Top 3 Staging Tips To Sell Your Home Faster

Key Takeaways:

  • Staging showcases a home’s best assets, and helps sell it for top dollar.
  • You’ll be at an advantage if you take the extra step of staging your property.
  • This is a great time to plan for the future of your home, so contact us today!

First impressions matter, so when you finally put your house on the market, you’ll want to pay special attention to how you stage your property.

Staging is a real estate term that means how a house looks, and good staging helps buyers imagine themselves in the home. It shows off the property’s good features, hides its flaws, turns unconventional spaces into usable spaces, creates a mood, and makes the house look significantly better in photos.

So, let’s look at why staging is necessary and some of the easiest and most recommended staging steps to ensure you get top dollar for your home!

Why staging your home matters

Home neatly staged for selling.

Potential buyers aren’t just looking for a structure to inhabit – they’re also looking for a way to fulfill their dreams and improve their quality of life. If done well, staging allows buyers to imagine themselves already living in the property and can create a more emotional sale for the buyer, generating more money for the seller.

Potential buyers don’t want to see too much work they will have to do upon moving into the home. For every problem they see, they will want to deduct its cost from the offering price. If too many issues get noticed, they may even pass on buying the home entirely.

Before they step foot into a home, prospective buyers spend countless hours looking at pictures of their potential new homes on the internet.

How your home looks, inside and out, is arguably the most crucial feature of your home because if it doesn’t look good, potential buyers will continue their search and keep clicking. Proper staging gets them to stop and envision how the house might look once they move into it, making it look more move-in ready.

Essential home staging according to the experts

Painting your home to sell for higher price.

According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging, a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report, 82% of buyer’s agents said that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as their future home, which can help the home get top dollar and sell faster. The report also found that staging the living room was very important to 46% of buyers, followed by the primary bedroom at 43% and the kitchen at 35%.

Before you give in to the temptation to think that staging your home will cost you thousands of dollars, let’s take a quick look at a few of the most cost-effective and simplest staging steps to help your home sell for top dollar more quickly.

  1. Keep it clean

A clean home shows potential buyers that you’ve taken good care of the property. Ideally, you should clean every part of the house, from the floors to the ceilings and everything in between.

If you don’t have new appliances in the kitchen, there’s no need to worry. Just make sure the existing ones are spotless. Likewise, ensure your bathrooms sparkle, from the corners of the tub to the sink drain to that spot behind the toilet you don’t think anyone can see. Your goal should be to make everything look new and hospital clean.

  1. Take care of your clutter

Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove all the family photos, keepsakes, and refrigerator art. Yes, the velvet paintings must come down. Likewise, keep clothes hidden away as much as possible, and make sure the bathroom counters are empty (except for hand soap, of course). Similarly, put away all the toys and anything else that is highly personal to the home’s current inhabitants.

  1. Plants and paint go a long way

A few potted plants can do wonders to make your home feel fresh and inviting to potential buyers. But conversely, if you’ve got a lot of indoor plants, this could create a cluttered feeling, so you’ll want to remove some of them. Additionally, a new coat of paint is a relatively inexpensive and quick home staging step you can take that will pay big returns on closing day.

Work With the Best

If you’re ready to move, work with your local team that knows the micro-housing market trends in your area. Our real estate agents have decades of experience and understand how to help you best navigate today’s market. So don’t hesitate to reach out and say Hello! to figure out your best options for buying or selling your next home!

This Is The Key To Your Dream Home

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding why a property organizer is your secret weapon
  • Learning how to use a property organizer
  • Discovering how property organizers will benefit you

Why Use a Property Organizer

Have you ever been overwhelmed in the buying and selling process? With so many options out there and the market constantly changing, it can be challenging to stay organized during your search. Luckily, there’s a user-friendly tool that has your back, and it’s called the property organizer. The property organizer is an overlooked yet extremely beneficial tool that stimulates and simplifies your home search. It’s important for buyers to utilize the property search organizer, as it offers advantageous qualities for each. 

