quickly.”

To help showcase that homes for sale are still going quickly, let’s look at data from NAR on the median days on market for this same time of year from 2018 through now (see graph below):

  

As the graph shows, this year homes are sitting on the market only slightly longer than they were during the frenzy of the ‘unicorn’ years. And compared to the last normal years in the market, homes are still selling much faster than they did back then. That’s good news for sellers because it means there are eager buyers out there right now.

Bottom Line

You haven’t missed your chance to sell at a time when sellers are receiving multiple offers, and homes are selling fast. When you’re ready to sell your house, connect with a local real estate agent to get the ball rolling.

If Your House Hasn’t Sold Yet, It May Be Overpriced

If Your House Hasn’t Sold Yet, It May Be Overpriced Simplifying The Market

Has your house been sitting on the market a while without selling? If so, you should know that’s pretty unusual, especially right now. That’s because the supply of homes available for sale is still far lower than what we’d see in a normal year. That means buyers have fewer options than they usually would, so your house should be an oasis in an inventory desert.

So, if homebuyers have limited choices and your house still hasn’t sold, there’s a reason why. Let’s break one potential sticking point that may be turning buyers away: your asking price.

Especially with today’s higher mortgage rates already putting a stretch on their budget, buyers are being a bit more sensitive about price. As a recent article from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says:

If you are serious about selling your home now, don’t get greedy with the asking price. This is still a seller’s home market as there simply aren’t enough affordable homes for sale in many parts of the country. But with average 30-year mortgage rates above 6%, buyers are much more price-sensitive than they were a year ago.”

Why Setting the Right Price Matters

While you want to maximize the return on your investment when you sell your house, you also need to be realistic based on current market conditions. The simple truth is your house is only going to sell for what people are willing to pay right now.

This can be a hard thing to accept. Especially since emotions can run high during the selling process, which only complicates matters more. After all, you may have lived in this house for years, so it’s only natural you’re emotionally tied to it – and those heartstrings can make it harder to be objective. 

But it’s important to acknowledge that a bigger-than-expected price tag deters buyers and may make them dismiss your house as a possibility before even seeing it. And if no one’s looking at it, how will it sell?

If you want to get your house sold, you’ll need to do something to spark interest in your home again. That’s where a local real estate agent comes in. They’ll help use data to find out if it’s priced too high for your local market. They balance the value of homes in your neighborhood, current market trends and buyer demand, the condition of your house, and more to find the right price for your house, so you can close this chapter and start your next one.

Bottom Line

While it’s true there aren’t that many homes available for sale right now, your home’s asking price still matters. And, if it’s not selling, it may be priced too high. 

The Surprising Trend in the Number of Homes Coming onto the Market

The Surprising Trend in the Number of Homes Coming onto the Market Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking about moving, it’s important to know what’s happening in the housing market. Here’s an update on the supply of homes currently for sale. Whether you’re buying or selling, the number of homes in your area is something you should pay attention to.

In the housing market, there are regular patterns that happen every year, called seasonality. Spring is the peak homebuying season and also when the most homes are typically listed for sale (homes coming onto the market are known in the industry as new listings). In the second half of each year, the number of new listings typically decreases as the pace of sales slows down.

The graph below uses data from Realtor.com to provide a visual of this seasonality. It shows how this year (the black line) is breaking from the norm (see graph below):

Looking at this graph, three things become clear:

  • 2017-2019 (the blue and gray lines) follow the same general pattern. These years were very typical in the housing market and their lines on the graph show normal, seasonal trends.
  • Starting in 2020, the data broke from the normal trend. The big drop down in 2020 (the orange line) signals when the pandemic hit and many sellers paused their plans to move. 2021 (the green line) and 2022 (the red line) follow the normal trend a bit more, but still are abnormal in their own ways.
  • This year (the black line) is truly unique. The steep drop off in new listings that usually occurs this time of year hasn’t happened. If 2023 followed the norm, the line representing this year would look more like the dotted black line. Instead, what’s happening is the number of new listings is stabilizing. And, there are even more new listings coming to the market this year compared to the same time last year.

What Does This Mean for You?

  • For buyers, new listings stabilizing is a positive sign. It means you have a more steady stream of options coming onto the market and more choices for your next home than you would have at the same time last year. This opens up possibilities and allows you to explore a variety of homes that suit your needs.
  • For sellers, while new listings are breaking seasonal norms, inventory is still well below where it was before the pandemic. If you look again at the graph, you’ll see the black line for this year is still lower than normal, meaning inventory isn’t going up dramatically and prices aren’t heading for a crash. And with less competition from other sellers than you’d see in a more typical year, your house has a better chance to be in the spotlight and attract eager buyers.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re on the hunt for your next home or thinking of selling, now might just be the perfect time to make your move. If you have questions or concerns about the availability of homes in your local area, connect with a real estate agent.

