Over the last few years, almost everything you thought you needed to know about buying and selling a home has changed. In order to stay current with today’s real estate market, here are a few important pieces of “news you can use”.
Barb’s Top 10 Things to Know About Real Estate Today
10. Distressed Properties: Short Sales and Bank Foreclosures (REOs) are not for everyone: Hurdles to Overcome:
- “As is” property condition
- Increased paperwork & complexity
- Increased chance for multiple offers
- Bank REO process is long & arduous
- Buyer probably is not getting a “steal”
- Buyer must be patient
9. “Aging in Place”
Did you know?
- Half of older women age 75+ live alone.
- Persons reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 18.1 years.
- The 85+ population is projected to increase from 4.6 million in 2002 to 9.6 million in 2030.
- Median # of years home owners are staying in their homes has increased from 8 to 10 yrs.
8. Today’s Agent Must be Tech Savvy
Every source was used less except one – the Realtor!
7. Down Payments of 5% or Less Have NOT Disappeared
- Both first-time and repeat buyers are putting less than 20% down, even though a down payment of 20% will typically provide the best financing terms.
- 68% of first-time buyers and 28% of repeat buyers had a down payment of 5% or less in 2011.
- Employment will remain a challenge over the next few years, which impacts the market by tempering GDP and holding back demand for home buying.
- To get back to 6% unemployment, 13.3 million jobs need to be added over the next 3 years. That’s 400,000 jobs/month.
5. Condition is the Key for Serious Buyers
- Homes in better condition sold for an average of 96% of list price compared to 92% of list price for homes in poorer condition.
- The most common updates are: Paint (44%), Floorings (25%), and Lighting Fixtures (20%)
4. Home Staging is Well Worth the Effort
- Staged Homes sell faster.
- Staged homes get higher offers.
- Staged houses look better in the MLS pictures, getting more potential buyers to actually come see the house in the first place.
- Staged houses have an edge over competing properties, and the staging can often sway the final decision.
3. It’s Been a Great Market for First-Time Home Buyers
2. Price it Right the First Time!
- For the 48% of sellers who set their listing price according to their agent’s interpretation of the market value of their house:
• Sold faster – 56 days compared to 105
• Sold for 6.7% higher list
• Experienced fewer price reductions (4 to 6 weeks between price reductions of between $5,000 and $15,000)
1. The End is in Sight – We Have “Hit Bottom”
- We have been in a Buyer’s Market for the last 6 years because: home prices have been low, mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and inventory has been high.
- Prices have stabilized (we’ve had our pricing correction), it doesn’t seem likely that interest rates can go any lower and we are reaching an inventory balance.
I am not a fortune teller, but I have been through enough up and down markets in my career (especially the down market of 1990-1992) to recognize the signs of recovery…and we’re seeing a lot of them right now!
Contact Barb Bottitta for any and all of your Lehigh Valley area questions, as well as real estate needs, as I am always happy to help in any way that I can! You can also connect with me on my Facebook Page for events and happenings in the Lehigh Valley area, as well as home ownership tips, design tips, real estate market updates, and so much more!
Barb Bottitta is an active member of the Allentown Rotary. On Friday July 20th, Barb was the keynote speaker at the Rotary’s weekly meeting. Her topic was the the Lehigh Valley Real Estate Market. Click here for the full presentation.