The best spring selling season in a long time is rolling into the best summer selling season in a long time! We are off and running!! Reports of increased showings at open houses, multiple offers on properties and offers over asking price within weeks and even days!! There is a steady interest and demand across the board in all of our local towns. In one months' time, 3 properties that I listed went under contract:
one in 9 days, one in 12 days and another in 21 days! With interest rates still at record lows and home prices still near their lowest levels, demand is high: translating into smart buyers seizing the opportunity when they perceive value.
As a home seller or buyer, this time of year can be overwhelming. How and when do buyers perceive value? Here are a few tips that should make that perception easier to grasp:
Sellers, be ahead of the game. Depending on the condition of your home, you may consider having your own home inspection before a buyer comes in and does their own.
Addressing major issues that may come up during the inspection prior to putting your home on the market could prove to be beneficial to you.
Straighten and minimize: think furniture showrooms or home design magazines, places you never see clutter, emulate them. Painting and sprucing floors and trim could never hurt either.
Of course buyers are still looking for value, so price strategy is important: I recommend interviewing a couple of local agents, find someone who is a good fit for you. The process can be tedious so trust and good communication are key!
If you are thinking of selling and are sitting on the fence, all I can say is that timing is crucial in this market. If interest rates rise, as they are expected to do (let's not even think about inflation), then monthly housing costs will rise for a potential buyer as well. Therefore, the house they look at today may no longer be in their sight.
Maximize your buyer pool while you can. Looking at the market as a whole nationwide, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that listed inventory remains 16.8% below a year ago. Locally inventory supply levels are at new lows with Watchung having 9.5 months supply, Green Brook with 6.4 months supply!, Long Hill with only a 5 month supply(!!!) and, Warren with an 8 month supply * (GMLS stats).
A word to buyers, do your prep work prior to even going out! If you go looking at houses and don't have your pre-approval in hand and see the home of your dreams, the process could be delayed and you may lose out on that house! Savvy buyers have everything in hand prior to going out with their realtor. I work with a terrific mortgage rep, if you need a hand please don't hesitate to give me a call, I'd be happy to give you
his information. And, check your credit score, tie up any loose ends. A healthy financial record and a good credit score can help you lock in a mortgage loan at a low rate.
Find an agent you trust and can work with: you'll be seeing this person a lot and they will be your spokesperson. They are key in the home buying equation. An agent with an Accredited Buyer Designation (ABR) is specifically trained to help hone in on your wants and needs and negotiate for you and can make the process go as smoothly as possible. You should leave nothing to chance!
Marion Cowan Loh, Realtor, ABR, SFR
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Warren NJ 07059