Top Real Estate Articles in April 2022
Spring 2022 has brought us an interesting real estate market across the country. We’ve seen home values increase almost 20% on average year over year.
Homeownership has been a benefit to many in tremendous ways. If you are looking for good advice on any aspect of real estate, I’ve got some good reads this month from some of the top real estate pros from the East Coast to West Coast.
What to Know About Making an Offer For The House You Love
Whether you have just started to look for a home or have been going at it a while, you probably understand how crazy real estate markets are around the country. It’s been an extreme seller’s market for a while.
When you find the home you love having a strategy is essential. When putting an offer on a house, it’s vital to know the expected competition. Will there likely be a few offers or a bunch?
Understanding the competition level can help you craft the offer needed to win the likely bidding war. For example, you might need to do something to make your offer more enticing, like waiving a home inspection.
More and more buyers are going outside their comfort zone to land the house they want. Following your Realtor’s advice ultimately will increase your chances.
What is a Real Estate Agent Worth?
Did you know there could be sweeping changes coming down the line with how real estate agents get paid? It’s true. The National Association of Realtors is in a significant battle with the Justice Department about how a real estate agent should be paid. The decision could change how real estate is practiced.
Whether you are a real estate agent, buyer, or seller, it is important to understand what’s happening with a commission structure. Make sure you look at the excellent overview from Sam Sharf at Money Magazine.
Can You Buy a Home With a Low Credit Score?
One of the questions asked by prospective home buyers quite a bit is if it’s possible to buy a home with a low credit score. Over at the Rochester Real Estate blog, you will see what you need to know when your credit scores aren’t the best they could be.
Are you able to purchase a house? Yes, you can! Look at some of the financial tips to see where to start looking for an appropriate mortgage.
Welcome to the Post Pandemic Real Estate Market
We certainly find ourselves in a unique real estate market post-pandemic, right?! Housing shortages, supply-chain issues, lack of skilled labor, and inflation like we haven’t seen in 40+ years. Navigating the world of home improvement, maintenance, or new home construction can be challenging.
In her timely and informative article, Vicki Moore, Pacifica, CA Realtor, has some good tips for dealing with delays and shortages due to the pandemic and its effects on home improvement supply chains. Due to shortages in construction materials, wood, appliances, and even furniture, having a proper expectation of timelines will help you navigate these markets.
Considering some alternative markets will also help in managing home improvement. Many might not have thought of Vicki’s suggestions, like borrowing tools or buying vintage or local furniture. Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist are also good suggestions for finding supplies and services.
Home Values: The Elevator is Going UP
If you aren’t a homeowner yet, you probably want to get on the elevator soon to take advantage of the inevitable increase in home equity you get as values rise.
Given the seller’s market we’ve been experiencing over the last year; many buyers ask if the home I purchase in a “hot” market will sell in a “slow” market. Conor MacEvilly, Seattle real estate pro, has some great advice to inform and put your mind at ease.
Some home buyers, frustrated with this fast-paced market, maybe having lost in a multiple offer situation, might purchase a home with poor resale value.
Conor wisely points out the dangers of settling for a home that isn’t selling in a hot market. It may have a “fatal flaw” or even a few. Asking the right questions will save you from the disappointment of having a home that won’t sell when the market turns.
The truth is, a slower market doesn’t affect all homes equally. Even in a slow market, the most desirable homes sell. Some things to consider: are the home’s history, the location, zoning, condition, and the floor plan. What is the HOA like? How long do you intend to stay in the home?
Most importantly, what does your real estate agent think about the market going forward and the home’s probability of selling? You don’t want to be saddled with a lemon when it comes time to sell.
Common Hurdles Home Buyers Face
Buying a house today is more challenging than ever. All across the country, there is a significant housing shortage. The number of buyers seriously outweighs the available inventory to purchase. The environment provides a backdrop for bidding wars and homes selling more than the asking prices.
Home buyers also face other hurdles that can prevent them from purchasing their dream home. At Econotimes, you’ll see some things that you should know when heading into the real estate market.
Sellers Are In the Driver’s Seat
If you are entering this fast-paced market to sell your home, you have some important advantages. With the inventory at all-time lows across the country, your home is in demand! But before you sign the listing contract, make sure you have a thorough understanding of what the listing agreement says.