How Will the Property Organizer Help Me?

man online looking for homes

This handy tool provides an easy way for you to save your favorite listings and property search settings so that properties within your search settings are delivered directly to your inbox. Property organizer benefits include: 

  • Allows you to see listings that match your criteria
  • Speeds the process of home searching
  • Lists properties as soon as they hit the market
  • Allows you to save and organize your favorite listings
  • Provides a wider range of listings for as many options possible

Property Organizer and Email Alerts

First, you need to know how to use the property organizer to your advantage. Create a search for the area, price point and any additional criteria that fits within your home search. Once you create your search, save that search to receive email notifications directly in your inbox.  Email alerts are widely beneficial, as they ensure that properties in your criteria aren’t missed. You can adjust your settings to expand the area, price range, and how often you receive alerts.

For Buyers 

person getting keys to home

As a buyer, using the property organizer feature is vital to your home search journey. You have an advantage by using the property organizer, even if you aren’t ready to buy. No matter what stage you’re at in the buying process, creating a saved search in your property organizer is essential as far as monitoring trends, seeing what type of properties are available in your price range, and being aware of what features are common in the area. Overall, the property organizer helps you to become more active and engaged, so your next dream home won’t be missed! 

For Sellers

family buying new house

The property organizer helps to facilitate the selling process, as it allows buyers to see what’s out there with no limitation. When you list with an agent who has a property organizer on their site, you can be assured that your property is marketed directly into buyers’ inboxes as soon as it hits the market.

So, how is this beneficial to a seller versus a buyer? Well, the property organizer may help your home sell faster by increasing the chances of your property being seen, and maximizing its reach. As a seller, you’ll be notified anytime a home is listed in your market, along with its price, size, and other specific features, which promotes awareness and strategy behind your listings. The property organizer is also advantageous to sellers in the sense that it allows them to monitor aspects such as market trends and pricing strategies. 

Ready To Use The Property Organizer?

If you’re not sure how to set up a property organizer don’t worry, our team is here to help you! If you are thinking about buying, just let us know your price point, area, and any details you would like us to include in your search. If you are selling, provide us with your address and you will be notified when properties sell in your area.

Now Could Be the Best Time to Sell Your Home

Key Takeaways:

  • Shifting buyer demand creates lucrative opportunities for decisive sellers
  • Higher mortgage rates have set fire to this already hot housing market
  • Don’t delay—now is the time to contact us and get your home on the market!

The current housing market

With a sudden jump in home listings recently, today’s hot housing market has many homeowners wondering if now is the best time to sell. Of course, trying to time the market perfectly is challenging, though if there ever was a time to sell, this is absolutely a great one. 

Everyone’s situation is different, but if you’ve been thinking about selling your home lately, contact us today to begin the process and maximize your success. 

The supply of homes for sale, explained 

Saleswoman giving home keys to new property owner.

Compared with last year, the supply of homes for sale jumped 9% in May, which is striking considering the historically low supply of home inventory that has defined the US housing market this year. 

As sellers rushed to put their properties onto the market and cash in their equity gains, new home listings rose nearly twice as fast as a year ago in May, while pending home sales fell by almost 4% in April. And with sales of newly built homes dropping by a much broader 16% compared with March, this marked the sixth straight month of sales declines. 

To fully appreciate this drop-off, consider that this softening in demand for housing marks the greatest slowdown on record in nearly a decade. 

Home sales are slowing because mortgage rates have risen sharply since the start of the year, with the most significant gains coming in April and early May. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage started the year close to 3% and is now well over 5%, causing new home buyers to slow down a bit.

The reality of rising mortgage rates

Businessperson's Hand Protecting Balance Between Percentage Red Cubic Block And House Model On Wooden Seesaw

While homeowners and homebuyers certainly enjoyed locking in 30-year fixed mortgages at the historic low of 2.68% in December 2020, this is far from the norm. It was only a few years ago, during the decade of the 2010’s, that mortgage rates averaged between 3.45% to 4.87%—not that far off from today’s average of just over 5%. 

If you step back even further in time, the absolute highest mortgage rate was a whopping 18.45% in 1981! Like today, that was due to the Federal Reserve raising the federal funds rate to combat inflation, causing mortgage rates to spike. But unlike potential homebuyers in 1981, we have good news on the horizon, as we’re seeing mortgage and refinance rates start to decline for the first time in weeks and the economy showing signs of stabilizing. 

An overdue housing market correction

Chart showing home values changing over time.