When You Sell Your House, Where Do You Plan To Go?

When You Sell Your House, Where Do You Plan To Go? Simplifying The Market

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you may have heard the supply of homes for sale is still low, and that means your house should stand out to buyers who are craving more options. But you may also be wondering, once you sell, how does the current supply impact your own move? And, will you be able to find a home you want to buy with inventory this low?

One thing that can help you find your next home is exploring all your options, including both homes that have been lived in before as well as newly built ones. Let’s look at the benefits of each one.

The Pros of Newly Built Homes

First, let’s look at the advantages of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new home, you’ll be able to:

  1. Create your perfect home. If you build a home from the ground up, you’ll have the option to select the custom features you want, including appliances, finishes, landscaping, layout, and more.
  2. Cash-in on energy efficiency. When building a home, you can choose energy-efficient options to help lower your utility costs and reduce your carbon footprint.
  3. Minimize the need for repairs. Many builders offer a warranty, so you’ll have peace of mind on unlikely repairs. Plus, you won’t have as many little projects to tackle.
  4. Have brand new everything. Another perk of a new home is that nothing in the house is used. It’s all brand new and uniquely yours from day one.

The Pros of Existing Homes

Now, let’s compare that to the perks that come with buying an existing home. With a pre-existing home, you can:

  1. Explore a wider variety of home styles and floorplans. With decades of homes to choose from, you’ll have a broader range of floorplans and designs available.
  2. Join an established neighborhood. Existing homes give you the option to get to know the neighborhood, community, or traffic patterns before you commit.
  3. Enjoy mature trees and landscaping. Established neighborhoods also have more developed landscaping and trees, which can give you additional privacy and curb appeal.
  4. Appreciate that lived-in charm. The character of older homes is hard to reproduce. If you value timeless craftsmanship or design elements, you may prefer an existing home.

The choice is yours. When you start your search for the perfect home, remember that you can go either route – you just need to decide which features and benefits are most important to you. As an article from The Mortgage Reports says:

“When building, you gain more freedom to tailor the design, materials, and features, but it demands more time and involvement. Conversely, buying an established home offers immediate occupancy . . . yet may require compromises. Your choice should align with your budget, timeline, customization preferences, and the local real estate landscape.”

Either way, working with a local real estate agent throughout the process is mission-critical to your success. They’ll help you explore all of your options based on what matters most to you in your next home. Together, you can find the home that’s right for you.

Bottom Line

If you have questions about the options in your area, connect with a local real estate agent to discuss what’s available and what’s right for you. That way you’ll be ready to make your next move with confidence.

Experts Project Home Prices Will Rise over the Next 5 Years

Experts Project Home Prices Will Rise over the Next 5 Years Simplifying The Market

Even with so much data showing home prices are actually rising in most of the country, there are still a lot of people who worry there will be another price crash in the immediate future. In fact, a recent survey from Fannie Mae shows that 23% of consumers think prices will fall over the next 12 months. That’s nearly one in four people who are dealing with that fear – maybe you’re one of them.

To help ease that concern, here’s what the experts say will happen with home prices not just next year, but over the next five years.

Experts Project Ongoing Appreciation

While seeing a small handful of expert opinions may not be enough to change your mind, hopefully, a larger group of experts will reassure you. Here’s that larger group.

The Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) from Pulsenomics is a great resource to show what experts forecast for home prices over a five-year period. It includes projections from over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. And the results from the latest quarterly release show home prices are expected to go up every year through 2027 (see graph below):

 

And while the projected increase in 2024 isn’t as large as 2023, remember home price appreciation is cumulative. In other words, if these experts are correct after your home’s value rises by 3.32% this year, it should go up by another 2.17% next year.

If you’re worried home prices are going to fall, here’s the big takeaway. Even though prices vary by local area, experts project they’ll continue to rise across the country for years to come at a pace that’s more normal for the market.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you’re not convinced yet, maybe these numbers will get your attention. They show how a typical home’s value could change over the next few years using the expert projections from the HPES. Check out the graph below:

 

In this example, let’s say you bought a $400,000 home at the beginning of this year. If you factor in the forecast from the HPES, you could potentially accumulate more than $71,000 in household wealth over the next five years.

Bottom Line

If you’re someone who’s worried home prices are going to fall, rest assured a lot of experts say it’s just the opposite – nationally, home prices will continue to climb not just next year, but for years to come. If you have any questions or concerns about what’s next for home prices in your local area, connect with a real estate agent.