HEY ANN- How’s the Real Estate Market?

HEY ANN- How’s the real estate market?  HEY Ann-When is the best time to list my house?  HEY ANN-I’m thinking of selling my house next year.  Can you come over and tell me what I have to do to perk it up?  It seems like wherever I go, out to dinner, shopping in the supermarket, at intermission at the local theaters, people recognize me as a local real estate agent and have questions. With all the articles and news reports about real estate lately, the value of perhaps the largest investment in your life, has you concerned.

How is the market?  Well, right now there are not enough good homes for sale here and we are finding that homes that have been on the market a while are being snapped up.  So it is a good time to list your house.  Believe it or not, there is no “best time” to list a property.  Homes sell year round if they are priced well and marketed well.  Winter attracts people interested in winter sports and shoppers who think prices will be lower in Winter (not so.)  Summer has so many attractions in this area that people fall in love with the lakes, the River, Hudson, Tanglewood, beautiful scenery, the arts world.  And they want to be part of it.  Spring is the time families house hunt in order to move before the beginning of the school year.  When a home owner is ready, that’s the time to list. 

It is always a good idea to get a professional opinion on what a house needs to bring out its best features. And, it is not spending a fortune on staging like you see on the real estate programs on tv.  Often it is just a matter of “decluttering” or “pre-packing” and allowing buyers to see the home and not being distracted by furnishings.  Again, it helps both the home owner and the real estate agent to get the best price for the home.

Please feel free to ask me about your property.  There is no obligation and a free market evaluation is always a good way to start your planning whether for now, or for the future and for estate planning.  It will be my pleasure to be a resource for you.

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Choosing The Wrong Realtor Can Be Costly

For most of us, deciding to buy or sell Real Estate is generally one of the most important financial decisions we will make in our lives. Even knowing the stakes, often times people will pick a friend or an acquaintance to take on this huge responsibility. To begin, you should interview at least three local agents who have been successful in your local market. I would recommend someone who is in the business full time and has a track record of representing buyers and sellers in the community where you live or where you want to live. They should also provide a list of recent clients that you can call for a reference. If your selling, you should get to see a written Comparable Market Analyses (CMA), as well last their marketing plan for your home. If your a buyer, you should ask to speak to the last three clients they represented as a buyers agent. You need a Real Estate Expert, not just a Real Estate agent.

Spring 2019

What will our local market look like this spring?  The spring housing market will typically see a sharp increase in our housing inventories. However, due to an increase in our median price point, less buyers are going to being able to enter the market. I believe it will be slower than many expect. The continued threat of rising interest rates will also adversely impact our market. New construction or housing starts in our area continue to be slow, due to the higher cost of materials and high costs associated with site preparation and infrastructure. Looking forward, I see a modest real estate market in the days ahead with increased inventories on the higher end of our market, where the reality of the new tax laws limitations have become an issue. These high end home owners are seeing their tax deductions reduced to just 10,000. If your starting your search for a home this spring, get an early start in order to not be competing with other buyers, often being forced into a bidding war which results in paying more then necessary.

Shifting Market

Recently there have been signs indicating that the Real Estate Market is beginning to shift in the direction of buyers. There are a number of factors that may be contributing to this. First, mortgage interest rates have begun to rise and this is always a cause for concern as it keeps some potential buyers on the sidelines. Median prices here in Columbia County have begun to drop from $275,000 a year ago, to $245,000 currently. Residential inventory has also seen an increase, partly because the new tax laws now limit the deduction for state and local taxes to just $10,000 which encourages more sellers to put their houses on the market. For buyers who may be waiting until spring to start shopping, maybe you should take advantage of this time of year when there is less competition and sellers tend to be more motivated. 

Now It’s The Sellers Turn

It had to happen, all markets operate in cycles ours is no different. The housing stats are showing very positive signs at this time for our local residential market. The first five months 250 residential properties sold, that’s over a 14% increase in closed transactions compared to the same period last year. There’s more, the median price has gone up again & is now at $252,500, a number that makes it very difficult for our many first-time homebuyers. For Sellers the news is even better as home prices have gone up 3% since last year, the average days on  market has dropped to just 146. So, if you have been thinking of selling, don’t wait, as markets are always fickle, and some are predicting a slow down may come in the not to distant future.