If you’re still worried about the housing market, you don’t need to. The good news in these reports is that homes are still selling, and in many cases, they’re still selling above their asking price. The housing market is cooling down due to a lull in buyer demand. However, this cooldown is a much-needed correction to what has been a short-term housing market fueled by the pandemic. 

The critical difference in the market now is that with fewer buyers competing with one another over available housing, home prices rose another 21% in May, meaning equity gains are still there for homeowners. And if you’re looking to sell to downsize and lower your monthly expenses, you’ll be perfectly positioned to find your ideal home with fewer buyers competing with you in the market.

Sell Now for Your Best Return

If you’re considering selling your home, this may be the best possible time to list. With a trusted, experienced real estate team behind you, you can rest easy knowing that we’ve seen the ups and downs of the market over the years. You can always make a smart move, so contact us today to discuss your options!

Inflation – and Home Values – Are Up. Should You Sell?

Key Takeaways:

  • Home values are rising faster than inflation, making homes a prized asset
  • This housing market offers unique opportunities for buyers and sellers
  • Contact us today to secure your assets and safeguard your future!

The state of real estate and inflation

As inflation soars to near 40-year highs and raises the cost of everything, many are looking for innovative ways to secure their assets against inflationary losses. Additionally, given the housing market’s recent volatility (primarily driven by historic low levels of housing inventory that have caused an imbalance between supply and demand), it’s understandable that many might consider real estate to be a wrong or risky move right now. But the great news is that nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s explore how and why buying or selling a home can safeguard you against inflation. 

The housing market can protect you from inflation

Image of homes and a graph representing housing market and inflation.

Real estate remains a stable area for investment and profit realization because a home’s value does not increase in relation to currency; it increases based on demand. So if you’ve been holding back from buying because of today’s market pressures, consider that inflation is up even more than mortgage interest rates, making it a smart move. Similarly, if you’re considering selling, the demand for housing has never been greater, which is terrific news for anyone looking to cash out their equity to hedge against inflation. 

Buying a home: by the numbers

Couple showing keys to new home.

Let’s take a look at some numbers. Experts estimate that Americans face an annualized inflation rate of around 15%. Considering that, the current 5% mortgage rate is a bargain for homebuyers in the short term. Moreover, you’re securing an asset that, over time, will increase. And, as you pay down your mortgage, even at 5%, your equity will continue to grow. 

Selling a home: by the numbers

Senior Adult Couple in Front of Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful House.

It’s no secret to homeowners that their home equity values have grown over the last couple of years. According to research firm Black Knight, at the end of 2021, Americans were sitting on record-high home equity levels of approximately $9.9 million. So if you’ve noticed homes in your neighborhood selling above their listing price and you’ve been on the fence about selling yourself, now may be a good time to cash in on this opportunity.

Both buyers and sellers can make tremendous gains

Happy family with children moving with boxes in a new house.

In a hot housing market where home inventory is low, competition is fierce, and home equity values are at all-time highs, buyers and sellers can start to feel overwhelmed. But don’t despair: an increase in mortgage rates isn’t stopping homes from selling quickly, nor is it preventing home equities from appreciating. For example, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), properties remained on the market for just 17 days in March, with many going for over the asking price!

With more buyers than sellers today, current homeowners looking to sell to fight inflation have the advantage of likely bidding wars, resulting in greater profits and fast-moving homes that don’t stay on the market for very long. For those looking towards homeownership to protect their assets against inflation, reassurance comes from knowing that demand is expected to outpace supply for the foreseeable future, meaning that home equities will continue to rise. And if inflation continues, fixed-rate interest rates will drop again, creating the perfect opportunity to refinance your loan. 

Get Ready to Make Your Move

The first step to buying and selling is crunching the numbers. Our team will help you find the real, up-to-the-minute value of your home using the latest microdata and neighborhood trends. Then, we’ll work with you to figure out the best strategy to shelter your investments and assets from inflation. Contact us today!

The Top 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Buying a Home

Key Takeaways:

  • In a competitive market, you want to make sure you’re doing everything right when it’s time to buy a new home.
  • Stability with your employment and finances is super important, so don’t make any sudden changes.
  • Don’t skip out on working with a buyer’s agent—an experienced real estate agent is an invaluable partner. 

