What is a Buyer’s Market?
A buyer’s market occurs when supply exceeds demand. In other words, real estate inventory is high, but there’s a shortage of interested buyers. These conditions give buyers leverage over sellers because when supply is higher and demand lower, the market is forced to respond.
In a buyer’s market, real estate prices decrease and homes linger on the market longer. So, sellers must compete with each other in order to attract buyers. This means sellers will possibly drop their asking prices to gain an advantage in the market, and they are much more willing to negotiate offers to prevent buyers from walking away.
Tips to Buyers:
A buyer’s market is the ideal time to purchase a new home because prices are lower and there are fewer buyers to compete with.
Take your time: During a buyer’s market, it’s best to take your time because there’s less of a concern about losing out on a property you’re interested in.
Know what’s available: See as many properties as possible before making an offer. Knowing what’s available on the market is highly beneficial because it will not only help you ensure that you find your dream home, but also allows you a greater ability to negotiate price.
Analyze comparable properties: Becoming familiar with comparable properties on the market is key to negotiating effectively. By analyzing comps, you can use their pricing to your advantage.
Pay attention to days on market: The longer a home has been available, the more power you’ll have negotiating for a lower price. Even if you don’t ask to lower the price significantly, you can still negotiate for contingencies, seller concessions, and repairs.
Tips to Sellers:
If you find yourself selling your home during a buyer’s market, do everything you can to make it stand out.
Make repairs: Since there are more properties for buyers to choose from, you’ll find that they can be pickier. You’ll want to do any necessary repairs before putting your home on the market and consider making minor improvements.
Clean and depersonalize: Spend a lot of time considering how others will view your property. If buyers can’t envision themselves living in your home, they won’t make offers. Do a deep clean of your home, get rid of any clutter, and touch up your landscaping. As you clean, try to depersonalize your space as much as possible, too. Get rid of family photos, papers, souvenirs, and anything else that points to you living there.
Market like a pro: Your marketing will matter even more than it would in a neutral or seller’s market, so make sure you have professional photos taken of your property. If your home will be vacant or your décor is dated, it’s a good idea to hire a stager. With the assistance of a professional, you’ll be able to transform your rooms so they look cohesive and polished.
Price competitively: It’s crucial that you ensure your home is competitive by pricing it to sell. Survey similar homes on the market to see what they’re asking. Make sure your asking price is either similar or lower than the comparable homes in your area. When you do get an offer, make sure that you judge it fairly. Since you have less power to negotiate, you should consider offering to pay a portion of the closing costs and for any repairs requested.
What is a seller’s market?
A seller’s market arises when demand exceeds supply. In other words, there are many interested buyers but there are fewer homes available, and sellers are at an advantage. In a seller’s market, homes sell faster and buyers must compete with each other in order to score a property. These market conditions often make buyers willing to spend more on a home than they would otherwise. Therefore, sellers can raise their asking prices. Furthermore, the increased interest means that buyers rarely have the power to negotiate and are more willing to accept properties as-is. Due to the shortage of housing, these conditions often lead to bidding wars. During bidding wars, buyers will make competing offers and drive up the price, typically above what the seller initially asked for.
Tips for Buyers:
Whenever there’s a limited supply of houses on the market and a wealth of interested buyers, time is of the essence.
Act fast: If you find your dream home during a seller’s market, you better act fast. If you drag your feet over a house you know you want to buy, you may find that it’s no longer available by the time you wish to make an offer. You should get preapproved for a loan ahead of time so your financing is in order when you need it.
Know you’re at a disadvantage: When it comes to making an offer, keep in mind that you’re the one at a disadvantage. A seller’s market is not the time to try to push contingencies, concessions, specific closing dates or repairs. Focus your attention on what’s most important to you. If there are certain stipulations you want written into the contract, think hard about whether they’re worth losing the property over. If you can make an all-cash offer, you should. Sellers prefer buyers who are willing to pay in cash because they don’t have to worry about the deal falling through due to issues with financing.
Be patient: If you find that you keep losing out on the homes you’re interested in, it’s crucial to be patient and not get discouraged. Many buyers end up suffering during a seller’s market because they get frustrated. Inexperienced buyers caught up in bidding wars will often offer more money than a home is actually worth – or they feel comfortable spending – in order to get the home they want.