Paul Sian, Cincinnati real estate agent, explains that the basic terms of the contract, including the list price, the commission, and the length of the listing, are all something that you should understand and agree with. But there are many other items in the agreement. What kind of marketing will the agent do? What will that entail, and will there be a cost to you?
There are also items that sellers should understand and agree to that aren’t specifically mentioned in the listing agreement. Will the agent do open houses? What about photography or video marketing? How will the listing agent handle multiple offers? Ensure you get all the details and have clear expectations before signing on the dotted line.
Is a Pocket Listing a Bad Idea?
Have you ever heard of a pocket listing? In a market where inventory is super low, a seller might be approached by an agent with the idea of a pocket listing. This means that the agent doesn’t list the home on the MLS (Multiple List Service), but tries to sell it privately, through his own contacts…keeping the listing in his “pocket.” In this market…bad idea!
Bill Gassett, Massachusetts real estate agent, has some important things to say about pocket listings. Firstly, you’d better have a good reason to keep your home sale a secret because could probably be missing out on a financial win. With the inventory so low in many areas of the country, buyers are literally in a fight to win in a bidding war.
In today’s market, sellers risk losing tens of thousands of dollars. They also forfeit the chance to command other terms of the sale that will be to their benefit.
The Best Homes Still Command The Best Offers
We have all experienced a shortage of homes for sale in most of the country compared to the demand. Some sellers might think that anything will sell, so why put in the effort to fix up their home? Likewise, some agents might think similar thoughts about marketing a home…why bother when it’s going to sell without much effort. This kind of thinking is shortsighted.
Even in the hottest seller’s market, some desirable homes sell for more money, and the competition increases, thereby increasing the seller’s negotiating power when it comes to terms. A well-prepared home, with proper marketing, could mean tens of thousands more to the seller and the best terms.
So how to prepare? Even with fierce competition, today’s buyers are looking for features in a home. The pandemic has changed our home lives significantly.
We demand even more from our homes than we ever have. We want an entertaining space, both indoors and out. We want a dedicated home office. We need some spaces to be our ZEN, especially the bathroom.
There are many ways a seller can create spaces that today’s buyers are looking for without a total renovation. By tuning in to what they value in a home, a seller can do a lot to provide the top items on a home buyer’s wish list.
Remodeling with Sustainability in Mind
One of the features on the minds of today’s home buyers is sustainability. If you are doing any renovations or remodeling, it is wise to factor sustainability into your plans. Danny Margagliano, Destin Florida real estate pro, has 18 great ideas to help you remodel your home with sustainability.
Whether it is chemicals like formaldehyde in cabinets or VOCs in paint, using products without these harmful substances will greatly impact your home’s air quality and overall health.
Using sustainable materials, recycled products, and pre-owned household items can save money and create a more eco-friendly home.
Choosing energy-saving features, LED lights, quality materials that last longer, and simple additions like a ceiling fan make a big difference. My favorite tip: plant a garden. Whether vegetables or flowers, gardening adds to your quality of life and your curb appeal.
Buyers and Sellers Beware
Real estate scams have increased in the last decade as transactions have become more complex and more expensive. Real estate transactions are a lucrative target for would-be thieves.
Luke Skar, with Madison Mortgage Guys, has an important article that everyone should read, buyers, sellers, and agents, about eight real estate scams home buyers and sellers should watch out for.
Recently, we heard of a home seller losing their $130,000 in equity in our market due to a wire fraud scheme. It was heartbreaking. By the time the scam was detected, the money had vanished somewhere in some foreign country. Poof.
It is important to be aware and vigilant against possible fraud attempts today. Check out this pertinent information about title scams, home inspection schemes, home improvement scams, predatory lending, fake movers, and even fake real estate agents.
Previous Best of Real Estate Articles
See some previous months of the real estate roundups.
- Best Real Estate Articles March 2022 – March had a ton of excellent real estate articles. Take a look to catch up on what you missed.
- Best Real Estate Articles February 2022 – see what was newsworthy in February for content to help buyers and sellers.
About the author: The above article on the top real estate articles for April 2022 was written by Karen and Chris Highland with eXp Realty in Central Maryland. Chris and Karen have been helping people buy and sell residential real estate in and around Frederick, Maryland, for 30 years.
“We’re passionate about educating consumers about the ins and outs of residential real estate and the local market and equipping them with realistic expectations about the process of buying and selling a home.”