Buying a home is an exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking experience. In addition to finding the right place, you also have to find the right mortgage, and with low inventory in many markets and rising home prices nationwide, securing your dream home can be a challenge if you don’t make the right decisions when preparing to buy. Here are five of the most common mistakes you should avoid when buying a home.

1. Don’t open or close credit accounts

Closeup image of a woman holding and choosing credit card to use

Because mortgage lenders check your credit multiple times throughout the homebuying process, it is crucial that you do not open any new lines of credit or close any existing lines of credit. Doing so can lower your credit score and increase your debt-to-income ratio, both of which are reasons for a lender to deny approval.

It is always a good idea to pay off an existing line of credit, but closing the account removes that credit history from your report. Credit reporting bureaus use your length of available credit to generate your score, so leave your account open and active, but don’t use it until after closing.

2. Don’t switch jobs

Young woman waiting for interview indoors

The most important thing that mortgage lenders look at when considering pre-approval is an applicant’s employment stability. Typically, they want to see two consecutive years of uninterrupted income for approval. Any changes to employment status can signal that the loan may not be repaid—it can be a significant red flag that can derail or delay your closing. Make sure to tell your lender right away if a career change is unavoidable or if you do not have two consecutive years of verifiable income.

3. Don’t shop for homes you can’t afford

For Sale and Coming Soon realtor sign in front of large brick single family house in expansive grass yard for real estate opportunity

Typically, most prospective homeowners can afford a mortgage between two and two-and-a-half times their gross annual income. An easy way to think of this is not exceeding more than 30% of your income.So, if a lender tells you that you can borrow a lot more than that, you should probably find a new lender because your monthly payments may not be manageable if you max out your loan. Use a mortgage calculator before you visit with a lender to help you estimate monthly payments. 

Also, consider that homeownership comes with additional expenses you will need to save for, like maintenance, repairs, insurance, property taxes, homeowner’s association fees (if applicable), and other unforeseen costs. The last thing you want to do is stretch your monthly budget to cover your mortgage, which will eliminate your liquid cash flow for your other financial obligations, like car payments, student loans, and your savings goals.

4. Don’t skip the inspection

Inspector work home building before complete project

Waiving a home inspection can be a costly mistake, and unless you have extra cash to fix up a home, you are gambling with the cost of unforeseen repairs. Home inspections find potential critical issues with the structure and integrity of a house, such as cracked pipes and water damage. They are built into the home buying process to protect the buyer’s investment.

Paid by the buyer and non-refundable, the home inspection fee is a small price to pay when considering today’s costs to replace a furnace, water heater, roof or other costly items. 

Without an inspection, you will have no recourse if a significant issue surfaces after you close on your home. So when you make an offer on a home, include a home inspection contingency that gives you a penalty-free exit from the deal if a major issue is unresolvable before closing.

5. Don’t forget to hire an agent!

Portrait of happy real estate agent looking at the camera while her clients are standing in the background.

Searching for a home on your own is both time-consuming and complicated. That’s why the help of a professional, experienced real estate agent who knows how to navigate the market will guide you to make the best investment of your money. 

Also, if you go to showings without a real estate agent, a seller’s agent may offer to represent you. This can be risky because that agent’s goal is to get as much money for their client as possible from you, the buyer. In addition to helping you negotiate, a qualified real estate agent will have access to home listings before the general public becomes aware of them.  

Best of all, the cost of enlisting an agent won’t come directly out of your pocket. Instead, the seller typically pays it to the seller’s agent, who splits the commission with the buyer’s agent!

Do Find Your Real Estate Team Today!

When it comes to buying a home, there’s a million little details to keep track of. Work with an experienced real estate agent to help you navigate the entire process, avoid pitfalls, and get you the home you’ve been dreaming of. Contact us today to get started!

What to Expect in the 2022 Real Estate Market

Key Takeaways:

  • Many of the dynamics seen in 2021 will carry through into next year’s housing market, but at a much less frenzied pace.
  • As remote work becomes a more permanent, widespread option, Millennials are taking advantage and entering the real estate market.
  • We’re ready for another seller’s market. Like last year, there isn’t time to waste—contact us to start planning now!

What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know About the 2022 Housing Market

In the final few weeks of 2021, both home buyers and sellers look forward to what lies ahead in 2022. We can help build your strategy to stay competitive! Don’t wait for the real estate market to heat up during the spring and summer. Here’s what you need to know to get ahead of the competition next year.

