2013 has seen some major economic events, and balance probably isn’t the first word most people would think of to describe them. However, there’s some balance coming in 2014…to the housing market, at least.
A recent article on CNNMoney discusses how the housing market is shifting and will provide more opportunities for both buyers and sellers, as long as you’re a savvy player in the game.
Buyers and Sellers Balancing Act
While housing inventory is up, it’s still a seller’s market because the supply is lower than normal – about 15% lower than the historical average. There are more homes available than last year, but we’re still recovering from the lows of several years ago.
One definite improvement for anyone looking to purchase a home is that, as the market slowly recovers, distressed home sales, from things like foreclosures and short sales, have decreased; there are less cheap steals out there for investors. When home prices were really low, home buyers, especially first-time buyers, would often lose out to investors.
At this point, it might seem like we’re just seesawing here: There’s this advantage but there’s that change to balance it out, etc. That’s actually a good thing, though: “For a sustainable recovery you want to see more balance between buyers and sellers,” CoreLogic Case-Shiller’s chief economist David Stiff explains on CNNMoney.
Tips for Buying and Selling
So more balance is a good thing, but you still need to know how to navigate the changing real estate market.
- Don’t wait to buy. If you’re ready to move and you’ve found the house, jump on it. Mortgage interest rates are predicted to rise above 5% in 2014.
- Closing quickly will be important. With volume still low and prices slowly rising, sellers aren’t as desperate to sell their homes, but you have to compete with other buyers.
One way to close your mortgage fast is with the Mortgage First program, exclusively from Quicken Loans. Unlike a preapproval, we’ll verify your assets, income and credit so you’re fully approved for a mortgage, pending property information, for the home you choose.
Both real estate agents and sellers will be very excited to see a buyer who is already approved for a loan – that part of the process alone can often take weeks.
- Make a low but realistic offer on a house. There’s enough demand that the seller won’t be desperate to take whatever you offer.
- Remodeling could be a good idea. Home equity loan rates are lower than they’ve been in a while, and some modest improvements could significantly boost your home’s value.
- Accurately price your home the first time. It doesn’t matter what you think or feel your home is worth or how much you’ve put into it. Buyers are more educated these days; don’t waste your time or theirs by fighting for an unrealistic price. Ultimately, all that matters is what the home appraises for.
It’s been a crazy ride on the economic train in 2013, and while 2014 will hopefully be a smoother ride, there’s going to be a fair amount of back and forth in the housing market scale – so make sure you’re prepared.
Are there any other questions you have that we didn’t answer here? Let us know in the comments!