Don’t settle: On the flip side, some buyers will end up making offers on homes they otherwise wouldn’t be interested in because they’re tired of losing out. Remember, buying any property is a huge investment and often a 30-year commitment. Don’t settle on a home just because it’s cheaper. Unless you have to move immediately, it’s a much better idea to wait it out and resume your home search after the market cools down.
Tips for Sellers:
Since sellers must compete with each other to attract buyers in a seller’s market, it’s helpful to know how to increase interest in your property.
Clean and organize: To begin, make sure that your home is in good condition and has been cleaned and organized before you market or show the property.
Price fairly: Even though homes tend to sell for more money in a seller’s market, it still helps to price your home fairly. If you set your asking price at or slightly below fair market value, you’re likely to attract more interested buyers. Some sellers choose to list their homes for slightly less than the assessed value in order to encourage a bidding war.
Carefully consider offers: It’s even more important during a seller’s market that you carefully review the offers you receive. Sellers are often so focused on choosing the highest offer that they fail to examine the financial strength of each buyer. Just because buyers say they’ll pay a certain amount for your home doesn’t guarantee they’ll actually be able to obtain those funds. Lenders will not allow buyers to borrow more than the assessed value of your home. The last thing you want is to accept an unrealistic offer and be forced to put your home back on the market when the deal falls through. The longer your home is on the market, the more questionable it will seem to buyers, and the more power they will have when negotiating.
Ensure preapproval: For any buyers who require financing, you should ensure that they have been preapproved for a loan. Preapproval requires that buyers’ finances and credit history are verified, making it far more likely they’ll ultimately be able to obtain a loan for a specific amount of money. Prequalification, on the other hand, is just an estimate of buyers’ finances.
Be aware of contingencies: Also, be on the lookout for offers that include contingencies. Offers that include stipulations, like mortgage contingencies, home sale contingencies, appraisal contingencies and inspection contingencies, enable buyers to back out of sales contracts if certain conditions aren’t met.
Kids rooms can tend to be the rooms we disregard the most. Have guests coming over? Just shut the door! No one needs to see that room anyway. However, their rooms tend to be the rooms we need to focus on the most since they can be the messiest! Spring cleaning kids rooms is an important step in having a whole house that’s clean.
Kids out grow clothes so quickly. Go through and donate things that don’t fit anymore, and pack up things like winter coats and shoes. Throw out anything that is really worn or stained. If your kids are getting to the age that they want to choose their outfits themselves, take this time to organize things to make it easier on them. Use an organizer like this one and let them choose their outfits for the whole week at once.
First, make your 3 “zones”. Keep, Toss, and Donate. Start with the larger pieces to get them out of the way. If your kids haven’t played with it in the past 3 months, donate it. Anything that is broken, old, or beyond saving, toss it. Now is also a great time to CLEAN your kids toys. If you have a lot of little things (The dreaded plastic kitchen food and utensils) dump them into the bathtub or sink and wash them that way. If you can, wash their stuffed animals. Soft surfaces can hold dirt and dust that can make allergies worse. Next, organize what’s left. Use cube storage that looks nice if you’re storing them in a common area.
Now that everything is sorted and cleaned, it still seems like there’s a lot of toys. Have you tried doing a toy rotation? I have some friends that do this with their kids and they said it WORKS. Take 1/3 of the toys and put them in a bin and store them in the attic or garage. In a month or so, take them down and switch them out for a different 1/3 of the toys. The kids get excited about the “new” toys, and you also clear up some space. Its a win-win.
Dedicate an area to hold their backpacks, paperwork, newsletters, etc. A lot of times important papers get shoved to the bottom of the backpack and then its 3 weeks later and you cant find their permission slip for their fieldtrip. Create a “Drop Zone” where the kids cant put their shoes, bags, jackets, etc. when they come home. You can place bins like these on the wall above hooks, and let them put anything important in there.
* This post contains links to products on Amazon. Impact Realty is no way affiliated with Amazon, and does not receive compensation from the products mentioned. They are mentioned at the opinion of the author*
If you read last weeks Spring Cleaning blog about getting the outside of your home spring ready, welcome back! If you didn’t, I wont hold it against you but you should really check it out. Part 2 and beyond is going to focus on getting the inside clean and organized, starting with the KITCHEN.
On average we spend 12% of our lives in the kitchen. When broken down, that’s around 2.8 hours a day. I know some of ya’ll are thinking between cooking for a family with kids, prepping meals, cleaning, and then starting that cycle over again, it feels a lot longer! Keep reading for ways to keep your kitchen sparkling clean and organized to help with the hustle and bustle.