First-time home buyers can overcome the challenging market

First time home buyers celebrating

Recent real estate forecasts suggest that competitive will be the defining characteristic of the housing market throughout 2022. That will be especially true for first-time home buyers. 

Competing levels of low inventory supply and high buyer demand will continue to hold housing market values at, or above, asking prices. Total inventory will increase by the end of 2022, but it will not be enough to slow the seller’s market.

For first-time home buyers to secure their house, they need to start early and expect competition. On a positive note, low interest rates can help new homeowners build equity faster.

Millennials are working remotely and finally buying homes

Millennials buying homes

A lot has changed in these last two years. Buzzwords like “the new normal” were everywhere, along with speculations about how people lived, worked, and commuted were going to change. As we enter into 2022, we now have data reports and are beginning to see how these changes affect the housing market. 

The ability to work remotely is helping the more than 45 million Millennials that make up the fastest growing segment of buyers. After an uphill battle, they’re entering the prime first-time home buying age range of 26 – 35, and changing the real estate landscape.

Millennials are leaving the glamor of big city life to take advantage of more affordable housing markets in suburbs and rural areas. As long as they have internet access, their salary remains the same. And unsurprisingly, 99% of them use technology to research the home buying market.

With 90% of managers and employees reporting that they’re happy working from home, and productivity increasing by as much as 47%, remote work is here to stay. The new normal will also create new investment opportunities as companies seek to reduce their office sizes.  

Low inventory stretches into the new year

Low housing inventory

After years of underbuilding, housing supply shortages will continue to be a dominant feature of the market next year. One of the most significant factors that will carry over immediately from last year is low inventory supply. 

Available housing will remain tight throughout the year. While that will generate some stress, it will also drive home values higher. Estimates of continued home sales growth will be 6.6%.  

While housing inventory levels will remain lower than their pre-pandemic levels throughout 2022, a modest 0.3% growth in inventory should be enough to keep market prices from spiraling even further upward.

Sellers remain in control of the market

Person selling their home

As we look ahead to 2022, some clear realities for the housing market begin to appear: it will remain a seller’s market. Interest rates continue to hover around a record-low 3%, providing incentives for sellers to upgrade to a larger home for a lower monthly payment. 

After the refinance boom in 2020, homeowners are still in an advantageous position. With home sales expected to hit their highest level in 16 years due to Millennials entering the housing market, sellers sit in a very good position to profit. If accurately priced and, more importantly, if houses are in great condition with upgrades throughout, the real estate market will continue to be a boon for sellers. 

Be Prepared for a Competitive Year

The new normal in 2022 turns out to be an old adage: the early bird gets the worm. We have the experience and can move quickly to make sure you stay competitive, regardless of whether you’re buying or selling. Contact us today to make your plan for the new year!

Buying or Selling in 2022? Look for an Agent with These 10 Qualities

Key Takeaways:

  • In today’s hot market, it’s more important than ever to choose the right agent to help you buy or sell a home.
  • Real estate agents don’t just offer local expertise—their insider knowledge and marketing prowess come in handy, too.
  • Thinking about making a move in the new year? Contact us to start planning now!

Here Are the Top 10 Qualities Every Successful Real Estate Agent Should Have

Did you know that 75% of buyers and sellers work with the first agent they meet? It’s true—but that doesn’t mean it’s the best decision. If you want to come out on top in today’s competitive market, experts often recommend interviewing a few candidates before settling on the right real estate professional for the job. And if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve outlined 10 qualities of a highly successful agent.

They keep up with the latest sold data

Analyzing real estate sold data

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you’ll want to keep up with the latest sold data for your neighborhood of choice. Sold data reports consist of homes that recently sold in your area, as well as their final prices. Not only do these numbers help sellers determine an accurate list price, but they can also be used by buyers to gauge an area’s affordability. A top-notch agent should be willing to provide you with up-to-date data every step of the way.

They know what’s happening in the real estate market

It’s hard to know what the real estate market will look like next year. But with careful forecasting, a local agent should be able to provide some valuable insight. Agents can educate buyers and sellers on everything from price fluctuations to mortgage rates—just make sure they’re using accurate data to back up their predictions.