Social Media & Real Estate

Facebook was originally a means to stay in touch with family and friends, and now has evolved into a very effective means to advertise and market Real Estate. What makes this type of marketing most effective is the ability to get your message directly in front of your target audience. We can now create a custom audience by using demographics that match the profile of the type of buyers who would most likely be interested in a particular home or property. Things like education, employment, earnings, hobbies and zip codes can all be factored into your selected audience. Gone are the days where Realtors would put an ad in a paper or magazine, and hope that the right person would get to see it. Today, the most successful sales agents and their companies are utilizing social media as one of the most powerful marketing tool that has come along in many years.

Why Hasn’t My House Sold Yet?

A question I’m often asked. First thing to know is the state of your local market. You can get that education online, what have other similar homes sold for in your neighborhood recently. Don’t let your emotions get in the way, also get the advice of a local Real Estate expert, they do this every day and already know the market. If you want to sell your house make sure your house will show well, fix any obvious problems, declutter, clean up, both inside and out. It needs to look, feel and smell clean. Staging is another very important element of selling your home, this can create an atmosphere to a potential buyer that helps make your house a home they can envision themselves moving into. You may be able to do it yourself or ask for the help of an experienced Realtor. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

What Sellers Need To Know

The Real Estate industry continues to change rapidly due to the advances in technology. Long gone are the days when Real Estate agencies would simply run newspaper and magazine ads to present their client’s homes. Today over 90% of all potential buyers start their search on the internet. Within this group 66% of these buyers are Millennials born between 1980 and 1998. In addition, nearly 60% of them use a mobile device to search, such as a smart phone or tablet. When asked, 89% indicated that the photos were more important than the copy describing the property. If you’re currently on the market now, how well is your home presented? A decision to visit a property is often made simply based on the quality of photos. Millennials are also the largest users of social media, like Facebook, so make certain your property has a strong presence. As a current homeowner on the market or one who is considering going on the market, remember you need to reach your potential buyers where they are, and how they respond to today’s technology.

Buying & Selling Real Estate Has Become Much Easier

Thanks to technology, if you are buying or selling Real Estate, the whole process has become a lot easier. The internet provides information that at one time was only available to Real Estate agents, now it’s there for the consumers. Sites like Trulia, Zillow & Realtor.com as well as many Realtor’s websites, allow buyers and sellers to search for all the available properties in their area of interest. More people are searching on mobile devices, so no matter where you are you can be shopping. In addition to the data, you will have photos to review, videos and drone shots of the property from above. Shopping from the comfort of your own space and time frame. Sellers can take advantage of this as well by reviewing homes similar to theirs that they will need to compete with.  Electronic signatures and documents are becoming more and more popular among Realtors, because no one needs to physically meet to sign anything you can sign at your leisure wherever you are to list or buy a property. These advances have proven to be giant time savors for consumers, as they can now eliminate many possible homes from their list without having to go there directly. Who would have thought that buying Real Estate could actually be fun.

We’re In A Seller’s Market

It all began as the inventories of existing homes nationwide started to shrink. Sellers all across the country are now staying in a home longer than they did in past years. In the past on average folks stayed in their homes for seven years, nowadays it has stretched to ten years. With more buyers coming into the market due to the rising cost of renting, the competition for existing homes has resulted in many multiple offer scenarios. Not good for buyers, especially those who are buying their first home. Here, in our own area, the demand is larger than the existing supply. For those sellers who are realistic in the pricing of their homes, they will often see several buyers competing to buy their property, which will continue to drive up the prices. The plus side for the sellers in this market can be when they follow the advice of their Realtor, and price their property a bit below market value, the results often lead to offers exceeding the asking price, as well as the reduction of contingencies. Both buyers and sellers need to be careful in this type of market. Mistakes in judgment can be very costly.