First, take a look around and try to declutter as much as possible. Find a place to put lunchboxes, backpacks, sort through the 4 days worth of mail on the counter. Go as far as opening the cabinets and drawers and clearing them out. Toss broken utensils, plastic cups you’ve been accumulating, the wad of grocery store bags that is now overflowing, etc.
Take all the food out of the pantry and spread it out either on the countertop or table. Toss items that are stale, expired, empty, or inedible. Wipe down all the shelves with a multi-purpose cleaner. Arrange your food like you would see in a grocery store, placing like items together. I use these bins to hold granola bars, spice packets, and other little things. The boxes takes up a lot of space and I like being able to see when I’m getting low. Label containers that hold things such as flour, sugar, cornmeal, etc.
Remove seasonal items that only get used once or twice a year. Donate items you hardly use anymore and toss old items such as plastic, stained Tupperware. Wipe down shelves with a multi-purpose cleaner and place your items back in the cabinets. Now focus on the cabinets themselves. Wipe down the inside and outside of the doors and if your cabinets don’t go all the way to the top, don’t forget to dust up there.
Take everything out and clean the inside with a multi-purpose cleaner. Place liner paper in the bottom if you would like. Toss old utensils that are broken, and donate any duplicates you have. Use organizers, such as these, to keep everything tidy. I have a system for where the things in my drawers are located. My silverware is closest to where my plates and bowls are. My cooking utensils are beside my stove, next to the drawer that holds my pot holders. Place things where they make the most sense.
Take out everything that you can. Wipe down all the shelves, walls, and inside of your bins. If your bins hold produce, make sure your cleaner is safe to use and non-toxic. Toss any old leftovers and condiments that are out of date.
Stove & Oven: clean the stovetop and burners. I have a glass-top electric stove, and this cleaner is AH-mazing. It gives it a brand new shine. Clean your oven and grates. For me this is my most neglected thing. I have a double oven and to me that means double the work.
Microwave: I have this steaming microwave cleaner that makes the job 1000 times easier. A microwave safe container with a water/vinegar mixture works about the same, but I feel like this little angry lady steams better.
Dishwasher: These Lemi-Shine cleaners have been my saving grace. I have such hard water and it seems like my dishwasher collects all the sediment. I use to spray CLR inside and scrub everything. Then I found these. You just sprinkle the packet inside and run a normal cycle with it empty.
*This post contains links to Amazon for certain products. Impact Realty is not affiliated with nor do we earn money for items bought from these links. They are simply for suggestions, and at the opinion of the post author*
For some people, spring means warm weather, Easter, and the tease of knowing summer is right around the corner. For homeowners however, spring means SPRING CLEANING!! No matter how clean your house stays, you will always have those few things that will always be on the “When I can get to it” list. Spring time also brings certain seasonal checks, fixes, and updates to your house. Over the next few weeks we will cover certain areas of your house, and break them down into ways you can clean, declutter, and update!
Part 1 – The Exterior of your House
Spray for Bugs – Spring time equals warm weather, which equals bugs
Toss or Donate old toys – If your kids have out grown them, or didn’t play with them last year, its time for them to go
Do you have an extra fridge/freezer in the garage? Clean it out and toss any old or freezer-burnt food.
Buy storage totes to store decorations, camping gear, sports equipment, etc in. They look nicer than carboard boxes and last longer! Check out these on Amazon HERE.
Clear out leaves and other debris before those spring showers come along
Tighten any loose downspouts and make sure they are pointing away from the house
Wash them with a water/bleach solution inside and out
Make sure the screens are not torn or bent
Sidewalks & Driveway:
Pressure wash your steps, sidewalk, and driveway. Get a brush attachment to make it easier and faster. I personally have this one and it is GREAT. We’ve used it on our driveway and back deck.
Look for any major cracking and call a professional if needed
Give them a facelift with a good scrubbing, or if possible, a fresh coat of paint
Place bright pillows and fresh cushions to make them feel new again
Also take a look at the patio itself; pressure wash it if its concrete or stone, or give it a fresh coat of paint if its a wood deck
Check all your outdoor light bulbs; porch light, landscaping spotlights, decking lights, etc.
Remove any dead bushes, flowers, or trees
Add fresh mulch to flowerbeds
If you have flower pots, fill them with fresh, bright flowers