They’re social media savvy

Real estate agent using social media

Nowadays, home-buying and selling primarily happens on the internet. According to recent research, over 95% of buyers start searching for properties online, which makes it imperative that agents maintain an active presence on their social platforms. Be sure to ask your agent about the virtual tools they offer buyers and sellers, such as access to the MLS, social media promotion, and paid advertising. Bonus points if they have their own website, too!

They have a network of contacts

When it comes to buying or selling a home, it truly takes a village. A well-connected agent can refer you to their network of local contacts, such as plumbers, landscapers, lawyers, and so much more. You’ll rest easy knowing that you can trust their recommendations for local service providers!

Their referrals are positive

Buyer or seller leaving online feedback

If an agent provides legendary customer service, their past clients are more than willing to leave positive feedback—or even refer them to their loved ones! Ask your potential agent about their reviews, or take a look online to see what previous buyers and sellers have to say about working with them.

They’re punctual

This one should be a given! The current real estate market moves faster than ever before, which makes punctuality an even more important quality than usual. If your agent is on-time (or early!) to your appointments, you’ll know they’re treating you like a priority.

It’s easy to get in touch

Scheduling an appointment with a real estate agent

Keeping in touch is key when it comes to real estate, so you’ll want to share the same method of communication as your agent. Tell your agent from the beginning whether you prefer to text, email, or talk on the phone. Not responding in a timely manner is a big red flag.

They’re shrewd negotiators

Buyers and sellers alike should look for an agent with top-notch negotiation skills to get them the best possible price. And if you want to evaluate a real estate agent’s prowess, just ask yourself this question: how well did they negotiate with you to win your business?

They’ve built their own brand

Buyers getting the keys to their new home

Real estate agents don’t just help you buy or sell a home—they need to be expert marketers on both sides of the transaction. Solid branding can help agents rise to the top of the competition and build a reputation that people rely on, trust, and recognize. Exploring an agent’s social media and website can give you a good idea of their personal branding strategies.

You get along with them

When you’re trusting someone with one of your biggest investments, it’s crucial to get along on both a professional and personal level. If you can’t have difficult conversations with your agent—or if you don’t get along with them—consider going with another candidate. Personality can sometimes trump experience!

Find the Right Agent for Your Move

Ready to start planning your 2022 move? Now is the time to find the perfect agent for the job! Contact us today to learn more about what we bring to the table, or explore our other resources to get a head start on buying or selling. We’re always here to offer superior service throughout every step of the transaction!

From Boomers to Zoomers: Home-Buying Tips for Every Generation

Key Takeaways:

  • Buyers throughout all walks of life are wondering how to navigate today’s competitive housing market.
  • Whether you’re a Gen Z first-time buyer or a Baby Boomer looking to downsize, you should consider making a move to lock in your real estate goals.
  • Have questions about buying or selling? Contact us for personalized advice!  

What Every Generation Should Know About Buying a Home

As older members of Gen Z reach home-buying age and Millennials make up the largest share of the housing market, buyers from every generation are wondering if now is the right time to make a move. Buying a home at any stage in life comes with its own unique challenges, so it’s crucial to consider your future and factor finances into your decision.

Looking for advice? We’re here to offer some savvy real estate tips for every generation, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers.

Gen Z: The New Buyers on the Block

Gen Z home buyers

If you’re part of Generation Z, you were probably born after 1997—and the oldest “Zoomers” are just now buying their first homes at 24 and 25. Even though most members of Gen Z aren’t quite ready to tackle homeownership, this socially conscious and highly educated generation is setting goals for themselves when it comes to real estate.

According to a new survey by Homes.com, over 85% of Gen Z plans to buy a home before turning 35. So if you’re a Zoomer, now is the perfect time to begin saving and paying off any debt. Start researching the home-buying process, learning about different loan options, and setting aside as much extra cash as possible to build up your down payment (spoiler alert: it doesn’t have to be the traditional 20%). And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak with an agent…it’s okay if you aren’t quite ready to buy!

Millennials: The Market Trendsetters

Millennial couple moving in

Millennials—known for their love of pets and avocado toast—comprise a whopping 37% of today’s total home-buyers. And after witnessing the 2008 market crash, a pandemic, and now record-low interest rates, they’re finally ready to buy.

