Right now is a weird time in real estate. You are shocked I’m admitting that, right? But seriously. Prices have been going up for many years, and interest rates are creeping upward, but wages have not significantly grown to keep up yet. This is affecting affordability for buyers (and renters). It’s no secret that it’s been a seller’s market for a long time. However, price growth has slowed and buyers are gaining more power. So, how do you navigate this changing market? (P.S. This applies to both buyers AND sellers!)
1. Do your research.
The market is not the same as it was 5 years ago… or even 1 year ago (see my last blog post). Look for comparable sales in the neighborhood within the last 6 months. Also, just because a house is in the same neighborhood doesn’t automatically make it a comparable sale. Consider the size, condition, and location of each “comp” you look at!
2. Be realistic.
…or the market will hit you with a dose of reality, hard. There are a few sellers who price their homes with that “unicorn” buyer in mind. Sure, sometimes the stars align. But the majority of delusional sellers will end up disappointed with a house that sat on the market for a year.
Similarly, buyers need to be realistic about what they can afford. Always get pre-approved before you even start browsing so you don’t end up falling in love with a house (or a neighborhood) that you simply cannot afford.
3. Get a good Realtor (ahem, HI!) and listen to their advice.
Your brother’s nephew’s dad’s uncle’s friend’s coworker sold his condo in Nebraska last year and wants to help – giving you unsolicited advice every step of the way. He means well, but every transaction is different. Pick a local Realtor that is currently active in the market (again, hello there!). We can give you relevant advice to achieve your specific real estate goals.
4. Actually take your Realtor’s advice (shocking, I know).
We always say, “The advice is ours, and the decision is yours.” Our business relies on the success and happiness of our clients, so we really, truly are always looking out for your best interests. Whether you want to buy, sell, or stay where you are, we want to see you succeed in this tricky market!