Compared to other generations, Millennials waited longer to buy their first homes. This surprising shift can be attributed to rising student debt, the Great Recession, as well as a dip in marriage and fertility rates. However, if you’re one of the many Millennials looking to ditch renting and start build equity, it’s worth doing a deep dive on mortgages before beginning your search. Even if you don’t have a traditional 20% down payment saved up, you could take advantage of government backed loans or assistance programs. Remember—knowing exactly what you can afford and getting pre-approved will up your chances of securing your perfect place.

Millennials aren’t just first-time buyers, either—many have also stepped into the role of first-time sellers. If you’re selling a home without much experience, it’s more important than ever to work with the right agent. Don’t be afraid to shop around and interview a few candidates before settling on “the one!”

Gen X: Making a Comeback

Family with children

Gen X—classified as anyone born between 1965 and 1979—makes up around a quarter of today’s total buyers. And while they may not have the same momentum as Millennials, members of Gen X typically aren’t buying their first homes. In fact, many are looking to upgrade and purchase a home at a higher price point than any other generation.

Per a new survey by the National Association of Realtors, Gen X is the highest earning generation, and they tend to buy larger and more expensive homes to accommodate growing households. If you’re one of the many Gen Xers eager to upsize—perhaps even into a multigenerational home—you’ll want to take advantage of the equity you have in your current place. The right agent will be able to help you sell for top dollar and find a new house that checks all your boxes!

Baby Boomers: Downsizing…and Investing!

Senior adults holding a home

Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 now face the reality of retiring and downsizing. This exciting season of life can come with a few challenges, as well as some unexpected opportunities! If you’re one of the many Boomers considering a move to a smaller home, it’s crucial to examine the equity you have in your current property. The average Baby Boomer has stayed in the same home for around 15 years—and in that timeframe, home values have risen by 50% or far more depending on your area. 

So, what should you do with all that extra money once you downsize to a more manageable house? Consider paying all cash for your new place, especially if you want sellers to notice (and accept!) your offer. And as you adjust to retirement, using that leftover equity to purchase an investment property could be an easy way to generate extra income.

Take Advantage of Today’s Once-in-a-Generation Market

No matter where you are in the home-buying process, it pays to work with the right agent. We’d love to help you achieve your buying and selling goals, or just answer any questions you have about today’s hot real estate market. Home prices are on the rise, mortgage rates remain low, and there’s never been a better time to make a move!

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wait Any Longer to Invest in Real Estate

Key Takeaways:

  • Even as home prices continue to climb, there’s never been a better time to get your foot in the door when it comes to real estate investing.
  • You don’t need a lot of money to diversify your portfolio—in fact, you have more options than you might think!
  • Whether you’re an experienced investor or a first-timer, you’ll want to work with the right agent to score a great deal.

What Buyers Need to Know About Real Estate Investing

Even if you haven’t bought or sold a house this year, you’ve probably heard wild predictions and statistics about the real estate market. As prices keep skyrocketing, would-be and experienced investors alike are wondering if now is the right time to add to their portfolios. Believe it or not, now might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase an income-generating property—and there are countless options from which to choose.

Still on the fence? Here are a few quick tips and tricks you need to know before investing in real estate.

Real estate investment isn’t only for the rich

Despite what popular shows on HGTV might tell you, real estate investing is something anyone can accomplish with careful planning and saving. You don’t even need any experience to get started—but having the help of a real estate agent will make all the difference.

Start by working with an agent who knows your local investment market. Based on your budget and goals, they’ll help you select a property that meets your needs and offers a high return on investment. Don’t just limit yourself to fixer-uppers—it’s worth considering land, single- or multi-family homes and condos, office space, or warehouses, too. 

With a little sweat equity, you can easily turn any investment into an income-generating property that will help you pay off your mortgage. The easiest way to do this involves renting your property out to tenants. Over the last decade, the average rent has increased by more than 30%—so if you plan on keeping your property for a long time, you’ll be able to turn an impressive profit while building equity.

Mortgage rates remain low

Approved mortgage application

One of the biggest mistakes that any investor can make is trying to time the market. While it may seem tempting to wait until a recession for prices to decrease, it’s impossible to predict how the market will fluctuate over time. And even as prices continue rising, you’ll want to factor low mortgage rates into the equation.

Lower mortgage rates make real estate investing more affordable. As of November 2021, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovers around 3.4%, which is roughly a full percentage point lower than it was in 2018. Let’s put that into perspective—if you purchase a $400,000 property with a 20% down payment, you’d pay around $1,419 per month. But if you bought the same asset with a 4.4% rate, that monthly payment would skyrocket by more than $200, which adds up over time.

First-timers can start small

First-time real estate investors

Even if you aren’t a current homeowner, real estate investing isn’t out of your reach. Some smart investors actually use their primary residence to generate extra money on the side. Once you establish a cash flow, you can start saving up for an even bigger investment down the line.

Wondering how you can start investing in real estate without a lot of capital? Real estate investment trusts (REITs) let you pool your money together with other investors and earn dividends, so you won’t have to buy or manage your own property. Many millennials have even tried “house hacking,” which involves buying a home and renting out rooms to offset a mortgage. And for an even simpler way to invest, consider land—some plots are available for just a few thousand dollars, and they’ll likely increase in value over time.

Work with Real Estate Investment Experts

Even if you already have a few assets under your belt, now is the time to diversify your investment portfolio! We have ample experience helping investors just like you, and we’d love to help you find an income-generating property that checks all the boxes.

Need to sell an investment property? We can certainly help with that, too!

Explaining the Buzz Around iBuyers—and the Buzzkill

Key Takeaways:

  • Some sellers have turned to iBuyers for instant cash offers on their properties, but they have consequently sacrificed the personalization of their home sale. 
  • iBuyers use outdated algorithms to value properties, whereas real estate agents use to-the-minute statistics to generate accurate, competitive prices. 
  • Work with our team of local agents to expertly price your property—and we can even start crunching the numbers for your updated home value today! 

Here’s What You Need to Know About iBuyers

An iBuyer is a company that makes an offer on your property by using automated value-estimating technology. Rather than partaking in the traditional home sale process, some of today’s sellers are relying on iBuyers to make all-cash offers on their properties. And since iBuyers use automated estimators to price your home, these companies are able to make their offers almost instantly.

Sellers have varying considerations when it comes to their home sales—some prioritize earning top dollar, while others just want to sell as quickly as possible. So depending on your home-selling goals, iBuyers could be a valid option for you. However, no matter what you want out of your home sale, you should always have an expert real estate agent by your side to guide you through the process. 

When pricing your home, you want accuracy—not algorithms

Realtor showing home

As the local market starts showing signs of a shift, there’s never been a more critical time to know your home’s true value. In the real estate industry, agents price your home through a process called a comparative market analysis (CMA). This process compares your property to recently sold listings in the area that share similar features to your own home. Based on the CMA results, our agents are able to generate a competitive price that will have buyers flocking to your door.

On the other hand, iBuyers use a software they refer to as an automation valuation model, which essentially uses an algorithm to quickly process a property’s data and compute an offer price. When setting a list price for your property, you don’t want to rely on automatic estimators that promise instant (but not accurate!) results—entrust a local agent instead! And when you work with us, one of our pricing experts will evaluate your property in-person to pinpoint its value-boosting features and deliver you an accurate price in real-time.  

The ideal timeline of your home sale should be top of mind 

couple planning their moving timeline

This is when your home-selling priorities come into play—if selling your home quickly is your absolute top priority, then working with an iBuyer might best fit your needs. Many iBuyers can make you a cash offer within two days of when they receive your property’s information. Then, if you accept the offer and schedule a home assessment immediately, you could close on your house anywhere from two weeks to two months later, depending on any necessary repairs. 

Although the extraordinarily quick timeline of selling your home to an iBuyer may seem compelling, you also have to consider our local market—it’s still skewed towards sellers. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 87% of properties sold in August 2021 were on the market for less than a month. So with the ball still clearly in sellers’ courts, working with an iBuyer might not guarantee moving any sooner. 

Need Selling Advice? We’re All Ears! 

Ultimately, determining whether you should sell to an iBuyer is a personal decision based on your priorities. And as your local area experts, our agents are here to guide you through the home-selling process no matter which option you choose. Whether you need to sell your home this week or crave a competitive list price that will earn you a profit, you can count on us to accomplish your home-selling goals.